Costs to Raise a Kid

I’m behind on posting so let’s talk about an email a friend sent me yesterday on how much it costs to raise a kid. Here’s what he said.

Supposedly, it cost $235K to rear a kid for 17 years, I think the numbers are off b/c I’d wager most parents don’t purchase housing/healthcare/transportation only due to having a kid.


I didn’t read the article before responding because I didn’t want the information to taint my initial thoughts. Here’s my email response.

$235K, is that it?!?!?!

235K / 17 years = 14K a year = 1200 / month

Don’t most people spend at least several hundred dollars a week on daycare / school / after school programs / nannies / babysitters?!?!?!? So $235K seems completely justifiable and probably for a San Francisco-dwelling parent too low of a figure. The article goes on to say that the analysis doesn’t even take into consideration inflation.

Besides how many parents cut their kids off at the age of 18? None come to mind. You’ve got to think of their college expense. Then  you’ve got to account for them not getting a job after college and coming home to live with you while they cashier at Trader Joe’s. After a few years of not finding a job, they’ll opt for grad school, and who do you think will foot the bill for that? Mommy and daddy of course!

Does the $235K analysis even consider orthodontics, summer camp, language immersion, study abroad, a car, weddings?

What do you think? Is $235K an overstatement or understatement?

Money Monday:

How many of you are users? It was one of those websites I signed up for early on, then forgot about. A friend of mine mentioned it recently which propelled me to give it another try.

Hands down, Mint is the best financial website out there. Gone are the days of tracking debits and credits in an Excel file. Mint aggregates all my balances in one place (my mortgage at Wells Fargo, my brokerage account at Schwab, my Chase credit card, my savings account at Navy Federal, my property value via Zillow). I can track all my transactions, figure out a budget, and see my net worth.

It’s pretty awesome. Check it out.