Cost revealed: $250k to raise a child

NZ Herald Aug 16, 2009

Raising a child to the age of 18 will cost the average parents almost $250,000. The calculation, included in a draft study for the Inland Revenue Department, covers only expenses. It doesn’t count parents’ loss of income or childcare costs. The income lost by one parent staying at home during that period would be almost $165,000, based on the national average wage calculated by Statistics New Zealand – pushing the true total to almost a quarter of a million dollars. The report, Costs of Raising Children, by Iris Claus, Geoff Leggett and Xin Wang, will be included in a Government review of the formula used to determine child-support payments.

The authors concluded that parents on a high income would spend almost three times as much on a single child as those on a low wage. They also found costs for second and subsequent children could be reduced by the use of hand-me-downs – raising four children would cost parents on a middle income $686 a week. Not surprisingly, children aged 12 and under cost less than teens. But the figures covered only basic expenses, such as food, clothes and vital equipment.