Who spends this kind of money on children? Do you think this kind of article serves to scare folks away from having children? ... but check out the last paragraph!
Any parent can tell you that raising a child isn't cheap. From diapers and childcare to clothing and housing to extracurricular activities and continuing education, it all costs a bundle. But just how much does it all add up to over the years? Well, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child born in 2011 from birth through age 17 is going to be $234,900, an $8,000 increase over the previous year's estimate. But why such the big jump in cost?
The increase in spending comes primarily from increases in child care, education, transportation, and food costs, but there were also increases in health care, clothing, and housing costs. Housing costs are the largest expense when it comes to child rearing and account for 30 percent of the cost of raising a child. Childcare and education and food account for the next largest portion of the spending ranging from 16 to 18 percent of the total spending.
Now, of course not all families will spend the same amount on child rearing. Lower income families (earning less than $54,000 annually) are expected to spend only $169,000 while upper income families (earning more than $102,000) are expected to spend more than $389,000 which is quite a difference. Mind you, these estimates do not account for inflation so the chances that parents will be spending much more are pretty much inevitable.
However, if you want to spend less on your child, have more children. Families with three children spend 22 percent less per child than families with two children because of their ability to hand down clothes and toys, share bedrooms, and buy food in more economical bulk quantities. Of course you'll still be spending more overall than if you only have one child. Bottom line, raising kids costs a pretty penny.