Today's Costs of Raising a Child

September 10th, 2010 | Posted in Mind+Body+Soul by

Parenting is the most rewarding job in the world. Our major responsibility as parents is to provide love and a safe environment for our children to grow up in. In addition, we have a responsibility to provide stability, education and to give our children what they deserve! In order to do this properly we have to provide the financial support to raise our children. The U.S. government recently released their calculations for the bare bones cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years—$160,140. And that doesn’t include college expenses or private education which could add upwards of  an additional $100,000.

Let’s see how we might break down that $160,140:

• 4,003 pairs of Levi’s jeans
• 54,284 Big Mac’s

• 8,007 evenings at the movies
• 4 Convertible NEW Loaded Ford Mustangs

Does it really cost that much?

Most of our thoughts about having children center around the joy of loving them. But the reality is a child needs so much more than love. They need parents who can provide for them, both physically and emotionally. Just look at all the things $160,140 can buy you.

Money is an important part of raising a child, but it is often the last thing considered when we think about having children. But you need money to buy food, diapers, clothes, and to pay for daycare. When you break down the $160,140 this is what it will cost you to raise one child.

Fulltime daycare alone is $900-$1200 per month! That’s as much as a mortgage! Bottled formula can run $6.00 per day! Diapers are $20.00 per week minimum! That does not even calculate a home, transportation, health insurance, food, toys, books…etc…

• $8,896.66 per year
• $741.38 per month
• $171.08 per week
• $24.44 per day
• At least $1 per hour

Are you able to earn $24 dollars a day or $171 a week to raise a child. And that is just to take care of the baby! That does not include what it costs for the rest of the family to live everyday. The savings might help, but when you look at all the things you still need to provide, it can be overwhelming.

The average cost of living in a simple one-bedroom apartment with utilities in the suburbs is $25,412 per year. Add that to the cost of raising a baby. You will have to earn $34,308 every year.

Now the challenge is that the average salary of a person with a college education is only $34,000 per year. And the average salary of a person without a college degree is only $22,000 per year. So you can see where the problem comes in. Living in today’s world is expensive if you live alone and even more expensive if you’re taking care of a baby. Living in minimal comfort requires a clear plan of action and a steady income.

Planning to have a baby is a big decision for anyone.

Not only do you have to think about whether the time is right for you, but you also have to take into account if you will be able to take care of that baby in the way they need to be cared for.

Some decisions we make in life are very easy while others take a lot more thought and soul searching. Having a baby is definitely a decision that requires us to look closely at all sides of our responsibilities. The cost of raising a child is the most important responsibility that potential parents should consider.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and overwhelmed when considering the possibilities, before you make any firm decision, please consider all your options.

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4 Responses to “Today's Costs of Raising a Child”

  1. Iran to free American, boosting hopes of 3 hikers’ release…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Jeff Mahon says:

    Kelly,
    When daughter Kristin was 2 years old, back in 1982, the LA Times published an article about the cost of raising a child to the age of 21, including 4 years of college, assuming birth in 1982. We were shocked to read it was $250,000. Frankly, raising our daughter cost every bit that much, and then some. So I believe the figures you have quoted are conservative. I am so grateful you are getting this type of information out for consumption by the very segment of the population that needs it so much. Keep the flow of knowledge running!

    • Hi Jeff, thank you for this. Yes the numbers are extremely conservative. It is just for the BARE BONES of raising a child. Very few teen moms are educated themselves. Most not even finishing highschool, there for not even considering the education of their own kids. They have to find a way to feed, diaper and hopefully get them healthcare. Hoping for the best, but offering only what they have. Regrettfuly, this does not include a good education.

  3. Coping with an unplanned pregnancy…

    There are some options for women who find their are pregnant unexpectantly…

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