The cost of raising kids

If you’re thinking of having children, you need to do some careful financial planning.

the cost of raising kids

The most recent published government figures on the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years is R1 681 470, with food and education costing the most.


Don’t panic

Seeing such a big number can be scary, especially when you think about how you’re going to get money to pay for it all. Anxiety can affect your judgement and cause you to make bad financial choices. It’s also easy to lose sleep, but you shouldn’t. Make sure you get enough good quality sleep.

Remember, some costs, like school fees, won’t arrive for a few years, giving you time to prepare. Others can be negotiated or minimised by saving or using credit at the right time.

Tip: Be in control.  Avoid these common money mistakes.


Build your lifelong financial plan

According to a study on pregnancy in developing countries conducted between 1995 and 2008, 59% of pregnancies in South Africa were unplanned.

You can avoid financial frustration by creating a financial plan for your life. Including children in that plan will only make it easier to prepare for the costs. It will help you worry less about the future and reduce your chances of taking unnecessary debt.

Tip:  Build your lifelong financial plan and control your future.


Baby on a budget

Choosing to have children can be costly. At the bare minimum you’re going to need a supply of nappies, wipes, creams, powders, onesies, and babygrows. A cot and a car seat are essential too. According to new legislation effective 1 May 2015, all babies under 3 must be transported in a car seat when travelling in a car. 

Tip: Make your money work harder for you. Find out how this mom of 2  saved before and after her children were born.


Save for education

The cost of education continues to increase at a rate higher than general inflation. You could pay for education from your monthly income, but not without it having a serious impact on your lifestyle. Avoid that shock to your finances by starting to save as early as possible. 

Tip:  Open a tax-free savings account to save for your child’s education. Use our savings calculator to work out what your savings goals are.


Cut back on schooling costs

Going to school shouldn’t mean getting into debt. We spoke to a mother of 3 and asked her for some of her favourite ways to save on school costs such as stationery, transport and uniforms.

Tip: Read Sigrid Madonko’s 5 tips to cut schooling costs.


Shop and save

After education, food is the next highest cost to prepare for. With the recent increases in food prices, saving in this area might not seem possible. It might not be easy, but it is doable.


Other ways to pay for education

If you have older children and you have a budget shortfall or didn’t manage to save any money, there are a few other ways to pay for your child's education.

Tip: Check out these 5 ways to pay for an education.

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