As Californians continually struggle to find employment during economic times that are slow to produce jobs‚ rising costs can make even more of an impact in the level of stress a family endures.
As CNNMoney pointed out in an article recently‚ childcare costs have soared in the last decade for the average‚ middle-class family due to health care‚ gas prices‚ food costs and even day-care and babysitting bills. Coupled with unemployment‚ these bills can be especially taxing on families who are just trying to get by.
This is far from a new phenomenon‚ as Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyers have seen these struggles time and time again. But with the Great Recession just behind us and analysts worried about another recession as the global economy weakens‚ the problems have been magnified.
Many people are considering bankruptcy in Los Angeles as a way to get out of the mess that has been thrust upon them. With joblessness‚ high interest rates and a bleak economic outcome‚ bankruptcy can allow families to discharge high amounts of debt‚ leaving them with more money to spend on high-priority bills‚ such as child care.
The CNN story reports that from 2000 to 2010‚ the average cost of raising a child from birth to 18 has increased 40 percent‚ from about $165‚000 to $227‚000. Analysts chalk up the heavy increase to gas price increases‚ cost-of-living hikes‚ the high cost of daycare programs‚ babysitting needs and clothing costs.
Among the highest costs that parents endure‚ along with percentage of their cost on a child’s total care needs:
- Housing: $69‚660 (31 percent)
- Child care and education: $39‚420 (17 percent)
- Food: $36‚210 (16 percent)
- Transportation: $30‚900 (14 percent)
- Misc: $19‚110 (8 percent)
- Health care: $18‚420 (8 percent)
- Clothing: $13‚200 (6 percent)
AAA‚ the nationwide transportation organization‚ suggests that rising gas prices — 85 percent in a decade — contributed to the high cost of transportation for families‚ while the cost of food‚ clothing and other common expenses rise.
Most parents consider costs such as child care not flexible because staying home to be with their children means they probably can’t work outside the home. And not everyone has a loving‚ retired and capable parent or relative who can care for the kids at no cost.
This makes other bills the target of non-payment. And if consumers begin neglecting other bills and making minimum payments‚ their interest rates can soar. That often leaves them paying as much as 20 percent to 25 percent more for the purchase than the original price.
As this trend continues‚ the bills can become insurmountable. That is‚ until a bankruptcy in Los Angeles helps to wipe away the debt‚ giving the family a fresh start on financial freedom. With the debts of the past taken off their slate‚ the family can prioritize their spending and provide for their children as they intended‚ without past problems frustrating them.
Cal West Law will provide a free consultation to help guide you in making a decision that works for you. In Encino‚ Glendale‚ and Los Angeles‚ just call (800) 568-0707.
The rising cost of raising a child‚ by Jessica Dickler‚ CNNMoney