The cost of raising kids

Preparation for a potential change in circumstances due to the arrival of a child could help with reducing financial strain in both the long term and the short.

Budgeting may be easier said than done. The overall costs can be variable, and a part of the equation includes your own personal preferences and choices for your child or children - as well as theirs. Despite this, it is possible to create a general estimate of how much you may need to put aside to help you and your family stay financially resilient and secure.

Here are some good places to get started:

Pre-natal and post-natal

Every child needs food, shelter, education, and all of that can stack up. However, the costs may start even earlier than you expect. For example, if you have private health insurance, you may find that your future birth and pregnancy costs may not all be covered, or that it is something that you need to specifically request or include in your policy. There are a range of insurance policies that can include options to offset the financial risks associated with childbirth. If you are eligible, post-birth, you may be financially supported by the Australian Federal Government for up to 18 weeks of parental leave pay, equating to $657 a week during this period1. You may also be entitled to 12 months parental leave in total from your employer, but a portion or all of this may be unpaid2. Depending on your financial situation and obligations such as mortgage repayments and general living expenses, you could find that a careful budget or other financial planning methods could help during this time.

Education and other expenses

You may need to consider whether or not you have enough savings or income to maintain a desirable standard of living during your time off from work when your child arrives. You may wish to consider that the total cost of raising kids over the last twelve year period has doubled3.

Overall, a child from birth to adulthood can be costly. With the right planning, this challenge can be overcome – you may need to seek professional advice to assist with budgeting for children and reaching your financial goals. For more information, check out the infographic, or visit our budget planner to assist with estimating costs to raising kids.

Plan your budget using our Budget Planner

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Important Information


Raising Children Network

1 - Australian Department of Human Services, Parental Leave Pay, accessed July 2016.

2 - Fair Work Ombudsman, Maternity and Parental Leave, accessed July 2016.

3 - The University of Canberra, Cost of Kids, May 2013, accessed July 2016.

Important Information

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