Cost of raising kids is about $240,000 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cost of raising kids is about $240,000

DEXTER, MO (KFVS) -

"Do you want me to help you slide?” said Rachel Watson.

Watson and her 7-year-old son spent the last day of summer at this Dexter park.

A new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it costs on average, about $240,000 dollars to raise a child.

"I feel like that is an astronomical number," said Watson.

"I'm surprised it's not higher," said mother Jessica Mercer.

Because of the high costs, families everywhere have to find ways to cut costs.

Watson said she shops at outlet and consignment stores, the family doesn’t go out to eat very often, and they utilize free entertainment like the city park.

"If I need to sacrifice something for myself to enable him to do those extracurricular activities I absolutely would," said Watson.

"We actually make our own baby food to try to save money, and we use cloth diapers to save money," said Mercer.

Mercer is a mother of two in Sikeston and said she also tries to be thrifty. She said it’s all so her kids can have the best.

"It adds up so quickly," said Mercer.

So Mercer and her husband also decided not to have any more children.

"We want to be able to give them everything, not spoil them but give them as much as possible," said Mercer.

With numbers and sacrifices like this, did the thought of money come up when these women found out they were pregnant?

"I think that was probably the furthest thing from my mind,” said Watson.

"With the second one yes, that was definitely something we both talked about because it's double the money pretty much," said Mercer.

Both moms tell me the cost is completely worth the gain.

"If you wait until you're financially ready to have kids, you will never have kids," said Mercer.

To save money, both moms suggest talking to other parents to find out what you can share and where you can cut costs.

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