Kid Costs: Most Expensive Budget Drains to Avoid

Monday, September 22, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

By some estimates, it costs up to one million dollars to raise a child from birth to college graduation. This only becomes a more accurate prediction if inflation-adjusted dollars are used in the calculations. 

Parents are starting to wonder if there isn’t a better way, and it turns out there just might be. A number of the biggest expenses incurred by raising children have lower-cost alternatives.

Kid Costs Most Expensive Budget Drains to Avoid

It takes a little research and a bit of planning, but if you are determined to save some of that seven-figure investment, there are some things to consider.

  • Groceries

    Item one is your grocery strategy. You already know not to fall prey to name brand items, and to buy in bulk, but with kids, the cost can quickly rise.

    Did you know you could be paying up to a 100% penalty for the same food if you don’t have a club card? You will if you aren’t paying attention.

    Put your hands on every coupon you can find, and shop at stores where those coupons provide you the highest discounts. The best way to stay in budget is to give yourself a limit. Don’t spend more than a certain amount on groceries each month.

  • Toys

    Item two is toys. There is no such thing as a necessary toy. Children can and will have just as much fun with super-low-cost toys, as they will with the premium-priced alternatives.

    Coloring books? Use newsprint instead. Video games? Look up free games online. Radio-controlled car? Build a wooden race car with your child instead.

    Playing with toys is about imagination. It’s not about status or acquiring the most things.

  • Health Costs

    It’s no secret that health and dental costs keep rising. Kids are especially susceptible to accidents and illnesses. The best defense is the right coverage.

    Look at different insurance companies and shop around if you can. Companies like Mar Orthodontics might even offer monthly discounts for big families.

    All you have to do is ask, and stay firm to your budget allowance. So whether you’re getting the kid’s immunization shots, or kid’s braces in Edmonton, make sure your insurance is willing to pay before you are.

  • Housing

    Item three is housing. A family with five teenage boys needs a bigger home, than a family with one 18-month-old. Given the often wildly fluctuating housing market and the tendency of certain kinds of mortgage rates to spike unexpectedly, keeping a smaller home is the right strategy in nearly every set of circumstances.

    Even if all the other saving-money advice is followed, one move into a house with a 15% higher payment can wipe it all out in one summer.

    It sounds, and even looks like a good idea at first, but six months in you’ll be stuck. Even if you recognize the mistake it will be more expensive to unravel.

Just like making money in business, budgeting effectively is finding something that saves you money, and making the commitment to continue doing it. It is no different with family budgeting. The savings are there. You just have to know where to find them.

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