The amount of money you spend on your children depends on many factors, but the most important thing is to have a budget within which you can operate-lest you be in financial straits before you know it.
The costs of raising a child or children, for that matter, depend on numerous factors - where you live, the child's age, your marital status, your household income and the more amorphous notion of your lifestyle.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture regularly publishes a report entitled "Expenditures on Children by Families," which chronicles the various ways people raise their children and manage their budgets effectively.
I like this report, and read it intently whenever it comes out, because it provides an in-depth analysis of the different types of costs you would have once you step into parenthood, but also tells you how your marital status and residence area ultimately affect how much you fork over for child expenses.
How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Child? - In This Guide
It is important to note that when specialists talk about child-rearing expenses, most of them distinguish cash you spend to take care of a newborn or infant, from the money you spend on an older child. In fact, it's helpful to separate both expense categories because a newborn has a set of recurring expenses, think diapers, for example, that you don't see with older offspring.
This is why, we will explore both cost categories, so you can have a better idea of how much you would set aside every year for child rearing, especially if you have a good mix of toddlers, infants, pre-teens, and teenagers.