Do you have children? Or do you plan to have children? I talk a lot about ways to save. It’s kind of my thing. However, there are definitely a few important things you need to splurge on when you have children.
You don’t necessarily have to buy all organic vegetables and fruits or grassfed meats & dairy, but you do need to put some serious thought into the diet your children are eating. Proper nutrition is so important for children. A good varied diet will set the basis for a lifetime of good eating habits. Try to steer away from cheaper processed food and make as much food as you can from scratch. Avoid too many treats and try to balance meals using the suggestions from the USDA’s MyPlate.
Kids get sick, often. Be sure they are covered by some kind of health insurance policy. My children have been fairly healthy thankfully, but we would be in an incredible amount of debt right now if we did not have health insurance. Those well baby/well children visits can really add up! Health insurance can be very pricey. Make sure you compare the rates of your plan with those of your spouse’s plan. If you are self employed, you’ll probably have to pay more out of pocket, but it’s definitely worthwhile. If you can’t afford health insurance, contact your local government and see what plans they have in place for low income families. Most states have a health program to cover children of low income families. Be preventative, you never know when an accident or an illness might occur!
Cribs & Car Seats & Other Safety Devices
A vintage crib or a hand me down car seat might seem like a good idea, but really these are two items you want new. If your children are closely spaced you might re-use, but make sure you check online for any recalls first. Also, did you know car seats have expiration dates? You can usually find the expiration date on the bottom or the side of the car seat. Typically it’s 6 years from the manufacturer date. My rule of thumb is if my child is going to spend any extended period in something or near something without my constant supervision, I never go cheap.
Now I’m not talking Ivy League schools or fancy prep academies. I am talking about investing in the education of your children. Public schools nowadays can barely supply text books for students. Be sure your child has the tools they need to succeed. Be an advocate in your community for your local schools. Start a college fund for your child when they are young and encourage them to get good grades and involved themselves in extracurricular activities so they can qualify for scholarships and grants.
Love & Attention
It sounds obvious and easy, right? Our time, love and our attention are the absolute best things we can give our children. There is no replacement for a parent’s love and affection and it’s something that money simply can’t buy. You might not be able to afford the fancy jeans or the “it” pair of shoes, but you can give a hug and you can lend an ear. While that might not mean much now, one day it will mean the world.
What are some things you feel it’s necessary to splurge on with kids?