What household income for two children at private school nowadays, roughly?

(143 Posts)
KingfishersCatchFire Sat 08-Mar-14 18:22:35

Apologies as I am sure this has been done many times before, but I can't find a recent thread on it.

If you have two children at a good private school and are able to afford this comfortably without additional help from grandparents or work, would you mind telling me what is your annual household income? DH and I will be considering our options at some point, but I realise I am not sure how much most families in this situation actually earn. When I was at school the available scholarships were much higher and the fees much lower than they seem to be now.

KingfishersCatchFire Sat 08-Mar-14 18:23:21

(Household income before tax, I mean.)

Mintyy Sat 08-Mar-14 18:24:35

Well, school fees vary enormously.

You must have an idea of the sort of fees you would be paying for the sort of school you are after?

KingfishersCatchFire Sat 08-Mar-14 18:30:35

Day schools, not boarding.

Earlybird Sat 08-Mar-14 18:31:26

what part of the country?

noviceoftheday Sat 08-Mar-14 18:33:06

Basically, to do it comfortably at my dcs school (ie holidays, nice time out etc) you would have to not miss about £45k of your gross annual household income being spent on school fees. So that would then depend on other expenses such as mortgage and debt. At a guess, I think 2 dcs at the school on household income of less than £90k wouldn't be comfortable and would involve sacrifices elsewhere.

sixlive Sat 08-Mar-14 18:36:13

It depends on the size of mortgage and other outgoings. I'm beginning to think you need £150k at least with a modest mortgage.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 08-Mar-14 18:42:25

It depends upon your income, your outgoings, how much the school fees are, where you live etc. Do a budget to see how much you can spare after essential expenses. Say (for example), you earn 50k. If the school fees cost £12k each (so 24k) can you live off the remaining 26K for your house/bills/food/clothes etc (it's a lot of money depending on where you live but only you will know the answer to this)?

I have one child at a private school and I don't earn anywhere near 90k (or even half that). It can be done, it just depends on your income and outgoings. I budget to the pound though.

Don't forget about bursaries and scholarships. Some schools offer a second child discount too.

KingfishersCatchFire Sat 08-Mar-14 18:49:20

Location undecided yet as we're currently overseas.

Thank you to all who are giving advice - this is incredibly helpful. Have to go and cook dinner, but will check back in later.

LadyMary, when I was at school my sibling and I were both on 50% scholarships and the fees were about £8000 a year, so it was do-able for my parents on a middle income and with my mother as a SAHM (we didn't have as many foreign holidays after we went private, though!) But now even a 25% scholarship seems generous for most schools that I've browsed to get an idea, and some only offer 10%. I also wanted to start my calculations assuming that the DC won't get scholarships, iyswim, although I very much hope that at least one might...

sixlive Sat 08-Mar-14 18:56:39

If you earn 50k that's gross, so £24k in fees will not leave £26k to live on. Also in secondary trips, uniform etc... Can cost a lot.

noviceoftheday Sat 08-Mar-14 19:18:21

My assumption was that if you're paying school fees for 2 dcs then someone in the household is a 40% tax payer and that the school fees are basically the top slice of income. Fees at our dcs school are £13.5k per child, so out of your net income after tax! you would need £27k. That £27k equates to 45k of gross income at 40% tax for a one income household. I just then doubled it. I agree with the poster who said £150k though!

80sMum Sat 08-Mar-14 19:27:15

For 2 children, allow costs of £30k per annum. Now, deduct that amount from your net household income and see if what you have left is enough for you to live on.

Nocomet Sat 08-Mar-14 19:34:03

Round here school fees are about £15000 per child per year less for primary, more for 6th form.

So given our income and how far we are off affording it I'd say a gross of £140,000 to do it comfortably. Less if you don't have a reasonable mortgage.

purpleroses Sat 08-Mar-14 19:39:01

80k before tax leaves about 50k net. You'd need 30k for 2 DCs at provost schools where I live which would leave you 20k to live on. Enough for modest standard of living assuming no mortgage. So 80k I reckon if you own outright out
Or 100k with a mortgage taking up 2k a month.

Nocomet Sat 08-Mar-14 19:41:00

Novice's thinking is exactly mine.

I'm a SAHM, so I don't know how it pans out if you have one or both parents earning a good wage that's just below higher rate tax.

Here either DH gets a 100% pay rise or we win the lottery. I don't have a well paid job to go back to and neither of us have any rich relatives likely to die and leave us a house in Kensington.

RVPisnomore Sat 08-Mar-14 19:43:29

I earn nearly £60k and my DS's fees are around £12k per year. It's doable, on my salary and whilst we make some sacrifices it's not too bad.

Mintyy Sat 08-Mar-14 20:16:23

It is still too vague op.

KingfishersCatchFire Sat 08-Mar-14 21:03:41

This is really helpful for starting to get a rough idea - thanks all.

LauraBridges Sat 08-Mar-14 21:59:30

I currently pay for 2 children and that's (secondary) about £15k per child day school (South East).

Surely it depends on your mortgage and other out goings. I know families where one of the parents works full time solely to pay school fees so they earn say £15k a year after tax and 100% of that goes on the school fees and they live off the salary of the other spouse.

I earn a fair bit now, after 30 years of working full time, no breaks.

Blu Sat 08-Mar-14 22:42:02

I never understand this question.

Surely the amount you need to earn is the amount you currently spend on everything else plus the amount charged for fees at the schools you are thinking of.

Or to look at it another way: families need to earn the price of the fees plus the minimum needed for you. Your family in your area.

NearTheWindymill Sat 08-Mar-14 23:00:15

Exactly Blu. Our highest school fee year was last year. The total, inlcuding expenses, came to £38,000 net of tax. So, if you have that much to spend after meeting all other expenses then go for it - the issue is the other expenses because they are the most variable. God help you if you budget for that though and somebody says something like little Johnnie isn't really thriving here but x school, a 100 miles away, would be perfect for him. You can then add about another £15,000 to the day fees for the boarding fees.

To be perfectly honest, we didn't make the commitment until we had enough capital to pay the eldest through to the upper 6th because we wouldn't have wanted to think about moving him in the event of a desperate change to our circumstances. I'm not saying actual money in the bank but having enough flexibility to have been able to downsize - move out a bit and free up money to keep on going.

Our DC attend(ed) London Day Schools. I very much doubt any family with two children at indies around here has less than £150,000 pa coming in unless they have inherited property or if grandparents are paying.

deepest Sat 08-Mar-14 23:10:13

Blu - exactly -- v simple arithmatic - income is fixed, fees are fixed (but will go up) only variable - which you can decide/prioritise - is how much you want or need to spend on the rest of your lifestyle - ie are you prepared to live on beans on toast, small house no holidays - SAHM goes back out to work FT -- or is it essential that you remain a SAHM, have a cleaner, foriegn holidays, nice house nice area - we all want it all..

I work full time to put 4x children thru private school -- we shop in lidl are piss poor and I question this decision everyday as I sleave my home and children at 6.30 every morning for 12 hrs knakered and burnt out !!

MillyMollyMama Sun 09-Mar-14 01:32:33

Although my two DCs boarded, the day fees at one of the schools was over £7000 a term. There are very many extras on top of this. Music, dance, sports coaching, trips, uniform, art materials: an endless drain on income. No-one should calculate on bare fees alone. This is unrealistic. The scholarships, by the way, were honorary. They were worth nothing. Bursaries only.

RiversideMum Sun 09-Mar-14 07:28:13

Deepest, I don't question your choice - because it's yours to make. But why is it so important to send your children to private school that you choose to create this lifestyle for yourself?

eatyourveg Sun 09-Mar-14 07:49:50

It all depends on how important you want the private education. Our joint income doesn't even hit the threshold for cutting CB but we put 2 through private, one on 2 scholarships and a bursary, the other just on a sibling discount. (Without concessions that would cost us £30K)

To us getting a school that was right for them was more important than a foreign holiday, a second car, sky TV, smart phones, x box etc. (Dc saved xmas and birthday money and bought themselves a ps2 between them) they are the poorest kids in the school but thankfully they don't care and see their wealthy friends as living in a bubble cut off from the real world.

Only you can decide what your spending priorities are, everyone will be different. there are no rights or wrongs.

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