Forget College! How to Afford the Cost of Child Care
Cost of childcare
If you’ve ever griped about the average cost of groceries or the high cost of gasoline, consider that the cost of child care often trumps them both.
In fact, some parents have pushed saving for college to the back burner just to address the financial burden of daycare or nanny services. And, who blames them!
Here’s the thing, many times we enter into this parenting gig without really knowing what to expect. Or, we wind up in a completely different scenario than we originally expected.
If this sounds like you, here are some keys about how to afford the cost of childcare (and still keep college in mind).
Average Cost of Child Care
The annual cost topping nearly $10,000, working families are shelling out more than ever for the cost of care. Plus, families paying for a nanny service can easily double or triple those numbers.
According to MarketWatch, child care costs are roughly double what one year’s worth of in-state college tuition will cost you. And those figures are national averages speaking. So it’s easy to see why you’d be tempted to toss any other saving endeavors out the window.
How to Budget for Child Care
With childcare requiring a chunk of your overall income, knowing how to budget for it is a must. Plus, even when the median income is over $60,000, making ends meet with little ones in tow can be a challenge.
A good place to start is before the little ones arrive. If at all possible, give paying for child care a trial run. Set aside the amount childcare will cost you each month to see if it’s doable.
Of course, this scenario isn’t always possible. Really, it’s rarely possible. Though, budgeting for childcare isn’t a lost cause even when no pre-planning happened.
Keep in mind that you can cut out unnecessary luxuries such as cable, subscriptions, memberships, etc. Additionally, you can limit the number of times you eat out and meal plan instead.
And these are just a handful of ideas to cut back so that you have more money to dedicate to the cost of childcare.
Consider Other Options
Keep in mind that traditional daycare isn’t your only option for securing affordable child care. Especially since child ratios skyrocket the lower the day care’s tuition.
Some couples weigh their options, deciding that it’s more affordable for one partner to be a stay-at-home parent. Others rely on working different shifts, so there is a parent to watch the kids at all times.
Single parents have a few more hoops to jump through, but family members often pitch in to help with childcare. Plus, many parents will do a childcare swap with a fellow parent—you watch my kids and I’ll watch yours.
Then, there’s always part-time work versus full-time work. Plenty of side hustles exist that don’t require anything but a computer and an internet connection. More than a few parents (single or otherwise) have done well working a side hustle during the 8-12 bedtime shift.
Get the Most Out of It
Any time you feel as though you’re under financial pressure, it’s important to get the most out of that situation. Whether that means using coupons at the grocery store or getting that mail-in refund, go for it!
The same goes for tackling the cost of childcare. Don’t forget about tax credits, specifically the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit allotted by big brother. There are also numerous grants available to assist parents—toward many of which the department of health and human services can guide you. Furthermore, these grants aren’t limited to day care services. They also extend to center-based child care (aka preschool).
Some companies even offer childcare network programs, providing special pricing to employees who employ certain child care services. And, of course, there are also sliding fee scales and sibling discounts.
Know That It Gets Better
For all you weary parents reading this, know that it gets better. Sure, college can seem like a bear to tackle and yet, the cost of childcare isn’t much less of a beast. Nevertheless, know that this is only a season. It will pass.
Keep in mind, the cost of child care decreases as your child grows older. Of course, as kids get older they get involved in extracurricular activities, which do cost money. But even then, those activities can be offset by attending your local public school when kids age out of daycare.
Time will pass quickly, and the kids will be in school before you know it. Keep your chin up for these few years, and prepare yourself for a “raise” when you no longer have to cover the cost of childcare.
Be Sure to Plan Ahead
Amidst all the hustle and bustle of raising children, securing your family’s financial future is often another item pushed to tomorrow’s to-do list. After all, it’s challenging to think of your family in a world without you.
If something tragic happens to you, however, the cost of childcare doesn’t change. Someone will still have to cover that particular cost for your family to keep living their familiar lifestyle.
For this reason, it’s vital to consider the cost of child care when you purchase your term life insurance policy. Knowing how to budget for childcare will help you to determine how much you need and for how long you need it.
Take the Next Step
It can be tricky knowing how to afford the cost of child care, but we can help!
To support you as you safeguard your family’s financial security, I’ve created an up-to-date guide for parents who need life insurance here. My guide can help you with your long term life insurance goals, especially with little kids at home!
Here at CB Acker Associates, we want to help you take care of your family. If you’re ready to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget, we can help!
With access to all the top rated life insurance companies, we work extra hard to get you the best life insurance rates possible. You can even compare rates and benefits from over 40 providers with no obligation to buy here. Plus, it’s fast—under 60 seconds kind of fast.
Please, give us a call today at 650-969-5844 or email [email protected].