Ouch! The cost of raising a child has risen again

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  • dianeect north salt lake, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    Really this is just reporting the cost of a person. If you take amount of your annual income that does not go into savings, divide it by the number of people in your family and then times by 18, it's not too far off. Of course that does suggest that a couple could live in comfort on around 24,000 a year and a single person around 12,000 a year, which just isn't true.

  • Outsider Looking In BOISE, ID
    Aug. 16, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    There is a big difference between how much it would cost to feed, clothe, shelter and educate a child, and how much the average parent will spend on a child. It appears that these figures track the latter. If you're factoring in those who spend inordinate amounts on individualized child care, summer camps, a separate bedroom and bathroom or each child, private education, etc. one can spend a truly limitless amount on children. But is that what it really costs? This figure gives us an average expense of $14,181 per year, per child. Many with more than one or two children know that figure is severely, and unnecessarily, bloated. These kinds of figures only perpetuate the idea that children are incredibly expensive. Like a car, you can get yourself back and forth to work with a ten-year old Corolla. As long as we keep reminding ourselves that the neighbors have a 500 series BMW, our own spending is likely to creep upward.

  • Sunset Orem, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    And yet those of us who refuse to raise a family in poverty are accused of being selfish.

    @ mother8

    I appreciate your comment, but remember that this article is about the cost of raising a child born in 2013. All of your kids were born 20+ years ago, when the costs were much lower. I'm not saying you had it easy, but newer parents are going to find it much harder to manage finances.

    There are definitely ways you can cut, as you suggested (though food is going up so much that cooking from scratch has become more prohibitive). But you need to remember the value of time. Sometimes the "free" option takes more time, which is an opportunity cost. Furthermore, low-cost options are become scarcer. For example, libraries are closing or cutting services all over the nation. Wages for most people are stagnating while inflation climbs. Entry-level jobs are disappearing. Will they even exist in 16 years when Baby can start work? College tuition and related expenses are climbing dramatically even though graduates struggle to find work. Will Baby even be able to afford to go to college in 18 years? Don't know.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    The assumptions in these studies are always a little simplistic and thus the studies are better viewed as results of a mathematical formula than a real measure of actual cost.

    Housing is a good example. The study says housing is about 30% of the $240K average cost or $72K. That's more than $4K a year on housing. However, a couple with a house or apartment doesn't have their mortgage or rent payment increase when they have a child. How much of that $5K is true incremental, out of pocket cost as opposed to a pro-rata allocation of a housing cost that didn't change at all? In many cases, the housing cost is probably largely overstated.

    The "sticker shock" reaction engendered by these studies is largely unwarranted.

  • mother8 BRIGHAM CITY, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    It doesn't cost near this much to raise a child. There are many ways to cut down the costs by yard saling, shopping at the DI, making your food from scratch and doing family activities that are free. We've raised a very large family, all 6 that have graduated from high school have attended college, and the last ones have college plans once they graduate. We are also the parents of a physician. Our kids were always expected to get jobs when were were old enough, and we were unable to help them very much in college so they had to work their way through. Don't fall for these government statistics.

  • D-Ruck Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    And it will easily be the best $240,000 I ever spend.

  • Philosopher Goose Creek, SC
    Aug. 16, 2013 6:35 a.m.

    Food for thought: the quantity of money spent on a child doesn't necessarily equate to the quality of nurturing a child.