How Much Money Does it Cost to Raise a Child?

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WASHINGTON -- What does it cost to raise a child?

Numbers just released are startling, but most parents would agree it's worth every penny.

Forget saving for college, parents -- prepare to save for life!

A new government study reveals middle-income families with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising the child through age 17.

Adjust for inflation and that number climbs to nearly $300,000.

That's $13,000 each year and that doesn't include the cost of college.

So where does all the money go?

The bulk of it, 32 percent, will go to housing, 16 percent for food (or maybe more if you have boys).
Another 16 will be spent on child care and education.

And 14 percent will go towards transporting the child to baseball practice, dance lessons -- the list goes on and on.

Most parents will tell you their child is worth every penny ever spent but if the numbers have you dreaming of the "good old days"... dream away.

When the report was first issued in 1960, the cost of raising a child was $25,000.

*Originally published August 5, 2009

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at