Guess How Much it Costs to Raise a Baby Now?

Suzanne Murray
cost of having a baby

Photo by Artistachica

Babies are priceless!

Have you ever thought about how much it's going to cost to raise your baby? Not to worry if you haven't—the government has it all worked out for you. Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture released its annual report on family expenditures, including the cost of raising a baby born in 2008. Are you ready for this?

Approximately $291,000! That's almost $25,000 a year.

Babies born in 2009 will likely cost even more. Yikes! That's a lot of dough—especially if you've got twins on the way,

According to the report, a middle-income family will spend about $221,000 (in current dollars) to raise a child born in 2008 until he or she is 18. (With inflation, that cost is more like $291,000.) The estimates include typical spending for "food, shelter, and other necessities," but do not include the cost of childbearing or the cost of college.

According to the report, family income affects child-rearing costs. A family earning less than $56,870 per year can expect to spend a total of $159,870 (in 2008 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, parents with an income between $56,870 and $98,470 can expect to spend $221,190; and a family earning more than $98,470 can expect to spend $366,660.

The cost of raising a baby is highest in the urban northeast and lowest in the urban south as rural areas.

Why is this report done in the first place? It helps courts figure out child-support guidelines and foster-care payments.

Did you do any kind of "financial plan" before you had your baby? Do these cost-of-raising-a-baby figures surprise you? Do you think you will spend more—or less—to bring up your baby?


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