The Cost of Raising Kids




The U.S. government (U.S Dept. of Agriculture) recently (2005) calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 and came up with an average of $190,980 for a middle income, two parent family. Talk about sticker shock!  And that doesn’t even include college expenses!


Some of you might think the best financial advice would be, “If you hope to be rich, don’t have children”… however, the truth is just the opposite.  The cost really isn’t that bad when you break it down.  It translates into:


$10,610 a year

$884.17 a month

$204.04 a week

$29.07 a day

$1.21 per hour, or just

2¢ a minute


What is it that you can get for your $190,980?


Naming rights (first, middle, and last)

Glimpses of innocence everyday

A sleeping angel under the covers every night

Butterfly kisses and big bear hugs

Endless wonderment about rocks, ants, clouds, and butterflies

A hand to hold (often covered with jam)

A playmate for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain

Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter how bad your day was


For $190,980, you have an excuse to continue:

Reading Winnie the Pooh and Dr. Seuss

Watching Saturday morning cartoons

Going to Disney movies, and

Wishing on stars


You have a front row seat to witness history in-the-making:

The first step

The first word

The first day of school

The first bra

The first date, and

The first time behind the wheel


You get to:

Hang rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets

Collect spray painted noodle art,

Hand prints set in clay and

Greeting cards with backward letters.


You also get to keep one foot in childhood, which means you have a reason to:

Finger paint

Carve pumpkins

Play hide-and-seek

Catch lightening bugs and

Never stop believing in Santa Claus and magic


For $190,980, there is no greater bang for your buck.  You get to be a hero for:

Retrieving a Frisbee off the porch roof

Taking training wheels off a bike

Removing a splinter

Filling a wading pool

Working a wad of gum out of hair, and

Coaching a sports team that never wins but always gets treated to popsicles or ice cream anyway.


You receive a multi-dimensional education in psychology, nursing, communications, criminal justice, human sexuality, public relations, mediation and child development that no college can match.


In the eyes of your child(ren), you are next to God.  You have all the power to:

Heal a boo-boo

Scare away monsters under the bed

Mend a broken heart, and

Make mountains into molehills


What is your ultimate pay-off?


If you “invest” in raising your child(ren), one day they will be able to love and nurture their own offspring………without worrying about how much it will cost.


For $190,980 there is truly no greater value for your dollar!



Author/Originator Unknown



For more details on the costs of raising children, see USDA’s chart at: 



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