Working out the cost of having kids.
For many young couples who are planning to spend the rest of their lives together, one of the main priorities on their minds is starting a family. There are many couples who would like nothing more than to be able to start a family unit but these days it is important to take into consideration the cost of having kids. In fact, this is something that needs to be considered not only by young couples who are thinking of starting a family but also by couples who already have children but are thinking of having more.
Whilst having kids is undoubtedly a wonderful, life changing experience for couples, the cost associated with having children cannot be ignored. Having kids without thinking about the cost will not only impact upon your own quality of life but also on that of your children. Planning and preparation is important for those who want to have children and part of this is to work out the cost of having kids.
Some people who do try and work out the cost of having kids make the mistake of only thinking about the initial costs associated with having kids. However, you need to bear in mind that you will be looking after and paying for your kids for many years to come – traditionally close to two decades and sometimes more! Therefore, you need to think over the long term rather than just looking at the first couple of years.
Some of the costs associated with having kids
There are many different costs that you need to take into consideration when having kids. Although the first child tends to be the most expensive, as most parents have to buy everything new rather than using second hand goods and hand me downs, all kids are going to cost you and the older they get the more you will end up spending on them in most cases!
Although there may be various benefits and rebates that you can claim as a parent, you will find that the amount that you need to spend compared to the amount that you can claim is far higher. Some of the necessary and common costs that are associated with having kids include:
- Initial costs: The initial costs can be high when you have a child, particularly if it is your first child, as this means that there will be no hand me downs or pre-used items that you may have purchased for kids that you had previously. Costs include clothing, items such as bottles and sterilisers, cots and carriers, car accessories for transporting baby around, baby food and the variety of other products you need for feeding, bathing, clothing and looking after your new baby. When you have subsequent children, the initial costs are often much lower, as you will already have many of the items you need from your first child
- Clothing and food: Remember that you will be paying for clothing and food for your child not just when he or she is a baby but as they grow older and until they reach adulthood and can fend for themselves. This can be a huge drain on the finances, particularly given the high cost of living
- Educational costs: You will need to consider the educational costs involved in raising a child, even if he or she just goes to a standard school. The cost of education also extends beyond the school years, as you also need to think about the cost of college or university for your child in order to give them the best start in adult life
- Other costs: There are many other costs that you will need to bear in mind when planning to have and raise kids, all of which can have a huge impact on finances. This includes everything from buying toys, books and ensuring that you are in appropriate accommodation to suit your family unit to paying for school trips, helping out with a car or other larger purchases later in life and more
Of course, the actual costs involved with having kids can vary based on your own individual circumstances but the above are just some of the common and necessary costs that are linked to having and raising a child. Many couples who are better off than the average couple in terms of their finances believe that they are in a better position to have and raise children financially, which may be true to some degree.
However, often those who have more money tend to spend more money on bringing up their child, such as paying for designer clothes or private education, which again can have the same impact as more modest spending by parents on lower incomes.