Aussies share what their finances would be like without kids: ‘Brutal’

If you hadn’t had kids, where would you be in your life?

A composite image of a dad hugging his child on a windy day and two comments from the Reddit thread of people talking about the pros and cons of having kids.
Having kids can bring a lot of joy, but can also drain your bank account. (Source: Reddit r/AusFinance / Getty)

No one brings a child into the world because they think it’s going to make them money but, as the cost-of-living crisis bites, some Aussies are sharing just how different their lives would have been without kids.

On the popular AusFinance subreddit, one user asked, ‘Financially speaking - How was your life before and after you had kids?’ and the responses were mixed.

“Without kids? I'd probably be retired,” one user said.

Another joked "I have three kids and no money. I used to have no kids and three money."

“I would be living in luxury without kid(s). But clothes, school, the house, child care… all brutal. Totally understand why people don't want (or rather can't afford) kids,” another said.

However, some were quick to point out that the change of lifestyle that comes with having kids can actually help.

“We haven’t done an overseas trip, we don’t go out at night, and our social engagements have decreased a lot. I’m also WFH 100 per cent to help out. We’ve definitely saved a lot of money from not having as much social and entertainment cost,” one comment said.

“I have three kids under 8. We actually have more money now. But, that is because my husband and I have got better jobs and have been promoted at work. We were always happy to take second-hand clothes and shoes,” another user said.

“Kids cost what you want to spend. Kids are happy going to parks, beach, library, the city.”

Less income and high childcare fees

Skyhigh childcare costs and the hit having kids puts on the household income was also a hot topic.

"Most expensive thing is childcare We are out of pocket 1$300 a week with 2 kids and no subsidy in inner Sydney"

"The biggest spend is daycare for me, we spent $20,000 for one kid 5 days. We’ve got a 3 year old and a 5 month old. Wife will go back to work 4 days next year, so factoring in 1 less wage for another year."

Another commenter spoke about the impact starting a family has had on his partner's earning capacity and career.

"It's the impact on my wife's career. Her work would not let her return part time, so she had to "quit". Since then her work has taken a huge knock. She's working again a few days but money is no way near what it was."

For others, starting a family and the added financial pressure was the catalyst to earn and achieve more.

"We have grown in our careers and moved to to the country which has meant we’re not going out as much in the city."

"Weirdly enough, having my child made me look for a better job and upskill, so we're actually doing heaps better than before."

Others while acknowledging that their finances had taken a hit, said the decision to have a family was far more than fiscal.

"Life before kids was more selfish. Life after is richer, even with less "spare" money."

The cost of having a child

In 2018, the government found the weekly costs of raising a child was $140 per week for unemployed families and $170 per week for low-paid families. That amounts to between $7,280 and $8,840 per year.

A recent survey from Compare the Market found nearly one in five people (16 per cent) wouldn’t have kids or would delay having them due to skyrocketing costs.

More than a quarter of millennials (28 per cent) - who are currently in their late 20s to early 40s - said they wouldn’t have kids or would delay having them. Two in five (42 per cent) of gen Zs felt the same way.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our free daily newsletter.