Image courtesy of Jeanbaptisteparis

Having children is something that many people just assume that they will do. However, it is a big financial commitment and many people do not consider this until it is too late. Sadly many people will find themselves in a position where they do not have as much money as they had hoped, due to the fact that they have a family. Although no one would regret having a child, it can still be sensible to think about the financial consequences of having a child before you do.

It is very difficult to put a price tag on a child. There are many figures estimating how much they cost to raise, but it will depend on the lifestyle that you choose to lead. Obviously you will need a big enough home and car, they will need clothing and feeding and they will need entertaining as well. They will also need someone to care for them. How much you choose to spend on these things will depend on your budget and income but money does need to be found.

Consider not only the cost of the extra things that you will need to buy but also the expense of caring for them. If someone needs to give up work in order to look after the child then this will add to the expense, in that there will be a loss of income. If no one gives up work then someone will need to be paid to look after the child. This could be just until they go to school, but it could go on longer if they need before and after school care too.

It is worth thinking about how well you are managing financially at the moment and what impact having a child would have on that. You may find yourself with less income and will definitely have more expenses. Will this mean that you will struggle to cover the costs of your bills or will you be able to manage. Some people save up to have a child and although this can be very wise, there is a limit to how far that money will go. A child does not stop costing money at the age of 16, they may live at home for a very long time or even need financial help once they move out. There may be university, driving lesson, deposits for houses to help out with, which are significant chunks of money.

It is worth considering what impact having financial problems may have on your family. It can often be a cause of divorce and that is not something that any family wants. It could mean that you go without things such as holidays, new clothes, home furnishings, new cars etc. Some people may be very happy to do this if it means that they can have another child, but not everyone will think this. You may decide to have no children or just stick to one or two so that you do not have to go without so many things. It is a difficult decision for some, but certainly one that you should give a lot of thought to.