Being a parent will cost you a pretty penny - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Being a parent will cost you a pretty penny

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — If you're thinking of starting a family, be prepared to save up: because it's going to cost you a pretty penny.

According to a new report by the Department of Agriculture, it will cost about a quarter of a million dollars to raise one child; and that is only through age 17, it doesn't include college.

A middle-income family was estimated to spend $233,610 to raise a child in 2015.

News 8's Alicia Summers notes that means she'll be spending almost half a million dollars raising her two kids – Ashton and Jayden.

Emily Calabrese's family can expect to spend nearly $14,000 a year to raise her 3-year-old Gia.

"We kinda figured it was gonna cost a lot of money, but you can never be prepared for it's actually gonna cost," said Emily.

Housing was the biggest expense for middle-income families, according to the study, driven mostly by the cost of an extra bedroom.

"We wanted an extra bedroom for her and also a guest room, so we needed a four-bedroom," said Emily.

Food is the second biggest budget eater.

Another big expense is child care, which costs parents an average of $37,378 per child per year, according to the government.

While child care expenses dissipate as kids get older, transportation, food, health care and clothing costs rise.

"You get rid of one thing and add another and keep adding - that's the name of the game," Emily said.

The total cost of raising a child up to age 17 varies depending on income, but ask any parent, and they'll tell you, it's worth every penny.

"It's so worth it," said Emily. "She's awesome."

Parents with teenagers can expect to fork over the most money on food.

Siblings can reduce some budgetary pressure, according to the study; households with three or more children spend 24 percent less on average per child compared to those with two kids.

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