Foster Caring and Budgeting: A Short Guide

Making the decision to become a foster carer means you’re responsible for providing a loving and stable environment, which can feel overwhelming when you consider the financial ramifications, However, government bodies and agencies don’t expect you to pay for foster child expenses out of your own pocket, which is why you will receive an allowance.

Throughout this article, you will find a short guide for keeping on top of finances when you’re caring for foster children.

Retrieve All Possible Allowances

Every foster carer in the UK is entitled to a fostering allowance, which fluctuates depending on whether you’re registered with a private or government-funded agency. When you apply to become a foster carer, your personal circumstances will be taken into account when determining the full amount, you will be in receipt of.

Alongside the basic foster carer allowance, there’s additional financial relief you may be eligible for; like the £18,140 (max) tax relief. As well as this, if your circumstances fit your agency’s criteria, you may receive an extra allowance to cover the cost of school holidays.

Switch to Active Planning

If you’ve been in the habit of living life as it comes, you may want to consider setting a plan into motion for most activities. Once you start planning for life’s ventures, you’ll find those sneaky additional expenses begin to dwindle. For example, if you spend time every week putting a meal plan together, the cost of your grocery shopping will drop considerably, especially if you do it online to avoid the temptation to buy additional products.

Foster children will stay in your care for as long as it takes for their home circumstances to be improved – or a more suitable and long-term solution. Unfortunately, this means you can’t predict how long you’ll be paying for each foster child. Therefore, whenever you don’t have foster children, we recommend continuing to live on the same budget, which will leave you in a more comfortable position when you do have a new foster child.

Setting a Strict Budget

Setting a budget is intrinsically linked to active planning, as you need to know what money you have available to spend. To do this, work out what your regular monthly outgoings total and then deduct this from the total monthly income. Whatever you have left afterwards, you’re free to spend it freely or save for a rainy day.

Have an Emergency Fund

Life has a funny way of throwing obstacles at us, and they often cost money to get over. For example, your roof begins to leak and you need to fork out for it to be replaced. If you’re not careful, these are the types of expenses that can leave you struggling to afford the basics. Therefore, when you’re writing the budget, you should factor in an emergency fund, which will leave you living comfortably in the face of life’s curveballs.

Being a foster carer will be a rewarding and emotional journey, but you need to make sure you’re in a healthy financial position to pay for the costs of providing a stable home.