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Cost cutting: What Aussie kids are ‘going without’

Aussie kids are also missing out on some items as their parents fight the rising cost of living.

A composite image of Australian $100 notes and kids playing in a playground to represent the rising cost of living for kids.
Kids are also going without as the cost of living climbs. (Source: Getty)

Aussie families have had to make big sacrifices to scrape by, including cutting back on supplies for their kids, according to new research.

According to Finder’s Parenting Report 2023 - which surveyed 1,033 Australian parents of children under 12 - almost half of Aussie parents (45 per cent) admitted their child had ‘gone without’ something in the past 12 months due to rising costs. That’s equivalent to more than 1 million Aussie families doing it tough.

Children have had to miss out on new clothes (17 per cent), technology (13 per cent), and books (6 per cent) as the cost-of-living crisis worsens. A concerning one in 10 children (9 per cent) have had to go without food at some stage.

Finder money expert Rebecca Pike said it had been a challenging year for many families.

“Household income is just not stretching far enough, with many having to miss out on essentials and luxuries. As things like mortgage, rent and groceries skyrocket, something’s got to give unfortunately,” Pike said.

Almost one in five children (18 per cent) had to miss out on extracurriculars because their parents didn’t have the money to afford those activities.

The research coincided with findings in the UNSW Poverty In Australia 2022 Report which found there were 761,000 Australian children living below the poverty line.

The poverty line works out to $489 a week for a single adult and $1,027 a week for a couple with two children.

Pike urged parents to start an emergency fund so they didn’t find themselves in a situation where they couldn’t put food on the table.

“Small amounts slowly start to add up and provide a buffer when times are tough. Remember, loyalty doesn’t pay when it comes to financial products,” Pike said.

“Some savvy swaps – like cutting back on subscriptions or refinancing your home loan – could save you hundreds of dollars.

“If you’re still under financial stress, consider contacting your providers and asking for a payment plan, and calling the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.”

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