Child care expenses can be a huge burden to bear. According to reports, a couple spends 25.6% of their income to pay for childcare. If you are a single parent, the cost rises to 52.7%. Apparently, paying for full-time child care in a center will cost around $9,589 a year. This translates to roughly $800 a month. And this is only the payment that you will pay the center that will care for your child while you are at work. You still have to factor in the cost of their food, clothing, toys, healthcare, and eventually, their education. There are so many costs for you to consider if you want to be able to provide a high-quality of life for your child.
You have to remember that it is not just the day-to-day expenses that you need to think about. You should also consider having an emergency fund, college fund, and even a health insurance to protect you and your kids.
Without a doubt, there will be a lot of financial changes when you have children around the house. The child care expenses will probably grow as they get older too. This is the reason why some parents cannot afford to have one stop working to stay at home with the kids. The expenses and the requires savings are just too much for one person to earn.
This is why most parents are torn between the need to earn more and spend less. So what can they do?
Options to work and still have child care expenses taken cared of
If you are torn between the need to earn money and spending less on child care expenses, there are a couple of things that you can do. Spending on children is not an exact science and you cannot expect all options to work for you and your family. You need to consider the personal preferences of your child, your specific family situation, and your own financial needs within the household.
Your options will actually depend on whether there are two of you to share the burden or you are a single-parent.
If you have a partner
In case you are married or with a partner, things will definitely be easier for you. There is someone who will share the burden of caring for the kids and earning money. Usually, couples just opt to have one person stop working to stay at home. But if this is not possible because one income is not enough to support your financial needs, then you can just opt to work in shifts. If you do not want to pay for child care expenses, you just have to opt for a different shift from each other so there is always one of your with your child. One can work night shifts while the other can work during the day. You usually work only 8 to 9 hours a day. That would still allow some part of the day or night to overlap.
While this can be an unusual arrangement, you have to remember that this is only for a couple of years. When your child starts going to school, it will be easier for the both of you to work at the same time. And when they get older and they can be left on their own, that will make things much easier.
If you are a single parent
Now if you are a single parent, it will be harder to for you to meet both the financial needs of your family and childcare requirements. For one, you cannot stop working because nobody will be earning for the household. But that does not mean you are completely defenseless.
One thing that you can do is to live near a relative, or at least someone you trust, who can look after your child while you are working. If you can live near your parents, they might be able to help you out. Or you can probably choose to live with them – at least until after your child is a bit older. It will be safer for you and the child if you do. You can just share in the expenses – if your parents are struggling financially, they can use your contributions.
Opt to work from home
Of course, the perfect solution to the problem of having to work while lowering child care expenses is to just find ways to work from home. According to reports, there had been a 115% increase in telecommuting for the past decade. That means more and more companies are opening to the idea of getting remote workers. Before you have a child, talk to your employer if this is a possibility for you. That way, you can continue being employed with the same company – and hopefully still get the same benefits. If that is not possible, you can always start a freelancing career. There are many online freelancing jobs that you can do. If you are a great writer, you can become a content writer. You can also set up a blog that can help you earn an income.
There are many stay-at-home parents who blogged about their life and got a following – enough to help rank their websites and get money from affiliates and advertisements. This is something that you can probably explore. Consider your online options and see how you can start earning while taking care of your child at home.
Financial tips to make ends meet despite childcare costs
The truth is, it is not impossible to make ends meet despite the daunting child care expenses that you have to face. You just have to know the right techniques and implement the strategies that will help you manage your finances. Because if you think about it, you will be spending for your child for the first 18 years of his or her life. According to reports, raising a child will cost you $233,610 – and this is for the kids born in 2015. We all know that inflation causes all costs to rise over the years. That means the later that you have kids the higher the cost would be.
Fortunately for you, that are specific tips that you can follow to help you cope with all the child care expenses that you have to face.
Figure out priority expenses
First of all, you need to figure out your priority expenses. Obviously, you have limited financial resources. That means you need to choose which expenses are important to you. The basic necessities like shelter and food are on top of the list. You and your kids need this to survive. Transportation is debatable – but if you can afford it then go ahead and include it in the budget. Your retirement, emergency fund, and health insurance are also important expenses. Think about all of these – including the new expenses that you need to spend on because of your child.
Cut back on costs
Spending less at home is a must if you have limited finances. The reason why you had to identify your priority expenses is so you can cut back on those that are not that important. You need to make sacrifices if you want to make sure that your child will live in a financially secure environment.
Go easy on debt
While you can use credit, it is highly advised that you go easy on it. You should not be irresponsible with credit because that can compromise your financial position. Unless you are sure that it will not put your finances in danger, you should avoid using it for now. Stick to cash because that will force you to limit your spending.
Remember that as you strengthen your financial position, you can easily afford child care expenses. The more secure your financial position, the better it will be for the future of your kids. You can use that as your motivation to make sure you manage your money properly.