Baby Math with Mr. Candy: DC Isn’t the Only Place with a Budget Crunch

Baby Math
With Mr. Candy

Not being the creative one in the family, I could never hope to capture in words the joy and happiness I experienced when I first saw Skylar. The love I feel in my heart is indescribable.  However, as the “economical” one in the family (some less “economical” would say “cheap”), I am unfortunately fully capable of calculating the cost of Skylar.  Even though she’s of course priceless, the pain I feel in my wallet is all too calculable.

Candy will undoubtedly be sharing the joy and happiness in our hearts, so I will share something less precious:  the pain in our bank account.  A pain that is especially acute when thinking about the cost of college when Skylar is due to attend.  As a consultant, I ask that you indulge my love for finance (some less “financially minded” would say my “inner geek”) and allow me to share that pain with you in my native tongue (that would be bullet points and charts).

  • The current annual cost of an Ivy League education with room and board (OK, so I have high hopes for the little one) is $48,147.1
  • Over the last 10 years, the average annual increase for college has been 6.0% per year. 2 Using that rate, by the time Skylar goes to college in 2027, four years of school will cost $601,194.15.  Yup, that is right.  $601,194.15!  In case you are wondering (or hoping), that is US dollars, not Mexican pesos.

  • Vanguard’s S&P 500 Index fund has returned an average of 10.19% per year since its inception in 1976.3
  • At that rate, we would have to put away an extra $756.41 per month, every month starting today to afford to put little Skylar through college.
  • To find that kind of dough, our budget is going to have to change… DRAMATICALLY!


Ed. note:  This budget reallocation has NOT been approved by Candy.  To hell with electricity and water, I say — Mama needs a new pair of shoes and margarita fix!




Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby

Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Good job with the numbers Mr Candy altho this is very depressing!! I guess I’ll have to send my son to the School of Hard Knocks instead of college. 🙂

  • Mr. Candy,

    Good job on the new budget! My pleas for a new budget have fallen on Mrs. Ryan’s deaf ears. Yes, I’m cheap, too.

    I hope things work out that you can re-establish the liquor fund. You’re going to need it as she gets older…..

  • What’s a budget? I just swipe those little card things and the nice people in the shops give me pretty things.

  • 15% on liquor – hysterical!

    I’m extremely depressed… as we were told that the estimated money needed for 4 yrs of college (at a state school) for our daughter (who is now 2) is $116,000!!!! I guess she’ll be working her way through school. I did it, so can she! well I just hope she chooses to go to school 🙂 If not, we have a nice retirement fund.

  • outstanding article. but candy, how on EARTH did you get your husband to allocate 10% of the budget on pretty clothes for you in the first place?? you must share this secret!

  • @AngelaPA — One of our friends asked Mr. Candy to calculate the cost of a state school. Here’s the (equally depressing) low-down:

    UCLA (assuming in-state tuition which is $0) would be $264,716.72 for 4 years starting in 2027. That would be $333.06 per month, every month.

    @helloandie — The “secret” is not asking for permission! But now that Skye is here, I’m apparently going to have to go naked. I’d like to extend my apologies in advance, world.

  • Teach her how to throw a mean, 92-mph slider from the left hand side and college is all taken care of my friend…