Where you live can makes it more expensive to raise your children. Or cheaper.

Everyone knows New York is the priciest place to raise a family – and everyone is wrong. It’s Hawaii. New York is second.

That’s according to a new study from GoBankingRates.com, which rated the 10 cheapest states and 10 most expensive states for families. How did it decide? By comparing these stats…

  • Median income
  • State parental leave policies
  • Food costs
  • Housing costs
  • Child care costs

While Hawaii has a robust median income – under $61,000 – it also has a median home listing of $539,000. Also, food costs 58 percent more than the national average. This is because most of it needs to be imported from thousands of miles away.

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As for the cheapest state, it’s Tennessee. It not only has cheap food and housing prices, but also the nation’s second-lowest child care costs. The southern state has 63 percent of the national median for full-time infant care at $5,857 a year.

But the most shocking ranking is the state that comes in as the third-cheapest state to raise a family. That’s California, and while you may think you know why, check out the study’s findings first.

While it has the second-highest U.S. housing costs, it also has these to consider when you’re deciding where to raise a family…

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  • “Up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 12-month period, which can be combined with up to four months of maternity leave or disability leave to give new mothers a total of up to 28 weeks off.”
  • “Up to 6 weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn, adopted child, or seriously ill family member, providing benefits equal to 55 percent of the beneficiary’s weekly pay up to $1,104 a week.”
  • Employers must “give workers up to 40 hours of leave each year to participate in their children’s educational activities.”

Wherever you live, raising a family is neither easy nor cheap. That’s why Debt.com offers free advice called Money Management for Families, and our certified counselors will give you a free debt analysis – because raising a child while trying to lower your credit card debt is stressful regardless of your state. Call 1-800-810-0989.

Howard Dvorkin is a CPA and chairman of Debt.com, an educational resource for those who want to conquer all forms of debt in their lives.

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Article last modified on September 15, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .