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Katherine Lewis

Thrifty Thursday: The High Cost of Parenting

By July 2, 2009

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If your wallet's been lighter since you became a mom, it's no coincidence. On average, raising one child costs $12,658 a year, for a grand total of $227,862 from birth to age 18, according to IBISworld.com. (Note, that doesn't include paying for college tuition.)

Children are most expensive in the western U.S. (8.1 percent above average) and in the eastern regions (4.9 percent more.) Breaking down the cost of raising a child, IBISworld.com says we spend:

  • 35 percent on housing
  • 17 percent on food
  • 14 percent on transportation
  • 11 percent on child care and education
  • 7 percent on health care
  • 5 percent on clothing

If you focus on cutting your spending for the top items on the list, you'll have the biggest impact on your household budget. Think about refinancing your mortgage or moving to a cheaper home. Buy groceries in bulk, if you're one of the few families not doing this yet. And what about teaching your kids to carpool or using public transportation more?

More Thrifty Thursday ideas:

  • Working Moms' Thrifty Thursday Archive
  • Teach Your Teens to Carpool
  • DIY Family Portraits
  • Roundup of Summer Learning Activities
  • Save on Housekeeping, Put Your Tween to Work
  • Fun With Shaving Cream
  • File Your Family Court Papers Pro Se
  • Eat Out for Less
  • Encouraging Recycling at Home
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