Monday, April 24, 2006

Which Costs More: Your Child or Your House?

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: , , ,


Our friend Stacie, who is a Registered Dietitian and nutrition consultant, pointed me to some USDA data regarding the various expenses of raising a child. You can read all the scary details for yourself at this site…

Expenditures on Children by Families

…but I’ll summarize some of the more interesting facts here.

  • Last year, the average American child cost $10,000-11,000 for food, housing, transportation, clothing, health and child care, education, and all other expenses. Below-average income families spent $8,000 a year per child, while above-average income families dished out over $15,000 for each of theirs.
  • The most expensive cost category for children was housing; it typically equaled a third of the total annual cost of a child.
  • The least expensive cost category was clothing. It’s worth noting, however, that clothing costs climbed higher for older children than any other category; a typical 12-year-old’s clothes cost double that of a 2-year-old.
  • Child care, education, and housing were the only costs to go down as a child got older. All other cost categories were higher for teenagers than for younger children.
  • Surprisingly, if you take into account the total annual costs for a child, teenagers were only $1,000 more expensive than younger children.

And for all those aspiring parents out there, keep this in mind regarding the total cost of raising a child: If you have a baby today, you will spend over $250,000 on him or her by the time he or she turns 18 in the year 2024. Considering the national median housing price is sitting around $210,000 right now, each of your children is likely to cost more than the price of your house to take care of… and that’s without putting a single penny toward college!

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