Did you know that the average cost of raising a child is a whopping $12,980 per year? That figure may leave you wondering how any couple can afford a little one, but the good news is that there are many ways to trim child-related expenses. Here are three easy ways to counter the costs of raising an infant to adulthood.
How can you afford all the clothing, furniture, and toys that a new baby needs? It’s easy when you buy used. Because babies grow out of these items so quickly, they are typically like new even after being passed down through several families. This is especially true with newborn clothing, which will only last your child for a few months as they will double in size and weight in just the first four to five months. While you should avoid buying used plush items such as stuffed animals or toys that are difficult to clean, things like clothes, cribs, high chairs, and strollers can all be found much cheaper second-hand from families that have outgrown them. A bassinet especially can be costly but only is useful for the first 3-5 months, and should definitely be purchased secondhand.
Another large expense of raising a child is all the extra food and toiletries they will consume along with infant necessities like diapers, wipes, and formula. However, you can find coupons and discounts marketed every time you go to your OBGYN, to your child’s doctor, and shipped to you whenever you set up a baby shower registry. Making use of coupons and sales can help you save big on these items, but you will need to plan carefully. Wait for sales to make purchases, and stock up when you find a deal. Carve out extra storage space in your home to keep everything organized. Most importantly, take advantage of every baby shower registry deal and free sample you can find. Doing so will not only save you money, but can result in scores of free samples and special deals getting shipped directly to your door.
Reduce Childcare Costs
Childcare is one of the biggest expenses of raising a child, but there are many affordable options. The most affordable solution is to have a family member watch your child during the day, but this option isn’t available to everyone. If you have sporadic work hours or only need occasional childcare, many daycare centers offer reduced payment options to accommodate this. You can also get government education subsidies for preschool or daycare programs. This is typically offered based on your income, but there are also special programs in place for those with children that have disabilities or other special needs.
Most pediatricians recommend limiting screen time for infants and young children, which makes your cable television bill an easy expense to cut. Invest some of your savings into educational entertainment like books and games. When you want to watch a show or movie, just stream it over the internet. Popular streaming services cost a fraction of what you’re paying for cable and allow you to watch on your own schedule.
Although the costs of raising a child can seem insurmountable, it’s important to remember that families of all income brackets have options available to them. There are ways to get around just about every cost of raising a child, though it takes time and research to find them all. If you are struggling to make ends meet when planning for your child’s costs, consider working with a financial advisor to help find all of the financial aid programs available to you.