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What parents need to budget for in 2017

January 16, 2017

One of the most important things any parent can do is to budget properly for their child. After all, you have a whole other person to manage, who is not equipped in any way for financial management. You need to be able to create situations that allow for every day expenses, as well as emergency situations that allow for you and your child to come out on top. With the difficulties of these last few years, the world has watched as markets have gone in directions no one could’ve predicted. Major world events might feel like distant but they have a massive impact on world finance, meaning these effects trickle down to the average person. To that end, it’s important that, going into 2017, parents take a serious look at what budgeting will mean going forward.

Costs

The cost to raise a child naturally differs all over the world. For example, in America, the US Department of Agriculture has attempted to calculate this.

“USDA has been tracking the cost of raising a child since 1960 and this analysis examines expenses by age of child, household income, budgetary component, and region of the country. Based on the most recent data from the Consumer Expenditures Survey, in 2015, a family will spend approximately $12,980 annually per child in a middle-income ($59,200-$107,400), two-child, married-couple family. Middle-income, married-couple parents of a child born in 2015 may expect to spend $233,610 ($284,570 if projected inflation costs are factored in*) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child through age 17. This does not include the cost of a college education.”

In South Africa, the figure is also high. Sydney Sekese, certified financial planner (CFP) and winner of the 2016 Financial Planning Institute’s Media Award, told Fin24:

“Raising a child could be likened to a second housing bond. This is because raising a child is a long-term commitment that could last 23 years or more; including starting that first job. So, if you already have a housing bond, the child could be considered a ‘second bond’. On a serious note, several research indicates that it costs around R90 000 a year to raise a child. On a straight line projection (no inflation or growth) that’s over R20 700 000 by the time the child reaches 23 years old.”

This is an enormous expense, but one many are willing to endure since they want to raise kids. Therefore, you should be doing whatever you can to reduce your budget.

Deals

You need to purchase various items for your child, from clothes to food. For every one of these you must be keeping an eye out for good deals. By following your favourite stores on social media, you can often find out about upcoming deals and sales. DealZone also lets you find a range of options.

Housing

Another issue when it comes to expenses is how much you spend in places you will. As the Chicago Tribune points out:

“The biggest cost is housing, which consumes about 26 to 33 percent of total child-related expenses for a married couple with two children. Food was the second largest expense for low and middle-income families — accounting for 18 to 20 percent of total expenditures. In the highest income group, child care and education were in second place, consuming 23 percent of total expenses.”

As Entrepreneur points out, there are a range of options to find good deals on houses. Whether it’s being smart in terms of finding the houses first, engaging in owners privately or finding bank-foreclosed properties:

“While the foreclosure, in itself, is of course sad (no one rejoices when someone loses a home), once the deed has been done, these properties can be some of the best deals you’ll find in real estate. Banks want to be in the business of lending money, not managing property, so they are often quick to offer large discounts just to get the deal off their books. Translation: You can get a great deal on foreclosed properties, if you know how to buy foreclosures right.”

Health

Another common issue when it comes to raising children is their health. One of the most important considerations is which hospital insurance company you want to go with. The range of options must offer reduced prices when you are parent. You need to examine the ways you can benefit, such as tax reductions, too. It’s probably best to consult a financial advisor, who can work with your individual income.

To help reduce health expenses, you should consider living healthy too and encouraging this in your child. Get them into sports and fitness activities, make sure they eat right and stay away from overly dangerous situations.

In these ways you can manage your child and their expenses, by reducing how much you have to pay each time.

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