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Parents loading up on debt for baby's first year


Parents were going into a steep credit card debt of up to $15,000 to pay for essentials in the first year of a baby’s life, according to a survey from RACQ Bank.

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The bank found 44 percent of parents surveyed were spending more than $5000 on essentials in the first year of their child’s life, with almost 10 percent spending more than $15,000.

RACQ Bank spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said the costs could be difficult to manage, particularly when two out of three families said they were on a reduced income for up to 12 months during this time.

“Almost 50 percent surveyed told us they used credit cards, buy-now pay-later options or personal loans to pay for these expenses. Concerningly, of those who had used a credit option, more than half were still paying off an outstanding debt.”

She said there were some tricks new and soon-to-be parents could do to ease the financial pressure.

“Anything that impacts your income or living expenses should prompt you to check your budget and a new baby is certainly going to have an impact,” she said.

“The earlier you can start planning for the new costs associated with your baby, and budget for any parental leave you or your partner are taking, the better.

“Take some time to look at your income, your current and future expenses, and list what you expect you’ll need to purchase for bub. See what you can cut back on so you’re not living beyond your means.

“Use your leave entitlements smartly and talk to your employer about your options and what works best for your family. If your budget allows, you might be able to take your leave benefits at half pay to extend the amount of time you have off while still having money coming in.”


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