It has become official thanks to Suncorp Bank we now know which state in Australia is the most frugal due to their spending habits. The state with the most money saving habits is Queensland. The study looked into the spending behaviour of parents in all states and found that Queensland parents were the most frugal.
Kids out there in Queensland might be scowling at their parents right now, but those parents looking to learn an extra tip on how to save more money when it comes to kids could learn from Queensland parents. The ‘Cost of Kids’ report revealed that those adults spent roughly $1,230 each month on their children, $140 less than the national average.
In Australia the national average cost for raising a child is $300,000 with the most expensive age group being between 9 and 11 years old. Therefore the question we need to ask is where are these parents saving money on their children without depriving them of all the normalities that other children have? The secret is that Queensland parents according to Suncorp Bank save money on travel and food the most to reduce their monthly bills.
Chris Rothwell, the regional manager for North Queensland Suncorp Bank said, “In north Queensland 30% of parents can actually walk their kids to school”. This is a great opportunity to save money on travel as well as spend quality undivided time with the kids each day. The other major factor for money saving is the expensive travel options associated with big cities and the long commute times from living in suburbia areas.
Supermarket trends also differ, Queensland parents according to the report buy more generic food products and based on their spending patterns appear to be better budgeters in terms of grocery shopping. According to bank account patterns two thirds of parents also pack school lunches for their kids too, helping reduce the cost of feeding their kids as opposed to sending them to the tuckshop.
There has also been a shift in expense for kids, from the report the bank found one of the most interesting factors was that the middle age group had shifted to be more expensive compared to the teens. This spike in costs is correlated with rising childcare costs e.g. before and afterschool care as well as sports and entertainment.
This age group is also most prone to growth spurts that cause clothing costs to increase. Buying school uniforms before Christmas can mean that a child has grown out of the clothes before school starts, so timing can be crucial for saving money too.
The least expensive age groups are 0-2 years and 15-17 years when raising children. The single most costly element of raising a child is food. Due to the report this is the factor that has the most potential to destroy a household budget. 53% of parents of parents claimed that they consistently overspent their budget due to food purchases.
Technology is another costly area for parents. Whilst younger children’s technology demands are considerably lower they do rise with age. If parents run a tight ship at home then they can get away without buying any technology for their kids until they reach 11 or 12 years old. However, once the teen years begin and kids want to communicate with anyone but their parents, technology demands intensify.
Setting a Good Example
Parents will always want the best for their children so it’s understandable that budgets might get blown on providing kids with their demands, but a budget needs to be adhered too if the entire family ecosystem can function efficiently.
A realistic budget is the best starting point, but if it’s super tight with little room for manoeuvrability then there is no doubt that it will be broken regularly. Saving all that money might be great but if the budget doesn’t have movement to accommodate normal everyday expenses and minor mistakes then this can be stressful. Kids are unpredictable to a certain extent and this can result in big fluctuations in monthly expenditure especially as they grow up and their habits change.
Suncorp Bank recommend speaking with your bank to find out what budgeting services they have to offer which might be able to help you on a monthly basis. Being a responsible parent it’s a very important lesson to teach our kids about budgeting therefore using all the best tools available and all the tips provided by Buckscoop on a daily basis can assist you in this challenge.