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Can we afford it?

(63 Posts)
verite Tue 08-Mar-16 20:06:40

I wanted to know if we are being realistic. Our joint income is around £120,000 - £130,000 a year. Is that sufficient to comfortably put a child through private senior school in central London? I think we can - husband thinks too much of a stretch. Otherwise it is going to be a case of moving out of london instead. Our mortgage is very small but I will freely admit that I would not be happy if I have to count every penny for the next 6/7 years.

cantthink11 Tue 08-Mar-16 20:12:55

I am a single parent on just under £80K. My DS is at a private school and we are in zone 3 London. I find that it is a stretch and have to budget carefully. I also have a small mortgage and don't have a lot of outgoings but I still need to stay on top of finances.

With two adults and fees at London day schools in the region of £20 K pa.. it will be difficult, but I think worth it for your child.

AveEldon Wed 09-Mar-16 13:17:30

Best to assume fee increases of around 5%-7% a year too

PettsWoodParadise Wed 09-Mar-16 13:48:35

I put DD through an independent prep on substantially less than that in suburban London. Fees about £13k a year. But it took up 90% of my otherwise disposable income. Grandma paid for school uniform. That left very little for clothes, holidays, presents, toiletries. I had a small pot of £10k savings that went on emergencies and car servicing but that got eaten up over the course of 7 years. We also did nil on the house other than emergency repairs so your budget even with higher fees for a central London senior school sounds very generous to me but it depends on your lifestyle, expenditure etc.

Day or Boarding?

One child in a day school then I think it is doable. Boarding just about but you would have to budget. Our income is higher but we have 2 in day preps in London (one just about to move to senior school) and a modest mortgage by London standards.

It partly depends on other outgoings and your lifestyle. We don't watch every penny but neither do we live extravagantly.

Why don't you look at the fees for the schools you like, add 10% for uniform, extras, music lessons then calculate what it would cost monthly. You can then think about whether or not you want to afford that.

Autumnsky Wed 09-Mar-16 14:07:44

I think this can only be answered by yourself. Just list all your income and outgoing, and add the school fee, if there are still a bit left, then you can afford it.

Pepole live differrently, other people's finance doesn't mean anything to you.

Mondrian Wed 09-Mar-16 14:56:44

Returning ex-pats with 2 DC headed into private school so very interested in this topic. How does following budget sound (assuming 120k is your net income after deductions)?

School = 22k (all in)
Mortgage = 20k
Holidays = 10k
Clothing = 10k
Food & grocery = 12k
Entertainment = 6k
Transport = 12k
Utility bills = 3k
Home maintenance = 5k

Total = 100k & 20k in the kitty for savings or unforeseen expenses.

AveEldon Wed 09-Mar-16 15:01:31

Mondrian - are you talking primary/secondary? London?
22k all in sounds cheap

Mondrian Wed 09-Mar-16 15:18:59

I just went with cantthink11 fee of 20k and added 2k for uniforms, school trips etc. Obviously different schools have different fees but it is a known cost (once you know where), its the rest that I was keen to pin down as we haven't lived in UK for a few years so looking for some relevance on figures.


I had assumed the £120k-£130k was gross income not net.

Sorry posted too soon
£125K gross would be around £75k net

AveEldon Wed 09-Mar-16 16:14:59

Mondrian -20K is for one child
For London you are looking at around £15K for primary, £20K for secondary - again this is per child

AveEldon Wed 09-Mar-16 16:18:12

Make sure you have taken into account the recent tax changes in the UK
To net £125K - assuming only one earner - you need a gross salary of £216K

Mondrian Wed 09-Mar-16 18:32:08

I assumed figure was net income - OP did however state "joint income" though so almost impossible to guess net income if indeed 120k is gross income as we don't know who is on what salary.

Budgeting was really done for OP as we have 2 DC but fortunately not in London but keen to verify general living expenses.

uhoh1973 Wed 09-Mar-16 19:42:48

Mondrian if you try hard you can burn through it ;-)

We live outside London in a cheap area, no mortgage. Family of 4 (2 kids under 6)

School = free (state)
Mortgage = 0k
Holidays = 10k
Clothing = 5k we dont have anything that flash
Food & grocery = 12k
Entertainment = 6k
Transport = 12k cars also bottomless pit and need renewing every so many years..
Utility bills = 3k
Home maintenance = 10k (this is like a bottomless pit .. fridges, garden ya da ya da)..
Childcare (nursery, nanny, during holidays) = £15k

So I would say you are not far out!

verite Wed 09-Mar-16 20:33:29

120-130 is gross but it is very hard to accurately estimate as 50 k is salary and the rest is from self employment which fluctuates. It is only one child and our mortgage is currently tiny. We have never really had to budget as we live comfortably within our means with savings. I suppose I need to sit down with a calculator. Thanks for all your help.

Balletgirlmum Wed 09-Mar-16 20:40:28

We are outside London & have two children. Their combined school fees are around £21k plus about £1000 of extras

Our combined gross income is just under £60k

Balletgirlmum Wed 09-Mar-16 20:42:34

Do people really spend £10k per year on holidays?

bibbitybobbityyhat Wed 09-Mar-16 20:43:33

Op why don't you say what the fees will be and what your mortgage is? Makes it a lot easier.

MrsSteptoe Wed 09-Mar-16 20:45:09

Good luck with the decision, OP. I'm putting one boy through private secondary in London, using inherited money. I have set aside the fees through to the end of Year 13, assuming a 5% year on year increase. The alternative use for the money would have been another bedroom or a nicer road. I decided I'd rather have the school. I've never yet regretted it.

G1raffe Wed 09-Mar-16 20:47:24

I was thinking that balletgirl. Or thinking 5grand a year on clothes not being anything that flash.

G1raffe Wed 09-Mar-16 20:49:40

I guess it's all relative so people think they live simply as they "only" spend 5k on clothes and "only" 12k on cars... We'd buy one of our cars every month on that!

Whether you can do it depends on the lifestyle you'd want to maintain as I could afford private school on that but we have a much lower coat of living generally.

Balletgirlmum Wed 09-Mar-16 20:51:22

I probably spend around £300 per year on clothes for me, similar for dh. The kids uniforms are expensive & then there is Dds dancewear & expensive pointe shoes.
So I reckon between £1,500 - £2000 per year in clothes for all of us. Without dds dance kit it would be a lot less.

Marmitelover55 Wed 09-Mar-16 21:13:54

Yes I'm envy at the £10k holiday and clothes budgets!

Mondrian Wed 09-Mar-16 21:35:05

Verite, also self employed so know what you mean. I think the trick with irregular income is to have reasonable savings as backup and a safety margin when budgeting.

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