These days, the media seems to enjoy highlighting just how expensive having children is. Excluding the costs of pregnancy and college, which are whoppers all on their own, having a baby runs the average family roughly a quarter million dollars. With child-related expenses in that high of a range, many people question whether they should have children or have more than one.
Fortunately, there are ways you can lower that number, and even cut it in half. Families with incomes of under $60,000 yearly spend significantly less on child-related expenses than those that make more, which makes sense. So, if you’re doing well, take a lesson from a family that’s not as well off as your own and see how you can reduce the cost of raising kids. Read on to discover 3 ways to lower your expenses so you can have the family you’ve always wanted.
1. Reduce the cost of housing
Housing is the biggest expense related to kids. Kids need bedrooms, bedroom mean more space, more space means more money. Houses suitable for raising 2, 3 or more children are significantly more expensive than those that are made for singles. Fortunately, historically the price of housing has gone up in this country and larger homes become more valuable faster than smaller homes.
Buying a family-size house should be looked at as an investment. The longer you own it, the more it will be worth and thus, it really shouldn’t be looked at as an expense at all. It should be viewed more as an asset to have kids and need a larger house.
If you don’t own your own home, more kids can mean a much higher rent payment. If this is the case, try negotiating with your landlord or finding a less expensive apartment. If possible, set money aside for a down payment on a house because owning will be more lucrative than renting for larger properties.
2. Save money on child care
Sending junior off to daycare can take a big portion of your paycheck. For many parents, the cost of sending their kids to daycare almost makes it not worth it. In many cases, becoming a stay-at-home parent will leave you ahead of the game after the cost of childcare is factored in.
If staying at home isn’t an option, look at home-bound family members that live nearby or consider a babysitting swap with another working parent. You can also check out a nanny who can come to your home and watch your children for the same price or often less than expensive daycare centers.
3. Save money on food
There are numerous ways to cut down on your family’s grocery bill. Changing to generic brands or employing a couponing strategy are all ways you can slim the bill at the checkout line without sacrificing the foods your family loves to eat.
Consider shopping around for groceries, price matching, and splitting your shopping between multiple stores to get the best deals. You can also get great deals by going to specialty shops such as butchers or fish markets. Most of all, be flexible. Shop the sales and plan your meals around what’s on sale rather than what you feel like eating.
There are plenty of ways to cut back on the costs of raising children. If you’re putting off the plunge into parenthood because you don’t think you can afford it, look at this list and see how you can save and still have the family you’ve always wanted.