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Opinion
Erin Lowry

Do You Know How Much a Kid Will Cost You?

Parents can no longer afford to just "figure it out" as they go when it comes to the financial expense of having kids.

This little bundle will set you back about $300,000.

This little bundle will set you back about $300,000.

Photographer: Evelyn Hockstein/Washington Post via Getty Images

Kids are expensive. Full stop. No matter your level of frugality, it's certainly costlier to have kids than to opt to be child-free. And yet, there’s a particular kind of societal pushback in the US when you attempt to speak bluntly about the financial concerns of having children. The prevailing retort: “Oh, you’ll figure it out.” While not entirely untrue, there’s a difference between feeling a new pinch in your monthly budget and finding yourself unable to afford what was previously considered comfortable.

It’s neither selfish nor self-indulgent to be pragmatic about the potential cost of conceiving, birthing and raising a child. It’s expensive under ideal conditions, not to mention the tens of thousands it can cost couples who are experiencing fertility struggles. It’s certainly not selfish to opt out of parenthood in part because it’s likely your overall quality of life would decline based on what would be affordable for you.