What Are The Costs Of Raising a Child?

Being a parent and raising a child is a priceless experience. It is one of the most worthwhile ways that someone can spend their life. But even so, many people are wondering what the complete, true cost to raise a child to adulthood is in the world today. Well, this answer may be shocking but it will help you see how much it might cost to raise a child.

costs of raising a child

By researching this question, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has come up with an interesting figure. They state that the average amount of money it will take to raise a child that was born in 2013 to age 18 is $245,000. This is for the middle-class, average family. This figure will be shocking to most people and they will probably exclaim “How can this be possible?” but it must be accepted that it can be very expensive to raise a child. There are quite a few expenses that have contributed to this amount and here is a summary of those expenses.

Housing Expenses and Transportation

The most expensive piece that you will need to plan for is the expense for transportation and housing that your little child will need. Most likely this will be up to 2/5 of the total money estimate. Often when children come along the family finds that they need a larger house so it is pretty easy to see why this cost is so high. By adding in the expense of a taxi driver to take the child back and forth to school and all the after-school activities, this quickly becomes a large portion of the total expense.

Daycare and Education

Another 1/6 of the total expense for raising a child will go to education and childcare. Most of the time it is necessary to have daycare to help with the raising of a child and this can represent a big part of the take-home pay for the parent. You might very well examine the expense for childcare and wonder whether it is even worthwhile to work considering this cost.


Another considerable expense that parents should consider is the cost for food. Your child will literally eat up approximately 1/6 of your expenses for childrearing. With certain expenses as, for example, housing you can live in a more frugal way and hold down the cost some by learning to survive on less. But it is almost impossible to do this with food because every time you add a new person to the family the cost will multiply. And, if you have a child with food allergies, you will need to buy a special kind of groceries and that will cost even more.


Clothing is another item in the budget that children cannot go without. The cost for clothes may be about 1/7 of the total expense. You will be lucky if a relative or friend wants to give you their hand-me-downs. But once your child reaches his or her teens they will have their own taste and style so this will no longer be possible. You and your child will never agree about the usefulness of the clothing that is free.

As you can see, it is not inexpensive to raise a child. Some people even reconsider whether or not they want children once they consider this estimate. But in the end, there is no way to put a price tag on this truly unbelievable experience. Anyone who has had the blessing of children will agree that it is definitely worth the expense and stress just to be able to parent those children.

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