How Much Does It Cost To Have Kids?
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Is your family budget ready for a kid? The future parents are often frightened by the idea that raising a child is expensive. While that is true, knowing the exact numbers could help a family to prepare for the new expenses. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average cost to raise a child in the United States from birth to age 17 is $233,610.

How much does it cost annually to raise a child then? It turns out that the future parents should be ready to spend $14,000 per year. Let’s see in details what this includes and what other important things you need to know about the cost of raising a child in America.

Where Does The Money Go?

Considering the fact that the average cost of raising a child in America almost equals the purchase of three brand new cars, you probably wonder where the money goes. The amount is spent on housing, child care, transportation, clothing, food, education, and entertainment. These expenses do not include sending a child to college. The shares are not equal and here are three the most expensive ones according to USDA statistics.

  1. Housing is the largest share of the child raising expenses. USDA report shows that housing takes up to 29% of a total cost to raise a child in 2018. The approach is based on calculating the expenses for having an additional bedroom.
  2. Food is on the second place as it takes 18% of total amount. It includes all the nutrition expenses, such as baby food, home and school meals, snacks, healthy food, and special nutrition plans in case of allergy. The equipment and utilities for preparing the baby food and feeding a kid is also the part of this share. But we can give you 20 ways to save on grocery shopping!
  3. Child care and education are also among the highest costs of raising a child taking 16% of the total amount. The answer to the question how much does it cost to support a child partially depends on family’s decision about the parents employment and the length of maternity leave. With the growth of women in the workplace, the child care costs continue to increase.

money spend on children food

Which Years Are The Most Expensive?

When you start thinking how much does it cost to have a kid, it may seem that the first few years are the toughest. The diapers and birth expenses make the first two years pricey.

In average raising a child from 0 to the age of 2 years costs about $12,680. How much does it cost to raise a teenager then? USDA estimates the expenses for a teenager from 15 to 17 at about $13,900 per year. While the education costs are the highest under the age of 6, the costs of transportation, food, and clothing grow with a child.

Related Article: Be sure to teach your child how to handle money.

The Cost of Raising a Child Now and Then

When you realize how much does it cost to raise a child monthly, you may wonder how our parents managed to do that. Some of the costs of raising a child are the same, while others changed a lot. In order to have the whole picture, it is better to look at specific areas. The costs of education and child care increased a lot since 1960 according to USDA report.

Nowadays they take almost eight times more from a family budget than they did back then. However, modern parents are lucky to pay less for food and clothing in comparison to the previous decades. Besides, the majority of parents find it necessary explain how budgeting for teens work.

The Region Differences

The cost of raising a child is different for the various regions of the US. The first place is taken by the middle-income couples from the urban Northeast with about $253,770 of the child expenses. They are followed by the urban West with the cost of $235,140. The third place goes to the urban South with an average cost of $221,730. USDA states that the annual cost for child raising is lower in rural areas (about $2,400) comparing to urban areas (around $3,900).

More Children, Less Expenses

More Children, Less Expenses

How much is it to raise a child until 18 (from birth to 18) also depends on the number of kids in a family. Having a second child is less expensive as some equipment, toys, and clothes could be reused. In addition, children could share the same room.

The larger food packages could also be more economical for a family. Some schools and child care centers offer a sibling discount. Thus, the cost of raising a child is 24% less for every kid in a family with three or more children.

Despite the average numbers, there is no a one-size-fits-all answer to how much money does it cost to raise a kid. Every family should do its own math to know what to expect. The future parents could easily access the cost of a child calculator to make their own prognosis and be financially prepared for having a child.

The statistic is taken from