Why kids are probably worth the high coston July 10, 2012 @ 12:11 pm (Updated: 2:23 pm - 7/11/12 )
It's nothing we didn't know already; raising kids will cost you a lot. Not only in cold hard cash, but in time and sanity.
A recent article in The Seattle Times, "The High Cost of Raising Kids," points to a report that a baby born in 2011 will cost a family $295,560.
"$295K seems cheap," responded Ron, who is not a father himself. "Even when I grew up playing football, we probably ate a $1,000 month in food in high school."
The number doesn't include college tuition or paying for vocational school, which Don believes is a parent's duty to cover...at least the first year or two.
The article really focuses on the cost of child care, which refers to the National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies report that parents pay, on average, $11,450 a year for an infant in day care.
As Don knows, that is a low number in the Seattle area. A mid-range day care will run you about $1500 per month and a nanny can cost about $2500-$3000 per month. Kid #2 will get you a small discount in day care and a nanny usually charges just a tad bit more.
So why do we kill ourselves with this financial burden that sometimes breaks up marriages and sends us to the poor house?
It's not just because babies are so darn cute, there's something in our DNA that pushes us to procreate even if it means struggling to make it the rest of our lives.
Don, father to a 2-year-old, says he thinks about one day having someone to go fishing with, having a partner in crime, having someone as a best friend as you grow older, and having someone there to say that your life mattered when you're on your death bed.
Not only might it be nice to have someone else to pal around with in your golden years, but Don says a child is often an older parent's support system.
Studies say the senior population will nearly double by 2030 as Baby Boomers continue to age. And the the Institute of Medicine has a new report that finds as many as 1 in 5 seniors has a mental health or substance abuse problem.
"Parents today are living longer, parents today are costing more, parents today are going through their 401K and having to go back to work," Don says. "You may bring that child into this world in a diaper, but they may help get you out of this world in a diaper."
Plus, babies really are so darn cute. Especially when they're sleeping.
By Stephanie Klein, MyNorthwest.com
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