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Affording a baby – what’s behind the credit crunch?

If you have financial trouble, you’re not alone. Thousands of families around the world are struggling to make ends meet. Many mums and families put the financial burden of having and raising children at the top of their list of worries.
One of the main reasons for this is the steep increases in basic costs like healthcare, housing and day to day living expenses. One of the most basic costs, housing, can cost 75 percent more for families than for single people or couples. The increased space requirements of a family, and the need to be near schools and other amenities, mean that families are all competing for a very small housing pool. This will increase your costs at a time when you are on maternity leave or when you’re trying to get by on one salary.
There’s also increased pressure to buy more equipment, toys, gizmos and gadgets for your baby, and in our consumerist society your love and care for your children is often measured by the things you give them.
The most important thing to remember is that having and caring for a child is not a status symbol. You need to learn to determine which are genuine needs (housing, food, clothing) and which are wants (living in a fancy suburb, eating gourmet meals, wearing designer labels, and yes, the most expensive buggy on the market.) When you’re doing your baby budgeting, be realistic. Don’t assume that you need the best or the most expensive items or equipment. Often, that’s less about what your baby needs, and more about what you want, or what society is telling you that you have to have.

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