Little kids put big pressure on household finances

We all know babies bring extra expenses. And teenagers can have costly demands too. But what about ‘tweens’?

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.

Talk to your local financial adviser today

Suncorp Bank Cost of Living Series: The Cost of Kids, March 2016

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