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A growing family doesn't have to blow the budget

 

If you’re thinking of expanding your family, be sure to keep on top of things financially. 

 

 

Having a family usually comes not just with extra expenses but also a drop in income as one or both of you take time off work. 

Raising children and growing your family can be one of life’s greatest joys. But it can also be costly. You’ll need to plan ahead as much as possible so you can maintain a strong financial position and balance your income with the increasing expenses you’ll face. 

Making ends meet today and tomorrow

Some employers offer parental leave, and other options such as leave without pay or job-sharing that can provide you with the flexibility to boost your income around the needs of your growing family. And there may be government benefits you’re eligible for too. 

It’s important to remember that along with time off work comes a big impact on your growing super balance too. While you’re working, your money for retirement grows naturally as your employer makes compulsory contributions on your behalf. But without your regular income, there may be no super contributions made to your retirement nest egg and the long-term effects can take years to recoup. 

How much do kids really cost?

To give you some idea, most Aussie families spend $281 a week on one child, $232 on the second child and $193 each week on the third child all the way up to the age of 24 years.(i) Say you have three children, that’s over $700 each week for up to more than 20 years. And that’s without the added costs of paying the rent or mortgage and any other loans and expenses you may have. 

We can calculate the likely costs you’ll face over your children’s lifetimes and how to meet them. 

Our 5 tips for stretching your budget

With a growing family, every little bit helps. And once you have an idea of the costs ahead, it’s a good idea to plan to be creative with cutting your expenses—here are a few ideas: 

1. Start with financial advice

Your family will be better off when you have the peace of mind that financial security can give. Come and chat with us about preparing financially as your family grows. We can help you understand any government and leave-from-work entitlements you may have so you get all you’re entitled to, and you have a clear idea of the effects of any changes in income on your household and your super. 

2. Think ahead

If you receive gifts for your first born or buy clothes and furniture yourself, put the items aside once they’re no longer useful so you can give them to subsequent children. Then, when the time comes, consider how some quick handy work may help you repurpose pre-used items; a lick of paint can refresh a used cot and a few new buttons can personalise an outfit for a new baby, without the cost of buying brand new. 

3. Save on food costs

You may be able to save a lot of money over the years by growing your own veggies. It can be fun, easy and educational for children—you may even want to add some backyard chickens and collect eggs for breakfast in the morning. 

4. Put something away for a rainy day

By regularly putting any extra money aside whenever you can, you’ll ease the financial burden down the track. If you start saving early, by the time your children are ready for school you may have enough to help with the costs of education. 

5. Ask for help

Instead of paying someone to help with things like babysitting, ask your friends and relatives if they can help by donating their time. You’ll save some money while planning to do something fun for yourself. Afterwards, you may want to help the kids bake a cake or cook dinner as a way to say thank you. 

You can stay ahead

There are ways to keep moving forward financially even as your family grows and your income changes. Come and see us so we can help you make sure your growing family have all they need. 

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(i) AMP.NATSEM’s Cost of kids report outlines the typical costs of raising children.