Have you ever stopped and wondered how much it costs to raise a child? Well according to the US Department of Agriculture if you have a child in 2012 you’re going to spend $241,080 over the next 17 years to raise him/her. According to the USDA this is a 2.6% increase from 2011, and if you adjust for inflation, the number actually climbs up to $301,970.
The report states that ”expenses for child care, education, health care, and clothing saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2011. However, there were smaller increases in housing, food, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses during the same period. The 2.6 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 is also lower than the average annual increase of 4.4 percent since 1960.”
One of the major issues that come with the rising cost to raise a child is the rising cost of medical expenses and the overall costs that are associated with raising a healthy child. We want to make sure that our children are eating the best foods, receiving the best medical care, living active lives etc… And those things are expensive. It’s almost like we are fighting a fight where every factor is against us instead of supporting us. For example, it baffles me as to why it is cheaper to get a Happy Meal from McDonalds for a child than it is to purchase a more nutritious and healthy meal. I personally stopped letting my daughter eat at McDonalds, but if I wanted to get her a salad and some fruit from another restaurant I am going to have to pay at least double what I’d pay for that slab of meat stuffed between two buns with pickles, lettuce, and onions thrown on it.
Then, there is the fact that even though the cost of raising a child is getting higher, the wages that folks are receiving are getting lower. According to CNN, “the country’s median annual household income has fallen by more than $4,000 since 2000, after adjusting for inflation, and many of the jobs lost during the recent recession have been replaced with lower-wage positions.” So we have every day folks who are struggling week after week even though they get up and go to work to try and support their family every day.
It’s really rough out here and the cost of raising a child isn’t going to be reducing anytime soon, so what can we do? I’ll tell you what we can do…As fathers we can put our noses to the ground and keep pushing…keep scratching and clawing our way through this world. Our children are depending on us to be providers for them and to give them not only the essentials that they need to survive, but also the work ethic and resolve to keep pushing forward regardless of what the circumstances might be.
Oh… and by the way, these amounts don’t even include the costs associated with sending your child off to college.