The other day my mother casually mentioned when she was my age she was married with a baby on the way — woah. Although I am nowhere near ready to start a family, it got me thinking about what I would need to prepare for one.

My mother grew up at a different time and country, so clearly there were different things to take into consideration when starting a family. No matter what age you are and where you live; it still costs a lot of money to raise a child.

Thanks to the awesome website, I was able to crunch some numbers to see an approximation of how much money you would need for a baby. For the purposes of this article, when asked to input demographics; I said the child would be born in 2011, to two parents earning between $56,300 to $98,500 a year and would be expected to attend a public college.

Here is a table showing the various costs based off regional locations:

Expense AnnuallyCity or suburb in the WestCity or suburb in the NortheastCity or suburb in the SouthCity or suburb in the MidwestRural Area (under 2,500)

Although I am very aware of cost-of-living differences between the Northeast and more rural areas, seeing the cost of raising a child back to back was alarming. If I were to stay in New York to raise my child, I would be paying $36,990 more than if I moved back to the Midwest where I grew up. By moving to the Midwest, I would save approximately $1,681 a year in Chicago, and $3,636 in a rural area.

The website calculated obvious costs like education, healthcare and clothing, but they also looked at things like housing and miscellaneous items. Quite honestly, I never considered the cost to just house a child: added space, higher utilities, extra furniture. Miscellaneous items included entertainment, reading materials and personal care products for your child.

Clearly, when it comes time for me to start a family I will be more financially prepared and luckily, these costs are not lump-sum. I still think it’s important to keep these costs in mind at a young age to start the appropriate savings accounts for the life you want in the future. Considering I am 23, single and living in New York, I think it will be about 80 years before I am actually ready to have a baby, and another 80 before I am financially ready.

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  • Terminusest

    I thought this article was quite informative; however, the grammar and punctuation was not “awesome.”  Really, it’s not all that hard to figure out a compound sentence will need a comma to separate the two clauses.  After reading this piece, the word “remedial” came to mind.  Where’s the editor for this site?