How much does it cost to raise a kid? The USDA has provided an annual estimate that families can use. Annual costs are broken down by category.
Raising kids can be expensive. But if you have it as part of your budget, you can prepare for surprises.
And the annual U.S. Department of Agriculture projections (USDA) can tell you just exactly how much to save.
It’s about $1,080 per month- kind of like renting a small living space, (depending on your location).
Admittedly, this USDA estimate only refers to raising a kid until their 17 years old. After 17, parents, of course, are wise to include the costs of post-secondary education in their budget, if their teens are heading that way.
At this point then, kids can become astronomically more expensive, due to college tuition fees. Oh, joy. (The USDA probably doesn’t go into these costs, in order to prevent parental heart attacks across the nation).
But $1,080 a month, under the age of 18, isn’t too bad. Housing is estimated to take up 29% of this total, food 18%, and childcare and education, 16%, transportation 15%, healthcare 9%, clothing 6%, and miscellaneous 7%.
Cost levels can vary, depending on your child’s particular needs and the cost of services in your area.
And the good news is that the more kids you have, the lower the cost is for each consecutive child. Housing and clothing can be shared, to a certain extent, which is a bonus.
But why learn the numbers? Experts say that understanding the cost of raising a child is important for the long term financial health of a family, which can lead to other health benefits, such as reduced stress.