What is the cost of having children?

Raising a child is a difficult enough feat, changing the lives of parents forever. Any parent will tell you it’s as beautiful as it is painful, but there’s one factor which is making the decision more and more difficult for couples. The decision to have a child is now the most significant financial decision an Australian can make. The cost of bringing up a child for a typical middle-income family sits at approximately $406,000.

It doesn’t stop here- while child-raising costs have gone up by a whopping 50% since 2007, Australian household incomes have only risen by about 25%. So, this means the cost of raising a child is growing at double the rate of our average incomes. And this figure is only going to increase over the next few years.

So how is this affecting Australians?

44 per cent of Australian households are already in financial stress. This includes being unable to pay bills on time, afford medical treatment or home maintenance and going without meals. While children might be a nice addition to the household, couples in financial stress are either forced to choose not to have children or are unable to adequately provide for their families.

A quarter of households in financial stress are those of middle income earners, who make $52,000-$104,000 a year and have been hit by rising property prices, childcare costs and health insurance.

And those who have children already are facing a multitude of difficulties – the cost of a child in their first two years of life is $14,976 and this figure steadily increases throughout their life, with the primary school years costing $82,000 and the high school years costing $131,300 per child.

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But after high-school they’ll be self-sufficient!

.. Well, no. The cost of having children doesn’t stop there. Teenagers aren’t moving out during their years after high school at University, TAFE or otherwise. These kids are called ‘S.L.O.P.s’ (singles living off parents) and choose to live at home because of the high cost of tertiary studies, of buying a new home or the difficulty in finding employment. This means that financial pressures aren’t alleviated from the parents until their child can afford to move out, which could be as late as their mid-20s.

What if I already have kids?

It’s a difficult time to consider having children and it’s a decision one cannot make lightly. However, for parents facing these burdens, there are sources of relief to ease the financial pressures of providing for their families

Our latest Noble Cause, N.E.E.D.S provides food hampers, clothing, baby gear, furniture and women’s wellbeing items to families and individuals in need. It is volunteer run, completely free to join and a wonderful community effort to provide families with the necessities of living.

If this cause sounds like something you might be interested in, please consider donating your LiveTribe points. The money raised will go towards buying the N.E.E.D.S team a new van to use for their deliveries. Sign up or log in to donate. 

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