For real, this Afghan War costs A LOT. The technical term actual "A LOT." To be a bit more precise, check out NPR'S take on 'All Things Considered.'

One of the factors President Obama must weigh as he decides whether to send more troops to Afghanistan is the cost — not just in lives, but in dollars. With the economy still struggling, questions exist about how much the U.S. can afford to spend in Afghanistan — and for how long.

Earlier this week, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the war in Afghanistan had already cost a "staggering" $243 billion.

In fact, it is a challenge to calculate exactly how much the U.S. has spent on the war so far.

The Congressional Research Service estimates that since the invasion of Afghanistan eight years ago, the U.S. has spent closer to $227 billion. The Pentagon puts the number at $156 billion.