Life with kids isn’t always easy, when you’re not spending fun days out together, making memories in the garden at the weekend or enjoying cuddles in bed on a Sunday morning you might be worrying about the costs that come with raising a child as you attempt to juggle a mortgage, utility bills and the expense of a car. With two children of my own who both enjoy extra lessons for football coaching, ballet, gymnatics as well as Uke club, I know only too wll that the costs can easily mount up without giving too much thought at all!
Managing your money is important, as each year comes with a different sort of expense. My Mum told me that the teenage years are the worst for extra things to pay out for what with foreign school trips and fashion being a focus so I guess the purse strings can’t tighten too strongly any time soon. There is an interactive guide from debt management service PayPlan which is helpful as it attempts to breakdown the largest costs on average for each important year as your child grows – from the cost of nappies per year to driving lessons when they reach the age of 17 – or… 36 if you’re like me and don’t pass your test until then but still need a little help from the bank of Mum!
It clearly doesn’t get any less expensive as time goes on although I expect most 36 year olds don’t dip into their parents funds quite as much as I have in the past. When they ARE still children those important school trips, stationery, uniform and more grown up activities that arise mean you may find yourself dipping your hand in your pocket more often than not. This is why it’s so important that you check you’re receiving the right money (such as child maintenance from an ex partner or Government assistance) and are making changes to cut the amount of money you regularly spend. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Swap from branded products to supermarket or beauty store own. They are usually just as effective and much cheaper!
- Take advantage of ‘baby clubs’ that offer a discount on items on a regular basis.
- Bulk cook to save time and money on meals.
- Limit kids to one extra curricular activity.
- Send them to school with a packed lunch instead of paying for school dinners – or, if they’re eligible for the free dinners make sure you take advantage!
Making little changes can make a huge difference to the amount of money you have at the end of the month in your account. Take a look at PayPlan’s interactive guide and discover just how much on average it costs each year to raise a child.