Raising a child can cost a bundle

USDA: $241,080 average cost to raise a kid


SAN ANTONIO – Oh, baby! From day care costs to groceries to doctor's visits, it's costing more to raise a child.

It will cost an estimated $241,080 for  middle-income parents to raise a child born last year until he's 18, according to number crunchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Oh, wow! I'm in for it," said Lee Ann Henke, mom to 1-year-old Taylor and 3-year-old Hunter.

 Her biggest cost, besides sleep, is child care.

"Right now child care is, and of course, diapers and necessities."

Day care and health care costs are the fasting-rising kid-related expenses, according to the USDA report.

Then, there's chauffeuring the kids around to school and soccer practice. The price of gas has nearly doubled in the past decade.

Food prices are also eating up more of the family budget.

Amy Cravens spends at least $200 a week on groceries.

"They're growing kids," she said. "I've got some teenagers and some young ones. It costs a lot to feed them."

Where a family lives is a factor in the costs, as well as income.

Higher-income families spend more because they have more -- as much as $500,000 to raise a child. 

Likewise, lower-income families spend less, along the lines of $160,000.

It also costs less to raise a child in the south, to the tune of $226,000 for a middle-income family.

The study does not factor in the cost of college.

"Me and my wife are putting away money to go to college, so that's added expense as we get to that point," said Rick Villafranco, who has two sons.

Also unsettling, while the cost of raising a child has risen nearly 3 percent since last year, paychecks have not kept pace.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.

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