When deciding to start a family, many women consider the practical and emotional aspects of becoming a parent, but don’t always consider all of the monetary implications. That’s why we’ve put together this information on helping you to ease the financial strain of raising children.
According to insurance company LV=, the average cost of raising a child is now more than £230,000 by the time they reach 18 years of age. This equates to around a third of families’ monthly incomes, with 6 in 10 parents admitting they struggle to make ends meet.
Feeling the financial burden of raising a child is no surprise when you consider that the cost of bringing up kids equates to more than the price of the average house by the time they reach adulthood. In fact, the strain of managing family finances has become considerably greater over the past decade, as the average cost of bringing up a child has increased by 65% since LV= began tracking it in 2003.
How to manage the financial strain of raising a child
Whether you’re a mother concerned about the potential bills that lie ahead, or a grandmother fearing the security of your children’s family finances, there are ways to save money when bringing up a family. Here are some things to consider:
Do an audit on your current finances
Even if you think we’re being economical with money, keeping a monthly record of spending can reveal unnecessary purchases that may seem small in isolation, but which add up to big savings when combined. Look at where you can potentially cut back, and consider putting that excess cash into a savings account.
Give yourself a buffer
For peace of mind, try to put some money away in a current account or easily accessible savings account, which you can rely on in an emergency. In an ideal world you should have at least three months’ wages saved up, but if that’s unrealistic just put aside what you can to build up a nest egg.
Plan for future expenses
There are certain milestones in a child’s life that result in big expenses, from driving lessons to university tuition. Make a list of the major purchases you know you will have to make in the future, and start putting money away for them as soon as possible, to avoid impacting family finances further down the line.
Live to your property means
Many mothers worry that their children aren’t growing up in the biggest house on their street, or that their friends have larger gardens, but the truth is that all children want is happy parents.
Therefore, if you’re struggling to keep on top of the mortgage or rent, think about downsizing to a more affordable property. If it takes some of the pressure off and makes you a happier mother, then it will result in a happier child.
Naturally, you will always put your child first, however looking after them means looking after yourself. Make sure you have the relevant insurance policies in place should something happen to you, such as illness, injury or redundancy.
This financial support will prove invaluable if you find yourself unable to work for any period of time, especially if you are a single parent.
Financially educate your children
While you may be learning as you go along, as a parent you are perfectly positioned to depart financial wisdom to your children. Be transparent about how money works, and get them involved in some of the decisions you are making, to encourage collaboration within the family.
Working together also provides an important opportunity to break the cycle of worry surrounding kids and finances, as educating your child will ensure they are in a solid position when they come to raise their own family further down the line.
If you need help to budget or to set up ISAs, contact our financial planning team today. Click here to read our recent blog, what is life cover really for?
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation and trust advice. Levels and bases of reliefs from taxation are subject to Change.