Nobody ever went into parenthood thinking it was going to be cheap. Obviously, looking after an extra person is going to cost you money and once you’ve sorted out their nursery, paid for childcare, bought all of their clothes and toys, and fed them, it’s going to add up. That’s why most parents make the sensible decision to add up all of those costs long before their new arrival, and make sure that they’ve got enough money to cover it all. A few months in, they realize that their carefully planned finances have fallen apart. They’re suddenly paying out way more than they anticipated. So, what happened? Like most parents, when they were working out their costs, there were a few key things that they overlooked. These are the hidden costs that catch most parents.
It’s expected that your kids are going to break things from time to time, but most parents don’t realize how often it’s going to happen. The little angel that you anticipated is actually a whirlwind of destruction, charging around the house without a care. Things are going to get broken. A lot. You won’t bother replacing a lot of it, but sometimes they’re going to cause some more serious damage. A broken window, for example, can’t just be left. You’ll have to call out a glass repair company to fix it, and it’ll cost you. If you’re lucky, you can find an insurance policy that will cover the costs so that’s worth looking into beforehand. The problem is, you can never anticipate when these costs will come up, or how much they’ll be, so it’s worth putting a little aside every month so you’ve got some savings to fall back on if they cause any major damage to the house.
Before you were a parent, you were a savvy shopper. You would spend hours meticulously comparing deals and driving halfway across the city to get the cheapest price. Chances are, when you were adding up the costs of childcare, you did the same and those were the prices you were working with. But things are going to change once the baby arrives. You aren’t going to have the time to find those cheap prices when you’re trying to juggle childcare at the same time. And when you haven’t slept properly in days, you won’t bother making long journeys to make savings. Instead, you’ll end up going to the closest place possible, regardless of price. That means all of the calculations that you made before the baby arrived are basically useless.
The pinnacle of convenience is takeaway food and when you’re a new parent, you’ll probably eat a lot of it. Everybody tells themselves that they’ll be healthy and prepare meals beforehand. Unfortunately, your newborn isn’t going to wait around for you to prep some salads before they start screaming. The idea of any kind of schedule is going to go out of the window immediately and all of those plans you made will fall apart. Although it’s not good for you and it costs you a lot, most new parents end up eating a lot of takeaway food in those first few weeks.
These three costs will completely turn any financial plans you’ve made on their head, so be prepared for them.