This is the actual cost of raising children

By Philippe Michaud, Espresso

Everyone knows that having kids is expensive. Every year, parents shell out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to raise their children. According to a 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is $233,610, and this amount is only going to go up over the next few years. So where does all this money go? Read on to find out! All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Maternity clothes: $500

Even before they’re born, children start costing their parents-to-be money. Pregnant women, for instance, need maternity clothes. The cost of these clothes varies widely, but Fortune estimates that expectant moms spend approximately $500 on maternity apparel per pregnancy.

To cut down on costs, buy second-hand clothes or get hand-me-downs from friends and coworkers who’ve already had kids.

Parental leave: loss of 12 weeks’ pay

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows some workers to take 12 weeks of leave for the birth of a child. However, the leave is unpaid, so new parents who take advantage of this option should expect to lose 12 weeks’ worth of their salary. Whether you are entitled to this leave depends on your job; the FMLA covers only certain types of employers and employees.

Nursery furniture: $130 to $4,000

Crib, dresser, change table, rocking chair: a new baby means buying some nursery essentials. According to What to Expect, you’ll likely pay at least $130, even though many parents spend up to $4,000. To save money, opt for second-hand furniture.

Diapers: $270 to $810/year

In baby’s first year, the average child uses approximately 2,700 disposable diapers, which cost between $0.10 and $0.30 each, for a total of $270 to $810, according to What to Expect. If you pay for a diaper service, you’ll spend roughly the same amount.

Stroller: $100 to $1,000

If you want to leave the house to take a walk or go shopping, you’ll need a stroller. As with furniture, there’s a pretty big selection available. Typically, prices range from $100 to $1,000. Save money by shopping second-hand.

Car seat: $130 to $1,270

Children must be placed in the appropriate child car seat for their age, height, and weight. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are four different stages: rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seats, and seat belts. According to Consumer Reports, an all-in-one car seat can save you money, but may not perform as well as the car seats designed specifically for each stage. If you purchase a new seat for each stage, expect to pay a total of $130 to $1,270.

Formula: $1,200 to $1,500/year

While breastfeeding is certainly less expensive than using formula, not all women can or want to breastfeed their babies. Those who use formula can expect to pay approximately $1,200 to $1,500 per year, according to the Office of the Surgeon General. The good news is that you can introduce cow’s milk at 12 months of age.

Food: $2,336/year

The first few years of your baby’s life won’t increase your grocery bill in a big way. But as they grow, you’ll have to buy more food for meals and snacks.

A 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that on average, food accounts for 18% of a family’s total expenditures on a child from birth through age 17, for a total of $42,050, or $2,336 per year.

Clothing: $779/year

Babies grow up fast and need new clothes on a regular basis, but older kids aren’t any cheaper, especially if your kids want to wear the latest fashions or must have the same $150 shirt that all their friends are wearing. Based on the numbers cited in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 report on child-rearing expenditures, you can expect to drop about $779 a year on your children’s clothes.

Moving: $2,300 to $4,300/move

A couple living in a one-bedroom apartment will probably move while expecting their first baby and will likely move again in a few more years as their family grows. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an intrastate move is around $2,300, while an interstate move could cost about $4,300.

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs: $1,025/year

Ear infections, laryngitis, pneumonia: during their first few years, babies get sick a lot. While the cost of prescription drugs is mainly covered by public or private insurance, there’s almost always a small deductible to pay. These small amounts can easily add up to a large sum by the end of the year if your baby gets sick multiple times.

Don’t forget to factor in all the OTC drugs you’ll need, like children’s syrups and saline drops, that aren’t usually covered by insurance but are still needed to keep your baby healthy. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation Analysis of National Health Expenditures Account, retail prescription drug spending in the U.S. was $1,025 per capita in 2017.

Le transport : 5 044 $ CA/année

Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to rush out and buy a new car right away. That said, you may want to get a new car sooner to get one that’s better suited to your new lifestyle, especially if you have more than one kid. A small city car might not cut it anymore.

Being a parent also means driving more. Pretty soon you’ll have to drop your little one off at daycare, and then school. These establishments aren’t always on the way to work and may require extra driving. Your evenings and weekends are no longer about getting some R&R—but about toing and froing your kids to all their extracurricular activities.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 report, transportation accounted for 15% of an average family’s spending on a child from birth to age 17, or about $2,076 per year.

Childcare: $9,000 to $9,600/year

Unless you can afford to stay at home, you’ll likely send your kids to daycare while you work. As Fortune reports, the average cost is difficult to estimate as it varies by state and type of care center, but based on figures from ChildCare Aware of America’s 2018 report, it usually costs somewhere between $9,000 and $9,600 per year.

Recreation: $3,203/year

Museums, amusements parks, movies, the zoo: the list of outings that parents can do with their kids is long indeed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average consumer spent $3,203 on entertainment in 2017, but this amount is likely to be even higher for families with bigger incomes.

Extracurricular activities: $1,000/year

Not all children want to become professional athletes or musicians, but if your kid does, be prepared to spend a lot of money, especially when they become a teenager. A survey by Capital One found that 37% of families planned to spend over $1,000 per child on school and extracurricular activities for the 2017 school year.

School supplies: $112/back-to-school season

Every year, from kindergarten to the end of high school, you’ll need to buy school supplies such as books, pencils, and scissors for your child. Every teacher sends out a list of articles that you must adhere to so that your child doesn’t get in trouble.

In 2018, families were expected to spend an average of $112 on school supplies, according to a survey by Deloitte.

Summer camp: $35 to $1,000/week

Parents still aren’t out of the woods once their kids have graduated from daycare and started school. Unless you can take your summers off, you’ll need to send your kids to day camp. According to Our Kids, day camps cost between $35 and $500 a week, and overnight camps run between $300 and $1,000 a week.

Seeing a psychologist, neuropsychologist, speech therapist, or other health professionals: $65 to $250 per hour

As they grow up, your child may need to see a psychologist, neuropsychologist, speech therapist, or other health professionals for various reasons (anxiety, behavioral problems, being gifted, etc.).

The average cost of private psychotherapy in the U.S. is between $65 and $250 per hour and usually several sessions are needed. However, most schools provide free counseling services for students.

Vacations: $1,978/year

Travelling with children costs more. You have to book a bigger hotel room and, if you fly, you need to book one or more extra seats. According to a survey by travel insurance company Allianz, Americans planned to spend an average of $1,978 on their summer vacation in 2017, but this amount is likely higher for families.

Life insurance: $418 per year

You don’t have to get life insurance, but it’s highly recommended when you have a child. It can cover some or all of the costs associated with the untimely death of a parent. Expect to spend about $418 per year on life insurance, based on the 2017 average reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Changing your will: $150 to $1,000

When you have a child, you usually need to update your will. After all, you don’t want your old flame to inherit everything you own. Getting a basic will written should cost around $150, but the cost can run as high as $1,000 or more if the document is more complicated, reports Investopedia.

Private school: $7,770 to $13,030/year

Not all parents can afford to send their kids to private school, and it’s easy to understand why. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition costs an average of $7,770 per year for elementary school and $13,030 for high school.

Giving birth: $32,093 to $51,125

You better be made of strong stuff to have a baby in America. According to the organization Childbirth Connection, a normal birth at a hospital costs parents on average $32,093. If a cesarean child birth is required, the bill jumps to $51,125.

Even if the parents are insured, this doesn’t necessarily mean that their insurer will foot the whole bill. They’re often on the hook for thousands of dollars.

Childcare: $800 to $1,230/month

Unless you can afford to stay at home, you’ll likely send your kids to daycare while you work. Sending your child to a family childcare home costs on average $800 a month. Center-based childcare costs $1,230 a month. Either way, it’s a big expense for many families.

Health care not covered by insurance: $1,180 to $1,300/year

The cost of health care not covered by insurance has increased significantly in recent years in the United States, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture. Every year, American parents spend between $1,180 and $1,300 to care for their children.

University dorm: $8,887 to $10,089/year

By about age 17, your child may be heading off to college. If they want to study out of state, they’ll probably have to rent a student dorm. The cost of renting a campus dorm ranges from $8,887 to $10,089 a year so they will probably need to get a roommate.

College: $8,600 to $34,920/school year

Even before their first child is born, many parents start saving money to send their kids to college, and it’s easy to see why. A four-year bachelor’s degree costs on average $8,600 a year in tuition at a public school in the United States. Tuition can be up to $34,920 if they attend a private school.


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