Recent studies show that it costs $233,610 on average to raise a child to 17. Three of the most significant costs to parents are daycare, medical care, and food. These expenses can put a serious strain on families or even cause parents to go into debt, but what can you do?
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can cut down on these common expenses to help save you money, and we’re going to show you how. Let’s get started.
Many parents struggle to find childcare that is best suited for their child and affordable. According to a recent study, 72 percent of parents budget at least 10 percent of their household income to pay for daycare. Additionally, 55 percent of parents pay more than $10,000 a year towards child and infant childcare. While the Child Tax Credit helps cover these expenses, it certainly doesn’t cover the full amount, so what can you do?
First, it’s essential that you know the ins and outs of what factors will affect your overall childcare costs. These factors include:
- The Type of Daycare You Need: Are you looking for infant daycare? Or do you have an older child? Do you need all-day childcare or something part time? These factors will play a significant role in the costs you can expect. For example, infant daycare is more expensive compared to childcare for older children.
- What’s Included: Does your nearest daycare include educational activities or meals? Expect to pay more for these features.
- Desirability: Like many parents, you’re probably searching for affordable childcare that comes highly recommended. However, the desirability and demand of a daycare center can drastically raise costs.
While finding childcare can feel daunting, there are steps you can take to reduce your childcare expenses. If you’re searching for affordable childcare, consider these extra steps:
Low-Income Assistance: You may be able to find financial assistance towards daycare costs depending on the state and community you live in and your income. What’s considered low-income varies between states, but it’s worth taking the time to look into local and state assistance programs to see if you qualify.
Shop Around: Rather than finding the nearest daycare and calling it a day, shop around. Take your time searching for the most affordable options. If necessary, consider childcare that’s a bit more of a drive from your home or work to cut down on costs.
Trimming Down Costs: Many childcare options include additional fees for extra services, such as meals, late pickup or early drop-off, extra features, and so on. However, these daycares are typically transparent about these costs, so it’s worth taking the time to ask about their rates. You can also negotiate expenses, such as getting a discount for entering into a more extended agreement instead of a month-to-month contract.
Consider a Nanny: If you have multiple children, nannies might be the best option. Childcare centers usually charge you per child, whereas a nanny is often paid for their time, regardless of how many children you have. You can use websites like Care.com or find nannies in your local community to review your options.