A quarter of mums are financially worse off by returning to work

A quarter of working mums are financially worse off by returning to work and putting their children in childcare, according to a new report.

Surprised?  Me neither.

The survey, run by Careforkids.com.au is reported in this story by Elissa Doherty in the Herald Sun.  It says that costs of childcare have risen by up to $25 a day after changes were brought in earlier this year.  The story also warns that more parents might be forced to pull their children from care.

We wrote earlier this year about why we think the changes are a good idea, but acknowledged that being from NSW, where the costs may have already been absorbed, the impact may have been felt less here than elsewhere.

In our family, over half of my income is spent on childcare.  I love my job, and consider myself to be well paid, but it still bothers me sometimes.

On these occasions, I’m reminded that that I also benefit from the income I don’t see – my superannuation.

I know it’s a boring subject, but knowing that I’m earning more than just the dollars dropped into my bank account makes me feel better.

Australian women aren’t particularly ready for retirement – retirement payouts in 2009 were approximately half the super balance of men.

I know deep down that superannuation matters, when I force myself to think about long term finances, so when the childcare cost vs pay packet question comes up, knowing I am doing something ‘financially sensible’ without making any effort makes me feel better.

In even better news, the government has recently announced changes to the amount of compulsory superannuation you receive.  The superannuation  rate will gradually increase from 9% to 12% between 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2019 which means in a few months you will be earning a little bit more without even knowing it.  And being financially sensible.

Feel better now?  Hope so.  Happy Easter!

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