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Population exercise:

  1. Population exercise: The rich get richer, the poor get children (proverb)
  2. With the rate of human population increasing, one element, almost never thought of as birth control, is the cost of raising children.
  3. So before you start to imitate Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (20 children - so far)
  4. Guess what - children are expensive (in every sense of the word) but it is not just rising cost that make it expensive - the cost is also attributed to the changes in our culture - which we and our parents have created. From prenatal care, diapers and groceries, to day care, clothing and saving for college, having a child should require some thought about what is the financial responsibility of the parents to maintain and launch a child into adulthood.
  5. The big picture: expenses don't begin at birth- there is a vast ocean of prenatal expenses (and perhaps you and your partner should be screened for genetic diseases - which can translate to crushing cost/debt.)
  6. Second: most studies conclude the financial structure at age 18 - is this realistic? Currently a large percentage of young adults are living with parents well into their 20s and even 30s. How much of the "extra years" will you be called upon to help with? The amount and direction of cost will change over the lifetime of dependency. In broad general categories here is an idea of where most of that money will be spent as your child develops ( note: these are not the only expenses you will have or incur- just a suggestion to get you started - you might want to consult with a parent to get a more complete foundation) 
  7. Prenatal screenings for genetic diseases - and medicines, insurance
  8. Infancy (0-12 months): Diapers - walk thru Babies-R-Us or Walmart and see what things cost
  9. Toddler (12-36 months): Daycare (18% of family budget)
  10. Preschool (Ages 3-5): Education and Health Care (baby sitters cost have jumped 2000% since 1960)
  11. Elementary School (Ages 5-10): Extracurricular activities (music, camp, enrichment activities), Health Care - once in school expect them to get sick a lot) and Food
  12. Middle School (Ages 10-13): this is where extracurricular activities really kick in,  Electronics, and electronics, and clothes and food
  13. High School (Ages 13-17): Extracurricular activities (sports and hobbies are expensive), Food, Food, and more food, and Electronics, First car (?), insurance
  14. College/technical school (18-23 ? almost no one graduates in 4 years) car, insurance, apartment/dorm/phone/computer/food/medicine etc.
  15. Graduate degree and or specialized training (2-4 years)
  16. First job (?) - cost of researching and landing the first job - clothes, travel interview expenses, Deposits for utilities, Apartment, phone, car license, more insurance etc. 
  17.  and a whole bunch others
  18. Assignment: Research the cost of raising a child from the year 2020 to 2045. (assume a 3% cost increase per year) Obviously no one can predict the economic future, but today's trends are a guideline for future cost. Develop a chart describing the approximate total cost of the expenses you will need to provide for a "middle class" up bringing from pre-natal to first job for your child.


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