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Having children is an expensive business and there are many families that end up with loans because they struggle to manage the costs. However, there are also many families which manage well and therefore it is possible. It is worth thinking about how people do manage and seeing whether this is something that you could do so that you can manage more easily.

Understand how much they cost

It is worth starting with having an understanding of how much children cost. Some people say about £100,000 each but this is a general figure and some people will spend a lot more on their children and others a lot less. Consider where the big expenses might come in. For example, when they are born there will be a big spend on getting everything ready for them and they will grow quickly so you will keep needing new clothing. As they get older their growth slows down and so the clothing purchases will get less but they will eat more. They will need less toys as they get older but may want phones, computers and games consoles. Then once they leave school you may want to help them out with the cost of driving lessons and a car or with a deposit on a home. What you actually buy will vary depending on your budget and their needs, of course. However, there will be significant costs and they could cost as much as an adult, so thinking that they will be cheap and perhaps that the government child benefit will be enough to pay for them is not the case.

Set a budget

It can be worth setting a spending budget for yourself so that you make sure that there is enough money left to buy everything that you need for your children. It is not always that easy to set a budget but if you carefully look at your current financial situation and consider what items you buy that are essential. You should be able to calculate what you need to spend each month, such as the money you spend on loan repayments, rent or mortgage, insurance, food, utilities, transport and contracts and separate these form things that you buy that are not essential such as holidays, nights out, take away food and things like this. You can assign some budget to these luxury items if you have enough money, but you will need to leave enough to pay for things that the children need as well.

Build up savings

It can be wise to try to build up your savings as much as you can. Try to avoid buying too many luxuries and put any spare money into a savings account instead. This will mean that you will have money available if you need it. If the costs of having a family suddenly increase for some reason then you will have money available to help you out. Even if you can only save a small amount of money it could all help in the future. It is a good idea to save as much as you can.

Keep spending down

In order to make sure that you have enough money available it is a good idea to keep your spending low if you can. Try not to buy expensive items unnecessarily, but stick to just the basics as much as possible. This should mean that you will always be able to afford the things that you need and you will hopefully have money available to spend on the children. Try to reduce the items that are not necessary, even if you are buying or the children. It can be tempting to spoil them and think it is okay to spend money as long as it is on them. However, you need to consider that they do not need lots of things and as long as they have everything they need then the extras should be treats rather than items you always buy for them.

Do not live beyond your means

It can be very tempting to live beyond your means. Many people do and if you look at their lifestyle you may feel that it is unfair that they have more than you and want to be like them. You may also feel that you want to show people that you can afford things by buying more than you need. It is far better to make sure that you just buy what you can afford. You can still have a great family life without going on lots of holidays and buying lots of things. They can be pressure form other people and the children to buy things and it can sometimes feel like you have to show your love by buying them items. However, this is not the case, just spending time with them and covering their basic needs is enough to show your love and trying to buy their love will often not work anyway as they will just demand more and more.

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