Cost of Raising a Child Increases to $245,340

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its annual report on the cost of raising a child to age 18.

Congratulations on your little bundle of joy. Now, get out your checkbook.

For middle-class families, the average cost of raising a child born in 2013 to age 18 is $245,340, and that doesn’t include your pregnancy or their college. Yikes.

That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Expenditures on Children and Families report.

The estimated cost, which increased about 1.8 percent from the previous year, is based on food, housing, transportation, clothing, child care and non-college educational expenses, along with other miscellaneous costs. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all number. CNN Money said:

Estimates can vary widely depending on where you live and how much you earn.

High-income families who live in the urban Northeast, for example, are projected to spend nearly $455,000 to raise their child to the age of 18, while low-income rural families will spend much less, an estimated $145,500, according to the report.

Click here to see child-raising costs based on the year your child was born, where you live and how much money you earn. The more money you earn, the more you’ll spend raising your children, the USDA report says.

I plugged in my information and, according to the interactive graph, it will cost $190,015 to raise my 4-year-old daughter and $193,590 to raise my 1-year-old son until they’re 18. Compared with the national average, I appear to have discount kids.

But really, just how accurate are these estimates? There are so many variables to consider. I breastfed both of my children and made homemade baby food, which saved a lot of money. When I worked outside the home, I cut some child care costs by using family members to baby-sit when they were available. Now I work from home, so I have minimal child care costs.

Before you let the $245,340 figure scare you away from having a child, check out this Money Talks News video from last year and our list of more than 20 tips to cut your child-raising costs in half.

What do you think of the $245,340 estimate? Do you have any money-saving, child-raising tips? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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