MEMPHIS, Tenn — Raising a child these days is expensive.
The amount you pay for a house is almost the same it cost to raise your child, with food being one of the top three expenses.
Virginia Barker is a single parent living on a fixed income.
She’s raising her 17-year-old daughter and a granddaughter who was born in October.
“It is expensive raising a child, especially when you on a fixed income and trying to raise a grandchild too,” she said.
Providing for the two may not get easier anytime soon.
A report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows a middle income family with a child born last year is expected to spend an average of $245,340 through age 18.
That’s up $4,260, or almost 2%, from the year before.
“That’s a lot of money and it’s very expensive especially buying Pampers. Trying to send her to school, buying school supplies and buying the baby clothes, buying her clothes,” Barker explained.
Besides food, parents are also spending the money on childcare and education.
That doesn’t include the amount it costs for college or a pregnancy after the age of 18.
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The USDA says 30-percent of the money is spend on housing, almost double any other category.
The combined category of child care and education is second at 18-percent followed by food and then transportation.
While baby supplies are expensive, the report shows you actually spend more money as they get older, making it even tougher for Virginia.
“Sometimes it come down to that like the end of the month you runs out of a lot of things, your money runs out, everything runs out. You need all the help you can get,” Barker replied.
Again, the expense in that report is based on how much it’s expected to cost up until the age of 18.
That report also shows the lowest costs are in urban areas in the South and rural regions in the U.S.