So yesterday’s post on baby essentials really got me thinking about the cost of raising a child in today’s times. I did some digging this morning and the results should come as no surprise…kids are freaking expensive.
According to a 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture report on children’s expenditures, it costs a middle-income dual-parent family approximately $235,000 to raise a child from birth-17 (not including college costs). That’s a 3.5 percent increase from 2010, and 23 percent more than it cost to raise kids in 1960. Families living in the urban Northeast area (that’s us) tend to have the highest child-rearing expenses, followed by those in the urban West and the urban Midwest. Those living in the urban South and rural areas face the lowest costs. To raise a child in New York City (us again) or Boston, the average cost is $270,000. Rural families spend $184,000, on average.
Interestingly enough, the cost per kid decreases as you have more children. The USDA report found that families with three or more children spend 22 percent less per child than those with two children.
So I guess having babies is like going to Costco – it’s better to have them in bulk. Don’t tell J this – he’s already angling me for more kids, and Baby Z is not even 4 months old in my belly yet.
Baby Center also created an interesting interactive on the cost of raising a child (http://www.babycenter.com/cost-of-raising-child-calculator), in which you can calculate your own personal costs of raising a kid based on your location, income level, and whether you’ll pay for your kid’s college education (and if so, private or public).
I did a quick calculation for me and J, and below is our cost for raising Baby Z from birth to college. Just in the first 2 years alone, we’ll be spending approximately $22,090 on the kid.
Seriously, is it too late to ask for a refund on Baby Z or cash him in for a Ferrari instead?
COST OF RAISING BABY Z