The Cost of Raising a Child Continues to Rise

Would you rather have a Bentley, or a baby? Depending on the model you buy, the Bentley could be cheaper. According to recently released figures from the USDA, a middle-income family with a baby born in 2013 will spend $241,080 to raise that child to age 18. (By contrast, a 2014 Bentley Flying Spur has an MSRP of $200,500.)

These figures from the USDA account for the cost of food, clothing and other necessities, and this is just for one child. Even scarier: this doesn’t even include college costs, or projected inflation.

The value of a human life will always be more than that of any material thing, such as a high-end luxury car. That said, with all of the other considerations that come with becoming a parent, it is important to remember that having a baby is a financial decision, and it’s critical to plan accordingly. This topic is especially important to discuss as part of our ongoing conversations about financial education in our homes, schools, churches and communities, especially among teens, pre-teens and young adults.

This also underscores why couples who are considering starting a family need to be serious about financial planning, beginning with a well-thought out budget and a game plan for how they will approach spending, saving and investing decisions as a team. That includes plans to save for college tuition before the baby arrives.

This way, you are more likely to be prepared for that bundle of joy, as well as the price tag that comes with raising her. Or you can save a few thousand dollars and just go for the Bentley.

Black Enterprise Executive Editor-At-Large Alfred Edmond Jr. is an award-winning business and financial journalist, media executive, entrepreneurship expert,  personal growth/relationships coach, and co-founder of Grown Zone, a multimedia initiative focused on personal growth and healthy decision-making. This blog is dedicated to his thoughts about money, entrepreneurship, leadership and mentorship. Follow him on Twitter at @AlfredEdmondJr.