Good question: How much does a kid cost?


With Michelle and I at the twenty-three week mark in her pregnancy, I couldn’t help but notice a new statistic from the U.S. Department of Agriculture report (PDF) on how much it really costs to raise a child:

[A] middle-income family with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend about $234,900 ($295,560 if projected inflation costs are factored in). That’s a 3.5% increase from 2010 and a 23% hike from 1960 (that’s when the USDA first issued this report) when the cost of raising a child was equivalent to $191,723.

And that doesn’t include college:

If you’re already balking at the quarter-million dollar price tag, consider this: the report stops at age 17. Parents who send their children to college can add a significant sum to the total. The report notes estimate by the College Board that in 2011-2012, annual average tuition and fees were $28,500 at 4-year private (non-profit) colleges, while annual room and board was $10,089.

Judging by the volume of adorable dresses already hanging in Ella’s closet, I think these estimates are, um, best-case scenarios.