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

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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 cost of living by each state for families. How did it decide? By comparing these stats…

  • Median income
  • State parental leave policies
  • Food costs
  • Housing costs
  • Childcare 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.

As for the cheapest state, it’s Tennessee. It not only has cheap food and housing prices, but also the nation’s second-lowest childcare 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…

  • “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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About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m a certified public accountant who has authored two books on getting out of debt, Credit Hell and Power Up, and I am one of the personal finance experts for Debt.com. I have focused my professional endeavors in the consumer finance, technology, media and real estate industries creating not only Debt.com, but also Financial Apps and Start Fresh Today, among others. My personal finance advice has been included in countless articles, and has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and Entrepreneur as well as virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. Everyone should have a reason for living that’s bigger than themselves, and besides my family, mine is this: Teaching Americans how to live happily within their means. To me, money is not the root of all evil. Poor money management is. Money cannot buy happiness, but going into debt always buys misery. That’s why I launched Debt.com. I’m glad you’re here.

Published by Debt.com, LLC