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I think my kids are priceless, but the United States Department of Agriculture has opted to put a price on their heads, as part of their annual survey of expenditures on children by families. Overall, the average American can expect to spend a whopping $226,920 to raise one child to the age of 18 -- with the lion’s share going toward feeding and providing child care. (Note that that figure doesn’t even include those particularly pricey college years!)
Think their facts and figures are off? Try their calculator, which customizes the number by region, income and number of parents in the household to see what your potential individual expenditure comes to. (My number, according to the USDA estimates, is an even more heart-stopping $396,000 for each of my lovely daughters.)
Of course, I think my girls are worth every penny -- but I’m hoping that they’ll provide for me in my old age, if I suddenly find myself about $792,000 short for retirement!