Mon, 24 Sep 2012 13:15:00 GMT | By MSN Money
Costs of raising a child

We break down the expenses of raising a kid before he or she turns 18.



We break down all the expenses that you'll be spending on your kid before they turn 18 years old. (© Getty Images)
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  • We break down all the expenses that you'll be spending on your kid before they turn 18 years old. (© Getty Images)
  • The average Canadian household spent $7,443 on food in 2010, according to Statistics Canada. (© iStock)
  • Shelter and furnishings (© Getty Images)
  • Schooling (© Getty Images)
  • Clothing (© Getty Images)
  • Health care (© Getty Images)
  • Personal care (© Getty Images)
  • Transportation (© Getty Images)
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Ask any parent, and they'll likely tell you a child will bring you a plethora of priceless moments, starting the moment you embrace your newborn for the first time to filling up with pride as your once-little-one marches across a stage to collect their high school diploma.

But, heck, we're MSN's Money section, and we like to put a price tag on everything — so we've calculated that raising a child from cradle to their 18th birthday is a whopping $325,360. (Side note, that's also about the cost of Ferrari's soon-to-be-released FF12 Berlinetta, Ferrari's fastest road car ever.

Search the web and you'll find other many other estimations of the cost of raising a child in Canada. There's good reason for that: An exponential amount of variables are at play. A higher family income leads to greater expenditures; childcare choices can be tens of thousands of dollars; even the sex of the child will lead to different considerations.

"The research has shown that boys will consume more food than girls," Today's Parent editor-in-chief Karine Ewart tells MSN.ca. "Girls, however will spend on average 11 per cent more on clothing costs."

So we've done our best to looks at the stats, combine them with Ewart's professional opinion and life experience (she's a mother of four) and mix in a bit of common sense to come up with our estimations. Note that our calculations are based on the assumption that this is a first child for a two-income couple. "Each additional child becomes less expensive than the first," Ewart says.

We've also called upon the wisdom of Canadian budgeting guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade, who offered MSN.ca readers tips on how to keep child-rearing expenses down.

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