“Child care is the number one reason it’s so expensive to raise a child in the US. This comes down to simple supply and demand, where the demand for daycare, camps, and other child care far outpaces the availability of programs,” said Grant Sabatier, author of the book Financial Freedom, and co-founder of Bank Bonus. “This causes daycares to raise their prices and creates a vicious cycle where now daycare has outpaced inflation and definitely outpaced wage growth, which before this year was historically low. Family salaries and budgets just can’t keep up.”
Giving children a decent education has also popped a big dent in household budgets.
“The cost of education has also increased,” said Michael Ryan, a former financial planner and the founder of MichaelRyanMoney.com. “I’m not talking just about the cost of college – which has far outpaced inflation over the past 30 years. The cost of ‘free’ public education has increased. Families are now expected to bring supplies to school during the first week of school.”
Add into the mix tutoring or other enrichment programs and the pressure of paying for a private education these days, and the spending stacks up.
“Parents also face the astronomical costs of all of the extracurricular activities kids nowadays have,” Ryan said. “When I grew up – the little league was a few dollars and we all shared a bat. Now kids have $100 bats and $75 an hour lessons. Or ask a dance mom how much lessons cost.”
“Frankly, it’s scary how common it is now for families to spend over $10,000 on these activities,” he added. “All of these factors combine to make it very expensive to raise a child in today’s world.”
How Much Does Raising a Child Cost?
It’s a sobering number, but raising a middle-class child will set you back $286,000.