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Is summer daycare breaking your budget?

While the winter holidays can take a bite out of your budget, you may find creative ways to keep your expenses down without depriving your family of the joys of the season. If you still find yourself struggling in January to catch up from holiday bills, you are not alone.

However, when it comes to your summer expenses, you may feel very much alone. Once school dismisses for summer break, you may be among the many parents who must make painful choices that can leave you financially devastated for the rest of the year and beyond. One of the overwhelming expenses you face over the summer is child care.

Unacceptable options

A recent survey of parents revealed that the average cost of child care over the summer can reach more than $1,000 per child. You may feel that pinch, especially if you are among those who spend about 20% of your income on child care for summer break. You cannot rely on your child being in the safe and nurturing environment of a classroom for up to seven hours a day, so you must have a reasonable alternative. Unfortunately, many of your choices offer the same financial struggle, including:

  • Using up your vacation days from work
  • Paying for day-long camps for your children
  • Relying on friends or family to fill in as babysitters
  • Cutting back your hours on the job
  • Leaving your job altogether

It is a delicate balance between keeping your children safe and avoiding a financial crisis. Your situation may be even more complicated if you have recently gone through a divorce and cannot depend on your former partner for help with the children over the summer.

How are you paying for it?

When your alternatives are limited, you likely seek out the most affordable daycare you can find. Nevertheless, you and many other parents often get through the summer by using their credit cards to pay for daycare and other alternatives when their kids are not in school. This can mean arriving at the new school year with massive debt and no relief in sight.

If you are in this situation and your paycheck no longer covers the things you need to keep your family safe and healthy, you may want to consider your options for reducing your debt. The last thing you want to do is allow your desperation to lead you toward a scam that will make matters worse. Instead, you may find the answers about the debt relief you are looking for by consulting with a compassionate attorney.