Your friends may tell you having kids has made them happier. They're probably lying. Research shows that parenthood leads to a happiness gap. Maybe that's because the pleasures of parenthood are outweighed by all the extra responsibilities, housework and, of course, the costs.
Maybe that's why Americans are having fewer children than ever before. Just how much can you expect to save if you don't have kids?
The average middle-income married couple spent between $12,350 and $13,900 on each of their children in 2015, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Extrapolate from that number and you're looking at spending $233,610 per child from birth through age 17.
Higher-income families can expect to spend significantly more, around $372,210, while the data shows that lower-income families spend close to $174,690.