How Much Do Kids Really Cost?

By Kim S. — Published April 24, 2018

How Much Do Kids Really Cost?

If you are planning on having kids, then it's time for you to give some serious thought about how far you have come in terms of your financial milestones.

Having a child or even two is not going to be easy on your finances and you need to be well-prepared for any kind of financial emergencies. This is in addition to the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly expenses that are part and parcel of managing a family.

Before deciding to have children, you need to make sure that you are well-equipped for the long run. School fees, college fees, dental fees, medical fees, and so on and so forth.

According to statistics in 2017, it costs approximately $233,610 to raise a child right from his or her birth until the time they are 17. This amounts to $14,000 annually.

Here is a breakdown of how different costs are incurred:

Purchasing a home
Once you have decided to expand your family, you can no longer live in a small, dingy two-bedroom apartment. It is a lot easier to raise kids in a proper and spacious home. Apartments and rentals are alright when your kids are small but when they grow up, they need space of their own.

This is why housing occupies the top position in the list of costs incurred in raising a child.

Most buyers purchase their home on a mortgage which means that they are bound by contract to make regular monthly payments starting from at least $1,000 a month.
 
Food
Food occupies the second place in the costs of raising a child. This also varies according to the age of your child. For instance, you can expect to spend at least $2,790 annually on food when you have a teenager at home. This is much less when the children are below the ages of 10 and 12.

This is one of the reasons why raising older children are much more expensive compared to when they are toddlers.

Education
Education costs are on the rise every day and they make up to 16 percent of the total costs of raising a child. The higher the level of education, the higher are the fees.

If you want to get your kids into good schools and great colleges, be prepared to spend a fortune on tuition, accommodation, books, and so on.

Transportation
When you have kids, transportation costs are unavoidable. Children are constantly attending school, classes, games, and whatnot. Transportation is inevitable and one way or the other, you will end up spending on cab fares, gas, and public transportation. On an average, you can expect to spend about $9,000 on transportation annually. This accounts for about 14 percent of the total costs of raising a child.

Healthcare and dental expenses
When you have kids, you can expect a lot of medical and dental bills. It is best to get covered by a medical insurance when it comes to such costs. Children are bound to get sick quite often and dental work is inevitable for most children between the ages of 12 and 17.

Healthcare makes up about 6% of the costs which amounts to about $3,631 annually.

Leaving aside healthcare, pediatric dental care alone can cost anywhere between $168 to $366 annually.

Location
Lastly, all of the above expenses will vary according to the location and the state you live in. It is cheaper to raise your kids in some states more so than others.

States like New Jersey and Connecticut are more affordable for raising kids with childcare costs taking up less than 60 percent of your income. On the contrary, states like Nevada and Florida are quite expensive and childcare costs take up at least 80 percent of your income.

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