$1.1 Million: Cost to Raise a Child, from Birth through College

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A simply hilarious and insightful quote: “It is commonly said that buying a house is the biggest purchase most Americans will ever make. Having a baby is like buying six houses. Except that they don’t increase in value, you can’t sell them and after 16 years they’ll probably say they hate you.”

This comes from a WSJ story that riffs off of the reality TV family announcing its 19th child on the way, and that explores how and why Americans are having fewer children, and how and why it’s become so darn expensive to raise them. Among the reasons it costs a ton:

The average cost of state-university tuition, along with room and board, is now $14,333. Private colleges average a good deal more— $34,132. But what’s really striking is the rate of increase. During the past 35 years, the real-dollar cost of college has increased by 1,000%. That’s not a misprint.

And the grand summation:

When you add it all up, it’s not uncommon for a single child to cost a normal, middle-class family something like $1.1 million, from birth through the undergrad years. To get some perspective, the median price of a home in 2008 was $180,100. It is commonly said that buying a house is the biggest purchase most Americans will ever make. Having a baby is like buying six houses. Except that they don’t increase in value, you can’t sell them and after 16 years they’ll probably say they hate you.

At the very least, you can save some money by not buying useless baby products.

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