Parents at all income levels should understand their cash flow when financially planning for their kids, according to a personal finance expert.

Estimates from Statistics Canada published late last month said Canadians can expect to spend more than $350,000 when raising a child from birth to the age of 17. That number increases by 29 per cent if parents continue to support their child financially through postsecondary education until the age of 22, Statistics Canada said.

Julie Seberras, senior manager of wealth planning support at TD, told BNN Bloomberg that it’s crucial for parents to understand the costs of raising a child and how that aligns with their cash flow.  

“We, of course, have fixed expenses that we have no control over, but we obviously have discretionary expenses,” Seberras said in a Thursday television interview.

“It’s about understanding what is most important to you and prioritizing those things, and making trade-offs where you need to.”

Seberras added that parents need to make long-term plans for themselves as well, noting that retirement finances are just as important.

“Everybody wants to help their kids and give them a good start in life, but you do have to do that not at the expense of your own financial goals,” she said.

Check out the video at the top of this article to learn more.