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Foster parenting involves many challenges. For example, foster parents must figure out how each foster child works and what motivates each individual child in order to get the pro-social behaviors they desire out of their children. Foster parents must deal with the individual eccentricities of each child. And foster parents must take on an increased workload. There is extra laundry, more food that needs to be prepared. Grocery shopping can become more complicated. Foster children must also be transported to different activities and appointments throughout the week. All of these things add to the complexity of the already complex task of parenting higher needs children.

In addition to many of the tangible and emotional aspects of foster parenting, foster parents must also figure out how to manage their money in order to provide for their family. Depending on your financial situation, managing your money may or may not be a big challenge as you take in more children. Of course some foster parents only take one or two kids, but other foster families have 5 or 6 children living under one roof. Managing money can definitely become an issue if you have several children that you’re taking care of and your financial situation was a little tight to begin with.


Getting organized is a key part of keeping finances in order as a foster parent. Different children in your care, for example, may have different food needs. Some foster children may have food allergies or simply refuse to eat certain foods. Refusing to eat certain foods is usually a power and control issue that goes away when parents are unresponsive, but if you’re choosing your battles for some reason and you avoid cooking with particular foods for particular children your grocery outings may be rather complex. Use coupons and take a list with you to the grocery store. Stick to your list if you’re trying to save money on groceries. Shop at the same time each week if you do weekly shopping. This will make it easier for you to stock up on things regularly and keep an inventory of necessary items.


If you’re trying to manage your money for a small or large foster family, you may also want to consider going to garage sales and thrift stores on a regular basis to find the best deals for kids who want stylish clothes. You can find some really awesome clothes second hand if you frequent thrift stores and garage sales on a regular basis. Though you can go clothes shopping in the fall at department stores for school clothes, it’s often more cost effective to shop throughout the year for stylish, name-brands through second-hand venues.


Managing your money has a lot to do with vigilance and organization. You can make a lot work on just a little bit of money if you have a system and you stick to it. Depending on your financial situation, you may have to be super vigilant to stay on top of your spending each month for growing kids. But you can do it. Money management is always part of raising kids and how you manage your money will help you stay relaxed as a parent and feel as though you have control over your pocket book.

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