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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?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 15:34:18

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.

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 25-Mar-13 15:36:58

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!!!

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