It's no surprise that children aren't cheap, but their full price is a bit daunting. According to the USDA, the average cost of raising a child to adulthood is a stunning $226,920 -- and, as Bundle.com recently noted, the actual price could be a lot more, depending on where you live. For example, raising a kid in New York City, the most expensive place on its list, costs almost twice the average.
On the flip side, bringing up baby in Madison, Wis., could be a lot easier -- child rearing in Wisconsin's capital costs less than half the national average. What's more, according to a 2009 Men's Health study, it was the second-best place in the country to raise a family.
We've culled Bundle's list to compile the seven most expensive child-rearing cities in the country, and cross checked it with that Men's Health research to see if you're really getting what you're paying for. Surprisingly, these aren't necessarily the most expensive cities when it comes to cost of living, suggesting that a lot of the high price of child rearing comes from discretionary costs. In other words, when it comes to bringing up baby, the hardest part may be keeping up with the Joneses.
Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at@bruce1971.