All parents and hopeful parents out there know how expensive it is to raise a child. However, it seems to be getting more costly every year. The cost of having a baby- specifically the high cost of childbirth is hampering the younger generations from growing their families.
As inflation increases, basic needs are beginning to be out of reach for many of the population, including the medical cost of delivering a baby in America.
Younger generations, like Gen Z and Millenials, are having babies later and later, if at all, mainly due to the outrageous costs.
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The cost of raising a child in America has become astronomical compared to even 30 years ago, from education, housing, food, clothing, and everything in between. Compounding this issue are the possible costs of raising a child with physical impairment. The support for families with children needing help with basic life skills is minimal.
Here is a breakdown of what having a child in America today looks like.
What the Numbers Look Like
Giving birth will cost you thousands of dollars. It might cost around 5,000 for a standard delivery that goes as planned or $14,000 or more for a c-section or if there are complications. If you go the adoption route, you will likely need $60,000 or more to cover adoption fees. Nebraska is the cheapest state in the country to give birth, which averages $8,805. Many new parents do not consider the cost of actually giving birth when budgeting for a child.
Housing is another thing that only gets more expensive, and it doesn’t matter whether you rent or purchase. Many people prefer houses to raise children as they afford much more space than an apartment, but it does not come cheap.
The cost of food for children has skyrocketed in the past few decades. It might start small when they are young, but it will continue to grow as they do. You need to budget a few hundred dollars every month on food costs to ensure they are getting a balanced diet.
Where you live, a public school might not provide your child with the education you want them to receive. If this is the case, you need to budget for a private school, which can be as much as college tuition in some cases.
In the least expensive states in the U.S., private schools still cost around $4,000 for tuition, while the most expensive ones cost almost $28,000.
This is just for tuition, so you will need to add costs for supplies and technology, after-school activities, tutoring, and other programs or clubs they want to attend.
Then, if they decide to go to a four-year college, those tuition rates can range from $18,000 to $55,000 per year, depending on the school.
Children need a lot of care, especially when they are babies. You can expect to spend at least $50 monthly on clothes alone during their first year.
Medical bills can cost thousands out of pocket just for routine examinations and vaccinations. When you need to go back to work, nannies or daycares can be as much as your mortgage, especially in places like Washington, D.C., Oregon, or California.
What This Means for Families
Raising a child significantly affects the parent’s mental health, careers, and debt. 40% of parents say that childcare costs have caused tensions in their relationship.
Make sure you look up the prices of things like daycare before getting pregnant, if possible, to avoid these conflicts in the future.
More than half of parents have gone into debt to buy nonessential items or experiences for their children, mainly because they want their kids to have a better life than they did.
Finding the balance between financial health and giving your child what you couldn’t have is not simple.
Nearly three in four working parents have had their work impacted by childcare plans falling through at the last minute. Always have a backup plan in the works when it comes to childcare.
Children also influence their parents’ career choices, as parents must make more money to cover childcare costs or have a flexible work schedule. Raising a child reaches into all areas of life beyond just providing them with a loving home.
Raising a family is not an easy task emotionally, physically, or financially, so it is essential to consider what you are signing up for before having children. However, most people with children would not change a thing and find ways to cut back on costs to ensure their kids have a happy and healthy life.