From $152 to $863: 11 parents share exactly how much they spend on their kids each week.


Children are expensive. All parents know this to be true.

But, if you were to quantify exactly how many dollars it costs to raise your young prodigies from birth to adulthood, you’d probably have an ‘oh sh*t’ moment, followed by a call to your accountant.

The people of Reddit share their moments of cringeworthy embarrassment caused by their kids. Post continues below.

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According to a 2018 study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, it costs Australian families (at least) $140 to $170 a week to raise a child. However for most families, this will be a gross underestimation.

We asked 11 parents of children aged from one to 12, to share how much they spend on their kids each week. As expected, most spent a lot more than $170.

This is how they broke down their spending.

Hannah – Grace (22 months)

Food and groceries: $100 (about $40 of that is on berries alone)

Extracurricular activities: Merlin annual pass $109 per year (for an adult) but we can then take her to the Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife world. Most of the other activities are free at the moment – rhyme time at the library, the park etc. Roughly $2 a week.


Transport: Pretty minimal.

Childcare: $247.53 for two days (after the Child Care Subsidy rebate).

Babysitter: $150 one day a week. My mum also does two days a week (free).

Clothes and shoes: She’s growing so fast that I’m spending around $100 on new items per month… that’s also partly because I like buying her cute things. $25 a week on average.

Total: $524.53

Tara – One son (2yo)

Food and groceries: I estimate about $40 a week on groceries/snacks related to him. We do Hello Fresh for two adults and split with him while we can. All meals from breakfast to afternoon snack are covered by daycare.

Extracurricular activities: $18 per week on swimming. To be fair Nana pays for this in lieu of random toys for no reason but swimming is a non negotiable for us).

Childcare fees: $450 a week out of pocket (after government rebate) for five days. Bizarrely I’ll be better off when he goes to a private school in the area.

Birthday parties: We just hit this phase, and a little sooner than I’d planned for too! I estimate five a year at $50 a party, so $5 a week to budget for this.

Weekend activities: We normally do one fun activity a week. This could be local fete, a sporting match or going to a park so average $20.


Total: $515. It is hard to quantify as some of this is incidental/accidental spending but it adds up!

Cost of raising a child
Image: Supplied.

Purdey - Sophie (2yo)

Food and groceries: $40. Half of this is probably just what she consumes as we do the shop each week.

Extracurricular activities: $20 on swimming lessons and Kindygym.


Childcare fees: $300 (after subsidy).

Pocket money: $3

Play dates and parties: $40

Medical fees and medication: $5

Sophie’s birthday/Christmas presents: $20

Clothing and shoes: $20. My daughter is already moving into size 6 clothes she’s so tall. I swear I turn around and her clothes don’t fit anymore.

Total: $448

Cost of raising a child
Image: Supplied.

Ian - Two sons, Toby (1yo) and Leo (3yo)

Toby (1yo)

Childcare: $300 per week for three days (after childcare rebate).

Formula: $30

Nappies: $10

Food: $70 per day (including snacks).

Travel: $10 per week for petrol.

Clothes: $10

Toys: $20

Activities / outings: $50

Medication and doctor's appointments: $10

Miscellaneous (furniture, accessories, toiletries, everything else): $50

Total: $500

Leo (3yo)

Childcare / Preschool: $300 per week, for four days (after childcare rebate).

Food and groceries: $70 (including snacks).

Travel: $10 a week for petrol.

Clothes: $10

Toys: $20

Activities and outings: $50

Medication and doctor's appointments: $10

Miscellaneous (furniture, accessories, toiletries, everything else): $50

Total: $460

Combined total for two kids: $960 per week.


Caitlin - Two kids (3yo and 2yo)

Food and groceries: $250 a week on groceries, plus an extra $40 on treats through the week.

Extracurricular activities: $80

School fees: Currently just the one at $60 per week for one day of pre-kindy.

Play dates, birthday parties and other extras: $30-$60 per week.

Clothing: $240 for shoes, $250 for seasonal pieces like summer bathers, hats, winter jackets and rain boots etc. And $300 to $600 on clothing every season (three months). From $60.80 to $83.85 a week.

Total: $520.80 to $573.85 on two kids.

Cost of raising a child
Image: Supplied.

Sarah - Two kids (4yo and 1yo)

Food and groceries: About $200 per week for both kids. My four-year-old takes lunch and snacks from home to preschool and the youngest eats at home every day. I also give the nanny cash to spend on the kids as needed so maybe add another $20 a week to the food budget. We also spend $20-30 on food at cafes or when we are out and about. So the total is around $245.

Extracurricular activities: $25 weekly on Little Athletics and swimming lessons.

Transport: None. I walk him to preschool.

Childcare fees: About $400 a week for preschool and $1000 a week for a nanny. It’s expensive but it's the only arrangement that works for us. $1400 in total.

Parties and weekend activities: We spent about $20 per birthday present, on average 10 times a year. Some weekends we go to the beach or park and might only spend $5 on an ice cream for my eldest. I try to take snacks and water from home to minimise the need to buy food when we are out. Other weekends we could easily spend $100 on the kids, usually on an activity or experience. [Editor's note: we averaged this to about $55 a week].

Total: $1725 on two kids.


Shona - Milla (5yo)

Food and groceries: Maybe $80 per week.

School: Kinder per term is $420. We are lucky to have grandma daycare so no costs involved there (apart from her sanity). This roughly equates to $42 a week.

Extracurricular activities: She does swimming lessons and gymnastics which is $200 ($20 a week) for swimming and $130 ($13 a week) for gymnastics per school term. A total of $33 per week.

Pocket money: None.

Transport costs: Approximately $10 a week, but no other transport expenses.

Play dates and parties: About $20 per week.

Clothing and shoes: They grow so quickly, especially their feet so I would say if you broke in down per term for shoes, underwear, socks clothing etc it would be $100-$150. Roughly $15 a week.

Total: $200


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Michael - Charlie (8yo)

Food and groceries: $90.00 and $5 for a weekly Friday lunch order.

Extra curricular activities: $50 for Gymnastics and $13 for pool entry (I’m a former swim teacher so no lessons).

Outings: $70 on restaurants, movies, ice creams etc.

School fees: Annually $400 school feeds, $100 on uniforms (averaged over the life of the uniform), $140 school excursions. This works out to be $12.30 a week. Luckily Charlie has the best Nan in the world, so we don't have any childcare costs.

Misc. memberships: $115 zoo membership, and $99 museum membership (annually). Around $4.12 a week.

Holidays: We budget for one major trip and a few road trips throughout the year. $4000 for the both of us, and figures out to be around $77 weekly.

Birthdays: $360 (annually). We spend roughly $30 on each birthday party gift, and Charlie goes to at least 12 in a year. Roughly $7 weekly.


Clothing and shoes: $600 annually, so $11.54 weekly.

Pocket money: We haven’t started with any pocket money as yet, although Charlie does take all of the coins from my pockets each night to put into her own bank account. Currently has around $1,600.00.

Total: An average weekly spend of roughly $319.57.


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Rikki - Summer (8yo)

School lunches, snacks and groceries: $60

Extracurricular activities: It's all pre-paid at the time of registration but we have to buy extras along the way. Maybe $20.

School fees: $10 for excursions.

Childcare: $75 on before and after school care.

Going out, play dates and birthday parties: This varies immensely but let's say around $30 in a week.

Total: $195

Cost of raising a child
Image: Supplied.

Sarah - Luca (9yo)

School lunches, snacks and groceries: $65

Extracurricular activities: Karate $30 per week, swimming $25 per week, school choir $20 per week, piano $30 per week.

School fees: $16,000 a year, so $300 per week on average including if I was paying for school holidays.

Childcare fees: After school-care $45 (after rebates).

Pocket money: $5 per week for unpacking the dishwasher and looking after the veggie garden and worm farm.

Going out, play dates and birthday parties: $30 per week. He has an average of one birthday party per weekend.

Total: $550

Cost of raising a child
Image: Supplied.

Helen - Jessica (12yo)

Food: $70. Eats avocado every day, so is destined to never own a house.

Sport: $22. Weekly martial arts class.

Transport: $10. She's chauffeured most places, so there's the cost of petrol, plus occasional trips on public transport.

School expenses: $10. Goes to a public school, but there are outings, uniforms, fundraising sausage sizzles, etc.

Pocket money: $20. No set amount, but most weeks she gets to spend money on a book or a magazine, or an in-game purchase for one of the games on my phone.

Outings: $10. Every weekend there's some kind of family outing, sometimes to an art exhibition but more often to Bunnings.

Clothes: $10. She's not yet a teenager, so is happy to wear the same few t-shirts over and over, thankfully.

Total: $152