3 Financial Stats That Will Make You Reconsider Not Having Kids


Many people who aren’t parents are still deciding whether to have kids. Having children is a life-changing decision. For many, it’s part of their life goals. But it’s not for everyone, so it’s wise to consider how your life will change as a result.

If you decide to have children, your finances will be impacted, too. Let me share some financial stats that may make you reconsider not having kids.

1. It costs around $300,000 to raise a child to age 17

In 2023, The Motley Fool Ascent’s Here’s How Much It Cost to Raise a Child study examined the financial impact of raising a family. Our research highlighted various stats regarding the cost of raising a child. Let’s take a closer look.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that a middle-income family spends an average of $233,610 to raise one child to age 17. This figure doesn’t account for inflation.

Based on a 2022 Brookings Institution analysis of this USDA data, assuming an inflation rate of 4% for a child born in 2015 and raised until age 17, it would cost $310,605.

Many everyday living costs have continued to rise over the last few years, so raising a child born in 2024 and beyond will likely cost significantly more. Those with multiple kids will face greater financial impact. These figures may have you reconsidering whether to have kids.

2. Americans spend an average of $321 per week on daycare

In the U.S., child care costs continue to climb, and many new parents aren’t aware of how much they’ll pay for child care. Finding low-cost, reliable, and quality care can be difficult. Many affordable care solutions have long wait lists, so parents may be forced to pay more elsewhere.

According to the Care.com 2024 Cost of Care Report, families paid an average of $321 weekly for daycare in 2023. Care.com also found that 20% of respondents spent more than $36,000 on child care in 2023. For many families, that’s much more than their annual mortgage expenses.

If you decide to have kids and want to continue working, you should research how child care costs will impact your bank account. Spending thousands of dollars annually on this expense will make it more challenging to reach other financial goals.

3. The average highly skilled woman loses $230,000 in wages

Many parents, especially women, struggle to care for their children while continuing to reach career milestones. Many women reduce their working hours or take time off from work and have gaps in their resumes because they prioritize caring for their children.

It can be difficult to make career advancements after having children. Many moms earn less money during their lifetime because they have kids. The Mommy Track Divides study found that having a child costs the average highly skilled woman $230,000 in lost lifetime wages.

Consider your personal, professional, and financial goals

The above stats may surprise you. Many adults do not know how much it costs to raise a child until they become parents. Having kids can be a rewarding experience, but don’t rush into this life-changing decision without first considering how your entire family will be impacted.

When making decisions that will impact your life and the lives of those around you, consider your personal, professional, and financial goals. If you decide to have children, it’s wise to take steps to prepare financially first. For additional tips, check out our personal finance resources.

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