Children. They are miracles, they are blessings and something else that they are is very expensive. According to an article that was published on Investment News last June, it costs approximately $235,000 to raise a child and that’s not even counting their college tuition!
So, if you’re someone who is contemplating having a child, it is definitely a responsible question to ask yourself “Am I financially ready to have kids?” Before you answer, here are five other questions to ponder that will help to provide you with the clarity that you seek:
How Much Debt Do I Have?
If you’re already barely living from check to check, your credit rating is really low and you don’t have a lot of money in your checking on savings account, you may want to wait before having a child. With a baby, there is always going to be a financial need and so it’s best to be as financially stable as possible so that you will not be stressed out. Therefore, consider taking out a year to knock-out debt before getting off of the birth control.
How Secure Is My Job?
When you’re single or it’s just you and your spouse, although there is still a desire for job security, it’s easier to find ways to hustle to make ends meet when you’re just dealing with adults. However, when a child is in the picture, you’ve got to have steady income. Besides, if times get hard and you do need to work 2-3 part-time jobs, you can pull that off much easier when you don’t have to figure out babysitting and day care fees.
Do I Have Health Care Insurance?
Although there is an overwhelming amount of people in America who live without health care, there’s simply no way around the fact that a child is going to need to see their pediatrician on a regular basis and that there are going to be times when they’ll be under the weather. If your job doesn’t provide health insurance and you can’t afford to take out your own policy, this is another reason to wait before trying to conceive (or adopt).
What’s My Living Situation?
Do you live in a studio apartment or a one-bedroom place because that’s currently what your budget can afford? If so, that’s cool but what happens when a baby comes and he or she needs their own room and space? If you’re barely able to keep a roof over your head, that is just one more reason to be a baby on “pause”.
Can You Afford Child Care?
If you’re in a position where you or your spouse can stay home and raise a baby on a full-time basis, then you probably had no need for this article to begin with. For the rest of us who rely on two-income household to keep everything running smoothly, day care is not cheap. You can actually expect to pay somewhere between $800-2,000 a month for a reliable one. If you have no clue where you’d be able to get that kind of money, yep, that’s one more reason to wait; not forever, just until you get on more solid financial footing. It’s OK to do that. Remember, good things come to those who wait (and prepare), anyway.
So, how did you prepare for children or how are you preparing?