If you’re already a parent, we don’t need to tell you that kids are expensive. Even if you don’t have kids, you likely have some inkling of the costs you’ll incur when you grow your family.
Here’s the thing: Take however much you expect to spend on your children and double it. Most people underestimate how much parenting will cost and are less-than-prepared when surprise bills come their way.
That’s the bad news. We have good news, too: With a little strategic planning and some good community resources, you can set yourself and your family up well for this exciting new chapter in your life.
The Financial Implications of Life’s Important Moments: Growing Your Family
The data is in: Parents typically aren’t prepared for how much kids cost.
Clearly, investing in your kids’ health and happiness is important. We all know that, but the range of bills associated with raising kids can still take us by surprise. Recognizing these costs exist, realizing they are significant, and planning for them if at all possible can ensure you have the funds available when one child needs braces while the other needs new school gear.
Here are just a few costs to keep in mind when you’re growing your family:
- Medical expenses, from prenatal care to delivery costs, well-baby checkups, and beyond
- Childcare, whether through the cost of daycare or reduced income if a parent chooses to stay home
- Education, including tuition, school supplies, extracurriculars, and savings for college
- Housing, especially if your growing family needs more space or changes to your current home
- Groceries, which will include more food as well as expensive diapers, formula, and other baby care essentials
All told, a young family’s expenses can increase by $1,000/month (or more!) after bringing home a new bundle of joy.
That’s the difficult news. The good news? You have resources to help with these costs.
Fortunately, You Can Meet Life’s Important Moments With Finesse
Whether you’re preparing for parenthood in advance or seeking ways to level up your parenting game a few years in, these strategies can help.
- Create a budget: You’ve heard this tip before, but it’s standard fare for a reason! If it’s been a few months or longer since the last time you assessed your family’s finances, do so now. Create a new budget that accounts for all of the costs mentioned above, see how it compares to your current cash flow, and determine whether there are any areas in which you can cut back on expenses.
- Explore every cost-saving avenue: If you can find ways to save, do it. Even if it doesn’t feel necessary, it’s likely a good idea. You never know when that next unexpected medical bill will come. Buying secondhand, accepting help and hand-me-downs, and shopping sales are good places to start. If you can, talk to other new parents in your community to see how they save on everything from childcare to healthcare.
- Open strategic savings accounts: Your options go far beyond opening a 529 or education savings plan for K-12 or college tuition—although that should be high on your list. Setting up multiple savings accounts to keep funds for the future separate or in distinct “buckets” can help you save—as can high-yield savings accounts for funds you may not need for a few years. Consider opening a savings account for your child to start building savings in their name too.
The Benefits of Partnering With a Community Bank for Life’s Important Moments
Your bank can be much more than an institution that helps you manage your money. Your community bank can be a partner that supports you through life’s important moments.
Here are a few of the ways local banks work to make their neighbors’ lives better:
- They volunteer at or sponsor community events: You’ll often see banking employees hosting booths at festivals, sponsoring school sports events, donating to charity run/walk events, or even showing up at your neighborhood picnic with a potluck dish to share. This is their community, too, after all—and they’re invested in making it a great place to live.
- They create accessible financial literacy resources: No matter where you are in life, having great financial habits is a must. Your local bank likely hosts financial literacy workshops or provides personalized advice to help you learn about and practice financial responsibility.
- They provide game-changing financial products for every stage of life: Life has a way of generating unexpected expenses. Whether you have home repairs, medical emergencies, or special occasions to fund, your bank can help you explore personal loans tailored to your family’s precise needs.
Need a Helping Hand? Your Community Bank is Here for You!
Parenting is an exciting journey—but it’s one that can easily break the bank. By working closely with the resources in your community and incorporating the above strategies, you’ll soon be navigating the financial side of parenthood like a pro!
BNC National Bank is proud to be a family-friendly community bank. We’re here to support you through life’s important moments—from that all-important first job to parenthood. If you’re interested in learning more about the services we offer, subscribe to our blog. We’re always finding new ways to be there for our valued clients.