With the total cost of raising a child increasing by 40 percent, the effect on families becomes a two edge sword when the income levels for the middle class have dropped by seven percent during the same ten year period. However the study is not clear as to how much of the increase in housing was due to the house bubble. It wasn’t until 2008 that the prices began to plunge. Granted many middle income people were stuck paying a high monthly mortgage payment. But for those middle class families who have yet to buy, the housing costs may be significantly lower than they were over the previous ten years. But regardless if the housing number is distorted, clearly the cost of raising a child has gone up and in all likelihood will continue to rise. People will continue to have children, so the question becomes one of saving money and keeping costs down.The first place to start looking to save money is on daycare for children. In a two parent family this cost is usually the result of both parents working. It may be best to make a calculation as to whether it is even worth it to have a two income family. The parent that is making the lower income may be better off staying at home and taking care of the children. There are still opportunities to make money from home while saving on daycare.Saving on housing costs have probably been taken care of due to the real estate crash, but it still may make more financial sense to rent rather than buy. You need to calculate both the short term and long term housing costs. Although difficult to foresee, living in the same area for long period of time can save a lot of money.Transportation costs have a lot to do with the price of gasoline. It is best to assume the price will be high over the next decade and to purchase a car or cars which get good gas mileage. Also try to live a close to work and school as possible to cut down on the cost of fuel. Any other suggestions? Or tell us what you and your family are doing in these tough times.