Parents have to pay for their kids’ food, shelter, medical care, clothes, toys, and various fun activities. Every time you think you have everything covered, there is going to be another expense that suddenly comes up. Since the best thing you can do is be prepared, you should try to anticipate some of the lesser thought of but important items and events to save for. Next up are 10 things that properly prepared and responsible parents save money to pay for in advance.
1. College Tuition
There are scholarships, and grants, and student loans that parents and students can utilize to help pay for higher education. The problem is that you can’t really estimate how expensive college is going to be by the time your kids grow up. For one, you never know what school your child is going to attend or what his or her major is going to be. What if your kid tells you that they want to go to veterinary school when you’ve only saved enough money to pay for a bachelor’s degree? Save up some cash for college and your family won’t get into a bind.
2. Summer Camp
When kids go to school full-time, they still get a few months off during the summer. At first, parents have to worry about daycare, so they are really happy when their children start attending elementary school. Unfortunately, sending kids to summer camp just for a few months is on a par with sending toddlers to daycare for the year. If your kids want to go to an overnight summer camp, it is going to be even more expensive.
Parents want their kids to excel in school and they also want to believe that their kids are so smart that they will never need any help. On the contrary, tutoring isn’t always for kids who are struggling to keep up. If your intention is to give your children the edge, then hiring a tutor is probably the perfect way to get things going. So, be certain to have money set aside for expert tutors.
Part of the way that children grow and become more cultured is to show them things. That’s why parents bring small children to restaurants, so they will know how to behave in that kind of setting. If you want your children to see new things and have great experiences that will shape their minds then they have to go on the occasional vacation. In addition, going on vacation is a great way of bonding as a family unit.
5. Emergency Health Fund
Having health insurance for your children is crucial but you also have to recognize that it doesn’t cover everything. What happens when you find out your kids need braces? Dental insurance may pay somewhere between 50% and 75% of the cost, but you would still need to cough up some money. Have some money set aside for any extraneous healthcare costs that come up for your kids.
6. Life Insurance
Parents need to purchase life insurance for themselves so that they won’t burden their children when they pass away. At the same time, parents can do their kids a huge service by comparing the best term life insurance companies and getting a policy in their children’s name. This will help their kids to start off adulthood on the right foot.
7. First Car
You can avoid thinking about your kids getting old enough to drive, but that day is going to come. Rather than have to worry about them wanting to borrow your car all the time, it is probably better to just get them their own set of wheels. The good news is that you can get a good quality used car that is safe and dependable for probably around $5,000. So, save a little extra cash every pay period to buy your child’s first ride.
8. School Trips
No childhood is complete without a couple of school trips. In addition to the standard school trips to the local museum, your kids are going to likely want to go on school ski trips and overnight trips as well. Sometimes you will be expected to pay for one of these trips with only a few weeks’ notice. With a little extra money in your savings accounts, you won’t be surprised when your kid needs money for a school excursion.
9. Retirement and Estate Planning
You’ve put a lot of money into little league, and school clothes, and everything else in between. Well before your kids grow up, you should be thinking about what retirement is going to look like for you. In addition, you have to consider what you are going to eventually leave your children behind. You need to save for retirement and plan your estate while your kids are still young
Raising children, providing them with what they need and most of what they want will run you ragged if you aren’t also caring for yourself. You are going to need breaks and lots of them to get your kids to the point of being fully independent. As you scrimp, and save, and run around keeping your kids happy, you need to have a few set routines in place to give yourself frequent self-care. So, save a little money so you can participate in your fantasy football league. Don’t feel bad about going on a girl’s trip to a nearby city and enjoying a spa day. These types of activities are necessary for staying sane while raising healthy kids.
There isn’t any getting around it – kids are expensive. All you can do is be a good and involved parent because if you try to provide them with all the material things you are going to be broke. Instead, try to show them how well prepared you are for the future. Be ready to buy your teen’s first car and have that first semester of college paid for. In the future, your kid will not only get it but appreciate your responsible approach.