Here’s How Much It Costs to Raise a Child These Days

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Parents with their baby
Monkey Business Images /

Thinking about raising a child? You might want to skip reading the rest of this story.

The cost to raise a child from birth to age 17 has soared to more than $300,000, according to an estimate from the Brookings Institution.

The worst bout of inflation in several decades has helped push the number 9% higher than it was two years ago.

According to Brookings, a married couple earning middle-class wages who have two children will spend $18,271 a year — or $310,605 in total — to raise a child born in 2015.

To calculate that number, Brookings used a government estimate of the cost from previous years, then adjusts the total based on inflation trends, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Some costs included in the estimate are:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Health care
  • Child care

The estimate also includes the cost of “milestones and activities” ranging from diapers and haircuts to sports equipment and dance lessons, the WSJ reports.

Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at Brookings, told the WSJ:

“A lot of people are going to think twice before they have either a first child or a subsequent child because everything is costing more. You also may feel like you have to work more.”

How to rein in your costs

There is no way around it: Raising kids will cost you a lot of cash. But the situation is not hopeless. If you take control of your finances, you can survive — and even thrive — despite today’s inflation.

If you need some help planning your finances, enroll in the Money Talks News course Money Made Simple.

MTN founder Stacy Johnson offers 14 weeks of lessons on money basics in this course. You will learn how to improve your financial life in all the following areas:

  • Budgeting
  • Banking
  • Credit
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Investing
  • Real estate
  • Estate planning

After finishing these lessons, you will be ready to manage money more efficiently while spending less time getting the results you want. As Stacy writes:

“Whatever your situation, understanding and learning to control your money is going to improve your life. If you’re rich, you want to stay that way. If you’re not, you want to get that way.”

Get smarter with your money!

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