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December 15, 2011


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Actually, in my experience kids cost a lot MORE than the USDA estimates. You've only had a child for 3 months, just wait.

I hoard my money in savings and investments so that hopefully some day I am able to retire. I don't think that is being too selfish.

KH: I appreciate the advice to wait and see. I think where you live has a huge effect on your expenses.

The USDA estimates for the Southeast for her first year is still higher than most people I've spoken to on the topic.

I always dislike it when people downplay the role of money. It is not a tool or a mere tool, it is the gateway to freedom in a democratic capitalist society. Other than that I agree in large part to everything else in this insightful piece.

Why does the USDA use our tax dollars to put up junk like this on a website? This "information" is not particularly beneficial. (Sorry, I'm on a campaign to cut the vast excesses of the federal government)

Don't apologize, the USA needs to trim the fat in order to get healthy again. Websites like this one already serves the need of the public.

I support your thoughts about delaying college funding. You can't get a loan for your retirement, so don't sacrifice your comfort in retirement to save for college. If people are asking what to give as gifts to your little one, encourage them to buy savings bonds. I buy bonds for my 5 nieces for every birthday & Christmas. They don't notice one less "real" gift under the tree and they will thank you for it later!


"Will we get this right on the first try? No"

Just want to give props where due. This statement is true in so many areas: Parenting, finance, cooking, heck, even walking...

The important thing is that we keep learning and we help each other learn.

Nice article.

Lookign at the USDA Calculator - don't forget that in those estimates they include housing, which includes furniture, utilities, etc... They seem low on healthcare for me. The difference between a spouse plan and a family plan on my healthcare (jsut what i pay, not including my employer's payments) is 1357 annually. And that includes $200 deductibles per person, copays for office visits, etc... I jsut had my second child this year, and made the mistake of choosing the "middle" healthcare plan instead of the premium one, and am so far out of pocket over $5000 due to the expense of having a child, which woudl all fall under that first year expense.

As for advice? Don't say no when people try and give you stuff! You may end up with 10 of the same thing, but you can pick the one that you like best and give the rest away. So many people turn up their noses at hand-me-downs (toys and clothes) but babies wear their clothes for 2 or 3 months tops, and even toddlers are only wearing their clothes for one season (maybe 4 months tops?).

We recently "inherited" a full backyard playground for free from someone at our son's school that would easily have added up to over $1000 worth of playground equipment.

I agree that contributions to a 529 plan shouldn't be at the expense of contributions to your retirement accounts, but most people would not miss a small automatic contribution of $50/mth, and even that small amount compounds and adds up over 18 years. I was so lucky to have my undergrad/post-grad education paid for and it has put me so far ahead in terms of growing my net worth. At my firm many of my peers hate their job and are here only long enough to pay off loans - I have a much happier outlook knowing I go to work everyday because I want to.

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