Managing finances as a whole can be stressful, and it becomes even harder when you have a child. The primary expenses of an adult can add up, so when the costs of a child are added into the mix money might become tight. That’s why budgeting is now your new best friend. Read on for some tips and tricks on balancing finances with kids.
As an adult, you’ll find yourself with a list of the typical weekly or monthly expenses. These range from the smaller expenses like gas and groceries, to larger ones such as rent and car payments. Making sure you get these payments in on time is a primary financial responsibility for you. You’ll also notice that most of these expenses will change when kids come along.
When it comes to your car payments, you’ll most likely have insurance, loans, and/or typical maintenance costs to cover. In order to keep the maintenance costs low, you’ll want to keep your car in its best condition. This way you can avoid emergency payments on your vehicle and save that money for other important expenses. Cars can take a lot of money out of your wallet and once you grow your family, you may need to upgrade to a more family-friendly vehicle and add features like car seats and safety controls on your car.
Renting a place to live can also add up quickly, and many people believe that buying a home is better for your wallet in the long run. Although the upfront costs of buying a home can be intimidating, there are ways to make you feel a bit more comfortable with this option. If you have a lower credit score, an FHA loan can help you buy a home and take advantage of lower interest rates. This is a more attractive option to home buyers that are trying to balance their finances better, like those growing a family. Especially since you’ll most likely need to buy a bigger home to provide more space for you and your kids.
After looking at the typical adult expenses, let’s add in the costs of raising a child. With a newborn, the costs of delivery, hospital care, and healthcare in general, can be tremendous. Many families choose to go with a home birth if it’s a safe option for the mother. This way you can avoid a larger hospital bill.
Once your baby is born or even before your little one arrives, you’ll be spending a lot of money on infant items like a changing table, stroller, car seat, and a weekly formula supply. If you’re someone who’s able to breastfeed, and it’s safe to do so for a longer period of time, this can help decrease the expense of additional food for your baby until they grow to need more nutrients.
Once your child needs solid food, that weekly grocery cost goes up. You’ve already had to add diapers, baby wipes, and other necessities to the list and now you’re paying even more for their source of food. Money-smart parents rely on budgeting for their weekly groceries and take advantage of coupons and sales at the grocery store. Buying in bulk is another popular way to stock up on what you need and also save money in the long run.
Once your children get older, they may want to be involved in things like sports or music, most of which come with additional costs. If you’re feeling like money is tight, utilize local resources to help you out. Looking for a violin for your daughter to play in the school orchestra? Check out Facebook Marketplace for a used one in good condition. Does your son want to play football this fall? See if a neighbor has hand-me-down equipment he can use. These tips will help you lower your costs while still letting your kids do what they love.
A goal of many adults who have their family’s expenses to worry about is achieving financial freedom. The typical answers here are getting a job that pays more or building a stricter budget, although these aren’t necessarily realistic.
If you’re struggling with debt, it may be best to prioritize paying that off over boosting your savings. Once you have your debt under control, you can start saving and investing to grow your money. As your funds grow through investment, you can use that money for things like future emergencies or major purchases. Things like this aren’t glamorous but will set you and your family up for the future.
If possible, try finding a side gig to make some extra money. Whether you work full-time or are a stay-at-home parent, you may find you have a few hours each day where you can start a hobby that also makes you money. For example, some moms find that crocheting is relaxing. You could crochet items and sell them for profit! This is a great way to relieve stress and make extra cash. The more money you make the more you can possibly spend on your little one!
Raising a child and growing your family don’t have to take a toll on your finances. Yes, it may cause some extra stress, but with these tips, you can balance your finances and live a happy, stress-free life.