Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NYT: The Price of Urban Family Living

This NYT blog post brings up some interesting issues about raising a family in the city. Phan mentions the high costs of housing, childcare and food, but how she prioritizes raising her children in a culturally diverse location relatively near work over reducing these costs. A Berkeley native myself, I dispute the idea of Berkeley as "urban" -- it's a streetcar suburb like the one where I am raising my daughter in the southern end of the City of San Francisco. And costs are lower. But only a little bit.

Post Script:
I finally got around the clicking the link to the Family Budget Calculator. I too am rather surprised. Specifically, the rent, childcare and food all look very low.

Now, I am a very frugal person. I'm also a research-aholic, which is one reason I started this blog. As described in an earlier post, I checked every available childcare option. The very cheapest I ever found was $900, but the EPI is saying I should have found $720? It really depends on what you are looking for, but I feel confident saying that they should be reporting about double that.

You can probably find a studio apartment in San Francisco for $1795 but would you really live in one with your child.

Finally... food... and this is something I want to dedicate an entire post to exploring. You could probably spend $369 a month on food if you only ate beans and rice. Sure. That would be easy. When I first lived in the Mission, I was spending about $10/week on groceries. But I want my daughter eating good quality food. It costs more.

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