To consider private for my DS's on our income?

(153 Posts)
Lotsofknockers Sat 12-Jan-13 18:27:10

I don't wish to get into the state vs private but am considering private for my DS's for various reasons - is it affordable on a income of £130k per year? Day dees around 10k per year which will rise for prep. We live in London - one DS would go this year the other in two years time but there would be consideration of nursery fees of around £800 a month so technically the same as two lots of fees now. Are we mad to consider it? Will we be struggling? Mortgage is around £1300 per month.

sleepywombat Sun 13-Jan-13 05:34:10

Of course you could! Our earnings are half yours (less now but will be half when I go back to work) & could afford to send one child (we have 2, so won't be doing it).

PoppyWearer Sun 13-Jan-13 08:38:38

MrsTerryPratchett I certainly think there is some merit in what you're saying, the "third way" between state and private education, a part-funded option.

BUT if the economy takes off again and higher earners have some more job security again, many more will take the risk to spend the money going private.

I'm amazed at people saying you can't afford it on your salary. We earn a bit over half your salary and send two DCs to a private school. We've not got much of a mortgage, and fees are slightly lower but it's still manageable.

Backtobedlam Sun 13-Jan-13 08:53:45

I think you could easily afford it on that salary, we don't live in London so cost of living is lower but still think its easily doable if you watch going out/food costs just a bit. Lots of people on here seem to be saying money is better spent at secondary level, I actually think if I could only choose one I'd go for primary, as this sets the foundations for their entire education. If they struggle in reception and through primary, they won't get into a good private secondary anyway. I also don't think it's a lifetime commitment-if our circumstances changed (let's face it nothing is ever set in stone) we would take dc's out of private and they'd settle in to state school, exactly the same as if a child in state had to relocate to another state school due to parents work commitments, family etc

Extra's aren't much at primary level-they don't do trips abroad in first few years, and clubs/music tuition etc are all optional. Other things to consider may be how long left on your mortgage? Once paid off you'll have extra, also potential for you to earn more as the kids get older and need less of your time. As others said, do a spreadsheet, work out exact outgoings, but if say easily doable.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 08:57:34

Send your children private if you want. But don't use words like "struggle"'or "sacrifice" to describe the hoops you jump through to pay the fees.

Just don't.

everlong Sun 13-Jan-13 09:02:24

Why not seeker? some people do sacrifice stuff to send their kids private.

bamboostalks Sun 13-Jan-13 09:06:40

Don't be ridiculous and spend that kind of money because of your fear. Save it up and give it to them for a house deposit when they are 30. Honestly, they will be fine in state. There is crazy talk on mn at the moment about state schools. Don't believe the myths!

TotallyBS Sun 13-Jan-13 09:24:32

Jeeze seeker. Please don't turn this into another thread about you.

In another thread some parents were discussing expensive Christmas presents for kids. A poster turned up and lectured these parents for flaunting their 'wealth' while she was struggling to feed her family. <inserts WTF emoticon>

It irritates me greatly when posters try to hijack a thread and make it about them. We get it that your DC is locked into a crap state school but you don't have to inject yourself into every thread that comes along on private education. Like the parents discussing expensive presents, why should the OP have to watch what words she uses just because it touches a raw nerve with you?

TotallyBS Sun 13-Jan-13 09:29:25

bamboo- 'myths' ? grin

Here on MN I often read posts extolling the virtues of their state school. Parents who go private are snobs etc etc Then they let on about how they live in a village far from the troubles of the inner cities and deprived areas.

I agree that state education can be excellent but it's a bit ridiculous to dismiss valid concerns as just 'myths'

TheFallenMadonna Sun 13-Jan-13 09:33:27

Using the word sacrifice when referring to things that the majority view as luxuries is hyperbole.

You can afford it, dependent on the school you choose, and changes to interest rates which would affect your mortgage, I reckon.

pingu2209 Sun 13-Jan-13 09:49:45

I work at a very good secondary school (not in London) and quite a few of the children went to a private primary/prep school but the parents couldn't afford the private secondary/senior school route so had no choice but to send them to the local secondary.

The children arrive in year 7 and it is a bit of a shock to their system initially, but after the first half term they are fine. By year 11 they are exactly the same as the other children, socially and academically.

There is no benefit academically or socially sending your child to a private prep/primary school over a decent state primary if you intend to send them to a good state secondary school. I really think that the money the parents spent from age 4-11 was wasted, they could have saved their money by putting their children in the very good state primary and had the exact same end result.

Unless you know you can afford their schooling right up till age 16 or 18, I really wouldn't start the private route at age 4 or 7. Of course, if you can afford private schooling from age 4 till they are 18 then go for it, as I do think the end result for the majority when they leave at 18 will be more confidence, social etiquette and better qualifications.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 10:22:49

Unless you can easily afford it for their whole school career- and bearing in mind that you may very well want another child- then don't. Use the money for all the other good stuff in life for the whole family. Don't lock yourselves into a way of life that makes you feel as if you've got no choices when they are so very young. Your children are well off, well supported and privileged- they will be fine.

TotallyBS Sun 13-Jan-13 10:24:12

pingu- My friend placed his kid in prep in the hope that it will better prepare him for the 11+ at his selective state secondary. This is the ' strategy' of many parents who can't afford secondary school fees.

HollyBerryBush Sun 13-Jan-13 10:33:54

Every normal person wants to do the best for their children.

FWIW I know people who have only had one child, and still lived in a cramped one bed flat in order to send their daughter to a decent private school. That is sacrifice.

I also know others who have mortgaged to the hilt to enable the same education.

If you can afford it, then do it. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. The contacts you make generally last a life time and the world may have moved on, but it's never going to change to get rid of nepotism and the who-you-know buddy system.

Re mortage interest rates - Bank of England forecasts they will remain this low for 5 years.

In your shoes - private prep then into grammar, but you have to be in a grammar area of course. But be aware that a private education doesnt buy brains, and if your child isn't performing you will be out the door, prep school need 100% pass rate, or near as damn it. You are there by invitation, not by right. I've seen a few manouvered out in Y4 or 5 when it's obvious they will screw the statistics. Also be mindful that prep schools can be bankrupted and close, as has happened locally - parents cant afford to pay and suddenly you have a whole heap of children scrabbling round the borough trying to get into the better state schools, which are over subscribed anyway.

MrsMelons Sun 13-Jan-13 10:50:41

To work out if we could afford it I factored in a music lesson each for the DCs plus school lunches. There is also the expensive uniform and trips to include.

I am a bit geeky with numbers and spreadsheets so I looked at their usual fee increases and worked out the cost over the next 12 years including inflation. I then worked out our average monthly cost over the full time they would be at school.

Our decision would be made based on whether we could afford that monthly amount on our current wages and not taking into account any pay rises we would be getting. This way it gives us a bit of leeway.

It is such a huge commitment and our schools fees are much much lower than yours (we earn less though).

I don't think it is a given that you can afford it on £130k as your mortgage is fairly high and obviously we don't know what type of lifestyle you have.

We don't have a mortgage and definitely couldn't afford it if we did. You need to look at all your current income and expenditure, add in the school fees then see what you have left. It would be awful to put the children in then find out by secondary that you can't actually afford it.

noviceoftheday Sun 13-Jan-13 11:01:29

If it meant that you couldn't enjoy holidays, have savings, a pension plan and would be screwed if the mortgage rates went back up to their usual 5.5% norm, then Personally, I wouldn't do it. I think it's a genuine thing to ask but those are the four factors plus two more....the fact that there are hidden costs and the fact that fees might rise significantly. Only you can tell how those 6 things would impact your family lifestyle. There was a thread on here a few days ago where a family had £250k and four kids at private school. It felt like they had two kids too many.

I think you could just about do it on £125k, but it wouldn't be stress free. Having grown up in a childhood home where lack of money/debts was the most pervasive thing, I wouldn't inflict that on my kids if I had a choice. We ended up losing our family home and I am so very glad that school fees weren't a factor in that all.

I am also personally not that hung up about private education. It's not the be all and end all. My school was nothing special but my siblings and I were all very driven, ambitious and hard working. This came from our parents. We have all ended up in jobs where we are 40 or 50% taxpayers. This involved a different kind of sacrifice by our parents, and wasn't just about throwing money at the problem. Although we will be privately educating our dcs, i also know that the world won't end if our kids are state educated and in fact it might just give them more drive.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 11:14:53

I would think it doable but not much fun for the next 10 years, especially since budgeting doesn't seem to be your strong point, or you would have worked this out by now.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 11:16:20

And who wants 10 years of "not muh fun"?

everlong Sun 13-Jan-13 11:19:23

Depends on how bad they want a private education for their dc seeker?
10 years of not much fun for the right school in the grand scheme of things is not that bad.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 11:24:43

Everlong - I have to disagree. Learning to budget when you haven't been doing it is a drag. You may start all full of energy and sense of purpose and readjusting your values and all that but after a while it's depressing to look thought the travel section of the Telegraph and realise there are all those places you will never go to. Your kids may, their private school may well do trips to New Zealand rather than a week of an archery course 70 miles away.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 11:26:16

There is nothing that can compensate for 10 years of not much fun.....

everlong Sun 13-Jan-13 11:29:29

I know a few people at my sons prep who aren't loaded. They are 6 years in of no holidays, old car, second hand clothes, shopping at lidl etc. It's not my idea of fun at all and I wouldn't do it but they see it as a long term benefit for their dc. It's not forever.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 11:31:37

No, not forever, nor is your own relative youth and good health forever.

everlong Sun 13-Jan-13 11:31:41

To you seeker maybe. But of course we all know your hatred for private education.

Not everyone thinks like you wink

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 11:32:15

I mean as in enjoying things in life while you can rather than waiting for the DCs education to be over so you can then go cruising round the fjords.

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