How to Budget Before Having Children

If you are planning a family then you will know that your expenses will go up dramatically once you have a family and it may also be the case that your income will fall. It is therefore really important to budget before having a family so that you do not get any nasty shocks once the children come along. If you already have some children and are planning on having more, then the same applies. You may worry that if you do start looking at the figures, they may indicate you do not have enough money for a family and this could put your off looking. However, it should be possible to find the extra money that you need, but you may just have to make some lifestyle changes to be able to afford it.

The cost of children

Calculating the cost of children can be very difficult, but it is possible. You will need to be aware that it is likely they will get more expensive as they get older as they will need more expensive clothing, eat more and want more expensive things as well, such as phones, computers, clothing etc. This means that you will need to make sure that you plan for that as well as check you have enough for when they are babies. As well as the extra money that you might be paying out, you also need to cost for any reduction in income you may have. This could be especially hard-hitting if both parents work and one gives up work or both change to part-time work so that they can care for the child themselves. This lack of income could actually be a far bigger cost than the cost of the food or other expenses the child will bring.

How many children?

As part of your calculations it is important to think about how many children you can afford. This is because the costs can escalate with extra children. You may think that the savings with hand-me-down clothes and toys will really help, but if you need to buy a bigger car or home, then the costs will be very much more significant. It can be hard to predict how much a child can cost and it will very much depend on their specific needs, but you can estimate. Do not forget that there is a possibility you may have twins or more. Although the chances are low, it is possible and so you might want to consider allowing more money just in case.

How to afford the children

There are things that we can do to help to afford children and it is much better to plan before you start trying so that you are confident that it will help and in the habit of doing things a bit differently. By buying items that offer good value for money, and only items that are necessary, you should be able to reduce the amount of money that you are spending. Comparing prices is really important and you will be able to see whether you are paying a lot more than you could be. Of course, quality is important as well which is why you should be aiming at finding good quality for money and then you will be able to ensure that the things you are buying last well.

Many parents will end up spending a lot less on themselves than they have done before and spending that on the children instead. This means that although their spending may not go down, it is moved to a different area and so they end up buying more of what they need rather than what they want. This is probably the way most parents will do it, although some might choose to get a loan from Boutell and then work hard on repaying it once the children are at school and parents can afford to return to work.

Working with children can be difficult as they need constant looking after and so if you do go to work you will need to pay someone to look after them. Some people are lucky enough to have a family member that will be able to do this for them and will not charge them. However, this is not the case with everyone and this means that the cost of care needs to be added in. It could be cheaper for some people to reduce their working hours or give up work entirely. However, it is worth considering whether it could be possible to work from home while looking after a family. You may be able to do this for your current employer or find something else. Perhaps doing some freelance work or finding some work form home work online will help to bring money in. This can be a bit ad hoc though, so if you are doing calculations, it may be wise not to assume this will be massively successful.

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