We know raising kids is expensive – but how expensive is it?
According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is $233,610. This estimate is based on a middle-income family of four and does not include any college costs. Taking into account inflation in the economy, you can expect to spend $292,017 raising a child in 2022, or more, with child care expenses increasing rapidly.
A recent study by the Brookings Institution for the Wall Street Journal found that due to unprecedented inflation rates, parents can expect a child born in 2015 to spend at least $300,000 by the time they turn 17.
While it may sound overwhelming, we’ve broken down eight major expenses for potential parents to consider and provided some tips on how to prepare mentally and financially for your child’s future.
Cost of raising a child in 2022
Housing, food and child care account for the largest percentage of children’s expenses. As they get older, you can expect to pay for additional expenses like their hobbies, sports teams, or higher food costs for your growing teen. The USDA estimates that parents can expect to pay between $15,438 and $17,375 annually to raise a child in 2022, which can vary by region and household income level.
Housing is the most expensive cost associated with raising a child, accounting for 29% of the total cost. Based on the USDA’s annual cost estimates, you’re looking at $4,981 going toward housing alone each year.
Where you choose to raise your family will affect the total amount you spend on housing each year. Size, school district and location will all affect your expenses, and our Home Affordability Calculator can help you determine how much you can afford as a potential parent. You also need to consider the cost of homeowners insurance, mortgage payments, maintenance and utilities.
The cost of food is the second largest expense to raise a child at 18%. There are many factors that can affect this spending – choosing healthy foods, buying formula for babies, your child’s age, eating at home versus eating out, and more – but on average, you spend about $3,092 each year on food. can expect to pay.
If you’re wondering how much you should spend on groceries and how to set a monthly budget, check out our Grocery Budget Calculator to keep you on track and prevent your growing family from spending more each month.
child care and education
With the cost of living rising steadily every year, parents are forced to make tough decisions to cover the expenses. Investing in child care and education is not an option for most, but more of a necessity. Coming to 16% of the total cost to raise a child, parents can expect to pay at least $2,748 a year on child care and education.
However, this annual average cost does not include expenses associated with your child going to college. The College Board found that in the 2021-22 academic year, full-time undergraduate students paid an average of $10,740 for in-state tuition and fees at a four-year public university and an average of $27,560 for out-of-state.
Saving for college doesn’t have to be intimidating. By starting college funds early or getting your kids involved in the process of growing up, you can eliminate the need for loans and avoid some of the debt associated with getting a college education.
Transportation costs make up 15% of children’s expenses, and parents can expect to pay an average of $2,576 each year. The larger your family, the more likely you are to need a larger vehicle – adding up to the car payment and vehicle maintenance expenses.
As your child grows up and becomes a teen driver, transportation costs increase – these include driving school, driver’s license and permit fees, additional vehicles, car insurance and additional gas expenses.
Healthcare accounts for 9% of child-rearing expenses, including out-of-pocket premiums and deductibles paid during the years of a child’s upbringing. Parents can expect to pay about $1,546 each year on health care, with teens in general being the most expensive.
According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, this does not take into account “expenses associated with pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care”, which “totaled $18,865”. Budgeting for a child can seem overwhelming, but you can use our nine tips to prepare yourself and your child for success and ensure that you are financially prepared to have a child. .
Clothing & Miscellaneous
Clothing and miscellaneous expenses such as entertainment, toys, or haircuts account for 6% and 7%, respectively, of the total cost. Therefore, parents can plan to spend at least $2,232 in total each year. Again, these costs will vary based on location and the need for warm clothing or the amount of money you are willing to spend on additional luxuries such as special electronics or family vacations.
Raising children is extremely rewarding and satisfying, but it can be overwhelming when you start adding up to costs. By creating a monthly budget and using tools like the Mint app to track your financial goals, you can better plan for your child’s future and reduce some of the financial stress of raising kids.
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