I’m guessing that when a small child urinates in a public pool, as they do, they’re thinking: “Hey, who’s going to notice one little wee in a pool this big?”
“Even if I peed 2.7 times, who’s gonna know?”
The little brats, sadly, are spot on. We won’t notice. The problem with public pools is that they’re filled with hundreds of little kids thinking exactly the same damn thing ... Yeeewwwww!
Anyhow, imagine a pool filled with $2.7 million. Who’s going to notice $3400 worth of kiddy urine? It’s a tiny fraction of 1 per cent.
One million dollars is what it costs to raise a kid these days, according to social demographer McCrindle Research. If you have the physiologically impossible conception of 2.7 children, then you will spend roughly $2.7 million raising the little blighters.
In this/last week’s/month’s mini-budget, the government has reduced the baby bonus for second and subsequent children from $5000 per child to $3000. (Multiply the extra 1.7 children by $2000 and you’ll get $3400 less than you would previously have received.)
Right, let’s state the stupidly obvious. Having tin lids is not a money-making exercise.
As far as wealth destruction goes, kids rank alongside, maybe even above, cars as a money-sucking tool. Literally, they cost as much to service as a DeLorean time machine from “Back To The Future”.
So let me give you the simple secret to an awesomely prosperous, hedonistic, fun-filled and potentially debauched life.
Kids cost money. Barrow-loads of the stuff. They will keep you far poorer than even the worst drug habit.
Without ankle-biters, you’ll be able to earn more because they’ll suck up less of your time, you’ll have the mortgage paid off in 4.27 years (or less), you’ll be able to go on holidays in awesome places that don’t have kids’ clubs, and you won’t have to fork out for an extra round of i-Crud (iPads, iPhones, iPods) for 2.7 extra bodies in Chateau Adult.
But given most of us would rate the priceless utterings of ... “Daddy, I love you” over the alternative of not hearing that heart-warming stuff, what does the reduction in the kiddie bonus mean?
Two parts of three-eighths of the average bank balance of the nearest bankrupt you can find (maybe Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, who recent filed for bankruptcy in the US).
Kids are expensive, no doubt. So why did Treasurer Wayne Swan cut the budget for those having his predecessor’s (Peter Costello), “one for mum, one for dad and one for the country?”
Partly because the whole baby bonus was from a more prosperous time. When, Costello introduced it in 2002, the economy was, shall we say, in a different place.
Now, for Swan, it comes down to budgetary imperatives. The Gillard government, for political purposes, needs to have this year in surplus.
Monsieur Swan claimed that the reason for cutting the bonus for child number two onwards is that you don’t need two cots, you don’t need two prams and you don’t need two of many things, because you’ve already got them.
With all due respect, that’s codswallop.
DebtBoy and DebtGirl were 16 months apart. We had two kids in cots for two full years. When we travelled, we needed two portacots. We needed two car seats, then two car seat boosters.
Wayne, matey, kids don’t grow magically in a financially friendly time sequence like you’re thinking, dude.
But, equally, who gets pregnant for a baby bonus? If you’re having a baby for $5000 or $3000, you’re out of your mind.
Kids are awesome. But how many you have, if any, is a choice. If you think that an extra $3400 is for the encouragement, given the $2.7 million required to get them through to 18, then back to remedial maths lessons for you.
The $2000 lost for baby number two amounts to government help of 26 cents a day until they turn 21.
There are certain expenses involved in raising children that aren’t really negotiable – you don’t have a choice. However, plenty of others are completely about choice, including private schools, how much is spent on designer clothes and how many toys they own.
Six tips for reducing the cost of kids
Swallow your pride. Accept every useful piece of hand-me-downs offered. Clothes, cots, baby seats, change tables – take it all. Then, as Oprah says: “Pay if forward”. When you’re done with stuff, pass it on to grateful friends.
If private school education is important, start saving/investing when they’re born. Don’t leave it till they roll up to school.
If you’re planning several kids, buy unisex coloured clothes for their first few years. Blue is for boys and pink is for girls, but most other colours are for either.
Use the local toy library as a try-before-you-buy. Some toys they’ll use forever, others they never play with. Buy only the ones they really loved.
“You-owe-me-one” babysitting. Look after friends’ kids, so they can go out. Then they can return the favour.
Recycle unwanted or doubled up birthday gifts.
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Bruce Brammall is the author of Debt Man Walking (www.debtman.com.au) and a licensed financial adviser. email@example.com.