NEW YORK (WABC) -- Most people would say raising children is expensive, but some might be shocked to learn just how much you actually spend to get them to age 18.
LendingTree released a study and found that the costs of raising a child jumped more than 19% between 2016 and 2021.
Families spend nearly 20% of their income in 2021 on basic annual expenses to raise a child.
The business looked at rent, food, child care, apparel, transportation, health insurance premiums, and state tax exemptions or credits to come up with their numbers.
On average parents spend nearly a quarter of a million dollars ($237,482) to raise a child up to age 18.
Beyond that, the costs skyrocket with the cost of college.
The most expensive state to raise a child is Hawaii. Connecticut came in at number 7, New Jersey at 12, and New York was 14th on the list.
If you're looking for a bargain, South Carolina was found to be the least expensive place to raise a child with a projected cost of $169,327.
LendingTree says to balance your finances you should save ahead of time, get creative with child care (there are tips in the study), take advantage of programs in your state or local government designed to help, and don't forget about your own future.
Full Study HERE.
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