Holy crap! No wonder I'm po.
This is why I'm not rich. Oh, plus the fact tht I'm a teacher. But-- STILL!
A child is priceless -- but raising one can break the bank. Children born in the U.S. today will cost their parents more than $338,000, on average, by the time they graduate from a public college. That's according to BabyCenter.com, based on College Board and Agriculture Dept. data. Send your precious offspring to a private university, and you can expect to shell out an additional $70,300 for tuition.
Think education is your only big tab? Think again. Just keeping a roof over junior's head will cost nearly $105,000 through age 18. Food will eat up $41,400, and health care will set you back $17,400 over 18 years.
Most parents are woefully unprepared for these huge expenditures. That's why Stuart Ritter, a certified financial planner at mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price (NasdaqGS:TROW - News), teaches a financial planning class for prospective parents in his spare time. He starts each session by asking would-be moms and dads to focus on their biggest priorities. "Do you want to stay home to care for your family? Do you need a bigger home? Those are the issues you need to (focus) the most attention on," Ritter says.
Experts say the best way to plan for many of the biggest expenditures, be it college, vacations, child care, summer camp, or a Bar Mitzvah, is to set aside individual reserves of cash for each goal. "Most Americans don't do that," says Dan Yu, a certified financial planner and director at Eisner, an accounting and advisory firm based in New York City. "They just throw it on a credit card and worry about it later."
There's more to read in the article, and there's some pretty good advice there.