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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on October 05, 2009

Of course, the earlier you start saving the better. However, I believe that some periods of life are better suited for saving than are others. The Crucial Decade it is not based on your age, but the age of your children (if you don’t have children, you are probably better rested than I am and this blog post probably won’t mean much to you).

A 2007 report by the US Department of Agriculture claims that the amount of money it takes to raise a child from birth to age 17 doesn’t fluctuate much per year. They estimate that families earning between $45,800 and $77,100 annually will spend $11,000 to $12,000 per year until age 17 for a total of $204,060. I am sure this type of information plays an important role in determining child support and foster care payments. However, as a practical family budgeter, I don’t believe that a child's 13th year is as costly as his or her 3rd.

As all parents know, babies are expensive. Medical bills, childcare costs, time off work and baby supplies all add up. This is especially true if one spouse decides to leave their job to care for the children. Older children are also costly. Cars, college, and weddings are some of the larger ticket items you can look forward to. And this is assuming they don’t move back in with you!

Fortunately, I have discovered that there is a period of time between where the childcare costs end and the college tuition begins (even the costs of sports playing, electronic loving tweens can’t compete with those big ticket items). This is your big chance! According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, parents of school-age children pay up to $8,600 a year for part-time care. When this ends or at least diminishes, start saving the amount you were paying in childcare into a savings account to prepare for retirement or the tuition that is looming on the horizon.

Don’t let this Crucial Decade pass you by or you’ll find yourself playing catch-up in your golden years.


Posted in:  Saving, Kids & Money


Lauri says:
October 05, 2009

I think the costs for a 13 - 18 year old child depend on his or her extracurricular activities. For example, if the child takes music lessons, the costs associated with that include not only the lessons but also the instrument (pianos, guitars, and drum sets can be pretty costly). Some sports are also more expensive to participate in than others; for example, I was a figure skater, and my parents paid for lessons, ice time, skating dresses - which can cost several hundred dollars each, association fees, and skates (in some cases over $1,000 per pair, and there are specialized skates for figures vs. freestyle, so I had to have two pairs). Then there are the sports camps to increase your child's skills over the summer. Depending on their child and his/her interests, some parents may not have any extra money during those early teen years!

Anonymous says:
November 04, 2009

This post was great. Thank you. Keep up the good work. This is why I keep coming back.

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