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Bank of Grandma and Grandad keeping young families afloat

Reviewed by expert, David Koch
3 min read
28 May 2024
Grandparents with funeral insurance play with grandson

Baby boomers are often blamed for today’s inflated house prices but they’re the unsung heroes of today’s cost-of-living crisis – helping their offspring carry the cost of childcare, clothes and essentials, according to new Compare the Market research.

Almost three-quarters of Australian grandparents surveyed said they had been supporting their family financially with 31% gifting money and providing childcare free of charge.

Some other top ways they care for their kids and grandkids is by:

  • Purchasing clothes, toys and essentials (31%)
  • cooking for them (20%)
  • lending money (13%)
  • contributing to household bills (9%)
  • Helping with property purchases (9%).

The data also showed that 7% contributed towards the cost of school and daycare, and a further 7% had helped their kids or grandchildren buy a car.

Only a quarter of grandparents said they hadn’t been helping their family with living costs.

Compare the Market’s Economic Director David Koch said this is living proof that grandparents are the unsung heroes of our generation.

“Baby Boomers have been getting a bad rap in the media for aiding inflation and spending up big,” Mr Koch said.

“But in reality, 75% of grandparents are helping ease the cost-of-living crisis and are chipping in to help their kids and grandkids in some way.

“Times are tough and many Australian households are really struggling right now, especially with the increased cost of housing, food and fuel.”

Compare the Market’s data follows a recent report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which found childcare fees rose by 22.8% between 2018 and 2022, compared to an average of 6.2% for other developed nations.

“The cost of daycare has absolutely exploded out of the water, so if a family member can provide care for free or even at a reduced rate, it really does go a long way,” Mr Koch said.

“Childcare costs can vary from $70 to $200 per day in and around Australia.

“Let’s assume the cost of daycare is $150 per day. If the ‘grandies’ are providing free care once a week for 48 weeks of the year – that could be a $7,200 back in your pocket. It could be even more for multiple children.

“For some people, it might mean being able to go on a weekend getaway with the family. For others, it might mean being able to keep on top of all their bills without going into debt.”

In our family Libby looks after our 2 toddler grandchildren on separate days to help ease the cost of childcare. I worked out childcare is more expensive than the costs of a Year 12 student at a private school. I know there are Government subsidies but the cost is enormous when you consider you’re paying after tax dollars.

How have you helped your children and grandchildren in the past 12 months? Total
Contributing to cost of school/daycare6.8%
Contributing to the purchase of a car6.8%
Contributing to property purchase9.1%
Contributing to key household bills9.1%
Lending money12.8%
I cook for them20.5%
I haven’t helped in any way26.9%
I help purchase clothes, toys and essentials30.1%
I provide care free of cost31.1%
Gifting money31.1%

*Survey of 1010 adult Australians conducted in March 2024. Survey was multiple choice, so respondents could select multiple answers.  

For more information, please contact: 

Natasha Innes | 0416 705 514 | [email protected]

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy, travel and personal finance products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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avatar of author: Natasha Innes

Written by Natasha Innes

Natasha Innes is a Media and Communications Advisor at Compare The Market. Natasha joins us after working as a journalist at the Courier Mail and Seven News. She graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a dual degree in Business and Journalism majoring in Public Relations.

[email protected]

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