Any parent can tell you: raising your children can often be a challenge. One of those many challenges is paying for all expenses that will inevitably arise as your children grow. If you’re trying to predict which costs might be next, here are some common expenses you should consider:
1. When Your Child Has Acne
One of the challenges of raising your teen can be acne outbreaks. Although non-prescription medicine like acne cream may remove acne temporarily, that isn’t always effective. If your teen’s acne persists, it can cause a more extensive outbreak which can lead to scarring. When you bring your child to an acne dermatologist, they may prescribe ointments that contain retinoids (a type of vitamin A compound) Retinoids will prevent skin oil from clogging your teen’s pores.
The dermatologist may also prescribe oral antibiotics if your teen’s acne has resulted in a skin infection. An antibiotic will kill the germs on your skin and reduce redness or swelling of the face. Initially, the doctor may order an antibiotic combined with a topical ointment called benzyl peroxide. The topical ointment will remove excess skin oil.
Some doctors may also add alternative treatments, such as light therapy or chemical peels (changing the surface of your skin with chemicals). If the acne resists conventional treatment, the doctor may use special extraction tools to remove the more noticeable acne formations. At times, the doctor uses steroid injections to reduce inflammation. Although the costs of these interventions aren’t individually high, they can add up with time.
2. When Your Child Needs Braces
When your child’s teeth become poorly aligned, they may need braces. A visit to an orthodontist can determine if you need to get braces for children to relieve pain or to help them chew correctly. Although many believe braces are mainly for teens, children as young as seven may sometimes need to see an orthodontist. Even before all their adult teeth have erupted, if you notice their jaw clicks when they chew, or their teeth are severely misaligned, they should visit an orthodontist.
An essential part of raising your children is helping them to develop independence with their dental health. Although children may accept that their braces are intended to help them, their braces can often be uncomfortable and annoying. Braces require daily maintenance tasks, and your teens can become impatient while doing these tasks. You’ll need to check to be sure your teen takes proper care of their braces.
Your insurance may cover routine visits to dentists and orthodontists. The braces, and the fees for follow-up visits, may not be covered entirely by insurance. Allowing for these extra costs should be included in your budget. Orthodontics will often arrange for installment payments for braces or other treatment costs.
3. When You Want Your Child to Attend Private School
You may decide to send your child to a private or parochial school for many reasons. You may prefer a smaller class size or, the more stringent academic standards of private schools. You may want a school to help your child grow in their faith, so you might choose a Catholic school. After all, passing on your religious beliefs is integral to raising your child.
If you decide this is the way you want to invest in your child’s education, you may become concerned about the additional cost of parochial school tuition. You may be pleased to learn Catholic schools often cost less than other private schools. The lower price occurs because a Catholic school gets support from the Church.
If you still have difficulty paying for private school tuition, scholarships are sometimes available for low-income students. If your child is accepted at a private school, but finances are challenged, the school may know about available scholarships. The government sponsors some scholarships, while others are available for members of specific ethnic groups.
4. When Your Child Goes to Summer Camp
When your child’s school is closed in the summer, many parents send their children to summer camp. Summer camp can give your child a wide variety of enjoyable experiences in an outdoor setting. While raising your children, you want them to have as many diverse experiences as possible. Summer camp teaches children very different lessons than those they learn at school.
One of the most enriching aspects of summer camp is the many types of social skills it can develop. On a typical day, kids at camp might enjoy communal meals, create a craft, play games, go hiking and swimming, play sports, sing songs around a campfire, and sleep under the stars. They’ll interact with many different types of other children during each of those experiences.
Summer camps cost money, and the best summer camps will charge very high fees. Some camps will offer scholarships to children with low incomes. If your child is attending a faith-based camp, your Church may be willing to pay part of the cost. Some parents feel so strongly about the benefits of summer camp that they include the price of camp in a savings plan, such as a vacation club.
5. When Your Goes to the Dentist
Every child should visit a dentist at least once a year. Their first visit should occur about six months after their first tooth emerges. As mentioned, part of raising your child will include helping them become independent with their dental health. Part of that role will involve helping them see and accept the dentist as a necessary part of their lives.
Your child’s dentist will become your ally, and they can reinforce your instructions about dental health. The hygienist will help the child review proper brushing and flossing techniques at each visit. Your dentist may give your child a toothbrush, some floss, a little toy, or some stickers. Your child may begin to associate their dental visits with these little gifts.
You may have dental insurance covering routine visits, x-rays, and cleanings. The amounts your insurance will pay for other treatments will vary according to the provisions of your policy. An unexpected costly dental procedure may challenge your finances. If you talk to the dentist’s office, they may be able to arrange an installment plan or a short-term loan.
6. When Your Child Needs a Bone Doctor
If your child plays sports or receives an injury that impacts a bone, they will need to receive services from an orthopedic clinic. Without the intervention of an orthopedic doctor, your child will not be able to move comfortably. Orthopedic injuries are also very painful. When raising your child, if they obtain an orthopedic injury, you’ll want to help them get back into action as soon as possible.
At an orthopedic visit, the doctor may prescribe pain medication or help relax your muscles. If your child’s injury is severe enough, they may need surgery. The doctor will refer some injuries to a physical therapy office for your child to regain maximum mobility.
Orthopedic visits are usually covered by your insurance, except for a copay. If your child needs crutches, a cane, or braces, those are also covered by insurance. You may also need to pay for pain medications for your child. Physical therapy visits are also covered by insurance but may also have to pay a copay.
7. When Your Child is Depressed
There are times when raising your child is more complicated than others. Children are frequently unhappy after they have a bad day. However, sometimes a child’s sadness persists longer than a few weeks. A child psychologist or psychiatrist may help resolve your child’s problem. A counselor will spend time talking with your child and then may use behavioral therapy techniques or other mental exercises to help your child find different ways to handle their problems.
When your child frequently criticizes themselves or says they can’t do anything right, this may be a sign of depression. Children who are depressed may show no interest in meals, or in doing the things that they previously loved. Although depression is an emotional issue, it can result in physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches. If you see these signs in your child for more than a few days in a row, contact a professional counselor.
Watching your child struggle with depression can be heartbreaking. Psychologists are trained to help your child discover the reasons for their depression. The counselor will let you know how to support and assist your child as they work through their depression. Most health insurance plans have mental health benefits, although there may be a copay.
8. When You Want Fresh Produce for Your Child
Feeding your child is another part of your job as a parent. You’ll want to provide the food they enjoy, but your focus will be on nutritional balance and fresh produce. Children are sometimes picky eaters. Many children dislike vegetables, despite the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet.
Whether they like them or not, persuading children to eat veggies is part of raising your child. Vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Combining grated carrots or zucchini in a meatloaf or in pasta sauce can be one way to get your child to eat vegetables. You can also allow your child to choose which vegetables to include in each meal.
Some people look for discount grocery stores or buy vegetables at a local farm to save money on produce. Another way to encourage your child to eat vegetables is to enlist their help in planting vegetable seeds in your garden. You can give your child one portion of the garden space and designate it as “theirs.” If the child sees those veggies as “their” crop, they may want to eat them.
9. When Your Child Has a Problem with a Wisdom Tooth
Even if your teenager has been taking good care of their teeth, this dental problem can sometimes occur and cause your child to have pain. In addition to acquiring cavities, like other teeth, wisdom teeth can sometimes grow too near the gum line of a nearby tooth. (This is called a wisdom tooth impaction.)
There are other times an impaction will result in an infection. A dentist can professionally clean that area and determine whether your child needs an antibiotic. If the impaction is severe enough, your teen may need that tooth removed by the dentist or an oral surgeon. The area that contained the wisdom teeth may continue to be painful for a few days after removal.
Wisdom tooth removal is another situation where raising your child includes being very supportive. You’ll need to be empathetic during their discomfort and provide pain medication when prescribed. Your dental insurance typically covers dental visits for wisdom tooth removal, but the dentist’s office will call your insurance company for approval before the procedure.
10. When You Want to Take the Family to Dinner
There are times for celebration, or you may want to have a special meal with the family. You may sometimes decide to invest in a good time when raising your children. It’s times like that when you’ll take the family out for dinner. Sometimes a splurge for the right reasons is the best thing to do.
Whether your family prefers seafood, or you decide to enjoy some Italian food, get everyone into the car and drive to your chosen place. There’s something about gathering the family at a festive location and enjoying a special meal together.
Your family night out may be due to an occasion, like a birthday or graduation. If so, you’ll be able to set aside some money for a month or two in advance to afford the meal’s cost. Perhaps your teenager may surprise you with a night out; after they’ve saved money from their first job. No matter what the occasion, sit back and enjoy the food.
These expenses are common for many families, and they challenge all parents when they occur. But you love your children and realize that you’ll find a way to get through times of financial stress together. Clipping coupons, shopping for bargains, or applying for community resources are ways you can find help to pay your expenses. Whatever you do, keep your spirits high and celebrate the joyful times together whenever they occur.