Save Money By Not Having Children…
Those headlines are everywhere.
Experts claim it costs $250,000 to $300,000 to raise a child until the age of 18. While I believe this figure heavily depends on where you reside in the country, some parents feel the heavy burden of having to financially provide for kids while others don’t experience it as much.
We’ve all heard how kids are expensive and could potentially be a death sentence to your finances, but what about the other end of the spectrum? In my experience as a parent, having kids can actually save you money too.
It costs money to raise kids no matter what, but here are just a few ways kids can help save you money as well.
Kids Help You Tone Down Your ‘Wants’
When you become responsible for another individual’s wellbeing and commit to providing for them, it really forces you to stop thinking about yourself and your needs 24/7. While it’s important to take care of yourself, shifting the focus toward someone or something else won’t hurt.
When you have kids, the latest gadgets that you like or the expensive hobbies you have won’t really make a lot of sense anymore. As a parent, you can still have hobbies and do fun things, but the nature of how you go about it may change for the better. You may not even want to buy fancy carpet or high-end furniture if you have little ones running around.
I always said that becoming a mom allowed budgeting to get real because if i didn’t take my financial goals seriously and failed, I wouldn’t just be letting myself down but I’d be letting my child down as well – and that wasn’t an option.
You can still pull motivation like this from other sources if you don’t have kids, but there’s not much that compares to the motivation a child can give you to change your mindset.
Toning down on your ‘wants’ allows you to live a simpler life that enables you to focus on enjoying the time you have with your loved ones and create memories together.
You Learn How to Cook at Home
Dining out is nice to do every now and then, but when you have a child it’s nearly impossible to do it all the time. As a couple, it’s easy to get caught up with ordering food and eating out several times a week. Taking kids out to eat every other night can be a hassle, not to mention expensive.
Kids need nutritious home cooked meals and so do you. It’s important to learn how to cook home cooked meals from whole ingredients for the sake of your wallet and your health. When you have someone to cook for it actually motivates you to learn new recipes and get better at cooking. Cooking at home will save you so much money over time as you make it a habit.
You can even dine out as a family occasionally and still save money thanks to kids eat free coupons and specials at various different restaurants.
Kids are the key to securing cheap entertainment for the whole family. There are so many free and frugal ways to embark on family fun and entertain kids from attending festivals and fairs to holiday-themed events, family fun nights, trips to the zoo or museum and a ton of other activities.
Your child may even come home with information on a trip or event from school or daycare that your family can enjoy. Kids make attending events fun and since you probably don’t want to give up your social life completely when you become a parent, it’s nice to save money in this area of the budget.
Don’t underestimate the money-saving power of hand-me-downs. Free clothes, shoes and gadgets come in handy when you’re trying to spend less or live frugally. Young children are usually not that picky and will wear and play with whatever you give them. This is why I don’t understand why some parents think they need to impress their children with material things.
I accept hand-me-downs all year-round from friends and family and do clothing swaps. It’s a great way to save money on items for my child and even myself as well.
This is not to say that you should plan on having kids so you can receive certain tax breaks (because that’s not a good idea), but it wouldn’t be reasonable to ignore the how having children can affect your income taxes.
Having a child opens the door to several tax credits that can reduce your tax and help generate a larger refund. Exemptions, child tax credit and dependent care credits can all help you save money.
Do you have kids? Have you ever thought about how a child could help you save money instead of spend money?