The Cost of Raising Children

Especially in today’s challenging economy, parents are rightfully concerned about the overall cost of raising children. There are many expenses involved in raising a healthy and happy child, and the better parents are at planning and predicting those costs the easier it is to earn, save, and budget for them.

One ways to get a handle on the actual financial cost of raising children is to consult a financial planner who specializes in families with children – versus those whose area of concentration is retirees or seniors. An expert can help understand costs such as tuitions, routine annual medical and health care expenses, food, clothing, and so forth. There are even free online tools offered by some financial institutions that can help you to compute these various costs.

MSN Money published an article recently that cited the rising cost of raising children. The feature explained that based on the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, medium income families earning about $70,000 a year or more will spend about 20 percent of that per year to raise a child. In other words they will spend approximately $14,000 per year – from birth through age 10. Lower earners will also spend about a similar percentage – so those making just $40,000 a year can anticipate total yearly costs of about $7,000.

Of course these generalized figures do not take into account individual schemes to save or consolidate costs, and neither do they factor in extraordinary expenses to pay for special medical care, more expensive schools, or the cost of living in the most expensive cities. Parents should understand that the child raising requires additional planning and sacrifice. But keep in mind that this is not an investment like buying a car or vacation home. Having a child and raising one as a parent can be the most rewarding experience of a lifetime, and an investment that repays a parent every day in countless ways that are treasured and cannot be measured in dollars and cents. Don’t let the financial challenge of raising a child deter you, but only use this kind of information as a guideline to assist you in planning for a more comfortable and stress-free parenting journey.

Here is a handy calculator from the USDA that will help you caluculate the cost of raising a child, or mutiple children for that matter.