Becoming a parent is life-changing. And, for most parents, it’s a wonderful experience despite its’ challenges.
But do you know the real financial cost of raising a child? Do you know what you can do to prepare for this?
Having kids is a major investment, both on your time and on your finances.
So let’s take a look at the cost of raising a child in Australia. And then we’ll provide some tips on how you can financially prepare.
What are the costs of raising a kid in Australia?
A 2018 study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that the weekly cost of raising a child is:
• $140 for unemployed families, and
• $170 for low-income families.
According to an earlier study, childcare and education costs have increased a lot since 2007. That study estimated the average weekly costs of having a child as follows:
|Age of child||Average weekly cost|
|0 to 4 years||$144|
|5 to 9 years||$212|
|10 to 14 years||$244|
|15 to 17 years||$440|
|18 to 24 years||$717|
All of this adds up. Not only that, children are moving out of home a lot later than they used to.
Where does this money get spent?
Where you spend money will depend on your child’s age. But here are some examples:
- Housing (as in having an extra bedroom)
- Recreation and holidays
Tips for preparing for the costs of having a child
Pregnancy and baby’s first year
The costs of having a child starts at pregnancy. When you’re planning to get pregnant, we recommend doing a baby budget. This will help you start saving for the costs involved with having a baby. The earlier you start saving, the better.
If you already have a child and are having a second, you may save on some costs with “hand-me downs” from your first child.
If you’re pregnant and hosting a baby shower, consider creating a register. You can use this to let your guests know what items you need. This can reduce your spending. Why not put the money you didn’t have to spend on baby items into a savings account?
Plan for the unexpected
We can’t plan for absolutely everything. This means you’re likely to have some unexpected and urgent costs.
Our tip here is to save a little bit of every single pay you receive into a savings account. This should mean you’ll panic less about money when that unexpect thing happens.
Using credit cards
It can be easy to use a credit card on any unexpected costs that arise. Quick finance is attractive if you don’t have access to any savings.
But the catch to using credit cards is this: it also attracts a higher interest rate. With interest rates as high as 24.99% (or even higher), this can take a real toll on family finances.
And this is another reason why we encourage you to put money aside from every single pay. It can be hard to get used to saving, but it alleviates stress later on.
Sell what you don’t need
If you’re not going to have more than one child, then you’ll end up with stuff you’ll stop using.
If they’re still in good usable condition, try selling unused items at online markets. Then save that money for other child-related costs.
Buy in advance
Some things you can buy in advance. Check for discounts and special offers. And when you’ve found a good discount, make the most of it.
Buy second hand
Sometimes you can buy new or near-new items for a lot less than the recommended store price. Check out your local online marketplaces and see what bargains you can find.
If you have close relatives with children, reach out to them to see if they’re no longer using items that you need.
Don’t impulse buy
It’s very tempting to buy new shiny (or cuddly) things. When that temptation arises, ask yourself ‘is this an essential item?
Don’t feel ‘put off’ having children because of the financial costs. Careful financial planning will help you enjoy the wonderful experience of raising children.
Need help planning financially your unborn child? Feel free to book in a 30-minute chat and let us help you.
Tired of juggling finances alone? Join the waitlist to our course that helps you work towards financial freedom.
Important information: This information is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular financial needs, circumstances and objectives. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it is not guaranteed. You should obtain professional advice before acting on the information contained in this publication. Creo Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 96 605 894 415 is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 1236172) of ClearView Financial Advice Pty Limited ABN 89 133 593 012 AFS Licence No. 331367, GPO Box 4232, Sydney NSW 2001.