Hidden Costs of having a family & working from home…

Parents may be only too aware of the effects that raising children can have on their wallets. From increased energy costs to more expensive weekly shops, and from higher transport costs to higher rents or mortgages, every aspect of life is affected financially. It becomes more important than ever when you have a family to look after to be savvy when choosing suppliers or purchasing goods – it’s important to look out for special deals, compare utilities such as gas and electricity prices, and always do some research before signing contracts, whether it’s for a new mobile, broadband provider or energy supplier.  If you use your home as a workplace, ensure you are asking for their best business deals as well…..

Cost of Children

Overall estimates when it comes to the cost of raising a child from babyhood to adulthood vary. Towards the higher end of the spectrum, it is estimated that raising a child costs £218,000 (Liverpool Victoria, 2012). Clearly, this is a sizeable sum of money. Broken down it amounts to just under £30 a day or £865 a month. The figure comes from analysing various sets of data sources, including the Office for National Statistics Family Expenditure Survey, Child Poverty Action Group, Daycare Trust, the National Union of Students and the AA. Of course this is the average figure, and it assumes various factors, such as children attending nursery between six months and five years, going on yearly holidays, and attending university, which is paid for by parents.

Some of the costs involved in raising children are fairly obvious. These include food, clothing, childcare expenses and holidays. These can all add up. But what about the less obvious, or hidden, costs? These might include having to buy a bigger house or car, spending more on gas and electricity, or losing income due to child illness, particularly if you’re self-employed– a few days here and there can soon add up.

Being Self Employed in the Family Home

If you are self employed and work out of the family home, then costs may also increase in the home.  I know when I started my own business I really focused on keeping the costs down.  I keep the heating off during the day, and wear thicker socks!  Although I have invested in my business I have worked with other businesses to ensure my outgoings are low.

I have an accountant – he is vital, but I do the bulk of my own invoicing and expenses.  He just collates my tax return at the end of the year, so he isn’t a massive expense.

I use online branding tools, Logojoy were kind enough to gift me a logo – which sums up the services I offer beautifully and looks really snazzy on my invoicing and marketing materials.

My blog design is from Pipdig, again really affordable and they implement the theme which saves me hours of time and undue technical stress!

 

There is little that can be done about some costs. Buying a bigger house isn’t necessarily inevitable – many people choose to modify or extend their existing property instead. When it comes to buying a bigger car, families may choose to run a single car instead of two, or there are options such as buying secondhand, trading your current car in or taking out a car loan or car finance.

Gas and electricity usage does tend to increase when children appear in the picture and you work from home. If someone is at home during the day, heating costs will probably increase. It is also very likely that the washing machine and dishwasher will be used more often. These factors may mean that energy bills increase by half as much or even more. Remember to compare energy tariffs based on your usage as a family rather than a couple to go about finding the best deals and cut down on your gas and electricity spends.

In short, be savvy, look at reducing business costs and keeping the household costs down even though you are there during the day! Compare business products to consumer ones, and ensure you are fishing around for the best deals on the market!

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