Keeping up appearances may be adding to the price tag of raising a child.
An estimated 1,100 American mothers who completed an online survey for the parenting website BabyCenter are more worried than ever about the cost of raising their kids — and social media could be part of the problem.
Released Tuesday, the website’s annual Cost of Raising a Child report indicates two out of three moms are worried about having enough money to raise children. That’s an 11 percent increase since last year’s report.
And that may be for good reason: Parents who completed the nonscientific survey spend an average of $13,000 per child every year. Multiply that figure by 18, and you get $234,000, which is close to the federal government's recent estimate of $245,340 needed to raise a child born in 2013 until he or she becomes an adult.
Linda Murray, BabyCenter’s global editor in chief, believes the way we use social media is partially to blame for the increasing worry about affording kids, especially as friends use those platforms to brag about their new homes, cars, vacations and clothes.
“We’re living in a socially transparent time where everything we do, eat, buy, or like is visible immediately,” she said. “The implied judgment of social media puts a lot of pressure on moms to not only make themselves and their families look good, but appear prosperous, too.”
Nearly 60 percent feel pressure to appear well-off on social media, according to the survey.
Because every dollar counts, perhaps parents should take another look at their children’s allowances. Although the number of moms who give their kids a weekly or monthly allowance declined almost 10 percent since 2011, those who do give an allowance (about a quarter of moms) now hand their kids an average of $5.65 per week — up $1 since 2011, according to the survey.
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