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      Money Talks News: Cutting the Cost of Raising a Kid

      Every year the government announces the cost of raising children.

      This year the average is about $241,000, not including pregnancy or college.

      That's about what you'd pay for this Bentley convertible. Where does all the money go? According to the USDA, more than a third goes to food, clothing and transportation.

      Almost a third to housing. 18 percent to childcare, and the rest on healthcare and miscellaneous.

      But unlike the cost of a Bentley convertible, there ways to cut the cost of raising kids.

      For example, housing: 30 percent of the number. To compute it, the USDA counts extra bedrooms as an expense.

      But if you own your home, and it goes up in value, those extra bedrooms will make you richer, not poorer.

      So if you can, always own your own home. Now what about food, clothing and transportation?

      When it comes to food, there are countless ways to save, from coupons to generics to buying fresh vs processed.

      And clothes? From clothes-swapping parties to thrift stores to making it yourself, there are plenty of ways to cut the cost.

      And as for transportation, from buying used cars to gas saving tips to car pooling, savings are simple.

      As for childcare, nearly half of Americans already get the job done with friends and relatives.

      Bottom line? Where there's a kid, there's often a way.

      And if you doubt it, consider this: According to the USDA, families earning less than $60,000 a year spend less than half on raising a kid as families who average more than $100,000 a year on income.

      You want specific ideas on how to save for every single expense when raising a kid? I've got them waiting for you right here at

      Just do a search for "Kids." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.