Before your baby even enters the world, you’ll be spending money on all the accessories and gear needed to keep your little love bug cared for. In the years that follow, until they eventually go off to college, parents will spend a lot of money. But how much does it cost to raise kids in the United States exactly? More than you might believe.

According to research gathered by MarketWatch, American parents spend nearly a quarter of a million dollars on their kids from birth until age 17, $233,610 to be exact. And that figure doesn’t even include the cost of college. That figure is a dramatic increase from what your own parents spent to raise you, as the costs have gone up 40% in the last 18 years alone.

So what is all that money spent on? According to the five charts referenced in MarketWatch’s report, the costs begin on day one with labor and delivery, which varies greatly depending on where you live but can be as high as $37,000 to $70,000. Childcare is another major cost, that can equal up to 22% of a parent’s annual income. Even the fun stuff, like extracurricular activities, can put a big dent in your wallet. Just one season of a sport can cost parents $500 to $1000.

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Despite the steep price tag that comes with a baby, as any parent knows life with kids is priceless and worth every single penny.

Do you think your own kid costs fall in line with this report? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Pixabay

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