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?

WorraLiberty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:08:11

YANBU to think yours aren't

YABU to think everyone else is the same.

Besides the fact not everyone can afford to stay home, your kids haven't got to teenage/university age yet I assume?

stressyBessy22 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:08:51

the 'childcare exclude' bit is the salient point. How old are they? They get considerably more expensive as they get older?

yeah how old are they? My 16 year old is pretty expensive to maintain.

mrsbungle Mon 25-Mar-13 15:10:45

I agree you can't just 'exclude' child care. I pay over £600 a month in child care. I am hoping that when they go to school I will be rich! realises that they will cost the same in different ways

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 15:11:44

Feeding and clothing a pre-schooler = not very expensive
Childcare for a pre-schooler = £10k+ a year
Feeding a clothing a teenager = rather more expensive

Bigger house/car, extra seats on planes etc = also very expensive.

Babies and toddlers don't cost very much though, especially if you breastfeed and are a SAHM.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 25-Mar-13 15:12:02

It's the loss of work when they need looking after that costs. And childcare when you go back to work.

TheRealFellatio Mon 25-Mar-13 15:12:05

You wait until they are teenagers. Come back and tell me they are not expensive then.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:12:14

Well, they can be.

Without them, you could live in a bedsit, never have the heating on, barely use water... food for one or two. That would be far cheaper grin

But seriously, it does add up. the family home instead of single/couple accomodation. family holiday with school holiday premium angry food, electric, gas, water, phone bill (I am SO glad I have boys wink ) shoes clothes hobbies activities school trips. If you need childcare that costs a bloody fortune!

I don't think it has to cost anywhere close to the what is it they claim now? over £220,000 click here but it's certainly the biggest expense you'll ever have in life!

kim147 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:12:22

Being a SAHM is costing you since you're not working.
It's just money you haven't spent.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:12:58

And you can't 'exclude childcare' in order to make your point grin childcare is an essential expense for many people. naughty OP grin

VinegarTits Mon 25-Mar-13 15:13:26

I think your being a little naive, they get more expensive as they get older, yes you can get by relatively cheaply on second hand stuff when they are little, but not so much when they are older

personally i would rather my children have better than that, especially as they get older, which is why i work my socks of and only have one dependant child, but thats just me

Small children and their accoutrements aren't.

You are in for a shock though if you think they will accept as willingingly your current lifestyle when they are 12/13/14/15!

NorthernAnnie Mon 25-Mar-13 15:14:12

It would cost me more money to work than not to though....

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:14:38

True, kim. Good point grin it could be argued that the loss of earnings of say, £26,000 a year (average wage apparently) is a cost of having kids.

So, say, 5 years = £130,000 down before you've spent a penny on them. grin

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 15:14:44

If I think about how much money me and DP would have if we hadn't had a child, then he has cost us a lot - we would still be in a small, cheap flat, we'd have a double income, we wouldn't have the heating on all day etc.

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 15:15:42

So they are at least costing you your salary then NorthernAnnie, if not childcare. How much would you be earning if you hadn't had children?

kim147 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:15:59

But they're worth it grin

<Waves hair back ala Cheryl Cole>

You've lost your entire wage, that is very expensive!

TempusFuckit Mon 25-Mar-13 15:17:10

NorthernAnnie - yes, but if you had no kids, you would presumably be working? So having kids means you are losing out on your potential income.

NorthernAnnie Mon 25-Mar-13 15:17:43

MajaBiene - This is true! I hadn't looked at it that way. I wouldn't earn much at all, luckily DH earns more.

mrsbungle Mon 25-Mar-13 15:17:52

Goodness, I have never even thought of the true cost of having kids with regard to bigger house, car, holidays, working part time etc. These two terrors really are costing me a fortune!

Lovelygoldboots Mon 25-Mar-13 15:17:59

You are the childcare if you are a sahm. Otherwise you would be at work wouldnt you? You just cant exclude it. That makes no sense. The cost of childcare is the salary you would have if you didn't have kids. And as pp have said the expense mounts up, particularly food and clothing.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:20:34

most of the time, Kim. wink

JustinBsMum Mon 25-Mar-13 15:20:36

We have been helping DS to put deposit on first home ! not cheap!
Felt it would be better he has the money now than wait until we are gone when there prob won't be any left anyway

Oroonoko Mon 25-Mar-13 15:21:10

After 6 months maternity leave followed by London childcare costs we're going to be very poor!
Spending money on clothing and child size food portions doesn't worry me in the slightest!

impty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:22:13

As teens they become very expensive! Eat the same as adults, have lots of gadgets, hobbies etc.... wont wear h&m (all the time). Enjoy the feeling of cheapness now it won't lastgrin grin

Maryz Mon 25-Mar-13 15:22:17

I have three teenagers, and no spare money at all.

And we don't do foreign holidays or designer clothes or gadgets.

hairtearing Mon 25-Mar-13 15:24:11

I am in the camp of children are as expensive as you make then to some extent,

but it certainly isn't cheap.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:24:16

That's true, impty. I used to put my children in inexpensive shoes.

My eldest took me to buy trainers recently.


Of course, the assistant was right there and actually looked at me and said "they're very expensive, you know" so I had to do the whole nod and smile and that's fine.


higgle Mon 25-Mar-13 15:26:12

Boys are cheaper than girls. I have 2 sons and with the exception of childcare hardly noticed I had them until they were about 15 from a financial point of view.

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 15:27:26

So NorthernAnnie, having children has cost you both what your current salary would be, plus your future earning potential/career progression while you are at home with them? That sounds very expensive to me.

It is true to say food and clothes for young children are not very expensive though grin

Annunziata Mon 25-Mar-13 15:27:58


Love, mum of 6.

Shesparkles Mon 25-Mar-13 15:28:16

Not expensive <hollow laugh>

Enjoy the cheapness while it lasts- I have a 15 and 10 year old and we're feeding them as adults.......and the rest!

Scholes34 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:29:41

Bought two pairs of jeans yesterday and spent £52 - £32 on DS1, £20 on me.

Life has got a little easier financially since DD and DS1 started paper rounds, which brings them in £80 to £100 a month each. I find their social lives so much more affordable now.

We don't tend to eat out because we can't afford to eat out, unless we're blessed with some Tesco vouchers!

choceyes Mon 25-Mar-13 15:30:56

I estimate that me and DH are down nearly 1.5K a month every month after having our 2DCs. Both at nursery (although the older one gets his 15hours free), and I work 3 days a week rather than full time, so the childcare costs plus loss of income on 2 days a week is nearly 1.5K.

Clothing and feeding them costs pittance in comparison.

Also sending them both through Uni, (they are a year apart in school years), is going to hit us very hard. We are trying to pay off our mortgage quickly, so we can then start saving for uni.

Ofcourse it is expensive!

Oh and forget buying secondhand clothes once boys get bigger. Secondhand trousers usually cease to exist after a certain age because they wear them out. Also once they are out of children's sizes the cost of clothes and shoes jumps. My 12 year old is out of children's shoes and has been for a year. Girls usually even sooner.

Agree that clothing, feeding and activities can be cheap if you only have a couple of small ones, but either childcare costs and the opportunity cost of not working or not working full time (i.e. lost earnings) must be quite high. Also don't forget the cost of housing.

bollywoodfan Mon 25-Mar-13 15:46:36

Thats why the older generation just don't 'get' why things are so difficult for families now. They didn't work so there was no loss of income - a child just cost a bit of extra food and some more clothes. Now we buy our houses, cars etc based on two incomes & then we certainly feel the loss of one income is lost/reduced/spent on childcare
yanbu children don't cost a lot. It is childcare which is very expensive

bollywoodfan Mon 25-Mar-13 15:48:58

By 'they' I meant my mum & mil

TheCatInTheHairnet Mon 25-Mar-13 15:49:49

Totally agree with all the posters saying it gets more expensive the older they get. My teen boys never seem to stop eating, their sports cost me a fortune (but I wouldn't stop paying it as its important for them), they need money left, right and centre. We are coming up to DC1 looking at Uni's and we're buying him a car for his birthday as its so expensive to insure him on mine. He has a p/t job, but teenagers are still bloody expensive to run!!

Now I know a lot of the things we spend our money on are done by choice, but to us, those choices are important.

Shesparkles Mon 25-Mar-13 15:49:58

If we add in reduction in earnings, had I stayed in my pre children full time job, I'd have been earning approx £35k, but a part time family friendly job (yes it's our choice I know) I'm on about £18k, so over the last 15 years that's maybe about £200k. How scary is that!! grin but no, I'd not have it any other way

Poppet48 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:51:12

Not everyone is able to be in your situation OP, Some people have no choice but to work and pay extortionate childcare costs so I'm sorry but YABU to say that children in general are not expensive.

juule Mon 25-Mar-13 15:54:58

Yabu children do cost a lot.

Bollywoodfan I don't think "a child just cost a bit of extra food and some more clothes." for the older generation. Whatever income you have you have to accommodate an extra person.

AngiBolen Mon 25-Mar-13 15:58:51

My DC take up a huge amount of our income, as I have to pay for before/ after school care, and I also choose to pay for music lessons/school trips etc.

My teenage DS eats more than DH, and has a habit of growing really fast and needing new school uniform/shoes/trainers, etc.

I also earn about 20K pa less than I would if I had never given birth, as I've chosen to change jobs to fit in with DC.

Financially I look forward to the day, when they don't rely on me financially.

motherinferior Mon 25-Mar-13 15:59:25

A huge percentage of my income goes on our mortgage. On a house. I live in a house, rather than the lovely one-bedroomed flat I used to live in, in order to fit my two daughters and their father into it. And that is just for starters.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 16:04:40

When babies they are practically free.Only spent a couple of 100 max on dc2. So first year costs are extremely low personally.

Snugglepiggy Mon 25-Mar-13 16:06:41

Remind yourself of your comment when they get older and if they go onto further education.We have helped 3 through university.It was worth it.2 now have good jobs ,and third doing a further course that hopefully will lead to one.So the end's in sight for major financial outlay.They all jobs in the holidays and when they could so didn't expect unlimited hand outs.
But the early years seem a doddle money wise compared to the teens and beyond.I was a SAHM mum bur started my own business and work harder than ever now in my 50s as a result.Not complaining.Just a fact.

Arcticwaffle Mon 25-Mar-13 16:06:45

I would count: reduction in earnings from full time to part time over a number of years for DP and for me. Plus the harder-to-estimate loss of careeer progression/higher salaries we would almost certainly be on without children. Also the loss of savings and pensions as part of this. Plus the childcare. Plus the crippling cost of family holidays abroad for 5 in peak school holiday times. Even if you're a camping cheapskate like me it costs a whole lot more than far more luxurious (relaxing, holiday-like) holidays in term time for two working adults, pre-kids.
Then you might add the costs of food, clothes, larger house, extra transport. but I think the loss to income/cost of childcare, whichever way you do it (SAH or pay lots of childcare) is the biggest.

Luckily I like having children but it's not much of a deal economically.

jojane Mon 25-Mar-13 16:18:36

Depends on age and sex of child
2 year old ds2 costs next to nothing - wears had me downs from his brother and goes to toddler groups that cost pennies.
6 year old ds1 has swimming lessons, school stuff (discos, pound for this, pound for that, fruit snacks etc etc) gymnastics etc etc but is happy with books and computer, clothes wise will wear anything
4 year old dd on the other hand has ballet, swimming, Gymnastics, and school stuff too but is constantly losing hair clips and hair bands as well as getting holes in her tights etc. clothes wise needs more clothes and more shoes in various styles am colours (dread what she will be like as a teenager!!) plus goes through. Craft supplies like water!!!

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

Arisbottle Mon 25-Mar-13 18:11:57

Well your children are costing you a lot, they are costing you 50k.

If I did the same our children would have cost us 50k. Good job I am so much more frugal than you. wink

DontmindifIdo Mon 25-Mar-13 18:14:38

After tax, I'd be earning £2.5k a month if I hadn't had DS. If I hadn't had DS, we'd still be living in a small flat in zone 3 in London, rather than a 3 bed house outside London, so he costs us an extra £500 a month in mortgage compared to the rent we were paying, plus an extra £200 a month on rail cards.

This is before you factor in car seats, food, clothes and groups. While you can pick cheaper options for those they do cost, and would you really have been a housewife if you didn't have DCs? would you really be living in a 3 bed house?

(oh and re hand me downs, that assumes you don't get to a point where they want to wear them, that they are still growing at similar stages so one has outgrown something by the time the next one needs it and they continue to not completely wear out clothes before they are outgrown - from about 14 I only threw out clothes because they were unwearable/unfashionable, not because I didn't fit them, I was then my adult size I stayed until I was about 23)

bigkidsdidit Mon 25-Mar-13 18:14:40

Next year I will be spending at least £1500 on my two. Childcare 4 days pw for two, food, even with cheap clothes etc, having to rent a bigger house...

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 18:14:45

Chesty, yes I can see that if you don't take any time off work with children, stay in the same job, don't use childcare, don't have to move to a bigger home (we also pay £400 a month more in rent now than pre-DS), don't have to get a car/bigger car, and your heating bill stays the same then children are very cheap.

bigkidsdidit Mon 25-Mar-13 18:15:07

£1500 a month, that is.

Arisbottle Mon 25-Mar-13 18:32:41

Sorry most did not make sense, am on my phone !

I meant to say they are costing a lot as they are costing you a full time wage. In our case that would be just over 50K. Ours cost considerably less than that, we must be very frugal. wink

nokidshere Mon 25-Mar-13 18:48:52

Cheap? How come I never have any money then?

Cheap was when they were under 5. Doable was when they were under 11. Skint is what we are now with two teenagers in the house in adult size clothing and shoes, school trips, sports stuff, 2 lots of secondary school clothing (£600+) and appetites to outstrip their dad! To all intents and purposes we are now a household of 4 adults. Enjoy the relative inexpense while you can!

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 18:53:08

Yeah all of those things didnt change for me majabiene and they havent changed for most of my friends with children either. I realise they do for some people.

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 19:04:15

You're very unusual then Chesty - I don't know anyone who hasn't taken months off work, reduced their work hours, changed jobs or used some form of childcare.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Mar-13 19:26:47

Of course children are expensive, its not just food and second hand clothes. Its childcare or the loss of income and pension if a parent stays home. As they get older, clothes and food bilss rocket. Trips from school and socialising come with a cost. Not to mention uni etc.

If your DH wasnt bringing in an income that covered you not working and the bills its fair to say you would soon realise how expensive children are.

IDoTakeTwo Mon 25-Mar-13 19:37:13


school trips
bras (ffs cost a fortune)
sanpro (3 dds)
hair cuts

and thats for starters!!!!

infamouspoo Mon 25-Mar-13 19:40:30

children can be either, even teenagers. Mine dont get gadgets, holidays etc. Yeah they do eat lots but you can fill them up cheaply.. some are at university but they get a grant and loan and have to live on it without support/car/fancy things.
The ones still at home still socialise but if they want bus fares/beer they have to go and earn the money. Which they do. Same with clothes.
Yes I'm sure they would like all that stuff (except sports) but it wont kill them to do without. We dont have any money. Thats the real world.

TheCatInTheHairnet Mon 25-Mar-13 19:51:31

Moody the only reason we're buying dc a car is because we live in the US and so they can't walk everywhere. Even the bus service is a drive away. And I don't want to share my car! If we still lived in the UK, with a bus service at the end of the road, I wouldn't be buying them one. It wasn't to make anyone feel bad!

MsVestibule Mon 25-Mar-13 19:53:00

Are you for real??? I'm now a SAHM, but if I hadn't had children, my take home pay would be something like £2k pm, which is a really good salary for where I live. Transport costs to work would be £100pm. I stopped earning about 4 years ago, and had 2 lots of lower paid maternity leave immediately prior to that, so my DCs have cost me, in lost earnings alone:


Fuck, I need a lie down and a brown paper bag after working that out. Thanks, OP angry.

survivingwinter Mon 25-Mar-13 19:57:45

I assume none of your children have a disability OP? Maybe you have the option to go back to work at some stage but some people have a lot more expense and other factors to take into account which makes having children very expensive...

Sevenmilebeach Mon 25-Mar-13 20:00:30

I must be doing something wrong then lol! My direct costs every month for DD are about £800 - that's after school club, running club, guides, dance classes and school dinners. That doesn't include clothes that she seems to grow out of on a daily basis, kit for dance, running and guides, pocket money etc etc etc.
And at 12 clothes are not cheap - its all hollister, jack wills etc etc - I fondly remember the days of being able to buy her clothes from Markies and Next.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 20:08:40

Majabiene - I live in a low income area its pretty common in this type of area for there to be not really much income change as maternity is same as wages, and tcs pay childcare for most people.

Yfronts Mon 25-Mar-13 20:09:39

My kids aren't expensive really. Shoes, clothes, toys etc are mostly second hand and although they do clubs we limit it to a couple each. We tend to utilise the library a lot for films, music, books etc.

They do eat quite a good amount though but it's mostly cooked from scratch and we don't bother with extras like crisps, biscuits, bars etc.

School is also expensive. Not the uniform (all from the second hand box in school) but the class trips, residentials and PTA fund raisers.

But it's housing I find trickiest. We would be completely mortgage free now if we were also child free and only requiring a two bed property. Instead we have lots of kids and own half our largish house.

I worry about my children managing the cost of getting a degree, getting married and buying a house. It seems to have gone crazy!

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 20:21:15

Tax credits don't pay more than 70% of childcare Chesty, and maternity pay is about £100 a week less than a minimum wage job.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 25-Mar-13 20:23:10

The childcare element is 70% but you also get the other element so its usually the full amount for most people I know.

Glittertwins Mon 25-Mar-13 20:23:54

Ah yes Sandy and wordfactory. Ours are just hand me downs for B/G twins either. We are dreading the school trip money pits.

trixymalixy Mon 25-Mar-13 20:27:57

I can't bring myself to add up the loss of earnings on 2x maternity leave, working part time and the amount we have spent on childcare. Although we are extremely lucky that my parents do 2 days of childcare a week for us so not as bad as it could be!!

BellaVita Mon 25-Mar-13 20:28:06

OP wait till yours are teens, you may just change your mind then.

jjuice Mon 25-Mar-13 21:04:54

My Dd (15) has eaten huge adult portions for the last 4 years. But she does burn it all off as she is netball mad, which leads me to the expense of her sport - subs, training fees, umpire fees, away tournaments, trainers (£90 every 3-4 fecking months), tracksuits, skorts, tops, kits 4 club colours ankle brace (£60 a pair) skins for training in(£60) kits bags etc etc
then we move on to clothes ha ha ha ha fucking ha 38" inside leg, 6'6" arm span ...I challenge you to do it on the cheap.

When I split with Ex I was amazed at how cheaply we could eat me and dd and ds little did I know what was coming.

Enjoy it while you can envy

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 25-Mar-13 21:12:41

Well, it's more expensive than not having any. But. If ds "won't wear H and M" when he is a teen, he can bloody well get a job, like what I did aged 14.
<Goes off to mutter about over entitled spoilt youth of today>

Corygal Mon 25-Mar-13 21:23:30

Yessss... but SAHM who are losing salaries to look after their DCs should bear in mind that if they were doing paid work, they'd probably be at least supporting themselves. So take off the cost of one-bedroom flat, all the bills, food, etc etc off that and suddenly every DC doesn't look so expensive.

Comparing SAHM cash with DINKY cash is a bit unrealistic. Only a few people stay childless, and being single is way more expensive than paying for a child.

Mandy21 Mon 25-Mar-13 21:27:04

We have 3DC. I agree children aren't THAT expensive in themselves (they don't have lots of gadgets, toys etc), but its the loss of income & childcare that are expensive. I've lost 2 days income (as I work 3 days) and pay nursery / after school for those days - just on that, I'm £1100 net out of pocket income wise and we pay £1k out in childcare, so we're at least £2.1k per month before you factor in the clubs / swimming lessons / school trips etc for 3, plus 3 mouths to feed. And the extension we need for an extra bedroom!

I also completely disagree that boys are cheaper - just been out to get 4th pair of school shoes for DS (age 7) since Sept (scuffed to death from football in playground), he goes through football boots / studs / trainers within months, loses an item of school uniform most weeks, breaks his glasses every other week. He is a walking disaster - bloody good job I love him wink.

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 21:33:23

Are you conflating being childfree with being single corygal?

Babyroobs Mon 25-Mar-13 21:35:04

I'm assuming your kids are still young ? Wait til they get older from say 10 onwards. This year we have paid out over £300 on school trips/ cubs / Brownies trips, last week alone £70 on school day trips, £20 per week on subs & swimming lessons, £100 a season on football subs etc , the list goes on. We do have 4 dc's and no childcare costs but they get more and more expensive as they get older. We are dreading the Uni years , I think I will be working full time just to help them through Uni.

superstarheartbreaker Mon 25-Mar-13 22:06:26

YABU and I guess this is a stealth boast about how much your dh earns?

superstarheartbreaker Mon 25-Mar-13 22:09:00

My dd is only 4 I'm right in thinking this gets MORE expensive?! Faints.
I have just had a letter from dds ballet school...They want £36 for one exam and then they want her to have 4 practice lessons at a price of £4 each which means the whole lot will come to £52 for one poxy exam (which I feel that she has to do because all the other girls are doing it and I do't want her to feel left out.)

Disappearing Mon 25-Mar-13 23:08:10

For me, the downgrading of my career, and childcare costs are the main expenses, closely followed by buying a bigger house in a better area. The actual cash costs on things like clothes, food etc. are almost vanishingly small when compared to that.

So for me it has cost me - 8 years and counting of earning less than half of what I used to, plus £1200 per month on child care, plus an extra £260k on a house, etc. etc.

OttilieKnackered Tue 26-Mar-13 00:26:11

So much of this stuff is optional, though. Teens 'refusing' to wear cheap clothes? In my house it was 'tough shit, when you get a job you can choose how much to spend.' Ditto gadgets and hundreds of activities.

And university is designed for students to be able to support themselves (through loans primarily, plus part time work if wanted/necessary).

Of course these are nice-to-haves, and there's nothing wrong in having them, but they're not a necessary cost of having children, they're an optional one.

Bogeyface Tue 26-Mar-13 01:38:15

Speaking as a mother of 6 from the ages of 22 years to 21 months YANBU

Children, like everything, are as expensive as you choose to make them. Just as your own life is as expensive as you choose to make it. We dont spend a weeks shopping budget on extra activities, we dont put great store in gadgets or designer labels and we dont live in a big house. I dont have a huge shoe collection or get my hair done regularly either (that is, more than once every 5 years!) because I cant afford it.

We live to our means and we appreciate what we have. The most excited faces I see are not on birthdays or Xmas, but on the day that one of my children returns from a school residential trip and the others meet that child at the door! They love and miss each other so much, money cant buy that.

cantspel Tue 26-Mar-13 02:18:09

All depends what you term a gadget. Is a computer a gadget for fun or a tool for learning bearing in mind a most secondary schools do the majority of their homework on line.
You dont need to be buying big brand names for clothes to be expensive, school uniform, shoes and winter coats dont come cheap for teens.
Shiney excited faces of little ones playing with an old box maybe be cheap and cute but hardly going to something a teen wants to do in the 6 week summer holidays. Nor is playing down the park an option for a 15 year old.
Teens eat like every meal is their last and decent food is expensive.
Haircuts, spot cream and deodarant add up and is more than i need to pay for my own grooming.
Then they go to college and bus fare needs paying. Plus stationary, food each day and if they are doing work placements something suitable to wear and yet more bus fares to get them there.

You can just say they should get a job or a paper round and earn their own spends as there just isn't the jobs out there for 15/16 year olds. Even paper rounds are hard to come by as people just dont have their papers delivered anymore.

Having children is expensive.

Mutley77 Tue 26-Mar-13 02:20:01

Yes kids don't actually cost that much. However I am quite keen to provide my children with a lot of different experiences - some of which do cost money, including nice holidays, a variety of extra-curriculur activities, days and meals out. I also like to give them nice birthday/Christmas presents and a good party. Therefore my kids do seem to cost me a lot but I really appreciate and enjoy what they get out of me spending the money!

I am also very keen to ensure we are in a stable financial position so that I can pay a good proportion of their university costs shoudl they wish to go in future. And I know that all the activities etc get more expensive, there are more things for them to do and they will cost more as they get older.

The argument about childcare is slightly flawed as if you were paying childcare you would also presumably be earning an income- therefore chances are you would be equally as well off if not better off.

Alligatorpie Tue 26-Mar-13 05:48:46

Mutley when i worked and paid for childcare i could pay rent and chilcare. If i wasn't working, i would not have been able to pay rent. I guess that means i was better off working.

In my experience, young children arent expensive, the baby costs almost nothing right now. but I already see my 7 yo wanting an ipad, her last school trip was almost £300 and flights really add up ( we live overseas so travel a lot) yes, these are luxuries, and I still spend almost nothing on food for her as she doesnt eat much.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 26-Mar-13 06:27:00

Did the OP ever come back or is she researching how to sell a kidney on the black market? wink

higgle Tue 26-Mar-13 08:00:19

A bigger house in a better area is an investment - you will get that money back in the future if you downsize again, so can't really go on teh same list as teh other expenses like childcare which for which you never see the cash again.

As I don't have daughters I can't add much to what I said about boys being cheaper but the younger was always pleased to have his brother's hand me downs, my mother used to buy loads of striped T shirts and jeans from Woolworths ( have Ladybird disapeared too?) and apart from the school shoes and the second hand uniform that was about it. Football club was, I expect, a miniscule expense compared with ballet.

higgle Tue 26-Mar-13 08:03:49

... And another think... of course it all changes once they reach mid teens, if you have two it is like living with another couple, and keeping them. You stop thinking of a drink in a cafe as being £2.50 and start thinking of it being £10.
This september we will be empty nesters! At least the cost of uni is quantifiable, and not the never ending drip drip drip of money for this, that and the other week in week out.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 26-Mar-13 08:09:20

How much do you think I could recoup selling the little darlings on eBay?

webwiz Tue 26-Mar-13 08:30:31

Ottlieknackered university is designed for students to support themselves "if" you have a low family income if you don't parents are expected to make up the shortfall.

I have two DD's at university - DD1 has worked in the holidays and DD2 has a part time job in term times neither earn enough to cover living expenses. The amount of student loan they are allowed to borrow doesn't even cover their rent so I would actually like them to be able to eat and pay their heating bills so we help out. DD1 graduates this summer thank goodness so we don't have to double up anymore.

MajaBiene Tue 26-Mar-13 08:38:08

Mutley - the argument about childcare is it is expensive? If I worked and didn't pay childcare I would be £10k a year better off.

A bigger house is only an investment if you are buying it unfortunately!

Binkybix Tue 26-Mar-13 10:37:41

But I've saved loads so far not drinking whilst pregnant. Surely that will balance it all out? wink

Mutley77 Tue 26-Mar-13 12:41:46

Alligatorpie - sorry I haven't explained myself well!! I mean the costs of childcare are high , however the OP saying that children are cheap because she doesn't pay childcare doesn't make sense to me. If she were earning an income, and therefore needing childcare, she is likely to be better off overall. So what I should have probably said is that her point that children aren't expensive is incorrect if she is working on the basis that she loses a salary - on the UK average wage (not sure if I am out of date) her children are costing her £21,000 per year or similar before any other costs!

MajaBiene - I agree childcare is expensive but if you didn't pay any childcare at all and didn't have a salary you would be worse off, so therefore having children would be more expensive than if you paid for the childcare (esp in the longer term as childcare costs decrease). I am meaning the cost of caring for children is high whether or not you count it as childcare or losing a salary.

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