By Alex Temblador
Let’s be honest: No matter how you choose to create your family, it costs money. Just look below at the average costs associated with each path to parenthood:
- Surrogacy: $100,000-$150,000
- Domestic Adoption: $30,000-$40,000
- International Adoption: $30,000-$50,000
- Foster Care Adoption: $2,000-$5,000
- IVF Treatments: $7,000-$27,000
- Costs associated with natural births: $9,000-$15,000
Even if you choose the most least expensive method to create your family (foster care), it still costs money! The path to parenthood is a personal one and every couple or single person will choose the one that works best for them, so we thought we’d share some creative ways in which you can raise money or save money to pay for the costs associated with creating your family. Not all of these will be able to cover the full cost (though some may) and it might take months to see any money from these options. However, combining a few of these creative ideas and being patient might just be the right ticket to funding the making of your family.
- Clean House
We are a society of people who gift or buy useless junk. Do you need half the stuff in your home? Probably not, which is why it’s a good place to start toward bringing in cash for your family plans.
Go through everything in your house and ask, “Would I rather have this china set that I never use, or a baby?” or “When’s the last time I wore these boots?”
Then get to selling, but be smart about it.
Use Craigslist to sell big time items like furniture or electronics that you no longer need. Be patient and repost over the months if you need to.
eBay is a great option to sell clothes, entertainment items, collectibles, art, electronics, and decor.
- Garage Sales
Having a garage sale isn’t a bad idea, but save this for last. Garage sale go-ers tend to want a major bargain, so perhaps only host a garage sale for those items that you’ve had a hard time selling, so at least you get a little bit of cash from them.
- Books, Movies, Music.
Are you an avid fan of your e-reader but have hundreds of books that are taking up space? Or do you only stream Netflix now and no longer need your DVD collection? There are multiple ways to sell your books, movies, and music. Hastings and Half Price Books have a good program that buys all three of these items.
- Sell your clothes:
Sell your clothes, especially your name-brand items, to secondhand stores or online. ThredUp buys women’s, kids, maternity, and plus-size clothes, purses, and shoes. They even send you a bag in the mail. There’s also tons of chains like Runway Fashion and Plato’s Closet that have locations all over the U.S. that give you money for your clothes.
- Take on extra hours or a second job
If your job pays overtime, take on those extra hours. After each paycheck, put that extra money aside for your “family making fund.” However, for those who have jobs that don’t allow extra hours or extra pay, consider taking on a side job. This may mean searching Craigslist for odds and end jobs like dog sitting or taking a night shift at a gym, clothing store, or working at a restaurant on the weekends. For those who have skills such as web design, editing, article writing, or coding, consider freelancing from home in the evenings and on the weekends to make extra money toward helping fund the creation of your family.
- Credit card rewards
Did you know that there are many credit cards out there that offer rewards, such as cash back? If you own a credit card and you’re not receiving rewards, you have the wrong kind of credit card. Many credit cards will provide cash back at the end of the year or at the end of each month for purchases that you would already make each month such as those associated with groceries, gas, or housing bills. Why not use that cash back to put in your family fund? Or, if you know that your family plan will involve traveling overseas to adopt your child or to another state to meet a surrogate, find a credit card program with a good airline miles/points program so you can save on the costs of travel. Check out NerdWallet for an up-to-date list on the best credit cards with the right type of rewards for you.
There’s a saying that says it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it might take a village to help you fund your path toward having a child. This is where crowdfunding comes in. Crowdfunding is a popular way for many parents to raise the money to cover the costs associated with having a child.
Crowdfunding usually involves setting up a webpage in which others can donate money to your family making fund. Gofundme, Indiegogo, YouCaring, and Rally.org are all great crowdfunding sites to check out. YouCaring doesn’t even charge you a fee for the money that you raise.
After setting up your page, the site will allow you to share a link on your social media channels (like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, blog, etc.) so that others can donate toward your family fund. You can watch your donations rise to meet a set goal and thank each person who donates too by email through these platforms.
- Financial Assistance Grants
Funding your journey toward parenthood is a lot easier when you have grants or financial assistance to help you out. If you are choosing the path of adoption, don’t miss out on the many grant programs that private organizations offer. Fertility companies will also provide discounts for IVF. Don’t miss out on FREE money for your parenthood journey by not applying. Check out our recent article, “Financial Assistance for LGBT, Single, Modern Prospective Parents,” for information and direct links to these grant and financial assistance programs.
- Employer Reimbursements
Perhaps you work for one of the many companies that provide adoption reimbursements. How do you know your they do? Click here for a list of companies who have been known to provide them. There’s also a section that explains how the military offers adoption reimbursements to military families. If you don’t see your company on this list—make a meeting with your HR and ask.
- Financial Family Challenge
Probably the best way to fund your path to parenthood is to create a “Financial Family Challenge.” By this I mean that you (if you’re single) and/or your partner make a commitment to save for the specific route in which you choose to make your family.
This might mean budgeting your spending so that you can put away every extra penny toward your family planning fund.
Challenge yourself in different ways. Here are some ideas:
- No eating out for three months
- Free dates only for a year
- No buying gifts all year long
- Cutting out foods that are not needed for your diet (sweets)
- Generic products only: toiletries, non-organic food, medications
- Cutting cable or internet in your home
- Going to the library, instead of buying books
- No new clothes! Clothing exchanges with friends or family
- Saving your loose change in a large jar
- No going out with friends, unless its free
- Carpooling, walking more, biking to work to save on gas
- Recycling cans and bottles for money
- Use coupons on EVERY thing you buy, whether its groceries or clothes
It may be tough to do some or all of these things, but if you really want your family (and you don’t want to be in MAJOR debt going about it), do some if not all of these things, plus any that you can come up with yourself. You know what areas of your life you tend to spend too much in. Cut that spending down and save the remainder.
I also love the idea of couples doing weekly challenges to see who can save the most money on gas, entertainment, eating out, or utility bills. An article on The Penny Hoarder explains it perfectly. Click here!
- Use apps
Technology is a pretty cool thing. If you’re not savvy when it comes to saving for your parenthood fund, check out some of these apps that can help you out.
- Simple: an app that helps you save. It deducts your upcoming bills, payments, and transactions that you’ve made so you know how much you actually have.
- Digit: automatically transfers a daily amount into your savings.
- Acorns: a useful app that rounds up each transaction you make to the nearest dollar. It takes those few cents and invests them for you. Not a bad way to turn pennies to major dollars.
- Unsplurge: think of this as a visualization board. You type in your financial goal (a family) and include a picture and it helps you with tips and tricks to save toward that goal. Its community oriented so others can cheer you on.
- Gas Guru: Gives you the best gas prices in the area closest to you.