Lifestyle funding –
Childrens activities: plan ahead for costly programs

lifestyle funding need - two lads contesting a ball in a childrens activity requiring funding from the family budgetIn an article published on 2 September 2011 in news.com.au (authored by Sonja Koremans), it was claimed that one of the modern dilemmas for families is budgeting for lifestyle funding: particularly, funding children’s activities. Some extracts from that article, follow –

Many households are forsaking financial security and family well-being by taking out loans and running up credit cards to pay for the schedules of their overbooked offspring.

…a recent survey (in the UK) found that the cost of sporting and cultural activities for children has risen by 67 per cent over the past decade, double the rate of inflation in the same period. [Figures in Australia are less well researched, but there is evidence the cost increases are constant. In a conversation we listened in to early in 2017, it was revealed that the cost of raising a child in ‘middle class’ Australia, from birth to early twenties, is in the vicinity $750,000.]

…when it comes to things that affect us emotionally, we’re usually prepared to pay a hefty premium for goods and services. And there is nothing that hits our emotions harder than parent guilt

Parents will incur these costs: planning such lifestyle funding is imperative

If families are going to encourage their children to undertake such activities – and particularly those that come at the ever-increasing costs mentioned above – we at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd, strongly encourage an early start to accumulation of funding for them (a similar strategy to a children’s education fund).

In our Library article ‘Regular Saving aids Investment success’ we demonstrated that the earlier such programs are started, the less the financial commitment we need to make on a regular basis – and the more manageable the process. Regular savings (possibly even lightly-geared); or specific purpose insurance bonds – are a couple of strategies that could be considered.

To ensure you are adequately able to cope with these costs at the appropriate time, seek advice from your Continuum Financial Planners adviser: phone our office on (07) 3421 3456; or use the Contact Us facility on our website – either way, you will receive prompt and courteous attention.

[This post was originally published in September 2011: it has been refreshed/ updated occasionally, most recently in March 2017.]