Raising Kids Debt Free

How to Live On a Budget with Children

Raising kids and living on a budget? Many people wonder if it is really possible, considering the fact that most financial planners average the cost of raising one child to adulthood at $190,000. 

Some notable costs per year per child: 
$300 Childcare (Low in my opinion) 
$300 Healthcare (Reasonable, considering co-pays and prescriptions) 
$606 Clothing (High, when you can shop for much less if you buy clothing used) 
$2900 Bigger Home (High—we still live in our two bedroom starter home) 

The bottom line is, raising a child costs a lot of money. Here are some starter tips on debt free child raising: 

1. Determine not to live above your means, even before your child is born. Despite what society tells us, you do not NEED a bigger house to live in to raise your child. My boys are perfectly happy in our $50,000, 1200 square foot home, where they *gasp* SHARE a bedroom. I do not feel that I need to move into a mini-mansion to contribute to their overall well-being. Just ask yourself: Will my children be happier with a debt-free family, or will they be happier in a huge house with constant stress over money? 

2. Ensure that your children have health insurance. Health insurance costs are literally one of the biggest expenses that families have, and one that drives many families into huge amounts of debt.

3. Insure yourself and your spouse. Let’s face it—we all hate to think about dying, but it’s a fact of life. Leave your children with some money to help pay for their education and other expenses in case something happens to you. It is a very important of raising kids debt free. 

4. Start a fund for their education 

5. Remember, you do not have to buy your kids everything they want to make them happy. Your children will probably be more happy playing outside than participating in a whole lot of expensive extra-curricular activities. Find free activities for them to enjoy. The simplest toys are best (toys where they can use their imaginations). Turn off the television if your children are constantly being bombarded by commercials and begging you for more “stuff”. 

Living on a budget and staying debt free helps to teach your kids the same lessons about wise money management. Do your part to raise children who value hard work and do not waste money. They will be thankful for what you taught them in years to come.