Raising a child costs a lot; tips to save

- From the child care to the latest gear to just putting a roof over their heads, kids are not cheap.

So just how much? A middle income, married couple living in the urban Northeast United States that had a child in 2015 can expect to spend upwards of $253,000 from birth to age 17, according to the latest report from the United States Department of Agriculture. That doesn't even include college. And it is far below what many New York City families spend on raising their kids.

The USDA report found the single largest expenditure for raising children has to do with housing costs followed by food and child care and education.

Holistic wealth expert and author Leanne Jacobs says the financial impact of having a child can be softened by making some adjustments before the baby arrives: open a family bank account that you automatically deposit to every week. She also recommends saving on things like toys, clothes, and furniture. Go to so-called mom sales and ask for hand-me-downs from friends, and team up with families who have older children.

But even with cost saving tricks, raising a child is still going to cost you. But it is an investment parents say is well worth it.

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