Saving money

According to a USA Today report, If you think the cost of rearing a child is expensive, you're right.

A new government report says child-rearing has increased 23% since 1960 even adjusted for inflation. A lot of the reason has to do with more expensive housing as well as higher costs for health care and child care.

Parents with a baby born in 2012 will spend $217,000 to half a million dollars to raise the child to age 18, not including the cost of college, according to statistics out Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The exact amount families spend varies depending on income.

Child-rearing expenditures included the usual suspects, housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care and education.

But the expenses don't include the cost of sending a child to college (an average of about $17,860 a year for tuition, fees, room and board at a four-year public college and $39,500 at a private, non-profit college) or indirect costs such as lost earnings from a parent leaving the workforce, reducing their hours to take care of the child or all the time spent taking care of children and running them to activities.

"Although children can be a great joy, they are costly and consume a large part of the family budget," says the study's author Mark Lino, a USDA economist. He says that other research has found that the indirect costs of rearing a child are even higher than the direct expenses outlined in this report.

The amount spent on raising a child varies by household income. Husband-wife families with annual before-tax incomes of more than $105,000 in 2012 will spend a whopping $501,250 to raise a child born in 2012 to age 18.

Read more at usatoday.com

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