When you add up the costs of daycare, clothing and extra-curricular activities, children are expensive. How many couples say “no” to having children until they have $200,000 saved and are living debt-free?
“Next to home ownership, raising children is the biggest expense on the household budget,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. ”Saving money to cover the expenses of children should be as second nature as saving for a down payment on a first house.”
Putting money aside in the budget to cover the cost of your children’s everyday essentials is imperative today. Kids grow so fast; both clothes and toys are barely used before it’s time to move on to the next size or “older” toy. “As parents we want our children to have the latest clothing and every toy for their age group but it’s important to recognize the negative impact buying ‘everything’ can have on our budget,” continues Schwartz.
Lucky for new parents, there is a wealth of information available to help control some of the costs associated with having children. Consolidated Credit offers its free booklet on its website: Money Savers for New Parents – Tips for raising baby without breaking the bank.
Other ways new parents can save money:
- Be realistic: recognizing what your child actually needs versus what you want them to have will help you stay out of debt.
- Hold a neighbourhood swap: get together with your neighbours and swap toys, clothing and other items for your children.
- Garage sales: every weekend there are hundreds of garage sales in your city or town. These sales are treasure troves of books, furniture and bicycles at bargain prices.
- Visit a children’s reseller: sell your gently used items and clothing to a reseller. Not only will you recoup some of your costs, but you’ll be able to purchase items at drastically reduced prices.
- Learn how to use coupons to your advantage.
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
Consolidated Credit’s unbiased debt-counselling service offers alternatives to help people get their debts under control. Alongside assisting with consolidating payments, Consolidated Credit experts focus on education and understanding. Strategies include teaching basic but vital concepts such as how to budget, understanding credit and how to manage money.
Consolidated Credit also offers a free web-based budget and debt analysis tool and a plethora of website resources for people interested in learning more about debt and credit on their own, including tips on smart spending, buying a car, taking out a student loan and a survival guide for holiday spending. Its online learning centre offers free personal finance education booklets, financial calculators, resources, tips and suggestions. Also offered is a free iPhone and iPod application, Budget Tool, which can be used to manage expenses on-the-go.
Visit ConsolidatedCredit.ca or call the toll-free phone line at 1.800.656.4079.
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