smart spending

Cost of raising children

Tallying the costs of life's big events
Having children

Having children

When your family starts to expand, so must your budget. In fact, your little bundle of joy usually comes with a hefty bill on arrival.

The average charge for a hospital labor and birth in 2009, the last year for which information is available, ranged from $9,617 to $21,495, depending on the method and whether there were complications, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Agency and private adoption fees range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more, while international adoptions cost $7,000 to $30,000, according to Adoption.com. There is little to no cost for adopting through the foster care system.

The website BabyCenter.com features calculators that estimate the cost of child care. The cost of a baby's first year totals $10,158, including $768 per month for six months of day care, $105 per month for six months' worth of formula, $100 for an infant car seat, $129 for a stroller and $230 for a crib.

The cost of raising a child from birth in 2011 to age 17 for middle income families: $234,900, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you factor in inflation, the cost is more like $295,560.


 

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