It’s well known that having kids is expensive. They might not cost a lot on a day-to-day basis, but after 18 years at home and perhaps even requiring support after they leave, this could mean a vast amount of money. If you’re planning to expand your family, it’s a good idea to take a look at your finances to make sure they’re healthy. Whether you’re having a baby biologically or adopting a child, there are lots of costs to consider before your family gets bigger. If you want to reassess your budget, then think about doing some of the things below.
Create a Setup Fund
Newborn babies don’t cost too much on a day-to-day basis. You might need to pay for a few things, but there’s not that much they need. However, setting yourself up with some essential items can be a little costly. And the older a child gets, the more they seem to require. It’s a good idea to have a fund ready to get you started, helping to pay for things like a pushchair and clothes. Start saving in the run-up to bringing your child home, so you have a starter fund to get the essentials.
Your Food Budget
A newborn baby might not eat solid foods, but you might be adding formula to your shopping budget. As children get older, they only seem to eat more and more, until they’re teenagers who are eating you out of house and home. You might not need to change your food budget right away, but it’s something you’re going to need to keep an eye on as your family grows. Cooking bigger meals may not cost much more, but you can end up spending a lot on snacks and extras. You should consider carefully how much you want to spend each week.
Budget for Going Out
Even though it’s important to assess the most vital expenses in your budget, you also need to think about having fun. You need to have fun as a family, as well as arrange for times when you can leave the kids at home. When you look at your family budget, you should try to fit in some activities that will keep everyone happy. You might think about fun places you can take the kids, or going out for dinner and hiring a babysitter. It might not be your priority when it comes to spending money, but it’s important to think about how you can spend time together.
Looking at the Cost of Your Car
For many families, a car is essential. It makes it easier to get around, especially with young children or in a large group. If you already have a car, you might think that its cost won’t go up when you expand your family. However, you could find that you’re having to use it more and that means using more fuel. One cost that you can cut is car insurance, which many people pay too much for. If you use a comparison tool, you can get cheap car insurance from Money Expert and similar websites. You can reduce other costs too, especially by trying to use your car less.
One of the big discussions when you plan a family is what to do about childcare. Whatever you decide, it’s going to mean a change to your budget. Either you will have one less income, or you will be paying for childcare, which can use up a large portion of your money. It can be a tough decision to make and might depend on whether you will be better off with both parents working. However, you might consider that it’s better for both of you to continue your careers, even if your finances have to take a temporary hit.
Making Plans for the Future
It’s also an excellent idea to start thinking about the future as soon as possible. Children only get more expensive as they get older. There are a few things you might want to do to get ready for the future. You might set up a savings account and try to live below your means, so you’re more prepared for rising costs. You might not want to think about anything happening, but it’s also a good time to consider life insurance and creating a will. If anything happens to you, what will happen to your children and surviving spouse?
Growing your family can mean big changes to your finances. It’s best to be prepared for them as much as you can be.