Sure babies are cute, but will you think of them the same once you find out how much they’ll cost you? The price tag for having babies in the U.S. has shot up dramatically since the 1960s. Between 2000 and 2010 alone, costs grew 40 percent according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Still, think you can afford a cute bundle of joy? Read on to find out.
1. Giving birth costs as much as a car Babies immediately start draining your wallet upon exiting the womb. The average cost of a non-cesarean delivery was $10,808 in 2015, says the Federation of Health Plans. [caption id="attachment_22755" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Dave Herholz/Flickr[/caption] Including all the care needed for both during and after birth, you’ll spend about $30,000. That’s as much as a lot of cars. If your child has health issues or experienced a difficult birth, that could mean more than $30,000. If you have health insurance procured through the Affordable Care Act or through your employer, it’ll probably cover childbirth. Individual insurance policies not provided through an employer will probably not cover childbirth expenses. NEXT: This puts a lot of money into the healthcare system
2. Here’s how childbirth costs and C-sections might be linkedIn 2016 in the U.S., more than 2.6 million mothers had a non-cesarean delivery and more than 1.2 million had a C-section, says Business Insider. [caption id="attachment_22756" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Shane Adams/Flickr[/caption] Since C-sections are the more expensive of the two AND the procedure is on the rise that means more money is going into the healthcare system. Thirty-two percent of all 2016 births were C-sections. This rate is a 50 percent increase from the 1990s. This increase might be due to the fact that more women are electing to have the procedure, says maternity nonprofit March of Dimes. NEXT: Yes, of course, insurance will cover childbirth, but usually only a part of the costs associated with it.
3. Parents might pay this price out of pocketCo-pays, deductibles, and other costs passed along to parents are about $3K out of pocket but health insurance covers most of the other costs, says Mental Floss. [caption id="attachment_22757" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Thomas/sauzedde[/caption] The type of birth you have also can lower or increase costs, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Non-cesarean births can cost $2,600 and then C-sections can cost upwards of $4,500. Some workplaces might give mothers a longer leave if they have a C-section because it’s considered “major surgery” (not that how you give birth is their business…). NEXT: This might be the best state to give birth in, and it is definitely NOT what you think it is.
4. Vermont is the best state to give birth?We gave you an average for childbirth above but the costs will differ depending on what state you’re in, says TIME. [caption id="attachment_22758" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Don Carlson/Flickr[/caption] By taking into consideration factors like costs for C-sections, babysitter costs, parental leave policies and more, WalletHub determined that Vermont was the number one state for giving birth in. Second on the list — Massachusetts, then Minnesota. On the list of worst places to give birth in, we have Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and a slew of other Southern states. Is it worth it to move to Vermont for childbirth? NEXT: This royal family might have paid less than Americans to give birth.
5. Kate Middleton probably paid less for childbirth than American momsIt’s a tradition for the British royal family to give birth in the luxurious Lindo Wing in St. Mary’s Hospital in London. [caption id="attachment_22759" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Christopher Neve/Flickr[/caption] To use this wing, it’ll cost over $8K for 24 hours, Business Insider reports. Included in that cost: a comprehensive wine list, deluxe room, and non-cesarean delivery. American moms might pay more than that. Not only do U.S. families pay an average of $10K for childbirth, but they also don’t get all the sick perks Kate Middleton and family enjoyed. You can guarantee that American hospitals are barely the status of a royal family maternity ward. NEXT: Other places charge moms less for having children.
6. It’s less expensive to be born Swiss or SpanishInsurance might cover a lot of costs associated with childbirth in the U.S., but American families might still foot $3,000 of the bill, Business Insider says. [caption id="attachment_22762" align="aligncenter" width="720"] asdcjasdcj/Flickr[/caption] Many in Europe are able to give birth for free! According to data gathered from the International Federation of Health Plans, it costs $7,751 in Switzerland and even less in other countries. Birth in Australia might costs $5,312, birth in Spain might cost $1,950, and in South Africa it might be $1,271. This is according to data gathered by the International Federation of Health Plans. NEXT: Not only can childbirth cost a lot in the U.S., but there is also a high mortality rate.
7. The U.S. has a high mortality rate for childbirthIn a groundbreaking 2017 report from NPR, journalists uncovered that the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate than any other developed country. [caption id="attachment_22763" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Thomas sauzedde/Flickr[/caption] The article reveals that doctors are trained in medical school to focus on trying to save the baby rather than the mother in the instance things go south during birth. The article, a collaboration between NPR and ProPublica, revealed that hospitals are both underprepared and underfunded in terms of maternity care. Treatable complications can become fatal in many cases NPR examined. Even hospitals that have intensive care facilities for newborns, aren’t prepared for emergencies with mothers. NEXT: Here’s when parenting really becomes expensive.
8. Children are actually less expensive to care for as babiesAmerican parents spend on average over $200K on child-related costs from birth until the age of 17 as of 2015, says MarketWatch (not including college — yikes!). [caption id="attachment_22764" align="aligncenter" width="720"] cincomomo/Flickr[/caption] All this cash is covering housing, food, childcare, transportation costs, and more. If there’s any unexpected costs associated with your kid, e.g. medical emergencies, you’ll spend even more. For reference, this is more than the median price of a home in the U.S. (about $200,000). Yes, of course, a child’s life is more valuable than that of a home but it shouldn’t have to be so expensive to give a child a comfortable life! NEXT: Here’s how much of their income parents are spending on care for their child. It’s WAY more than you think!
9. Twenty-two percent of income is spent on childcareChildcare is considered affordable if a family doesn’t spend any more than 10 percent of their income on it, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [caption id="attachment_22765" align="aligncenter" width="600"] yancy9/Flickr[/caption] American families are spending way more than 10 percent on average, unfortunately. Nine to 22 percent of their income PER CHILD, says MarketWatch. Some parents find it easier to allow for one parent to stay at home and focus on childcare rather than have both work. If you have more than one child and are low income, costs will only continue to add up. NEXT: This is one of the most expensive costs one has to bear when you decide to have a child.
10. Childcare is one of the biggest expense for parentsChildcare is more than rent in a lot of cities, says MarketWatch. This is challenging for low-income families who don’t make more than the minimum wage. SupportPDX/FlickrOn average, parents spend $37,378 per child on child care according to a report put together by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There are some costs that are more for parents than childcare like housing, for instance, according to this report released in 2017. Good news: The report did say that child-rearing costs have slowed their growth. Also, if parents had more kids, costs went down. Cheaper by the dozen, I guess? NEXT: Extracurriculars make for a well-rounded kid but these activities can be costly.
11. More than $500 per season is spent on extracurricularsSoccer practice, ballet classes, underwater basket weaving — kids want to participate in all kinds of extracurriculars outside of school. [caption id="attachment_22766" align="aligncenter" width="720"] helpusaweb/Flickr[/caption] Parents want their kids to as well so their children are the most talented kids in school. Also, think about how impressed college admissions officers will be when they see all those activities on a student’s application to their prestigious school! Being talented comes with a price, however. MarketWatch says that American families might send anywhere from $500 to $1,000 on activities outside of school. Yikes. Most parents want to make that investment, however. NEXT: This is probably the biggest expense for mom and dad.
12. Housing is parents’ biggest expenseBack to the U.S. Department of Agriculture report from 2017: In listing the most extreme expenses for parents, housing was number one. [caption id="attachment_22767" align="aligncenter" width="600"] kspgmr/Flickr[/caption] Parents were reported to spend on average $12,350 to $14,000 a year on raising a child in the government department’s findings. Twenty-nine percent of child-rearing costs were related to housing. This cost, the report finds, was mostly associated with the fact that parents have to get another room in their homes. Siblings might end up sharing rooms their first years of their lives. However, when kids reach their teens, we can’t imagine them wanting to share a room. NEXT: Here’s the second biggest cost associated with children.
13. Food is parents’ second biggest costEspecially if they are teenagers, children are going to eat up a parents’ budget — literally. Parents with 15 to 17-year-old kids spent about $2,790 on food in 2015. [caption id="attachment_22770" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Michael Coghlan/Flickr[/caption] This was about 22 percent more than the costs associated with feeding children in the 6 to 8 years old age range. In general, teens are the most expensive age group of children to have not just because they eat the most food. Solution? Get rid of them and save money! Just kidding! But, it is wise to prepare for these accelerating costs. NEXT: Here’s when the high prices start kicking in, so get ready to take it up a few notches.
14. Children in school = $$$$Once the kids start getting ramped up to start school, there’s more things you have to spend money on (surprise, surprise). [caption id="attachment_22768" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Ty Hatch/Flickr[/caption] There’s the cost of transportation to get them to school, food for their little school lunches, health care (students need particular vaccines), clothing (especially if they have uniforms), and more. You can choose to homeschool but that’s not a viable option for some parents. If students are participating in sports teams, school plays, debate club, and other extracurriculars in school, that’ll add to a family’s spending overall. NEXT: If you live in a state with high costs of living, you might be spending more on child rearing than the rest of the U.S.
15. Here’s what it might cost to raise a child in these citiesLike with birthing a child, what state you’re in might have something to do with how much you spend. [caption id="attachment_23025" align="aligncenter" width="720"] SupportPDX/Flickr[/caption] According to TIME, there are some cities that are better to raise a child in than others. They took into account not only costs of living but proximity to quality schools, healthcare, and library access. Some cities that made the cut were North Arlington in New Jersey, Monterey Park in California, Fishers in Indiana, Wylie in Texas, Lone Tree in Colorado, and Olive Branch in Mississippi. NEXT: College is getting more and more expensive. Here’s what you might end up paying for your child’s future education.
16. People spend an average of $26,458 annually on college.Young adults are encouraged by their high schools to attend college. We hear advisors say over and over again that “You’ll get better jobs.” [caption id="attachment_22772" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Rodney Martin/Flickr[/caption] True yes, lots of high paying jobs do require a bachelor’s degree or higher but attending a trade school is just as viable an option. U.S. students spend an average of $26,458 a year on college, says CNBC. Parents are paying less and less for college now, says Sallie Mae. Not because they’re cheap per say, but because they simply can’t afford it. Many students will have to become more reliant on federal aid and loans. NEXT: This is why millennials are having fewer kids than boomers.
17. Millennials are having fewer kids than boomersThe birthrate in the U.S. is at an all time low, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. [caption id="attachment_22776" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Phyllis Buchanan/Flickr[/caption] Women over 35 are showing an uptick in childbirths now, which is a different pattern from that of the Boomers’ generation. Basically, this shows that millennials are having kids either later or not at all. Millennials simply can’t afford to have children. Also, millennial women feel like they have a choice now — gone are the days where you HAD to be a mother and housewife. NEXT: Here’s how many American women are actually having children now, and the number will likely surprise you.
18. One in five women don’t have childrenThanks to the fastly declining birth rate, there will be more elderly folks than children in the future, says MarketWatch. [caption id="attachment_22777" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Richard Royle/Flickr[/caption] Hopefully, geriatric care will have improved by then — no grandchildren will be taking care of me… Today in the U.S., one in five women doesn’t have kiddos. If they do have children, they might be older than 35. The rate of first-time births between the ages of 40 and 44 has doubled from 1990 to 2012. These days, it’s a lot more common for women to wait to start a family. NEXT: Here’s a reason why women are choosing not to have children.
19. The U.S. isn’t supportive of working mothersMore women are choosing not to have children because they feel like they have the choice not to if they don’t want to. [caption id="attachment_22783" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Basheer Tome/Flickr[/caption] Women have more agency in their lives and aren’t restricted to being only a mother or housewife. On top of that, since they aren’t federally mandated to offer maternity leave in America, a lot don’t. Women’s careers can stall if they choose to have children. Not only are women usually tasked with house work and child care still, but many places of work also aren’t mom-friendly. Recently, E-commerce fashion site, Nasty Gal was accused of pushing out new mothers. NEXT: College students you’re on your own!
20. Parents contribute roughly $18K to their child’s educationAnd that is not even enough… Parents are contributing less and less to their child’s education due to their finances. [caption id="attachment_22784" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dan Nelson/Flickr[/caption] It isn’t because they’re mean parents, but because they just can’t contribute more than the average. College tuition has risen dramatically throughout the years. The state schools that were created for the purpose of offering quality education for less expensive prices for in-state students are out of reach. Fidelity says that just 29 percent of parents say they plan to fully pay for their children’s education. NEXT: Here’s why 23 percent of the population doesn’t want children, and you can probably guess the reason why.
21. Many millennials don’t make enough to support a childUnlike their parents, the baby boomer generation, millennials make a lot less money overall. The data is quite astounding. [caption id="attachment_22786" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Alan Light/Flickr[/caption] The New York Times surveyed that Twenty-three percent of millennials said they chose to not have children for economic reasons. A third can’t afford child care, 24 percent can’t afford a house and 13 percent are saddled by student debt. Raj Chetty, who led a research project about income levels found that half of the individuals born in the 1980s make as much money as their parents did. Midwestern states, in particular, are doing poorer in wage-earning, adds the article. NEXT: Women being able to choose their future leads to lower birth rates.
22. High fertility = little gender equality“There are no high fertility countries that are gender equal,” said Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland in a New York Times article. Fortune Live Media/FlickrIt makes sense: More women giving birth could mean they have less of a choice when it comes to selecting whether to focus on their career or having a family. A Pew Research Center study said that almost 50 percent of women in their early 40s had children by age 29 in 2014. In 1994, there was 60 percent of women in this category. Another Pew survey revealed that 1/5th of respondents think women should not have children if they want a flourishing career. NEXT: How boomers are affected by lower birth rates.
23. Boomers can’t find families to buy their homesMany baby boomers have invested their wealth into their homes rather than in the bank or investment portfolios. [caption id="attachment_22922" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr[/caption] Many baby boomers thought they’d be able to sell their home for a higher value than what they got it for. Once they sold that house, they could downsize and move into an apartment to live out their Golden Years. Forbes reports that millennials can’t afford to buy homes and those that can, would prefer to not live in suburbs. (If you were wondering, 70 percent of boomers live in the ‘burbs). NEXT: Here’s another reason why child care is so unaffordable.
24. Wealthy families are investing more in daycareRaising a child takes a whole village. A Pew Research study found that more than 60 percent of parents said it was difficult to find affordable child care. [caption id="attachment_22923" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ted Eytan/Flickr[/caption] Median income has barely rose but child care costs have risen dramatically from 1985 to 2011, says the US Census. Chris Herbst, a professor at Arizona State University said this rise in child care is because of high earners investing more in child care. They only want the very best for their kid, meaning they might be competing for the same spot at the fancy Los Feliz daycare center. NEXT: This is what low income families have to resort to in order to get care for their child.
25. Some low-income families don’t qualify for subsidized daycareOften times, low-income families need to rely on relatives or unlicensed caregivers to watch their children while at work, say QZ. [caption id="attachment_22925" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Ashley Basil/Flickr[/caption] This can often be tough — family members might not be able to (or want to) watch over children constantly. Unlicensed caregivers could potentially put children’s lives in danger if they don’t know skills such as CPR or bottle feeding. True, there is low cost or even free daycare for low wage earners, but there’s a high percentile of workers that don’t meet those minimum requirements. NEXT: How we look at childhood altogether probably has something to do with why children end up being so expensive.
26. Children don’t contribute to family labor — anymoreRemember all those old photos from the Industrial Revolution of children working in factories that we used to see everywhere? [caption id="attachment_22928" align="aligncenter" width="720"] The Library of Congress/Flickr[/caption] History.com says that kids had been servants and apprentices for years but it got pretty bad during the Industrial Revolution. They worked long hours for little money as they were easy to manage and could be paid less than adults. What’s more — they could fit in tiny places, unlike adults. Pretty much a score for factory managers. Thank God labor laws came in to play. Children were once engaged in labor, now they’re protected and nurtured. Therefore they cost more money! NEXT: There’s some things parents can do to lower costs.
27. An unlikely combo: babies and taxesOverall, costs can vary depending on the time of year you give birth, especially at the end of the year for those tax breaks! [caption id="attachment_22930" align="aligncenter" width="720"] daveynin/Flickr[/caption] December is surprisingly not the most common month for having children, actually! A study from Harvard says that many babies are born during the month of September. Parents can claim a child tax credit worth up to $1,000 per child under 2017 tax laws, says Fool.com. This is only for joint filers under a $110,000 income or single filers with a $75,000 salary or lower. NEXT: Experts agree that you should save up before deciding to have a child. Here’s how much you should be saving.
28. Save a year’s worth of salary before having a childWe’re all in agreement that babies cost a lot of money. If this hasn’t deterred you from having offspring, make sure you prepare for the upcoming costs. [caption id="attachment_23022" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Vladimir Pustovit/Flickr[/caption] Most experts suggest saving the equivalent of one year salary before having a baby. LearnVest suggests $20,000 in savings at least. Baby costs can, of course, run higher than that as we know. LearnVest also suggests getting your debt under control and putting away 10 percent of your monthly pay into your savings. There’s also non-financial preparations to think of. NEXT: Before deciding to become first-time parents, it is probably important that you ask yourself these questions.
29. Will someone help you raise a child?Raising a child doesn’t only take money. It takes organization, planning and lots of help from family, friends and/or hired help! FearfulStills/FlickrTaking these factors into consideration is essential when preparing for a child to come into the world. Chances are, new parents are going to continue working. Who’s going to help with child care?Will friends or family help? Will you hire a babysitter? Live-in nanny? Having a baby shower will offset costs of strollers, diapers, cradles, and other items — will someone throw you one? You might want to start asking for some hand me downs. NEXT: Taking advantage of these tax credits can go a long way.
30. Make sure you take advantage of child tax creditsThese exist to help parents and guardians offset child-rearing costs. The tax credit was $1,000 but the current administration changed it to $2,000 in 2018. [caption id="attachment_23024" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Peter McConnochie/Flickr[/caption] This is a dollar-for-dollar reduction on your tax bill rather than a deduction. In other words, it lets you reduce your federal income amount. Therefore you owe the IRS a bit less. You can get this $2,000 per child as long as each child is under 17 years of age. It’s not a huge amount of money but it’s something. Doing this properly on your taxes helps reduce costs of children. Make sure you qualify and take advantage of that free money!]]>
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