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Many people consider having children at some point in their lives. They imagine how great it will be to raise a child and help shape them into an adult. However, they don’t always think about the many expenses that come along with raising a child – not that it should deter you!
So how much does it really cost to raise a child from infancy to adulthood?
There is no right or wrong answer as to how much it costs to raise a child because it is different for everyone. Some people may say it costs $250,000 and others may say $1,000,000. And having two kids instead of a single child does not automatically mean that your expenses are double.
Let’s explore five of the most common expenses with raising a child
With the cost of an average daycare around $200, it seems like a stretch to choose not to work just to stay at home with your kids. However, there are many different types of child care that exist for parents who either cannot afford or do not want full-time child care.
The first, and most expensive option is full-time child care at a center. Center-based child care offers children the chance to socialize with others their own age, as well as learn from other adults besides their parents. Centers typically offer breakfast and lunch programs, as well as an assortment of snacks which are prepared by the center’s staff. Many centers also offer before and after school programs at additional cost. Centers often have extended hours including evenings and weekends, as well as child care on holidays. This type of child care is typically the most expensive, with some centers charging $400 or more per week.
Daycare Centre Childcare
The second option for child care is a daycare center which is operated from someone’s home. In many states, there are laws in place requiring daycare facilities in the home to meet certain criteria for health and safety. These laws vary by state so it is important that parents check whether or not a prospective provider in their area meets these requirements and complies with licensing regulations in their state. Daycare in someone’s home tends to be cheaper than center-based care, but still runs about $150 to $200 per week.
Babysitters and nannies
The third option for child care is babysitters and nannies. This is typically the least expensive type of child care available, but it tends to be unreliable as babysitters often have other commitments on evenings and weekends which would conflict with a parent’s schedule. There are some ways to help ensure that you will have regular babysitters though. These include building a relationship with a trusted neighbour, asking for referrals from other parents, and reputable nanny agencies who guarantee their sitters’ reliability. A good babysitter or nannies typically cost around the same as an at-home daycare provider, but some charge by the hour so it is important to find out what the cost is before hiring them.
The most expensive states for daycare are California, Colorado, Connecticut and Maryland with costs of over $14k a year. Other notables include Massachusetts at around 13K; Minnesota 11-12Ks annually depending on location).
Did you know that there are often government incentives and subsidies to offset the cost of childcare? If you’re an Australian parent, check out Gowrie NSW’s example to work out your childcare subsidy.
Many people think that they don’t have to consider the cost of housing when it comes to having a child. However, many couples in a 2 bedroom apartment often have to sell and look for a more spacious home. Although this is an indirect expense, it definitely can be linked to the cost of raising a child, especially considering how much property costs in major metropolitan areas.
The definition of “a good education” varies from parent to parent, but the general consensus is that it includes being able to read, write, speak, do mathematics, have good manners, be well-rounded in many different areas of knowledge, and know-how to live in modern society.
The general belief behind education is that children that have a better education in their younger years are more likely to have an above-average income when they are older. This is why parents are willing to pour savings towards furthering their children’s education beyond their schooling.
Having a child costs $2,500 per year to send them to preschool or daycare before elementary school starts. If you have a child that is older and they go to a smaller school this will cost on average $5,000 per year. If your child goes to big school it will cost an average of $11,000 per year. If your child decides to go to college it can cost up to $20,000 depending on what state they are in and how many hours they take each semester.
Extra curricular activities
Extracurricular activities help to develop your child on a personal level and give them something to enjoy. Kids can participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, visual arts, music, dance and many more! It’s important for children to have a hobby that they enjoy doing because it helps keep them busy and they can use their new skills in life outside of the lessons.
To provide their children with additional experiences and skills, many parents like to provide extra activities such as sports (tennis, swimming, football), dance classes and music lessons (piano, guitar, flute, trumpet). These activities can cost on average $2,500 per year depending on the activity itself and what it requires of your child. If your child likes to play multiple sports this can come out to $4,000 or more.
Now that we’ve had the money conversion, are you reading for parenthood? Take the quiz.