Parenting and the
Cost of Raising a Child

Parenting is the most rewarding job in the world. Our major responsibility as parents is to provide love and a safe environment for our children to grow up in. We also have to provide the financial support to raise our children. The U.S. government recently released their calculations for the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years—$160,140. And that doesn’t include college expenses which could add upwards of $50,000.

Let’s see how we might break down that $160,140:

  • 4,003 pairs of Levi’s jeans
  • 54,284 Big Mac’s
  • 8,007 evenings at the movies
  • 3 Hummer sports utility vehicles

Does it really cost that much?!

Most of our thoughts about having children center around the joy of loving them. But the reality is a child needs so much more than love. They need parents who can provide for them, both physically and emotionally. Just look at all the things $160,140 can buy you.

Money is an important part of raising a child, but it is often the last thing considered when we think about having children. But you need money to buy food, diapers, clothes, and to pay for daycare. When you break down the $160,140 this is what it will cost you to raise one child.

  • $8,896.66 per year
  • $741.38 per month
  • $171.08 per week
  • $24.44 per day
  • About $1 per hour

Are you able to earn $24 dollars a day or $171 a week to raise a child? And that is just to take care of the baby! That does not include what it costs for the rest of the family to live every day. The savings might help, but when you look at all the things you still need to provide, it can be overwhelming.

The average cost of living in a simple one-bedroom apartment with utilities in the suburbs is $25,412 per year. Add that to the cost of raising a baby. You will have to earn $34,308 every year.

Now the challenge is that the average salary of a person with a college education is only $34,000 per year. And the average salary of a person without a college degree is only $22,000 per year. So you can see where the problem comes in. Living in today’s world is expensive if you live alone and even more expensive if you’re taking care of a baby. Living in minimal comfort requires a clear plan of action and a steady income.

Planning to have a baby is a big decision for anyone. Not only do you have to think about whether the time is right for you, but you also have to take into account if you will be able to take care of that baby in the way they need to be cared for.

Some decisions we make in life are very easy while others take a lot more thought and soul searching. Having a baby is definitely a decision that requires us to look closely at all sides of our responsibilities. The cost of raising a child is the most important responsibility that potential parents should consider. If you or someone you know is pregnant and overwhelmed when considering the possibilities, before you make any firm decision, please consider all your options, including the choices available with open adoption.