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The Modern Cost of Raising a Child Today

Lea Lomas

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Any parent can easily attest that raising a child is an expensive venture, and not just in terms of money. The experience is definitely attributed to putting years on a person’s age, adding grey hairs to the scalp, and significant wear and tear to the family house and car. That said, most parents would also say they wouldn’t have done anything different and it was the best part of their life seeing their child born, raised and reach adulthood. However, it’s not cheap.

shebudgets.com

shebudgets.com

Throw in the costs of food, clothing, medical checks and treatment, summer camps, team sports, allowances and far more, and the cost of one child raised gets into the dozens of thousands. Add in a second or third child and it grows exponentially. And that figure doesn’t include the added expense if parents choose to send their child through private school education versus public.

Assuming a public school education, raising a child at home and with some daycare costs for two working parents, and a child living at home until age 18, the average cost of raising a child in the U.S. right now comes in just under $234,000. Now obviously there are variations; people can come up with plenty of examples where a child was raised for far more or far less. The figure is a nationwide average which includes regional differences but assumes an aggregate expense over 17 years of life from birth to adulthood. So the $234,000 figure is not that outlandish.

Again, the figure above doesn’t include extra expenses. For example, the cost of supporting a child going to college is nowhere to be found in the calculations. And that can average $5,000 for an associate degree and anywhere from $12,000 to $50,000 or more for a four-year degree.

Interestingly, the figure which is generated by research and data tracking by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is supposed to be representative of costs for a middle-income married parents family. And the figure is far more representative of expenses for the Midwest than for example, New York or California. In fact, the full range of the above figure ran from a low of $174,500 to as much as $372,200. Of those figures the biggest expenses are paying for housing and food. Consumption for eating doesn’t seem like it would be a big cost driver but it’s quite easy for a family to spend of a fifth to a fourth of monthly income just on food (which covers groceries, drinks, eating out and similar). Ironically, what is often pegged as the most spending, the category of clothing, came in as the lowest expense for raising a child.

It’s important to remember, even though the cost might be shocking to parents-to-be, it’s a figure that is spent over time. For example, a home can seem extremely expensive, but paid for over thirty years with a mortgage it becomes manageable month to month.

Budgeting is still a key factor. A family’s living costs definitely rise with the arrival of a new child. And there are plenty of life adjustments needed to accommodate that change. Luxury spending and discretionary purchase go down and get replaced by care for the child or children, and parents adjust accordingly. Families also generally see a rise in income over time on average as people move on to better and better jobs. However, this is a loose assumption, as many realized during the 2009 Recession, losing good income jobs and having to downgrade to lower level income work to pay bills or working two jobs in lieu of one lost.

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NYPD Solves a High-Profile Turtlenapping

Mackenzie Freeman

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The New York City Police Department makes headlines every day, but it is not every day that the NYPD makes headlines for solving a turtle kidnapping case. But kudos go to the NYPD for solving the disappearance of a beloved resident of Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens, 100-year-old African spurred tortoise, Millennium.

A Century of Millennium at Alley Pond

Millennium could have been a youthful, 11-year-old turtle when the 655-acre Alley Pond Park was acquired by the City of New York in 1929. When Millennium found his, her, or its way to the park, the Alley Pond was the source of water that the town of Flushing used for, well, flushing. Millennium survived the construction of the Long Island Expressway across the park, the creation of a golf course, and the founding of the Alley Pond Environmental Center at 228-06 Northern Boulevard in Queens in 1972.

Or maybe Millennium wasn’t around for any of those events. Although Millennium undoubtedly weighs about 100 pounds, and is larger than many of the children who come to visit him every day the park is open, the turtle rescuers who found the intrepid animal believe he could be a mere 17 years old or possibly as much as 100 years old. Either way, visitors to the park regularly ask to see him. And that is how they learned he was missing.

A Shocking Tortoise Disappearance

When visitors asked to see Millennium on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 18, 2017, Millennium was nowhere to be found. The attendants had no difficulty locating Millennium’s companion turtle Mini-Me, but even checks of video surveillance cameras showed no sign of the celebrity turtle. We think of tortoises as moving slowly, but actually they can move quickly, blending in with trees and grasses, so the park staff held out hope that Millennium might just be taking a little vacation looking for a different source of grass and grubs. But when there was no trace of Millennium the next day, they had no choice but to call the police. They were afraid they had a Code 597, abuse of an animal.

Millennium Returns from Connecticut

Fortunately, a Connecticut resident with a conscience made the reunion of Millennium with his young fans possible. And helped the police nab the turtlenappers’ accomplice Shawn Waters in the process.

Thirty-seven year old Shawn Waters loves turtles. He kept small turtles and other animals in the apartment he shared with his mother in Queens. On the afternoon of July 18, Waters was approached by two men who had cut a hole in the back of Millennium’s enclosure and absconded with the famous reptile. They made a deal with Waters to sell him the stolen turtle, and Waters started to take Millennium home in a stolen shopping cart. But no sooner did he have Millennium in his clutches than he realized his mother would never let him keep Millennium at home.

Waters hatched a plan to cover up his crime and get a smaller turtle his mother would approve. A man in Stamford, Connecticut had placed an ad on Craigslist to sell his musck turte. Waters struck a deal to swap reptiles and get $300 cash in the process. (Ordinarily, a turtle of Millennium’s 2 foot by 2-1/2 foot size and gentle watermelon-eating habits would have fetched about $2500, according to park officials.) Waters, who does not own a car, took a commuter train with Millennium to Connecticut, where he sealed the deal.

But by this time the police were checking turtle transactions on Craigslist. They located the buyer, who surrendered the turtle, which was returned safely to Alley Pond Park.

Waters was arrested and later sentenced to six months in jail at Rikers Island. His mother reports that he hopes to get his license to work as a security guard back when he gets out of jail.

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Strange Sounds Coming From the Walls Reveal a HAUNTING Surprise to New Homeowners!

Mackenzie Freeman

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No matter where you are in the country, every town has a story about that house. You know the one. The house that looms above all, lending urban legends and stories to people in the community. Well, today, we are going to introduce you to a home in Germantown, Tennessee, as well as the mysterious sounds that emanated from its walls. Let’s dig in because this story is going to make you want to check your own walls!

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Airline Passengers Attention Please: Avoid Wearing These Items While You Fly!

Leslie Tander

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With the state that the airline industry is currently in, flying comfortably can be a challenging quest to undertake. Despite how uncomfortable flying can be, air travel has become the beating heart that connects every nation on our planet. Knowing that air travel is so important, we felt that it was vital to understand what best to wear during our travels. Today, we are going to highlight everything that airline passengers should avoid wearing while flying!

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