Parenting is full of different tasks. You’re taking care of children and managing a household. These responsibilities can be expensive. Fortunately, some expenses arrive on an annual basis, which gives you plenty of heads-up for budgeting. Getting your finances under control leaves you more brain space to enjoy family time.
Tuition and School
When fall rolls around, that school bus shows up, too. If you’re sending your youngsters to a private school, tuition is the biggest portion of this type of expense. Even public school can start to add up, with costs such as school supplies and extracurricular activities. Plan ahead by saving money over the summer. For example, instead of sending your children to camp, see what local youth events or programs your community center might be hosting.
It’s recommended to visit the dentist about twice a year. These routine cleanings aren’t cheap, even if they’re covered by insurance. Talk to your local family dentist about financing plans to spread the costs out over time. Some practices might even have discounts or other coupons available. You can also ask around for recommendations of less expensive dentistry practices.
Food is actually the second largest childcare cost. By the time your child reaches 18, they will be eating up to $311 in food per month. Meal planning is a great way to manage your grocery bill. It controls the urge to buy “just one more thing” at the store, a temptation that increases how much you spend. Remember that many stores will put sweet treats at a child’s eye level for just this reason.
For those who need to have “date night” or even just spare time to run an errand or two, child care might be a necessity. A babysitter, nanny, daycare center, or au pair is the extra set of hands to take your child off yours. (The difference between a nanny and a babysitter is that a nanny often does light housework in addition to child care.) The cost of each of these varies widely by state and by type. The least expensive option is having loved ones or friends step in and help.
Sit down and have a conversation with your kids about the realities of how expensive parenting can be. It’s important that they become aware of these costs so that if and when they become parents, they know how to budget, too.