I don’t have to tell you that life is expensive and unexpected. What with gas to drive to and from work (barring your car is still in good condition), rent/house payments (hopefully not at the same time), food (because that’s kind of important), the list of basic costs to live can add up—fast! Throw into the mix a spouse and children, and you’re looking at a whole new world of expenses.
Let me back up a bit. Before an actual spouse or kids come into play, how about we say, hypothetically, you’re considering getting engaged. Nowadays, the average cost of an engagement ring is upwards of $4,000, and that’s probably not including the wedding band. Yes, my friends, you typically have to purchase another ring to go along with the one you just bought. What a time to be alive!
Now, let’s talk about the cost of a wedding. On average, the cost of a wedding in the U.S. is anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000. If you’ve successfully navigated through the nuptial process on the lower end of things, kudos! If you find yourself on the higher end, don’t worry. There’s a chance you will make up a good chunk of expenses in wedding gifts. Also, there’s the optional scampering on over to the courthouse for a Justice of the Peace. That’s a much, much cheaper option. However, no matter what you decide to do, be sure to first understand what your decision to buy a ring or pay for a wedding will do in the context of your larger financial goals. For example, maybe instead of a big wedding, you’d prefer to have that cash for a down payment on a house.
Next up? The house, of course!
Millennials are dubbed the enteral city dwellers, but that’s not a catch all. Heather and I spent 10 years in NYC before moving to the suburbs. So, I understand why people who think we all just wanna stay cooped up in our shoebox apartments. For most, the flight to more space is a natural progression because, when the kids get here, you will need space. The home buying process is not to be taken lightly, so be sure to check out my blog series titled, “How to Buy a Home: Part 1” and “How to Buy a Home: Part 2.” There, I show you the ends and outs of the home-buying experience from a professional and personal point of view.
Congratulations! You’ve found the perfect first home for you (thanks to my sage advice, of course), your spouse and first child. Wait, what? Yeah. You have a kid now. Sorry, I almost forgot to tell you. How much will your first child cost? Well, that really all depends on where you’re living. The average cost to raise a child in New York is around $99,000 annually, but cost significantly decreases to about $58,000 if you’re looking to raise your children in a more rural part of the country.
So, what’s the moral of this story? A settling down and starting a family can be expensive. But, that’s why you have financial fail-safes like a financial literacy, cash reserves and NYC’s Financial Advisor for Millennials. Look, major life events may seem to come out of nowhere if you don’t prepare for the road ahead. Being reactionary is not the way to be. We want to be proactive. And although, you may never feel emotionally prepared to settle down, buy a home or have kids, you will, if you planned property, look at your situation and be confident that you’re financially prepared.