To have or not to have? That's usually the first question. Nowadays, it costs on average nearly $300,000 to raise a child for 18 years, according to the latest estimates. This number may seem high but it makes sense. Of course, once you have them, you have to care for them in many ways. Food, clothing, shelter, little league, ballet, designer jeans, prom gowns, pickup trucks and college are all part of a long list of child-related expenses. Not including the expenses related to children who have already left the nest. That's assuming your kids will leave the nest. Some kids never leave the nest .