While it may not come as a surprise, raising a child can put a serious strain on your checkbook. Throughout your child’s life, you could easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a wide variety of necessities, such as food, transportation and health care. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Expenditures on Children by Families” report, the average middle-income American family will spend $245,340 on raising each bundle of joy, meaning you need to be financially prepared. But there’s no need to panic – don’t throw the budget out with the bathwater. Knowing how much it costs to raise a kid is the first step to saving and preparing.
How Much Do Kids Cost?
Take a look at the infographic below in order to see the breakdown of child-rearing expenses. You’ll likely spend the most money on housing, food and education/child care. However, the information listed is an average, so it doesn’t mean your experience will be exactly the same. Where you live in the U.S. could have a significant impact on how much you personally spend on your children. For instance, raising a child in the rural Midwest is less expensive than in a city in the Northeast. For a deeper look at the costs specific to your situation, take a look at this handy calculator from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Note that these totals do not include the cost of college, which can take an extra toll on your pocketbook. Start planning now by saving for tuition while the kids are still young.
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