It Costs WHAT?!?!?

Having a child is a life-changing event – both emotionally and financially. It is estimated that it costs $240,000 to raise a child from birth to 18.  Ken Maraif, Senior Advisor with Monday Matters, (hear him weekend afternoons on KTRH) reminds you, “That massive amount of money is spread over 18 years and the most expensive years – the teen years – come along when you should be making more money.

Maraif warns you that things you used to do will cost more money because you’ll have an extra person along with more stuff!  You’ll be spending money differently as well. A good example is that the money you were putting into your retirement fund may now partially go into the “raising Johnny” fund.  And the fancy schmancy vacation the two of you always wanted will become a trip for three to a theme park where you eat hot dogs and carry Pepto Bismol at all times.

University of Houston Economics Professor Steven Craig says the extra spending begins with birth/adoption costs and is quickly followed by your own health insurance going up with a higher deductible because you are three patients now instead of two. He also reminds you that there are great joys in parenthood and you’ll want to encourage your child and offer them “softer” expensive items like piano lessons and sports gear.

The rule both Steve and Ken offer:  save early, safe often. You will have more emergencies with a child than two adults, so it’s best to have easily accessible savings. The model they like is having 6 to 9 months income in the bank!

Of the $240k, 30% is housing and 20% on food.  The rest is everything from medical bills and clothing to un-planned for sudden expenses like a studying abroad opportunity and major teenage car repairs.

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