While chatting with some friends the other day, I had an “ah ha” moment about budgeting for children. Children are expensive (we already knew that), but they continue to be expensive because they are always growing. Just when you think you can give up one expense, another expense will just take its place. Here are some thoughts and reminders for budgeting for children, especially as they grow up over time.
The first of many expenses will be clothes. When you have a newborn, you’re buying new clothes all the time because your child will keep growing and growing. You can use an onesie for several weeks, and then it’s time to get the next size up.
A good tip for budgeting for clothing is to buy second hand. Since every parent faces the same dilemma, there are a lot of stores that specialize in second hand children’s clothes. And many of these clothes are lightly worn since children do grow up so fast.
Another tip is to take advantage of sales. If you like an outfit and it’s on sale, buy multiple sizes, so that you will be able to dress your child in it for several months, and not just several weeks.
Another thing to consider is furniture. When you have a newborn, you’re focused on a nursery. This means a crib and a changing table. However, in just a couple years, you’re going to need a bed and more. You could invest in a crib that converts to a child’s bed, or you can look at other options for childrens beds from Room to Grow, and see what works for you.
The Big Stuff
Finally, you will have to start considering some big expenses as your children reach high school. First, there will inevitably be some technology involved. Right now, it’s laptops, iPads, and iPhones. However, in a few years, who knows what the latest technology will be. You will also have to think about whether you’re going to buy a car for your teen when they can drive, and other big expenses, like college.