While having and raising a child is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, it can certainly be expensive! There are countless couples and single parents out there who are struggling to cover the cost of raising a child, and many more who are afraid to have a child at all in case they aren’t able to afford it! While nothing can make being a parent cheap, there are certain things you can do to relieve some of the strain…
Wait Until the Birth to Start Spending
If you’re expecting, then first of all congratulations! Secondly, stop panicking! It’s pretty common for expectant parents to buy heaps of baby gear for the nursery, making sure that they’re fully prepared for when the baby arrives. Then, after the birth, they realise that they didn’t need half of what they’ve bought! To keep things nice and economical, I’d avoid spending a penny on anything baby-related until the birth is out of the way and you’ve got them home. Certain essentials like a crib, diapers, and car seats should be bought in advance, but after that you should play it by ear. Try borrowing things from your friends and family until you’re used to your baby’s temperament, size and needs.
Practice Smart Budgeting
If you’ve got a while to go until the baby’s due, I recommend using that time to practice smarter budgeting and getting into economical habits. This way, when you actually have a child to take care of, you’ll be making frugal decisions more naturally, rather than it being one more thing hanging over your head. Sit down with your partner, go over your living expenses, and find some good ways to save. If you’re spending way too much on bills, consider investing in a more economical HVAC system or a smart thermostat from companies like Academy Air. If taxes are claiming a massive portion of your income, then look for reliefs and allowable expenses that you can claim. If you’re spending a small fortune on groceries every week, try some cheaper brands, stick to your shopping lists more faithfully, and cook cheaper meals. These are just a few ways you can trim down the cost of living. The more frugal habits you can get into, the easier things will be when you have your child.
Most people are able to make raising a child more affordable by simply tightening their belts in various areas. However, sometimes having a child simply doesn’t balance out with the amount of income you and your partner are bringing in, and you may find yourself having to make sacrifices. Sacrifice is kind of the name of the game when it comes to parenthood, so get used to it! For example, if you and your partner aren’t netting enough to maintain a comfortable life for both you and your child, you may want to consider reducing your retirement savings or holding back on tuition costs until your kids get older. Making trade-offs like this can buy you a lot of time to make day-to-day life more affordable.