Are you thinking of having a child? Perhaps the waning of the pandemic and current low unemployment make you feel ready to fulfill your biological destiny and add another mouth to the world? Before you do this, you should know how much it is likely to set you back.
According to research by Brookings Institute, the cost of raising a middle-class child from birth to age 17 is likely to be approximately $310,605. This is up from $233,610 forecast by the uS Ministry of Agriculture back in 2015, and tThis is due to higher inflation. In 2015, the forecast inflation rate was 2.2%.; the new figure is based on data from 1980 to 1997, when inflation was last relatively high. And yes, it takes those into account Fed interest rates likely to lower inflation rate hikes.
Here’s the breakdown of what percentage of your $300,000 is spent on what:
- childcare and eEducation: 16%
- Transportation: 15%
- Healthcare: 9%
- Other 7%
- clothing 6%
Before you throw in the towel on these grim numbers, I think there’s a lot that’s not reflected in the Department of Agriculture figures. Brookings’ math seems sound – I mean solid for a forecast based on future interest rates – but the Department of Agriculture doesThe report does not place the cost of raising a child in the larger picture of a family’s finances.
The Hidden One savings of child rearing
As you can see from the slightly startling chart from the Department of Agriculture, 18% of your total spending on your child is wasted on food. (Fun Fact: Kids need to eat everyone Tag.) That sounds about right, but when you consider your overall budget, you might save up Money for food when you have a child. My wife and I did.
As a carefree, childless couple, we ate out at interesting restaurants a few times a week and might have a leisurely Sunday brunch. But when the baby came, we started eating out several times a week and forgot about it which means “brunch”. Isolation during meals saved us a significant amount of money on total grocery bills. Having a child even saved the expense of eating at home, since many of our adult meals consist of half-eaten chicken nuggets that were dropped on the floor.
The same general rule applies to money we’ve saved by not vacationing in exciting places. And never go to the cinema. Oh, and not going to bars with friends or going to concerts. And ball games, to! We even spent less on clothes because we preferred to end up with baby puke on cheap shirts. The cost of buying birthday gifts went down, also because we had no more friends. These savings are easily offset by the increased amount we spent on marijuana, modern parents’ best friend.
The hidden savings that come from having LOTS of kids
The Department of Agriculture’s figures are based on a single child, but its press release acknowledges the “cheaper-by-the-dozen effect.” Mark Lino, the report’s author, said in a statement: “There are significant economies of scale when it comes to children… As families grow, children may share a bedroom, clothes and toys can be reused, and groceries can be bought in larger, cheaper packages.”
Two children are cheaper. Three even cheaper. From the fourth child it is practically free – clothes, toys, books, etc. are all passed down, and you don’t even have to worry about educating them too much. That’s what the older brothers and sisters are for.
The cost of your child’s school attendance
Your responsibility for your child doesn’t really end at 18: You must think about sending her to college. Like any sensible parent, my wife and I made a plan for college as soon as our son was born. That plan was that he would be a genius and get a full scholarship to Brown. It doesn’t seem to be working, but there’s still time. Because of this, I never looked into the estimated annual cost of college until this second when he turns 18. Hold tight. Let me just – wWhat is the actual FUCK? are you shit me? $43,370 each Year for a private school? So he can study dance? And $20,000 for a public school? Is it too late to move to a socialist utopia? Can we just come to Belgium or something?
Raise a child to learn a useful trade
you know the world will always need plumbers and electricians.