Believe it or not, that tiny bundle you hold in your arms now will cost you nearly a quarter million dollars (or more) by the time they graduate high school. You may have already seen some of these costs in the form of hospital bills, diapers, and clothing, but these are just a few of the expenses associated with raising kids. If you’re looking to save money, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for a few quick tips on how to stretch your child-rearing dollars.
Your first step toward financial security is to remind yourself that your child doesn’t need the absolute best of everything in order to grow up happy and healthy. They won’t remember $100 outfits, $15 hair bows, and $25 sippy cups. The things that impact your children the most don’t have anything to do with social status or trend-setting. Your kids will be just as satisfied spending the afternoon playing in the sprinklers and eating popsicles and ham sandwiches with you as they would be if you spent hundreds of dollars on theme park tickets.
There’s nothing wrong with saving a few dollars, and those dollars can add up quickly. Look for opportunities to get discounts on items you use the most, and stash the difference away for a rainy day. For instance, an online diaper delivery service may be able to save you $10 per week. Buying used baby blankets, socks, onesies, and toys can keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket each year.
When you have a family to support, you’ll need to bulk up your life and disability insurance. It may be an added expense, but it’s one that will more than pay for itself knowing your loved ones are covered should you suffer an accident or die why your children are small. Even if you have employer-provided disability insurance, Schwab.com asserts that you should supplement your coverage to ensure it’s enough to cover household expenses, childcare, and the mortgage if you become unable to work due to accident or injury. The way you insure yourself matters, too.
Increase your personal emergency fund to cover at least a half a year’s worth of expenses so you can focus on replacing your income should you find yourself suddenly unemployed. Also, you should consider whether you want to go ahead and pay for your funeral in advance. While it’s not something a new parent wants to think about, having a plan in place in the event of your passing will help protect your family from any financial hardships. Instead of looking into burial insurance, many people opt to pay for their funeral outright. And considering that the average funeral in the United States costs approximately $8,508 on average, it’s a good idea to get things squared away long before you think you’ll ever need it.
Americans waste billions of dollars each year on everything from throwing food away before it’s gone bad to replacing our clothing to keep up with emerging trends. Consider breaking a few bad habits at home and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your weekly budget. Start by planning your grocery shopping trips to coordinate with other outings and only buying enough food for two to three days at a time.
You can also save money on other everyday expenses, such as your water bill and heating and cooling costs, by being conscientious of your usage. Cut your showers down to five minutes or less or, better yet, take baths, which use less water. Replace your outdated HVAC system and appliances with energy-efficient models. Install storm windows and thermal window film, especially on older windows or those that bear the brunt of the afternoon sun. While these and other waste-reduction strategies take time, they pull double duty by padding your pockets and protecting the environment for the next generation.
Under the Trump Administration, there are numerous changes to tax laws effective for the 2018 year. MarketWatch explains that the most noticeable is the child tax credit income threshold, which was lifted to $400,000 for married couples and $200,000 for singles.
If you’re smart with your money and learn to focus on the things that \matter, you can provide for their needs and save for your own future. From planning out your grocery list to keeping your home eco-friendly, the choices you make each day all work together to keep your budget at its best for you and your growing family.
Article by: Sara Bailey of thewidow.net
As a widow and mother of two, Sara knows first-hand how financial responsibility is extremely important and near to her heart. Sara's goal is to help as many parents as possible to be fiscally responsible while still enjoying life.