Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications, experience, or professional insurance of anyone posting on Mumsnet and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Can someone tell me how many years it would stay a tight as this?

(28 Posts)
whosthis Tue 23-Apr-13 17:11:13

DS is six months and I am going back to work soon. Having done my calculation, it's crystal clear that the financial aspect of my side wouldn't be any better than now - newly a thousand per month for childcare. DH's the only one who's going to pay all the bills, including mortgage for the other 25+ years.

Feel stressed out and depressed to think we have to live this for quite a few years. Basically, with a saving of a few hundreds maxi per month, we can't even afford traveling easily for a fairly long time.

We are both over mid thirty and therefore have to plan the second child soon. That's the other few years plus of stretch for childcare!

Can anyone tell me is it going to improve ever? Is it true the first few years are most difficult? I am hoping perhaps only after both kids start school we could manage to regain any sort of quality of life again?

Am I over pessimistic or it can be eben worse over years?

Really need to win lottery...

Babyroobs Tue 23-Apr-13 18:42:07

Sorry if it depresses you furthur but I don't think it will get too much better for quite some time. Our eldest is 14 and even though we don't have any childacre costs, kids do seem to get more expensive as they get older - although we do have 4 kids . Then once they hit 18 you have to think about helping them through Uni etc which is scaring me already !

whosthis Tue 23-Apr-13 18:54:33

Thanks for being candid. DH keeps saying the same thing, but I never understand Why?. What else can compare with A thousand per month for care only? Food? Activities to be paid for?

Yes it will get worse.

Why have another? grin

We have two DC and the youngest will start school in September. I'm thinking that we might have a few easier years - I've been working PT and we've been paying between £500 and £1000 childcare per month. I'm going to increase my hours so that will help my pay and i will work school hours so no childcare costs. I'm hoping it will give our finances a chance to recover before the expensive teenage years grin

Children cost a lot but YES it does get easier when you start to reduce the childcare bills. £1000 is a hell of a lot of money. Even with teenagers I do have more money for 'fun' stuff grin

Did you find it easy to conceive? If you did and are prepared to take the risk that you may not conceive again I would leave it as long as possible before ttc. There are 6 years between dd2 and dd3 partly because of childcare costs and partly because I knew 9 months mat leave was coming in in April 2007. Her due date was 13/04/07 grin I was only 29 then nd had conceived easily previously so felt no rush.

whosthis Tue 23-Apr-13 19:25:04

That's the thing. I don't think we are going to spoil kids with toys or clothes, as we didn't have much when we were children but we grew up happily. I do think we need to offer opportunities for them to learn new skills and new hobbies as well as seeing the world a bit. So even in this way, I really wouldn't think we have to spend as much as what we spend soon in childcare. It is insanely expensive!

So apart from these, anything else might cost anything near 1000/month?

Yes, we conceived DS very easily. I wouldn't be in a rush for another go but still want to make sure before turning forty, as it's not wise at energy level. sad

whosthis Tue 23-Apr-13 19:40:18

By the way, Babyroobs , DH says our kids will have to take a loan and then oay it back on their own for Uni, as that's what he did when he was young. grin

Chubfuddler Tue 23-Apr-13 19:42:33

You'll get 15 hours term time childcare when each child turns 3. Don't either you or your husband have scope to increase your earnings in the next 25 years?

Babelange Tue 23-Apr-13 20:51:39

When I had DS1 my mum asked me how I was going to afford to support us all & TBH it never crossed my mind it was going to be tough. Luckily there was no Mumsnet (joke) - so didn't have time to agonise over stuff. It certainly helps both working full time as in 10 years both of us are earning 25% more. I've been very on the ball in terms of researching child care - a mixture of nursery, childminders and holiday cover. We each use our paid holiday to cover the school hols separately so we only have Whit and 2 weeks in the summer all together. DS1 now at secondary, is not costing anything in childcare but the summer holidays will be £850 (4 weeks) for DS x 2 which is saved up with vouchers. There's the new voucher scheme you should look into - I am sure there are pages on Mumsnet about it.
You definitely need to scale back your expenses. Advice I would have appreciated before I went on maternity leave was to have been more careful with spending before the baby came.
And your priorities change. Life changes! Staying in is the new going out! You need time to adjust to the new normal. Also at about 18 months your PFB will be so adorable that you are genetically programmed to want to create a playmate for him.
Are you well located for primary schools? You really don't want to schedule a big expensive move now (so fingers crossed on that count!)
Other costs on top of childcare - term time clubs in juniors including music tuition (state school) for 2 were £600 per term. 11+ tuition £25 per hour. Unfortunately not always pay as you go.

Babyroobs Tue 23-Apr-13 21:50:19

I think you will be a little better off as they get older, but obviously you might still have some after school childcare and holiday childcare to pay for. When they are little they don't eat a lot and you can get away with hand me downs and second hand clothes, but once they get older, particularly the teenage years, costs rise alot. Our biggest expenditures are school shoes / trainers, subs for scouts/cubs/Brownies, school trips (£600 spend so far this year) and petrol ferrying them to football matches/ clubs / friends houses etc. Also feeding 3 huge , fast growing teenage boys costs a fortune. We are having a foreign holiday for the first time this year, and only because we inherited a small amount of money .

whosthis Tue 23-Apr-13 22:44:09

Thanks to you all for the comforting words...

Babelange , we already significantly cut down our spending. We bought this new place right before he was born. So for about 4 months, there were fair amount of spending on setting up this new house, plus some expenditure for the new born. We got the clothes (and shoes) from a friends which can cover until he turns 18 months (probably enough). I avoid going to the supermarket now but to buy groceries online to prevent "unplanned purchase" (you know what I say). Every week, I wished I didn't have to delete some little snacks for myself before check out, but always had to in the end just to control under budget... Not much going out really. All those occasions when we wanted to see friends, we invited them to come over having lunch with us.

Fortunately, we are more or less withint the catchment area of the school. So no more "big move" to anticipate.

My salary is already on the top range for the type of role with little hope to get any higher unless I get myself "upgraded" in the hierarchy which I consider highly unlikely. That's why I consider to make a career change but that would lead to a big pay cut for at least 4 years before I could manage to get back to where I am now before any relative pay increase...

I just feel so fear whenever I imagine the next few years. Never felt like this before! - It's not that I had never been financially tight before. But I was young and obviously didn't have a child then who rely on me to plan his future. We would have to expend the house within 5 years time. Where is the extra money coming from? I have no idea!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Apr-13 08:38:50

I think you've got about three years of very high costs. Once they get a free nursery place the costs go down significantly. Once they start primary you're looking at before/after school clubs or you might have made friends with people who are happy to help out. Also, don't forget that your income will probably rise a little over that time as well. I've been a lone parent since birth, the first few years demolished my savings but, since then, things have got a whole lot easier.

Babelange Wed 24-Apr-13 13:55:39

OP please relax a little... from your posts you sound organised and focused. Are you a natural worrier? If you have the family costs and expenditure under control, then that's great. Set yourself more achievable goals re: treats and holidays. Our holidays when the kids were small were to out-of-season cottages and caravans - great family friendly holidays which were all the more memorable for being different from the 'grown-up' hols of pre-children. Actual holidays - as in leave from work - are in fact sometimes more usefully spent at home pottering and catching up, not rushing around. Unfortunately older children tend to lobby for somewhere more exotic than Wales!

And breathe! Try to keep your stress levels down and anxiety at bay - going back to work has many benefits (financially, obviously!) but it's tiring to being with and small child get poorly and need to be nursed. But it's all manageable and the path is well trodden by other Mumsnetters smile

Doubtitsomehow Thu 25-Apr-13 05:18:02

The first couple of years are crippling. On e they get their free 15 hours it gets easier, and once they start school a lot easier. Then I am told that it goes upwards again when they become teenagers....but you have a few recovery years in between.

Mne are 7 and 5 now. Been there on the £1000 a month Childcare fees. It really is a massive relief when they start school.

nooka Thu 25-Apr-13 05:40:59

I think the cost of children is highest at the beginning and the end of childhood - the early years because of childcare and the late teens because of education (and eating!). However they can themselves help with some of those costs later on as they start to earn their own money, so that makes a bit of a difference.

When my two were very small we had a nanny which was actually cheaper than two lots of nursery fees, but wiped out half of our earnings. Once they hit school it was much cheaper (but more complicated) and now they are 12 and 13 we don't have any childcare costs anymore, time now to save for university!

Holidays for the first six or seven years was visiting my parents in the countryside, but that was fine really. Nice weather and a bit of space and freedom from the daily grind was very nice in itself. We've done a few more fun things over the last few years, but won't get really adventurous until the children leave home really, and that's no big problem.

redskyatnight Thu 25-Apr-13 12:54:33

IF at a nursery, childcare reduces (slightly!) when they get to 2 and then again at 3 and then again when they get 15 hours paid for.

We opted to save pre-children and have two close together. This meant there was a period where childcare was ridiculous but we got it over fairly quickly. They are now primary age, DH and I can work flexibly enough to reduce the amount of before/after school care we need and budget for holiday care. We spend a fair bit on extra-curricular activities but still nowhere near the amount we spent on childcare.

My DC are 20 months apart - I think things got noticeably easier by the time the youngest got the early years grant - which would have meant around 4 years of it being hard (with varying degrees of "hard").

cathers Thu 25-Apr-13 15:35:39

I agree with Nooka. Costs seem to 'drop' between ages of 5-10, when they slowly rise again.
When dc's where babies or toddlers, childcare/ nappies/ formula was costing probably about £1500 per month per child.
Now they are school age, after school clubs, kit, sports etc cost us around £80 per Dc per month, but birthdays and Xmas are more expensive, as is travel, food or entry to days out with a child rather than an infant. It swings in roundabouts.

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Thu 25-Apr-13 15:39:44

umm, why are you going to have another child when you are already feeling the pinch and worrying about how tight things will be? confused

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Thu 25-Apr-13 15:44:25

and why would your DH be paying everything for the next 25 years? you dont intend to go work full time once DC's can let themselves in and out of the house (around 12/13)?

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Thu 25-Apr-13 15:46:32

in fact with breakfast and afterschool clubs you could go full time while they are still in primary. ASC starts at p2 where i live so depending on month of birth your dc could be 5/6 in wraparound care that is dirt cheap tbh. you'd just need to find childcare for holidays.

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Thu 25-Apr-13 15:49:11

and why do you need to expand the house? confused is it for children you haven't yet had that you say you cant afford?

you seem to be looking for things to spend massive amounts of money on to prove how skint you'll be!

Smudging Thu 25-Apr-13 16:04:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whosthis Fri 26-Apr-13 00:26:02

WTF we both grew up with brothers/sisters and believe it's a very good thing for the kids and of course for us as well as long as we enjoy it more than getting stressed about it. I am going back to work full time soon but my salary would barely have any left after paying the childcare and groceries plus my transport to the office. So other bills are/would still be DH's responsibility. The bigger bread winner indeed! I do hope my salary could increase in the long run, but absolutely not any time soon!

We have to extend the house as it has only two bedrooms now. As we do want a second child, it's inescapable to have more bedrooms before they hit the tee years. But that's a plan well beyond 5-10 years.

Slight relief to know the cost comes down after the first 4 years if not any earlier. I am well aware I have the habit to stress myself out with all kinds of foreseeable challenges/issues. So I can't help pondering already when we could go ahead to make the second... After this no. 1 goes to primary school perhaps? That would mean 4+4 years life in a cage! You shouldn't complain on what you choose!

nooka Fri 26-Apr-13 02:43:52

I don't think it's a good idea to think that the childcare costs belong particularly to the mother. Better to consider the overall pot (even when it's a bit empty!)

I don't know about age gaps. We have 16mths between our two and in some ways that had some advantages as their childcare needs were so similar. One plus of that is that they both stopped needing childcare at the same time, so we didn't have very long where we had to have childcare for the younger one and had to pay it for her brother too. It's going to be a big hit when they are both at university at he same time though.

BearsInMotion Fri 26-Apr-13 02:56:11

I know exactly how you feel OP, I'm in the same boat and we don't even own our house, I have no idea how we'll ever save a deposit sad But also late 30s so couldn't leave TTC any later. DD may be only DC just for financial reasons sad sad

Anomaly Fri 26-Apr-13 07:03:26

Costs definitely do go down. My advice would be to have at least 3 years between kids so your eldest qualifies for funding. If you can plan for a Jan-Mar birthdays for your next child as long as school starts in September at 4. Do what you can to cut childcare bills eg one of you does the nursery run while the other goes to work early. Then swap for pick up. Look into doing condensed hours and see if either employer offers childcare vouchers.

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Fri 26-Apr-13 10:19:02

"we both grew up with brothers/sisters and believe it's a very good thing for the kids and of course for us as well as long as we enjoy it more than getting stressed about it."

please dont take this the wrong way, but from your posts here, you seem like you might struggle to not get stressed out about it, especially if money is quite tight. of course evertone gets stressed at times when raising children but if you are a highly strung person by nature then it's maybe not such a good idea to add to your stress because of some ideology you have. you really should be logical about choosing to have another baby and if the lack of money is stressing you out this much with a 6 month old then i think you should really work on your stress management before making any big decisions that will set you off.

i grew up with a stressed out mum and trust me, it wasn't any fun. having a sister didn't make up for that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now