December 16, 2015
One in every three Australians have said they will delay their plans to have children because it is so expensive to raise a family, new data has revealed.
According to Mortgage Choice's inaugural Financial Confidence survey, 34.9% of surveyed respondents said the cost associated with having children is so high that it is has forced them to put their family plans on the back-burner.
Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell said a growing number of Australians feel as though they can't afford to have a family.
“Almost 50% of Australians said they would have to rely on their spouse or partner for money if they took parental leave, which would suggest the parental leave they are paid by their employer or the government is not enough.”
Mr Flavell said the data was unsurprising given that the cost of living and property prices continue to grow year on year.
“Our data shows more than 85% of Australians have seen their day-to-day expenses rise substantially over the last 12 months, which puts pressure on the hip pocket,” he said.
“Given that the cost of living is rising and there are costs associated with having children, it is little wonder why more than one third of Australians are actively pushing their family plans back.”
Mr Flavell said those who were concerned about the cost of raising a family weren't wrong to do so, as data from the survey found 56.7% of those with children believed they weren't “financially prepared” for a family.
For those who are thinking of having children but are concerned about the associated costs of doing so, Mortgage Choice provides the following tips.
Make financial plans
Preparations for parenthood often involve plenty of unknowns - could you face unexpected medical bills? How much time can you afford to take off work? How will you cope financially? The best way to bring certainty to what can be an uncertain time is by making financial plans. Those considering starting a family should set themselves a manageable budget and stick to it.
Trim excess debt
For those thinking about children, paying off debt like personal loans and car loans etc should be made a top priority. At the end of the day, the more debt you pay off, the more cash you will free up – cash that can then be saved for ‘rainy day' expenses.
Build a savings plan
Finally, it is a good idea for anyone considering starting a family to create a regular savings plan that they can stick to. Babies don't stay little forever and as children grow, so too do the associated costs. By committing to a regular savings plan today, you will have a far better opportunity to give your child a wonderful lifestyle down the track.
*About the survey
Market research company Nine Rewards was commissioned by Mortgage Choice to conduct the 2015 Financial Confidence Survey. The online survey was conducted in November 2015 and completed by 1,113 Australians.