Raising a six to 16-year-old is six million times more expensive than a six-month-old.

Did you know it would be this expensive to raise a child?

So we all know that tonight is budget night and we have all heard the forthcoming promises of pleasing sounding childcare reforms, and not-so-pleasing sounding paid parental leave reforms but what it is all contingent on seems to be getting last year’s stalled budget through Senate.

The big sticking point is the 2014 budget savings to family tax benefits, which include cutting family payments to single-income families when children turn six.

Love her or loathe her Tasmanian independent Jacqui Lambie has vocalised what many of us think:

“Any moron knows it costs a lot more to be bringing up a child as they get older,” she said.

I am gonna cost you SO much money.

But obviously they don’t.... because they are still trying to push through with this change.

In fact, the cost of raising kids between the ages of zero to six and six to 18 is hardly comparable. Be it for a single-income family or a double income family.

The most recent modelling on the cost of raising kids in Australia, released last year by AMP and The University of Canberra, found that raising two kids in Australia for a family on a middle income will set you back $812,000.

For a higher income family, the cost rises to $1.09 million from the time the kids are born to when they leave home, while a lower income family can get away with spending $474,000.

The report found that the cost of older children are significantly more expensive than younger children, with a child aged 15 to 17 three times more expensive than a child aged zero to four.


It found that from birth to leaving home, the greatest costs associated with raising children are transport and food. Middle-income couples add an additional $143,000 to their grocery bill and an extra $159,000 on transport as they raise two children.

For comedian Kitty Flanagan view on the costs of raising a child watch this video here. Post continues after.

The facts, quite clearly laid out by AMP modelling, showed that children cost more as they get older.

To prove my point, here is a very nice self-explanatory graph from the clever folk at AMP:

And here is another:

Clever, aren't they?

Aside from the obvious costs of health care, nappies, housing, and well stacks and stacks of brightly-coloured plastic toys a child aged zero to six is easy to fund compared to when they get to school age.

1. Shoes.

I have three kids. For me three kids equals three sets of school shoes, three sets of gum boots, three sets of soccer boots, three sets of ugg boots, three sets of thongs, three sets of sports shoes, and if you have girls - three sets of ballet slippers, three sets of those shiny light up shoes, three sets of those diamanté encrusted slips ons...and three sets of those brown ankle boots they will never actually wear because they aren’t sparkly.


And then they become teenagers.

Three sets. And then they lose one...

2. Birthday parties.

Sure having a birthday party for a one, two or three-year-old might be a few bucks. All those lost pins in pin-the-tail on the donkey, but have you ever taken eight ten-year-old girls to the movies? Or seven 11-year-old boys to laser tag? Be still my throbbing wallet.

3. Food.

My three kids are only four, six and nearly eight and the amount they eat on a daily basis makes me want to cry as I once again go to make a cup of tea (just one) and yet again there is no milk.

It is estimated that middle-income households spend $143,000 on food for their children from birth until they finish their education. And there isn’t a politician alive that can argue pureed peas and pumpkin is pricer than a teenage boy’s taco craving.

Just leave me a splash of milk, or a bikkie.

4. Laundry power.

I've told you about the shoes, now imagine the socks that go with the shoes.

5. Technology.

Sure you might be counting the cost of that infra red baby sensor as technology for your tot but by the time they are six they are no doubt buying up big in that app store and by the time they are 16 they will have, if not, a phone and an iPad, then a laptop and a go pro and don't forget an X-Box, a Playstation and a WII.

6. Activities.

Get this: a middle income family spends spends $101,000 on movie tickets, toys, dance lessons and zoo trips per child from birth to the age of 18.

Do you want to digest that while you mentally calculate your own schedule? Soccer fees, music lessons, days at the museum. Karate training, AFL, craft activities. And this doesn’t even take into account holidays, education and transport to and from these many, many activities.

You will remember the days of gymbaroo and playgroup with envy.

Have you seen the cost of these things?

And have you seen the cost of a sauso at the Saturday footy sausage sizzle these days?

What do you find the most astonishing costs associated with raising your kids?

Want more? Try:

Parents can expect $1500 a year as part of childcare reforms to be announced today.

You’ll never believe how much it will cost you to put your child through school.