How to Start Budgeting for Your Growing Kids

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If you have children and they are growing fast, you probably will have to change the way you manage your money. Most individuals plan things like formulas, baby clothes, and daycare, but there is a need for adjustments in other budgetary areas you need to be aware of as the kid’s age — such as budgeting, life insurance, and savings. Careful planning can help prevent child and family debt accumulation. Here are different ways to adjust your spending when you have children who are getting older.

Expect Groceries To Increase and Shop Smarter

Even though you will not purchase diapers, certain funds will now be redirected to support growing young people with more food and specific taste for seemingly everything. Beverages, snacks and additional mouthes to feed will carry your food budget up in the coming years. Start learning how to shop on a budget now. Look through grocery store ads and base your meal plans off what is on sale. Each dollar, or even cent, can add up and save you a lot of money over the years. 

Budget for Extracurricular Activities

Sports, music, dance classes and drama are things you must keep in mind.  While you want your kids to be well-rounded people, you can easily chip away the budget by sending them to dance, football, guitar classes. Specify how much you have to invest in those fields. If you find yourself spending too much, look at where you can cut back. Have your kids choose just one or two hobbies to invest their time in. 

Plan For Birthdays

You might not want your kids to be the most popular in school but to have buddies and friends. Together with those friends, there are invitations to birthday parties which also come with gifts. Work now to manage your monthly savings for gifts and don’t plan to budget down until your children work to buy their own gifts for friends.

Plan for Summer Outings and Field Trips

Even if you have a child in school, the teachers can take a holiday from time to time. Whether you are in a dual working family household or not, during these short periods, you will need to try to find activities for your children. Find affordable and fun opportunities by getting a group of kids and parents together for outings to the park, swimming pool, or even plan a playdate at your house. 

Manage Health and Dental Insurance Needs

Make sure you read the small print on your health or insurance policy to consider the cost of adding a minor one to your portfolio. Are your premiums going to increase? What type of co-pay are you going to have for office visits? Are you able to reduce or change premium coverage? Also, try looking into better dental benefits for your young ones, even using Invisalign as an alternative to expensive braces could save you a decent amount of money.

Future Education Budgeting Can Be Simple

Time flies and college could quickly sneak upon us. Decide early how much you need to help your kids in their future education. Saving on your retirement accounts (and maxing them out) should be a component of your strategy before shifting to college funds for kids to make sure you are prioritizing your future finances. If you really want to keep saving for higher education, but it’s not on the budget, start by telling family and friends to make small contributions instead of birthday or holiday presents put cash into college savings early. This makes your budget easier without neglecting a key part of a family’s financial plan.

By Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2

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