The Cost Of Raising A Child

Andrew Russell CFP, was asked to help with a story in Money (Magazine/ Online content), on the cost of having children.    The idea for the story was triggered by a study done by the USDA that projects a child born in 2013 will cost a middle-income American family an average of $245,340 until he or she reaches the age of 18; and that doesn’t include college or expenses if a child lives at home after age 17.  Wow! That is a lot of money.  As a father of two, I knew the costs were high, but I too was surprised by the headline number. 

What can young couples do to prepare themselves for the cost of having a baby?  Plan and budget but also expect the unexpected.  Good planning will prepare you for most of the common costs associated with having a child.  However, sometimes the best laid plans can go awry.  For instance, a working mother who planned to return to work shortly after having a baby may be unable to return right away due to health issues (of the mother or child).   Be prepared to have a minimum 6-12 month living expense in the bank as a safety net.  

To read the articles written by   and featured in Money’s “Ask The Expert” and “Kids & Money” column, follow the links below.