Canadian Living magazine quotes that the average cost of raising a child before they enter university is $243,660. On the one hand, looking at that is quite daunting. Obviously, it depends on what you choose to invest into your child. However, there are some expenses (besides the basics like food, shelter, clothes) you may want to start saving now (because I didn’t always anticipate some of these):

  • Post-secondary education is going to get expensive. Investing in RESPs now at least helps you to boost every dollar you spend now with compounded interest and the government’s 20% bonus on top of your contribution. Check with your financial broker or local financial institution.
  • Unless you have orthodontics covered in your benefits, be prepared to spend. In our case, it will cost at least $4000 per child for orthodontic services and products. Unless you know your kids will have perfect teeth (heredity plays as big a role as good hygiene), you’ll need some kind of metallic support as they approach their tween years.
  • Camps can have a vital impact in a child’s life. But some camps (even day camps) can cause a lot. Start setting some money aside to help buffer those costs. (Some camps may even be eligible for tax credits.)
  • Sports and lessons. Your child may not be involved in everything. But you’ll likely want to give your child some exposure to some kind of extracurricular activity, whether through a parks and recreation program or something private. Some programs do offer financial assistance, so be aware of those options. However, be prepared to cover the cost the more intense or involved you want your child to be in that given area.

This list is by no means exhaustive. What else would you add? (Add in the comments section.)