According to the latest Suncorp Bank Cost of Living report 1, Australian parents are spending an average of $1,370 per month on each of their children. This can add up to a total of $297,600 per child from birth to age 18.
The study’s big surprise, is that spending per child peaks when our kids are aged between 9 and 11 – the ‘tween’ years. As a guide, families are spending an average of $1,636 per month on tweens compared to $984 for under-2s and $1,290 for 15-17 year olds.
Budget blowouts are common
The unexpectedly high costs of raising children in the 9-11 age group can see parents scrambling for cash. Suncorp also found 53% of parents “often” or “always” overspend on food for their children. Budget blowouts can also occur for clothing (44%) and entertainment, leisure and social activities (43%).
When bills are unexpectedly high parents can turn to high interest credit cards – a seemingly easy short term solution that can leave families facing a disastrous long term debt burden.
Forward planning is a smart strategy
Managing the costs associated with tweens can be more manageable with some forward planning, including updating family budgets to prepare for different growth stages.
I can help you prepare and fine-tune your budget as well as suggesting options to invest any spare cash while your children are younger. It can make a valuable difference to family money management at those times when your children are outgrowing their clothes, their shoes, and even the household budget.
Give us a call today if you’d like to discuss strategies to manage the cost of your growing family.