The Willis Report: The high cost of having kids - Fox 2 News Headlines

The Willis Report: The high cost of having kids

Posted: Updated:

By Gerri Willis
FOX Business Network


It never ceases to amaze me what my friends spend to raise their children.  Between the child care, the private schools and clothing, it's no wonder so many parents both work. The Department of Agriculture estimates the average cost of raising a child born in 2012 will be $241,080 or $301,970 if you adjust for expected inflation, And, this shockingly, does not even include the cost of a college education which currently is $22,826 for a public school or $44,750 for a private school - that's before the 4 to 5 percent annual tuition inflation  hikes kick in.

Of course, the real cost depends on where you live. In rural parts of the country, you might get away with spending just $143,600, but in the high-cost Northeast your costs might be $446,100, again according to the USDA. Trouble is some families spend even more, which raises the question: How can you cut your costs without sacrificing care for your child?

Let's tackle child care - it's one of the most expensive tabs parents face. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual cost for infant care is MORE than a year's tuition and fees at a four-year public college. In 2012, according to the same source, the average annual care cost for infants ranged from $4,863 in Mississippi to a high of $16,430 in Massachusetts. For a four year old, the average costs are similar ranging from $4,312 in Mississippi to $12,355 in New York.          

The best solution - getting a family member to care for your child, simply isn't practical for many moms and dads. Given that, a good solution for some parents may be employer-provided child care which is typically run at a lower cost to employees. Peace of mind is higher when your child is down the hall or in the same building as mom or dad. If there is no onsite child care, your employer may provide you with referrals or even discounts to centers nearby. You may be able to pay for child care with pre-tax dollars through a flexible spending account, check your human resources office for details. Remember if you work in the public sector or for a company with more than 50 employees, you may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a sick child, under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Another way to save is to share a nanny with other families and split up the costs of care. Other moms I know have set up a babysitting co-op, in which parents provide the care. You'll need to work with families in which the parents have different schedules.

One word of caution for moms and dads: Don't put your future at risk by putting every single penny into Junior's education. Your son or daughter will be able to borrow for higher education, but you'll have to foot your own tab for retirement.

Interact with Gerri on Twitter @GerriWillisFBN and Facebook for more information, or to voice your concerns and questions.

  • BusinessMore>>

  • Protect yourself from identity theft

    Protect yourself from identity theft

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:32 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:32:39 GMT
    It's an almost weekly occurrence: On Tuesday, Goodwill said its computer systems may have been hacked, leading to the possible theft of customers' credit and debit card information. The nonprofit agency,...
    It's an almost weekly occurrence: On Tuesday, Goodwill said its computer systems may have been hacked, leading to the possible theft of customers' credit and debit card information. The nonprofit agency, which...
  • Democrats to unveil $2.7B bill on alien children

    Democrats to unveil $2.7B bill on alien children

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:32 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:32:31 GMT
    A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things: overhauling the nation's immigration system, reforming the loophole-cluttered tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers. Now it's time to see...
    Senate Democrats are preparing to significantly cut President Barack Obama's request for emergency funding to deal with an influx of Central American children streaming across the border with Mexico.
  • European agency urges airlines to avoid Tel Aviv

    European agency urges airlines to avoid Tel Aviv

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:20 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:20:46 GMT
    Germany and France's largest airlines Lufthansa and Air France say they're suspending all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns amid the increasing violence.
    The European Aviation Safety Agency says it "strongly recommends" that airlines refrain from operating flights to and from Tel Aviv.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices