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Is 18K enough to 'run' (!) a child in London?

(25 Posts)
passionfruity Tue 23-Jun-09 09:38:17

This is my first post so please be gentle with me!

DH and I are thinking about having a baby and are going through our finances to see how do-able it is at the moment. I reckon that after the mortgage, bills, food, 'misc' expenses we can set aside 18K per year for child.

Given that we live in London (SE) and that we will both be working full time after maternity leave ends, do you think 18K is a realistic figure to cover absolutely everything from childcare (i.e. a decent (whatever that means) nanny or childminder as we have no family here) to a 'reasonable' amount of clothes, toys and accessories for child?

I know some will say that maybe you'll never feel like you have enough money, but I just don't want to feel like we're constantly struggling to make ends meet.

rubyslippers Tue 23-Jun-09 09:40:38

nursery/CM/nanny will be a fair chunk of that £18k

the other costs - toys, clothes etc can be kept minimal IME (esp if breastfeeding)

You are very sensible to look at finances before having a baby but things do change and shift so be prepared for that

fishie Tue 23-Jun-09 09:41:54

childcare is the main expense, i pay somewhere between £7.5-£8k a year for a childminder. go ahead don't worry about it.

you might not want to go back to work though....

Squiffy Tue 23-Jun-09 09:56:18

No matter how much or how little you have, there will be times when it is a struggle. IMHO the financial costs are often not the ones you initially think of; When your children approach school age you may have to think about moving (depending on where you live of course) for school reasons; things like this. Holidays can also become horrendously expensive (not for first couple of years, but certainly after that and especially once you are trapped to school holiday dates only).

But you can't really 'plan' for this kind of stuff, just as you can't plan for how parenthood hits you emotionally (far far more of an earthquake than you can ever imagine)

If you have close family you may find that you will be inundated with toys, prams, cots and suchlike (whether wanted or not). The worst thing to do is spend shedloads of money on a 'nursery', etc. Make do with what you get given and ebay for the rest. Othwerwise you will regret all the expense later (especially when it sells on ebay for 10% of what you paid for it all...)

18k sounds like a good amount to have, but if you only go back part itme or something then it could get hairy.

AtheneNoctua Tue 23-Jun-09 12:50:00

18k per year is a lot more money than many have to set aside when they have a baby. I'd say you are doing pretty well. The bulk of your expense will be childcare. I now regard things like holidays as optional treats.

passionfruity Tue 23-Jun-09 14:16:28

Thanks for your input - I didn't even think about things like moving costs later down the line.

So of the 18K, approx how much would we need to pay a child-minder to do 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday in London? I have no idea about these things!

MaryHuff Tue 23-Jun-09 14:22:12

When we were in London, our nursery fees were 75 pounds a day (so just shy of 20,000 per year) - this was not a posh part of London (Finsbury Park) and neither was it the most expensive nursery around.

MollieO Tue 23-Jun-09 14:28:22

It wouldn't cover the cost of a full time nanny in London.

AtheneNoctua Tue 23-Jun-09 15:14:31

You don't need to have a full time nanny if you need care of one child 9:00-6:00. But, if the nanny lived in your house, I think you could swing it on 18k. especially if you are prepared to take someone with a couple of years of experience and not someone with 15+ years of experience.

I haven't really thought out the math, the taxes and extras (like activity fees) might tip you over.

bodiddly Tue 23-Jun-09 15:17:24

Nursery would probably be in the region of £11,000 - £13,000 a year I would imagine.

spicemonster Tue 23-Jun-09 15:18:54

I pay my CM £45 a day for 8-6pm which includes food. Generally expect to pay 40-50 a day (food seems to be a bit random in terms of the price of the CM). Nurseries tend to be more expensive - mine was around £65/day I think.

It's worth looking into childcare vouchers at work which can save you around £100 on costs (per person who is working so if you and your DH both work, you can double that) plus you may be entitled to tax credits (check out www.entitledto.co.uk) and child benefit.

That is nowhere near enough for a nanny though - you are looking at around 30k I think for a full time nanny.

CoffeeAndCarrotCake Tue 23-Jun-09 15:43:17

To be honest, I think how much money you do or don't have is pretty irrelevant. The most important thing is having the DC, then you cope however you can.

We went a bit mad with buying "stuff" for our PFB DD (how are you doing with the acronyms - sorry!!) but really, she's happier playing with a saucepan, wooden spoon and her treasured fircone collection than with pricey toys. Plus with NCT sales, Ikea and hand-me-downs from friends, you can EASILY have a child on a shoestring (for example, we have one pushchair we spent about £800 on new, but the main one we use was £35 from an NCT sale - totally didn't need the first one!).

The same goes for childcare. We don't really want to have someone else living with us, but can't afford £35k for a nanny so DD goes to nursery (about £25 per half day, greater London) and we have an au pair too, who also does the cleaning so is in many respects an ecconomy.

Plus, if £18k turned out not to be enough (and I'd be v. surprised if that were the case), you'd simply cut back in other areas, fewer holidays/cars/yachts/meals/shoes/whatever... and you wouldn't mind at all, because you'd have your DC and (at real risk of sounding schmaltzy) they'd be worth any sacrifice at all.

Good luck!

grin

AtheneNoctua Tue 23-Jun-09 16:51:00

You spent £800 on a pushchair? shock

CoffeeAndCarrotCake Tue 23-Jun-09 21:58:42

Well, my mum did for her PFB DGD. grin It's a Stokke (with cot bit and a parasol that has never yet been used) and is fantastic, but not as bargainous as the £35 Quinny! smile

womma Wed 24-Jun-09 08:10:35

People have babies on MUCH less than that and manage perfectly well.

PixiNanny Wed 24-Jun-09 12:22:46

shock I'm not even considering kids yet but my god it's scary to think about how much it costs! I never realised it was that expensive!

limonchik Wed 24-Jun-09 14:33:30

It doesn't have to cost that much PixiNanny! Plenty of people have babies on lower incomes than 18k, never mind having 18k spare to set aside!

Kewcumber Wed 24-Jun-09 14:41:39

I think you only really need to budget for childcare and any reduction in working hours for either of you, somehow everything else just gets absrobed in if you're careful and frankfully your entertaining expenses go right down to compensate!

Like Spicemonster my CM charges £50 per day for all meals (breakfast to tea)8-6pm (though she is flexible 15 mins either way) so that £250 per week for 52 weeks a year (most CM's charge holiday pay) =£13,000

Childcare vouchers are currently around £50 per week per parent so £5,200 per year - assuming your employers isn't kind and deducts this from your salary, you will still save the tax on it which could be at most 41% ie £2,132.

So cost of full time childminder after tax deduction would be in the region of £11k.

DS was clothed eniterly from hand me downs and charity shops for his first couple of years. People are amazingly generous with their baby stuff - I got given a really lovely cot for him.

PixiNanny Wed 24-Jun-09 15:35:54

Oh yes, I know that but it's still damn expensive limonchik grin But then I must wonder how little of a budget one can afford to look after children on now!

AtheneNoctua Wed 24-Jun-09 18:47:56

Hey, Kewcumber... you are wanted on thecity gal thread in meet-ups.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 24-Jun-09 20:25:09

yes for a cm

no for a nanny

MrsBadger Wed 24-Jun-09 20:41:44

you'll be fine

knackered but fine

wait till you start doing the sums for two in fulltime childcare though, I nearly keeled over...

Metatron Wed 24-Jun-09 22:23:23

something you want to tell us MrsB hmmmm?

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 25-Jun-09 08:59:10

mrs badger - when you have 2 or more children then its the time to seriously think about employing a nanny

nannys charge per hour/day for the whole family - not per child as cm's and nurserys do

thebody Thu 25-Jun-09 11:50:55

never mind the little ones, we are facing two kids going to uni this year, thats 6 grand EACH per year.... they will get minimum loan and although both will and have always worked part time it will be a struggle, we have younget kids as well..

You can expect to be helping your child well into their 20s imo.. but its still worth it.. you will never have enough cash and it will never be the 'righ time' so just go for it anyway...

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