Finances and the Reality of Raising Children with One Salary
Finances and raising children needs a serious reality check for some individuals. In January 2017, a published reported stated a cost of raising a child as a married couple with two incomes is $233, 610 from birth to the age of 17. Although, I do not have a newborn being a divorced parent with two school-age children and one income is a major financial challenge.
For some reason, it seems as if true expenses associated with raising children or trying to raise children effectively are overlooked. The cost of living increases year over year and it entails more than housing, food, and clothing for children. The additional expenses change each year as children get older. For example, working full-time requires before and after care services. There is no way around this expense if children are too young to come on their own. Childcare is a yearly expense of $6,000 each year with an incremental increase each year. It is a necessary expense and unavoidable. During summer break, a camp is another expense which can range from $2,000 to $4,000 per child depending on the program. Both of these expenses are critical for providing a safe and nurturing before and after school as well as during the summer months.
If children have an interest in playing sports there are expenses incurred. Most townships offer sports programs for a fee each season. In addition to the fee, sports require some element of the uniform at my expense such as footwear, safety equipment, special clothing, etc.
Another expense is related to healthcare. One of my children has a pre-existing condition which requires a monthly prescription with an out of pocket expense over $150. This year my pediatrician changed the concentration of the medication and this increased the medication to over $200. Yes, I do utilize my HSA to conver some of my healthcare expenses. However, there the unfortunate times which require an emergency room visit. In light of plans with deductibles, there are costs for ER visits and overnight stays in a hospital. There are hospitals that offer financial assistance to reduce medical bills. I would suggest taking the effort to fill out the necessary paperwork.
Both children are in public schools. September brings a new round of school supplies at my expense. If after school clubs are offered, a fee is charged. School trips have fees. There are classroom events planned where parents are expected to contribute monetarily. I am a firm believer of being a parent who is engaged on all levels of my children’s education. This year my daughter wanted to play an instrument, there is a fee to rent the instrument for the school year.
Extracurricular activities such as vacations, day trips or cultural experience, sporting events are another expense. Yes, some may these are not necessary. My goal is to expose my children to as much as possible to nurture a well-rounded productive individual who can navigate in this world.
It is obvious some individuals are clueless when it comes to raising children beyond the necessities. I think it is a waste of time to educate anyone on the how and why of parenting in the 21st century. It is very despicable to me for individuals to provide the bare minimum and not be held accountable. If it is a hard concept to grasp as far as what is required for financially supporting the well-being of children, Google it!