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Where Does The Money Go When Raising A Child?

Since I am on the cusp of being a parent, I decided to go looking to see how much it was going to cost me to raise my son until he went off to college.  To tell you the truth, I almost threw up because it was going to be over $200,000 for the first 17 years without including college tuition and expenses.  This made me feel a little down, but then I realized that many people go through this same realization every year.  I am not alone, but I do have questions.  Where does all the money go?

Luckily, I was able to locate a pretty cool infographic (I like pictures) that explains where the money goes and compares 2011 data to the data from 1960.  What a difference!  This infographic was created by the California Cry Bank in partnership with Beckon.  It opened my eyes a little bit, yet still showed that we do better in some areas now then we did in 1960.  To sum this up, it would cost on average $191,727 in 1960 (in 2011 Dollars) compared to $234,900.  These numbers can be scary, so I know I better come up with some crafty ways to save along with getting a college savings account setup quickly.  I hope you enjoy the infographic!

Crib to College: Where does the money go?


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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.


  1. December 20, 2012 at 10:57 am — Reply

    So interesting to see that groceries has gone down when food prices have gone up; so to me that says families spend more time eating out! There are so many ways to save with kids too. Breastfeeding, DIYing things (I plan on DIYing our daughter a play kitchen next Christmas)buying used clothes (and hoping to instill how cool this is when they are old enough to think it’s not cool haha..at least buy used baby clothes, they grow out of them within 3 months so are hardly used) and if you start saving for the education early it’s much easier (as per my post today) we started her university savings when she was 5 weeks old. And I thank my lucky stars I’m in Canada and paid absolutely nothing for her birth (c/section, hospitalized a week) I LOVE Universal healthcare. Can’t wait to ‘meet’ your little one!

    • December 20, 2012 at 11:09 am — Reply

      This was an interesting infographic. Once my son is born, I plan on putting up a few more posts on how to save by DIY and other things. We will see! Thanks Catherine.

  2. December 20, 2012 at 11:19 am — Reply

    Welp, at least Barbies and The Game of Life are cheaper nowadays! I’m not sure I’m mentally ready to accept all of these stats… us folks who are planning on having multiple children are screwed 😉

    • December 20, 2012 at 11:20 am — Reply

      Haha, at least you can now prepare for being screwed!

  3. December 20, 2012 at 11:59 am — Reply

    Awesome inforgraphic Grayson! As a father of three little ones I am intimately aware of the costs they can ring up…especially with three in diapers. One thing that I will point out though, is that many times these numbers are assuming you buy everything new. Sure, you’ll buy some clothes & toys that are new, but used is the way to go. I know buying used has a stigma attached to it, but they grow out of things SO quickly. Many times you can get very gently used items that look like new at a very nice reduction.

    • December 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm — Reply

      I agree John. The numbers are dealing with new items because those are really the best ways to calculate costs. You can never know how much you can get used items for as it fluctuates. I buy many things on consignment because we have a lot of those stores around here. It is awesome and I don’t mind used. We saved over $120 with purchasing a gently used swing/bouncer combo at a consignment store. Those are the types of savings that I enjoy.

  4. December 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm — Reply

    Interesting infographic! I was struck by the hospital costs to have a child. I can’t believe how much the cost has gone up in 50 years! Our hospital bill when I had my daughter was pretty high, but I am still astounded how expensive it is.

    • December 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm — Reply

      It can be very expensive to have a child just for the hospital visit. If you don’t have good health coverage, then you will be surely paying.

  5. December 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm — Reply

    If I saw this before I had kids I might have reconsidered. JK. Although, the babysitting thing hits home, it darn costs the same for my wife and I to go out to dinner/movie as it does to pay a baby-sitter. But I agree with John that these numbers can be lowered by being a smart consumer and buy used. Also, figuring out needs vs wants saves us a lot of money.

    • December 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm — Reply

      Haha, nice Kyle. John is correct about the prices. If you are good, then you can save a lot by going with gently used.

  6. December 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm — Reply

    Very interesting and I am sure very enlightening for yourself and other soon to be parents. The expenses definitely add up quickly.

    • December 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm — Reply

      It definitely enlightened me.

  7. December 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm — Reply

    Really $9.50 an hour to babysit wow. Mrs.CBB just told me she remembers getting $3.00 an hour in the 90’s. Boy times have changed. We don’t have any kids but it’s always interesting to read these posts. It only means we will keep on doing what we are doing, using coupons, looking for second-hand or free deals when we can because kids are costly. Cheers Mr.CBB

    • December 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm — Reply

      You would probably get sued for only paying $3 these days. The times have certainly changed.

  8. Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom
    December 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm — Reply

    They don’t have to be that expensive. There are lots of ways to shave expenses without your kids missing out.
    9.50 for babysitting is pretty accurate. Around here the going rate is 10/hr. Thanks goodness for Grandma. See look,. we shaved some expenses right there

    • December 21, 2012 at 9:54 am — Reply

      Very true, but the numbers are just showing if you don’t take the correct money saving tips.

  9. Veronica @ Pelican on Money
    December 21, 2012 at 3:06 am — Reply

    What’s really startling about this graphic is how much the minimum wage hasn’t changed much at all. Inflation has brought prices up yet wages are the same. Wow…

    • December 21, 2012 at 9:54 am — Reply

      That is very true. Minimum wage has not kept up with inflation by any means.

  10. December 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm — Reply

    Well I just threw up myself. I do think these costs don’t have to be that expensive. Even if they were, I’d do it again without question.

    • December 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm — Reply

      I can’t say that I am happy to have made you throw up, but I am glad that the numbers stand out. I do think there are many ways to bring down the costs, but you have to do them.

  11. December 22, 2012 at 12:37 am — Reply

    I’m sure some of these figures are even more (scary right) if you live in a big city. I’m told from co-workers that the going rate for a baby sitter in the NYC area is $15-$20 an hour (slightly less for nannies who work full-time). Yikes!

    • December 22, 2012 at 12:38 am — Reply

      Yeah, I am sure that is the case. The numbers are close to where I live, but I have a lot of family here, so I am sure I won’t be needing a nanny.

  12. Lena @ WhatMommyDoes
    December 24, 2012 at 2:13 am — Reply

    I have to say I believe many of these estimates are spot-on. I would wager, however, that food costs are higher than $11k. $9.50 is exactly what I pay my babysitters, though! 🙂 Such a shame that I accepted $5 per hour back in the 90s. Sounds like I could have asked for a bit more!

    • December 24, 2012 at 10:13 am — Reply

      Yeah, I believe food costs are higher than that was well. It is a little amazing to see these figures though.

  13. December 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm — Reply

    I’ve always found it interesting how over time, the amount of income that North Americans spend on food (in general, not just with children) has gone down while everything else has gone up. Is it the thing we choose to eat? My food expenses has gone down over time because I focus more on buying fresh, seasonal veggies and fruit and cutting back on meat. I don’t think that’s the case for everyone though! :S

  14. December 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm — Reply

    No wonder people who have no kids have all this discretionary income. If the average household who has 2 kids traded them in for money, they’d be sitting on a nice retirement nest egg of more than $460K. I wonder if this is a suitable advertisement for birth control?!?!?! Someone should create THAT infographic.

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