Are you thinking about extending your family? Perhaps you’re a married couple ready to have your first child, a couple struggling with infertility looking to adopt, or you’re considering a fur baby like a cat or dog. Whatever your reasons for opening your heart and home to another life, it will have an impact on your finances. Being aware of what these changes are can help you adjust and prepare for your new arrival.
One of the most significant factors to consider is your living space. Whether you’re expecting a new baby, adopting a child, or buying a pet, you need to have enough room to accommodate your new family member. Living in a cramped space can increase anxiety and worsen everyone’s emotional well-being. Whether you’re going to move into a new house or apartment, you’ll need to have a general idea of what the move will cost.
A new baby, foster child, or pet will need the bare necessities to live a happy and healthy life. There are several expenses you’ll need to account for, from formula and diapers to kibble and pet beds. You’ll need to determine the average cost of these basic needs and factor them into your monthly budget to ensure you can afford them.
Unless you’re in a financial position to stay home and raise your kids, you’ll need to pay for childcare. Most American families find childcare to be one of the most significant expenses in their budget. Whether you place your kids in daycare or hire someone to watch them at home, it will cost you several hundred dollars a week.
Insurance And Healthcare
Ensuring that your new family member has access to quality healthcare is essential to their well-being. As health insurance is often expensive to acquire, you’ll need to factor this into your budget. Not only do you need to afford health insurance premiums and copays, but you’ll need to cover the cost of prescriptions, and potential treatment and care should something go wrong.
When you have a new family member to support, you’ll also need to increase your savings. You’ll need to set aside more money for your emergency fund to ensure you can provide for your loved ones in a time of need. Parents will also need to increase the amount of money they save for their children’s college education or future.
Affording The Financial Increase
Once you’ve got a general idea of how much it costs to expand your family, the next step is determining how you’ll cover everything. If you’re financially stable and your current income covers the additional expenses, then you have nothing to worry about. For those that cannot afford the higher costs, there are solutions to make things easier. Here are a few quick tips below:
- Pay Down Debt – If you’re carrying around a lot of debt, consider reducing it before growing your family. The less you have to put towards credit cards, student loans, and other debts, the more you have to pay for things your family needs.
- Increase Your Income – Sometimes, your income simply isn’t enough to cover the added expenses associated with extending your family. If that’s the case, look into additional income sources. You can get a higher-paying job, consider a side gig, or start a business.
- Financial Assistance – There is financial help available for families. If you’re considering adoption in California, there may be programs that assist with healthcare, food, clothing, and childcare. For families extending their family unexpectedly, there are government-funded programs for low-income households ranging from rental assistance to free groceries.
- Crunch Numbers – If you’re serious about extending your family, sometimes you have to improve your financial discipline. Crunch numbers by eliminating unnecessary spending so you can free up cash that can be used to ensure your family has the things they need.
When you have a lot of love to give, it’s only natural that you want a family to share it with. Although extending your family can be a fascinating experience, it doesn’t come without some challenges. Get started on a positive note by investigating the financial impact and developing ways to ensure you can afford a comfortable life for everyone.