The following is a collaborative effort with financial writer Marc Brown.
Nowadays many future parents are under a lot of financial stress due to the increasing cost of raising a child in U.S. The cost of raising a child is on steady rise. From the moment your child is born, there is a new expense. It maybe new shoes, new books, or a new bike. As a parent, you want to give the little one the best of everything.
A survey conducted by The United States Department of Agriculture has stated that the expenses for child care, education, and health care has multiplied. For an average income family the range is from $11,650 to $13,530 a year depending on the age of the child. Fortunately, they provide a handy Cost of raising a Child Calculator. (Who would expect it from the Department of Agriculture?) In the calculator, you enter your region, income, the number of children and it spits out the the annual expenses of raising your child. The calculator gives you a nifty graphical representation stating the Overall Estimated Annual costs of various things like housing, food, transportation, clothing, health-care, education and other miscellaneous expenses.
Knowing how much it is likely to cost is one thing. It isn’t going to make junior any cheaper. So, here are some quick tips you can consider to reduce your expenses:
- Use cloth diapers with snappy (replacing safety pins) instead of disposable diapers.
- Buying branded-name things for kids may give you the satisfaction that you are giving your child the best. However, you can save a lot of money by sticking to brands only with foods, but with clothes you can try out some generics.
- Reuse the products, clothes or toys of your first baby for the other ones. Buying another crib just for safety purpose is not a great idea as it takes up both your money and the space at home.
- Try and make food at home for your kids rather than going out for dinner every other day. This will reduce the cost and you can also spend some time with your family at home.
- Do not spoil the kids. You may want to give them everything even if you have to go without food. However, this may lead to a lack of understanding of the value of a dollar. Praise them and gift them valuables whenever they excel in something.
Take note that the expenses differ from city to city and area to area. The South tends to have the lowest child raising cost. Urban families incur a high expense in comparison to the rural ones. If you have more than one children the cost of raising the other child decreases, naturally.
If you plan your finances well, you can provide your kid with all the happiness and none of the financial burden.