Forking out for childcare has always been a financial headache for parents. The rising cost of living is making it more difficult. Research suggests that one in six families face poverty because of the rising cost of living, so it is harder for households to meet the daycare expenses.
You cannot do anything about reducing the living cost, but you can try many tips to afford childcare. One of the best ways to whittle down the cost of daycare expenses is for one of you looks after a baby. However, this option does not seem to be feasible at all. Prices are going through the roof, and it can be all but impossible to get by with income from one household.
Childcare hacks that fall within your budget
Here are some hacks that can let you save money and take care of your children despite the working status of both parents. Here is what you can do:
1. Compress your working hours
You will be able to free up some space for your kids when you or your significant other or both are able to compress your working hours into, for instance, four days instead of five. After the pandemic, the managers realised that it could be possible to achieve targets even if employees were working from home.
Many companies have understood that adapting to the needs of employees is beneficial to everyone. Compressed working hours are feasible only when you double your productivity the other days. However, if your manager does not favour this opportunity, you can still ask to work from home at least once a week.
This will not just help save travelling fares, but it will also help you spend time with your kids. Request your manager for flexible working hours if your children are young. If you work from home, you can complete your office work when your kids go to bed. However, some companies may have a good reason to deny you flexible working hours, work from home or compressed working hours.
2. Take help from family and friends
If you are lucky enough to have your grandparents or relatives living nearby in that area, you can ask them to look after your children.
However, you are not supposed to take undue advantage of their generosity. You cannot expect them to take care of your children for too long. You should be a little bit flexible while taking their help. In exchange for childcare, you can offer them what they need. This may be any kind of service.
3. Find tricks to handle demanding kids
It is not easy for mothers to work from home when they have young kids, especially if one of them is in nappies. Struggling with office work while constantly meeting their demands can be overwhelming for mothers.
From their own experience, some mothers have advised not giving too much choice to kids as this leads to arguments. Instead of asking them what they want for dinner, you should straightaway tell them they have mashed potatoes, for example.
If your children are older enough to participate in household chores, they should be asked to give you a helping hand at weekends. Tell them they can play in their bedrooms quietly without messing up. Try to spread the picnic blanket across the floor when they want to play, so at the end, you pick up the corners and pour everything back in.
Sit with your partner and discuss what you should do to ease your life. Every other day you will likely have a different challenge with your kids. You will constantly be making different strategies to deal with your demanding kids.
4. Share a nanny
Hiring a nanny can be very expensive. Some parents end up taking out loans for bad credit with no guarantor and no fees to fund nanny’s fees. You can avoid bearing this financial burden by sharing a nanny. There are various websites where you can find parents who are willing to partner up with others to share a nanny.
Under sharing concept, a nanny will work for three days at your home and two days for your neighbours. Sharing a nanny prevents you from bearing the full cost, and therefore, it is a much more affordable option. Sharing a nanny seems to be a feasible option when it makes it comfortable for the nanny as well to attend to both families.
Although she will work for both families on different days, they would likely look at their comfort in travelling. Further, if the nanny has to come from afar, you will end up paying a lot of money despite sharing.
Do not be under the impression that the fees charged by nannies and childminders are fixed. If you are consulting independent providers, there is always a leeway to negotiate. You can seek at least a 10 to 20% discount. Shop around, so you know the negotiation scope.
Some nurseries accept payments based on your household income. Though nurseries with such an exciting policy are a few, you should look for them. This will help save a lot of money. You have the right to negotiate for the asked price. Do not hesitate to do s because otherwise, you will likely end up trapped in an expensive deal.
6. Plan ahead
If you have just become parents or are planning to have children down the road, you should start planning ahead around it, so it does not cost an arm and a leg. Although there are a couple of options to whittle down childcare expenses, not everyone will be lucky enough to take advantage of them. This is why it is suggested to create a budget.
You should start cutting back on your expenses when you get pregnant. The money you save could be utilised to meet daycare expenses. Start setting aside a portion of your income for daycare expenses. If you have already some money saved, it will soften the blow to your finances later.
Loans are an option in case you need some more money. Just type “I need money now” in the search bar, and you will get multiple lenders offering instant loans. Do proper research about interest rates before approaching an online lender. This will help you choose an online lender that offers lower interest rates. Note that it makes sense to borrow money only when you are sure about your repaying capacity.
The bottom line
Childcare is expensive undoubtedly, and it is more complicated to get by when you have this additional burden on your finances. There are some hacks you can use to save money on childcare expenses. However, it will be best if you try to plan ahead.
Create a budget, cut back on your expenses, and set aside money for childcare expenses. Beforehand planning can help meet such expenses as smoothly as anything. You can borrow money if you still need additional money to cover the cost.
However, you should try to be careful about your spending capacity. Borrowing more than your affordability can throw you into a debt spiral.