Raising a Child in the U.S.? Prepare to Dig Into Your Wallet

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Children may bring joy and love to their parents’ lives, but they may also leave them with an empty wallet.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child born in 2015 through age 17 is $233,610 — and that doesn’t include college.

The cost of raising a child rose 3 percent from 2014 to 2015. That rate may be higher than inflation, but it’s also less than it has increased in years past. According to The Wall Street Journal:

What’s changed over time is that child care and education represent a larger piece of the pie while the share that goes toward housing and feeding children is shrinking.

The $233,610 figure — the estimated cost for a middle-income, married couple to raise a child born in 2015 — is hardly a one-size-fits-all number.

The actual cost of raising a child is largely influenced by where you live and how much money you make. In general, the more money you earn, the more you’ll spend raising your children, according to the report.

Find out how much money you could be expected to fork over to raise your children with this calculator from USDA. You’ll be asked to provide some personal information — including your children’s ages, where you live and your income — before you get an estimate for the cost of:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • Health care
  • Child care
  • Noncollege educational expenses

Having more than one child actually can reduce child-rearing costs. Report author and USDA economist Mark Lino says in a statement:

“There are significant economies of scale, with regards to children, sometimes referred to as the ‘cheaper by the dozen effect.’ As families increase in size, children may share a bedroom, clothing and toys can be reused, and food can be purchased in larger, more economical packages.”

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Is having kids worth the cost? Comment below or on Facebook.

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