There was a huge kerfuffle when George Osborne said he'd axe child benefit for higher-rate taxpayers in 2013. But there are rumours he may go further. Child benefit, people say, may stop for older children altogether.
You're not shelling out for nappies and nannies any more. But you are completely responsible for everything a young adult needs.
Take food. I remember the days when scraping the remains of last night's shepherd's pie into a teacup made a substantial lunch for a toddler. Nowadays whole cows lay down their lives to make a small dent in my teenagers' ravening appetites.
Of course they can earn money to pay for the non-essentials (nail varnish, downloads, hair straighteners). But you can't expect them to cough up for too much. The gleanings from babysitting and a paper round just don't stretch that far.
Do you battle to fit your T-shirts in between the huge pairs of jeans?
Do you buy at least one loaf of bread a day 'for snacks'?
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