Inflexible hours, difficult co-workers and little downtime, there’s no tougher job than being a parent. And with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many Aussies to work from home, raising a child has reached new difficulty levels.
In fact, more than two-thirds of parents said they need their partner on parental leave to share duties during the COVID-19 period, according to new research by ING.
The top three reasons for parents feeling like this included limited contact with friends and family (65%), feelings of isolation and loneliness (59%) and a lack of ‘down time’ from parenthood (56%).
“The COVID pandemic has amplified the need for parental leave equality in Australia, but this is by no means a new issue and one we know Aussie families need addressed,” said ING head of retail banking, Melanie Evans.
However there might be some positives for parents raising children during COVID-19.
More than one-third of fathers (35%) have reported that their boss is ‘more understanding’ of their responsibilities, while 33% say their colleagues have become ‘more compassionate’ after seeing their family through video calls.
“Perhaps the silver lining of the pandemic is the fact it has helped improve the understanding of what it’s like to juggle work while raising a family in Australia and encouraged more employers to flex according to the needs of working parents and carers,” says Evans.
This research correlates with data from Mozo’s Pink Recession Report, which found that 28% of women act as a primary caregiver, while 67% of men only take three months of paternity leave.
From a financial standpoint, only 10% of parents are in a good financial position and are making regular contributions to their savings. Younger parents between the ages of 18 and 24 were also reportedly the most financially vulnerable group, with one-third in debt.
“Having a child is stepping into the great unknown. It’s a complex, wonderful, exhausting and life-altering experience, but unfortunately, many parents are struggling to keep the wheels turning,” says Rasmussen.
“The sad reality is that for many parents across Australia, having a child or children is synonymous with financial strain and more workplace pressure.”
How younger families can get ahead
Whether you’re planning on expanding your family or have just welcomed a new bundle of joy, getting savvy with your finances is essential. Because while having a tight budget can keep you from overspending, there are other ways to keep costs low.
Some of the ways younger families can cut expenses include:
- refinancing your home loan
- switching to a better value energy plan
- making the effort to pay down credit card debt and
- increasing savings whenever you can.
Ready to whip your finances into shape? Get started by heading over to savings account comparison tool.
Or if you’re after more money saving tips and tricks, our family finances hub is stacked with loads of information.