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How much does it cost to raise a child?

03 September 2010 by National Bank
How much does it cost to raise a child?

While the costs associated with raising a first child will represent approximately 20% of the family budget, they diminish with each additional child.

That is the estimate of the National Council of Welfare, which in 2004 published a study on the costs of raising a child. The figure is based on a calculation of approximately $10,000 per year, over 18 years.

Obviously, annual expenditures vary by age, with initial costs for things like diapers, clothing and baby food exacting a heavy toll on the family budget.

In the years that follow, expenses dip slightly before rebounding again through adolescence. In total, it is estimated that a first child will account for approximately 20% of the family budget.

Fortunately, a second child doesn’t subtract an additional 20% from the family budget, since most of the big ticket items have already been purchased for the first child. That being said, a family welcoming a third child faces a whole new set of potential expenses, including consideration of a roomier vehicle or a larger house.

Studies conducted in Montreal by the National Council of Welfare demonstrate that expenses will vary greatly from family to family. Families who fare best are those who rely on a network of family and friends, or who purchase used goods to offset the costs of necessary items.

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