The Willis Report: The high cost of having kids - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

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>>

  • Most Asia stocks inch higher ahead of Yellen talk

    Most Asia stocks inch higher ahead of Yellen talk

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-08-22 05:54:16 GMT
    Most Asian stock markets inched higher Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that adds to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. Gains were tempered as investors...
    Most Asian stock markets inched higher Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that adds to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. Gains were tempered as investors awaited a...
  • Asian stocks higher after S&P 500 record close

    Asian stocks higher after S&P 500 record close

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:47 PM EDT2014-08-22 03:47:05 GMT
    Asian stocks got a slight boost from Wednesday from positive U.S. economic figures that reinforced expectations of eventual Fed rate hikes and a stronger dollar, while European markets drifted lower.
    Asian stocks inched higher on Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that adds to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. Gains were tempered as investors awaited a key...
  • Lawyer: Utah restaurant had other chemical burn

    Lawyer: Utah restaurant had other chemical burn

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:04 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:04:22 GMT
    As prosecutors mull whether charges are warranted against employees at a Utah restaurant where a woman nearly died after unknowingly drinking toxic tea, the woman's husband and son are set to talk publicly...
    The attorney for a woman who nearly died after unknowingly drinking tea laced with a chemical cleaning compound at a Utah restaurant said Thursday an employee at the eatery burned herself a month earlier on the same...
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

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