Raising a Child Costs $222,000

Got $222,360? According to a USDA report, that’s how much middle-income parents will spend raising a baby born in 2009 to age 17. In other words, organic cotton crib bedding and pricey strollers are just the beginning.

The amount is only a tiny bit higher than last year’s dollar figure (thanks to the crappy economy). But what increased the most was spending in the childcare and education category, the number two expense for middle-income families. It rose 1 percent from 2008 to 17 percent of total childcare expenditures. (Housing, across all income levels, is still the biggest expense.)

What's interesting is that in families with two or more kids, the cost per child went down. And in families with three or more kids, spending per-kid is 22 percent less than it is in two-child households. The more the merrier—and cheaper, apparently.

How do you stay on budget with a baby? Chime in below!

Like this? Read these:
- How Much is Everyone Else Paying for Childcare? See Our Poll!
- Mom-to-Mom Tips on Budgeting For Baby
- Are You as Frugal as You Should Be?

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