You can’t put a price on the joyful and rewarding experience that parenthood can deliver but there is a number you can arrive at to raise a child right through to becoming an independent adult, and it’s a scary figure.
You definitely need some deep pockets to be able to give your children all the support and things they need while under your wing, so how do you face up to that financial challenge?
Here is an overview of what it might cost to raise a family and some tips on how to make your money stretch far enough to cope.
Keeping pace with the rising cost of raising a family
Although you would quite clearly not consciously put a price on raising a child it is not a bad idea to try and plan for some of the expenses that you are going to have to find before they are officially regarded as an adult.
Current estimates suggest you will need somewhere in the region of $230,000 on average to raise a child, assuming you are paying for childcare and education expenses within that period.
Many parents tend to underestimate the true cost of raising a family and this can potentially create financial problems if you struggle to keep pace with the rising cost of meeting all their needs.
Household incomes have generally struggled to keep up with the rising cost of raising children and that inequality is bound to put financial pressure on many households where money is tight.
If you run into financial problems, Debt Consolidation USA has a plan that aims to put you back on track, but a good plan would also involve being aware of the sort of money you are going to need to give your child what they need while finding some ways to make the most of the income you have available to work with.
Nothing wrong with the consignment option
There are a couple of valid points to consider when you are looking at the cost of buying clothes for your children.
The most obvious thing to say is that children grow at a rapid rate and spending big money on expensive items don’t make a lot of sense if you are trying to keep your budget under control, as you probably won’t get your fair wear and tear compared to how much you spent on the item.
Shopping in consignment stores for everyday items and spending a bit more on a few items of clothing for special occasions is a good mix and match policy that will help your clothing budget stretch as far as possible.
Also, consider using social media to connect with other parents who might have some suitable clothes for sale at a knockdown price that look as good as new but won’t cost you anywhere near that figure to buy.
Home cooking is great for a number of reasons
Family life can be very hectic and if you are trying to hold down a job as well as raising a family the temptation is always there to take a few shortcuts on feeding the family, including the easy option of going out for something to eat or ordering a takeout.
The cost of these feeding decisions can soon come back to bite you and if you want your food budget to go as far as possible, cooking at home is the best option without a doubt.
Cooking at home will allow you to feed your family for less and the other positives are that you all get to sit down and eat together and share your day with each other, plus you get to control the ingredients that are going into their meals, which means you know that they are eating healthily if it is you that has put the food on their plate.
Fun entertainment options that don’t cost much money
It’s great to get out and about as a family and enjoy some leisure time together but the cost of entertaining your kids for the day can soon get out of hand if you are not careful.
A no-brainer option is to take up some active pursuits like biking, hiking or swimming. It won’t cost you much to pack the bikes and take a trip to the forest, and the other positive aspect is that it is a healthy way to spend some time together as well as not costing you much to do.
There are plenty of financial challenges you face as a parent but unless you have very deep pockets, there are some useful tactics and ideas to take advantage of so that you have a chance of successfully raising a family within the budget you have available.
Adam Lyons shares his personal finance tips in his well written and useful articles. They are aimed at everyone, whether a young adult just starting out or someone who is approaching retirement in the coming years.