And that doesn’t include college

New estimates show that inflation isn’t just jacking up the cost of groceries and gasoline, but childrearing, too. The cost to raise a child for a two-parent, married family with two kids on a middle income? Over $310,000.

The Brookings Institution‘s estimate addresses children born in 2015 and spans all the costs through the age of 17. And spoiler alert: it doesn’t include any costs for sending your kids to college.

That $310K price tag has jumped $80,000 from 2017, which equals out to be over $18K per year.  Expenses that fit into the increase are plentiful and include child care, healthcare, housing, food clothing, haircuts, diapers and other must-haves like sports and lessons.

Related: 16 Ways to Shop Smart & Save Money on Groceries


So how did experts arrive at that number? It came down to using an average inflation rate of 2.23% (2015-2020), plus another 1.77% for the last two years. Thank you, recession!

“The new estimate only crunches numbers for middle-income, married parents, and doesn’t include projections for single parent households, or consider how race factors into cost challenges” reports The Hill. The cost for those family dynamics are even more bleak.

“Rising expenses for raising a family could disproportionately affect lower-income families. For a single parent earning $20,000 or $30,000 a year, shelling out the extra funds for a child might be difficult,” says said Dr. Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at Brookings.

For Black families, the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute found that “that Black households are more exposed to inflation fluctuations than White households.” The Wall Street Journals says that “can make it difficult for households to determine how much the money they earn will buy.”

At the end of the day, no one enters parenthood thinking they are going to get off cheap. But for the next generation, we’re betting they’ll think long and hard about opening the purse strings before having kids.

Your daily dose of joy and connection
Get the Tinybeans app