Keys…check. Diaper bag…check. Baby…check. Now, wait did I pay the daycare this week…? These may be questions and answers that many working moms and dads ask each week. With the rising cost of child care just to name the few of mounting costs that plague parents each year, how do we prioritize and reign in the surmounting costs? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child born in 2016 to a middle-income family will be $245,340 — or $304,480 when adjusted for projected inflation — for food, housing, child care, education and other expenses, up to age 18 (www.chase .com). YIKES! So, let’s break down those and let’s navigate to not only a more sensible future for our growing families but a more prosperous one with some prior planning.
Childcare Cures– The average cost of center-based daycare in the United States is $11,666 per year ($972 a month), but prices range from $3,582 to $18,773 a year ($300 to $1,564 monthly), according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA.org, 2016). Some delightful ways to cut down on cost are, to stay at home with your little one if you can survive on a one person income. Another alternative is to alternate your working schedule if your job allows, which is called telecommuting. Many companies are leaning toward this type of work schedule to cut down on daily bottom line operational costs, but in the end it saves on your household’s bottom line by cutting childcare altogether if your little one’s demands allows, or you can use childcare at a part-time rate to ensure that you can focus on the job demands.
Healthcare Heroes– All hail Obamacare! With the newly 20 million plus insured, we can thank the Healthcare Exchange and our federal subsidies for this. Households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive federal subsidies for policies purchased via an exchange (healthcare.gov, 2016). Subsidies are provided as an advanceable, refundable tax credit. To that end, just in case you make over $40,000 which is an average salary, Obamacare will not be much of that much help, but don’t have to fret, there are ways to keep costs down. One way is to get higher deductibles for healthy families, and even look at companies that may not hold the household name such as AmBetter Insurance as opposed to Kaiser Permanente and Blue Cross BlueShield. In this case, the name doesn’t really matter as much because most of your yearly visits are at zero costs for parents and children, cutting down on those dreaded deductibles.
Foodie Fellows-The USDA uses national food intake data and grocery price information to calculate different costs for a healthy diet at home. The latest numbers for a four-member family: a thrifty food plan, $146 a week; a low-cost food plan, $191 a week; a moderate-cost plan, $239; a liberal plan, $289 a week (usatoday.com,2016). Wow! That is a lot, this is where bulk shopping, couponing, dollar stores and a little shop by the name of ALDI comes to the rescue. Bulk shopping tends to do the pocket a ton of good when it comes to household toiletries and goods such as tissue, diapers, and cleaning products. Yes, those couponing shows have merit and you can save a ton by clipping or simply downloading electronic coupons to your device. Dollar stores are great for household trinkets such as everyday plates, glasses, and storage containers. Last but not least is ALDI – a little-known secret with fresh veggies, fruits, and quality meats that will blow you away. This store also saves costs on making you bring your own bags for your goods.
Family costs rise quickly, but with a little tweaking, you can keep your family afloat and perfectly sailing.
Written by: Sabreen Shabazz-Straker, The Threepeat Teach, Modern Domestic