The Cost of Raising Children

The Cost of Raising Children

How Much will it Cost to Raise Children

This article cost to raise a child kicks off our The Recession and Your Family Series.

The Cost of Raising Children
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In this economy, parents around the globe are coming up with creative ways to make ends meet.  More than ever, we are very conscious of what it costs to raise children.

In this first article, we explore the question: is the recession causing a baby boom or a baby bust?

The Cost of Raising Children!

As many parents can attest, if you wait to have children until you can afford it, it may very well seem like you’re never able to afford it.  Traditionally, child-rearing has been somewhat of an exercise in budget strap-tightening for all but the very wealthy.  Depending on whom you ask, of course, the cost of having children can be affordable or expensive.  Often, the cost of raising children can be a product of parental tastes.

For parents who can accept nothing but the latest and greatest in children’s accessories and furniture, raising children is sure to be expensive.  But for those willing and able to receive second-hand furniture and accessories, there is certainly money to be saved.  Regardless of how frugal one attempts to be, though, the cost of raising children is sure to affect a budget in ways both predictable and not.Cost of raising a child – Wikipedia

With the world and domestic financial markets reeling, and with no end to our current recession in sight, will tough economic times help foster the next baby boom or will they discourage prospective parents and bring about the opposite, a baby bust?

The Baby Boom

A baby boom is any period marked by a greatly increased birth rate, The end of World War II brought a baby boom to many countries, especially Western ones. There is some disagreement as to the precise beginning and ending

The Cost of Raising Children
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The country’s most celebrated ‘Baby Boom’ came in the years immediately following World War II.  With young soldiers returning from the war and starting families, the United States witnessed an unparalleled birthrate.  But the Generation of Americans born in those ‘Baby Boom’ years, known as the “Baby Boomers,” had fewer children than did their parents, resulting in what has been often called the ‘Baby Bust.’

  • In recent years, signs have indicated that the U.S. could be headed toward another boom in births. In 2007, for example, there were more births than in any other year in American history, and the most since 1957 (the heart of the ‘Baby Boom’ years).  Of course, 2007 also represented some of the headiest days of the U.S. real estate market, leaving many to suggest that there is a direct correlation between strong financial markets and the birthrate.

Logic would seem to dictate that if strong economic conditions result in a higher number of births, then the opposite should also be true.  Consistently, this country’s lowest birth rate years came during the Great Depression, a time during which people were clearly concerned with the cost of raising children.

It would seem upon the first examination that people most often choose to have children during strong economic times and choose not to have children during times of less economic prosperity.  And to most people, that makes sense.Baby Boomer Encyclopedia

Historically, there has been a strong correlation between birth rate and economic strength but there is no assurance that this will continue.  For every prospective parent that thinks having a child may be too expensive, there is another who thinks that the cost of raising children is overblown.  For every future parent who looks at their job loss as an obstacle to parenthood, there is another who thinks that it represents the ideal opportunity to stay home with their child.  And for every parent who thinks that childcare costs make parenting prohibitively expensive, there is another who recognizes that increased life expectancy makes grandparents viable childcare providers for longer than ever before.

As long as the economy concerns us, so too will its effect on various elements of our lives, including the cost of raising children.  As economic conditions change for the better or worse, speculation will continue as to how we might be affected.

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