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Cost of Children

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition .

But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
* $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month, or
* $171.08 a week.
* That’s a mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour .

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don’t have children if you want to be “rich.”
Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140 ?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

* Glimpses of God every day.

* Giggles under the covers every night.

* More love than your heart can hold.

* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs

* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites

* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,

* carve pumpkins,

* play hide-and-seek,

* catch lightning bugs, and

* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,

* watching Saturday morning cartoons,

* going to Disney movies, and

* wishing on stars.

* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,

* taking the training wheels off a bike,

* removing a splinter,

* filling a wading pool,

* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs

* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream or pizza regardless

You get a front row seat to history, to witness the:

* first step,

* first word,

* first bra,

* first date, and

* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits. So, one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

{{Full disclosure: I did not write this. This was making the rounds via email several years ago and I loved it so much I saved it. Or maybe I was just too lazy to delete. ;)}}

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Kaelin March 19, 2012, 10:41 am

    I needed this !!!!I try so hard each day to just get through that day.I need to slow down a bit I think. thank you once again for helping me put my life into perspective!

  • Photina March 19, 2012, 11:57 am

    I really love this! And it speaks so much truth.

  • Suquamish March 19, 2012, 1:29 pm

    I saw that it now costs up to $250,000 per child but , According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children who were born in 2010 will cost a middle-income family nearly $227,000. In 1960, when the first report was issued, it cost slightly more than $25,000 to raise a child to the age of 18. Good thing I was born before 1960 so it wasn’t so tough on my parents to raise me. LOL

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