The Granfields discover the true cost of raising a child


Bec: So the baby is due any moment now. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs $245,340, not factoring in inflation, to raise a child. We need a plan to start saving more money.

Matt: $245,340 sounds like a lot. Are you sure?

Bec: It’s $304,480, including inflation, and that’s up 1.8% on last year. I’m surprised it’s not more to be honest. If you think about it, food alone is going to set us back at least $150 a week. And he’ll grow out of his clothes quickly, so we need to budget for that.

Matt: Can’t we just have another baby shower every 12 months?

Bec: I don’t think we can rely on our friends and family continuing to buy adorable clothes for the baby. The novelty is going to wear off. Even if the novelty doesn’t wear off, we can’t dress a 15-year-old in a Mr Bunny onesie. He will be bullied at high school.

Matt: You’re right. That would lead to expensive psychiatry bills. Psychiatrists wouldn’t be in the $245,340 budget estimate.

Bec: I wouldn’t imagine so.

Matt: How much does a high school education cost?

Bec: I think it all depends on what sort of high school we want to send him to. What if he begins showing an interest the kind of career that would benefit from the sort of alumni network that comes with attendance at a prestigious preparatory school – law perhaps. Or accountancy. What are we going to do then?

Matt: Put him up for adoption.

Bec: What if he wants to be a doctor? Shouldn’t we send him to the best high school possible?

Matt: I didn’t realise they’d started teaching medicine in high school.

Bec: I didn’t realise you studied sarcasm in high school. Although I can’t imagine you got a very good mark.

Matt: Are we going to pay for his college degree, or are we going to let him fund his own way via student loans, like we had to? I want him to go to Harvard, like me, but that will cost a fortune. How much are we prepared to help out?

Bec: You didn’t ‘go’ to Harvard, you did an executive education course there.

Matt: I had a dorm room, I attended classes and I have a certificate. Therefore, I went to Harvard.

Bec: You spent a week there. That’s not ‘going’ to Harvard. That’s like saying you went to the Middle East because you had a stopover in Dubai.

Matt: It was a 48-hour stopover. I assimilated somewhat.

Bec: Well, if you want our new baby to have a chance of getting into Harvard properly, we’re going to need to send him to a good high school, and to do that, we’ll need to send him to a good elementary school. And to do that, we’ll need to start making some cuts, as discussed. I’ve already cut back on my shoe budget, what are you going to cut?

Matt: The umbilical cord.

Bec: I think we’re going to have to cut a little deeper than that.

Matt: I’m game to perform a caesarean if you are.

Bec: That’s not what I meant.

Matt: It’ll save us spending $3,000 on obstetrician’s fees. I think that’s a brilliant idea. $3,000 is enough to pay for an entire term at a good elementary school.

Bec: Home surgery isn’t going to save us money.

Matt: Not with that attitude.

Bec: How about we start with a home vasectomy as practice then?

Matt: Maybe we could sell some of my guitar collection instead.

Bec: Now we’re talking.

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