Can You Afford Kids?

Ask any parent and you are likely to hear how great it is to have children. What they do not often talk about is how financially draining it can be. According to statistics from the US Department of Agriculture, it costs over $233,000 to raise a child from birth through age 17, and that is not calculating the cost of college.

It will not be surprising that you will end up childless if you only look at parenting from a financial standpoint. However, there are many ways to manage this situation. As long as you prepare for it and make sound financial decisions, you will manage to raise a family without adding a great deal of stress to your finances.

Weighing in on financial issues

There are many considerations surrounding the addition of a child into a household, the main one being what will it do to your family budget. Taking time away from work during and after pregnancy or adoption requires careful planning because your income may shrink, if not transition into one income from two.

It is important to check with your employer and insurance company to learn about coverage, too. Important questions to touch on are short-term disability insurance, fertility treatments, and available time-off work.

Once you have an idea how much income you will have once you have a child, work on adjusting your family budget and consider the long-term effects, too. It may be required to make cuts in your spending to make ends meet.

Update your healthcare plan

It is not cheap to bring a child into this world so check with your insurance how much medical coverage you have and what will have to come out of your pocket. Also, find out how much it will cost to add a dependent to your group medical insurance policy.

Plan for childcare costs

Childcare is particularly expensive for infants. Even when your child is school-age, there is still plenty of expenses to prepare for, including after-school care, summer camps, and child equipment and supplies.

When buying things for your child, invest in safety. At the same time, keep in mind that your child will quickly outgrow many of the items you buy that paying full price for items is not worth it. Ask for friends and family for hand me downs or if they can sell you used goods. Your baby will never know the difference!