Before I became a parent last year, I would always hear about all these studies that showed how expensive raising a child was and I would simply not pay any attention to them. However, since becoming a parent, I pay a little more attention to the studies. Last month the USDA came out with their annual report and found that the average child born in 2011 will cost approximately $300,000 from birth until the age of 18.
Personally, that number seems a little high to me. Since we are a little over one year into being parents, I’ll being doing a podcast this week on the financial impact of having a child on our family. What gets me is that I hear stories all the time from people who say they are not having children because of the high cost but please, don’t let these reports scare you into not having children. If you want to have children, have children. Don’t be scared away by some report.
But I want to know from you parents: What do you think about these surveys? Do you spend a $1,000 a month on average on your child? What are some things you did or are doing to cut down on the costs of raising a family? What financial advice would you give to a new parent wanting to start a family?