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Personal Finance: Kids Just Got More Expensive!

Submitted by • August 27, 2012

“People just keep spending more on their children,” according to a USDA report.

According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, middle-income families with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend $8,000 more over the course of raising that child than families with children born in 2010 and earlier. That’s a 3.5 percent increase over the 2010 number, and the culprits are not items that you can necessarily “scrimp and pinch” on. The sharp spike in the cost of kids is due, in large part, to dramatic increases in expenses for transportation, child care, education, and food. These factors “surged” in 2011, according to the report, causing the jump in the total cost of raising a child from $227,000 to $235,000[1]. The USDA report blames the surge in cost in large part on gas prices, which make “car trips to soccer games…more costly”[2]. However, noted USDA economist Mark Lino, all aspects of expenditures on children are heading steadily upward.

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