Now here is an interesting new form of birth control - a cost of raising a child calculator that helps you to find out how much it costs per year to raise a child. One of the more interesting facts about this calculator is that it is on the United States Department of Agriculture site - huh?
OK, here is the good news. This is a helpful tool. A great way to let your kids understand how much things cost. An even better way to keep friends who are hormonal and want to have another kid (you know who you are) understand the economics of giving in to those urges. It will assist someone who is looking at starting a family understand how they need to financially arrange their lives in order to raise children in the way they want.
Bad news. I really think that these figures are off for anyone that doesn't just want to go the straight public school, public services, HMO route.
If you are considering private school or violin lessons or tutors or nannies or summer camp or (egad!) perhaps a new-used car anytime during your child raising years.... you are going to have to add at least one zero after these figures.
On the other hand, this calculator does help you to see where you can use more bargain tips. If you see that you're spending way more (for example) on clothing, than the national average... then, perhaps you should utilize some of the many tips on saving money on clothing.
The calculations are pretty general, and I certainly wouldn't put kids names into the system (which is optional) but it's worth a look-see.