A young woman in her mid-30s is "terrified" she won't be able to have children due to rising costs — a concern shared by millions of Australians.
Erin Hutchinson and her partner live together, work full-time and are trying to save to have children. But "every time [they] get close to that goal, something comes along and just smacks [them] in the face".
"I grew up with three older brothers and always assumed I would become a mum," the animal attendant living northeast of Melbourne told Yahoo News Australia. "And as my age is creeping up and my savings are going down, it's becoming more and more apparent that it's totally financially irresponsible for me to have a child, at this point."
Following a conversation with friends, she vented her frustrations online, saying she is "genuinely afraid that [she's] not going to be able to fulfil [her] dream of motherhood". "It terrifies me," she said on TikTok.
"For middle-to-low income earners, majority of the conversation is going to be around the cost of living," she told Yahoo. "Any time my friends and I catch up, we're all having the same discussion. We're all talking about working full-time, not being able to afford groceries all of the sudden, bills are going up and there just doesn't seem to be an end to it."
Cost of living statistics of raising a child
The cost of raising a child in Australia has increased more than 10 per cent between 2016 and 2021
Parents spend 186 per cent more to keep their child 'connected' with technology each month
Educational costs have risen by 196 per cent
The average parent spends $402 a month on feeding a child, up 60 per cent from 2016
Source: Suncorp Cost of Kids Report 2016 to 2021
When asked what her options are at the moment, she said she would have to limit herself to having one child which is "more sustainable", but even that "depends on the probability" that she could potentially end up with twins or triplets.
Aussies say they can’t afford to have babies
New research from baby-products subscription service Pebbl revealed a third (34 per cent) of Australians believed the rising cost of living made it too hard for young parents to provide the necessary things for a child.
The research found a further one sixth (14 per cent) of Australians felt they were unable to afford having children, 9 per cent had delayed having a baby, and 6 per cent had decided not to have a baby at all due to rising costs.
Additionally, a fifth of Australians (19 per cent) said if they had to provide for a baby, it would consume a significant proportion of their savings, while 11 per cent believed having a baby would cause them to go into debt.
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