We always hear all of these scary numbers about how expensive it is to raise a child. Unfortunately those numbers can be pretty accurate or even a little bit under, depending on your lifestyle. It is enough for some couples to decide not to have children at all. I’m glad I didn’t know about these numbers when we first started our family, because I might have panicked!
Bankrate.com has broken down the numbers for the cost of raising a child based on the total cost released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These numbers apply to an average family making between $44,500 to $74,900.
• Groceries — $1525 year
• Clothing — $606 year
• Bigger home — $2900 year
• Bigger car — $1250 year
• Health care — $300 year
• Education — $600 year
• Child care — $4300 year (through age 11)
• Recreation — $300 year
• Additional insurance — $300 year
• Gift giving — $330 year
• Miscellaneous — $330 year
For a total of $197,700 per child. If you make more or less, your expenses will be different.
Other expenses that are related to a raising a child but not included in these numbers might be the cost of giving birth and a hospital stay, the cost of fertility treatments, the cost of adoption, or the cost of college.
I really think that these numbers could be reduced by living frugally. By making smart choices, you don’t have to spend as much as the average, at all. Also, if you have more than one child, your expenses shouldn’t go up as much as with the first, if you take advantage of clothing, toys and equipment that you already have.
Check back tomorrow when I go through each of these expenses and show you ways to reduce the cost of raising a child in each area.
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, creating a home in the Home Blog, caring for little ones in the Baby Blog and now relationships in the Marriage Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here or subscribe to the blog using the subscription box on the right.
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