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Budgeting and affording children

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  • Budgeting and affording children

    My sister who is 24 is about to give birth. She is pretty worried because she has worked out that she and her boyfriend will have to live on $150 per week after rent is paid (on the father's wage). Some of the money will also have to go on food and bills.

    They are going to be dirt poor. The father makes ok money but on one wage they are going to be struggling to make ends meet.

    How do you guys afford to support your family? Do you stay at home or work part time to help? Also how long after she has the baby can my sister go back to work?

  • #2
    For maternity leave, she can legally go back to work 6 weeks after the birth. Though I'd imagine she'd want a little more recovery/bonding time.

    From the information I've read on this board, perhaps your sister should look into what Centrelink assistance is available. If she's a full time stay at home mother and her partner earns a wage, she could be entitled to parenting payments to supplement her partner's income.

    Excuse me if this is a little forward, but has your sister looked into anything before this point? It seems awfully late to be figuring out where the money's going to come from, seeing as the baby is going to arrive soon?

    *edit* I have moved this post to the Family Finances section
    Last edited by Odessa; 07-02-2006, 14:34.


    • #3
      Your sister will have to wait 6 weeks before going back to work. (This is in QLD, could be different in other states.) Depending on how she feels, not just pyhsically but also mentally, she can go back to work earlier with a Dr. certificate stating she is fit for work. Having said that most daycare centres won't take babies under 6 weeks.

      Lots of families struggle to make ends meet after bub arrives. My partner and I had to curb or spending habits once I left work. Has your sister looked into family assistance. Has she taken into account the baby bonus? These are all avenues that could help her out, or at least buy her more time at home with bub.


      • #4
        That's a hard one to answer - cause its different for everyone. Everyone can budget differently depending on their lifestyles. I think even if you had $500 spare a week - you could still say that is dirt poor (if you know what I mean).

        I am lucky have been able to continue working from home. I am an Accountant for a family business - and I have my computer set up at home - so I can access files from work. Still its only part-time - but the extra cash does come in handy - but I can fit it into my schedule rather than a boss' schedule.

        I think your sister just has to assess where money is spent, sometimes entertainment, clothes, take-away are put aside to and are then more special when they are treats. Not that they will be going out a lot anyway.

        A good way to budget - is too look at what income is coming in - less all your must pay expenses and see what is left over. If you have say $5 spare each week - put this in a savings account first before you spend any other money. That way, you will feel better for having some extra money in case of an emergency.

        But if she is concerned about wanting to go back to work - is there anything she might like to do from home? Tutoring, administration work etc... I think some child care centres will take babies from 6 weeks.


        • #5
          Hey Belli,

          Your sister should deifinitely look into family assistance, she should get the baby bonus of $3000 and then a regular payment on top of that - depending on how much her partner earns.


          • #6
            Excuse me if this is a little forward, but has your sister looked into anything before this point? It seems awfully late to be figuring out where the money's going to come from, seeing as the baby is going to arrive soon?

            My sister's pregnancy was not planned. She had been told that as a result of a medical condition she could not have children so as a result, when she became pregnant, of course she wanted to keep it regardless of whatever financial circumstances they were in.

            Now the time has come for her to leave work she is worried about money. She just found out from Centrelink that she is entitled to $20 per week.

            She is pretty young (24) and we don't know of many people we can talk to about this as having kids at her age is rare where we come from. Now I know why!

            People have to be able to afford children somehow! I'm just wondering what others do to keep their heads above water. Tips or hints that I could pass on would be helpful.
            Last edited by belli; 07-02-2006, 14:48.


            • #7
              If she's renting, moving to a cheaper place can be a money-saving option, as is getting rid of any extra subscriptions like Foxtel and internet etc.

              Budgeting for bills, food etc is really helpful, if she lives near an ALDI tell her to start shopping there! I switched to ALDI and their prices are so cheap, I save heaps of money shopping there. My SIL buys her nappies from ALDI (Mamia brand) and swears by them, they're also cheaper than other brands.

              If possible, breastfeeding will help her save $100s on formula, I know that's not an option for everybody though...

              If I think of anything else I'll post it up.

              simplesavings published this money-saving guide for new mothers
              Last edited by Odessa; 07-02-2006, 14:52.


              • #8
                She intends to breast feed.

                Rent is already at about the minimum they could expect to pay to be in the city and not too far from the childcare they have booked, father's work etc.

                They have no cable or any expenses other than 2 mobiles and house insurance. The father rides a bike to work so they don't even have transport costs.

                I will tell her about ALDI so that she can shop there.

                Rent really is the main killer in this city. Grrr.


                • #9

                  People often talk about how expensive babies are, but in a lot of ways they're only as expensive as you want them to be. You can spend thousands on toys and cute clothes, but you don't have to!

                  My best tip is to buy clothes one or more sizes up. The bub doesn't mind, and you get so much more use out of them. Places like Big W and Best and Less have great cheap clothes and toys that are pretty good quality.

                  My other tip is to hold off buying some things until the baby comes home and your sister can work out what sort of bub she has. For example, we bought a large pram and I've use it exactly twice! DS was more of a baby carrier man, and now he's in a stroller! He also loves to sit and watch me do things, so we invested in a good highchair, but you can pick up basic ones for cheap.

                  Best of luck to your sis



                  • #10
                    some good advice i can give, is to shop for baby clothes at your local op shop, they are fab I go down to the opshop nearly every 2nd day, most clothes are only worn a few times


                    • #11
                      HEY DARKSTAR,

                      That was a great web page! Thanks!


                      • #12
                        No worries, Len. I'm a subscriber myself, there's so much information on there it can be hard to take in!


                        • #13
                          Are you sure your sister is right about $20 a week from centrelink? Sounds abit low. My sister's DH earns quite alot of money (runs his own business). Without getting into the nity grity..over $1000 a week, and she is still entitled to more then what your sister has been told.


                          • #14
                            I would get ur sister to look into centrelink again because if shes not working shes guaranteed a min of like $50 a week plus then depending on her partners income she may get a little more on top of that!

                            My partner earns a significant amount a week (We have a mortgage, foxtel, internet and lots of luxuries+we're saving for our honeymoon) and I still get a fair bit more than $20 a week. If u go to u can use the estimator. Hope that helps.


                            • #15
                              if your sister is on maternity leave from a job and is going back to it, that may be why family assistance is so low.