Children are precious gems in our lives. Caring for them means providing everything that they need to grow in the best possible environment.
This also means that there are expenses that you incur as a result of being a parent.
The expenses that come with raising a child may be the reason some couples decide to hold off becoming parents until they feel that they are financially ready.
On the other hand, some people find out that there is never the right time financially to start a family.
They then decide to bring children into the world and work as hard as they can to provide for them. A child’s expenses differ depending on their age.
Here are 3 of the largest expenses when you’re raising a child:
1. Baby Essentials
From the time you go to have your baby delivered, you incur medical expenses, which is just the beginning of the financial journey.
You need to make sure that your baby has all the essentials required for him or her to thrive in the new environment.
What makes baby essentials so expensive is that these are not a one-off purchase. These are needed almost every month, which is equivalent to paying rent.
Some baby essentials that accrue expenses include diapers, wipes, baby clothes that they outgrow and require new sets regularly.
Babies also require entertainment in the form of sensory toys and development aides.
Formula is essential for the baby’s growth if not breast-fed, and pureed foods are required after six months of being born.
Thereafter as a toddler, the baby requires a balanced diet in the form of solid food.
These are only essentials required almost every month and excludes other start-up essentials such as a baby crib, baby monitor, carry basket, stroller, and car seat.
There are alternatives to some of these basics, such as reusable nappies. However, an option comes with a cost that may not be as obvious as it would be when purchasing the product.
For instance, reusable diapers mean many washing loads, which come with higher electricity and detergent bills. Either way, baby essentials are costly one way or the other.
Many people decide to start stocking up on these necessities slowly the minute they discover that they expect a baby.
This strategy might help, however, the essentials are required for at least the first 3 to 4 years of the baby’s life, meaning you need a consistent form of income to provide for this regardless of having stocked up.
2. Child Care
A study by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development placed Canada as one of the most expensive countries for parents to enrol their children in child care.
Having gone from the necessary expenses of baby essentials, the time will come when you may need to send your child to day-care. This means you would have entered another form of expense.
The study recorded that an average two-income family spends 22% of income on child care, which is high compared to the rest of the world whose percentage rests on 15%. This amounts to single parents spending a third of their income on childcare.
Some of the decisions that parents have had to make to reduce the childcare costs include, for instance, one of the partners becoming a stay-at-home parent.
Having calculated that one partner’s salary was only sufficient to cover mostly day-care expenses that included the transport to get there and differing day-care requirements, staying home to raise the child would be viewed as the better option.
Another option to cut down on day-care costs but continue to receive income would be to find jobs that allow a parent to work from home.
Single parents don’t generally have the option to stay at home as they need to provide. Working from home may then be the ideal situation.
Other couples then decide to shift their careers into ones that allow for shift work. The two would then have to organize their shifts so that one parent is home with their child during the day.
When it’s time to go to work, the other parent arrives home just in time to take over caring for their child.
Getting into programs that offer child tax loans is an option you must explore.
The money received from this channel can go towards paying for child care, transport costs, clothes required for attendance, and snacks while both parents continue to work.
One can’t underestimate the grocery bill as your children grow up.
Teenagers will begin to consume more food than they did when they were ten years old. They will also start to have strong preferences and dislikes regarding food, and may at times enjoy dining out.
Global News carried out a research project regarding the cost of groceries for a family.
A fictitious family of two parents, a teenager, and a young child required $220 a week to feed everyone sufficiently. The bigger picture of this cost is an annual salary of $100 000 which isn’t earned by many Canadians.
Some families have resorted to cutting down on the grocery bill, including growing their food in the garden or facilitating indoor gardening space. This strategy helps cut down on food such as vegetables and fruits.
However, other daily foodstuffs may still make families feel the pinch when feeding the family.
Others will argue that the costs required to grow your food can, in some cases, tally to buying groceries. The costs discussed here include the water bill that is high due to watering the plants regularly, mainly if you live in a dry area that doesn’t receive much rain or sunlight.
For those with greenhouses, expenses of keeping it functional can also tally. Temperature regulation of a greenhouse, for example, may require a heater which is an expense on its own.
In some cases, when the costs are tallied, it appears to be the same as buying groceries from the store.
Other families have resorted to cutting back on the practice of dining out as this contributes to the grocery bill, making home-cooked food the go-to.
However, if you enroll in the child tax benefits program, the money you are allocated per child can be the grocery money needed for feeding the family sufficiently.
You might not have to continually regulate what your children pick from the grocery store and can provide for their preferences while ensuring healthy eating.
Cutting back on spending, and receiving income from the tax benefits program may create opportunities to grow your family.
If one of the worries of growing your family was that of being able to feed all children, you may be able to with such assistance channels.
The constant worry of these expenses can add a toll on parents who aren’t aware that there are lenders that accept child tax
If you have a child under 18, you are eligible to engage in a system where you can get child loans. The Canada Child Benefit, for instance, is a government program that provides tax-free payments to parents.
This qualifies as a form of income assistance that is calculated based on your income tax.
There are different factors and information considered regarding the payment you receive, including the number of children you have, their age, and other differentiating aspects of your family dynamics.
Even if you are furloughed or have had your shift hours reduced, you can still qualify for the child loans.
It would help if you explored this option for your child or children under 18 so that you can get the best possible form of assistance.
Signing up for such programs can give you peace of mind regarding your baby.
Raising children is a journey that is to be cherished. However, it requires all the financial assistance and income channels that you can get.
From the time that your child is born, these essentials require constant financial provision.
You can’t skip a month of nappies or formula, for instance, so no matter how stocked up you may be, you need to keep replenishing.
As your child grows, you may need to take him or her into day-care. The expenses of day-care are such that some families have opted to have one parent quit their job to raise their child.
Others have had to start working from home though this isn’t for everyone.
The grocery bill will keep increasing as your children grow and only decline once they leave the house. Children need to be fed sufficient and healthy food to ensure their health.
However, this may not always be possible regarding the cost of food and the large population’s income.
You should consider enrolling in programs where you qualify for child tax loans. The money provided here counts as another income stream for each child you have under 18.
It would help if you researched such programs to see how you can create a better financial situation for your children.
Although children come with expenses, you have channels where you can enjoy the benefits of financial assistance.