After the $22,000 Cat I guess it was inevitable...a $200,000 baby. Except this is not some baby that you design at an old Eastern European lab sneaking in past the US State Department, this is ANY kid born in 2007.
Apparently the average cost of raising a child has risen over the $200,000 level for the first time. This money stops at 18, no college, wedding and endowments beyond. Yep, just $200 grand hit to your personal finances to get this little guy through High School.
As a parent of three it is amazing the costs, some hidden and some blatant in raising a kid. Beyond the obvious food and clothes, think about housing. Most of us wouldn't get a 3+ bedroom house with no kids. Unless you trade over for an expensive loft that is a significant amount.
Don't forget about activities either. Summer Camp? It can be thousands of dollars and they might still come home early. Add in sports, Ballet (which I still say is French for Expensive), other hobbies, holidays, etc. and you can see how that the number racks up.
So am I saying don't have kids?...no way. If my three will cost $600k then it will be worth it. The are great people and I am proud to have them around...not to mention the caring for the elderly (me one day!) is probably more expensive and harder on your budget then raising kids...so it is an investment :) .