The birth of a child is one of the toughest occasions in anyone’s life, but also one of the most rewarding. I will never forget the moment I realised that I was now responsible for the wellbeing of another human being who could not survive without my help, and that this responsibility remained through the rain, hail or shine regardless of my own state of health or mind on any given day.
The responsibility for having a child doesn’t end with the nurturing, but also extends to financing the child’s needs for many years after their birth. This can be a very costly exercise, but like everything else, mothers take it in their stride and adjust their own financial and other needs to cater for the needs of the child.
The one thing that doesn’t cost anything in raising a child is the amount of love that you have available – it is limitless! My children have brought me so much joy over the years and the rough patches are forgotten. Also forgotten are the things we ‘did without’ in order to give our family a good education. They simply don’t matter.
I am reflecting on motherhood as we near the annual celebration of Mother’s Day. It now has an added significance for me because my daughter is also a mother, making me a grandmother.
Being a grandmother brings a whole new dimension to life. Those little people make my heart sing! The pride I feel as I see my daughter and her other young mother friends thoughtfully guiding their youngsters through childhood is immense.
I see these young mothers coping with exactly the same issues that I faced, and the financial struggle is just the same for them as it was for me.
The difference for me as a grandmother is that I don’t have to cope with sleepless nights, the school run, seemingly bottomless stomachs, the washing and so on. I can enjoy the laughter and the fun and games, and then I just go home and leave ‘em to it.
Having a budget in place will help you manage the expenses during your children’s early days and through their education years. The costs are significant and having a plan for managing expenses will mean that you keep on top of the costs in an organised way.
There are many tools available, such as those on ASIC’s MoneySmart website that will assist you in establishing your budget. There are also apps that allow you to track expenses so you can see where your money is being spent. Every one of these tools will assist in making ends meet and I suggest that you take advantage of these. My budget lets me help my kids financially every once in a while because I know what they are experiencing.
Please note, this article is for general advice purposes only. It has not taken into account your personal circumstances or financial goals. If you wish to access more personalised advice tailored to your circumstances and financial objectives, please contact our friendly staff today.