- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
This is weird, WJ, take note! :
The Million-Dollar Kid
Government figures put the total cost of raising a child at $279,000, but some increasingly common expenses can send the number soaring over $1 million. Where you fall on the kid-spending spectrum.
By EILEEN DASPIN and ELLEN GAMERMAN
March 3, 2007; Page P1
The government says families in the top-third income bracket will spend $279,450 to raise a child born in 2005 through age 17 -- or about $16,000 a year. The government clearly hasn't been to some kids' birthday parties lately.
In San Diego, Jacqueline Jones recently rang in her fifth year with a $1,000 mermaid-theme party. The fête, held at a community pool, included a piñata, pizza, cake, juice boxes, customized goodie bags for 20 and a former beauty queen who arrived dressed head to toe as Ariel, the Disney princess. Jacqueline's mom, Laura, says it's worth it. "A lot of my friends said I'm crazy, but I mean, it's for a memory she'll have forever."
With the debate about the country's wealth gap heating up again, pampered kids provide some of the most dramatic examples, from toddlers in $800 strollers to 10-year-olds with cellphones. But for many families, drawing the line between attentive parenting and extravagance is a tough call; even parents who are relatively strapped will go to great lengths for their children. And though millions can't afford the government's child-cost estimate, there is no question that many others are spending far more without viewing it as extreme.
To assess how relatively routine expenses, as well as more excessive ones, can contribute to the total cost of raising a child, The Wall Street Journal deconstructed the government's approach and recalculated it using a different range of costs.