It costs $233,610 to raise a child

If you’re thinking of starting a family, you may want to start a savings account first. The Department of Agriculture estimates a middle-income, married couple with two children will spend $233,610 to raise a child born in 2015. And that number only covers costs from birth through age 17. Families can expect to spend between $12,350 and $14,000 a year, on average, to raise a child. For middle-income families housing was the biggest expense, taking up an average of 29 percent of the total cost of raising a child. Food was the second biggest budget eater, and child care is not to be ignored as it costs parents an average of $37,378 per child. By region, families in the urban Northeast face the highest child-rearing tab with an average of $253,770, followed by the urban West at $235,140. Those living in rural areas throughout the country pay the least, at an average of $193,020, according to the government.