The cost of living doesn’t make it easy for a middle-class person to have children and give them everything they may like to. Homeownership, food costs and even toys can be so expensive that even the thought of having one child sends you into a spiral of anxiety. Sure, you can afford a baby now, but what about the next 18 years? What if you lose your job? What if there’s an economic crisis and your family is left without a dime to their name? These fears can paralyze you, leaving you feeling lost, hopeless and terrified of the future.
First of all, take a deep breath. It’s okay to think about all these things, and in fact, it’s a sign of a good potential parent. Good parents think about the future, even the scary worse-case scenarios, and they plan ahead. Protecting your family’s financial future is all about preparation, so let’s tackle how to save more and still live comfortably on a budget.
Don’t Cast Off a Mortgage
You may actually save more each month with a mortgage than a rental lease. Rent, even when it’s affordable, doesn’t leave you anything in return. A mortgage, on the other hand, offers future security through permanent ownership and equity. Equity is the percentage of your home that you actually own versus how much you still need to pay off to your mortgage lender.
Building home equity offers you the ability to take out a versatile loan and spend the money whenever you want, however you need to. This can go toward financing retirement, accessing emergency funds, making large-scale home improvements, buying a new car and much more. Think of owning a house as a long-term investment in your family’s well-being.
Most coupons are actually digital nowadays, so you don’t have to spend your Saturdays surrounded by a stack of newspapers with inky fingers and papercuts. Research where to get coupons and promotional codes online. Sign up for stores’ free rewards programs but avoid taking out store credit cards. The former scores you free perks and exclusive discounts while the latter only builds debt with high interest rates. You should also sign up for emails that can land you bonus coupons just for being a subscriber. Even 10 percent off of something makes a difference, and every saving count when you want to stick to a budget.
Focus on Experiences Over Objects
This tip is a big one, and it applies to personal happiness as much as good parenting. While kids are likely to always see something trendy that they want, you should teach them that real life values come from moments, not things. You can usually strike a balance that leaves everyone happy.
For example, if your child wants the latest video game console, don’t write it off on the premise of being expensive. Instead, weigh the pros and cons and consider how buying one console for the whole family to play together could be a good investment. The point is that you do not have to be rich to give your children a happy life. Spending time together, making memories and loving each other is really what raising a family is all about.