Accommodating for Childcare Costs

Last week I talked about the process I go through to develop our annual cash-flow forecasts.

In the past there weren’t may significant changes from year to year, but that has certainly changed since our kids arrived on the scene.

First and foremost, there have been some major fluctuations in our family’s net income due to a pair of maternity leaves for FM and parental leaves for yours truly.

On the spending side, there’s been a noticeable uptick in our average monthly credit card bill each year. This is largely due to the fact that trips to the grocery and department stores now include all sorts of kid-related purchases (i.e. baby food, diapers, cleaning products) we weren’t incurring before becoming parents.

Shortly before our daughter arrived, we switched from my driven-into-the-ground, small sedan to a more family-friendly mode of transportation in the form of a van. That switch came with the first vehicle loan we’ve had on the books in years.

And of course, there’s childcare costs.

Those of you who have had this expense added to your finances will know that it’s one of, if not the most significant new costs you’ll have to accommodate for as a parent. So far that has certainly been the case for us.

And that expense is set to increase in 2019.

It’s hard for me to believe, but in just over four months, we’ll be sending two kids off to day care as FM’s second maternity leave comes to an end. The increased income that will come with FM going back to work will be great, but it also means our childcare costs will be going up by 100%.

Based on what I mapped out in our cash-flow forecast, we’re looking at a grand total of just over $11,500 in childcare costs in 2019. That will jump to over $13,000 in 2020 when both kids attend for the entire year. That’s basically the equivalent of our minimum required mortgage payments for the year!

For a relatively new parent, those are some scary numbers when you realize that they were non-existent prior to having kids.

While those numbers may be scary to me, what CTV News found a lot of Canadians are paying for child care must border on terrifying for other folks. Sending two kids to day care full time in Toronto would cost us upwards of $35,000 based on the average numbers!

We’re the first to admit that we’re incredibly fortunate when it comes to the daycare situation we find ourselves in.

We were able to secure a spot for our son at a home day care provider within walking distance of our home. The rates are very affordable when compared to the other home day care providers we looked at and are a fraction of what private childcare centres quoted us.

Our daycare provider is also incredibly flexible, offering what amounts to a “pay for use” approach as opposed to the fixed daily costs that would have applied at the other providers, regardless of whether our child(ren) attended that day or not. This has allowed us to have the kids’ grandparents come over on Mondays to look after them, providing some important bonding time amongst our extended family and reducing our childcare bill in the process.

While adding childcare expenses to our financial planning certainly hasn’t been without its challenges and adjustments, the convenience and affordability of our daycare situation have been incredible.

Our son loves getting to spend his days playing with his “fwends”, our parents get to spend some quality time with their BLANK, and we have the comfort of knowing our kids will be well cared for at all times at what amounts to a reasonable cost when you consider the comparables.

How does our childcare situation compare to yours? How do you accommodate for childcare expenses in your financial and family plans? Leave a comment below or share your thoughts with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or by email at frugalfatherblog@gmail.com.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Frugal Father

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