Thursday, May 26, 2005

Raising your quarter-million dollar baby

Raising your quarter-million dollar baby

Children are priceless, but raising them is probably the most expensive thing you'll ever do. Here are some strategies and tips that may help.

By MSN Money staff

Every newborn child is a bundle of joy. But you better have a bundle of cash on hand if you want to raise one.

For 2004, the newest data available, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that families making $70,200 a year or more will spend a whopping $269,520 to raise a child from birth through age 17. Higher-income families in urban areas in the West spend the most, $284,460.

Though not as steep, the figures for lower-income families are just as unsettling: $184,320 for families earning $41,700 to $70,200 and $134,370 for families making less than that. That breaks down to nearly $15,000 a year from birth to age 2 for families in the $65,800 -plus income bracket. As your child ages, he or she gets even more expensive, topping out at $15,810 from ages 15 to 17. This is no back-of-the-envelope guesstimate. The survey involves visits to, and interviews with, about 5,000 households, four times a year.

For the rest of this fine article, click here.

Don't worry. I'm not freaking out. It's actually a very good article. The thing I'm most happy about is that this doesn't catch me off guard. We've been thinking through almost all of these issues (food, housing, health care, etc.) for quite some time, and feel that we've come to some very good money-saving options.

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