I’ve decided to relaunch my guest post series “On Being Childfree” on the blog come autumn, which first started back in 2019 as a safe space for those who don’t have children to share their experiences. What’s so interesting when I compare the stories from those who don’t have children by circumstance versus those who don’t by choice, is the pragmatism which the latter can sometimes use to make their decision. Even before the pandemic and the rapidly rising cost of living lately, financial concerns are a very real consideration for many individuals and couples who may be weighing up the decision about whether to have a family. Here are some aspects to consider:
Aside from the day-to-day costs of raising children, there are so many future events to think about. From potential university, gap years, help with property deposits and so much more, parents often look to helping their children out with big life changes, especially since many of these events are so much more expensive than they were a generation or two ago. One of the easiest ways to start your little ones off in life is opening a junior ISA while they’re still young. It’s easy to do and requires little maintenance over the years. There’s never too early a time to begin, giving your family as long as possible to save up a pool of future money and benefit from the interest. It’s hard as a young person to focus on saving for the future (I definitely wish I’d done more!) but an ISA is one of the best ways to help.
With the cost of daily living on the increase, we’re all currently trying to find ways to reduce our monthly bills especially when it comes to utilities. For people living alone or couples without children, mitigation is easier – I’m a dab hand at wrapping up in my dressing gown whilst working from home in winter and making a hot water bottle to keep warm. Children definitely change all that and studies have found that a new baby in the home could see those bills rise by 33%. I remember always being told to turn lights off and close curtains to keep the heat in when I was little, but when you’re not the one paying the bills you don’t understand the significance of all these small behaviours.
From socialising to non-essential subscriptions, nothing makes you revisit your finances like having a family. One of the first things I looked at when I was trying to streamline my outgoings whilst being self-employed were non-essential subscriptions. It’s amazing how quickly the £5 a month here and £10 a month there all adds up but because in isolation they all look like fairly insignificant amounts we often don’t pay it any mind. Some habits can be worse for the purse strings and health combined, with a smoker potentially spending over £150 per month on cigarettes which is no small sum over time. Ultimately becoming a parent is very much a happy event for most people and that’s exactly as it should be. But it’s also challenging in many ways and as the cost of living crisis shows no sign in easing, I completely understand why some people may be really considering how they can manage financially. Forward planning if possible is always a good thing and if you need further tips on how to cut costs you can find some of my other posts on budget saving.
Post in collaboration.