Editor’s note: This is one family’s experience and should not be taken as professional financial advice.
Everyone harps on about how expensive kids are, that they literally cost you millions over their first 18 years, etc, but no one explains just how to survive it!
They basically just say “off you go, enjoy” without even as much as a “good luck”. And somehow we’re meant to know how to navigate the huge financial pressure and commitment that comes with raising a child. Like, they literally rely on you to be able to have money to fund their entire existence.
That’s massive. And bloody hard sometimes, but (I think) it’s a lifestyle that you choose as a parent.
I personally feel that as parents, we are constantly having to sacrifice for our kids, and one of the big ones is our finances. I know that James and I could have a certain lifestyle if we chose to not have our kids so close together, or maybe less kids altogether, but this is something we have chosen, and it’s definitely worth it.
It doesn’t mean that we completely go without, because we’ve been able to buy our first house and car, and go on the occasional holiday here and there… it just means you have to be smart about the decisions you make.
DEFINITELY not something I learnt as a teenager!
I’ll never forget when I lived on the Gold Coast in a share house. I was working at the local Maccas and studying full time at university. One day I was so broke, I had to call in sick for work because I legit had no money to put fuel in my car to get there. So bad! But so true!
And it wasn’t just a one off. Between trying to pay rent, car rego, uni text books and every other bloody expense that comes with living out of home, I was completely struggling. I laugh about it now, but at the time it was so depressing. At least the beach was free.
When James and I got married, we were fresh off Centrelink, and only three months into the full time work world. It was a hard adjustment and we struggled for a long time.