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“Faith is essential in your success. Faith is needed in almost every area of our lives: work, projects,  and small business endeavors,” – Alex Cook

Couples always talk about the joys of raising a child. Holding your baby for the first time. Lulling that little bundle of joy to sleep. And how about their first words and first step? The joys are endless (and so are the costs).

Family experts remind couples to open their eyes to the financial (costs) responsibility that comes with raising a child. According to statistics released by the United States Department of Agriculture, a middle-income couple would have to spend roughly $245,000 to raise a child up to the age of 18.

These costs include projected expenses on food, housing, transportation, healthcare, education, and miscellaneous items, among others.

In the Philippines, the price of food and healthcare continue to soar. Child tuition fees and miscellaneous expenses like clothing are non-negotiable cost-drivers for most couples. Extended families are also a norm in the country, which can draw household expenses higher.

This is why experts and long-time parents advice new couples to plan and save ahead for the inevitable expenses of raising a child.

“Having a baby is a huge life change. You are going to have unexpected things come up. Having that extra savings can help a lot,” said Matt Becker, founder of planning firm Mom and Dad Money in a report by CNN Money.

There will be necessary adjustments to a couple’s lifestyle, their spending pattern and daily priorities once the new addition to the family arrives. Now, the husband and wife must be able to embrace these new costs and changes wholeheartedly.

Parents want the best for their children and being money-wise and responsible in saving does not mean depriving kids of a happy childhood. It’s all about being strategic and creative with it.

Below are quick tips that can ease a couple’s financial burden in raising a child.

  1. There is no need to buy top-of-the-line baby items. There are products just as functional at half the price.
  2. Time spent with your child simply walking at the park or riding a bike is free as opposed to buying expensive toys.
  3. Don’t rush sending your kid to pre-school when you can do this at home. You can also cut your child’s hair on your own instead of spending.
  4. Always be on the lookout for bargains and garage sales. Saving a little here and there goes a long way. Hand-me-downs from friends are not bad either.
  5. Make sure to have packed lunches and snacks when you go on family bonding activities to save on costly restaurants.
  6. Be creative with your child’s birthday parties. Hold it at home with DIY crafts for invitations and designs.
  7. Childcare can cost a lot of money. Try to work around your schedule so there’s no need for daycare.

But despite possible financial woes that come with raising a child, the Bible did promise that “Sons are a blessing from the Lord, children a reward from Him.” At the end of the day, with responsible parenting, strategic budgeting, and Christ-centered family values, couples can rest in God’s mercy and grace.

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