Here’s the Truth About the Cost of Raising Children — And It’s Probably Not What You Think
By Movieguide® Contributor
A new report from Breakpoint is clearing up the rumors about how much it really costs to raise a family.
Americans are decreasing the number of children they are having — some are choosing not to have any children at all.
One of the main contributors to this are the many articles about the rising costs of raising children today. A recent Wall Street Journal article alleged that it costs $300,000 to take care of just one child.
The article caused a frenzy online. However, Breakpoint broke down WSJ’s list of costs and found that the numbers don’t necessarily add up the same for all families.
“For starters, the numbers are not itemized, and the article initially gestures toward inflation, rising food costs, the pandemic, and supply chain hiccups, as if those are the main things driving up the cost of parenting,” Breakpoint wrote. “To put it mildly, this was misleading.”
They also reported that “housing and childcare,” a category that WSJ stated would account for over half of the annual cost of a child under six, is not the same for families across the board.
For example, many large families have their children share bedrooms; a seven-person family could conceivably live in a three-bedroom house.
Additionally, not everyone has to factor childcare into their expenses. Whether one parent has elected to stay home with the children, or other family members have stepped up to lend a hand, paying for childcare is not a given.
“None of this directly makes children more expensive for those who choose to have them, but it does raise the perceived opportunity cost which makes inflated numbers like those in the Wall Street Journal seem more believable,” Breakpoint continued. “When fewer people on average are starting families and more people than ever are choosing self-expression as a life goal, it creates a kind of cultural feedback loop that makes having children seem not only less affordable, but less normal.
“That context helps explain where the grocery story remarks come from,” the article concluded. “Making family a central goal in life, one worthy of personal sacrifice, is certainly counter cultural, but it’s just not as expensive as it’s made out to be. And even if it were, it’s an investment with incredible returns.”
Today’s media might be trying to normalize creating our own families, but God’s Word gives us all the encouragement we need to create and raise strong families.
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