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AIBU to question if children really cost this much?

(112 Posts)
user1497787373 Wed 29-Nov-17 18:10:06

I'm single, no DC, no DP, just me. Take home pay for me is around £1,700 a month. This leaves me by no means rich, but it doesn't leave me struggling either. I find my disposable income is fine to live on quite nicely.
Work colleague earns the same as me, has DP who earns an equal amount and 2 DC. However, she's always skint and maintains the cost of running a family is more than the extra money DP brings into the household.
From previous chats, I know we pay a similar mortgage amount. So my question is, does having a DP and 2 DC really cost over £1,700 a month? I understand that obviously children are expensive little munchkins, but I don't see how she has such a lower disposable income that me when the household income is double? (and keeps telling me how fortunate I am that I can afford new clothes, nights out etc etc)

limon Wed 29-Nov-17 18:13:15

Yabu. They grow quickly and need continuous new clothes. Nappies cost a fortune. If you formula feed that costs money. They eat food. They take baths. They need the heating on. School trips school events. School uniform. School dinners. Car seats. Birthday parties (and prese ts for other kids' parties).

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Wed 29-Nov-17 18:14:51

Full-time childcare costs are around £900 per month per child around here. We are in the Midlands which is more reasonable than a lot of areas.

Even if colleagues DC are at school, before and after school club is probably about £15 per child per day, then childcare costs in the (13 weeks of) holidays.

Add on feeding, clothing and all the other costs of raising a child and I can easily see that £1700 doesn't go far.

YellowMakesMeSmile Wed 29-Nov-17 18:16:08

Depends on their age, pre school chidcare for two is a high cost so with things on top it's likely more.

For School aged children there's no way it costs that much per month even with residential trips.

Chaosofcalm Wed 29-Nov-17 18:16:09

Childcare can be £60+ a day.

BonjourMeDarlin Wed 29-Nov-17 18:16:30

Kids are only a couple ft tall but you need a big space to keep them in.
An extra room or two increases or your rent or mortgage a lot per month.

TrojansAreSmegheads Wed 29-Nov-17 18:16:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShoeJunkie Wed 29-Nov-17 18:18:49

If they are paying for childcare plus food, clothes etc then that money wouldn't go far.

user1497787373 Wed 29-Nov-17 18:19:37

Children are 14 and 12 so childcare is the breakfast club, but they both let themselves in after school. Then maybe odd days during school holidays.

2cats2many Wed 29-Nov-17 18:21:12

Yep. Childcare is a killer. Depending on where you live and the age of the children, it could wipe out her salary.

2cats2many Wed 29-Nov-17 18:22:07

Sorry. Cross-post. I don't have teenagers, but I've heard that they do cost a bomb.

PussCatTheGoldfish Wed 29-Nov-17 18:22:14

Nursery fees are huge. A friend pays well over a thousand pounds a month on that, it costs more than her mortgage.

Off the top of my head other costs, nappies, milk, clothing, in a two parent families the cost of running two cars/two commutes. Contingency for when things go wrong like said car, heating and washing machine. Running a tumble dryer. Food for four people. Higher bills all round.

With older DC there's school dinners, after and before school clubs and in most cases something like swimming to pay for. Twice.

Having said all that we live on less, but my work fits around the DC.

Chaosofcalm Wed 29-Nov-17 18:22:47

Most teenagers have mobile contracts, eat more than the average adult and are constantly out growing clothes and shoes.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 29-Nov-17 18:23:11

Childcare is the biggest expense.

I live in a relatively cheap area but it was still £45ish a day per child. Translates to £900 per month if you have 1 pre-schooler or £1800 if you have two.

For a school age child it is about £10 a day during term time and about £25 a day during holiday time.

So 50 * 38 + 125 * 6 (assuming you spend all your holidays with child so limit the amount of holiday club) = 2450 a year = £200 a month.

So if she has 1 school age and 1 pre school then you are looking at £1100 a month on childcare before you even think about feeding or clothing them.

RebootYourEngine Wed 29-Nov-17 18:23:26

Teenagers are expensive. Most of them want the newest technology. They go through food like its fresh air. Clothes cost a fortune at that age. If they are anything like my ds spend hours in the shower. School trips. School lunches. School uniform.

Juicyfruitloop Wed 29-Nov-17 18:24:13

Well at 12 and 14. I would say they cost even more than creche fees. School trips are very expensive. Gadgets, trainers, phone credit.

Mine are still younger, and very expensive.

LagunaBubbles Wed 29-Nov-17 18:24:31

14 and 12? Yabu, teenagers cost a fortune.

ILoveMillhousesDad Wed 29-Nov-17 18:25:05

Do they have a car on finance, a loan to pay back, credit card payments, savings for holidays? How do you know all their outgoings?

Aducknotallama Wed 29-Nov-17 18:25:30

Yabu teenagers cost a bomb

LagunaBubbles Wed 29-Nov-17 18:25:39

My 9 year old is like a teenager already, he could easily eat a fortune in yoghurts every day. Food disappears at an alarming rate with my 15 year old.

YouNosyTwat Wed 29-Nov-17 18:26:13

People seem to think babies are the most expensive stage, and while the first child does cost a lot - most of the crap people push you to buy when pregnant is actually just surplus fluff. It's really not needed. And then you can re use most of it with subsequent children (provided you choose wisely in the first place re: quality and colours)
Toddlers and small children generally don't eat a great deal. your main costs are childcare, which is a fortune and can easily swallow one partners wage.
And then there's the costs that come into play when you're at school.
The trips alone can be crippling, I've just had a letter for a 5 day France trip at £300. Another earlier one night stay in london was £110. Then another 4 day adventure holiday in this country was £200. Then there's the Christmas panto at a tenner a pop. (This is primary age) I've no idea about high school yet .... Oh and then I've got university to look forward to 😂

Raisedbyguineapigs Wed 29-Nov-17 18:27:25

I think its probably the after school activities and the food bill that's costing. I spend a fortune on just a couple of fairly cheap activities and entertainment at weekends and in the holidays. id imagine tenagers would be worse.The clothes that get worn out, the ton of food they eat. There is always something to pay for at school too. As well as things just getting worn out more through the added usage and the cost of electricity and water for washing for 4 people instead of 1. I lived like a queen when I was single with no kids on not a fairly low salary.

user1497787373 Wed 29-Nov-17 18:28:19

Thanks for replies, I've always thought I was the 'poor' one as I only have one income, but maybe not lol!

BrieAndChilli Wed 29-Nov-17 18:28:51

In my experience feeding a big man is expensive too!!
Mortgage - can be the same but often a family needs/has a bigger house than a singleton
Council tax - won’t get the single person discount
Gas/electric/water - much higher due to having to heat while house - when I work from home I often put on dressing gown and just heat room I’m in, When whole family Home then whole house is heated. You will have 4 times the amount of devices being used and charged etc, probably bigger fridge and freezer, washing machine and tumble drier used a LOT more, exponentially a lot more
Insurance - higher all round - contents to cover 4 tomes the amount of personal stuff and life is probably higher so that kids would be taken care of in event of death
Other hills such as tv/Sky/broadband etc will be the same
Will probably need two cars which comes with petrol and insurance costs and 2 kids needs lot more ferrying around than a single person
Food- this will be a lot lot more than a single person. Can’t get away with having toast or cereal like I did when on my own.
Clothing - kids grow and grow, shoes and coats and uniform and clothes constantly need replacing. You buy a pair of wellies and they will last for year and years, you buy a child some wellies and next year they have grown out of them
Then there is the School trips, homework supplies, days out, etc. Holidays costs are crazy.
Plus you also have another adult to pay for with thier own clothes to buy, hobbies etc

PoncyCanapes Wed 29-Nov-17 18:30:44

Yes, it can be expensive depending on your lifestyle.

If you want a nice life style - mortgage, a car (or two), maybe holidays each year - thats expensive anyway. If you're spending 3,400 between you each month without DC, you're not living broke and the cost of DC might be a shock to you.

Childcare of any description costs - from full time nursery/daycare (ours was £1200 pcm per child and that was 5+ years ago).

And babies/toddlers arent little for long. For each child, you're essentially adding another human being to the household that needs clothes and shoes and food, and that will eventually want opportunities similar to your adult social outgoings now (clubs, classes, activities, clothes and gadgets etc).

I have a 13 year old now who wants a phone and new trainers and console games (he doesn't get all he wants, but the pressure is there), wears man-size clothes & shoes and eats like a pack of starved wolves. I have a primary aged DD who does a club or class every day after school and grows out of her shoes every term and clothes, coat, uniform etc every year.

It aint cheap! grin

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