Family Economics: Just How Much Are You And Your Kids Really Worth?

Written by on June 15, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

Family Economics:  Just How Much Are You And Your Kids Really Worth,cost of raising a child,cost of raising kids,cost of college education,cost to replace mom, cost to replace dad

The USDA as assigned a dollar value to you, your spouse and your kids. And guess who’s worth the most!

We all have kids who are cute as a button, the apple of our eye and we wouldn’t trade them for all the money in the world. Every parent in the world feels that way about their children. But, economically speaking, how much is a child really worth these days? For that matter, how much would it cost to replace you or your spouse?

Let’s leave aside non-tangible attributes like the value of unconditional love and support, and the debt column things like nagging, leaving the toilet seat up and running up the cellphone bill with hundreds of text messages a day. Let’s just take a look at the cold, hard, financial worth of each member of your family.

According to a report filed by the United States Department of Agriculture it will cost a total of $234,900 to raise a child born in 2011. That’s $8,000 more than it would cost to raise a child born just one year earlier, in 2010. Unfortunately, while the cost of raising a child has increased 3.5% in just the last year, the median family income has dropped about 30% over the past few years, down to around 1990 levels.

The USDA takes into consideration everything it costs to raise your child to the ripe old age of 17. Food and shelter are at the top of the list, of course, but they also look at transportation, medical insurance, clothing, education and day care expenses.

The one thing the USDA doesn’t add into the equation is the expense of a college education, and right now, if trends continue, by the time your kid’s 18 years old it’s going to cost another $420,000 for an education at a private university and at least $195,000 for a state college.

And if that’s not enough to leave you rolling on the floor, laughing yourself right into a straight jacket, take a gander at what you and your spouse are worth:

If you were to go out shopping for a new dad, you could expect to pay around $20,248. This figure is based on what it would cost to hire someone to do all the household chores ‘Dad’ typically handles – taking out the garbage and mowing the lawn, at least until Jr. gets old enough to take over these chores. That price tag also includes things like helping with homework, teaching the kids how to play baseball, and any cooking, cleaning and laundry dad happens to get done in between.

And here’s the real kicker. Go out shopping for a new mom and it’ll cost you $60,182 – three times as much as it costs to pick up a new dad. This is how much you’d have to pay someone to take over all of mom’s household chores, which kind of leads you to believe that dad isn’t really pulling his weight, doesn’t it?

But in most households, dad still brings home the biggest paycheck and often works the longest hours outside the home. In fact, there are more and more stay-at-home moms these days, which doesn’t mean to imply that they should be doing all the household work, but that’s the way it seems to work out.

Now, knowing that your kid’s worth almost three-quarters of a million bucks by the time he graduates college and it will only take a few grand to replace you or your spouse leaves you feeling kind of insignificant in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t it?

This is a guest post. Donna Anderson is a freelance writer who enjoys small-town living in rural Kentucky. She’s an active member of several online communities and enjoys taking part in discussions that focus on how real people can live real lives in this fast-paced world we all live in.


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