How Much Does It Cost to Settle Down and Raise a Family?

If you’re at the point in your life where you’re thinking about settling down, buying your own place, and having a kid, congrats! Unfortunately, you can’t just do this on a whim. It takes months (if not years) of careful financial planning, meticulous research on where to live, and readjusting to a new lifestyle.

Yet before you dive head-first into researching schools and figuring out thirty-year mortgages, you might want to know the actual cost of raising a family. Sure, it’s pretty much a second job with no opportunity for training, but the monetary cost of the American Dream is something you can prepare for well in advance.

So just how much does the American Dream really cost? CNNMoney’s Christine Romans recently asked that very question. What she found could have you seeing sticker shock.

Kids are expensive, especially if you’re saving for their college tuition as they grow older. Yet if you can carefully budget the $233,610 over the course of 17+ years while concurrently paying for your mortgage and keeping your head above water, then you’re ready to bring a little one into your home.

Until then, you might want to start investing…and maybe find a good baby book or ten.

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