The cost of raising a family is only increasing, and being a parent can be a challenging time financially at the best of times. However, when the children are little, there are lots more expenditures to deal with, such as baby formula and diapers, jabs, etc. Not to mention that bringing children into the world also means bringing in extra mouths to feed. That being said, budgeting from the get-go will ensure no unnecessary expenses and will minimize costs on the essential items.
This piece will offer some budgeting advice for parents with young children, though parents of children all ages can benefit from these tips!
Focus on Food Costs When Budgeting
Food is one of the large expenditures when it comes to bills, and the bigger the family, the bigger the food bill! Food costs can be cut down with smart planning and organization, however.
Planning meals is a sure-fire way to make sure that enough food is bought, but also so that no food goes to waste afterward, making this an extremely cost-effective way of creating a food shopping list. For those with younger children still enjoying baby food, making homemade baby food could be a cheaper alternative and also easy to plan into the shopping list too!
Another fantastic option is to check the weekly circulars for coupons and great savings which can help to budget tremendously and help save even more money without trying. From Walmart to Target, you can make some great savings on your everyday food items.
Embrace Second Hand or “Nearly New” Items
When it comes to young children, they seem to grow faster than the weeds in the garden! This can get very expensive if a brand new item of clothing or pair of shoes is required for every growth spurt, so why not look into second-hand clothes or “nearly new” items? There will be plenty of good quality items in thrift stores, which will save on money, but don’t forget about other online second-hand stores, such as Facebook Marketplace, for low cost finds! It doesn’t hurt to ask friends and family who have children either if they have any spare age-appropriate clothing that might not be needed anymore.
Estimate Medical Costs in Advance
For those who are curious about starting a new family and are looking to get ahead with budgeting, an important tip is to estimate medical costs, at least initially. Before the little ones are even in the world, birth costs, on average, $5000 to $10000 depending on location, leaving a sting in the wallet too. Unfortunately, bills become more costly when there are complications with the birth, such as the need for a cesarean, and bills do not stop there if there is any post-natal care that needs to be administered. While it is impossible to know what the future holds, it is best to be prepared as much as possible, so saving with a worst-case scenario in mind will help ease the financial burden if something was to happen.
Frugal Fun and Budgeting
Luckily, when children are very young, a cardboard box seems to be more appealing than the toy inside, which works very well for budgeting. Young children have wonderful imaginations, and as long as the items they play with are clean and safe, the imagination will take care of the rest. Prioritize family time over physical gifts, and the memories will also last longer.