by Zac Majors
The Cost of Raising Kids
It’s no secret that kids cost money.
But how much do they really set you back?
For the average American parent, raising a child comes with a price tag of at least $12,980 every year. By the age of 17, that’s well over $230,000—and that’s before college costs come into play. High-earning families spent even more—over $370,000 according to the research.1
Of course, child-rearing costs vary from family to family, and it’s far more expensive to raise kids in some high-cost-of-living states, like Oregon and New York.2
Plus, kids don’t magically stop costing you money once they turn 18. College, rent, insurance, and helping out adult children can all add up.
No matter how old your kids are, spending money is an unavoidable part of raising them.
What does that money go toward?
Here’s a breakdown of some the biggest costs of raising kids.
Childcare $2,000 - $22,000 per year
Whether it’s school programs, babysitters, or full-time care, parents can spend a shocking amount of money on childcare. However, the benefits of career stability to parents and the socialization and stimulation children receive in high-quality care, can make the expense a worthwhile choice for many.
Health Care $1,150 - $3,170 per year
Parents have to shell out for out-of-pocket doctor and dentist visits as well as health insurance premiums, prescriptions, and other medical expenses. Health care costs for the under-18 crowd has the highest rate of inflation, meaning parents may end up spending even more in the years to come.4
$3,600 - $5,000 per Year
Whether it’s buying a bigger house, or finding a good school district, about $1 in every $3 spent on kids goes toward keeping a roof over their heads.
$2,300 - $3,500
Pick eaters or not, food costs add up.
$10,400 - $36,800+ Per Year
Though the individual cost of college varies, tuition costs double above every decade.5 Since college graduates end up earning about 56% more than non-college graduates, these higher education costs can be well worth it.
The joy of kids and family makes the cost worth it.
Whether you’re raising a young child, sending your kid off to college, or watching your kids raise the next generation, kids cost a lot in America. There’s no getting around that.
And money is just one way you’re spending on your kids. In fact, research shows that parents aren’t just spending more money on children these days—they’re also spending more time and energy on their kids than ever before.
Because parents and grandparents want to give the kids in their family the best possible life.
Often, that means doing more than just housing, feeding, and educating kids. It can mean taking them to ball games and concerts, paying for special lessons, throwing memorable birthday parties, taking vacations, and more. These activities and experiences you enjoy with your children can create lifelong memories you can never put a price tag on.
Of course, all of that does come with some up-front costs. But we think most parents would agree that the costs are worth it.
If you’re thinking about how to balance the costs of kids with your personal needs and future, call our office. We’ve helped lots of parents and grandparents figure out ways to give their kids a great start while still saving for the future, and We’d be honored to help you, too.