Every year since 1960, the U.S.D.A. has released the Cost of Raising a Child Report, and to sum it up: those rugrats are breaking the bank! Child-rearing costs $233,000 between a kid’s birth and 18th birthday – and this doesn't include pregnancy costs or college education. But what if you were as savvy about child-raising as you are about grocery-shopping? We spoke with consumer expert Andrea Woroch to see if we could cut the cost of a kid in half. Can it be done? Read on for three ways to reduce the cost of raising a child!
1. Move to the Boonies
First up, move to the boonies! Did you know 80 percent of Americans live in cities? “That means they're not only paying more for housing,” says Andrea. “They're gonna be paying more for childcare, for food, and transportation. So families who aren't willing to budge and make that sacrifice? They're gonna be spending even more money.” Moving to a rural area in any part of the country can save up to 27% of housing costs. That's 27% of 29%, or 8% of the total cost of raising a kid. Every little bit counts!
2. Attack Your Food Costs
Two kids eat almost $5,000 a year – so put that number on a diet! “You're going to be spending a lot more when you're relying on restaurant meals and takeout expenses,” says Andrea. Taking the kids out to eat two fewer times a week can save almost two-grand a year!
As for groceries? “It's really just planning ahead,” advises Andrea, “and becoming more savvy with your meals and grocery shopping.” Comparison shopping and couponing can trim a hundred bucks a month on groceries – adding up to as much as $3,000 off the yearly food total. Talk about eating into your costs!
3. Child Care and Education
Last up are child care and education expenses, which is all over the map. A nanny is super expensive, while your mom living in the basement to take care of the kids is cheap. So it's hard to calculate. But if your company has a Flexible Spending Account, use it. “Tapping into an FSA to use pre-tax dollars to pay for child care is definitely going to be the best way to save on those child care costs,” shares Andrea. Care.com estimates that FSAs save families about two grand a year – about 8 percent of the annual cost of a kid.
Those are three ways to cut the costs of raising a child. But if you really want to save money, a $1,000 vasectomy will save you about $466,00 on two kids. Just sayin’!
Looking to make more cuts? Check out the USDA’s full list of kid-related expenses by clicking here.
Are YOU giving any of these cuts a try? Sound off on our Facebook page @TheListShowTV.