When most people hear the term “air pollution”, they think of industrial emissions, big cities, smog, and car exhaust. Typically the air we breathe inside our homes doesn’t come to mind, but it should. According to the EPA, the air we breathe indoors is often up to five times as polluted as outside, and Americans, on average, can spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. But, don’t fret. There are many simple and inexpensive ways you can improve your indoor air quality, starting now. Read more
Deciding to have a child is a very big, life altering decision. It not only affects your everyday life but your finances too.
The average amount that it costs to raise a child annually varies from between $12,000 – 13,000, and it goes up each year with inflation.
But, there are more expenses incurred in the 1st year of having a child. How much does it cost for that 1st year and how can you cut costs?
The most expensive part of having a baby is the actual birth process. The costs completely depend on:
- Vaginal birth or c-section
- Insured or not
- How much your insurance covers
- Which state you live in
While these are a lot of different variables, here are the average costs in each category:
- Vaginal birth with insurance – $4,900 – $10,700
- Vaginal birth WITHOUT insurance – $9,015 – $19,800
- C-Section with insurance – $7,500 – $15,000
- C-Section WITHOUT insurance – $12,600 – $28,500
Total range of just giving birth – $4,900 – $28,500
This is a pretty wide spread and should give you a whole lot to think about right out of the gate.
Buying a home can have a pretty large price tag, especially for things that you might not have even thought about. First and foremost is the down payment. This can vary depending on which type of loan you qualify for, but the average amount required for a down payment is 10%. However, most banks prefer you to put down at least 20% in order to forgo the mandatory PMI. Just something to keep in mind before you decide to purchase a home.
While there may be more up front costs buying a home, it could still potentially cost you less overall. Owning usually gives you more space for the same amount, or less money as renting a smaller place. Plus, you get the equity if you own and you don’t if you rent.
As an added bonus, once your house is paid off, it will then be considered an asset. One that could potentially help you as you get older and start thinking about retirement.
The buy vs. rent decision is a very personal one. So if you aren’t sure which one is the best for your family, then check out this rent vs. buy calculator. Hopefully, it will help you on your path to cutting costs.
Food costs can be one of the biggest parts of a monthly budget. While you may not think it will directly affect you immediately, it certainly can. Because with a new baby is in the house, the food costs will go up.
The 3 major things affecting this are:
- Solid Food
Breastfeeding usually requires an extra 500 calories per day, just to account for the extra energy needed to produce the milk. A an average of 20% more than you were eating before, you should add an extra 20% into your food budget just for you.
If the average grocery bill for 2 is around $500, then that translates to approximately $250 per person. With the mother requiring 20% more food though, that will be an extra $50 which = $600 per year in increased food costs.
Formula feeding can vary with regard to costs depending on how much your child eats and which type of formula you use. But the average costs to formula feed are between $1,138 – $1,188 per year.
3. BABY FOOD
Baby food runs close to $1 per jar. Most babies eat anywhere from 2 – 5 jars a day, depending on their age. That means you could be spending an extra $2 -$5 a day.
That is an extra $60 – $150 per month and $720 – $1,800 per year! A great option to cut costs here is to buy a blender and make your own baby food.
Child care can be one of the biggest expenses, aside from the actual birth.
The average a married couple spends 10% of their budget on child care expenses alone. But if you happen to be a single parent, it’s even worse. The number now goes up to 36% of your budget.
This means the average cost of one child, under the age of 1, can be anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000. This may be a good reason to think about staying home and working on side hustles instead, as an alternative option.
A lot of families decide that they want to upgrade to a minivan or an SUV when they begin to think about having a child.
But, switching from a sedan to an SUV or a minivan can cost you up to 50% more. But that doesn’t even include the increased car insurance costs associated with switching to an SUV or a minivan. So keeping your older car, especially if it is paid off, can really help you cut costs.
Adding a child to your healthcare plan will certainly increase your costs. So much so that the range can be anywhere from $250 – $400 extra per month or $3,000 – $4,800 more per year.
This doesn’t even include the higher deductible you will have due to the increased family size. Checking around for cheaper payments with a higher deductible, that covers preventative care visits, may be a good way to help cut costs.
CLOTHING & MISC
Babies require a lot of clothes because they grow so fast and they like to have accidents. The average cost for baby clothes runs around $60 per month, but this depends on your state and income level. However, this doesn’t include other things you need for them such as:
- OTC medicine
- Stuffed animals
If you add an extra $40 into your monthly budget, this should help cover these extraneous expenses. This makes the total for this category an extra $100 per month or $1,200 per year.
Let’s recap the added cost breakdown:
- Child birth = $4,900 – $28,500
- Housing = Variable
- Food = $1,320 – $2,988
- Child care = $10,000 – $20,000
- Transportation = Variable
- Healthcare = $3,000 – $4,800
- Clothing & Misc = $1,200
That is a grand total (on average) of $20,420 – $57,488!
Even though having a child could potentially cost you this much, it doesn’t necessarily have to. Proper planning and forethought are key to helping you cut costs when you have a child.
How much do your children cost you extra a year? Where have you found to cut costs?
It would be great if our home could stay in the state it was in when it was originally built. Then we would never have to spend time or money on home repairs. But, as we all know, that is a pipe dream. Things get older and start to fall apart, or become severely dated with time. One of the best ways to combat major home repairs, and major costs, is to incorporate smaller DIY home improvement projects on a regular basis.
I have found this is one of the most budget friendly ways to keep our home up to date and in good working order. So I’m going to show you some of the best, and easiest, DIY home improvement projects that you we have incorporated to potentially increase the property value. And they can all be done within a small budget. Read more
As a family of 7, our clothing expenses can get pretty high. It doesn’t get anywhere close to how much we spend on our food budget, but clothes can still get pricey. However, we have found a way to change that this year and are really excited to have only spent less than $5 for two seasons of clothes for the whole family! Read more
Almost 3 years ago now, we became a blended family of 7. This was a huge lifestyle change for all of us, but one we are glad we decided to make. However, with this blended household, came some blended debt. We had to sit down and take a really hard look at our finances and figure out how we could knock out this debt, as quickly and efficiently, as possible.
Since we are still technically in the winter season, it is more difficult to find fresh produce right now. This can make eating healthier a bit more difficult, and sometimes more expensive. But, there is a great way to use what you’ve already got to eat healthy and still not break the bank. Read more
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t believe that it is Fall already! Time really flies when you are having fun during the summer. But since Fall has hit, and we are now in the month of October, you can guess what has been on the kids’ brains, right? Halloween!
As our two oldest boys are 13 now, it seems like a great time to really help them figure out the world of money. Since we have 5 children, at all different ages, teaching them about money can get tricky because they are all at different stages. That being said, we are working diligently to teach our kids about the value of a dollar. Read on if you want to hear more about our most recent adventure with kids and phones! Read more
Every summer, since I have gotten divorced, I have taken my two children on a summer vacation. We always try to go the last week of June, because it happens to be in between all 3 of our birthdays. Therefore, we call it our Summer Birthday trip. This may sound extravagant, but I have always done it on the cheap, since I didn’t have much money for years.
This year we vowed to track our budget and post everything here so that we are being held even more accountable. I wasn’t sure how this month was going to go, primarily because of taxes. So now it is time to check out how we ultimately did with our April budget.