A recent article I read about parenting and money management included a study of how much money it costs to raise a child. Having raised a couple of children, I was not surprised to find out that it is quite expensive.
How much do people spend to raise a child? Well that all depends on how much you make. According to the article I read, if your family income is less than $44,500 per year, you can expect to spend about $143,790 to raise your child until she is 18. If you bring in between $44,500 and $74,900 you can expect to spend $197,700. And if your yearly family income is over $74,900, she will cost you $289,380.
Among the costs calculated were housing, food, transportation, clothes, health needs, and school expenses (not included were private schools or college). These are sobering numbers for anyone who is at the age where they are planning a family. There is so much to be considered when preparing to bring a child into the world. “How many children can we afford?” is a question many young couples wrestle with.
But as we crunch numbers and pay the bills, let’s not forget that the most important needs are not even included in these calculations. The greatest need of our children is to know God. The price we pay is in the currency of praying, teaching, and modeling.
They seem to get more expensive as they grow up — they always outgrow their pants and shoes. They soon get too old to order from the children’s menu. As the cost goes up and we work harder to pay the bills, we must not forget to show them Jesus. That is priceless.