Are you thinking about having kids? If you know that you want to start having kids, you should be sure that you are financially prepared for children. It is important that you take time to assess how much children are going to cost and understand what financial commitment a child will bring. As you consider the cost of raising a child, you will have a much better understanding of when you are going to be in a financial position that will enable you to be able to provide for your child.
Children Aren’t Cheap
It has been estimated that a child now costs $234,900 to raise for 17 years. This includes the cost of food, shelter, and other necessities. This means that annually, children cost right around $13,000. Depending on the child’s age, the cost of the child will fluctuate. The most expensive part of raising a child is paying for housing and the second most expensive part of raising a child is paying for child care.
So, if you have decided that you want to start having children, saving money to ensure you are able to provide for your children properly throughout the time that you are raising them will be beneficial. If you want to start saving money now, to ensure you have money for children, there are some simple ways that you can adjust your spending habits to ensure you are able to provide properly for your children.
Start With a Budget
First, you will want to set out a budget for yourself. Setting a budget can be a nerve wracking process if you are not used to living within a budget. To start the process, you will want to figure out how much money you need for your necessities. Figuring this out can be difficult, because it means that you have to take the time to determine what is a necessity and what is not a necessity. Often times, people get comfortable paying pills that they do not necessarily need to be paying. You may want to live without cable for a few months or try to go without stopping for a soda on a daily basis.
When you start to assess where you are spending money, you may find that you are able to find a few areas that you can minimize your spending in.
By minimizing your spending in these areas you will be able to start saving money that you can then use when you are raising your child. After you figure out how you are going to save money, you will want to know how to allocate the money that you save. If you have some existing debts such as credit card balances or short term loans, it will be best to allocate your extra funds to paying down those debts before the baby gets here.
The budget that you create for yourself will help guide you when you are spending money. Knowing when and where to spend money can be just as tricky as learning how to save your money. There are many people that do not give thought to where they are spending their money when it comes to things that they need. Although you may need gas, it is important that learn how to budget your gas and your money for your gas. By doing this, you can be sure that you are not spending an excessive amount of money on your gas throughout the month.
You Can Eat For Cheap
Food is another great example of an area that may provide you with the opportunity to save money. Many people do not realize how much money they waste when it comes to the food that they are purchasing throughout any given month. It is important to understand how you are going to start mitigating the cost of your food. Often times the first step to saving money when it comes to your food is to stop eating out. Planning a menu and doing your grocery shopping on a consistent basis will help you save a lot of money when it comes to your food.
Start by creating a menu for a week. Include all of the meals and snacks that you would eat throughout the day and make sure that you plan for food that you know you are going to eat. Once you have your menu, you can then make a grocery shopping list to ensure you have all of the ingredients for the meals. Going to the grocery store once a week may feel like a lot, but it is a great way to shop for yourself and ensure that you eat everything you have purchased before going out and purchasing more.
Although it may be a little nerve wracking to think about the money that you will need to raise a child, if you plan well you can be sure that you are able to provide for your child throughout the seventeen years that he/she is in your home.