Accuracy: How much does it cost to raise a child? Research calculated it exactly
Research: 'Unfortunately the cost of living will make many think twice about having a child'
High inflation and punctuality blow the family budget
Research by the Brookings Institute for the Wall Street Journal shows that the cost of raising a child is soaring in the US today due to high inflation. Now, for a child to reach the age of 17, more than $300.000 must be spent.
Specifically, the institute determined that a middle-income married couple with two children would spend $310.605 – or an average of $18.271 per year – to raise their youngest child born in 2015 until age 17.
The calculation uses an earlier government estimate as a basis, adjusting it for inflationary trends. This is an increase of more than 9%, compared to two years ago, that is, before the rapid price increases hit the economy. The cost estimate refers to a range of costs such as housing, food, clothing, health care and childcare, and takes into account activities – haircuts, sports equipment and dance lessons, among others.
The cost of living will make many think twice about having a child
"A lot of people will think twice about having either their first child or their next child because everything costs more," said Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at Brookings. "They may also feel they have to work more."
Inflation eased to 8,5% in July from 9,1% the previous month in the US. The prices of gasoline and other energy products fell compared to the previous month, but food prices continued to rise. Food prices rose 13,1 percent in July from a year earlier, the labor ministry said, adding pressure to household budgets.
High grocery prices have led Jennifer Smith to get... creative with meals. Meatless Mondays and Fridge Clean Out Thursdays are new additions to the family meal plan. A turkey sandwich, leftover pasta and sauteed peppers and onions was on the menu one Thursday night at home in Raleigh.
Single parent and minority families
Rising child-rearing costs could disproportionately affect lower-income families, said Dr. Sawhill, who holds a PhD in economics. For a single parent making $20.000 or $30.000 a year, putting aside the extra money for a child can prove extremely difficult, she said.
Black families are also more exposed to fluctuations in inflation, economists say. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond showed that black families are more affected by price volatility, which can make it harder for households to determine how much to buy with the money they earn.
"There's nothing left to cut," said Ms. Mendoza, who is chief executive of Brown Mamas, a network of more than 6.500 black mothers in the Pittsburgh area. "We're cutting cable today because we can't afford it," she said of efforts to cut her household costs.
Tamera Dixon, a mother of one son in Pittsburgh, said she tries to save money, even in her sleep. "Changing cell phone plans, cutting back on eating out, helping your neighbor, shopping at your local grocer, your local farmers market," Ms Dixon said. "When you've done all these things naturally just to survive, you've exhausted all the room to 'cut' somewhere.