The New York Times

In the Middle Class, and Barely Getting By

“Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America”

By Alissa Quart

320 pages. Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers. $27.99.

Over the months that I was pregnant, my overriding fear was that I would not be able to afford a child. How much do diapers cost? I asked a friend with a 1-year-old, as if the answer wasn’t online. She couldn’t answer; diapers were just one of countless minor recurring expenses. The cost of child care, however, she could tell me. If it didn’t cost an arm and a leg, it did seem that every month she cut off a finger and a toe and Venmo’d them

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times6 min readPsychology
Your Past is Not Your Future: Overcoming Time Management Regret
Time management regret is a jail cell with an open door. Your positive actions are what may grant you an opportunity to walk free.
The New York Times6 min read
By the Book: Ruth Reichl
The food writer and author, most recently, of the memoir “Save Me the Plums” was 10 when she read Henry Miller. “If it’s over her head, she simply won’t understand it,” her mother said.
The New York Times5 min read
5 People Who Can Help You Love Your Body
Learning to love your body — whatever shape or size you may be — is easier said than done, but these people are out to teach all of us that there’s no time like the present to fall in love with who you see in the mirror.