According to an annual family expenditure report by The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the expense of raising a child in the United States is at an all-time high. Given the rising cost of food, transport, and education and stagnant wages, this isn’t too surprising. However, with 61% of moms worried about having enough money to raise their kids (with housing and childcare being their main concerns), is starting a family simply too expensive in today’s economy?
The good news is, aside from the United States being the most expensive place in the world to give birth, babies are relatively inexpensive. Sadly the cost of clothing, transport, food, and healthcare all rise significantly as children age, so it’s never too early to start saving for your child’s future.
Having a Baby – Where Will Your Money Go?
According to the USDA report, the average cost of raising just one child in a middle-income family is $234,900, or between $12,290 and $14,320 per year excluding college tuition. These figures indicate a 3.5 percent increase since last year’s report. Big ticket items like housing, childcare, and education account for the largest expenses, with housing accounting for 30% of the total cost of child-rearing, and childcare and education averaging 18 and 16 percent respectively.
Other spending culprits include transport, food, clothing, diapers, bottles, laundry detergent, toys, and electronics. Interestingly, the USDA report found that families with three or more children spend 22 percent less than those with just two children, with siblings sharing rooms, clothes, and toys, and food and other essentials being more economical to buy in bulk.
How You Can Save on Family Expenses
There are practical ways to save money on child-rearing expenses. For a start, you should resist the urge to splurge right away, as newborn babies don’t need much in those early days. When your baby arrives, he or she will need somewhere safe to sleep like a crib or Moses basket, a backward-facing car seat, a carrier or wrap, and plenty of muslins, diapers, and clean jumpsuits, but not much else!
Buy second-hand whenever possible as young children grow out of things quickly, but always buy your car seat new just in case of faults. For the most part, baby-proofing your home can wait until your child starts crawling, so there’s no need to shell out on expensive gadgets when your child can’t even roll over. When it comes to other purchases like diapers and formula, you can save money by buying in bulk and using promotional codes. For voucher codes for top retailers like Amazon, visit: www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk.
Bringing a child into the world marks significant changes in all areas of a parent’s life. However, starting a family is also one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, and welcoming a newborn baby into the fold is just the start. For the next 18-21 years of your life, careful planning and budgeting will be essential, so it’s a good idea to start now if you want to remain in financial health.