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Kids are Expensive: Breaking Down the Cost of Raising Children

The Australian Institute of Family conducted numerous research studies into the costs of raising a child in Australia.

It found the minimum cost was between $140 and $170 per week. This is the bare minimum low-income families might pay to raise one child.

Families deemed “middle class” spend as much as $458 weekly on one child.

According to a researcher from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modeling, it will cost roughly $800,000 to raise two children from birth until they are 21 years old. Even though they are adults between 18 and 21, many Australians in this age range still rely on their parents.

Statistics show that 43.4 percent of Australians between the ages of 20 and 24 are still living with their parents.

About 17 percent of Australians between the ages of 25 and 29 are also living at home.

The cost of living is increasing all the time in Australia. This makes it even harder for parents to financially plan for the future.

To give you an idea of how much it costs to raise children these days, below is a break down of all the expenses associated with it:

Housing

For a low-income family raising one child, housing expenses are about $392 per week and $20,410 per year.

After 18 years of raising the child, this will come out to $367,380. These estimates do not include the inflation of living expenses.

Food

The food expense of a low-income family with one child will be about $155 per week and more than $8,000 per year.

After 18 years, this will come out to more than $145.000. These estimates do not include special occasions, like eating out at restaurants, birthday party food and so on.

Utilities

Utilities include basic fuel, electricity and water expenses. Although everyone in the household shares the utilities, expenses will increase after having a child.

The weekly expense of utilities for a family with one child averages $14.75, while the yearly expense is $767. After 18 years, the total amount spent on utilities will be more than $13,000.

Clothing

Children go through new clothing on a regular basis. The total amount you will spend on clothing for one child is estimated to be about $23 per week and exceeds $1,200 per year.

This comes out to more than $22,000 after 18 years.

Childcare

This cost of childcare outside of the home is about $31 per week and exceeds $1,600 per year. Typical childcare services will watch children from infancy up until they are 13.

If you pay for childcare for 13 years, it will cost you more than $20,000.

Education

If you have one child who goes to public school, it will still cost about $27 per week and $1,400 per year for supplies, lunches, transportation and other school-related expenses.

After 18 years, this will come out to more than $25,000. Private school costs substantially more.  

Transportation

Until your children are old enough to drive, you will be driving them around wherever they want to go.

And even when they do get their own license, they will likely be using your car to drive at first.

The total transportation expense for raising one child can be $144 per week and more than $7,500 per year. After 18 years, this could come out to more than $135,000.

Healthcare

Healthcare costs for one child average $19 per week and more than $1,000 per year for Australia’s private healthcare option.

And parents often don’t want to wait for the public option when it comes to their child’s health. After 18 years, this can total more than $18,000. This is assuming they don’t have any major illnesses or disabilities.

Furnishings

Furnishings include all household furniture and appliances purchased specifically for a child.

These expenses can add up to more than $31 per week and exceed $1,600 per year. After 18 years, this will come out to more than $29,000.

Recreation

Recreation includes a variety of different activities, such as baseball, basketball, or other team sports, as well as other clubs, activities, hobbies and pastimes in which children participate.

This expense can add up to $62 per week and more than $3,200 per year. After 18 years, this can total more than $58,000.

Other Expenses

Other expenses associated with raising a child might include virtually any expense that does not fall into one of the previous categories. Such miscellaneous expenses can total about $29 per week and exceed $1,500 per year.

If you raise the child for 18 years, this total will be more than $27,000.

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