Can I afford to continue my pregnancy? Where will I live?
|Some women consider the costs of raising a child as part of the decision-making process. The best way to get accurate and up-to-date information about your options is to talk to organisations like:|
- your local Centrelink office
- a financial counsellor
- a local transitional housing manager (THM).
|The table below may guide you in assessing the costs of having children in Australia and working out living costs for you and/or partner.|
Estimating the costs
|This table is used by the Family Court of Australia to estimate the costs of raising children. It’s updated regularly to reflect inflation and cost variations. Costs will vary depending on your personal expenses and where you live – i.e. metropolitan, rural or regional Australia.|
Costs of children vary according to the number of children in the family and parental income (and whether one or both parents are working). The figures in the table are based on a one-child one-income family with an income of $1002.70 gross per week.
Lee Table (updated 2006)
|Source: Lee, D. (1989), A program for calculating the direct costs of children based on the 1984 ABS Household Expenditure Survey, AIFS, Melbourne|
|*Other - Includes medical, dental, education other miscellaneous costs.|
Services & entitlements
Paid parental leave, maternity payment (baby bonus), maternity leave
|In Australia you may be eligible for either paid parental leave or the baby bonus: payments from the Australian government upon the birth of your child. There are strict eligibility requirements around these schemes including considering your income and your resident status. For women who work, some employers offer paid or unpaid maternity leave – these leave payment vary widely throughout employers and industries. |
For more information see:
|If you continue your pregnancy and have a child, you may be eligible for Australian government Centrelink payments – e.g. the Baby Bonus, Parenting Payment, Child Care Tax Rebate, Family Tax Benefits A or B or Rent Assistance. Payments will vary depending on your financial situation. It’s best to talk to Centrelink and the Family Assistance Office to get accurate information.|
For more information:
- Centrelink’s Family Assistance Office Tel: 13 61 50 or multilingual hotline 13 12 02
|The two main types of housing available to women on low-to-middle incomes in Australia are ‘private rental’ and ‘public housing’. Both can be difficult to access and afford. Public housing is managed by the Office of Housing. In most cases there is a wait of many years before it’s available to applicants. |
For more information:
- On public housing: Office of Housing website or call: 1300 650 172
- On how to look for housing in Victoria: Visit WIRE website.
|This is a guide to average rental costs in Melbourne in December 2009. Rental costs vary significantly across inner and outer suburbs in Melbourne.|
|Source: Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Housing, ‘Rental Report December Quarter 2009’,|
|*median = the midpoint in the range of numbers|
|For up-to-date information on rental prices across local areas see Office of Housing Rental Report|
|If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, these websites can help with referrals to transitional housing services:|
Preparing your own budget3
|You might like to work out your own budget, including your living expenses, likely income and the estimated costs of raising a child. We have prepared a worksheet for you as part of the PDF version of this information sheet.|
|1. Lee, D. (1989), A program for calculating the direct costs of children based on the 1984 ABS Household Expenditure Survey, AIFS, Melbourne, |
/FLC/Home/Property+and+Money+Matters/Costs+of+maintaining+children/>, viewed December 2009.
2. Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Housing, ‘Rental Report December Quarter 2009’, <http://www.housing.vic.gov.au/publications/reports/reports/rental-report>,
viewed online June 2010.
3. Budget proforma adapted from the Royal Women’s Hospital, Women’s Social Support Services, ‘Financial Assessment Guidelines’, June 2010.