Last year the Wall Street Journal reported on the United States Department of Agriculture estimate that it costs a middle-class family at least $300,000 to raise one child to adulthood. The Wall Street Journal reported that this number is far too low. It estimated the true cost to be closer to $900,000 when lost wages for stay-at-home parents and the costs of college are factored in.
The Huffington Post listed eight reasons for the expensive cost of children: child care, health care, technology, transportation, extracurricular activities, college, food and housing.
The biggest share of the expense in raising a child is housing at 30%, followed by education and child-care at 18%, food at 16%, transportation at 14% and health care at 8%. Extracurricular activities are harder to estimate, since by definition, they are optional.
Health care may not come to mind for the families who have adequate insurance coverage at work. Maybe it will decrease for more with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or as it is widely called, Obamacare.
Low cost colleges are charging $50,000 per year. And the price is going up each year.
So what are families giving up in order to make ends meet? After all, we are talking about the cost of a single child. The costs multiply when more children are in the family.
Child care can not be avoided in a home with working parents. Good child care is expensive. It easily runs the cost of monthly rent in the area in which the family lives¸ again the cost is per child.
Housing is tough for many families. Living in most urban areas is not cheap. More rural areas exchange housing costs for transportation costs. With the price of gasoline, this is not always a cheaper choice. However, on a regional basis, it cost the most to raise a child in the urban northeast of the United States and least in rural areas of the country.
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