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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-04-2007, 05:00 PM   #21
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
It all amounts to about an extra $1530 a year per child because we use frequent flyer miles and clip coupons.
Could you itemize your calculation for us, LOL?

I just looked at our budget, and we're spending over $6000/year just on school, music, parks/rec, and health insurance. I'm sure that easily doubles when we add food, clothes, out-of-pocket health care, shelter, energy, transportation, vacations, celebrations, toys, etc.

What are we doing wrong?

FWIW, those frequent flyer miles would have been used yourself if you didn't have kids, right? Kids are expensive.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-04-2007, 05:10 PM   #22
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Tori has a lot of extra costs due to her disability, but they are still quite modest. I would agree with most here, but also add there is a reduction in certain expenditures - a reverse opportunity cost, so to speak. Instead of dinner and a movie, it's hot dogs and a video. Going to the park is a lot cheaper than going to the mall. For those of you who were already militant LBYM, I can see a clear increase in costs, but for us I think our "recreation costs" have gone down about as much as Tori's costs are.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-04-2007, 05:41 PM   #23
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Could you itemize your calculation for us, LOL?

I just looked at our budget, and we're spending over $6000/year just on school, music, parks/rec, and health insurance. I'm sure that easily doubles when we add food, clothes, out-of-pocket health care, shelter, energy, transportation, vacations, celebrations, toys, etc.

What are we doing wrong?

FWIW, those frequent flyer miles would have been used yourself if you didn't have kids, right? Kids are expensive.
Sure. For my spouse to be on my health insurance, we have to go the family plan. That means all kids are no additional charge. Daughter's braces are $80 a month after insurance.
Our kids go to public schools, including one in a school within a school. Cost: $12 for tickets to basketball games.

Since we charge everything to our credit card, I'll just look at what else we've spent ... going backwards:
February: $100 soccer registration. Son has uniform from last year. Cleats were donated by friends. Son starts music lessons: $120 a month. Daughter gets $37.53 of "feeder minnows" and stuff for a science fair project.
January: Bought a laptop for my daughter as Xmas present: $2200. Should last 4 years or about $50 a month. But it is really for my wife. Daughter plays sports, but all equipment and uniforms provided at taxpayers expense by the public school. Son finishes basketball season. Cost $120 for 3 months. We get a break because I coach. Parents give coach a gift: free tickets to NBA game.
December: Flew across country for Xmas at relatives. Cost: $0 due to FF coupons. Daughter gets nothing for Xmas, but is promised a laptop. For Xmas, son get a football, basketball shoes and a library card. Daughter stops music lessons. Museum visits: $30.
November: I see $100 eyecare charge, but that's for mom, not kids. So no additional expenses for kids.
October: Etc.

Yes, 4 people eat more than 2 people, but it's not twice as much. But we make our kids cook and clean-up for us. So it's a net gain for us.

[Edit:] Daughter wants cowboy boots for "Go Texas!" day. Parents refuse. Daughter borrows boots from friend who has 6 pairs of cowboy boots.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-05-2007, 12:56 AM   #24
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Why move to the burbs if you are not going to take advantage of the best thing they have to offer?
And let us not forget the costs of athletics to compete. Once beyond the neighborhood soccor, and into "select" soccor, for budding athletes (I'm sure the same applies to other sports), the costs are pretty high as well. From 4th grade through high school, the cost of paying the coach, buying uniforms, traveling games, tournaments, invitational tournaments out of state, prepping for college coachs to see and interview, etc., I estimate we spent about $3500 per year, in addition to the normal life of a student.
And don't get me started on the cost of prom dresses, mixer dresses, etc. that for some reason, a father can't understand why they must cost almost as much as wedding dresses, and occur a lot more frequently. Finally, (hopefully) add in the cost of the wedding, from the father of the bride's perspective, and divide that back over the years. I think their estimate was far too low. I'd put the cost closer to $180k from birth to married off.
Not that they are'nt worth every penny, just have to be prepared for the cost.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-05-2007, 09:16 AM   #25
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitestick
I'd put the cost closer to $180k from birth to married off.
Not that they are'nt worth every penny, just have to be prepared for the cost.
I'd put the cost at closer to seven point three zillion bux.......at least!

To keep outselves from getting in trouble with the extra money we have now that we're empty nesters, we spend a lot on the grandkids. :
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-05-2007, 11:57 AM   #26
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaceful_Warrior
Elimination Communication
co-sleeping
Attachment Parenting
Unschool
Okay, I don't have kids (my dogs and cats cost a fortune--try close to $1400 in 2006), but I'll bite--what in the heck are you talking about? I mean, I know people with kids, heck, I even know people who homeschool, but as a student of popular culture, I must know.....what are these things?
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-05-2007, 12:57 PM   #27
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

This is the cliff's notes version:

Elimination Communication:
Paying attention to babies' signals (i.e. body language, vocalizations) to know *before* they will have to pee/poo, and

then hold them over the toilet so they go there instead of in a diaper.

Minimizes diaper changes by up to 100%, thus providing considerable savings. We've been doing this for two months, and so

far have gone from washing diapers once per day to once every 3-5 days. Yesterday we even left him without a diaper for

several hours, and though he peed on us once (while feeding, so he was distracted), he also communicated to us twice that

he needed to go, and so we held him over.

We have learned that once he signals to us he needs to go, he will actually wait for us to take him to the toilet, undress

and take his diaper off and hold him over, before he will start to pee/poo.

Co-sleeping:
The baby sleeps in the bed with the mother instead of in a separate crib or bassinet. If breastfeeding, this helps both

mother and baby sleep because they don't have to fully wake (or sometimes wake at all) to breastfeed. Also, when coupled

with Elimination Communication, it means the parents are more responsive to the babie's needs.

It also reduces nighttime crying, thus allowing partners to sleep better. There are a lot of things to be aware of when

co-sleeping, so research must be done to ensure the safety of the child. However, again been doing this for 2 months and

has been very helpful.

Also a money saver because a bassinet, crib, or nursery are unnecessary.

Attachment Parenting
This is keeping the baby with one or both parents at almost all times. By giving the baby all of the attention it wants

in the early stages of life, it develops healthy attachment to parents by realizing the parents will always be there when

the child needs them. This gives children the confidence to venture out on their own, rather than wondering if they'll be

left stranded / alone. Babies cry much less often... our baby cries maybe for 10 minutes per day, total, because when he

needs anything we are already there paying attention to him so he doesn't have to cry long to get a response.

This also couples very well with Elimination Communication and Co-Sleeping, and again a money saver because a nursery is

unnecessary and the best infant toys are mommy and daddy.

Unschooling
No formal education is provided, and instead children learn through the school of life. Just as nobody ever taught a baby

how to walk or talk... they still learned these things because they wanted and needed to. How might a child learn to read? They hear mom or dad reading to them at night and start to wonder how to do it themselves. Some children learn to read and do math on their own, some ask for help from parents.

What is focused on is not what to learn, but rather, how to learn. This highly enables these children as adults to succeed. Many unschoolers will openly admit to holes in their knowledge base... some may not know much about history, or another about geography or government, but they all readily state that if they wanted/needed the knowledge they would have no problems with it.

This also encourages parents to be in tune and understanding of children's interests. If a child likes trains, then trains may be used to help teach about math, or a trip to the train museum in Sacramento, CA might help combine history with their interests.

By keeping children interested in the process of learning, they also tend to develop a lifelong love for that process.

This saves money because public schools now require kids to bring supplies in underfunded districts, no costs for private school, and no costs for homeschool materials (which can be expensive).

As a side note, NORDS has personally known some unschoolers so he may be able to give some more realistic perspective on the subject.... everything I know about this is, so far, from reading information and interacting on mailing lists.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-05-2007, 01:40 PM   #28
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Did you read the Freakonomics chapter on obsessive parenting? While not an eye-opener, the studies presented call into question some commonly and uncommonly held beliefs.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-05-2007, 02:06 PM   #29
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Thanks, Peace, for the cliff notes! Must be pretty time consuming stuff--I've done some of that when housetraining the dogs, but I think it is easier to just put the dog out in the backyard than hanging a baby over the toilet!

I sleep with some of the dogs, and they keep me awake all the time--but maybe babies don't take up as much space or lay sideways across your legs!

I wish I could have been unschooled instead of tormented all those years...sounds like a more interesting way to learn.

Most interesting detail...thanks for enlightening me to these novel approaches!

LOL!: Freakonomics is such a great book--I love the part on kid's names!

Sarah
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-05-2007, 03:17 PM   #30
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
Thanks, Peace, for the cliff notes! Must be pretty time consuming stuff--I've done some of that when housetraining the dogs, but I think it is easier to just put the dog out in the backyard than hanging a baby over the toilet!
Ironically, it doesn't take all that much time. Ask yourself what would be quicker:
- You sitting on a toilet, waiting to go. -- OR -- you pooping in your underwear and then cleaning up and changing your underwear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
I wish I could have been unschooled instead of tormented all those years...sounds like a more interesting way to learn.
Me too! Though the first time I heard about this philosophy, I was highly skeptical. It took me months of educating myself to finally get to the comfort level I now have with it.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 10:18 AM   #31
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Another debate on public vs private schooling. Unfortunately there's not much of a way to do a repeatable double-blind control studies with 50,000 or so kids.

We've already paid for the public schooling, so why not do both?

In our case our kid's behavior had concerned me that we'd have to be ready to homeschool (Sears' "Your Fussy Baby and High-Needs Child") so I dug into it. Later I realized that we don't have to do one or the other-- she's thriving at school and we deal with the problems when they crop up. We homeschool every time a teachable moment presents itself. If she wasn't thriving then we'd be able to drop back to homeschooling, and when she's feeling sorry for herself we point out that we're happy to do so. Somehow school has always managed to appeal to her more than the concept of "Mom & Dad's Unschool".

I've met a lot of homeschooled kids. Some were temperamentally unsuited for public schools, others never had a chance to try both systems. They all seemed to turn out fine. Neither institution is a guaranteed success, and as always the most important factor in a kid's education is still the parents.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 10:41 AM   #32
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

I'm going to go the same route...send him to the very, very good public school, teach him what I can every day, and engage a tutor or additional outside private schooling for any particular topic he either struggles in or demonstrates a strong aptitude for.

If he just turns out to be wonderkind material and the public schools accelerated program cant keep up with him, we'll move him to something private that challenges him and pay for it.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 10:49 AM   #33
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
If he just turns out to be wonderkind material and the public schools accelerated program cant keep up with him, we'll move him to something private that challenges him and pay for it.
"Wunderkind". Yeah, that's what I was thinking-- so much more impressive than "never turns off their brain or their mouth" or "juvenile delinquent". Not that our kid could turn out like that!

Like us, you'll spend the first six months waiting for the principal to tell you that they just can't take it any more...
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 10:54 AM   #34
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

I wouldnt expect it to take that long.

Of course, during the first visit I fully anticipate seeing the "oh thats where it comes from" look on his/her face...
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 11:04 AM   #35
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

The way I figure it, if you've got smart, motivated, well educated parents, there's a good chance your kid is going to be a 95th percentile kid in whatever they want to do. Spending big bucks or other resources on pushing them the extra mile might get them to the 98th or 99th percentile, or it might give them a nervous breakdown.

Now, back to teaching my trilingual 1 year old her fourth language...

And structural design principles using her lego blocks...
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 11:31 AM   #36
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

if someone mentioned this earlier in the thread, i apologize, but id dint read the whole thing


What if you factor in the costs your KIDS incure once they are old enough to take care of you? a few months/years in assisted living shoudl even things out quite nicely. and if your kid happens to hit the lotto or sign a multi million $$ sports contract, it was a wise investment :
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 02:35 PM   #37
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Another debate on public vs private schooling. Unfortunately there's not much of a way to do a repeatable double-blind control studies with 50,000 or so kids.
And what would you measure? Whether kids made more money as adults on one track or the other? Whether they became better people?

We're just taking a cursory look at elementary schools at this point.

Public school pros:

1) Lots of resources, like computer labs.
2) Good PE program.
3) Science fairs!

Public school cons:

1) Geared towards addressing the lowest common denominator, which handicaps the teachers.
2) Generally high student/teacher ratios.
3) Your kid is potentially socializing with less-socialized kids.
4) Schools are slow to adopt best practices.

We just looked at one private school. The teachers seemed more "enlightened" and were less burdened with discipline and addressing special needs. The kids were simply better people. No bullies, articulate, engaged, etc.

So, to me, it's not just a matter of addressing potential academic gaps.
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 02:49 PM   #38
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Public school cons:
...
Your cons do not apply to the public schools my area and your pros apply to the private schools around here as well.

Perhaps I can get you to edit your post to put "My" or "Our" in front of "Public"?
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 02:57 PM   #39
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
Your cons do not apply to the public schools my area and your pros apply to the private schools around here as well.
I guess I don't see how public schools can avoid having to address the needs of *all* kids. Isn't that what "public" means? How can that not be a handicap?
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530
Old 03-07-2007, 03:18 PM   #40
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Re: Costs to raise children: $1,530

The "best" form of schooling is all so subjective anyway. As one poster mentioned, how do we gauge the effectiveness of a particular school?

Do we want to measure
- Total assets at death? (Doesn't account for inheritance)
- Highest ranking titles?
- Total wages earned?
- Total self-generated income? (wages, businesses, investments, etc)
- Ability to network and socialize?
- # of friends?
- Adherance to societal norms?
- The child's happiness at various checkpoints in their lives?
- Other peoples' views/opinions of the children (i.e. from parents, teachers, employers)
- Depth of knowledge about specific academic topics?
- Broad general knowledge about many different academic topics?

There's so many things we could measure or look at, and the choice that is 'best' or 'right' is really just depending on each individual situation and the goals/wants of that particular family.
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