Children are undoubtedly one of the greatest joys in life some people can have, and it is part of our very nature to want to have them with a loving partner and raise the next generation of people. However, in today’s expensive world, it is worth making sure ahead of time that you have the means necessary to have children without putting them and yourself in dire fiscal straits. Here are some questions to ask before you decide to start a family.
How many children do you plan to have?
This is easily the most important question you will need to answer if you have decided that you would indeed like to have children in the future. While it is a common saying that children are expensive, the truth is that the expenses don’t decrease as much as most non-parents would think when you start having additional children. It is true that you will be able to save with some clothing and cribs and such that can be handed down, but you will also need to feed each child and pay for schooling down the road, as well as various bits of equipment and entertainment throughout their youth.
People who decide to have children are nearly unanimous in their ultimate approval of their decision, but it is one thing to have one child, and it is another thing entirely to have two, or three, or four, or more. When planning your finances, make sure you know how many children you plan on having and what you will do if you end up having more than you expected, such as when you have twins or when birth control measures don’t work.
How will children affect your ability to earn income?
Regardless of how many children you plan to have, when deciding whether you can afford to have children, you also need to think of your income and your ability to earn it. There are options for paid maternity leave in the UK, but you still have to watch your finances.
Similarly, having children might prevent you from moving upward as far in your career as you would be able to otherwise. Of course, many parents will decide that their children were worth the sacrifices they had to make in their careers, but you will need to think carefully about what those sacrifices might entail and how willing you are to make them.
What standard of living do you aspire to?
Finally, when thinking about whether you can afford to have children, it is worth taking some time to reflect upon the standard of living you aspire to reach. If you are planning on living like someone you see on the telly, you will probably need more money than you currently have, since media characters tend to reflect upper class lifestyles. On the other hand, if you are satisfied with what you currently have, then you are quite blessed, as this considerably frees you from the need to worry about your finances as much when you have children.
Katrina is a leading Accountant in Sydney, Australia. She often finds people who are struggling financially because they haven’t properly planned for children. Katrina is available to help struggling families with their budgeting so that they can survive financially when having children.