NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This won’t come as a big surprise to many parents: It takes a chunk of change to raise kids nowadays.

But just how much? And how do parents plan in these uncertain economic times?

Marshall Sonenshine, an investment banker and finance professor at Columbia University, visited The Couch to inform parents on the best ways to start saving up.

He also discussed the cost of college, and what an average family can expect to spend on higher education for their kids.

As it turns out, a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend $234,900 in child-related expenses from birth through age 17, according to the USDA. That’s a 3.5 percent increase from 2010.

To hear Sonenshine weigh in, check out the video below.

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