By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As millennials become parents, juggling financial priorities becomes more challenging and as 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, one cost related to raising children is rising very quickly.

Tracy and Matt Merrell planned on having an additional child, what they didn’t plan for was having twins. Matt Merrell says, “I was just knocking my head against the doctor’s office like, ‘oh no.’  And it’s the worst thing to feel, because it’s like awesome having kids, two kids, but it’s also horrible to think the first thing I can think about is money.”

While Tracey Merrell says, “I mean as it relates to daycare, that’s terrifying because we know how much it costs now and I know that we both want to continue to work.”

The U.S.D.A. has tracked basic expenditures on children like housing, food, transportation, clothing for more than 50 years.  They say the total has increased every single year — now topping $245,000 dollars from birth to age 18, not including college.

Mark Lino, an economist for the U.S.D.A says, “One of the big increases on the cost of raising children is on child care, and non-college education.  When we first did the study in 1960, child care accounted for about two percent of the overall cost of raising a child. now it’s 18 percent.”

Within that period of time the number of families with both spouses in the workforce has also dramatically increased.  Now, when one parent reduces time in the labor force, or drops out of the labor force for a period of years. that has a substantial cost attached to it as well.

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