Cutting the Biggest Expenses I: Childcare


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There are 3 big expenses that I want to cover over the next three posts. Unfortunately, we cannot eliminate these costs (yet) so I'll help you brainstorm a few solutions on how to reduce them. The top three expenses of most households are 1) mortgage/rent 2) childcare costs 3) car payment/transportation. We will start with CHILDCARE. Okay let's talk about how expensive childcare really is. I live in Decatur, a few miles out of Atlanta and the numbers in the following example are based off of this location.

Infant care on the lowest end costs $179 a week, while the high end sits closer to $350 a week. The price of childcare decreases as your child grows older and I've finally made it over the expensive part. My son attends school now and the cost to add aftercare for an additional 4 hours a day is just $70 a week. Once the summer comes he will have to be enrolled in a summer camp and most full day programs cost $120 to $250 weekly. When your child needs a full day of care you typically pay $600-$1300 a month, dependent on age, location, quality of school, etc. These prices are comparable to most families housing costs. So, here's a few ideas on how to cut the costs!

  1. USE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS! When you have people around you that offer to watch your kids, if you trust them, let them. There are many different reasons why people don't use this method more often (i.e. entitlement issues, lack of educational resources, long commute, etc.) The list goes on and on as to why people don't use their family. But, try it out if possible and realistic, even if it's only a week a month. A week a month would save you $2,000+ annually. Gift the family member with cards of appreciation or gift cards, this always comes out cheaper than daycare or nannies.

  2. MAKE A MOMMY GROUP. There are other working moms in your community that have the same issues as you do regarding childcare. Make sure you scout them out and then you guys can support each other. Take turns calling days off and watching each other's kids for holidays (that require you in the office). This way nobody takes too many days off, nobody pays for extra childcare and it's a win-win for all parties involved.

  3. LOOK INTO YOUR OPTIONS. There are many available child care options outside of daycare. Nannies and babysitters are sometimes cheaper when you have multiple children. Check out www.care.com and www.nextdoor.com for starters, craigslist is a little creepy for me and childcare. Ask your friends what babysitters they use, maybe you guys can pitch in and pay the sitter a better price to watch your kids together. Also, check into half-day programs that offer good pricing for the hours you need freedom.

I hope these ideas have been helpful in your pursuit of quality care on a budget! If you have any other ideas please share them in the comments! Don't forget to subscribe and share!

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