Below Average?

I just attended a personal finance “lunch and learn” at work today.  The presentation was intended for women, and the lady from Ameriprise Financial did an outstanding job.  I always preach that doing as much as possible to save for the future is an important goal for everyone to have; but do we always do what we are supposed to?  Of course not.  I was happy to have this class motivate me personally to work harder at making sure our financial future is secure.

However, there was one incredibly scary portion of the presentation.  Scarier to me than the threat of no social security check for me at retirement.  Scarier than the idea of increased tax rates, and scarier than the giant national deficit.  Ok maybe not that scary, but you get my point.

The average cost of a child:  $214,260

I nearly choked on my lunch when she revealed this little factoid.  My friend, Jennifer, couldn’t help but smirk at my reaction.

And since we are being so honest with ourselves here, when do I ever do anything average?  My whole life I’ve always tried for better than average.  It stresses me out to be just mediocre.  Thus my life as an Aggie football fan has proven quite difficult at times.

Is now the time to start being average?  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’ve had my eye on a $1,000 crib for over a year now.  That is no average crib.  Maybe I can offset the cost of the crib with cheap clothes?  I’m very good at shopping in my own closet.  Maybe I will do the same with my child!

Somehow this doesn’t reassure me.  One of the biggest reasons I have put off having a child for as long as I have is because I wasn’t sure I was ready for the financial commitment.   $214,260 is one big pill to swallow.  This is basically like paying off law school over and over again.  Lame!

At the same time I can’t help but think it is a bargain for little precious people who look like me and Terry and who will love and care for us when we are old and loony.

So no time like the present to start saving!  Hopefully God doesn’t fufill my mother’s prayers for me to have a child just like me one day.  I know I probably shattered the average cost for my parents.  Oops.  I love you parents!