Cost of Raising
a Child

Having children is a rewarding experience filled with joy, growth and love. But sometimes families need help funding the various expenses that come with raising a child. In today’s economy, raising prices have become the norm as the cost of living keeps rising. The cost of raising a child has risen 1.8 percent in the last year in the U.S., which means that raising a child born in 2013 until they become adults will cost on average $245,340, as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a recent report. The USDA even provides a helpful tool to help calculate the cost of raising a child based on your location, income and number of children in the house. To help lessen the financial strain many families are turning to crowdfunding to ensure that their child has the opportunity to strive without financial roadblocks.

  1. Help for Housing

    In 1960 the USDA released their first report on the cost of raising a child that named housing as the largest expense, so housing has always been an expensive factor when it comes to raising a child. Shelter is vital to a child’s well being but unfortunately the price of housing has only been increasing in recent years.

    Help for Housing
    • One reason that housing has become so expensive is the fact that home prices are growing faster than wages. A study released by RealityTrac in 2015 reported that home prices in the U.S. have increased 17 percent within the past two years while wages have only increased 1.3 percent.
    • The 2015 Housing Forecast by Realtor.com reported that based on increasing mortgage rates and home price appreciation, home affordability will drop between five to ten percent.
    • The same forecast from Realtor.com predicts that by the end of 2015 thirty year fixed rate mortgages will reach 5 percent.
  2. Health Care Costs

    In certain areas of the U.S. health care costs are comparable to the cost of college tuition. The cost of health care is more than just doctor’s visits. Depending on the your family’s situation it can also encompasses hospital care, prescription drugs, dental services and several other specialized medical professions. Even the age of your child will determine how much you have to pay for health. For families with babies and toddler the average cost a household spent on health care per child was $4,446 in 2012 according to Health Care Cost Institute.

    Health Care Costs
    • The United Census Bureau provides the startling fact that in the last quarter century the cost of childcare has doubled.
    • An article from CNN reported that the out-of-pocket expenses for health care are rising, especially for individuals under the age of 18.
    • LA report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that overall health spending is going to increase annually by 6.2 percent between the years 2015 to 2022.
  3. Funding Your Child’s Education

    Your child’s education becomes an integral aspect of their growth throughout childhood and even into adulthood. The cost of a child’s education depends on what type of school they attend. There are various private schools with specialized focuses like the Montessori Schools or the Waldorf Schools that many families chose to send their children to, however they require an annual tuition. Public schools may not require tuition but they can still put a dent in your finances.

    Funding Your Child's Education
    • If you decide to send your child to private school you will be faced with high tuition costs. The Private School Review found that for the 2015-2016 school year the cost of a private elementary school was on average $7,406 while a private high school will cost you $13,476 on average per year.
    • Even though public schools do not have a tuition there are still various costs associated with school like supplies, uniforms, exam fees, field trips and more that parents have to consider. An article on NBC News claims that parents will spend $669 per year when including the cost of clothing, electronics and school supplies.
    • After high school graduation many students will decide to continue their education at college. College Board revealed that for the 2014-2015 school year a public four-year in state college cost $18,943 while a private four-year college cost a shocking $42,419.
  4. Determining Factors

    There is no one dollar amount that can quantity how much it costs to raise a child because there are several determining factors that contribute to varying costs. The cost of raising a child can vary greatly depending on where your family lives and on your income level. Demographics play a large role in determining the cost of raising your child as well as the size of your family.

    Determining Factors
    • The USDA found that the cost of raising a child varies by geographic location, with the lowest being the urban South at $230,610 and the highest being the urban Northeast at $282,480 per child.
    • An article on time.com states that a child can add up to $14,970 to annual expenses for middle-income families before taxes.
    • Not surprisingly, the larger your family the more you will spend each year on children. The Pew Research Center has reported that Americans are having fewer children as the birth rate has declined significantly in the past several years, possibly because the cost of having more children is too expensive.
  5. Miscellaneous Expenses

    Children will require more than just a general set of expenses. Depending on the child’s needs and your location, you may come across various hidden costs. When planning out the cost of having a child it is important to remember to include expenses like transportation, personal care products, clothing, electronics, summer camps, extracurricular activities and more. It is also critical to consider that a child’s expenses only increases as the child gets older.

    Miscellaneous Expenses
    • Since the cost of raising a child has become so expensive many moms and dads are returning to work sooner to help offset costs. However an article in the Huffington Post points out the high cost of daycare, citing parents paying up to $8,400 each year in urban areas.
    • The same Huffington Post article also revealed that the cost of diapers is steep. With disposable diapers costing around 20 cents per diaper and the average baby using over 2,700 diapers in its first year, the total cost of just diapers for your child is around $550.
    • The cost of transportation for your child can include paying for gas, driving as well as bus, train and plane tickets. Since gas prices have skyrocketed in the past several years, transportation is one other factor necessary to consider when calculating the cost of raising a child.

Using Crowdfunding to Ease the Burden

These statistics may seem distressing, however there are resources at your disposal with just the click of a button, such as crowdfunding. The best tip we can offer is to use your community, and remember that can mean your virtual communities, too. The value of crowdfunding stems from its convenience. It makes it easier for people in need to reach out for help while bringing willing donors to the forefront. Launch a free fundraiser to help lessen the financial stress of raising a child.