How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?

When my wife and I first decided to have a baby, the first financial thought that came into my head was this: How much will it cost to raise a child?

Looking online, I found a lot of simple answers. Some estimates even put the cost at as much as $300,000 over the course of raising them from birth to 18 years old. Many of the answers I read didn’t seem detailed enough, though. It’s one thing to claim that raising a child costs $300,000, but that number doesn’t truly reflect how it will fit your personal situation. Some of the issues not addressed in these types of estimates include: What about secondary education costs? Is the mother breastfeeding? Are you using disposable or reusable diapers?

Calculating the cost of raising a child in Canada

I came across some data compiled by Manitoba Agriculture (chart no longer online) that seemed to be detailed enough to give a true picture of what you can expect to spend on certain categories, by year. However there were two problems: The data was broken out by boys and girls and, more importantly, was from 2004.

The difference in gender was only about $500 more in food for boys over childhood. So I decided to average the numbers to represent any child. While it’s likely that certain categories have had more inflation than others, I used the Bank of Canada’s Inflation Calculator to increase all the expenses to 2013 levels, based off of the annual inflation rates of the past 9 years.

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?

Even though they might not be perfect, the numbers I came up with should provide you with a reasonable expectation of what it will cost to raise a child from birth to 18 years of age. While the total is $197,285, you could remove the first year of food expense if the mother decides to breastfeed, or zero out the child care costs if one parent plans on staying home.

As you can see, there are ways to adjust the numbers in your chart to more closely reflect your family’s situation.

Age
Food
Clothing
Health Care
Personal Care
Rec, Reading, Gifts, School Needs
Trans-
portation
Child Care
Shelter, Furnishings, Household Operations
TOTAL
TTL$33,399$16,524$5,042$4,100$19,117$4,837$64,347$49,919$197,285
Inf$1,783$2,035$167$0$0$0$5,403$2,552$11,940
1$951$525$167$132$675$0$7,334$2,714$12,498
2$1,024$546$167$132$675$0$6,151$2,669$11,364
3$1,024$546$265$132$675$0$6,151$2,624$11,417
4$1,367$558$265$132$675$0$6,151$2,624$11,772
5$1,367$558$265$132$767$89$6,151$2,624$11,953
6$1,367$605$265$131$862$89$4,501$2,624$10,444
7$1,641$583$265$129$1,158$89$4,501$2,624$10,990
8$1,641$583$265$129$1,158$89$4,501$2,624$10,990
9$1,641$611$265$129$1,158$89$4,501$2,624$11,018
10$1,958$611$265$129$1,158$89$4,501$2,624$11,335
11$1,958$611$265$129$1,158$89$4,501$2,624$11,335
12$1,958$1,168$308$320$1,124$602$0$2,624$8,104
13$2,210$1,168$308$320$1,124$602$0$2,624$8,356
14$2,210$1,168$308$320$1,138$602$0$2,624$8,370
15$2,210$1,162$308$426$1,339$602$0$2,624$8,671
16$2,363$1,162$308$426$1,339$602$0$2,624$8,824
17$2,363$1,162$308$426$1,339$602$0$2,624$8,824
18$2,363$1,162$308$426$1,595$602$0$2,624$9,080

I think this chart covers all the expenses of raising a child fairly well. If you are planning on having a baby, you can use this chart to help you get a reasonable idea of what you can expect to pay. For new parents, this is especially helpful so that you can plan out your budget for the first couple of years of your child’s life.

Factor your lifestyle into the numbers

You should also consider the cost of maternity leave as well as looking beyond that if a parent plans to stay at home for more than one year to raise the child. The cost of lost wages can have an impact on your family’s finances, so it makes sense to take this into account.

The chart does not, however, include the costs involved if you choose to help pay for your child’s further education. If you plan to do that, you might consider adding $2,500 a year into an RESP to get the maximum Canada Education Savings Grant.

It’s also worth noting that, in many cases, having multiple children doesn’t just double total costs in each category. Hand-me-downs can reduce clothing costs for subsequent children. Additionally, transportation costs are unlikely to increase at a rapid rate, since you won’t need a separate car or a completely separate trip.

After thinking about all these expenses and reduced salary, there is something you get to look forward: Tax breaks from the government. This includes the Canada Child Tax Benefit and Universal Child Care Benefit, as well as the spousal amount if a parent’s income is under $10,822. Other tax savings include claiming up to $7,000 in childcare expenses and up to $500 for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and another $500 for the Children’s Arts Tax Credit.

Written by Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of Canadian Finance Blog. While you’re here, consider signing up for the RSS feed or email subscription. Both deliver the latest articles directly to you everyday! Have a Twitter account? Then follow me for all the latest posts or to send me any comments or questions!

47 Responses to How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?

  1. Marcie says:

    Just wondering which category diapers fall under and how much they are estimated to cost?

  2. Connie says:

    I have never seen it broken down quite like that. Thanks for the info!

  3. Wow! I knew it was a lot, but never have seen the cost breakdown like this.

    My wife and I were just saying we can’t wait til we get both of our little ones out of diapers – that will save us a good $100/mo. easily!

    Being a daddy is worth any price though!

  4. Canadian CC says:

    I have 2 kids and I use to say that I have 2 BMW’s in my driveway (while looking at them playing around).

    I budget $400/month for them and I manage to cover all expenses (but I don’t have to pay for school yet). It will surely increase once my older one start school next year!

  5. JoeTaxpayer says:

    Every item looks like a median type number. WE had a nanny come 40hrs a week, while we both worked. That was $30K/yr for 5 years.
    When my daughter was 3, she was ordering off the adult menu at restaurants, the food number above isn’t a fraction of her food bill.
    There’s also no number for college savings.

    Interesting numbers, though.
    Joe

    • Amanda says:

      Not everyone has a nanny. In fact the amount of people who can afford a nanny is most certainly negligible. Also, my child does not order off the adults menu because she does not need to. You seem wealthy, why would you even care about the cost of a child?

      • cam says:

        Then how do you explain say, this woman whose poverty article went viral where she claims she only sees her children an hour a day.
        http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4326233
        Clearly she has a nanny caring for her children while her and her husband work two jobs and go to school.just because someone cannot afford a nanny does not mean they don’t have one. The guy above is being humane and paying his nanny a living wage. Not everyone is that compassionate.

  6. Ami says:

    Keeping this for future reference for sure. Thanks!

  7. nataliejoan says:

    Great chart. I present often at baby shower showcases, talking to expecting parents about coping with the financial impact of a new child. I like your figures much better than those I’ve been using, and will bookmark this post.

  8. Sara Landriault says:

    if you have a parent at home, it does not always mean you will save money.
    Add more expenses for hydro, water, heat, food etc… and then take a salary away from the parent at home. The actual cost of being at home would be more than a paid working job.

    Example:

    daycare costs cover food, shelter, heat, hydro & water for an average of 8 hours a day.
    If a parent is at home those costs come back to the house hold.
    Lets say dad stays home and he made $40,000 a year, take away that $40,000 and add the household bills from the 8 hours the child was in daycare and then show the actual cost of being at home.

    Sometimes economics is not as simple as you think, unless you live in it.

    • Tom Drake says:

      Sara Landriault,

      That’s a good point about items like food and utilities. While you can remove expenses in the Child Care column, there would have to be an increase in the Food and Household Oeprations columns.

  9. Uh, your ‘costs of childcare’ column is a bit tilted towards male paradigm traditional economics. In that section you seem to define childcare as only 3rd party care, and costs as only paid receipted costs. That is the only error I can see of your very excellent otherwise charts, but it does significantly tilt the conclusion.
    The real ‘cost’ of caring for a child is the cost of either paying some stranger in direct costs – eg. daycare – or and this is what you seem to miss, the loss of income if you forego income to provide the care yourself. A parent who could earn $40,000 a year and is home has a childcare cost of $40,000. A parent who is earning when the child is in school so does not use daycare, nevertheless may be earning only part-time in order to be there when the child is. The income loss may be $20,000 a year. Those losses are very dramatic to the household budget. Salary loss also means loss of medical dental benefits, loss of vacation pay, loss of pension benefits so the hit is even higher than the salary loss itself. And the state, rather than being kind and ignoring how you earn money and just taking how much you earn, also prejudices how you earn. If you are in a household of two earners each making $30,000 you will pay little tax. If however you and your partner earn $40,000 and $20,000, you pay more tax than the first couple and if you heaven forbid earn $50,000 and $10,000 with one of you home a lot with the baby, your taxes are even higher. So there are signficant tax costs to add to the ‘childcare’ cost decision.

    The result ends up that the costliest way to raise a child for any household is at home, where the state pays very little and you have to take out of savings to stay afloat. The costliest way to raise a child from government point of view though is to use 3rd party daycare since then the state gives $10,000 per child just to set up a space each year and then lets parents also get a deduction for their out of pocket expenses on top of that.
    The ‘costs’ of childcare therefore are a real issue of contention for parents because the definitions are so muddied.
    The federal government in 1999 when I made a UN human rights complaint, said that if you are a parent at home you must be idle and rich and a wealthy banker’s wife. They assumed since you endured all those tax penalties you must be rolling in money. They ignored studies by the CCSD that found that the parent at home is often living below the poverty level, precisely because it costs so much to be home with the baby.

    So the state actually is funding most generously the ones who are least poor- the dual income families that pay low tax, the mat benefits that give more the more you used to earn.

    In a fair world we would fund all kids equally and then the decision to be home with the baby or use sitter, nanny, dayhome, tag-team parents or daycare, whatever, would be your personal choice only. The state would not prejudice the decision.

  10. Agreed with Sara.

    Having a parent at home only means you save on ONE aspect of the costs, but you have to do the cost-benefit analysis with the parent going back to work and paying for daycare, to really see if you’re getting a deal.

  11. sco says:

    The cost presented is only a partial cost. It does not contain the cost of income lost (at least one parent usually stays at home at least one year) and the cost of education (even if the parents don’t directly pay the tuition they are probably paying or contributing to other expenses for their over 18 years old children).
    Also not included is the cost of having to live in a larger house.
    Probably the minimal total cost is somewhere around $300k.
    However, that’s just one aspect of the issue. Usually children are had when people are young in their 20s and 30s. From a money management perspective that is a very bad decision. If the money spent to raise a child would be invested at 8-10%, then the future value 20, 30 or 40 years later would be much higher. For example the future value of 18 15k payments at 10% is almost 700k. That is the real cost for one children: 700k in 18 years. So basically a couple could presumably retire after 18 years without any additional savings if they would not have a child.
    From a financial point of view, the best thing to do (if one still wants children despite all the negatives) is to delay that until after financial freedom is gained (probably till around 40). in this way, the couple could actually enjoy having and raising the children instead of having the government doing that for them.

  12. Mike says:

    sco, you sound like you don’t have kids.

    Kids are not a financial vehicle, they are a life choice, at least for me and my wife. We make choices around them that are not always the best financially, because we feel they are the best for our family’s quality of life. For example, my wife is a stay at home mom, by choice. Sure, we’d have more money and more flexibility if we were both working, but we can’t stand the idea of a daycare effectively raising our children for us. Not the best financial decision, but easily the best decision for us.

  13. sco says:

    Mike, I do have a kid (fortunately not a plural for me). That does not stop me from thinking rationally about the costs and the fact that it was not a wise decision from a financial point of view. As you’ve mentioned, there are other kind of benefits to having children. However, there are benefits in driving a Ferrari or having larger houses or spending 20k/week on vacations, but those benefits don’t make those decisions smart ones from a financial (or environmental) point of view.
    For me it’s strange that people who otherwise count pennies, when it comes to children they forget any financial planning or any rational thinking.

    And I think we should also talk about the heavy cost on environment of bringing yet more humans into this overcrowded world. I think it’s not very smart from the point of view of our survivability as a species. This is a cost that almost no one is talking about.

    • Tom Drake says:

      sco & Mike,
      While it’s true that having children is not a great choice from a purely financial view, of course that’s not the reason we chose to have kids. Once that decision is made, the best we can do is to find a balance between being the best parents we can be and looking to save money and earn income.

  14. Marie says:

    Your cost/benefit analysis on having both parents working and enrolling their child in a daycare center does not take into consideration the fact, that in one or two years’ time, one or both of them will get promoted and have a larger earning capacity. So much so that childcare costs will look minuscule to their earnings, or enough for one of them to care full time for their child comfortably.

    • joydot says:

      wow. tell me where these jobs are that make daycare fees look miniscule. i’ve been here 18 months and have seen the opposite. people are getting less out of putting more in. add in canadas approaching correction and its all going to be ugly.

  15. Chris says:

    Good price for such a valuable investment.

  16. Jen says:

    Vacations or the need to move to a bigger home as the child gets older. I guess these are not necessities but there are many other factors that could change the numbers quite a bit..

  17. felyB says:

    Children are becoming far more expensive to look after, as reported by the U.S. DOA. The cost of nurturing to age 18 has gone up by $40,000 since 1960, when adjusted for the cost of living. I read this here: USDA announces cost of raising a child is going up. Families making between $57,000 and $99,000 will spend $11,800 to $13,830. Families making $99,000 or more are projected to spend $19,770 to $23,690 per year each child. These numbers are all based on 2010 spending patterns.

    • Stephen Welton says:

      The figures in this article ring true for me, whereas the USDA figures are ridiculous! Do the math. If you make $100,000 per year; pay $30,000 in federal and provincial taxes; pay $10,000 for the expenses of 2 cars; then pay $40,000 for 2 kids; you’ve only got $20,000 for the two parents to live on. Other than the assumptions of housing costs for the kids, you still haven’t accounted for the housing costs for the parents. How does that work?!? Obviously, it doesn’t, so the premise must be flawed.

      • Jamie says:

        In Canada the average person has credit card debt that’s about $40,000, not mortgages, and I also think it doesn’t include lines of credit. Think of how much worse it is in the states, and consider the unfortunate answer to the problem you presented: massive credit card debt.

  18. Steve says:

    Having two kids in daycare for the last 7 years, I’m interested in how your childcare costs are only averaging around $5k. We were paying $12K per year for one child under the age of 5 and that was in one of the cheaper daycares in Toronto.

  19. jean says:

    My sister in PEI and I (in SK) have discussed the daycare issue extensively. We both have university degrees but could not find employment in our areas of study on graduation. So we took other low paying jobs. We found that you could have up to 2 children, put them in daycare and still take home money. But as soon as you threw in special needs (twice the price at daycare), or the third child, the costs of daycare exceeded your take home. We both chose to stay home with our children as a result.

  20. NoriMori says:

    “I came across some data compiled by Manitoba Agriculture (chart no longer online)”

    Yes it is. Right here: http://home.gicable.com/~jqgregg/Cost%20of%20raising%20children.pdf

  21. Jay says:

    I think the “health care” portion of this chart is potentially greatly underestimated. The chart estimates as low as $119. A couple routine dentist visits alone cost more than that. A lot of people don’t have any extended health benefits at all. If the child happens to need medication, or dental work, it is completely uncovered by health care, and those costs can add up to a thousand quickly.

  22. Jamie says:

    I think this list falls short. One little thing that I have a problem with before my rant is that my little brother has eaten twice as much as I have since he was born. $500 difference may not be entirely accurate for food.

    If you are going to upgrade from a house or apartment for two to a house where kids are going to be, it’ll be a lot more than just $46k. Extra bedroom space, area to play in, decent backyard, not to mention *location*. If you’re childfree it doesn’t matter where you live – when you have kids it’s necessary to live closer to schools, parks, unless you don’t mind your kid being at home cooped up all day, live in a generally safer area. And don’t forget this all increases property taxes. Of course, this wouldn’t apply per child – just the first, plus however much it costs for an extra bedroom for each additional child.

    I’ve only dealt with Shelter in that column. I don’t imagine Furniture is too much of an expense, especially later on. Drawers, bed mirror, desk, crib, nightstand, lamps and a few extra shelves can’t cost too much considering it’s sufficient to assume furniture is a one time expense. 1-2k maybe? Tops for 18 years?

    Household operations – I’m assuming general maintenance, electricity, gas, hydro, any kind of repairs, cleaning supplies, tools to fix stuff maybe? … I have no idea how much this would cost, but all of these would increase with children in the house, and seeing as the chart is probably over budget, I’m not going guess.

    Next column, child care. Assuming it’s a cheap babysitter working at $5 an hour 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that’s $10k a year assuming only 40 hours of care a week is necessary, and 2 weeks of vacation time to take care of the kid. Way over budget.

    Transportation. I’m not sure how much my parents paid for my transportation when I was younger, but they always paid for my TTC metro pass, which was $99 a month so I could travel to school on my own. for 10 school months, that’s already $1k, not including when they would drive me places on occasion, and month for bus tickets during the summer. From 13-18, would be roughly 5k-6k in public transportation alone. This one is only slightly over budget, but then factor in the cost of family-suited gas guzzlers compared to more environmentally friend, cheap cars.

    I’m not sure what the RRGS section would cost. Some of my friends went to private schools that were $10,000 for only 4 years (high school). Recreation was a huge thing for me. I was in piano, swim, soccer, dance/ballet all at once for a few years, then took up softball for only a year. My brother also participated in these things, except he had a tutor instead of going to ballet because he wasn’t it and need help with math. I really respect and am grateful for my mother pushing us to try a bit of everything – I have a love for piano, an appreciation for dance, and a job because of swim. I honestly think that parents should enrol their kids in at least one sport, and at least one activity like instruments, or crafts. It’s physically and mentally healthy. It’s not necessary, of course – you’re kid can grow up to be just fine without all of that, but you’re going to have a kid, I personally think you should make sure you do all you can to better their live, and activities such as this bring them happiness, well being, dreams, and also keeps them out of trouble.

    For the sake of argument, I’m going to assume that this one is under budget, but anyone taking this list seriously should consider extra curricular activities.

    Clothing can’t be just $1000 a year for teens… I mean, not unless they wear the same 15 outfits all the time, or unless they shop wholesale? The price for boys must also be a little higher since they grow a lot. And the price goes up in colder environments I’m sure, for suitable winter clothes.

    That’s all I have to knock, really, but here are a few things this list probably doesn’t include:

    - car for when they’re a teen
    - insurance for that car
    - gas and repair for the car
    - cell phone plan. (at $30 a month from the age of 12 is an additional 2k)
    - family vacations
    - a good computer for school. Mine cost just under 2k
    - Extra spending month for the kid. Come on, are you not going to give your kid money for the movies? Even if they earn it with house work, your still dishing out the dough.
    - presents for friends birthday parties
    - braces. Mine cost 6k. My brothers cost less.
    - Time off you’ll have to take when you’re kids get sick, or when they get you sick. People with kids are far more likely to get sick.
    - Having kids means you’re going to have to dedicate less time to your job, as it should be – kids need and deserve attention, and if you’re going to bring them into this world, I think you should be prepared to give it. Anyway, less time to your job, more sick days, spending your vacation days or sick days looking after them, and not being flexible in terms of being able to stay late or handle special projects probably makes parents far less likely to be promoted. How can this list possibly take that into account?
    - parents, especially stay at home moms, are more likely to suffer from depression and stress. If you need to attend therapy or take meds that’s a lot of money.
    - pets that you otherwise would never have bought
    - If I were planning on having a kid, I’d also chuck in an extra 10k-20k just in case something I didn’t expect shows up. You never know, and I wouldn’t rely on just one chart to get it.

    And I can tell you right now that less than a quarter of the kids at my high school had jobs when I graduated. In fact, not even a lot of my friends at university have them. I had a part time job, only 4 hours a week, short shift, but I honestly don’t think it’s necessary that they get one. University is so much work, I’m glad I enjoyed my childhood. Granted, I wouldn’t have as big of a loan as I do now, but, oh well.

  23. Mary says:

    My husband and I have 5 children. Yes 5. We have been married 22 years. The children, 4 boys and 1 girl (last 2 are twins) are between the ages of 15 – 21 years. I cannot say it has been easy but we have done okay.
    My husband has a trade (earns around $60,000/year) and commutes a 1/2 hour. When our first child was born, I was working at a printing company making minimum wage. I returned to work when baby was 7 months old and immediately discovered I was expecting again. If I put both babies in daycare, I would have been left with $50 a week after paying for the sitter! Luckily, my sister, a newly graduated teacher, had her first child 18 days before my second one was born, so I stayed home and looked after all our kids and she paid me. I ended up staying at home for 15 years and only returned to the workforce in 2006. One income did us just fine. We started off in a 1 bed apartment, going to a 2 bed, then 3 bed townhome rental, then 4 bed link home (our own), now 5 bed detached home in nice area. The 2 houses that we owned were both well below market fixer-uppers which we reno’d over the years. Made $30,000 on the first one after 8 years and this one is prob $120,000 more valuable 9 years later on. Had 1 car and no vacations (other than camping) for many years. Shopped the sales. Enjoyed yard sales and second hand stores. Cooked at home, ate out little. Used family for babysitters. Grew a garden. Sold Avon, Discovery Toys, ran a small home based catering service. Oh yes and I breast feed every single one of them, including the twins, then made my own baby food. Had 3 in diapers for a while … did try cloth but it wasn’t good on my kids’ skin.
    Today, 1 has moved out, rents his own house and works at a factory warehouse full time, musician part time. The second son has graduated from police foundations and is 1 year away from a degree in police studies, while working at a KFC. Son 3 is graduating grade 12 in June and is going on to take sports marketing in college. He washes dishes at a restaurant. My 15 twins are in grade 10. They do paper routes and babysitting. All know if you want money … get a job! lol
    We have now had 1 big family trip … March Break 2011 to Florida! Long awaited and much enjoyed. We do get away to Darien Lake, NY, for 2 days each summer and still camp every year too. This summer, 3 of us in this house (who can pay their own way) are going to (my birth place) Scotland then France. We have 2 cars now.
    I would say being patient is very key … be prepared to wait for the ‘extras’ and they will come. Yes we do have RRSPs and savings and insurance etc. We never found it necessary to get into big time debt to have things right away. The kids get little extras like pocket money, lessons, sports etc. but we don’t believe in buying them cars or insuring cars for them etc. A little struggling and working to get things is good for them. That probably sounds really old fashioned! lol My husband and I still don’t eat out a lot, but that’s more by choice now. We probably like things simple anyway. I’ve never been one for high fashion clothes, tanning, spas, gel nails etc. I just wanted to say that yes you can raise a big bunch of happy, healthy children without a huge bank account and still save for the future.

    • Jamie says:

      If he makes $60k a year, that’s $1.44 million dollars he should make after 24 years of raising kids until age 18. I use 24 because it will take 24 years for you and your spouse to raise each of your kids to the age of 18 because there is a 6 year age gap between your youngest and eldest. You also said that selling the house gave you $30k, so over 24 years you’ve made almost $1.47 million dollars.

      How much do you have in savings? Assuming you only spent no more than $200k on each kid, you should have $470k left over in savings once your last child is 18. Well, that’s not fair, since the two of you aren’t included in living expenses. So, let’s say you will spend $10k on both you and your husband combined each year over 24 years as, since necessities like utilities, car coverage, and increase mortgage are all included in the $200k. That would mean you should have:

      [ 1,470,000
      [ – 5(200,000)
      ——————————
      [ 470,000

      I subtracted just the cost of kids from what your husband made and the extra 30k.

      [ 470,000
      [ – 24(10,000)
      ——————————-
      [ 230,000

      By the time your all of your kids are 18, your husband and yourself should have about $230k in savings if it only takes $200k to raise each of the kids, and you only spend $10k between the both of you over that time each year. But on top of this $230k, you should have whatever money you made by babysitting kids. I assume it was only a few thousand, if that. I also don’t think $10k is unreasonable since you said that you two were comfortable and preferred simple lives, you described numerous ways you saved money, you saved on childcare, and basic costs of living are already included with the $200k for each kid for the most part.

      So do you really have an extra $230k? No? Well then, it’s possible that your husband and yourself spend $15k each year between the two of you, and you should have $110k left.

      Still don’t have $110k in the bank? Well maybe you spent an extra $22k on your kids year, and you break even if you have absolutely no savings.

      That would make $220,000 on each kid! And you had 5 kids! That’s $1.1 million! How can you say that’s not expensive?

      Your life sounded very nice – it’s not an attack on you, your husband, or your kids. It’s just that you did spend a lot of money on your kids, even if you don’t realize it. Some might also argue that you also lost an additional 10k a year since you weren’t working (I assumed 10k because you said you were paid at minimum wage, and I just assumed you weren’t working full time). That’s an additional $240k that you lost in having kids because you couldn’t work. If you think you would have made $20k a year, that’s $480k that you lost.

      It’s a lot of money.

      • Income says:

        I think when you were estimating their net – you used his gross income – what about all the tax deductions off the top of the $60? You have to take that not the gross.

    • Jamie says:

      Oh I’m sorry, did work at 2006, after 15 years.

      So That means you only lost $300k over 15 years if you earned 20k a year.

      But, you should also account for the money you’ve been making since 2006. That’s 5+ years that you should had to what you should have saved if you really only spent $200k on your kids.

    • K says:

      I really enjoyed you’re story! I find the simple things are often the most meaningful and memorable. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Dave says:

    I guess these numbers would vary greatly on where you live, your means and the type of lifestyle you want your kids to have.

    For example, just a bus pass in my area for students is 840$ a year. How you can have 500$ per year seems beyond me.

    For clothes, we buy all our kids’ clothes in outlet stores, which comes at close to 500$ each per year, but then add winter suits/boots, shoes you can easily add another 500$ on top of that.

    Even though we get 7$/day day-care, I’d like to know how much of my income taxes goes to that so I could figure out how much I really pay.

  25. Helen says:

    Well, sometimes a larger family takes you into a larger vehicle, which has not been calculated. Also, food cost and clothing costs will vary based on whether you live in the US or Canada for example. In Canada, we generally find these two items much more expensive. Good childcare cost more than just any childcare. The real story is that those with no kids accummulate greater wealth than their parent counterparts and what’s being done about that?

  26. Robert says:

    In a major city in Canada, using home daycare or a daycare centre can cost anywhere from $10,000 – $19,000 per year (yes, there is a small tax write off for a portion of this amount, it comes off the lower-income spouse).

    Also, I don’t see where putting ones children in high level sports (or arts) gets factored in? If a child plays hockey, well there’s $1000 in equipment every couple years, and what about weekend road trips/tournaments/hotels/eating out ($1000 could be spent over one weekend on these items)? These costs really add up….also, lots of growing families tend to buy bigger vehicles and bigger houses…an extra bedroom is probably worth $20,000. etc. etc. etc.

    So I think this chart is a good start, but I would add 50%.

  27. leslie r says:

    your costs are so oversimplified as to be irrelevant. add in extra bedroom, childcare, athletics, education, fixing the problems caused by education, mileage, dental, additonal phone bills, sweet 16 etc etc. you fail to mention the huge long term opportunity costs and thus trrue economic impact. having children is financially catastrophic and only for the fearless /determined or dim. i have 2 which puts me somewhere in the middle of the continuum.

  28. Liz Lautard says:

    Hi,

    Re Costs Associated with Raising a Child, how does it differ whether you have a girl or a boy?

    Sincerely,

    Liz Lautard

  29. Ed Barnes says:

    You have estimated approx 100.00 per month for clothing. Is this realistic? How many jeans does a person need? I have twin girls 18, and they do not spend this much per month on clothing.

  30. Becky says:

    These costs are wayyyy out of whack. $4100 a year for child care? Where do you take your kids, because I want to start going there! When the kids aren’t in school, the child care cost is easily $1000 per month in Alberta for 2 children ages 10 & 11. I laugh at the food cost as well, I think they should re-do their so called ‘study’.

  31. I always thought that it would get cheaper when my two girls were out of diapers. I was sorely disappointed when they started school and came home every week with new book order forms, pizza day forms, hot dog day forms, fundraising stuff, field trips that cost AND it’s nice to give them a couple of bucks to get a cold drink or pick up a souvenir if it’s somewhere special. This is a terrific breakdown, and one that is definitely more accurate than the blanket, “$300,000 – that’s what it’ll cost ya” that you usually find. Thanks so much!

  32. tab says:

    Did any one catch the part in the original post, that it is an average cost chart and not tailored to you? The point of this chart is to have a base to start with and alternate to your finances. Nitpicking on every detail is silly. Take the just of it and make it your own .

  33. this is something amazing… never seen that we can actually estimate the total amount of future expenditure.

  34. tom says:

    I am at 800,000. and still paying and that’s only my share. If you add in her share wow something really wrong with the system then in Canada Ontario.

    • leslie r says:

      the worst part is the standard you buy into – canada has gone low grade for top dollar.

      am about to add 25000 euro annually for sons german edu but its ok as he’ll come out of it with something meaningful on a global level – which is the minimum requirement in our modern world.

  35. redrape says:

    At this time I am ready to do my breakfast, after having
    my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.

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