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Life Lessons: Children are expensive!

Published On: Nov 15 2013 05:00:00 AM EST

This year's cost to raise a child from birth to age 17: $241,000. Here are some ways to cut some of those costs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Annual Expenditures on Children by Family report provides the cost of raising a child from birth to age 17.

This year's total was over $241,000, and that's without the costs of pregnancy or college.

Seventy-eight percent of that cost is spent on housing, child care, education, food, and transportation.


Here are some ways to cut some of those costs:

First is housing.

Buy your own house if you can. Remember, cutting down one bedroom can save you $400 a month.

Next is child care and education.

Half of the families who responded reported no costs because they used family members to watch their kids. Usually child care runs about $4,000 a year.

Third is food.

Americans spend almost $40,000 on it. Cut back on going out, buy generic, and use coupons to get this number down.

The fourth cost is transportation.

Buying a car just one year old can cut the price by 20 percent on average. And keeping up the maintenance of your car can help save on gas costs.