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Investing in the future: The real cost of the Australian dream

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The real cost of the Australian dream

Who hasn’t dreamed of winning the lotto at some point. We have even thought about what we’d do with imaginary jackpot payout. How good would it be?

But getting back to reality, it got us thinking about the average living costs for Aussies. Even without a boat or mansion there are a lot of expenses to consider. Guest writer Erik Bigalk talks about some of the big ticket costs of the Australian dream; which unless you win lotto, probably mean you need to save more for the future:

Blissful matrimony: The $50K big day

It’s only natural that parents want to give their children the very best in life, especially when it comes to their wedding. However, while tradition dictates that the bride’s family are expected to pay most of the big day expenses, dads across the nation may be surprised to find that, according to a survey conducted by Bride to Be magazine1, the average cost of an Australian wedding is approximately $50,000. Given that even the most lavish weddings were a fraction of that cost in the 70s and 80s, it’s fair to assume that most parents underestimate the high price of a modern-day ceremony. Which is why you might need some tips on saving for a wedding

To add insult to injury, it would seem that having children really is a lifelong financial commitment. Once the indulgent wedding is over, the arrival of grandchildren signals an 18-year period of new outgoings. In fact, a recent study shows that grandparents fork out an estimated $75,000 on supporting their grandchildren through to adulthood. These figures come from a survey of 2,500 individuals, many of whom listed further costs, such as paying for private education and the deposit on their grandchild’s first home.

The cost of kicking back: Cars, mortgages and peace of mind

Closer to home, there are some more immediate benefits of having a healthy savings account. Raising children is an expensive affair, so it’s perfectly justified that parents want to enjoy their life savings when they reach a certain age. One of the most common luxuries afforded to the over-40s is the purchase of a brand new car.

Likewise, all homeowners long for the day when their mortgage will be a thing of the past, even if you have an investment property. Fortunately, Australian banks have developed a system that allows homeowners to pay off their mortgages in as little as 10 years by using idle savings as loan repayments. This means that the more an individual saves and the more they reduce their average outgoings, the faster their mortgage is paid off. Although costly, this has been noted as playing a vital role in achieving middle-aged happiness, which is hardly surprising considering that a paid-off mortgage means future savings can be spent on some of life’s finer things.

For the majority of Australians, future planning and saving is clearly the best way to secure the lifestyle most Australians aspire to. If daddy’s little girl is ever going to ride in the passenger seat of her father’s Porsche as he drives to his grandchildren’s private school, then these figures should be a clear indicator that saving is a modern-day necessity. Here are some savings tips on reaching your savings goals.

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