- 62% of Kiwi parents say rising cost of living affects their ability to raise children
- 13% say they go without essentials, like petrol and meals
- 1 in 8 say they need a secondary income
- 41% say they struggle to balance work and parenting
Leading health insurer, nib New Zealand (nib), has released initial findings from its fourth annual State of the Nation Parenting Survey, revealing the impact of the rising cost of living on Kiwi parents.
The survey, which nib conducts annually with global research company One Picture, canvassed the views of 1,226 parents, step-parents and guardians of children under 18 nationally.
Respondents answered questions across a range of themes, including the cost of living, health, wellbeing and the impact of technology on families. Respondents reported an overwhelming increase in societal and household pressures around rising prices, compared to results over the previous three years.
Financial pressures and daily stresses mean that family health and wellbeing is suffering.
Parents state that the current economic climate has placed households under considerable strain. Financial pressures and daily stresses mean that family health and wellbeing is suffering. Some parents report going without essentials, like meals and petrol.
Financial pressures are high
Annual inflation has risen sharply to 7.2 % (September 2022 quarterly inflation was 2.2 %) and the shockwaves from steep rate hikes (up 7.1%) continue to affect many Kiwi families (Stats NZ).
The majority of respondents (62%) said the rising cost of living has affected their decision-making and ability to raise their children, with 43% of parents cutting back on activities that cost money, and 39% reducing non-essential spending, especially on items like toys and gifts. One in eight are experiencing more severe impacts, such as having to go without essentials or needing a secondary income.
Managing the family and household is the greatest source of stress (61%) for parents including navigating family relationships, the health of the household, behaviour issues and finding childcare.
The majority of respondents (62%) said the rising cost of living has affected their decision-making and ability to raise their children, with 43% of parents cutting back on activities that cost money, and 39% reducing non-essential spending, especially on items like toys and gifts.
More than half of parents surveyed (57%) worry about juggling work and family life or managing job security, while two in five (40%) are stressed about financial uncertainty (up from 35% in 2021) and 33% are worried about managing debt.
nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said Kiwis are recovering from several years of COVID-19 disruptions. Many now face economic hardship, as rates and prices rise.
“Parents were just beginning to adjust to a ‘new normal’ in the wake of COVID-19, when cash rates began to rise and house prices plummeted, it’s no wonder they are now feeling the pressure,” Mr Hennin said.
“In fact, a third of parents surveyed are worried about debt and mortgage repayments. This is on top of the existing home life pressures such as navigating relationships (29%), health (27%) and even separation from loved ones overseas (13%),” he said.
While 91% said they were able to keep up their regular childcare services, the rising cost of living meant they were concerned for their child’s future.