Saving for Retirement as a Parent Is Difficult, But Not Impossible

 James Broth
  Apr 30, 2018

Saving for retirement is something that we all know we need to do. However, according to DebtConsolidation’s study, almost half of the American population has no retirement savings. While saving for retirement can be difficult, adding in the costs associated with being a parent can make it seem like doing so is an overwhelming challenge. However, while nothing about saving for retirement as a parent is easy, it’s not impossible, and by taking the right steps today, you can secure your financial future for tomorrow.

One of The Biggest Expenses For Parents Is Largely Avoidable

One of the biggest expenses that parents will face has to do with bringing your children to do something. I’ve experienced this countless times first hand as the father of a 7 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. At the end of the day, doing something as simple as going to Dave & Busters with the kids puts a $200 dent in my wallet. However, the truth of the matter is that while entertainment is a big expense for parents, this expense is largely avoidable.

At the end of the day, there are tons of things that can be done with children that are either free, or come at a low cost. Some free activities that I enjoy doing with my kids include:

  • A Day at The Lake - The kids love the lake, and I have to admit, I do too. The best part about it is that it is completely free. Well, other than the few bucks in gas it may cost to get there.
  • Go on A Hike - This world is a beautiful place, and no matter where on it you live, chances are that’ you’re not far away from some pretty incredible scenery. While I didn’t think that my 2 years old would enjoy this much at first, it has become a bi-weekly activity for us and the kids love it. Once again, the only money paid here is gas to get to the hiking area.
  • Go to your Local Park - There are parks in just about every local that is no more than a few minutes drive away. To kids, there’s nothing quite like a swing set, some monkey bars, and a slide!
  • Arts and Crafts - With a son in school, there is always something in the house to color or draw with and on. On rainy days, we tend to stay inside and enjoy arts and crafts using what we have around the house. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas for arts and crafts with normal household materials.

Other Ways To Save On Parenting

Cutting costs on activities isn’t the only way to save money as a parent. Some other things that our family has found to be effective include:

  • Cutting The Cord - Cable is expensive, and truth be told, there are various studies that suggest that allowing children to watch television too much will hinder their health and development process. In our house, we have cut the cord. While one benefit is the money saved, if you do this too, you’ll likely see another benefit in the amount of quality time spent with the family!
  • Teaching Conservation - Every penny adds up, and when lights are left on and water is left running while brushing teeth, these pennies will likely add up quickly. However, starting young with regard to teaching children to conserve energy, water, and more is not only beneficial for household expenses but builds great habits for the children!
  • Pay Your Kids, Not The Pros - Things like lawn mowing services, car washing services, and more can add up quickly. However, I can tell you from experience, kids can do these jobs. My son, rides the lawn mower, making $20 a month, saving me $80 per month in the process. I also pay $2.50 for a car wash, which means I save about $10 every time my car is washed. Consider allowing your children to take over these types of tasks. Not only will it save you money on the costs associated with these tasks, your child will earn their own money to buy their own toys, killing two birds with one stone!

Put These Savings To Work

If you go out once per week to a place like Dave & Busters, pay a professional to mow your lawn, pay for cable television, and pay to wash your car, chances are, these costs add up to around $1,000 per month. However, as a parent, these costs can largely be eliminated. So, what do you do with the extra $1,000 per month? Invest in your future!

Once you’ve created a plan to open the funding up, it’s time to start thinking about how to put that money to work for you. It’s time to start investing for your retirement! Consider reaching out to a personal financial advisor that will manage your investment portfolio at a low cost.

Final Thoughts

As a parent, it may seem as though added expenses will make it nearly impossible to save for retirement. However, with a few small lifestyle changes, you might be surprised at how much money you can unlock for yourself in the long run. Just remember, this isn’t something to hesitate with. The longer you wait to invest, the harder it will be to achieve financial freedom and retired status!

Saving for Retirement as a Parent Is Difficult, But Not Impossible

James Broth

James Broth is a business writer, mentor, and personal finance advisor. He has been consulting for SMB owners and entrepreneurs for the past seven years.

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