The cost of raising one child? $350k!!! When everyone advises you to be careful about intimate relations, they are not kidding.
Using this delightful calculator, http://goo.gl/2XjF
, you can see a distribution of the costs until the child is 18.
What is amazing is the impact of small changes. For example, if your child is born into a household where income is greater than $105k, the costs to you balloon from $350k to $523k! For the same variable, if you don't live in CA and move to Texas, they drop to $474k (consider all that you'll lose, though!).
Costs change if you live in the rural areas (go down). They massively go up if you are a single parent. Also, go up if you pay for the child to go to private collage.
Now, if $350k (for someone living in the Western US, between $61k and $105k annual income, not a single parent, pay for public schooling), does not seem like a lot consider the fact that that is post-tax income. You would need to make around 40% more than that (income taxes, social security, 401k, sales taxes on goods, etc.).
They say the love of a child is the best love of all in the world. True (I have two!). It is also expensive. :)
Bonus: This might surprise you but the USDA, yes, the people with their stamp on the beef you are eating right now, also put out a detailed projection of raising a child. Data: http://goo.gl/gVtx1C