Sep 26, 2023

Question of the Day: What is the total cost of raising a child from birth to age 18?

You might want to get the IOUs ready for the folks who raised you...

Answer: Around $240,000

A stack of coins next to small cardboard figurines of 2 parents and 2 children.


  • Do you think the financial investment in raising a child is justified by the emotional and societal benefits of having children? Why or why not?
  • How does the cost of raising a child impact a family's financial stability and future planning?
  • What economic factors should parents consider before deciding to have children?


Here are the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (CBS): 

"Millions of Americans struggle to put money away, leaving them empty-handed as they approach one of life's key financial milestones. 

No, not retirement — having a child, which new research shows is getting more expensive by the year.  Raising a child from birth to age 18 now costs an average of $237,482, according to LendingTree. And as with other major household spending categories, like health care and college, the tab for bring up kids is surging, with the financial firm finding that the average annual cost of child-rearing stood at $21,681 in 2021 — up almost 20% from 2016."


The COMPARE: Needs vs. Wants activity will have your students thinking critically about their budgeting priorities.


Looking for more budgeting resources? Check out the Budgeting unit page.

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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