It doesn’t have to be as expensive as some stats would have you believe, but going from a married couple of two to a family of three plus will have added expenses.
These every day added expenses such as diapers, food, paying for kids activities and possibly private school tuition can make it seem impossibly hard to save for large upcoming expenses that affect the whole family.
Large expenses that affect the whole family may include:
- Home repairs, everyone lives under the roof and mom and dad need to keep it safe!
- Family vacations
- Family vehicle
All of the above are expensive. Right now we need to start saving for an upcoming family reunion next summer and though much less critical we’d eventually like to upgrade the appliances in our kitchen. In order to do any of these things we need a plan.
Come up with a list
We created a list of everything we wanted to do and purchase, then, together as a family, prioritized each item with a number 1-5.
Once everything had a number we ranked within each set of numbers (ie we may have had three #4’s) and ranked in priority until we had a detailed prioritized list. Once the list was ranked we put an estimated cost beside the item and recheck the list. This is the order in which we will tackle things.
Come up with a plan
A list without a plan of attack is nothing. We can say we want to attend the family reunion next year but if we don’t have a means to pay for it then it will never happen.
The plan has to include a more realistic budget for the item or venture as well as a plan to come up with the money by a certain date.
Come up with the money
Coming up with the money is the hard part. If you’re able to designate a savings line in your monthly budget this is an ideal situation but if the money needs to come out of funds over and above your regular monthly budget then you’ll need to get creative.
Are you paid bi-weekly? If so, it means you have two ”extra” pay periods per year that you could use for the family purchase.
Have a tax return that you could use (if not reinvesting)?
Start small. My husband and I have big dreams of attending the 2022 Olympics with our family no matter where they are in the world. Obviously this will require substantial planning and substantial money.
I figure we would need to invest at least $100 per month for the next eight years to make this happen but since our current priority is debt we won’t be starting to save for probably four years at which point we will be able to easily double up the payment to $200/month for four years.
Save all ”extra” money. Overtime, side income, found money. Any unaccounted for income could go towards paying for your family’s larger purchases.
How do you pay for larger family purchases?