Raising kids can be expensive, but the good news is that there are ways to save money while raising your kids! Yep, totally do-able.
A few weeks ago I was blessed to witness the birth of our fifth grandchild, a gorgeous baby boy born to our oldest daughter and son-in-law. Here are a couple pics of my new grandson (because, how could I resist?!)
Welcoming a new little one into the family gave me an opportunity to think about how much money we need to raise our kids these days. Right now the cost of raising children in the US is nearly a quarter of a million dollars! And, that amount only covers the basic expenses from birth through age 17- things like housing, food, clothes, child care and transportation costs.
What it doesn’t include are college expenses as well as the various unexpected costs associated with having a kid, such as health care, the loss of income that comes hand-in-hand with being a parent, and entertainment in the form of toys and outings.
This is a global phenomenon, too. In the UK, it costs £79,176 to raise a boy or £108,884 to raise a girl to age 18, and at home, here in Israel, it reportedly costs more than half a million shekels to raise a child to age 18.
Whoa! That’s a lot of money- especially when you’re raising a family of eight children like we are.
Ways to save money while raising your kids
While we all do know that raising kids can be expensive and that it needs a lot of planning (including financial), it need not be stressful. You can also set aside money to save on a regular basis when you have kids. Here are some of my tried and very tested tips on ways to save money while raising your kids.
Smart Planning Leads to Big Savings
Whether you’re raising one child or eight, you can be smart about how you plan your finances so that raising children doesn’t bankrupt you. And, the best part is that even a few small changes to the way you spend money can have a big impact later on.
For example, let’s talk about baby clothes. I know, they can be really, really adorable! When we dress up our kids in the latest fashions from Gap Kids and Gymboree, they are just so cuuuuuute! That small boy or girl who cried all night, depriving you of your sleep, is transformed into a little darling who simply melts your heart.
I totally get it.
And, then there are toys for our children. As a busy mom-of-many, I know how important it is to keep our kids occupied and out of mischief. Bored children are an explosion or a mess (or some combination of the two) waiting to happen.
But, here’s the deal. Whether it’s clothes or toys, our kids grow and grow up fast – especially in the early years when they’re rapidly accelerating through developmental stages.
Our children don’t really need lots and lots of clothes and toys. Within two or three months they outgrow everything, anyway. So rather than sinking a lot of money into short term needs, keep their wardrobes and toy chests to a minimum. Swap toys and clothes with family, friends and neighbors and buy discounted or even second-hand items. You’ll be amazed at the amount of spare cash you’ll accumulate to invest for your child’s future.
And that “small change” can really add up.
Planting Money Seeds
Here’s an example of how small amounts of money can grow exponentially when you consciously reduce your spending on things and invest money for your children’s future. Lets run the numbers…
Let’s say you set aside only $1 a day, every single day for an entire year.
That’s $365. If you invest $365 a year every year for the next twenty years, this is how your money can grow at various interest rates:
Investing just a dollar a day, can grow your money into the tens and twenties of thousand over a period of twenty years. So, if you truly want to help your children with the things in life that matter most, like a college education and/or a down payment on their first home, then it makes financial sense to tweak your money decisions right away. In the process, you’ll be planting money seeds that will bear fruit for your children for years to come.
The 1K Investor
If you’d like some more direction with investing, check out my online course the 1K Investor. It’s designed for women like you who are ready to start investing, even with small amounts of money.
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