The Willis Report: The high cost of having kids - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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>>

  • APNewsBreak: BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

    APNewsBreak: BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:24:48 GMT
    Officials familiar with the deal say Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement with federal and state authorities over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008...
    Officials familiar with the deal say Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement with federal and state authorities over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008...
  • Some Fed officials favor reduced help for economy

    Some Fed officials favor reduced help for economy

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:13 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:13:34 GMT
    Some Federal Reserve officials think the economy is improving fast enough that the Fed will soon need to signal a change in the extraordinary support it's been providing the economy in the form of ultra-low...
    Some Federal Reserve officials think the economy is improving fast enough that the Fed will soon need to signal a change in the extraordinary support it's been providing the economy in the form of ultra-low interest...
  • Chip maker Infineon to buy California firm for $3B

    Chip maker Infineon to buy California firm for $3B

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:13 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:13:31 GMT
    German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG says it has agreed to pay $3 billion in cash for California-based International Rectifier, which produces power-management components used in everything from cars to...
    German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG says it has agreed to pay $3 billion in cash for California-based semiconductor firm International Rectifier, which produces power-management components used in everything from...
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

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