Raising a kid will cost you $245,000 — Here are 12 things that cost the same

Compiled by Herb Scribner, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Tue, Aug. 19, 2014, 10:25 a.m. MDT

 Young father and his baby

Young father and his baby

(LiudmylaSupynska, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Finding a discount or deal on having kids isn’t going to come anytime soon.

The average cost of raising a child has been on the rise in the last few years, reaching a new average of $245,000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Northeast pays the most of any region for their kids at an average $282,480, the USDA found.

Here’s some additional information from the Department of Agriculture:

That’s a lot of dough being dished out to take care of kids. Even though some families, especially those in low-income areas, are going to spend closer to $150,000 on their kids, the USDA reported, these averages don’t count the cost of college — which has its own average cost ranging from $22,000 to $45,000 a year, according to College Data.

The $245,000 price tag may only seem like a string of numbers upon first glance, but it's so much more.

Here’s a look at what else you can buy for the same amount it costs to raise a child:


You could see 30,779 films at the movie theater.

After an up climb in price, the average cost of a movie ticket lowered to $7.96 earlier this year, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. That means you could see more than 30,000 movies, especially if you split your time between the big blockbuster/date night films and the midday matinees. To put that in perspective, Americans only saw about 21,000 movies combined in 2012, the Motion Picture Association of America reported.

You could drink 177,536 cups of coffee.

The average cup of coffee — without espresso or fancy flavors — costs $1.38, according to Statistic Brain, an online research and statistics organization. That means you could buy 177,536 cups of coffee and still have a little change left over to offer your overworked barista a tip.

You could buy the latest Bentley.

Want that shiny new Bentley? That’ll cost you between $206,300 and $250,100, according to Autobytel, an online car research company. That would leave you with some leftover cash to spend on the extra added costs of a luxury car.

You could buy a yacht and eat 331 dinners in New York City.

Yachts vary on price, but this 2004 model is selling for a solid $228,900. So what should you do with that extra $16,100? You could eat a meal in New York City for almost every day of the year, according to Zagat, a food and restaurant information website.

You could buy two houses and catch a flight to China.

The average price of a home in Michigan is $114,000, and for Ohio it’s $129,000, Statistic Brain found. Buying houses outright in those states will leave you with $2,000 extra. So grab a flight to China, which hovers around $1,300, according to Google.

You could buy 5,400 shares of stock in Twitter or 3,200 shares of stock in Facebook.

Twitter’s stock price is about $45, and Facebook’s is bouncing near the $75 mark. With $245,000, you could buy more than $240,000 of those stocks and watch the worth rise — given that social media sticks around.

You could buy an incredible amount of Legos.

Less than a week ago, four people were arrested for stealing what came to be about $200,000 worth of Legos, The Blaze reported. But instead of lifting these off the shelf and speeding away, you could do things the legal way and buy them yourself.

You could pay for 1,443 dates in Chicago.

Business Insider reported that an average cost of a date in the windy city rests at around $170, which would allow you to go out on more than 1,000 dates in that city alone. You could try your luck in Tokyo, too, where each date costs on average $234, according to Business Insider.

You could go to college at least twice over.

As noted earlier, the average yearly cost of college ranges between $22,000 and $45,000, which would allow you to head to an in-state public school or an out-of-state private school at least twice over four years without owing a single dime afterward.

You could buy 40 70-inch HDTVs, gaming systems, speakers and media consoles.

Buying a 70-inch screen HDTV ($1,500), an Xbox One ($399), a Sony Playstation 4 ($350), Nintendo Wii ($300) and surround sound speakers ($300) will only cost you $2,849. Throw in an awesome entertainment center for another $3,000, and you’ve only spent about $6,000 on everything. Guess you could buy 40 more of those four pals.

You can buy 68 Super Bowl tickets, 46 World Cup Final tickets or 119 World Series’ Game 7 tickets.

Want to go to the Super Bowl? That’s $3,552. The World Cup Final? That’ll be $5,240. What about World Series Game 7? No biggie, just $2,056. Have fun bringing your friends to those games.

You could host a concert with Kelly Clarkson and Flo Rida.

Want to have an awesome concert that your friends will remember for years to come? With $245,000, you could book Kelly Clarkson ($150,000) and Flo Rida ($150,000) for an appearance, according to Priceonomics. You may also consider 3 Doors Down ($150,000), Avicii ($150,000), Bob Dylan ($150,000) or Creed ($100,000) for your concerts.

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner

1. Shane333
Cedar Hills, UT,
Aug. 19, 2014

Fortunately each subsequent child after the first doesn't have to cost quite as much. A crib can be used more than once, as can a baby carrier or toddler seat for the car, or a diaper changing table, etc. Kids can double up in bedrooms.

So each additional child doesn't have to tack on an extra $245,000. It can be less.

Also, there are ways to shave down that $245,000. Nursing instead of using formula, for example, can save money. Shopping wisely and buying in bulk can save considerably on grocery costs as the family grows.

2. ChemicAl
Aug. 19, 2014

I am not exactly sure about the purpose of this article. Are you trying to tell us what we should get instead of children? Or perhaps, you are trying to inflate the egos of parents by showing them how self-sacrificing they are?
How about, instead of this fluff piece, we see an article about how these institutions come their conclusions, if it is all based on single children or families with more than one, and how it compares to our own lives.
I have always found these numbers to be inflated. We love and cherish our kids, but we don't send them to a summer camp that costs several thousand dollars. We own a manageable home, drive one car, and shop responsibly.
On the other side, are childless couples really going to buy houses that cost less or take cheaper vacations? These are two factors that are often calculated into these results.
Let's have a realistic look at these number and what they mean.

3. Owl
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 19, 2014

This is a very silly article because it is impossible to monetize the value of children. Few parents would trade their children for $245,000. If couples put themselves first, the world is better off if they don't have children.

4. cjb
Bountiful, UT,
Aug. 20, 2014

I don't believe raising a kid costs this much. One can do it well for much less.

5. Hamath
Omaha, NE,
Aug. 20, 2014

Many people have talked about this exact idea, but with wildly different ideas. I've heard this sentiment hundreds of times. Some people think this way and getting the more accurate numbers for those people is important to them. I've heard some say $1,000,000 per child.

I think anyone who doesn't have a family because they want the 20,000 plus movies or whatever else is making not just a bad choice, but a very bad choice. However, there are lots of people who disagree. That is why our birthrate is dropping so much in the US. And because they think that way, that makes this article not silly. I don't agree with them. That doesn't mean their voice shouldn't be heard. Or their thinking at least fixed in someways.

@ Shane333. Great points. I think the $245,000 is ludicrous. I've only averaged 40,000 over a 20 year period with no gov't or church support. I have 6 kids and I certainly don't think I've spent close to 245,000 for the one who is about to turn 18.