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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.

betterwhenthesunshines Sat 12-Jan-13 18:30:06

Only you know the answer to that. But in planning for the future I would also say look ahead to secondary fees (usually a lot higher). Our prep fees are higher than those you mention. Also ask the school what their annual fee raise is - one of ours has risen 25% in the last 4 years - yes, even though no ones salaries are rising to cover it. It is making it painful each term!

moogy1a Sat 12-Jan-13 18:30:50

This is a pisstake I presume?

Binkybix Sat 12-Jan-13 18:31:25

I'm sure you could afford it, but think you would notice the difference in your quality of life - depending what you spend now, you might need to compromise on tings like holidays. If you have another child, you would need to think about that too, unless planning a social experiment!

Narked Sat 12-Jan-13 18:33:47

£130k before tax?

Lotsofknockers Sat 12-Jan-13 18:35:44

No not a pisstake a genuine question - I hadn't factored in the annual fee rises and certainly not 25% that sounds extortionate! Holidays would definitely have to be the compromise and have definitely ruled out more children if we go down this route.

Lotsofknockers Sat 12-Jan-13 18:36:37

Yep - 130k before tax

betterwhenthesunshines Sat 12-Jan-13 18:37:55

Not 25% each year. 25% over the four year period. The other school has risen 11% over the same period so it's definitely worth asking as it is quite a difference.

WipsGlitter Sat 12-Jan-13 18:39:13

Do you have a spreadsheet detailing current income and expenditure? Do they as a first step and it should be quickly apparent if you can afford it.

betterwhenthesunshines Sat 12-Jan-13 18:39:18

You might also want to think about house plans - do you want to move at anytime? Which is a priority?

Virgil Sat 12-Jan-13 18:39:27

Difficult to say but what is your net monthly income? About £6k? Work backwards from that. Factor in the price increases each year, the compulsory lunches, compulsory trips, compulsory music lessons perhaps, extortionate cost of uniform (DS1s came to £350 this year and he already needs a new blazer) etc etc

bluebiscuit Sat 12-Jan-13 18:42:38

How much net income do you get actually paid into your bank accounts each month. Am not sure if 1 person or 2 people are earning the £130k.

Then just write it out on a monthly basis - money in and money out.

If the fees are 10k per yr, probably budget £1k per month to cover any extras or fee increasesin the short term.

Are there any cheaper private schools in the area? £10k per year for reception is huge (IMO).

Lotsofknockers Sat 12-Jan-13 18:50:02

2 people - just under 7k a month. I have done a basic budget and on the face of it it does seem affordable if we exclude holidays it's the extras that might just tip us over. I do hope to move house in he future but if there are to be no additional children then there might not be any need!
This is one of the cheaper schools!

LIZS Sat 12-Jan-13 18:52:59

It will depend where in the country you a e . Secondary can vary from 3k to 6k+ per term depending on area and demand.

Cathycomehome Sat 12-Jan-13 18:53:51

£7k a month!! Can't help with the question, but would you consider adopting me? grin

PoppyWearer Sat 12-Jan-13 18:57:40

With similar numbers (but just outside London) we decided no, we weren't prepared to go without holidays etc given the hours DH is working to earn that much money. Instead we opted to move to an area with excellent state schools (primary at least) and will re-assess with regard to age 11+.

In the area where we live, this seems to be "the norm".

NumericalMum Sat 12-Jan-13 19:01:53

We only have one DC and a bit more income but much higher mortgage etc. It is a huge chunk of income going out each month, but we know that our DC's schooling is sorted forever thankfully. Would like more children but need to get our other expenses down and factor in no longer being able to do holidays etc. The other costs are quite high. Uniforms, trips etc but I think they are fairly spread out over the year.

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 19:03:32

Depends on so many things. You need a spreadsheet to work this all out.
FWIW, we earn more than that but wouldn't consider putting ours in private (we have 3)

bluebiscuit Sat 12-Jan-13 19:08:20

Another thing to consider is state infants - reception to yr 2 and then to switch to private. Think(not certain) that y3 is a common entry point. Then you'll save 3 yrs of fees which is £60k between both your kids. Then put that towards higher years. Also consider if either of your salaries will rise in the future.

ihearsounds Sat 12-Jan-13 19:13:28

Erm for me yes. For you, honestly no. Reason being, if this is geniune you seem to lack commonsense to realise that only you can answer this by looking at your finances in detail. We dont know your spending habits.

marriedinwhite Sat 12-Jan-13 19:22:01

If your mortgage payments are 1300 I'm afraid I would say no. Interest rates are very low and likely to rise in the medium term. Also the fees will go up and only up. When our DS started prep school the fees were about £10k per annum - that was in 2003 - He's now in 6th form and the fees are about £19k per annum and we allow for about another £700 per term for general expenses such as lunches, lost books, etc. Trips (about 1k per annum on average). Uniform never been much of a problem. DD's fees are a bit cheaper and she didn't go to indy until year 9 but the overall expenses because of the daily bus fee mean it is much less.

So OP that's about £3k per month just on school related expenses (we spent approx £37,500 last year on indy schools for two teenagers). I think you need to allow for hefty fee increases and mortgage increases. That could easily be £5k per month min in five years time. Factor in food, utilities, insurances, running a car, household maintenance and replacing stuff like sofas, w/machines, plus holiday activities and possible childcare cover etc., then no I don't think it's a runner for you.

Can't you start off at a good primary school and switch them later, saving a bit towards the overall cost in the meantime. Save your money for when they are bigger and actually when you are more certain of the sort of school that will suit them best and it might not be the same school for both.

pingu2209 Sat 12-Jan-13 19:28:13

I think you could but it would be a struggle. It would also depend upon whether one of you could lose your income too.

My dh earns £80k per year and we have 3 children. We can't afford private education, even though our mortgage is only £350 per month. The pressure to keep the fees paid would be too much on my dh and I think that it could crack the family.

I would think that if my dh earned £130k and I knew that it would continue, we would go the private route. However, my dh job is very insecure and once you go the private route you can't really leave it without a massive amount of heart ache.

PoppyWearer Sat 12-Jan-13 19:35:23

pingu makes a good point about pressure to earn money to pay the fees.

I have seen at least one marriage collapse under this pressure when the DH lost his job and the school fees could not be paid. They ended up selling the family home to maintain the fees (the children were at a critical point in their schooling, GCSEs and A-levels) and it split the family.

In the company where I used to work we had several rounds of redundancies and the first response of many of the employees who were parents was often not concern about mortgage payments but "oh shit, how are we going to pay the school fees now?".

DH and I made a pact not to get into this position unless we had money saved to cover the entire schooling (we are aiming for age 11-18). If not, I would rather stick with the state system.

Lasvegas Sat 12-Jan-13 19:36:05

We have similar ish take home amount. Live and school greater london so expensive commute and mortgage (We paid 8k for nursery so when it came to school fees plus wrap around care and holiday nanny it was not much more. Or so i thought. hence move forward to year 5 Have one and a bit years left at private school and am hoping child gets into state school. Am fed up not being able to save enough for pension and keep a buffer for roof repair etc or save for kids possible uni fees. We are lucky though and local comp is excellent and all I would want in a school. If we lived in area where only state school was unsuitable I would continue to pay for private.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 12-Jan-13 19:41:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

myron Sat 12-Jan-13 19:46:49

Prep school fees are higher as they move up the school. If you have concerns now, I suspect that it will be a huge sacrifice to your current lifestyle if you need to fund the fees entirely out of income. You could delay the decision for a few more years until they reach prep school age. That's what we have done.

BsshBossh Sat 12-Jan-13 19:50:58

We have a higher income and live in London but decided against private when we found an outstanding primary school for our DD. We're saving a proportion of the saved income for tuition later for state selective and private secondaries. But if she gets into an excellent state school at secondary (we're Catholic and there are a couple of outstanding state Catholic girls schools near us) then we'll plough the money into her savings account.

Is there a good state primary near you and could you then save your money for private at secondary? Is your income likely to rise in the future?

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Jan-13 19:53:50

Is it one salary or two? If two then do need to cover all the holidays with childcare?

1991all Sat 12-Jan-13 19:56:39

Yes I think you could

everlong Sat 12-Jan-13 19:57:50

Easy peasy OP.

EnjoyResponsibly Sat 12-Jan-13 19:59:55

Yiu also need to factor in things like music lessons, drama lessons, sports clubs etc. I can tell you that you may need to add another few hundred a term if your DCs want to participate.

On 130k in London I'd say yes if you had one child, no for 2.

Going without holidays might look like a doable sacrifice, but you're looking at 10+ years with no holidays.

NumericalMum Sat 12-Jan-13 20:00:18

We have an au pair for holidays and after school - would be much cheaper for you with two DCs. Takes some getting used to but really happy with the arrangement, the support of another adult(ish) around in emergencies etc.

diabolo Sat 12-Jan-13 20:02:18

We manage the fees on an income 20% less than yours and still manage holidays, cars and other treats.

Startail Sat 12-Jan-13 20:07:29

We could send our two DDs to their friends senior school on that just if DH and I both earned 50%

If DHs salary went up to that much (and pigs would be flying round Big Ben), I think the tax man would take too much.

One DC yes, both???

We run cheapish cars and have a much smaller mortgage perhaps £500 a month and live reasonably comfortably on half that.

The huge factor as someone mentioned is child care.

Private primary, unless your local schools are horrific is a mugs game for SAHM or parents who can juggle child care or use GPs. If you start needing wrap around care and your state primary doesn't do it on site it can be very expensive.

chandellina Sat 12-Jan-13 20:57:39

We earn a bit more but bought near a good primary that we're happy with so far, and will reassess later if need be. Not going into the state vs private debate, it's just been really nice IMO to get to know all the parents and children in the area and have my children walk to school.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 12-Jan-13 21:03:33

Our sums are similar and we are waiting until secondary and planning to have half the fees saved so that we aren't paying everything out of income.

Even so we are toying with moving 20 miles up the road to a decent catchment for secondary and then the Grade 1 ranked 6th form with excellent Oxbridge links.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 12-Jan-13 21:07:31

Oh no my diamond shoes are too tight, and my wallet is too small for my £50 notes.

Seriously get a life. If you want an exclusive education for your kids and you have 7k a month to live on, of course you can afford it unless you're pissing away money on stupid stuff.

I live in an area where there is an anachronistic grammar school system and it pisses me off that people like you come and move to areas like this because you can't be arsed paying for the exclusivity you seek. So you shove your kids in prep schools and hot house them through the 11+ and milk off the state as grammar schools become little state private schools full of bourgeois tousled hair kids.

I went to a lowly comp. I got a first from Oxford and a PhD and I would know better than to ask such a stupid, bad taste question. It just depends on what you want from an education.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 12-Jan-13 21:10:30

Inappropriate - never was a name more apt!

It isn't a 'bad taste' question, it is just a question.

Perhaps you should remove the chip from your shoulder, it looks heavy.

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 21:13:24

People that earn a lot of money and pay a lot of tax, are hardly milking off the state grammar school are they? They have as much a right to send their child to school there as anybody.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 12-Jan-13 21:13:28

Yes you can afford it, no question.

marriedinwhite Sat 12-Jan-13 21:14:37

Alibabaandthe40nappies got there before me - I might have been more rude.

Timetoask Sat 12-Jan-13 21:35:19

I am surprised so many people are saying you can't! On that salary, of course you can! Just plan your budget properly.

Lotsofknockers Sat 12-Jan-13 22:54:18

Thanks for all your responses - there is a lot for us to consider, more than I thought in fact. It is a position we have not quite reconciled and I don't want to be resentful in the long term if it does have a significant impact on our lifestyle. My instinct tells me that is worth it but it really is a question of the maths for us and it is good to get a sense of the additional extras and a range of perspectives even though it may seem 'stupid' to others.

chandellina Sat 12-Jan-13 23:08:25

Go with your instinct, you'll be less likely to have any regrets.

Virgil Sat 12-Jan-13 23:09:20

I am seriously considering leaving my well paid job and if I did we would have a joint income of £125k (but we are not in London). Our mortgage payment is lower than yours although we overpay. We have two DSs in a very good private prep and we don't think it's doable on that salary. Not when you factor in the price increases and the fact that interest rates won't stay where they are forever.

If I leave my job however we will keep them in school and move to a smaller house.

LibraryMum8 Sat 12-Jan-13 23:31:18

IMO it's all about choices and priorities. We are in the states and dh's salary is about $130K American dollars. Ds tuition is $17,00K a year and it is going to go up to about 24K at 8th grade.

I'm not going to pull punches. Ds is very intelligent and he'd be bored sick at public, and I hate the atmosphere of them in our city. He'd be going down at least two grades. We moved for dh's work, and our old school was half the price. But we weren't going to have ds suffer, so we bought our house based on what we knew tuition was going to be. Our lifestyle is based on ds large tuition payments.

We know people that complain about the schools but have posh houses. Our house is quite nice but modest. That is our choice. Our neighbors (blimey even dh's boss who makes double) say they can't afford our school, they would love it. Bullocks. They buy things we don't, they have large houses. One neighbor had the audacity to tell me their motorhome cost them less than half of what we pay for a year of tuition. She immediately apologised but I was ripping angry at that point and coolly informed "it's all about choices" and didn't apologise for it either.

Sorry it just struck a nerve with me. We prefer keep ds education on the same level on where was, we don't live a luxurious life but we budget budget budget. You can make it work, but it Is work and sacrifice.

TotallyBS Sat 12-Jan-13 23:43:10

Our joint income are similar. Our mortgage payments are similar. And we have two DCs at private school. So it is do-able. However, there is nothing left to go into rainy day savings account.
I
We have another 12 yrs on the mortgage so there are days when we stop and think about how we could be mortgage free in 5 years if only DCs were at state school. Or how we can have a new car every 3 years plus two holidays a year or .... or .....

But when the kids come home and talk about their day at school all doubts just fade away.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 13-Jan-13 00:11:43

you might be able to manage.

Loveweekends10 Sun 13-Jan-13 05:07:41

I thought it was fairly routine in London to do this. Mr friend lives in Dulwich and most of her friends kids go to private schools and they sacrifice holidays and such like to do it. I don't think you have a great choice of state schools though. Probably because you all take your kids out of state education thereby leaving the more deprived kids. So why not. Continue the cycle of social deprivation.

Does anyone else wonder how the State education system would be if all the 5% (or whatever) left their children in and paid the 100s of K each to the schools in London? What size would the classes be then? How would it affect things?

OTOH I also wonder how someone with 130K doesn't have a proper budget which tells them if they can afford private schools.

Cynical and mean tonight, sorry...

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.

MrsMelons Sun 13-Jan-13 11:33:30

totally agree Seeker, having an all round decent life for the DCs is more important and ensuring they have good 'life' experiences is more important IMO.

I know holidays etc are luxuries but to me regardless of where you go, being able to afford a couple of weeks away as a family beats being able to send the DCs to private school hands down.

If there was a specific reason I needed to pay for a private school (eg SEN or bullying) and had no other choice then of course I would sacrifice anything over and above keeping a roof over our heads and feeding us but otherwise I wouldn't.

Again though on this thread (as seems to be how MN has been going this week) the OP has asked for advice and has had nasty comments from posters like Inappropriate just for earning good money.

MrsTerryPratchett I was thinking the same thing re the budgeting issue, it is shocking how people bringing in that sort of money have no idea how to budget. I also like how you admit to being cynical and mean grin

everlong Sun 13-Jan-13 11:35:11

But that's just it, just because it's not important to you doesn't mean other people are wrong for putting their dc's education before holidays, meals out, etc.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 11:37:16

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

Is there the remotest possibility that I could contribute to this thread without people dragging in past debates? You may have noticed that I haven't entered into a state/private debate and I have no intention of doing so. Because this is not what this thread is about.

MrsMelons Sun 13-Jan-13 11:37:45

Everlong not sure if that was in response to me or not but it is just my opinion which I have stated, thats the point of us posting surely to give the OP our differing opinions.

I would have lots of respect for people who did make those sacrifices (I mean true sacrifices and not buying a pair of Jimmy CHoos annually instead of monthly) but IMO I don't consider it the most important thing in normal circumstances thats all.

MrsMelons Sun 13-Jan-13 11:38:25

why is everyone being so harsh on Seeker - have I missed a nasty post on here or something?

ProcessYellowC Sun 13-Jan-13 11:38:39

Our income is less than half yours, mortgage is the same, we can afford private (circa 9 k with afterschool added in) for our only child, and we have lots of fun as a family.

everlong Sun 13-Jan-13 11:39:25

Oh come off it seeker your first post on this thread was snipey.

No mrsmelons it wasn't to you.

HollyBerryBush Sun 13-Jan-13 11:40:30

There are a lot of people out there not having much fun in this economic climates, without factoring in private schools.

Pandemoniaa Sun 13-Jan-13 11:42:51

As someone who was privately educated, can I just say that you need to be able to afford the school of your choice, not be in a position where the cost of the fees entirely determines the school that your dcs attend.

Because private education is not always what it is cracked up to be - especially at the "budget" end - and I'd seriously look at choosing a good state school over an indifferent private school. Especially if choosing a private school means that you will be spending most of their childhood going without other valuable experiences - and I count holidays in this category too.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 11:43:52

No it wasn't. It was pointing out, as is perfectly acceptable on an AiBU thread, that to talk about struggle and sacrifice when you're actually talking about choosing to give up stuff that most people don't have anyway is insensitive, inappropriate, and as someone else said, not proper use of language.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Jan-13 11:46:39

If you will massively struggle then I don't think it's a good idea. No holidays, a worry if the car needs repair, a worry if the roof leaks. No I wouldn't have that. I don't think I would scrimp and have the family do without so my children could go to private school. But if I could have afforded it comfortably then I would have considered it.

noddyholder Sun 13-Jan-13 11:47:46

Agree with seeker And you can't afford it and still have a comfortable life.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Jan-13 11:47:57

I didn't see your post seeker. And I do appreciate a lot of people worry about these things that don't send their children to private school.

higgle Sun 13-Jan-13 11:49:45

If you can't afford to go private for the whole period of education I'd say do it now - the advantage they get in the first couple of years lasts through all the subsequent years at state school and they would be very well placed to pass the entrance exams into grammar school. I can never understand how some people think it is better to let them run riot under the "play is learning" regime at a state primary and then pick up the very expensive pieces later. The value of a formal education, discipline and little things like "please", "thank you" and learning to sit still is enormous. We did this with our two and the oldest went to Oxford, the youngest is heading for, hopefully, 4 As at A level this year.

TotallyBS Sun 13-Jan-13 11:51:08

seeker - I know I had a go at you earlier for making this thread about you and I know I am being inconsistent now but I can't resist making this about you.

You spent several days over the Christmas period complaining about your DS's Sec Mod school and how it doesn't have a descent orchestra and how carol service was in the school hall as opposed to DD's GS service which was at a church.

You are happy with the academics but pissed off with the lack of extras. So it's a bit silly coming on here and telling the OPthat a school is a school and that the money saved could go towards having fun. Well, can I suggest that you follow your own advice, stick DS into an afterschool orchestra, next Christmas take DS to a few carol services at a church and stop complaining about your DS's school.

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 13-Jan-13 11:51:15

You could also send them to state school but spend a lot of money on extra tuition and it would still be far cheaper than sending them to private.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 11:52:36

Don't turn this into state vs private. Running riot is not the norm. But i agree that over-tutoring can help most children pass the 11+ if that's what you're after.

VerityClinch Sun 13-Jan-13 11:53:26

Do you have any savings? We are sending our two DC to a private prep and have much the same income (earned all by DH, I am SAHM). Our mortgage is much larger than yours too. But we have £35k of savings, and the option of me returning to work (was commanding a similar salary to DH when I left) if things get tight/when the children are a bit older.

Just have a back up plan (downsize, pull out, use savings) etc if you find you can't comfortably afford it a few years down the line?

Timetoask Sun 13-Jan-13 12:00:02

Am I missing something?
Why are people worried about op missing out on holidays?
On that salary I think you most certainly can afford to,pay for private, and can afford to go on holiday as well as pay your mortgage.
How old are your DS? I would save a whole year in advance to avoid any surprises half way through (redundancy, sickness, etc)

marriedinwhite Sun 13-Jan-13 12:06:07

Verity I think that was the OP's point, they don't have the back up plan.

TotallyBS Sun 13-Jan-13 12:08:41

Sorry peeps. I will resist the urge to make this into a seeker bashing thread.

iyatoda Sun 13-Jan-13 12:10:26

I think you can afford it. Ignore people like seeker she has issues with private schools and as Totally and everlong have pointed out she is not very happy with her DS's education in the state sector.

If you are unsure, I will suggest what a poster upthread has suggested which is leave them in state and move in Yr2 - so sit the 7+ but you need to support their work at home so they get thru the 7+. I did this with DS1 - Even though the plan was never to go private, we just became disillussioned with the system.

Arthurfowlersallotment Sun 13-Jan-13 12:14:01

I think you'd find it tight. Would your mortgage payments go up if interest rates increased?

To be honest, I personally think the full benefits of a private education are at secondary level.

noddyholder Sun 13-Jan-13 12:14:45

When you take off tax and mortgage it is not enough for private school and all that entails, as the fees are just the start.

VerityClinch Sun 13-Jan-13 12:15:16

marriedinwhite, sorry, yes, I didn't articulate myself very well - if you don't have a back up plan that you're happy with , eg selling house, withdrawing them from the school etc, then, no, don't do it.

TotallyBS Sun 13-Jan-13 12:18:54

seeker <adopts a civil tone>

This thread is about the OP and the pro and con, based on their income, of going private.

The fact that the economy is not great and some people are suffering financially, although sad, has nothing to do with this thread.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 12:24:43

We do it on a joint income of around £50k-60k (self employes do fluctuates) for two children. We are outside London. Fees for dd who will go into secondary are around 10k a year. Fees for ds around 9k. We got turned down for a bursary as we earn too much.

EnjoyResponsibly Sun 13-Jan-13 12:25:25

Time post 3 OP said her rough budget would knock out holidays.

I don't usually agree with Seeker, but she's making valid points on this thread.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 12:27:03

How do you manage it? Have you paid off your mortgage? I can't work out the sums otherwise.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 12:31:50

If you can't afford it comfortably, and if you are not absolutely sure you will be able to afford it until they leave school, then don't do it. And don't put yourself in a position where you might have to choose between another child and school fees. I know somebody currently in this position and it's ghastly.

(And please ignore the ignorant "running riot" comment)

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 12:32:08

Our mortgage us about £400 per month including insurances.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Jan-13 12:38:42

Pictures - don't know how you do it. I could do with some budgeting tips from you!

iyatoda Sun 13-Jan-13 12:40:13

Thats better seeker. If you had answered in the first instance with your post of 12:31 then the "running riot" comments would not have been made.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 12:42:20

One biggie is we only run 1 car.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 12:43:09

Dh is a teacher & gets school lunch (3 course meal) every day for £2.80

MrsMelons Sun 13-Jan-13 12:50:06

Picture I am impressed with your budgeting.

I am always tellnig people if they actually wrote down what they have coming in and going out they will see they have lots more money than they realise and waste lots of money they don't need to.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 12:56:08

Before the dc started school we saved £500 each per month in an ISA (did this for two years) so maybe once a year when we are struggling we withdraw maybe £1000 out. We've got about £23k left in the ISA as back up.

iyatoda Sun 13-Jan-13 13:07:29

I wish we had known from the start we were going to go down this route we would have planned better. We used to go on holiday 3x a year and spend no less than £5k on each trip. most times visiting the same place!!!

Well done Picture.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 13:20:00

I do wonder uf the savings & equity in our house lost us a bursary. The wanted to know the current market value of the house and the amount left on our mortgage.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 13:20:26

Pictures - a £50-60K a year means £3500 after tax each month. To then save £500 a month each and pay for the childcare for two that allows you both to work plus the mortgage and everything else. What's the secret?

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 13:21:19

My parents have a touring caravan and let us stay in it for free. We do go on a London theatre trip once a year though which us about £500 with tickets etc.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 13:23:09

I never paid for childcare. We saved the 500 per month before they started school. At the time I worked part time in the week and my mum looked after the dc and self employed on fri night/Saturday when mil looks after them.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 13:24:49

When dd was born dh was doing teacher training do it was only really when she was about 2 and ds was born that our income pretty much doubled hence we were used to living very frugally.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 13:26:20

Well done, Pictures, you sound v determined. Not what I'd have done but we make different choices.

aftermay Sun 13-Jan-13 13:28:46

I think that may influence how you feel about things. If you're used to living frugally and having holidays in caravans then it's not do bad. Going from frequent holidays abroad to secretly checking out the deals at Butlins can't be great.

marmitepeanutbutter Sun 13-Jan-13 14:30:32

I don't think that you can ask a blanket can I afford private without looking into the detail. Prep fees vary hugely depending on the school. Even here in London there are no frills private schools which are academically excellent and have great pastoral care but have just a small playground and use the local park for sports and they are about £2k a term, easily affordable on a salary of £130k. Then there are the all singing all dancing preps with acres of grounds, loads of extra curricular activities who prepare for common entrance and charge about £5k a term. In between are the standard preps which are either say, the junior department of a 3-18 independent day school with no boarding, at about £3-3.5k a term. Quite affordable on £130k.

However once you hit secondary it is about £3.5k -£5k a term for an independent day school with no boarding. Somewhere like City of London is less than £5k a term. The uniform is pretty basic, there is the option taken up by many boys of packed lunch and if you live on the tube travel to and from school is free on oyster. They don' t have to go on the fancy trips so don' t pay for those but factor in a couple of french exchanges. Probably affordable on £130k. However, anything above this and then I think it becomes tough on your income.

Our basic income is similar to yours as is our mortgage although bonuses can push it up by a significant amount but we manage a £3.5k term prep with no problems for 2 children, extras are no more than £150 a term for clubs, lunch is included and after an initial £300 for uniform this years outlay is likely to be £30 for 2 sweatshirts and £8 for an M&S school skirt we still save, go on holiday and have a nice life. However, senior fees are £6.5k a term and we will not be able to afford these so our DC will leave after year 6, along with about 70% of the class either to a grammar or alternative private school.

Our contingency is savings followed by remortgage but we are reasonably confident we can see fees through.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 15:19:33

"Thats better seeker. If you had answered in the first instance with your post of 12:31 then the "running riot" comments would not have been made."
How bizarre. Your view of what happens in state schools is dependent on what I post on an. AIBU thread! grin What power I have!

Bearbehind Sun 13-Jan-13 15:21:07

A big factor to consider when sending children to private school, in addition to the fees themselves, is the 'keeping up with the lifestyle' costs. I was privately educated but I wouldn't send my children to private school unless I could afford the fees almost without blinking, for example, School trips are pretty much essential IMO as your child would be missing out on experiences their peers are having if you can't afford to send them and some examples of these costs are pretty eye watering, thousands of pounds on trips to China or hundreds of pounds on skiing trips plus the cost of getting all the right ski kit as well. You have to consider whether you can afford to do this for both your children and would you be happy that your children were experiencing these things on their own rather than as a family with you.

DeckSwabber Sun 13-Jan-13 15:23:46

It amazes me that someone can have an income that high and not be able to manage basic budgeting.

You know what you earn, what you spend and what the private school fees would be - we are are strangers with no idea of these.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 13-Jan-13 15:32:04

Bearbehind, that all certainly isnt true at primary level. Trips are in no way essential.

Bearbehind Sun 13-Jan-13 15:35:46

Youbrokemyshoulder, that's fair enough but TBH I struggle with the concept of aspiring to privately educate children up to senior level, then send them to state school because you can't afford to contue with the private route.

marmitepeanutbutter Sun 13-Jan-13 15:51:06

Bearbehind, the trips are not essential. I do think it is important to afford a couple of exchanges but I absolutely do not factor in ski trips and big overseas sports tours as an essential. Most of the trips have a limited number of places so most children, regardless of ability to pay will be unable to go and I think that there is power in the word "no". We go on very nice holidays as a family and I am very happy for my children to understand that they can't do everything. We all have our own levels as to what we perceive to be the cut off as to when private education becomes unaffordable. It is important to us to still afford at least one european holiday a year, to eat out a couple of times a month and to put at least a few hundred pounds a month into savings. If we can do that then private education is affordable, extras like far eastern rubgy trips are not a factor for consideration.

Bearbehind Sun 13-Jan-13 15:57:08

Marmitepeanutbutter, that was kind of my point though, the OP said they would have to sacrifice family holidays to afford the fees and IMO it's important for children to experience these different places, either through school trips or family trips as it is likely that their peers in private school will be doing so and it would be hard for them to be the odd one out.

marmitepeanutbutter Sun 13-Jan-13 16:05:52

sorry I miss understood you. Yes, I agree, I wouldn't sacrifice holidays in their entirety for school fees, it would be just too miserable for us. I am happy to say to my children , how lovely that little johnny goes to his caribbean island and on 4 ski trips a year but we can' t do that but we have a lovely summer holiday in Italy and a weekend in Cornwall but I wouldn't want to be in a position where we had to say no to everything. So, yes I agree with you.

amicissimma England Sun 13-Jan-13 16:08:33

If you're unsure, why not wait a few years, using that time to pay half the fees into a savings account? Then you'll have an idea hoe painful the fees will be, plus you will actually have to find less as younwill have some of the fees saved.

You will probably save something over using state scools as you'll almost certainly be able to buy the uniform 2nd hand, individual instrument lessons (If required) can be cheaper than outside scool, with no petrol costs, and, IME, trips, which you by no means have to send your DCs on, tend to be cheaper than at state schools, as the independents arrange their holidays so that trips aren't at peak rates. Also the holiday timings mean that you can often take much cheaper holidays yourselves.

In answer to your OP. IMHO, you could afford to send your DCs and mine private on that income, easily. But then I've no idea what you are spending elsewhere.

iyatoda Sun 13-Jan-13 16:08:56

Seeker - How bizarre. Your view of what happens in state schools is dependent on what I post on an. What power I have!

Are you alright? No your view on education state or private is irrelevant to me. But if you are going to answer the OP then answer it without the snipe. Not her fault you don't agree with private ed. grin

TotallyBS Sun 13-Jan-13 16:37:59

Interesting perspective choco. The birthday girl shouldnt have sleepover because the feelings of the child who is not a best friend might be hurt by only being invited to the party.

JoanByers Sun 13-Jan-13 16:49:04

> You will probably save something over using state scools as you'll almost certainly be able to buy the uniform 2nd hand,

No, the uniforms are v. expensive with all the straw boaters and berets and woolen blazers. You might be able to get some second hand, but you can't compare it to a sweatshirt and a couple of shirts from Asda.

> individual instrument lessons (If required) can be cheaper than outside scool,

not in my experience, the teachers have a monopoly position and charge £££, plus the lessons tend to be 1-to-1, whereas at a state school group lessons, while less effective, are more likely to be offered and are of course cheaper.

> with no petrol costs,

why not?

> and, IME, trips, which you by no means have to send your DCs on, tend to be cheaper than at state schools,

no

> as the independents arrange their holidays so that trips aren't at peak rates. Also the holiday timings mean that you can often take much cheaper holidays yourselves.

yes this is true if you have still money to spend on holidays after all those fees, going in early July or early-December is easily £1k cheaper than it would be in state school holidays.

With two working parents the childcare at private schools can be quite convenient/economical.

I think it is best to assume you just pay the fees and don't save anything and budget on that basis.

nannynick Sun 13-Jan-13 17:01:17

When I nannied for a family whose children went to private school the vast majority of people taking/collecting children were Mums, who mostly did not work, or who did a little work during school hours within their family business.
So if you both work full-time, then I think you will not be like the majority of the other families whose children attend the school and thus you may not fit in the social group - the families all seemed to hang out with each other, very clicky at school pickup time.

As a child I went to a private school in London and I was the odd one out - my grandparents paid the school fees. It was obvious to the other children that I was not one of them, my parents didn't have the Merc/BMW or the big house, I didn't have the latest electronic games, the branded sports wear. Uniform was mostly second hand.

Look at budget and make sure you can do it without struggling, as your children will need to fit in with the others, not be cast aside as being 'poor'.

JoanByers Sun 13-Jan-13 17:04:14

At my children's school I would say most mothers work at least part-time, perhaps because low-cost childcare is available until 6pm.

If you choose a school where the school day finishes on the dot at 4pm it's going to be a different set of parents from a school where children can eat dinner in school.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Jan-13 17:05:26

You see a lot if those things are not important to us

We never went on holiday abroad as a child. I am a fussy ester and much prefer self catering holidays in this country. Dh and I would be gutted if we couldn't go to the theatre a couple of times a year but we had to forgo that when the kids were younger anyway

Dd has piano lessons at school. They are the same price as private lessons but if push came to shove dh is a music teacher and I played to grade 8 standard

They won't be going on foreign trips. We are able to afford the year 5 outdoor ed residential.

Last night dh took me to Frankie & Benny for a pre cinema meal. The last time we ate out was at half term when we went to Blackpool for the day except for when my parents invite us out. Eating at home is so much cheaper than eating out. Because of the funny hours we work anyway we probably wouldn't go out for meals even if we had twice the income.

marriedinwhite Sun 13-Jan-13 17:07:35

I don't agree with that at all *nannynick*. I have worked full time since dd was 6 as have many mothers - London Schools and sought after ones. Also we don't have a merc or a beamer and have never ever felt alienated because of it - neither do I do the designer clothes route. We are rich though - so perhaps we just don't give a F***. Looks at shabby worn furniture.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 13-Jan-13 17:10:41

Well from what you've posted I think you should be able to afford it.

My dc's are at private and was chatting to some other parents last week and worries about fees are pretty common but you know if at any point you can't afford it - you pull them out - its not the end of the world - I know several families who've had to do this for various reasons, eg, divorce/grandparents no longer agreeing to pay the fees.

A lot of people pay the fees on an ongoing basis eg out of salary/divis and who knows what will happen with job losses etc.

But I don't regard my money as wasted. I am happy with the education we're paying for but my dc's may not remain in the private sector forever because they may not pass the exams to the senior school.

Perhaps I'm unusual in not worrying too much about the future yet and I'm lucky in that if they do go to state senior the local ones are fine.

Much harder if your local schools aren't great.

Bearbehind Sun 13-Jan-13 17:11:17

Namnynick, I completely agree, I was fortunate that my parents could afford the extras too, but the children who's parents clearly spent every spare penny on the fees were seen as different and that was 20 years ago when kids were much less materialistic and brand conscious.
I'm not saying its right but I do think it is true that you have to factor in an element of 'keeping up with the Jones'' in your budget calculations.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 13-Jan-13 17:15:56

Again, i dont agree bearbehind. Not in London preps anyway, theres a massively wide variation of people and money and it would be very hard to tell who was who or how much money they had.

There is very little brand conciousness at all until they are in senior school and the ones who are spoilt and have everything and are bragging all the time are the subject of derision not the other way around.

Senior 13+ schools are a different kettle of fish though.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 13-Jan-13 17:16:31

We're not london but this keeping up with the jones thing just doesn't happen here - everyone rummages in the second hand uniform shop and there's a lot of tutting about every extra cost.

And most of the extra clubs are free anyway.

Bearbehind Sun 13-Jan-13 17:20:58

Yes but as I said Youbrokemyshoulder, I can't get my head around the concept if aspiring to send children to private school until they reach senior level, then moving them into the state system, so I am commenting on their whole school career.

marmitepeanutbutter Sun 13-Jan-13 17:21:27

I would be surprised if someone on £130k felt out of place socially at a regular £3k a term prep school which what the OP is indicating her school fees would be. Our school is not full of SAHM mums driving brand new cars wearing designer clothes and spending every holiday in far flung destinations. Whilst admittedly there are no families that I know of who are living in one bedroom flats, driving an old banger and shopping only in Lidl to afford the fees and there are some families who are clearly absolutely loaded most are somewhere in between. The majority of the DC' s friends live in nice houses 3/4 bed semis or medium sized detatched houses, drive nice but not breathtaking cars such as Ford SMax, Golfs, older 4x4' s and the most popular summer holiday last year according to the display in the classroom seemed to be center parcs. Our mums night outs are usually Prezzo with discount vouchers. Whilst this is all clearly very nice and a luxury for many I wouldn't imagine that it would make someone on a good 6 figure salary feel very out of place.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 13-Jan-13 17:23:34

You dont though bearbehind, you can afford prep, so send them and hope that you still can at senior if you have to. There are many types of senior indie as well for all budgets.

Bearbehind Sun 13-Jan-13 17:31:14

But on that basis you agree that the keeping up with the Jones' point does need to be factored into the senior school decision making process given you agreed it is a different kettle of fish. As I said before, I don't think it's right but I think it has to be considered when deciding which route to go down and that was the point of the OP's thread- can they afford to do it?

HeavenlyAmy Sun 13-Jan-13 17:45:03

I haven't read all the thread, but would say choose state and supplement with tutors. The school day in private normally runs to 6pm so they could do some tutoring after school.

diabolo Mon 14-Jan-13 09:07:59

My experience is the same as MrsCampbellBlack - very few snobs, very little keeping up with the Jones' (and we tend to laugh at those that try), and the second hand shop has queues out of the door every week.

I'm sure some schools do have this - but here in East Anglia it's not like that at the preps I know and, according to friends, even less at the local senior independents as the parents tend to have far less involvement (thankfully).

maisiejoe123 Mon 14-Jan-13 10:18:28

Bear - I agree with YouBroke! I have one DS at prep and another at a well known senior boarding and your view of 'essential' trips isnt correct. There is no pressure to go and to have the right gear. Boys tend not to choose their friends by how much money their parents have

seeker Mon 14-Jan-13 10:27:14

Interesting about trips. Depends on how many are going, I think. If it's the whole class bar one or two, then that's an issue. If it's half go half not, then that's OK.

marriedinwhite Mon 14-Jan-13 19:00:27

Agrees with Diabolo - even in SW London - it's the same. And we have older dc of 14 and 18. I would say the girls are less into branded clothes, etc., than at the top 100 comp we moved dd from at the end of y8.

As for the trips we have always said one per year and occasionally as ds has got older we have said OK to something we have believed to be truly educational such as Berlin for History and Italy for Latin in addition to the ski-ing he always choses. We have also succumbed to a couple of sports tours because it would be difficult to say no when based on ability (that's the rub I think - it would be difficult to say no to those sorts of experiences of a lifetime - although I know a lot of families said no to the Galapogos Islands - don't even ask the cost hmm.)

diabolo Mon 14-Jan-13 19:34:30

Galapagos!!!!!!

shock

France is the extent of school trips for DS so far.

Bearbehind Mon 14-Jan-13 21:01:31

Maisiejoe, I never said these trips were 'essential' I was simply pointing out that the OP said sending her children to private school meant sacrificing family holidays and I was highlighting the fact that their peers will be travelling, either on school trips or with their parents, and it is a factor to consider when weighing up the options.

MrsDe Tue 15-Jan-13 13:10:58

Coming in late to this but have only just seen it.

OP, we are in central london and have a similar joint income. Our mortgage is higher and we manage to send both of ours to the local fee paying school. Well, my DS will start in September but until then we have a nanny/part time nursery place and actually our childcare costs will be lower once he starts in school in September.

We manage to put into pensions, save, have holidays (camping trips granted, not 5 star resorts but still abroad) a nice car and days out etc. We don't have any other debt other than our mortgage and guess we don't spend much on clothes or other material things, gadgets etc. but I was talking to OH about this last night and neither of us feel as though we are missing out. Ocassionaly I think about how nice it would be to not watch every penny but I realise that we are lucky to have what we do have and for me it's worth it.

I am surprised at some of the comment from posters on here saying that they wouldn't do it on that salary. I guess it goes to show it's all about what other outgoings you have.

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