The rate of inflation continues to be much lower than normal … unless you're raising kids.
Feeding, housing, caring and clothing the next generation of Americans can be the costliest household expense. According to Babycenter.com, moms estimate they average $13,248 a year caring for one child. It's more expensive in the East, where the average is $14,310. It's cheaper in the Midwest, at $12,171, but that's still over $1,000 a month.
Child care costs exceed rent for nearly five out of six families, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In Binghamton, New York, the monthly cost of caring for two kids exceeds the average rent by $1,300. The institute determined that in America, a two-parent, two-child family needs to earn $63,741 a year "to secure an adequate but modest living standard." After looking at all kinds of combinations of family units and averaging the numbers, here are EPI's most expensive cities for raising kids.
5: STAMFORD-NORWALK, CONNECTICUT
Here a couple needs to earn $97,350 a year to raise two children in a decent environment. That figure is about $20,000 above the median household income in the area ... so forget the trip to Disney World and you may have to buy "gently used" soccer gear.
4: NEW YORK, NEW YORK
This surprises no one. The only surprise may be that New York isn't No. 1. Raising two kids in The Big Apple costs $98,722.
3: WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK
Located north of Manhattan, raising two children in Westchester County means bringing home an income of almost six figures: $99,592. Even though this is a wealthy area, household incomes vary widely, with the median at $79,585, not enough to meet EPI's standard for "adequate but modest" living.
2: NASSAU-SUFFOLK, NEW YORK
I'm seeing a trend here. It costs a lot to raise children in New York. While other cities in the top 10 on EPI's list include Honolulu and San Francisco, half the cities are in New York. In the Nassau-Suffolk area, a two-parent household needs to earn $103,606 to raise two kids.
1: WASHINGTON, D.C.
If money equals power, then perhaps it's no surprise the most expensive place to raise kids is the nation's capital. According to EPI, it costs a whopping $106,493 for two parents to raise two kids in D.C. For one thing, child care is more expensive here than anywhere, averaging nearly $2,600 a month. A MONTH. That's $650 A WEEK. Geez, are these kids going to the White House for child care?