Credello: Childcare Costs Are Driving Parents Into Credit Card Debt

Having kids can be very rewarding. Becoming a parent can add a new dimension to your life that's difficult to duplicate in any other way. However, it's also undeniable that kids can be expensive when you take doctor visits, food, clothing, and toy costs into account—not to mention childcare.  

Childcare is one of the most expensive costs of parenthood, and it's not uncommon for parents to incur credit card debt because of it. If your family is one of the many struggling with this expense, use this guide to help you pay off credit card debt and get your budget back on track. Now, here's why childcare costs are driving many parents into similar situations and what to do about it.  

Virtual Learning is On the Rise

More parents report using their credit cards to pay for childcare these days because some schools are employing a virtual learning model due to the pandemic. Certain cities and states are allowing kids to come to school if they wear masks and practice social distancing. As Covid-19 infection rates rise and fall, though, a parent might have to deal with a situation where the only way their child can attend school is through virtual learning. 

If a parent wants their child to continue learning virtually, they must do one of two things. They can either stay home, or they can pay for childcare. Some parents can work from home, but for others, that's an impossibility.

How Childcare Leads to Credit Card Debt

Parents who need childcare while they work outside the home must find a way to pay for that. Ideally, if you're in this situation, you're making enough money to cover childcare, rent or mortgage payments, your food budget, utilities, vehicle payments, etc. Not every parent is making enough for this to be possible, though. 

If you don't have the ready cash to cover everything we mentioned, you may have no alternative but to use your credit card and go into debt. Credit cards typically have high-interest rates, and that interest will keep piling up if you can't pay off your monthly balance. This is one way that childcare costs are leading to credit card debt. 

Possible Solutions

The solution to this issue depends on several factors. One possibility might be to look for an extended family member, neighbor, or friend who can watch your kids if they need to do virtual learning while you work outside the home. Such an individual might watch your kids for free a couple of days out of the week, especially if they're retired or have kids of their own they're already watching. Consider exploring community daycare options in your area that cost less and grant your child socialization as well. 

You might also want to consider looking for a higher-paying job that can help you afford childcare without incurring debt. Another possibility is to look for a job where you can work from home. A remote work model is something that more companies are exploring now than ever before and will allow you to be home when your child is.

Childcare During the Pandemic Requires Creativity

You want to do all you can to avoid getting into credit card debt to pay for childcare. This could mean looking for someone who might watch your kids at least a couple of days out of the week, either for free or at a reduced hourly rate. Perhaps you have a retired friend or relative or there's a group daycare option in your neighborhood.

You can also consider hunting for a better-paying job while still working at your current one and look for a position where you can work from home. Also, keep in mind that just because a school district is doing virtual teaching doesn't mean it will stay that way forever. Eventually, they should go back to in-person learning, which should help reduce your childcare costs. 

Source: Credello

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Categories: Personal and Family Finances

Tags: Debt, Financial Services, Personal Finance


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Credello is a mobile-first platform that simplifies financial decisions by providing users with personalized, on-demand recommendations—so they can choose the best solution with confidence.