The cost of raising and supporting a family can be hard to estimate, in part because there are so many expenses involved that can be unpredictable over time. Here are some things to consider when you calculate the potential cost of having a family in upstate New York.
Home Related Costs
Once your mortgage is paid off, you may think that household expenses are going to be nonexistent. But in addition to property taxes and maintenance expenses, you may also need to renovate your family home down the line. After twenty or thirty years, you may have issues in the home that need repairs like leaks in the roof or your old water heater. In other cases, you may want to remodel the home to include more modern features that you’ve had your eye on for a while. The average cost of remodeling the kitchen is estimated at $14,000 as of 2018. This cost can be offset in the long term by the additional money you can expect to get when you eventually sell the home, as buyers value an updated kitchen.
Some newlyweds move to the Central New York area specifically for the good schools their future children will attend, but in many cases, public schooling doesn’t work out for a variety of reasons. If your child has a learning disability or requires special attention, they may benefit from attending a specialized school. Even parents of neurotypical children may find that the public school environment is not ideal for their families. With many public schools growing crowded, a lot of parents opt for private schooling to ensure their children get the best possible grades and opportunities.
Medical and Dental Expenses
While many parents understand that the children will end up bringing the most expenses to the house, adults can experience medical issues that end up costing the family. Some adults (1/3 of all surveyed) become orthodontic patients to correct issues with their smile or bite pattern. Consider this possibility when you budget for long-term medical and dental costs for adult family members.
Growing older can mean making accommodations to ease the process of living in the home. Some type of hearing trouble affects around 15% of adults ages 18 and up. Others experience issues with mobility, leading to the need to make the home accessible for them. This might include widening doorways so a walker or wheelchair can fit through, putting in a ramp as an alternative to stairs, and adding grab bars to the shower area.
To prevent your family from having financial problems in case you become sick or unemployed, it’s important to have some money in reserve. These savings can get you through until you can work again or get another source of income. Financial experts recommend that you keep at least six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund. This means enough money to cover your mortgage, bills, insurance, gas, and food without additional income coming in. If you find yourself having to use this fund, make a plan to start replenishing it as soon as you can return to work.
The expenses of raising a family can add up quickly, but they are well worth the satisfaction you’re likely to get as a parent watching your family grow. By planning and saving before you start your family, you can be better prepared for the costs of family life.