To not understand how some people afford to have so many children?(406 Posts)
I mean this as a genuine question, but how the heck do they do it?
We have 3 DCs as that was all we could afford, yet I know families that have only one very average income that just seem to keep having children, and affording nice things, activities and holidays too.
Someone I know has just had her fifth baby. They are very early thirties and her DH works in a supermarket, and she is a SAHM, so obviously not on a high income, yet they always have nice clothes, the older children to lots of activities, they have a lovely new build house which is decorated beautifully, always eat out, and they bought all new (expensive) baby equipment for baby #5. She has also said to me that they'll have a sixth baby at some point, and possibly a seventh too!
The other person that I know has 4 children. Her DH is a chef but is always in and out of work, but again they seem to have such nice things, and her children to lots of activities and clubs. One of her sons has just had a huge birthday disco in a hall, and she said it cost over £300. They too are planning to have more children.
Our income is good, yet we generally can't afford half the things that they can, and certainly could never have afforded a 4th child, even though I would have quite liked another baby.
We have managed similar with 3 dc although 2 of ours are older now.
Our dd competes and plays at a high level in music and does lots of extra curricular at one time it cost around £120 per week, although it doesn't now.
We have holidays, eat exceptionally well with one 15k wage.
I agree money doesn't buy you happiness.
We do it by living in the NW, its cheaper here. Only one person working so no childcare costs, no commute, one car, parking permit only £85 per year, lower council tax probably, than south.
We live in the southwest. Mum bought our house at a good time and we decided to live long term together as it made more sense.
We have one car, parking permit is £20 a year.
Dec all dance, we are lucky in that in exchange for classes I work in the dance school office. This means our fees, which if we paid fully would be £600 4 times a year, are £100 4 times a year. Obviously on top of that we pay for privates, festival dances and exams.
Ds2 has just started horse riding. That's £25 a fortnight but it's worth it!
We are lucky in that my mum helps with extras but we pay the majority of bills. We save for holidays, and tend to holiday mainly in this country.
Dh works a full time job as a master butcher and we get cheap but good quality meat. We shop frugally.
It can be done. It's what you prioritise, and how you work around obstacles. We prioritise the children. They don't go without, but they aren't as spoilt as some of their contemporaries. They have things for birthdays and Christmas, not just because they decide they want it.
Someone up above was wittering about landlords having their mortgages paid by housing benefit. This is bollocks. Landlords own a property and rent it out for what they can get. They get exactly the same rent regardless of whether or not the tenant gets housing benefit towards it, and regardless of whether or not there is a mortgage.
Housing benefit is a subsidy from the government to the tenant. It can't also be a subsidy to the landlord, even leaving aside the fact that it simply isn't, if it were, you'd be counting the same money twice when you tote up government subsidies.
Ah you see I don't have the luxury of someone buying a house years ago before prices went mad. It is housing costs all the time that make the difference. Plus I have to pay all my bills. Well done for you but it can't be done for everyone. As you have said - you have been lucky.
If you live in London the housing costs are rediculous. Prices are rising fast and rents are jumping. Our service charge is large, and I know some people paying 4 or even 8 grand a year. My aunt pays £400 a year for her huge flat in Scotland. We pay to park our car on the street as we don't have a parking space in our block.
Nursery fees can be very high, especially if you work full time and need wraparound care (and even more so if your kids are small). I've known parents charged £600 a week for nursery care for a 6 month old (8am-6pm) because they both worked. Most people don't have a spare room for an au pair or live in nanny or have family close by to help with childcare (or family that aren't also working).
Yes, its cheaper elsewhere but if your roots/home/family/job/schools are there, it's not as simple as 'move out'. London is huuuge, so even moving from say, Golders Green to Wimbledon is a big jump - schools, jobs, etc. commute-wise.
You make your choices. I don't judge people living on benefits with 5 kids, just as I don't envy other people their 'fabulous' lifestyles (some of the unhappiest people are those who seem to have 'everything'. You can only really know what you have experience in.
The problem with moving further out of london and commute in london is not just leaving behind family and friends.
If you have very young children and both parents working it is not doable.. How can you live a baby at thenursery and then commute into london? Are you going to drop off the baby at 6am? And then when you go back in the evening there are train delays. What happens then, do you collect
the baby at 8pm?
Or does the baby commute with you into london? (crazy idea).
Moving out of london works for some families, it depends on the jobs and the ages of children , but it doesnt work for some others.
What it worked until recently was moving into zone 5 (thats us) and buy something cheap or a flat in areas like hackney etc. Now there is no this option either because areas like hackney are now posh and zone 5 isnow not affortable.
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