According to the US, it costs around $10,000 YEARLY (more or less depending on your budgeting) to raise one child in the US. That includes food, travel (errands, school), school supplies, clothing, entertainment. Pretty much anything you can think of.
To put it lightly, it is not cheap to raise children no matter how thrifty you may try to live. Here are some tips to help you with budgeting and to survive.
1. Keep Track of Monthly Expenses
Using apps like Mint or an Excel Spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of your monthly expenses. I love Mint because you can link it to your accounts, loans, properties and keep track of exactly how much you spend and what you spend it on. It’s a great way to know how much money you have each month without going over your allotted budget that you give yourself.
2. Mobile Banking Apps
Chances are, your bank probably has a smartphone app. If they don’t, they may at least offer a mobile version of their website. I think it’s very important to keep track of your bank accounts.
Being able to check your bank account regularly is one of the most important things when it comes to budgeting. It allows you to see if you are being charged the right amounts, to make sure everything goes through okay and to see how much you have.
3. Setting Money Aside
Set aside money for certain unexpected expenses that could happen. I know sometimes a savings account isn’t practical and there have been times where living month to month is the only option. That’s okay. We’ve all been there. Once you start having enough each month to save, I would suggest putting a certain amount in your savings account. For example, each month you could transfer $100 to your savings. At the end of the year, you would have $1200 plus interest made.
This is an easy one. Don’t be intimidated by the coupons, guys. Most grocery stores even offer them for print online! By having coupons ready for your favorite items, you could easily save over $50 (or more) each grocery trip.
5. Lower Debt
If credit card charges are eating up a big chunk of your monthly budget, look into consolidating your balances or getting a lower interest rate.
Are there automatic charges – such as for subscriptions to magazines you no longer read – that could be canceled?
The best thing to do is come up with a plan. How much do you want to save this year/month? What bills do you want to pay off? Make your budget work for you and you’ll be living comfortably in no time.