Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Cost of Raising Children

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition.

BUT $160,140.00 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
- $8,896.66 a year,
- $741.38 a month,
- $171.08 a week,
- 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 $160,140.00?
- 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 wonders over rocks, ants, clouds and warm cookies.
- A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
- A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
- Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up.

You get to:
- Finger-paint
- Carve pumpkins
- Play hide-and-seek
- Catch lightening bugs
- Never stop believing in Santa Claus

You have an excuse to:
- Keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh
- Watch Saturday morning cartoons
- Go to Disney movies, and
- Wish 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 a mere $24.24 a day, 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, and
- Coaching a baseball team that never wins, but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:
- First step
- First word
- First bra
- First date
- 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 under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away 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.

It’s the best investment you’ll ever make.

-- Authur Unknown --

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