Raising a family is rewarding and expensive in equal measure, with the average cost of raising a child right through to their 18th birthday standing at an average of at least £245,000 for a middle-income family.
It feels good driving around in a nice vehicle, like the Jeep Renegade for example, but you also have to think about making sure your kids are taken care off too, so the way to try and achieve all of your goals is to find some savvy ways to keep that budget under control.
Keeping an eye on expenses
It is interesting to note that when comparing the costs that your parents probably faced when raising you and the costs you face of raising a family a generation later, some things haven’t changed that much.
However you analyze the figures, there is no escaping the fact that your parental responsibilities add up to a sizeable number by the time your child reaches that milestone 18th birthday.
There are many ways to keep within your budget, feed, nurturing and clothing your family without breaking the bank. It just needs a bit of creative thinking and a few tips to help you keep a lid on all of those expenses.
Big savings on diapers
One of the biggest expenses you face in the early years is the cost of diapers.
It is not unusual for a typical family to spend at least $1,500 per year on disposable diapers, but there are two potential alternatives that could end up saving you a large part of that figure.
The first option is to consider cloth diapers. The obvious downside is washing diapers ready for using again, but when you consider that you could conceivably buy enough cloth diapers to see you through the first 12 months for about $60, that is a big saving.
The other alternative is having a go at the diaper-free strategy. Some countries use this practice as a matter of course and it is feasible to teach your baby to use a specific cry when they need the toilet, from just seven weeks old.
These ideas have got be worth considering when you work out how much money you will be saving if you can ditch the disposables.
There are plenty of parents out there
You are highly likely to develop a network of friends who also have children of different ages and there are always community events and networks centered around families, which offer opportunities to make some huge savings.
One of the big issues with a growing family is that clothes and other items like cribs, soon become redundant as they grow out of them. Network with other parents nearby and see if you can swap or buy cheaply items that they don’t need any more. Most of these items will be like new as they are not used for long, and you could end up spending a lot less than if you visit the mall every time your child needs something updating.
These are just some of the easy ways to make some big savings, so network with other parents and share your tips as well as exchanging items between each other, in order to keep within budget while raising a family.
Sean Robinson is a Father who experienced a huge wake-up call regarding finances when he was made redundant several years ago; gone were the days of maxing out the credit cards, he soon had to learn to being frugally minded. Today he writes useful articles on personal finance matters that others can take tips from.