Sunday, August 9, 2009
Day 678 - That's A Lot of Diapers!
A government study released by the United States Department of Agriculture estimated that a middle class family will spend $291,750 to raise a child born in 2008 through the age of seventeen. This information brings forth three immediate responses.
First, why is the Department of Agriculture doing a study on the cost of raising a child? Don't they just milk government owned cows and figure out ways to make large strawberries tasteless? It would make more sense to me if they conducted research on how to grow baby trees or how to use human placenta to make strawberries more tasty (Hint: It's in the lining!).
Second, I do not believe I'm in the middle class. I fart in public and save my boogers in a jar hidden under my bed. I truly have no class at all. Why would anyone think...oh...um...wait. Lisa clarified that by middle class they are referring to one's income. I'm quite embarrassed now. Even more so because just as I was typing the previous sentence, I farted and picked my nose.
Third, did they just say TWO HUNDRED NINETY ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS? Times two is FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! Good lord! My abacus just spontaneously caught on fire!
The figure covers food, shelter, and other necessities, but does not include the cost of childbirth or college. Seems to me that the cost of childbirth should be included because without childbirth there would be no child to spend TWO HUNDRED NINETY ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS on. The only way I can feel comforted by this amount is if by other necessities, the Department of Agriculture is referring to the following: utility bills, car payments, school loans, cell phone bills, cable bills, DSL, DMV fees, Best Buy purchases, and our monthly Netflix subscription.
It's hard to stomach the fact that we will spend HALF A MILLION DOLLARS to raise our two kids over a period of seventeen years. After doing a quick rundown of costs we've accrued the past 22 months, we really haven't spent that much money on them at all. Except for diapers and food, there really isn't any other major costs that's truly necessary. But what about clothes and toys, you ask? Simple! We use the soiled diapers as clothes and toys. And voila, thousands of dollars saved.
Yet despite the shocking number of TWO HUNDRED NINETY ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS, I'm not really too sure what's the use of this information. This cost isn't going to deter people who want children from having them. And people who have kids aren't going to want to return them; it's nearly impossible stuffing a baby back up your wife's vagina. Whatever your income class is, and no matter how many children you have, families more often than not figure out a way to make ends meet.
What this research doesn't account for are the intangibles that make it impossible to put a price on having children. Over seventeen years, there will be a wealth of life experiences that might even make this cost a bargain. That's what I'm hoping for at least. Either that or we'll be just below TWO HUNDRED NINETY ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS so I can buy myself a few months with a financial adviser and a therapist.