Guess which age Aussie children will cost you the most ...

Let’s play a  game. At what age do you think your children cost you the most?

Before birth when you are setting up the nursery?

When they are toddlers and attending expensive preschools?

When they first start high school and want an i-everthing?

The answer is…children are most expensive at the age of 17. So just when you think you almost rid of them (I kid) they costs you a huge chunk of change. The trick when it comes to the family budget is to be prepared.

The average cost of raising children of all ages in Australia has increased, again. It’s no wonder Aussie couples are delaying having children or planning to have less of them. The cost of raising Australian children is now $250 per week, or 20 per cent of the average weekly wage. The new figures released by Suncorp in their Cost of Kids Report factored in food, health, education and single parenting.

It’s due to big expenses that 17 year old’s cost their parents so much. Think vehicles, schoolies, gap years, tertiary education…

The study showed children cost their parents the most in the following order:

Teenagers ($258 per week)

Infants ($220 per week)

Toddlers ($185 per week)

Primary-school aged children ($180 per week)

The reason for the increase in cost across all age brackets is said to be childcare and healthcare as well as increased extra-curricular activities.

American movies always discuss the so-called “College Fund”. Not all Australian families do this and assume children can pursue further education through government loan schemes.

Now that we know the age of 17 is when we’ll be hit up for a monster amount of cash, it is worth setting up bank accounts for each of our children and just committing to contributing a small amount each week, fortnight or month. It adds up. I know I’m banking on my kids finding themselves after school jobs and working as they study.

My dream is to send them to Europe for a gap year before they start uni (if they want to go to uni) but seeing as we can’t afford even domestic holidays now, I doubt sending all three children to my homeland of Italy will be viable.

I have an account for my son Philip that has $100. I know other families who had set up accounts for their children’s futures and have sadly had to use those funds for emergency expenses.

If we can get serious about these sorts of accounts we can concentrate on supporting our children as they transition from high school into the next phase of their lives instead of freaking out about how we can afford it all.

Do your children have bank accounts set up for them?