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A new report came out with big, jaw-dropping figures on how much it costs to raise a child. It's more than $233,610 over 17 years! And since the Department of Agriculture didn't include the cost of college, I was puzzled.

$14,000 a year? I don’t spend nearly that much!

But that’s for two children.

And they calculated $3,900 per child for the cost of a bedroom. Really? I guess if you’re renting, you’d have to get a bigger apartment. But let’s be honest, then: those of us who own a house are going to be able to avoid this charge.

I own a house with three bedrooms, which I pay for whether there’s anyone living in them or not, and I owned it for years before even getting pregnant. So I can cross this “cost” off the list.

Now we’re getting real: $2,240 for childcare and $860 in other costs, including food. (Or, in my case, maybe $500 in childcare, since my wife stays home with our daughter during the day.)

Those numbers won’t frighten the bejeezus out of prospective parents. And they’re pretty accurate, though I do think childcare costs go down once the child is in school. Granted, you still have to pay for childcare all summer and every afternoon, but hopefully it's less than the price of daycare with a newborn!

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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