The Cost Of Living

“MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, all the time…” Hmmmmm, this is the topic that Jen threw at me for Spin this week. Where oh, where do I start? My parents used to say we kids nickled and dimed them to death. I wish I could say the same about my kids. I can’t even say that they dollar me to death. I could probably call what they do “twentying”. However, you can’t even buy a tank of gas on a twenty anymore. And nothing is getting any less expensive.

For fun, I visited to estimate the cost of raising a child. NO.WE.ARE.NOT.HAVING.A.BABY!!!!!!!!! According to this if I were (again Heaven forbid!) to have a baby born in 2010 where I live, the estimated cost to raise this child from birth to age 22, including college at a public school is $251,236. Had I messed around with something like this before having kids, it probably would have scared me so badly I might not have had them thus missing the joys of giving them every thing I own! Actually, that figure seems a bit low when you consider health insurance. I calculated health and dental insurance at my current rate for one child for twenty-two years and came up with $54,000. And that doesn’t include medical co-pays for doctor visits or surgeries or medications.

Fortunately, my children are grown, but they are still in college. Have any of you bought a college book recently? Most are around a $100, but some subjects are even more than $200, and then, it is seldom that one book is needed per class. Of course, it all depends on the classes they are taking, but I do recall one semester (semester not year!) we paid $3000 between the two of them for books! And do you know the scam with these books? They now update them every Fall to a new edition, depending on what semester you take the class, chances are that you can’t resell the book.

I’m not even going to depress myself in figuring out how much it costs each month for us to just live. And you REALLY don’t want to know what I spend at the grocery store each week. It would knock your socks off. Of course, there is a tremendous difference between the cost of basic necessities and the “luxuries”. And yes, we all consider different things priorities in our lives.

Every thing we do in life carries a price tag, whether it’s the clothes we wear, the car we drive, or the home we live in. And each one has it’s own worldly cost of maintenance. Most of those things, we take for granted like flipping on a light switch or turning on the water faucet.

The bottom line is that most of these things provide us comfort, and these people make our lives complete. Even though we can’t depend on them to make us happy, they do complete our happy package. Bottom line is that life and happiness are ultimately priceless. I hate to be a bummer, but it’s even expensive to die, so we may as well chuck it out one twenty (or fifty or hundred!) at a time.

49 thoughts on “The Cost Of Living

  1. I like your conclusion–we will be paying in any situation. I have seen a similar figure on the cost of a child, so after considering my options with 3 little ones, I best take on a paper route or 10.

  2. #3 rented her college books from Savings was tremendous. I wish we had known about it with the other two.

    Yea, it costs to live or die so we might as well live it up!

  3. Yeah, living is expensive. This is an important thing to remember: “we all consider different things priorities in our lives”

    It is amazing how we all prioritize differently.

    I know that when I was 15 I worked at a mortage company and see THAT bottom line (owning a home) had me saving my money from then on.

  4. Great job making a subject like money sound fun and serious at the same time Suzicate! I read the whole post with a smile on my face all the while kept saying, “oh my God, so true, so true!” 🙂

    We can’t deny (even though I really wish we could) that money is important. But we can’t say that it is the most important thing either…

  5. I completely see your point. It’s always important to remember that even though spending money can be hard to do, some of the things that give us comfort in life, or knowledge or skills or happiness… well, some of them really do cost money. And that’s not always a bad thing, to admit that money can be a good and helpful thing, just as long as we remember that it’s not the best or most important thing in life.

  6. I tell everyone all the time, “We can’t afford to live and we can’t afford to die.” It is going to cost no matter which way you look at it. My husband and I have always worked hard, we did what we could and what we couldn’t do we trust God to supply the rest. We did without a lot of things we wanted but never did we do without anything that we needed. Today we still do what we can for our grandkids, and trust God to help supply the rest. They don’t get everything they want, but they never do without what they need. Suzicate, I love the way you brought forth the facts on cost of raising kids today. I think all of the teenagers in the world should read your post on it.

  7. My husband is a college professor and he tries really hard to keep the cost of textbooks down for his classes. He has experimented with free, online textbooks and, bless his heart, goes through the new editions of textbooks so he can advise his kids whether they really need new editions or can get by with the old editions that are far cheaper. It is a racket! But I think it is going to change as everyone moves towards open sourcing and things like that.

      • Sorry to chime in here, but I wanted to say that too.

        It is REALLY nice that Rebecca’s husband does that because textbooks are outrageous — as you pointed out, SC. I had a teacher who said something like, “Well, it says you need this book for this class, but that is just because we HAVE to put SOMETHING down, but any anatomy book will do as long as it shows all the muscles.” And I thought that was so cool because I had a couple of anatomy books, but I thought I needed the $75 one that was listed. At break I went back to the library and returned the book I had bought before class. Saved me $75. Woohoo.

  8. Great Spin! I get a little dizzy looking at that number and I STILL want another baby! That really is a scam on the textbooks. There was a professor in my college that wrote his own textbook and loaned it out at the beginning of the semester with the condition that we make no marks in it or we would be charged the full price of 200.00. And if you looked for it at the campus store, it really was that much. Shocking. You’re linked!

  9. We spend a lot at the grocery store too, and the dogs cost a fortune (food, health care, toys, collars). I know we spend a lot on all six grand kids, but for ourselves, not really.

  10. You are right. Everything is driven by the price tag. I sometimes want to withdraw from the consumeristic society that surounds us, but how? I don’t know.
    And as far as education is concerned, I am amazed at how much people are not only spending on a college education, but a pre-school education.

    • I know people who pay as much for preschool tuition as for college tuition. I think it’s crazy…the curriculum isn’t any better, just a different “standard of people” that attend.

  11. By the time I find a guy and get married? I don’t even want to consider! LoL There is another website (can’t think of the name right now) that you can enter your birthday, and will bring up the prices of bread, gas, etc. on the day you were born. That’s interesting, too!

  12. It is amazing how much money we go through! The more we make the more we spend. I make 5 times what I made 30 years ago, however I don’t seem to have much extra.

    • No doubt, the kids are worth the cost, couldn’t have imagined the past twenty somethings years without them. Yeah, I think cremation is much cheaper, besides I really don’t won’t people staring at me and talking about how I look better dead than I did alive!

  13. YES! You’re right. We might as well spend it while we’re living. (I mean, since we have to anyway, we might as well enjoy it. Though DAMN they’re expensive…)

  14. That college textbook thing chaps my a**. Seriously, it was a crime 25 years ago when I went to college … and now? A $200 book, updated yearly? Ooh! I hope “readers” like the Kindle and the iPad set them straight. Haven’t the kids figured out how to bootleg that? 😉

  15. Oh, yeah, college books are out of control. Whenever I see the balance on my young children’s bank accounts, I figure there is maybe enough for one science textbook and lunch. My kids better study and get a scholarship, because we’ll never save enough for them!

  16. Wow…the numbers are ridiculous but well worth it. And I agree about the not being able to afford it. I can’t even count the number of times I say that but I know there are many things I can cut back on. And you can’t take it with you when you die so we might as well spend it right?!

  17. 2 in college at once? Wow! We got lucky; one at a time for us. Of course, the youngest had to move home for a year so there is more money out the door. I just hope he doesn’t decide that he deserves a year on my couch (he’s already done that). *sigh*

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