1. Run the numbers
"The fact of life is that there is no one number" for how much money you need to raise a child, personal finance expert Jean Chatzky tells DailyFinance. The government estimates that a middle-income family will spend more than a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child born in 2010 until he or she is 17. But the true cost of child rearing varies widely depending on parents' income, savings and goals for their children. Calculators like the one at BabyCenter.com can be a good starting place to calculate expenses for the first year.
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