Merrill Lynch just put out their annual report on the cost of raising a child in America, and it now costs an average of $230,000 from birth through age 18. So yeah, that's not including college.
One of the main reasons it's so high is because parents today feel pressure to buy their kids the stuff that other kids have.
And people KNOW it's expensive to have a kid going in . . . but they don't realize HOW expensive. 73% of parents say they weighed the financial aspect before they had a baby . . . but 90% were surprised by JUST how much it cost.
On the bright side, 94% of parents say it's been worth every penny.
On the down side, that means 6% of parents don't feel that way.