PREPARING FINANCIALLY FOR A CHILD

COLLEGE SAVINGS & PLANNING

TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY

GIVING AN ALLOWANCE

PROTECTING YOUR CHILD'S IDENTITY



Preparing Financially For a Childcute young girl wearing a red hat

For a middle-income, two-parent family, the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 averaged $245,340 in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This figure doesn’t include college, but takes housing, food costs and other expenses into consideration.

Knowing this, the common phrase, “You’ll never be financially ready for a child” contains some truth, but there are ways you can prepare for the cost if you know what to expect financially while you’re expecting.


::Increased Costs::


::Choosing to Stay Home::

If you’re interested in becoming a stay-at-home parent, test the water by banking your paycheck during pregnancy to see if you can pay your bills, meet your savings goals, and still have a little fun on one income. Don’t forget to budget for future baby expenses—health care, diapers, formula—to make sure you can stay at home, and still cover those additional costs. Parents magazine has a Stay at Home calculator that can help you determine if staying home makes financial sense for your family.


::Cutting Back on Expenses::

Remember that $245,340 figure mentioned earlier? You can reduce that amount by making more economical choices. Buying used, trading items with friends and using coupons can help you save money. Beyond those strategies, remind yourself what’s really important. As long as your child is happy and healthy, the extra toys and stuff is insignificant.


Ways to Save

  • ThredUP allows you to buy and sell used clothing or trade a box of clothes for a new box from someone else.
  • Just Between Friends is a consignment sale held several times per year, consisting of children’s clothing, furniture, books and toys.
  • Browse the national thrift store directory by ZIP code to receive a list of stores near you.
  • Craigslist.com and Freecycle.org allow you to either buy or receive free things, and offer plenty of children’s items, sporting goods and toys.
  • Search for formula, diaper and food coupons on Coupons.com, SmartSource.com or RedPlum.com. In addition to manufacturer’s coupons, don’t forget about store coupons, like Target or Walgreens. At these stores you can often pair manufacturer and store coupons for extra savings.