The summer is a difficult season for the working parent, and it’s not just because you’re stuck under fluorescent lighting while the sun shines brightly outside. With school out for summer holidays, it marks the start of a financially trying time of year when you’re struggling to balance work and watching your kids. If you’re like many parents, it can be a challenge to find affordable childcare while working full-time hours. You can make the summer easier on your budget by following these simple tips.
It may be simple, but it’s a crucial step towards financial security. When you plan for extra spending in advance, you’re giving yourself a chance to save up and prepare for these expenses. A well-made budget will incorporate childcare costs all-year round, syphoning a small portion of each paycheck towards your summer holiday fund. This mitigates childcare’s overall financial effects. It’s much easier to budget smaller contributions over time than being forced to pay for the full cost upfront.
Your preparedness should also go beyond the cost. You aren’t the only one with children. Once school gets let out, you’ll be competing against all the other parents in search of a babysitter or daycare service during these months. If you can arrange them in advance, you’ll avoid running into childcare shortages that happen nearer to the time.
See what work benefits you have
US childcare subsidies have such limited funding that most eligible families don’t receive them. According to the Washington Post, only 10.6 percent of children eligible for childcare subsidies actually received any money from these programs. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you can assume you won’t have access to these subsidies.
Take the time to research what other resources you have at your disposal. Few employers offer on-site childcare, but many of them offer FSAs to help you save for these expenses. Standing for Flexible Spending Accounts, they’re a program that deducts a portion of your wages from each paycheck to put towards approved services, one of which is child care. You can contribute $5,000 tax-free towards your FSA, saving you roughly $2,000 in taxes. You may also qualify for tax rebates and other deductions when you file next April, so spend some time on the IRS website to explore your options.
Know how to bridge your shortcomings
Even when you plan in advance and take advantage of all the resources at your disposal, childcare can exceed your budget. When you’re just shy of making these payments on your own, you can get a fast installment loan online to bridge that gap. They’re ideal for small, non-recurring emergencies exactly like your summertime childcare crisis. As one of the quickest ways to get the money you need, online installment loans are perfect for urgent, last-minute additions to your budget. Their online platform makes it easy for parents like you to apply and repay as soon as you realize you need help, so you’re never waiting on the bank’s opening house to solve your childcare problems again.
Though it can be hard to find the money you need to look after your kids, it’s there. All you need to do is look in the right places. Use these tips to help your search, and you’ll locate the extra cash you need to take on summertime childcare expenses.