How much does it cost to raise a child?

10 March, 2022 • Par Dominique Lépine

Can we afford to have another child? Many couples ask themselves the question, and with good reason! It's no secret that one more child in the family generates its share of expenses and these are likely to increase over time. How much does it cost to raise a child? Although a Canadian study conducted in 2015 states that a child costs an average of $13,000 per year, our pace of life and the choices we make can cause this amount to vary up or down.

In order to help you integrate the expenses relating to a new child into your family budget, we have created, in collaboration with Dominique Lépine, financial adviser, the little combination Budgeting the arrival of baby. You will find all the budget boxes to be reviewed when a new family member arrives in order to better predict the financial impact of the arrival.

Income adjustment:

Leave and preventive withdrawal

First of all, you have to plan for the drop in income caused by the arrival of a baby. During maternity leave, paternity leave and/or parental leave, the Québec Parental Insurance Plan covers between 55% and 75% of income. Do not hesitate to use the benefit calculation simulator to help you assess the impact of such a leave on your income.

Canada child benefit

The Canadian government provides allowances to help parents support their children. As a general rule, this benefit is paid monthly by direct deposit. To assess the amount of benefits to which you are entitled, do not hesitate to use the simulation tool designed for this purpose.

Family allowances

The family allowance offered by the provincial government is paid on the first working day of the beginning of each quarter. Be aware, however, that you can request to receive it on a monthly basis, which often makes it easier to keep a budget. It is also possible to simulate the calculation of your benefit via the Government of Quebec website.


Additional housing cost

The larger the family, the more space you need. The arrival of a new child may, in some cases, require a change of residence or renovation work. These costs should be added to your budget along with the furniture needed for a new bedroom.

Additional transportation cost

Were you ever cramped in your sedan? The new kid on the block may force you to change vehicles. Also consider integrating the purchase of new car seats into your budget. Travel costs may also be increased. Think about appointments, activities, and transportation to daycare and school.

Additional power cost

Will baby be bottle fed? If so, it will be necessary to think of adding the expenses relating to the purchase of formula for the first months of life. From the age of 6 months, he will start eating solid foods. From there, the grocery bill will gradually increase.

Additional clothing cost

You will have to buy new clothes every season, they grow so fast. To decrease the amount allocated to this section of your budget, you can buy used clothes and keep the clothes still in good condition for the children who will follow.

Life insurance/ group insurance

If you don't have life insurance, now is the time to think about getting one. In the event of death, life insurance will allow the other parent or guardian to support the children without requiring additional income. In addition, once the child is born, it will have to be added to your group insurance, which will lead to an increase in the monthly costs of your insurance.

Private medical clinic subscription

Those who are not lucky enough to have a family doctor will have to pay the costs of medical follow-ups. If this is not your case, so much the better! You can leave this box empty!


Although several services are covered by the RAMQ for children under 10, cleaning and descaling unfortunately are not. Unless you have insurance, once your child turns 10, you will be responsible for all dental costs, as these will no longer be covered by the RAMQ. 


For children under 18, an annual eye exam is covered by RAMQ. This coverage also includes a reimbursement of $250 on the purchase of glasses or contact lenses, for a period of 2 years. Additional costs are your responsibility. 


We strongly suggest investing in a Registered Education Savings Plan. This savings method shelters your money from taxes and allows you to take advantage of advantageous government grants to cover all or part of your child's post-secondary education costs.

Leisure and sports

If you want to enroll your child in sports and/or cultural activities, you will have to think about budgeting the costs. Think about the costs of registration and that of the necessary material. Certain competitive activities may also incur additional costs for travel, meals and accommodation.

Guard Service

Unless you are lucky enough to stay home with your children, you have to think about child care costs. You can use this tool to calculate what the cost of a child care space might be.

Later, you will have to think about childcare costs at school if your child has lunch at school or if he has to stay after school.

Day camp

There is a good chance that you will have to register your child for day camp to allow you to work during the summer period. Don't forget to include this expense in your budget.


Finally, a babysitter could be useful for your short outings. Unless grandpa or grandma lives nearby!

To help you with your budget, Dominique Lépine, our finance expert, has prepared a table for you in our guide.

Discover the table in our practical guide!