That’s a whooping €15,000 a year or €1,200 a month! And that is only till they are 18. (Don’t be fooled, the costs don’t stop there.)
WHAT?! I Can’t afford that!
Looking at the numbers, there is no chance in hell that you’d be able (or willing) to cover such costs! It’s hard enough to be living pay check to pay check (for the most of us), without having these extra costs hitting us.
Who in their right mind would be mad enough to engage in such a project? That’s it, I’m getting the snip!
Yes you can
Ok, relax (does it ever work to tell someone to relax?).
This is not a logical decision that needs to be made (even though it is a very real worry to have). Having a child is not about money, budgets or affordability. It’s about bringing a piece of yourself to life, giving them everything they need and shaping them to become a kind & respectable human being. (oversimplify much?)
And trust me when I say, it is SO worth it! (note: a few things will change in your life and it won’t be easy)
A lot of the costs included in the €267,725 are things that you’re already covering. Rent, heating, transport, food… all of these are already covered by you without even realising it. And babies don’t each that much at first. So you have time to adjust (nappies are cheaper than you think too!).
Breathe in, breathe out.
There is millions of people out there who can manage without living off bread and water. Some even have 2-3-4-5 kids! There is no reason you can’t manage!
Budgets stretch and contract
Ever heard of this theory that says that as your budget increases (when you get a raise for example), your lifestyle adapts? Therefore, there is never enough money to cover your wants (cf: wants vs needs here).
It’s quite the same in the reverse.
You will have to cut off some expenses here and there (maybe you won’t go out to the restaurant every night, you might start cooking a little bit) and there is some sacrifices to be made but, overall, it’s quite manageable. Your life focuses change as well. My bet is that you won’t even feel the difference.
There are a few things you can do to make sure you put all the chances on your side. To begin with, check these two articles: Things you absolutely need and Things you don’t need. Don’t fall for the (overwhelming) amount of marketing out there that tries to convince you that your child won’t make it without the latest gadget! (Google “smart sock” and see what comes up!)
The government is there to help as well. (!!!! Not a joke!)
You can claim some benefits from the state directly (check link) which give you that little extra nudge you need to make it till the end of the month. And, should you be in a position to make do without that extra influx, who not put it aside, say, as a college fund?
The under 6s Medical Card comes in handy too! Your little one will have quite a few trips down to the local GP and it’s worth saving a few bob that way.
Speaking of saving a bit of cash. Try setting aside a monthly budget for the household (which also includes your own spending money) and put the rest towards a saving account. That way, when you need some extra cash, you always can go back into them and cover the impromptus (holidays? Summer camp? Whatever it might be).
The trick here is for the savings to be gone as soon as you get paid – never to be seen kind of a way.
Second hand is fine
I know, new baby deserved the best. Second hand is ofter frowned upon (particularly by mums — here, don’t lynch me for generalising. Pinch of salt please!) but there is no real reason for that. Pre-owned buggy, clothes, toys… After a good clean, they do just fine! And they save you a fortune at the same time. (Out of curiosity, check this link)
One day at a time
Remember, nobody is going to knock on your door one day, asking you for a quarter of a million dollars in a lump sum. You have time to see these costs coming up and planning ahead. And remember, in this game (called fatherhood), money is completely irrelevant! You will do whatever it takes to give these little munchkins the best shot at life.
So take it easy. Slow and steady wins the race!
Here is a pretty infographic that might help you break down this insane figure. (Found it on Money Super Market)