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Revised cost to raise child may cause sticker shock

Thinking about having a child in the near future? A new government study says that decision could cost you more than just hours of sleep and time changing diapers.

$241,080 to be exact. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has crunched the numbers and the cost of child rearing over an 18-year-period jumped about three percent from last year. (Via USA Today)

But what has researchers concerned is the decline in median annual household income across the country. That has dropped by more than $4,000 since 2000. (Via CBS)

So what exactly makes up that almost $250,000?

Housing, health care, and child care spending took up the largest chunks. Health care expenses cost an estimated $20,000, while a year of daycare could cost as much as $15,000 per year." (Via CNN)

Factor in food, transportation and clothing and you’ve got yourself a laundry list of expenses.

Geography also weighs significantly on the cost of raising a child. Families raising children in urban areas have to sacrifice a great deal more cash than those living in rural areas. (Via USDA)

The USDA has been calculating the cost of raising a child since 1960. Adjusted for inflation, the cost has skyrocketed by 23 percent over the past 5 decades. (Via ABC)

Even more concerning, the study doesn’t figure in college as a cost, and that can rack up anywhere from $17,000 a year to upwards of $35,000 per year.

The USDA offers a child cost calculator on its website, where visitors can add up what they can expect to pay as their child grows up. (Via USDA)

So if and when you decide to take that next big step, remember that little bundle of joy could wind up costing you a larger bundle of cash than you might expect.

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