How much does it cost to be a parent in 2022?


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Parenting is expensive – so much so that some Americans choose not to have children or have fewer children than they want due to financial issues. A 2018 New York Times survey of young adults who said they had or expected to have fewer children than they considered ideal cited financial reasons among the top causes for this decision.

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According the poll64% said child care is too expensive, 49% were worried about the economy, 44% said they couldn’t afford to have more children, 43% said they waited because of financial instability, 39% said it was because they did not have enough paid family leave and 38% said it was because they had no paid family leave at all.

Considering how much it costs to raise a child, financial worries are justified. According to the latest data from the United States Department of Agricultureit would cost parents $233,610 to raise a child born in 2015. Adjusted to 2022 dollars for inflation, that works out to $296,188.

Here is a breakdown of the cost to be a parent in 2022.

Basic expenses

The USDA found that the biggest expense for parents is housing, which accounts for 29% of the total cost. In 2015, the USDA estimated that the annual cost of housing a child in an urban area was $3,900, while the average cost of housing a child in a rural area was $2,400. Adjusted to 2022 dollars, that’s $4,945 and $3,043 per year, respectively.

The second largest expense is food, which accounts for 18% of total costs. These fees vary by age. Here is an overview of the average annual costs from 2015:

  • 0-2 years: $1,580 ($2,003 in 2022 dollars)
  • 3 to 5 years: $1,690 ($2,143 in 2022 dollars)
  • 6 to -8 years old: $2,280 ($2,891 in 2022 dollars)
  • 9 to 11 years old: $2,680 ($3,398 in 2022 dollars)
  • 12 to 14 years old: $2,780 ($3,525 in 2022 dollars)
  • 15 to 17 years old: $2,790 ($3,537 in 2022 dollars)

Other costs parents need to consider include transportation (15% of total costs), health care (9% of total costs), clothing (6% of total costs), and miscellaneous expenses, such as recreation and entertainment (7% of total costs). ).

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Child care and education

Another big expense is childcare and education, which accounts for 16% of a parent’s total budget, according to USDA estimates.

A 2022 Survey found that more than half of parents (59%) said they are more concerned about child care costs now than in previous years. It also revealed that 51% of parents spend more than 20% of their household income on childcare, and 72% of parents report spending 10% or more. In order to pay for childcare costs, many parents have had to make adjustments, including taking a second job (31%), reducing work hours (26%), changing jobs (25%) and leaving the labor market completely (21%). , the investigation revealed.​​

The cost of childcare will vary depending on how you plan to go about it. Will a parent stay home and therefore lose any income they may have brought in? Can a family member provide free child care? Are you going to hire a nanny? Will you send the child to daycare? What about after school care?

In 2021, average weekly costs for child care were $694 for a nanny, $226 for child care, $221 for family child care, and $261 for an after-school babysitter, according to

It should also be noted that the USDA’s total cost estimate to raise a child does not include tuition. According to Education Data Initiative. Multiplied by four years, that equals an additional $101,948 for a public college education in the state and $212,868 for a private college education.

How to prepare financially to raise a child in 2022

While all of these numbers are at odds, there are ways to prepare your finances so you’re ready for what’s to come. Morgan Stanley offers the following suggestions:

  • Have at least three to six months of expenses saved in an emergency fund.
  • Plan a budget for all necessary expenses, adapting as your child grows and their needs change.
  • Don’t buy every baby gadget you see – many are useless.
  • Determine childcare plans early so you know how much to budget for this expense.
  • Start saving for college as soon as possible. Options include a 529 plan, Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA), or deposit account.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Prior to joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and His work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High, and Discover Los Angeles, and she’s been featured on “Good Morning America” ​​as a celebrity news expert.


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