Feel like it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet these days, especially if you are raising a family? It’s not your imagination. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child have increased dramatically — 40 percent in just the last 10 years. Everything that is associated with trying to care for a family, be it child care, gas, food costs, medical insurance or even clothing has shown a large increase that by far has outpaced inflation, even as the recession has continued and wages have remained nearly stagnant.
The cost of raising a child for just one year is now nearly $14,000, compared to the just under $10,000 it cost back in the year 2000. And as that $4000 a year builds up over time, you are looking at a nearly $60,000 increase in spending just to get your child to age 18.
And we aren’t even talking about college.
It’s difficult enough to meet these expenses with two incomes, but for the 25 percent of children who live in single parent households, most of them women, it grows even harder. Single parent and especially women headed households have a much higher rate of poverty, primarily due to child care costs and lack of other resources that could financially support these families — resources that are being cut daily in the name of state and federal fiscal management. In fact, 40 percent of households headed by women are currently in poverty.
If child rearing costs continue to raise at this rate, expect that number to grow even greater by the time the next decade ends.
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