It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you’re staring at your bedroom ceiling as your mind races. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t turn your mind off of the pressures and stresses of your everyday.
It happens to the best of us and you’re not alone if money is on your mind in the middle of the night. In fact, a national study conducted on behalf of the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) found that 42% of Canadians rank money as their greatest stress with 51% of women and 40% of men saying they’re likely to stay awake at night over their financial woes.
If you have children, even young children, you already know it’s expensive to raise them. According to MoneySense.ca, the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is $243,660 — that’s $12,825 per year or $1,070 per month. And that’s before you even send them off to university or college!
How many kids do you have sleeping peacefully in the next room while you worry about how to pay the mortgage, pay the bills, maybe one day afford a new car and somehow pay for their education? Because you want to give them the best possible chance at a good future, but that chance may feel like it’s a cost that is impossible to bear.
Speaking of costs, what would happen to all of those expenses that need to be paid (you know, the mortgage, the car payments, the heating bill and all those grocery store trips) if you suddenly found yourself unable to work? Where will the money come from and how will you protect and maintain your current lifestyle? What’s your plan?
If these two issues aren’t what’s causing your mind to race, then being sandwiched between the challenges of raising your own family while watching your parents get older and frailer probably does. Will they be able to afford the care they need as they age or are their financial shortcomings going to be a burden that you will need to find a way to shoulder.
And one day, too, you’ll be that aging parent who won’t want to be a financial burden on your children. That day may be so far off that it’s still shrouded in haze, but it will come and you need to somehow plan for it too.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Creating a monthly budget and a big picture plan is a good first step.