[OPE-L] The cost of being Paris Hilton's child - a Dutch view

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Wed Sep 05 2007 - 14:56:21 EDT

Today I read that Paris Hilton told Elle magazine that she wanted to have a child next year, and was physically preparing herself for pregnancy. Apparently - according to a friend of hers - the longing for motherhood arose in Paris after Nicole Ritchie became pregnant. According to the press report, Paris wants many babies, and a simpler life, away from the limelight: "In prison I thought a lot about my life, and I want to take responsibility. The best way to do that is to have a child". I'm not certain - for a male point of view -  whether that reasoning makes any sense, but I had to think of an article I read in "Quote" magazine recently. In the Netherlands, we don't have anything like Doug Henwood's Left Business Observer (it doesn't occur much to Dutch people with money to separate observing business, from doing business). However, we do have Quote magazine, which focuses - sometimes satirically, sometimes tongue in cheek, sometimes very seriously - on the spectacles of wealth, the lifestyles of the monied class, and the ins and outs of the business world. I will translate the article here (who nows, Paris might learn something from it?!):


According to calculations by the Dutch National Institute for Budget Information ("Nibud") raising a child up to 18 years would set you back 109,000 euro on average [that is 6,055 euro a year). Well, if that could be true ?! Quote investigates how much the real costs could escalate...


Before your precious little one is brought into the world, you will have to do a lot, and especially buy a lot. The purchase of a cot, a commode and other equipment will sting you just as much as the birth itself. And when you want to go walking with your baby, you will have to fork out quite a bit. Think for example of a Goyard nappy-bag (2,500 euro). To experience as little noise from your baby as possible, we advise you to sound-proof the baby's room (10,000 euro) and to invest in a good collection of pacifiers. Quite nice is a suckler inlaid with 278 diamonds, manufactured by Personalized Pacifiers, worth just 17,000 dollars.

Total expenditure: 35,000 euro
What you could also spend the money on at this stage: a 20m Riva 68 Ego speedboat.


Because your children demand attention at impossible moments, and you obviously don't want to sacrifice you social events or miss your sleep, it is recommended to get a nanny. If you want your infant to learn fluent Polish or Spanish, you can make do with a few hundred euro. If you look for a royal solution, try Hansje Gortz, the ex-nanny hired by Dutch crownpince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima to look after their children. Gortz calculates that a professional nanny will cost about 4,000 euro a month. For that amount, she will however only work for 40 hours a week, so just one nanny will not do. All told, the bill for your child up to the age of 12 will be:

Total expenditure: 1,500,000 euro


Giving birth to a child is a heavy burden on the physical state of the mother. So, factor in at least 6,000 euro to get you breasts back into shape, 4,000 euro for belly corrections, and 6,000 euro to restore your vagina to its former glory. 

Total expenditure: 16,000 euro


Once your child has come into the world, then it will want only one thing: to grow as fast as possible. That means that you will endlessly have to buy new clothes. Luckily, your child will not have to detonate faced by your own appearance; most designers now have a line of children's fashion. You can count on it that your child will, thanks to growth spurts, go through a fair whack of clothing in twenty years though.

Total expenditure: 200,000 euro
What you could also spend the money on at this stage: three Bugatti Veyrons and a Porsche Carrera GT in your garage.


Obviously you want your child to have the best possible education. Alas, in the first years you will have to send your child to a public school, because private tuition is only available from group 6 at primary school at the Vrijbergen Institute [this Dutch situation obviously does not apply in the US]. If you decide to allow your child to follow secondary education there as well, the cost increases to 21,000 euro. After secondary education, it does no harm to send your offspring abroad for a year. Factor in a study romp in the US at 25,000 euro. When your child returns home, it can of course opt for a study at one of our universities, preferably Leyden, Delft or Amsterdam, but it could also choose to study at the New School (11,500 euro a year) or the New Business School (12,500 euro a year).

Total Expenditure: 225,000 euro


Obviously you want to stimulate your child to take up some hobbies. Who knows, it could later make a career out of them. If there's a talent for music, consider the purchase of a violin (prices up to 2,300,000 euro) or a piano (think of a Steinway D at 100,000 euro). It is also possible your darling is a sportster. If, for example, he or she takes pleasure in golf, allow your child a membership of a golfclub. In Noordwijk, that will cost just 1,000 euro a year. If your child loves horses, that hobby will cost a bit more, sorry to say. And if your child suddenly wanted to play polo, well, the costs could set you back 80,000 euro a year. If your darling has a penchant for racing, steer him via a few years carting (at 15,000 euro a pop) to theBMW 130i Cup. If your child continues to drive without damage, this costs about 75,000 euro a year. The costs will therefore depend a lot on the chosen hobby, but you should at least reckon with:

Total expenditure: 250,000 euro


Your darling only celebrates a birthday once a year, so that event can be celebrated with some generous presents. Among infants, a teddy bear works wonders. Hey, the German company Steiff recently supplied an adorable number with a skin of gold thread, eyes of sapphire and irises made of diamonds. The costs? Just 63,000 euro. Something more active for children older than one year: probably they will be made happier with a life-size piano which they can play by dancing over the keys with their feet (costs: 170,000 euro). If they are a bit older, consider a lovely miniature of the the Ferrari Testarossa (34,000 euro), although this will most likely appeal more to your son. Your daughter might prefer a lovely horse. Think of a Fallabella which in the stable of Quote top 500 member Wim Zegwaard can be arranged for 20,000 euro. Of course, at age 16 a nice scoooter is a must (2,500 euro), and at age 18 a driver's license (2,000 euro), plus a nice car. Popular at the moment is a mini (45,000 euro). If you reckon from a modest 10,000 euro for presents per year, the account is as follows:

Total expenditure: 200,000 euro


To limit damage to your own home, it is advisable to create a separate habitat for your children as much as possible. For the boys, think of a nice climbing castle in the yard (80,000 euro) and for girls one of those delightful beds in the shape of a fairy-coach (50,000 euro). Essential is a trampoline in the yard, and for older children it would be pleasant to have a swimming pool built in the yard (60,000 euro). 
Once your offspring is ready to leave home, you prevent it from landing in some kind of filthy student dive by buying a nice apartment (600,000 euro). The total investment can be not altogether inconsiderable.

Total expenditure: 750,000 euro.


Because in each child-rearing something can go wrong, it would possibly be a nice gesture to allow your child some psychological aftercare. At least if you didn't lock up your child in the coalbox,.about 30 sessions with a therapist should be sufficient.

Total expenditure: 6,000 euro
What you could also spend the money on at this stage: a house in the township of Blaricum, with an original cast of Le Penseur by Rodin in the front garden, worth one million euro.


The family vacations, the summers to Saint-Tropez, the winters to Verbier... they won't cost you a lot, at least in the first years anyway. Of course, an apple juice in Le Club 56 will cost you a small fortune and airline tickets, skiiing classes and ski passes ain't free, but it's small fry compared to what your child will spend when the hormones get into action, and a - healthy or not - desire for alcohol emerges. If your darling goes out with some friends and your credit card for an evening at the Cote d'Azur, then a few thousand euro will very likely flush away. Reckon with:

Total expenditure: 100,000 euro


Shortly after your toddler has learnt to speak, it will ask for pocket money. Quite rightly so, because children too are confronted with real costs nowadays. You have to make calls, you have to eat, drink and play. For a 7-year old, factor in 20 euro pocketmoney a week (that is equivalent to less than two computer games a month) and some 75 euro a week for a 17 year old. But do keep in mind that, at least during puberty, you will have to fork out quite a bit more. 

Total expenditure: 33,000 euro


Not just for the apple of your eye, your pearl, but also for yourself, the marriage of your child is the most beautiful day in life, a milestone. With a child that concludes a successful marriage, you have accomplished your mission more than enough. So, dig into your wallet one more time, for that precious wedding. Obviously it doesn't need to be as extravagant as the wedding of of the daughter of the Indian steel magnate Lakshi Mittal, who forked out 30 million dollars for a three-day wedding event, but even a somewhat decent marriage will quickly cost around 100,000 euro. The good news is that you can split the costs with your next of kin!

Total expenditure: 50,000 euro


3,365,000 euro [that is 30 x the Dutch national average)
What you could also spend the money on, at this stage: helping one and a half million Pakistanis suffering from the consequences of cyclone Yemyin.

(translated from Quote magazine (Amsterdam), September 2007, pp. 56-59). 


When I met you in the restaurant
You could tell I was no debutante
You asked me what's my pleasure
A movie or a measure?
I'll have a cup of tea 
and tell you of my dreaming
Dreaming is free
I don't want to live on charity
Pleasure's real or is it fantasy?
Reel to reel is living rarity
People stop and stare at me 
We just walk on by - 
we just keep on dreaming
Feet feet, walking a two mile
Meet meet, meet me at the turnstile
I never met him, I'll never forget him
Dream dream, even for a little while
Dream dream, filling up an idle hour
Fade away, radiate
I sit by and watch the river flow
I sit by and watch the traffic go
Imagine something of your very own
Something you can have and hold
I'd build a road in gold 
just to have some dreaming
Dreaming is free
Dreaming is free
Dreaming is free 

- Blondie, "Dreaming'"


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