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Creating a Family Budget

February 01, 2022
Bringing a baby into your life is big step for many people. When it comes to growing your family, it’s important to revisit your budget. Learn more about the basics of budgeting for children and factoring in the costs of childcare and education.

Budgeting for Children

Your budget will change and evolve as your child moves through various life stages. Keep in mind that you’ll have to update your budget regularly as your child gets older.

Budgeting for a Baby

From the outside looking in, it may seem simple to budget for a baby. After all, how much can a little human really need? The reality is, when you account for diapers, wipes, clothes, furniture, formula, toys and more, you are looking at an average of $11,105 for the first year. Of course, that estimate will shift based on a variety of factors, including your location and spending preferences.

It’s also important to consider who will care for the baby and how family income and expenses might be affected. Will you be taking leave and returning to work afterward? If so, will you need to pay for childcare? Budgeting for childcare is essential as a working parent.

Your child may attend preschool in a few years. The best way to prepare for childcare costs is to research options in your area and determine what you can afford.

Budgeting for Kids

As your child starts getting older, your budget will become a bit more comprehensive. With diapers and formula behind you, costs for items like clothing and groceries will increase. The cost of activities will also come into play. You’ll need to consider expenses like ballet lessons, summer camp, new soccer gear, and braces. The sooner you develop your budget, the better you may be able to anticipate the impact on your bank account.

While after-school lessons, clubs and extracurricular activities can be costly, they can double as childcare services. Many schools also offer after-care services for working families and busy parents. If you need additional help, consider reaching out to a trustworthy neighbor, family member or friend to see if they’ll help babysit. Getting creative with childcare can help you stay budget-conscious while ensuring your child is safe and entertained. It’s also a good time to start teaching your kids the importance of their own savings. Consider opening a Fun Club account to help your child learn the benefits of savings money.

At this stage, you’ll also want to start thinking about higher education, if you haven’t already. If paying for your child’s college education is part of your long-term family plan, it’s essential to begin saving as early as possible.

Budgeting for Teens

As your child becomes slightly more independent, your budget will continue to change. Soon, your child’s budget may start to resemble your own. With teenagers come expenses like cell phones, sports equipment, new clothes, and even a car. Some families may also consider investing in a private school. Be sure to factor these expenses into your monthly budget ahead of time.

As important as it is to budget for your teen, it’s just as important to teach your child to start budgeting too. This will help your teen become financially savvy. You can start by helping your teen save for personal expenses, like a prom dress or an expensive new pair of headphones. If your child is able to get a part-time job and earn money, you can help them develop a simple budget. Not only will your child be able to fund a few personal expenses, he or she will be better prepared for financial independence. Consider upgrading an existing Fun Club account or opening a Student Checking account, so your teen can learn to manage money in a safe and secure way.

Prepare Your Family Budget Today

Now that you have a sense of the expenditures to consider when budgeting for a baby, growing child and teen, you can begin to develop your family budget. Middlesex Savings Bank can help you navigate the types of savings and checking accounts that will make budgeting for children a little easier. Contact us or stop by a local branch to learn more about how we can help you plan for the future.
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by Middlesex Savings Bank