Financially Preparing for a Baby

You won't believe how much it costs to raise a child!

How Much Will It Cost?

Hang on to your hats, prospective moms and dads: The U.S. Department of Agriculture speculates that a middle-income family will spend more than $165,000 (in today's dollars) raising one child to the age of 18. That's not counting fertility treatments if needed, adoption costs, private schools, after-school lessons, or college, which can add $100,000-300,000 to the bill. In 1960, parents spent an average of only $146,000 (in today's dollars) raising a child.

Even before your child arrives, the USDA estimates that you'll spend $6,800-10,600 (depending on where you live and the type of birth you have -- cesareans are more expensive) for prenatal care, labor, and delivery. Add another $8,000-10,000 for first-year expenses like baby furniture, clothes, diapers, doctor's visits, and day care, and you'll have shelled out nearly $20,000 by baby's first birthday.

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