Skip to main content

Daycare in most provinces is almost like a second mortgage payment every month. What makes the load bearable is the idea that daycare is only needed until a child starts school.

But it’s becoming clear that parenting in today’s world means putting your kids in lots of expensive activities. In this Globe story, you’ll read about $500 birthday parties, competitive dancing costumes costing $2,000 to $3,000 a year and tutoring bills amounting to $4,800 a year. So much for the daycare dividend when your child reaches Grade 1.

Answers to the question of why parents spend so heavily on extracurricular activities can be found in a blog post written by a woman who is trying to reconcile the cost of these activities with the benefits they provide. She herself participated in lots of sports as a kid, at significant cost to her parents. Now, she wonders how she and her husband can afford similar activities while saving for their son’s postsecondary education.

Story continues below advertisement

Her thinking right now: “We’re not signing our son up for toddler tumblers or little kickers soccer camps (and definitely not $475 hockey camps), but we’re reserving the right to change our minds.”

Just so you know what parents with young kids are up against, I’m including a link to the latest survey of child-care fees from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. It shows a median cost for preschoolers as high as $885 to $1,200 or so in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto and its surrounding cities. Cities in Quebec, with its subsidized daycare, come in below $200.

Subscribe to Carrick on Money

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.

Rob’s personal finance reading list…

The best-performing housing markets are…

Goodbye, Toronto. See ya, Vancouver. The biggest price gains in the past year have come in smaller cities like Victoria, Guelph, Ont., and Ottawa.

Help with the cost of college or university

A mom blogs about how her kids won more than $20,000 in scholarships and bursaries. It’s a good motivator for parents and students to seek out this kind of financial help. According to Statistics Canada, the average cost for graduate programs in 2017-18 was $6,907, a 1.8-per-cent increase over the previous year.

Marriage money matters

A blogger who recently wrote about the cost of her wedding tackles a crucial financial question for newlyweds: Keep their finances separate, or merge them? I vote for a single chequing account, with separate savings accounts on the side.

Are mortgage brokers unbiased?

All about how compensation for mortgage brokers – they’re paid directly by lenders – can affect the advice they provide clients. If you’re using a mortgage broker, ask how he or she will be paid for the mortgage you’re getting, and how that compensation would vary with other mortgage options.

Story continues below advertisement

Today’s financial tool/app

Self-directed investing: A beginner’s guide to getting started as a DIY investor

Ask Rob

Q: What is your opinion on annuities as a source of income for retirement?

A: Big thumbs up. Not for all your retirement income, but for a portion of it. A little background: An annuity is a contract where you hand a lump sum of money to an insurance company in exchange for a set monthly payment for as long as you live. The payments can be indexed to inflation, or not. Interest rates have a big impact on annuity payouts, which means today’s rising rate trend is positive for annuities.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

What I’ve been writing about

  • Seniors the first to crack as rising rates crank up debt stress
  • There are better ways to defend against rising rates than paying down your mortgage
  • Canada’s favourite dividend mutual fund and dividend ETF square off (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

More Carrick and money coverage

For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

Related topics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies