Childfree vs. Single Family Home: the Unexpected Expenses of Being a Parent

It’s not a surprise for anyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status, that having kids costs a lot of money, lots! To be exact the bill for raising a child up to the the age of 17 is $233,610 according to data by The United States Department of Agriculture. Therefore more Americans are delaying or postponing indefinitely the idea of becoming a parent, turning the DINK (Double Income No Kids) lifestyle into a popular trend.

We don’t want to contribute to the debate of whether having children or not is worth it; that’s a very personal choice. We do however, want to point out that it’s not only food and diapers you need to spend money on. The first year of a newborn, expenses could average a moderate figure of $10,000 without medical bills. Think about a bedroom remodel to accommodate the new baby with furniture such as a crib and changing table as well as a car seat, stroller, high chair, bottles, clothing, daycare and so on. If you consider this costly, just wait because kids’ expenses increase exponentially as they get older.

Housing Doesn't Come Cheap

The surprising fact is that only home related expenses account for 29% of total cost to raise a child. This housing costs include shelter (mortgage payments or rent, property taxes, maintenance and insurance), utilities (electricity, water, telephone, etc.) and furnishings and equipment. That would average an amount of $67,746 just on dwelling alone.

So if you wonder what a childfree house can afford, here’s an idea of what $67,746 can buy:

And there’s still about $3,800 which can be used to upgrade to fancier furniture you wouldn’t buy if kids were around.

Bare in mind that $67,746 is only an estimate of what it costs your house to have kids. Other expenses such as Food 18%, Transportation 15%, Healthcare 9%, Childcare & Education 16%, Clothing 6% and Miscellaneous 7% make up the grand total of $233,610

Moreover, the Expenditures on Children by Families study points out that due to the inflation rate, the figure for raising a child up to the age of 17 could go up to $284,570, which means you could have an extra $50,960 to squander.

And if you add the annual cost of a university degree, $45,370 for a private college or $20,090 for a public one, your house could go from just home improvements to a state-of-the-art residence.


United States Department of Agriculture