According to an August 2013 article in USA Today, the average cost to raise a child (born in 2012) until the age of 17 is $217,000 to $500,000 – and that doesn’t even include savings for college!

The greatest share of these expenses is housing, which is 30 percent of the total. Child care and education come in next at 18 percent, and food follows at 16 percent.

Since 2008 with the downturn of the economy, many families have penny-pinched like never before to provide their children with the necessities:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • Health Care
  • Child Care
  • Schooling

But you should also take into account discretionary spending such as family vacations, birthday gifts, extra-curricular activities like sports or music lessons, as well as unplanned or emergency spending for things like medical care or car maintenance.

For single parents, making ends meet may mean relying on a network of support from family members and friends, as well as a lot of self-sacrifice. Your own entertainment or hobbies may get cut from or reduced in your budget in order to provide for your child.

But despite the costs of raising a child, most parents know it’s well worth it to see their child growing and thriving.

Source: “Housing, health care fuel record costs to raise a child.” USA TODAY. Web. August 14, 2013. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/14/costs-raising-child/2649311/).