Children are expensive. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child to adulthood is almost $250,000. Let’s face it, even if you have a pretty good job, you probably don’t have that much money just lying around. Children usually end up being an earn-as-you-go sort of thing, and one of the best ways of paying for their growth is working to reduce what you’re spending now. In addition to the tips contained with this infographic, here are a few important considerations:
Save Early and Save Often
You should start saving money for a child when the mother first finds out she’s pregnant. Ideally, you’ll have at least several years of savings put aside, and that’s on top of saving for a home and for your future retirement. This cushion will help you get past the first major expenses of having a child, like hospital bills, new furniture, taking some time off from work, etc. The bigger the cushion, the better off you’ll be, especially if you buy smart and don’t invest too heavily in things you’ll soon get rid of as the child continues to grow.
Don’t forget that some services and supplies are available for free, especially if you’re part of a low- or mid-income household. Shop around for the best deals – you could end up saving more than you ever imagined possible.
Find Out Your Workplace’s Policies
Some workplaces have more generous parental leave plans than others, and you’ll want to be intimately familiar with them before you even consider planning on having a baby. For example, if you know you’ll have six months of paid leave, you can work this into your budget and calculate your exact income stream for that time period, which makes it far easier to figure out when to buy certain necessities and supplies.
Don’t scrimp on saving even if your parental leave plan is particularly generous. Unexpected things can (and probably will) happen as your child continues to grow, and a solid cushion can stop a problem from becoming a crisis. Check out this infographic on “10 Tips For Young Parents To Save Money!” In today’s economy, every penny counts:
Mark Kirkpatrick is a father, blogger and tech enthusiast in Santa Clara, California. He has found that good parenting and productivity start with healthy habits and hopes to help others achieve their goals through positive reinforcement.