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Finances and the Reality of Raising Children with One Salary
Finances and raising children needs a serious reality check. In January 2017, a published report 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 single 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. For example, working full-time requires before and aftercare services. There is no way around this expense if children are too young to stay home alone. 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 important for providing a safe and nurturing before and after school as well as during the summer months.
My younger child who has an interest in playing sports and 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, and special clothing.
Healthcare is another expense. My youngest has a pre-existing condition which requires a monthly prescription with an out of pocket expense of over $150. Now using my prescription by mail service, the prescription saves me over $150 every three months. My HSA does cover some expenses such as over the counter medication, office visits, prescriptions. However, there unexpected situations that may an emergency room visit. In light of healthcare plans with deductibles, there are costs for ER visits and overnight stays in a hospital. Some hospitals offer financial assistance to reduce medical bills.
Both of my children are in public schools. September brings a new list 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!