Creating a Family Budget for Babies, Kids, and Teens
Adding a baby to your family is an amazing time in your life. You get to browse adorable baby clothes, prepare a theme for your nursery, plan for the future, and much more. But with these anticipations come cost, and with cost comes the need for a newly refined family budget. Every year spent budgeting for your children will be just as important as the last. Allow Piedmont Advantage Credit Union to help you every (baby) step of the way – starting with a family budget template that includes the basics of budgeting for children, while factoring in childcare costs as well.
Budgeting for Children: Child Care Included
It’s first important to understand that each life stage with children is different. Your budget will grow and change as much as your child grows, which makes it important to prepare for each exciting, and costly stage.
- Budgeting for a baby
From the outside looking in, it may seem simple to budget for a baby. After all, how much can a little human really need? The reality is that between diapers, wipes, clothes, furniture, formula toys and more, you are looking at spending an average $600 per month towards the new baby alone. Of course, that will be adjusted depending on your location and spending preferences.
Apart from the short-term costs of having a baby, it’s important to consider who the baby will be cared for. Will you be returning to work after a certain number of months and need to pay for childcare? If you’re not able to find a family member or friend available to watch your baby, budgeting for childcare is going to be essential. Keep in mind in your budget worksheet that if you plan to take your infant to a child care facility, it can run $9,589 annually full-time, and nannies can be at least $28,354 annually full-time. If you choose an in-home care option for your baby in North Carolina, the average cost is $27,251 a year. In a couple of years if your child goes to pre-school, keep in mind that it can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to the equivalent of your in-state annual college tuition. If you choose an in-center care option for your child in North Carolina, the average cost is 8,643 a year. The best way to prepare for childcare costs is to research actual costs and determine what you can afford.
- Budgeting for kids
As your child starts getting older, your budget is going to become a bit more comprehensive. While diapers and formula will be behind you, costs for items like clothing and groceries will increase. And, as kids get older, the cost of activities comes with the territory. You will need to prepare for expenses like ballet lessons and summer camp or buying your child brand new soccer gear and braces. Once again, the earlier you prepare in your budget that these costs will occur, the more you can anticipate the impact on your bank accounts.
If paying for your child’s college education is part of your long-term family plan, it’s essential to begin saving as early as possible in your child’s life. Read more about college planning tips and how to properly save for this costly adventure here. Keep in mind that as the after-school lessons and clubs can be costly, they can also sometimes act as child care services when you’re away at work. In addition, be sure to look into childcare options with your child’s school as many of them offer after care services as well. Do you have any trustworthy neighbors or nearby family members and friends? See if any of them would be willing to babysit your child until you got home from work. Child care is still necessary for this age group, but there are many ways you can do so without destroying your hard-earned savings.
- Budgeting for teens
Now that your child is beginning to have more independence, their budget is going to quickly become similar to yours. With teenagers, come expenses such as cell phones, sports equipment, a wardrobe for their growing bodies, and more. For some families, this is also the age where investing in a private school may be a consideration. All of these expenses need to be factored in your monthly budget ahead of time. And, as important as it is to prepare a budget for this life stage, it is just as important to ensure your teen learns how to start budgeting for themselves, so they develop their own set of healthy financial literacy skills.
You can start by teaching your teen to save for some of their personal expenses, like their dream dress for prom, or an expensive new pair of headphones. If they are able to get a part-time job and have saved funds of their own, you can help them become responsible for some of these costs by providing them with a simple budget. Not only will they be able to save for a few of their own expenses, they will be better prepared in the future to budget for their own families. To assist your teen with their new savings journey, you can open up a youth account, so that your teen has the ability to better manage their money in a safe and secure way.
Prepare A Family Budget Today
Now that you have a sense of items that should be part of your budget for a baby, children and those fun teen years, you can begin to develop a family budget that will take into account each life stage. At Piedmont Advantage Credit Union, we can help you navigate the types of savings and checking accounts that will make budgeting for children a lot less stressful. And, as your trusted North Carolina-based credit union, we understand first-hand what it takes to help you reduce the financial stress of raising children and focus more on quality family time.