Two Babies PlayingExtension experts say parents shouldn’t be afraid to seek help

Couples who bring a baby into the world this year can expect to spend nearly $300,000 raising the child, but a University of Nevada Cooperative Extension expert says there are steps parents can take to raise a smart, happy and healthy child without going bankrupt in the process.

“You can have more by spending less,” says Jeanne Hilton, an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at UNR and an Aging Program Specialist with Cooperative Extension. “When people become parents, they join an important club: parenthood! Parents can help each other out. Organize play dates to save money on child care. Trade favors like haircuts or lasagnas. Exchange outgrown clothes.

“Lifestyles have changed –both parents usually work now, so kids are involved in more after-school activities. There are hidden costs tied to a second income, and all those activities and day care are a big hit on the family budget.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released a new report, “Expenditures on Children by Families,” that found families with children born this year will spend $234,900 providing the child with food, shelter and other necessities for the next 17 years. When inflation is factored in, that amount increases to $295,000.

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