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To not understand how some people afford to have so many children?

(406 Posts)
KiKiFrance Tue 05-Aug-14 15:19:23

I mean this as a genuine question, but how the heck do they do it?

We have 3 DCs as that was all we could afford, yet I know families that have only one very average income that just seem to keep having children, and affording nice things, activities and holidays too.

Someone I know has just had her fifth baby. They are very early thirties and her DH works in a supermarket, and she is a SAHM, so obviously not on a high income, yet they always have nice clothes, the older children to lots of activities, they have a lovely new build house which is decorated beautifully, always eat out, and they bought all new (expensive) baby equipment for baby #5. She has also said to me that they'll have a sixth baby at some point, and possibly a seventh too!

The other person that I know has 4 children. Her DH is a chef but is always in and out of work, but again they seem to have such nice things, and her children to lots of activities and clubs. One of her sons has just had a huge birthday disco in a hall, and she said it cost over £300. They too are planning to have more children.

Our income is good, yet we generally can't afford half the things that they can, and certainly could never have afforded a 4th child, even though I would have quite liked another baby.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:34:54

i agree with the baby's are cheap teens are expensive

i have to teenagers and a younger one,the teens cost loads especially in the holidays,the little one is dirt cheap

i do think if they are in low paid jobs the Tax Credit can be pretty high and it's not worth the sahp working,they would just be paying for childcare so makes sense for one to stay at home

one ?? though,it's always said that could be put on credit cards and while i can see that being true also what happens when they cant pay or up to the limit and have a morgage,they cant just go bankrupt,are people really short sited

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 16:35:48

If you have one low income worker in the family, and have a few kids you can be bringing in the equivalent of another low wage in benefits- working tax credits, child tax credits, and child benefit. The more kids you have the harder it becomes for both parents to realistically work. I'm not a benefit basher , that's just the way it is and will continue to be unless the government stops paying more benefits for each additional child.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:36:54

We have 4 and want more, our main income is DH's £26000 a year plus whatever he does in overtime. I work but don't make enough to even pay tax most of the time, We get child benefit but we don't claim tax credits (because if I had to deal with that facking agency ever again I could see myself going awol with a shotgun). To the outside world with all the horses and animals, two big cars and the house we own it probably looks the same but also the cost of living up here in rural Scotland is a LOT cheaper than most places.

We don't do Ithings - we have one computer for sharing, one games console for sharing and one tv for sharing.

Our holidays are at MiLs caravan in the borders or visiting DH's grandparents in London.

Clothes are handed down and mended and often bought off gumtree etc. School clothes are unbranded supermarket stuff.

Every time I have a baby I use the same stuff as I did for the last one (except those pesky twins where I needed to double up on a lot - MiL to the rescue)

We have 2 cars (well I have a truck) but they are both old and DH does all the work on them.

We own our own house which we got for £60000 because we bought it as a fixer upper and do all the work ourselves apart from large gas work.

We still own our first flat (because we cant sell it in this market) so we rent that out and make about 60/70 quid a month from that.

I work on a farm around kids so don't need childcare ever.

We don't go overboard at birthdays and Christmases' and spend hundreds.

We get a lot of free food from my work (perks of the job).

Thenapoleonofcrime Tue 05-Aug-14 16:36:58

If you are a middle-earner, then childcare costs are what cripples you. I have really good friends who earn a decent professional salary, but childcare is £1000 a child, so they have spaced their children three years apart for this reason; they can't afford £1800 a month childcare (even with voucher scheme it's not cheap). Plus starting later in their thirties- this puts a natural ceiling on the number of children.

That doesn't really explain why some people have more, more why some people have only one or two.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:43:21

i do think the last few post have really summed up how people can do it

it's not bashing it's the way things are,hell im on benefits and have 3 children and the majority of 3+ kids i know are on TC or some sought of benefit

thats the way it is for many

Vajazzler Tue 05-Aug-14 16:45:34

We have 5dcs. We receive CB and minimal TC. DH works his ass off 6/7 days a week to support us.

Rockethorse Tue 05-Aug-14 16:45:58

YABU and very nosey
I have 6 children - I am Sahm, my husband is a self employed electrician but a very specialist one so can charge huge rates, (but ask anyone we know they would just think he was an ordinary trades person earning average money) we do not get tax credits or child benefit as we are above the threshold. We are late 30s and have just paid off our mortgage thanks to sound financial planning and our endowment policy from our first house (which we bought at. 18) maturing.
I am quite sure there are sneery nosey buggers who look at us and think it must be all down to benefits or stacks of debt (of which we have none) but in reality we have worked and planned hard and can enjoy our children and spend our income on them

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 16:47:32

And posters ( including myself) have also explained how they afford 3 or 4 kids without claiming tax credits so it is possible. the main factor in us being able to afford it is that we bought our house relatively cheaply (before the prices shot up around 2002) and work around each other so no childcare costs. i imagine for many younger folk it is high rent/ house prices and childcare costs which make a large family imposible.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:49:54

every electrician i have known (4) have always earned good money,i would never think one was poorly paid

so in that case i really wouldnt wonder

SaucyJack Tue 05-Aug-14 16:50:02

Tax credits and housing benefit.

Missunreasonable Tue 05-Aug-14 16:50:58

If they are on a very low wage they will get full tax credits which means each extra child brings in an additional £70pw in tax credits and child benefit. They are not spending anything on childcare due to one being a SAHM and they might use hand me downs so the cost of having another child is less than the £70pw extra in benefits. I'm not saying that these people are having children to get benefits as I am sure that no sane person has children for extra benefits but it is the way that the system works.
Of course when they are teenagers they cost more in clothing and food.

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 05-Aug-14 16:51:13

Tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit etc for the majority. They get a rise for every child so don't even consider the financial implications. Working the "magic" number of hours they need to ensure maximum working tax credits for the least effort.

Those that don't get assistance tend to have less children as they know they have to financially provide for any they have out of their current earnings.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:51:37

Vajazzler same here but I hate fighting with the tax credits agency because DHs overtime changes his allowance and a lot of his overtime is mandatory with court dates etc and we both work shifts. How do you do it? We claimed for one year but then with the next years P60 shows different earning e were told we had to pay x amount back and it crippled us so we never claimed it again for fear of that again.

weatherall Tue 05-Aug-14 16:51:54

People I've known like this spend less than I do in other things eg eating only value food, cheap toiletries, no car, no childcare.

Other options are:

Low housing costs
Tax credits
Disability payments

gordyslovesheep Tue 05-Aug-14 16:52:26

what business is it of yours anyway OP

maybe they are better at managing their money than you are hmm

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 16:57:53

Hello OP

We have 3 dc and one low income and we have just cut our cloth accordingly and tax credits and cb have helped also. As this stops when dc leave ft education'training you adjust again.
If you are a sahm i have found it easier to be thrifty, you have the time to shop around and can take advantage of cheaper deals easier.
This is how we have managed the odd holiday.
We have never had any credit as we don't believe it is for us, so saved and done without untilthe funds were there, saving � on interest.
You manage one way or another, its a case of having to. Then when the dc get older you may be better off and be able to afford lots of activities.
We didn't do activities when they were younger, but now dd has music lessons, she used to dance as well but has stopped now.

1lov3comp5 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:59:37

A family I know have 3 kids and planning more. She's a SAHM and he has average paid job, they don't do holidays but kids always well dressed, big bday parties etc.i used to wonder how they did it but found out that they are quite a bit behind on their mortgage as a result...wouldn't be how I'd want to afford kids but hey each to their own.

dancestomyowntune Tue 05-Aug-14 16:59:44

i am newly pg with dc5. my dh works as a master butcher and i am a SAHM. We house share with my mother and pay half the bills and almost all the day to day living costs for the whole household.

my children dont "go without", but they also aren't spoilt. dd1, 11, has just had a reconditioned iphone which is much better than the samsung galaxy that i use. but the galaxy is sufficient for me.

my children all dance which is subsidised by me working in the office.

that said we dont drink, or smoke, or have lavish holidays.abroad. we make choices. the children come first at the end of the day.

Trapper Tue 05-Aug-14 17:00:09

I assume there are economies of scale if you keep kids club membership down, have a SAH/flexi-working parent.
It is possible to be frugal in some areas to splash out in others. Living off baked potatoes and beans behind doors to pay for holidays for example.

ouryve Tue 05-Aug-14 17:01:07

Hang on while I go get my bingo card. I might have 4 corners already.

SaucyJack Tue 05-Aug-14 17:01:50

No need to make nasty remarks about people on low incomes daisy

You've got as much right to go and get a part-time job on the till at Asda for the tax credits as anyone else if it's such an easy ride.

whatever5 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:02:40

You can't buy a nice house (not what I would call a nice house anyway), have lots of children and a nice lifestyle on benefits.hmm

I think that if they can afford a really nice house/lifestyle and have lots of children then it is likely that either the DH earns a lot more than you think or they have inherited money or (less likely) have won the lottery.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 17:10:04


Is that what you would do magic number of hours
Please don't judge us by your ownstandards, yes some people by sheer averages would do this, but I don't know many tbh.
Many people rely on benefits, some awards considered benefits now weren't in the past as well.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:11:33

Who are you Whatever to determine what is a nice house and a nice lifestyle? Like I said before we only get child benefit, I make about 7000 a year, DH makes about 26000 a year plus overtime and I love our lifestyle, Sure none of my kids have ever been abroad or owned an Iphone or Ipad but its our choice and our kids are happy, healthy and well behaved (most of the time).

ouryve Tue 05-Aug-14 17:12:36

I wouldn't have thought many people in low paid jobs would even be in a position to dictate "I'll just have 24 hours please, no more, no less"

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