To think children aren't actually that expensive?

(120 Posts)
NorthernAnnie Mon 25-Mar-13 15:05:54

We have 3 DC, 2 share a room and the other has his own room. We get a lot of clothes & toys from charity shops, or H&M and sell them on ebay when finished with them. They have swimming lessons and do clubs at school. We don't eat out often or buy expensive gadgets/designer clothes, our main spend is food but we still manage to do this relatively cheaply.
I'm a SAHM so this saves on childcare which would be incredibly expensive otherwise, but childcare excluded, AIBU to think DC aren't actually that expensive?

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 16:19:01

I think its harder if you on a very high wage my income is the same as it always has beeen.

wordfactory Mon 25-Mar-13 16:25:24

Oh my word, I think DC are extremely expensive.

And they get more so, the older they get. What with their appetites and their growing bodies. And their interests and hobbies. And their education...

It is endless.

HildaOgden Mon 25-Mar-13 16:30:01

Wait until they are teenagers,that's all I'll say.

Isn't all what you're stating as expensive, down to choice though? Hobbies, interests, university assistance, holidays, "designer" clothes?

If you don't have the money for the above you won't spend it, then in comparison, your children won't be very expensive.

Ours are very expensive compared to our friends, as we a) earn more and b) find it hard to resist their little puppy eyes when they want something.

A friend is very well off and I'd say her DC costs much less than ours (apart from their holidays), for the simple fact that she is very frugal, shops 2nd hand, and has skills to make do and mend.

valiumredhead Mon 25-Mar-13 16:41:17

They get more expensive as they get older ime - toddler age is a breeze as people give you clothes and hand me downs, it's a bit of a shock when they go into adult sized shoes and clothes.

valiumredhead Mon 25-Mar-13 16:41:30

And they eat non stop!

shockers Mon 25-Mar-13 16:42:33

I'll swap yours for mine then!

I've got one on a gap year (mostly self funded, but we like to help out because he's a hard worker and we appreciate how lovely he is!) and two at high school. I'll admit they didn't cost us much when they were younger, but although they're not horrified by the idea of clothes from the charity shops, they like to be able to choose their style now they're older (this doesn't include designer gear because I'm mean not daft). Bus fares, uniform, school trips, youth club, swimming club, football, gym...Oh, and food... teenagers who are growing rapidly and doing a lot of sport can't half put it away!

Good job they're mostly lovely smile.

shockers Mon 25-Mar-13 16:42:54

X posts valium!

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Mon 25-Mar-13 16:43:32

Not at two mine isn't. The childcare is the biggest expense, if we didn't need that then it wouldn't be too bad. But at two he likes going to the park, feeding the ducks and getting a bus is a treat. I imagine this won't wash as he gets older.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 16:46:38

I dont think even when they are older they are that expensive. They still shop for things of ebay and dont spend much as they just hang around with friends.

SomeBear Mon 25-Mar-13 16:54:36

We survived the early years on one van driver's salary with me as a SAHM. All clothes were from charity shops or passed on from friends, never had a holiday and food was basic. It wasn't living, it was existing. Things like new glasses, a decent washing machine and new winter boots for me went on hold - never mind savings. It also meant that I missed a footing on the career ladder so I'm back to a junior position ten years on whilst watching friends making their way upwards. Children can be done on the cheap but it's hard work with sacrifices which ever way you do it.

Toddlers are relatively cheap, they wear what you give them (sometimes), eat small amounts, tag along with what you are doing and sleep for 12 out of 24 hours. By the age of 8 or so, they have opinions, preferences, hobbies and eat much more. By 12 you might as well have another adult in the house... I

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 16:55:23

A few cheap clothes off ebay is hardly the biggest cost involved in raising children though is it Chesty? My DS is only 2 and has cost me at least £21k this year even before food, clothes, heating bill, toys and having to pay for a seat for him on a plane.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 16:58:29

21k shock

MoodyDidIt Mon 25-Mar-13 16:59:27

havent read all posts but now i feel awful as there is no way when mine are teens / adults we will be able to provide them with money for uni, deposit on a house, car etc, no way. and my parents couldn't afford it either so we didn't expect it

<feels really shit>

valiumredhead Mon 25-Mar-13 17:07:09

Why do you feel shit? It's ok if you can afford to but plenty of people can't. As far as uni goes there are repayment schemes which is exactly what my ds will have if he wants to go.

A car is a massive luxury and I didn't buy my own flat until I was 30 after house sharing for years.

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 17:07:56

Yep, £21k as that is what I could have earned this year if I wasn't at home with him. Though of course I could have sent him to nursery, then he would have only cost me about £11k. Of course, that is also ignoring that I could have been on more money if I hadn't taken time out.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 17:09:51

Oh right I thought yeah as I said Im still working so on same wage so hasnt affected my income. I think that is the only way its expensive if your in that situation. Everything else is cheap.

shockers Mon 25-Mar-13 17:12:06

Don't feel shit Moody. My parents didn't do any of that for me, I didn't expect it and neither did my eldest son. We have helped him as much as we can throughout his years at uni, but he has also worked very hard, at both his studies and his two part time jobs. He now has a tremendous work ethic that he didn't have previously. He's currently off to Europe for a year, but has sorted out work for himself, while he's there to fund his trip. I think he'll get far more out of the experience than if we'd just given him loads of cash and told him to enjoy himself... he'll make friends for a start!

Skullnbones Mon 25-Mar-13 17:12:28

They are expensive. If we didn't have kids, I would work full time, we wouldn't have a mortgage on a three bedroom house, twice the amount of food, clothes, holidays etc. of course they are expensive! I work from home part time but that just fills the gaps really. Without kids our income would be double whilst our expenses would be halved. It is a simplified view but so is yours OP....and I am dreading the teenage years!!

expatinscotland Mon 25-Mar-13 17:12:54

Smug and naïve much? Yes, dear, here's your halo, of course, others are just not as savvy as you with charity shop clothes, restaurant meals and gadgets and designer clothes.

Losingexcessweight Mon 25-Mar-13 17:38:46

Children and babies can be as cheap or expensive as you want them to be.

They are expensive if you buy expensive clothes, furniture, toys for them etc.

Or they can be much cheaper if you chose to buy cheap clothes, second hand stuff for them etc.

If you have a good disposable income then you tend to buy expensive things for the kids.

sandyballs Mon 25-Mar-13 17:42:05

Try having two at once. My twins are 12 now and Nothing is staggered unlike having two kids separately. Kitting them out for secondary school cost me £500, guide camp in the summer another £500. They do the same clubs, double the bill. No hand me downs. Even when they were tiny it was two cots, two high chairs etc etc.

I've had to say no to an upcoming school trip as it's £1,000 each. If they were a year or so apart we could have perhaps afforded it.

No idea what we will do about two sets of uni fees if they choose that path

Xmasbaby11 Mon 25-Mar-13 17:57:40

We only have 1yo DD and between childcare and other stuff we probably spend nearly 1000 a month on her. And this is with both of us working full time.

Journey Mon 25-Mar-13 18:04:27

sandyballs - Loads of parents have to do two sets of uni fees at the same time even if they don't have twins. If one sibling takes a year out then a younger sibling can end up starting uni at the same time. Equally one twin may take a year out and the other twin doesn't which means they would be in different years.

Loss of salary is a huge expense of having dcs, or alternatively cost of childcare.

University costs is also a big expense especially if it is the norm in the family to go.

Dcs don't want to wear hand me downs the older they get. Costs of clubs and money to go out can be very expensive.

wordfactory Mon 25-Mar-13 18:10:03

sandy I hear ya!

Two moses baskets, two cots, two car seats...grin

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