Raising a family is joyous but not cheap. Unexpected costs are to be expected. There are school outings, club fees for your kids’ afterschool activities, and so much more.
Time magazine, early last year, reported that the cost of raising a kid to adulthood is now at $233,610.
That’s a lot of money. So you might not be ready to hear that spending a little in the right places could actually save you money in the long run… But it’s true.
Here are the key areas of your family’s life where paying a little more is actually an investment that will compound with time.
Your family’s oral health.
Uncared for teeth end up becoming expensive teeth.
Skipping cleaning sessions might save you money in the short term. But in the long run can rack up a dental bill 10 times more than the cost of your regular cleaning.
Keeping your kids’ mouths in good health will ensure that they are able to eat a wide range of foods and get nutrition from many sources. Which is essential for growing children.
Beyond basic cleaning sessions, whitening and dental implants are wonderful investments in your smile.
Humans are judgmental and are prone to make split-second decisions about others. How are others sizing you up? Of course, you want people to love you and yours for your hearts of gold, but while you wait for the world to change, don’t let opportunities pass by not paying attention to your appearance.
Breastfeed your baby.
A tip for parents and families who are just starting out. If you want to give your baby the best start to life, ditch the formula and breastfeed. This advice comes from the UN and the World Health Organization.
Breastmilk has antibodies as well as nutrients that infants need. Yes, there are valid reasons that you might not be able to breastfeed your baby. But where there is an option, this is one investment you can make into your child’s future health that actually saves you money in the process.
What it requires: your time and the pains associated with breastfeeding. But the payoff could be a healthier child who has fewer infections, and a lower risk of diabetes, obesity, and asthma!
The average family vacation reported on in 2017 was $4778. That’s a lot of money. But is it worth the expense?
You might not need to spend that much in order to get the payoff. Taking a family vacation often does involve a money investment. But you can travel within the US, or even within your state to places you haven’t been to before. And you needn’t spend close to $5000 to have a good time or to gain a family experience.
Building family bonds is a natural result of spending dedicated time together. And close family ties are what you have the chance of building while your kids are still under your roof. The result pays off in better health, longer life expectancy, and emotional resilience to weather life’s storms.
So invest time in creating memorable family experiences. Those experiences can serve as a bedrock to how your family behaves down the road.
Research free activities that can be done as a family. Schedule them as often as you can. Yes, they can be a lot of work to pull off but are always worthwhile in the end.
Hobbies, sports, and interests.
Helping your child find that thing that lights him up can be costly and time-consuming. But investing money into helping him discover his interests is a large part of parenting and should never be looked at as money down the drain.
Perhaps you put him into a year of soccer at your kids’ insistence, only to have him declare that he now hates soccer… That time and energy invested might seem like a waste, but it isn’t. These experiences all pay off at some point, even if only in the realization of what he or she is not interested in.
Your child needs comparison points in order to find the thing that could bring him a lifetime of enjoyment. So never consider clubs or activities a waste of time or money when their attention turns to other things.
Discuss with your child and make sure that this is not a result of just one bad day. If your child really is no longer interested in that hobby or club he was so passionate about only last year, it’s okay to move on.