There's no doubt raising kids is expensive.
While I look forward to having kids one day, I often wonder how we will afford it.
There are nappies, prams and car seats to buy when they are young. A constant stream of clothes as they grow, more and more food as they get older, kindy or school fees. And that's just the basics.
In Saturday's paper, reporter Juliet Rowan wrote about the cost of after-school activities. That's a cost I had never given too much thought to.
I have no doubt many parents don't allow their children to get involved in extra-curricular activities purely because they can't afford it, and I don't blame them. Better to cut that out than go without food or clothes.
At the same time, I understand why parents stretch themselves to cover the cost.
As a parent, no doubt you want the best for your kids and you want them to try things, find what they are good at and do what they love.
I was lucky enough to be able to do a number of activities throughout my school life. I played basketball and netball through most of my school years and also tried my hand at a couple of instruments.
I have so many memories from those activities - some good, some not so good.
I remember the chilly winter mornings playing netball on flooded courts and in the hail, the fun and laughter of being part of a team and the awesome feeling when you won a game or even a whole tournament.
I also remember the painful hours of practising the piano and guitar (and trying to avoid it if I could) and the hassle of selling Girl Guide biscuits.
But every activity taught me something. Music taught me to persevere, sport taught me to work as a team and the importance of doing your part so as not to let the team down, and how to win and lose well. All of that helped teach me good time-management as well as the commitment to see through what I had started.
The cost of many activities is huge. I realise how lucky I was to be able to participate in them.
There's no doubt the cost is tough but I'd encourage parents to try to find the money to allow their kids to take up even just one activity - it will do them a world of good.