Where do the numbers on the Guidelines charts come from?
A: The numbers come from huge research studies done by the government. Many thousands of families fill-out surveys and show how much they earn and spend. Then they match-up families into groups by how much money they earn. Finally, they compare families with kids to families without kids in each money group. The difference between what families with kids and families without kids spend is what goes into the charts. Experts believe this difference in spending is the best measurement of what it costs to raise children.
For an example of income and expenses in a typical family before and after children, read, Tom and Judy were smart people, which is attached to these Question and Answer pages.