How Much Will You Spend to Raise Your Child?

Thanks to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, we now know that  a child born this year will cost middle income parents $234,900 by the time he’s a high school senior. Parents earning less than $60,000 can expect to pay $169,080. Families with more than $100,000 annual income average $389,670 per infant. And that doesn’t include the cost of college.

So why are kids so expensive to raise?

Today’s babies don’t eat or dress expensively. Despite America’s obesity epidemic, the USDA says parents will spend less to feed their kids than they did decades ago. And technology has made clothing cheaper to buy.

Education and childcare gobble up 18% of a family’s baby-rearing budget. Those costs increased 16% from what they were 50 years ago. Researchers theorize that day care and preschool are now a necessity for many, with more parents working outside the home to support the family. And public school budget cuts may persuade more parents to enroll their children in pricey private schools.

Health care costs doubled to 8% of bringing up baby.

Then again, the USDA predicts only a third of all lower income families will spend anything on a child’s education before age 17.

You can find the full report here.

A fun – or scary – interactive widget lets you enter the number and ages of your kids to sse how much they’ll cost you. Just remember, those sweet, drooly, smiling tykes are worth the dollars.

 How will you try to minimize the costs as your baby grows?