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HAVING AND RAISING CHILDREN COSTS LOTS OF MONEY

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First, let me say that I love children. Given that I have five of them, it should be obvious. However, I
also have to say that the cost of raising them continues to surprise me. It’s very difficult to say no to
your children. You want them to be happy, and happiness usually means that they get “stuff.”
When you add up the cost of raising kids, the obvious expenditures come to mind: education,
childcare, healthcare, food, and clothing. However, don’t forget to include things like a larger house,
larger car, higher utility bills, entertainment, sports, and other activities they will participate in during
their childhood.
The cost of having and raising a child is anywhere between $200,000 and $250,000 (before college
expenses), depending on your income level and spending habits. That’s a huge expenditure for
anyone!
Ultimately, you will spend more money on them than on yourself.
You can’t be selfish (monetarily or otherwise) if you are going to have children. More importantly,
you need to fully understand the long-term financial (and lifestyle) tradeoffs of your decision. In
financial terms, children are a significant expense that you and your spouse need to consider prior to
starting a family.
I know it sounds cold to look at children this way, and very few people do so. Once you’ve done this
and decide to have children, focus on loving them, and everything will work out from there.

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