Our Kids Will Cost $5.6 Million?

We're up to $5.6 million. Yeah, right.

Doing the math, we’re up to $5.6 million. Yeah, right.

Check out this headline from The Telegraph:

Cost of a child hits record £222,000

That’s $350,000 in American dollars. Subtitle: “The cost of raising a child has hit an all-time high, according to a new report, heaping pressure on families already coping with cuts to child benefit.” I suppose that means welfare.

The article explains the obvious inflation of care, but totally tanks with its recommendations for how to cut expenses. No kidding, they suggest three solutions to the high cost of raising children:

  1. Wait for the kids to grow up so you can transfer them from daycare to school
  2. Apply for working tax credits (aka let the government give your money back)
  3. Apply for daycare vouchers (aka welfare programs for “free” childcare)

Gee, we’re talking nearly a half-million bucks. Wouldn’t quitting the second job and raising your children at home be on the list?

Who are writing these articles? Oh yes, they are journalists, dual-income parents, private-school folks. I suppose that lifestyle is what is getting more and more expensive. The headline should read:

Cost of expanding your journalism career while pretending to raise a family hits record £222,000

Just an idea. What do you think?

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • Courtney

    I understand the point you’re making. But you’re also implying that families with two working spouses are “pretending to raise their families”. Obviously it works best for your wife to stay home and care for your children round the clock there, but I am very much raising my family while both my husband and I work. And I am quite proud of the fact that I have earned a PhD while raising my family so that I may serve as a role model, especially for my daughter, to demonstrate that women can do whatever they may choose. I am living my calling…you are living yours. Judgement is not a part of mine.

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      My snippy re-write was tongue-in-cheek. The overarching question is this: why not quit the second income and go home? Careful analysis of the article shows that the numbers are bloated, and the solutions encourage transferring children away from the parents.

      • Courtney

        Completely agree with the numbers situation. If the purpose of a second income is to “get more things” then we could not agree more on the topic. If however, the parents jobs bring other value to their lives and the lives of their children, then it may be worthwhile to keep both. It is definitely something that is worth serious consideration. One thing I will say, is when both parents work outside of the home, and the kids are therefore in public (or private) school, it becomes a huge challenge to encourage one’s children to live modestly. My husband and I make special efforts to teach our children to appreciate their family, the roof over their heads, the meals on their plates, etc. but we are constantly getting hit from “the outside” as kids are coming to school with $150 pairs of shoes and the latest I heard were jeans that cost over $200. Most definitely, our children will not be wearing those, lol. Couldn’t sleep at night knowing my child will wear $200 jeans to school, while other children are going without.

      • Mimi

        I love the implication that it is a bad thing for people to work and that it is somehow less worthy that sitting at home feeding your kids ketchup on toast. Someone in this culture has to produce something, and it isn’t going to be a Jeub. Maybe you should just be happy there are people providing medical care and growing food, all the things that are so beneath you.

    • A.Roddy

      Agreed Courtney . This isn’t the 1950s. What works for one person doesn’t work the other.

  • Sheila (UK)

    Hi Chris,
    I don’t know how they arrive at these figures. I can only assume that this is the cost of raising a child whilst maintaining a so called “lifestyle”.
    These articles crop up every so often alongside articles on how much you need coming in to the household to have a “decent” standard of living.
    We have always lived on one income as I chose to stay at home with my children. My husband has always earned a modest salary (below the national average) and God has always provided for us.
    In 2010 my husband was made redundant after 10 years in a management job. He was unemployed for 5 weeks and then found another job. In 2011, after 15 months, he was made redundant again. After 4 months unemployment he decided to change course and try something new. He is now a bus driver in our own town.
    Although he brings home much less money, there is no travelling to work and we get free bus travel.
    If you are prepared to live a simple life and be content with what you have you do not need anywhere near what these surveys say you need to live on.
    In the same way, if you bring children up to value what is important instead of material things, there is no need to worry about having a huge income.
    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that this figure is the cost of having a career whilst PRETENDING to raise a family!

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      Yep, the simple life has a host of blessings. My hope is that others see it and chase after it.

    • A.Roddy

      I don’t think it’s anyone’s business why both parents work. So what if they want extras? Most of the time both parents work to ensure stability though they may not need the income. It seems we often get jealous of other people’s financial success and try to justify our more frugal lifestyle . If another person or family is able to go on a vacation , but new clothes, a car, or buy a better house more power to them. Remember Solomon achieved great wealth. If it was wrong why was he allowed? Frugality can only go so far. One can be just as obsessed with frugality that it becomes an idol. No matter how frugal you are there are necessary expenses.

      You choose to stay home. Other women choose to work. Different strokes for different folks.

      • Sheila (UK)

        Solomon also realised that his riches were nothing but vanity!
        I am not jealous of anything other people have. I feel sad that some people think that having a lot of material things makes up for not spending time with their children.

  • Darla

    You are accusing this journalist of sloppy reporting, but I suggest you look at your own reporting also. “Child benefit” is something that all parents in Britain receive, including working parents. You may not approve of it, but it is not welfare.

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      I’m a reporter? Gee. Thanks. I think.
      That’s kind of why I said “I suppose” in the sentence. I didn’t have any idea what it was. Thanks for clarifying.

      • Steve

        So you think it’s ok to add negative slurs to your writing because you don’t have the ability to look something up? Two seconds on the Google would have told you what it was. Are all your thoughts that sloppily formed?

  • Markus

    Dear Chris & family,

    I live with my wife in southern germany. We have four children: Sarah, Florian, Lena and Jonas.
    Since a few years I`m very interested in large us-families (it began with reports about the Duggars). I often read in your blogs.
    I’m very interested in that point: how can large us-families get enough income to feed 10, 11, 12 or more children and have a home with enough rooms? Does it works with a special tax rate? In germany for example the parents get a monthly child benefit as a social service.

    Thanks a lot. May god bless you all.

    Markus and family

    • Susi

      I live in Germany too, and it isn’t even allowed to homeschool your children here.. too bad!

  • David

    I really don’t think the government should step in and tell women that they should not work. And it’s none of our business, either. I wonder about people who have so much time to worry about other people’s families.

  • Joanna, UK

    “Who are writing these articles? Oh yes, they are journalists,
    dual-income parents, private-school folks. I suppose that lifestyle is
    what is getting more and more expensive. The headline should read:

    Cost of expanding your journalism career while pretending to raise a family hits record £222,000

    Just an idea. What do you think?”

    I think that firstly, your children would be better off being educated by someone who understands that ‘who’ as, in this case, a singular subject, does not take the plural verb ‘are’, and secondly, that you should do a little more research, particularly on the fiscal and social security protocols of a country you obviously know nothing about, before you pontificate.

    The choice to have a career does not, for a woman preclude her exercising a maternal function very well, nor does SAHM automatically mean that children are well brought up. Do try to be a little less bigoted, prejudiced and ignorant, will you?

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      Thanks for noting the typo.
      Why did this article get your goat so? You’re calling me names, but I asked a question at the end of the article. What do YOU think?

      • David

        She’s right. It should be “Who is writing these articles?” And I think she told you what she thinks.

  • LiaD

    I agree with what you’re said here and it’s something I’ve noted for most of my life: When news sources cite “costs” in raising a child, they tend to figure in the costs for a child being raised in a lifestyle with all the bells and whistles. If you’re going to insist on gourmet meals each night, private schools, high cost clothing, pricy summer camps and, finally, tuition for children to attend the costlier universities, you will definitely need to plan on the big bucks.

    If, however, you want to simply and sweetly raise your children right, provide for them in ways that don’t cause dollar signs to flash, and have the expectation that when they attend college it will be at the lower-cost places and they might have to work to help put themselves through, then you don’t need to think in such big monetary numbers when contemplating how much it costs to raise a child.

    And as you’ve cited, one of the big costs a family can cut is that of day care. How? Staying home and raising them. This isn’t a judgemental idea; this is common sense and it, too, has been promoted through the media occasionally as a good idea, especially when one stops to consider that *most* people who need a dual income are doing so to cover the costs of all the extras and “stuff” they want yet still hardly keeping their heads above water.

    Speaking from a great deal of experience, we can invest our time and lives and money in a lot of things… But scaling back and learning to invest in our children will be the one thing that is truly worth it in the end.

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      VERY well said, Lia.

  • Anne

    Chris, Don’t let these people get to you. They want to continue on with their selfish behavior and are trying very hard to justify it. BTW, my family has a SAHD instead of a SAHM. We made a big sacrifice to do it, but it was important. God Bless!

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      Thanks Anne!