Have $235,000? That’s What It Costs To Raise A Kid Today-Before College

 Take your pick. Would you rather buy a 2012 Ferrari or would you rather–have a baby? The choice is yours but the cost for each is about the same.
An infantThis little guy will set you back $234,900 before he even heads to college. Good luck.

A report out today from USDA reveals that a middle-income family with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend about $234,900 ($295,560 if projected inflation costs are factored in).

That’s a 3.5% increase from 2010 and a 23% hike from 1960 (that’s when the USDA first issued this report) when the cost of raising a child was equivalent to $191,723.

The $234,900 represents costs for food, shelter and other necessities to raise a child for 17 years. The annual cost of raising a child today in a middle class family:$12,290 to $14,320, depending on the age of the child, according to the report.

Why the 3.5% jump from 2010? The report says the cost of transportation, child care, education, and food saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2010. Health care, clothing and housing costs also increased but to a lesser extent.

Of course, the cost jumps for higher income families; those earning more than $102,870 can expect to spend $389,670. A family earning less than $59,410 per year can expect to spend a total of $169,080 (in 2011 dollars) on a child from birth through high school.

Note that the $234, 900 figure does not include college costs since it covers the cost of raising a child for 17 years. With college costs soaring here’s hoping your little ones are smart enough to get a free ride–or least a call from Peter Thiel.

source: USDA