The Cost Of Raising A Child May Surprise You

If you’re a parent, you’re probably already aware that raising a child is not cheap.
According to the USDA, if your child is born in 2013, you’re looking at a hefty price tag for raising your kid.

For a middle income family, it’s estimated that you will spend $245,340 to raise a child up until the age of 18.

I spoke with a local financial planner, who says there are simple ways to offset those costs.
As a mother of three and director of the Sonshine Center Daycare, Erin Storhoff is well aware raising a child doesn’t come cheap.
“We have families out in Mapleton that drive to Casselton instead of driving to Fargo,” says Sonshine Center Daycare, Erin Storhoff.
Storhoff says her daycare rates are cheaper than most. But daycare is just one of many factors that up the overall cost of raising a child.
“Orthodontics across the U.S. estimates that about 45 percent will need orthodontics for functional purposes,” says Bell State Bank Financial Planner, Becky Walen.
Walen says there are options like the flexible spending account or health savings account, tax-free account set aside only for medical expenses.

But how about one of the biggest expenses, education.
“We have the North Dakota college save plan which actually gets you a tax benefit on your North Dakota income tax each year,” says Walen.
“To find out how much your child costs you, you can google USDA raising a child calculator. From there you just plug in some information and you have your answer.”
Walen, a mother of three, even tried the calculator herself.
“It was about $17,000 to $20,000 per year with my youngest being the least expensive and my oldest being the most,” says Walen.
The numbers can be overwhelming, and aside from savings plans there are simple steps you can take to cutting down costs.
“When we go shopping we don’t buy the name brand very often,” says Sonshine Center Teacher, Miranda Keller.
“Really thinking about how to raise them so they can make smart financial decisions when their time comes,” says Walen.
Walen also says that just in the past year the cost for school supplies has jumped 11.5 percent.

She says keeping the same backpack or refraining from buying the name brand notebooks can help reduce those costs.

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