As inflation continues to wreak havoc on the middle and lower socioeconomic classes, many will feel the sting of rising costs in different areas of their lives. Those with children can attest to this fact, as the statistics show that raising a child can cost upward of $310,000.00 from infancy to age 17. This does not include any higher education costs and works out to be about $18,000.00 per year. We aren’t going to scare you with this stat and leave you wondering what to do. Here are a few ways you can combat the rising costs of parenthood:
- Searching social media groups can result in some very supportive and mutually beneficial communities. There are hundreds of options for gently used toys, clothing, and furniture that are either free or a fraction of the price of brand-new items. Find safe drop exchange areas like your local police department.
- Childcare is the largest line item for those who need their children to be looked after during working hours. Try to link up with a neighbor to share a nanny service or alternate days or hours where time is the exchange instead of cash. For those who are lucky enough to have willing relatives, a day off from childcare costs here and there can add up!
- Meal prepping takes time and dedication but can make grocery shopping trips more structured and will save you money in the long run. While figuring out what meals to make for your family, see what is on sale and in-season to keep a variety of foods!
- Making memories with your family does not have to cost a fortune. We’ve all seen or heard about the child who plays with the box a toy came in rather than playing with the brand-new toy, right? Keep it simple. Take a bike ride instead of a trip to the movies or head to the park for a picnic with friends! Have experiences instead of collecting things. And take lots of pictures!
- Budget for holidays. Check out the Christmas Club Saving Accounts at Lion’s Share to put a little away each paycheck and have cash on hand to do some shopping for the holidays. This way you won’t have to worry about the credit card interest cost or dipping into your bill-paying money and still have a great holiday with lots of love and giving.
- Start your kids out on the right foot! A strong foundation of financial education will help people cultivate a healthy relationship with money that will benefit them for each stage of their lives. Set up a chore chart and offer small amounts to children who help you complete the chores – be sure to put an amount of pay for each job listed. Once complete, put their money in an account or small container so they can see what they’ve earned. Tape a picture of an item they want to purchase on the refrigerator so they can stay focused on their savings goal. At Lion’s Share we want to help our members learn about saving and reaching goals at a young age!
Remember to give back when you can! As your children grow out of clothes, shoes, toys, and furniture, think about how much you appreciated the help from others and pay it forward. A direct reflection of the community is how willing the individuals are to help each other in times of need. This is also a great way to upcycle and keep using items that would normally be tossed out after use!