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Baby Calculator: How Much You’ll Spend in Year 1

March 17, 2017
Insurance, Life Insurance
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Whether you’re thinking about becoming a parent or already have a little one relying on you, chances are you’ve thought quite a bit about the cost of raising a baby.

We’ve tallied typical costs for a variety of goods and services to give you a sense of roughly how much you might spend in the first year of your baby’s life. Use our baby calculator to guide you through the general expenses of Year 1:

To estimate the total cost of raising a baby in the first year of life, we added all annual totals in the following categories:

Housing:

  • Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2015
  • Amount: Difference between mean housing expenses for a married couple only and married couple with children
  • Metro area differences: Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2015

Food:

  • Source: Official U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Plans, December 2016
  • Amount: Monthly cost of food for 1-year-old on “thrifty” or “liberal” plan, multiplied by 12

Transportation:

  • Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2015
  • Amount: Difference between mean transportation expenses for a married couple only and married couple with children
  • Metro area differences: Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2015

Child care:

  • Source: Child Care Aware, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care, 2016
  • Amount: Average of state-by-state data for full-time, center-based infant care (“simple”) or for nanny care (“deluxe”) assuming 12 weeks of parental leave

Out-of-pocket health care costs:

  • Source: Health Care Cost Institute, Children’s Health Spending 2010-2014
  • Amount: Per capita, annual health care spending for children 0-3

Health insurance:

  • Source: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2015 Employer-Based Health Insurance Premiums
  • Amount: Employee share of premiums for employer-based coverage; difference between national average prices for family coverage versus “employee plus one” coverage

Cost of starting a college savings account:

  • Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority College Savings Calculator
  • Amount: Used calculator’s default settings to arrive at typical annual savings rate

Life insurance:

  • Source: NerdWallet life insurance tool
  • Amount: One 20-year, $1 million policy each for a healthy 30-year-old man and woman

Toys, clothes and other miscellaneous costs:

  • Source: NerdWallet Baby Checklist
  • Using the NerdWallet Baby Checklist, we built a database of thrifty options purchased online, then used a multiplier to determine how much a household with greater income would spend
  • Diaper estimates were obtained from the Diaper Bank Network

» MORE: A new parent’s guide to life insurance