Ask any parent and he or she will tell you that raising a child can be costly. Feeding, clothing, educating, and entertaining a child can eat away at one's finances, piece by piece. Yet, the true costs associated with raising a child are shocking.
According to a recent report conducted by USDA, the cost of raising a child in 2015 increased by three percent over the last survey conducted for 2014. The final tally? A whopping $233,610. The largest chunk of those expenses comes from housing, which made up about 29 percent. This means that those who lived in rural areas were able to avoid some of the costs, while those in urban and wealthier neighborhoods saw greater expenses. Other contributors to the increased costs include healthcare and clothing, but perhaps the most worrisome expenses for parents are childcare and education, which continue to become more and more costly.
The costs vary, of course, depending on the circumstances at hand. For example, teenagers are more expensive to raise, as they tend to eat more and need more. But household income can play a factor, too. The study found that families earning less than the middle class threshold of $59,200 only spent about $175,000 to raise a child, whereas families that had incomes higher than $107,499 may spend nearly $375,000 to raise their child.
Why is this information important? One reason is that the Louisiana courts may turn to these figures when trying to calculate child support obligations. This information also helps highlight just how important it is for custodial parents to seek the child support to which they are entitled. Those who fail to do so may be putting themselves at financial risk. Those who need assistance establishing or enforcing a child support obligation may therefore want to consider discussing the matter with a qualified attorney.
Source: Bloomberg, "Children Don't Come Cheap: Cost of Raising One Hits $233,610," Alan Bjerga, Jan. 9, 2017