Why Didn't I Learn This in School: The Financed Family

Starting a family is like getting ready for the most awesome, most expensive -- and not to mention the longest -- celebration of your life.

But don't panic! We've got you covered. When you're expecting, here's what to expect.

The cost of raising a child is not cheap -- Not taking college expenses or inflation into account, the biggest costs are housing, childcare and education, and food. Children up to age 2 cost approximately $13,000 a year, or about $1,100 a month.

EXPLORE MORE: Why Didn't I Learn This in School: DIY Savings Hacks

First step: Cut down on credit card debt. Consider transferring any high-balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate.

Next, grab a crayon -- or your smartphone -- and create a budget.

Figure out how much you're already spending in any given month, then see where you can scale back to squeeze in those baby expenses.

Remember, you don't just want to break even -- you'll want to save some green, too. Put away the safe minimum for your own retirement before you start saving for college tuition. You'll want to ensure your kids aren't juggling your finances down the line.

Check out these smart tips that teach your kids to save:

Lessons that teach your kids to save money
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Lessons that teach your kids to save money

Play money-centered board games or games on apps, like Monopoly or Money Race.
It's an interactive and fun way for your kids to learn about basic financial practices without feeling like they're being lectured.

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Give them an allotted amount of cash to spend on lunch each week.
Your child will learn how to budget accordingly throughout the week, figuring out how to balance spending money on food some days vs bringing their own on other days (something that can be directly translated into the adult workplace).

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Have them write down or tell you their absolute dream toy.
Then, show them that it's possible to have that toy if they save x enough money for x amount of weeks.

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Give them an allowance.

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Stick to a set time and date each month for giving your child their allowance.
Practicing giving your children their allowance every other week or on certain dates of each month will help them prepare for set paydays in the working world--it will teach them to budget out and how to know when to save up in anticipation.

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Match your child's savings each month.
This will imitate a 401K and show your child ways in which saving can (literally) pay off.

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Have your kid organize their funds in to different jars to represent different accounts.
Examples could be "Saving", "Spending", "Charity", "Emergency", "College".

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Take your kids grocery shopping and explain certain choices you make with your purchases to them.
Your children will benefit from knowing what's best to purchase name brand vs. generic, why some snacks are better to buy in bulk, etc.

Photo credit: Getty


Having six to nine months of living expenses set aside is smart parenting.

Keep in mind that most maternity leave goes unpaid, so try to make up for those funds beforehand, as well. Also, make sure getting your own healthcare is on the top on your priority list. If you have it, consider upgrading your plan -- it could save you a ton of money in the end.

SEE ALSO: Why Didn't I Learn This in School: The Price of Pets

The base cost of having a little tot adds up, so a great way to be prepared is to make sure you have your insurance deductible already in your savings. Creating a will and getting some life insurance is crucial, and there are a ton of online resources to get you started.

And then, there's childcare. Full-time care can get costly, so get budget-friendly by trading child-care with a friend, a listing family or alternating work schedules with your partner.

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