Raising a family with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is one of the greatest feelings in the world. No matter what background you come from, what political strife is occurring and family matters that are transpiring, looking after a son and/or daughter from infancy to teen years is fulfilling.
In this economy, though, have families calculated how much it costs to raise a child in these conditions? The United States Department of Agriculture did and it published its findings in a report Wednesday. It concluded that the costs are estimated to be $241,080 for a middle-income household to raise a child born last year for 18 years. This is up three percent from a year ago.
The federal department’s estimates include common expenses, such as healthcare (eight percent), transportation (14 percent), education and child care (18 percent), food (16 percent), housing (30 percent) and miscellaneous items like computers and toys (eight percent). All of these expenses are quickly rising, particularly in healthcare, education and child care spending, which have increased substantially in the past 10 years.
In addition, families are also being hurt at both the gas pump and grocery store as transportation and food costs soar. Gas prices have doubled in the past 12 years, while food prices have spiked in the same timeframe. Although there are many factors to these outlandish costs, one of the primary culprits is a weakening dollar due to the Federal Reserve’s expansionary monetary policy – these figures are the effects of price inflation.
With stagnant incomes, a rising standard of living and enhanced consumerism, it would appear that having a family can be quite costly, which would be a major deterrent for a lot of present and future generations, who are facing tremendous debt loads from credit cards, student loans, automobile loans and the nation’s overall debt.
Indeed, it can be rather difficult to have kids in this economy, but there are a variety of methods that moms and dads can take to avoid the burdening costs associated with maintaining a family. Remember, having a child should be a joyous occasion and not a project to keep up with the Joneses.