How does anyone afford a second child in 2017?(21 Posts)
I'm not looking for sarcastic answers or anything, obviously I know people earn more than others and so on.
And I realise that if you don't work, because you are supported by government or if you don't work because your partner earns enough to support the family, then adding an extra child may not be a huge immediate expense.
But for the people in between these two scenarios. Where you cannot afford for one partner to stay at home, but you cannot afford to pay for childcare twice.
How do you do it? Is there something I'm missing? Are any of you in this situation? Or do you just wait until the first child goes to school. Then the next joins him, then the next...?
We timed it so that nursery funding (soon going up to 30 hours?) Kicked in before my maternity leave ended. I also went down to 3 days a week as what I lost in salary wasn't 2/5 - I dropped a tax band, and the difference between salary drop vs nursery fees made it more bearable.
Thanks Judy. That makes sense. And I guess just what we will have to do. I hate that our decision to have more children is determined by this though! Thanks for responding ☺️
Ditto timing it so 30 hours would be coming in as second child started nursery when i returned to work. Has worked well for us. Still have a massive nursery bill though! 3 year age gap between them which will hopefully be good as they get older
Thanks outback. I know! The bill for just one alone is crazy. It's true, a 3 year gap would probably work nicely so I should just focus on that.
I can't lie 2014, the thought that I could conceive twins next time does scare me. How would I choose which one to give up for adoption? (Jokes) 😋
Honestly though, absolutely no idea how we would manage if we had a multiple birth.
Like PP - we timed it so that DD1 would be starting school as my maternity leave finished with DD2 so that if (when) I go back to work, we only have one set of full time childcare to pay for. You still have to budget for wraparound care and holidays though.
I stopped working when I had two and got a job working part time around dh so we have no childcare costs . Now I have 4 and don'r notice the increase on cost as I'm better at saving money.
Raver, do you mind me asking what type of job you got that allowed you to work around dh? Is it evenings/weekends for example? Do you still manage to see enough of each other? Thanks!
I was lucky because my retired parents cared for my DCs for 1 day whilst I worked 2 days per week (I was 50% of a headcount, working two long days), so I was earning a reasonable salary (just over £12k) and had a relatively small childcare outlay (just under £3k) Also, I commute on foot and the dress code is casual, so it didn't cost me anything to work iyswim.
I'm finding it really hard to come to terms with the fact that we will not have any more. I didn't feel like I wanted another for quite a while after having my first but now I would if I could. It's tough but I'm just focusing on the positives of having only one!
It's not just in 2017! We had our first in 2000 and couldn't have afforded a second. There weren't any tax credits at all then, mat leave was 12 weeks, interest rates on mortgages were 6+%...
And no free hours of childcare (4 yr olds got 2.5 hrs a day. Not long enough to go to work!!)
We waited until our first was 3, so that by the time I was back to work after maternity leave there wouldn't be long before he went to school (autumn birthday).
Then I had twins. Be warned!
We now spend one whole salary on a nanny and things are incredibly tight (tiny house but there's no way we'd get a larger mortgage as things stand) and both sets of grandparents very kindly contribute to our childcare costs. We are therefore holding on as best we can until the twins can get their funded nursery hours (they're 22 months, so still a year to go).
The thing is, even if we were "smart" about it and timed it so that free nursery hours kicked in or our first started school, there would still, eventually, come a time when we had the older one at school with wraparound care (no idea how much that would cost, £300?) and the younger one in full-time nursery like our DS is now (£940). Our salaries are unlikely to change in the next few years so even if we had a year or so of lower costs in between, we'd still reach that point where it was unaffordable.
We timed it so that DS2 arrived when DS1 qualified for his 10 hours free at the time and so during maternity leave he did his free sessions and then when I went back to work full time he had started school so although we have had nursery to pay + school wrap around it we didn't ever have two lots of nursery fees. Childcare is crippling financially but I think it's been worth it for my career progression and we are on the home straight now. DS2 gets his free hours from September so we'll just be paying wrap around (not in England so no 30 hours here) Would love to have another baby but another 4 years of juggling the cost of childcare has put me off so we are probably done. Also I was advised to keep claiming childcare vouchers via my employer whilst on mat leave which was the best advice (I think they are automatically stopped unless you request to keep it going) which meant we did have a healthy balance of vouchers initially also which helped for a couple of months.
I'm lucky that my DM has cared for my DD since I went to uni to finish my training and now that I and DP are working full time. She has two days at pre school that are funded.
As much as I am desperate for one, we can't afford another DC right now. We have just bought a house and are saving up for our wedding next year.
We hope to be able to afford one in 2019. I work in a school so holiday care isn't necessary and DD will be at school by then.
We have 8 year gap and dh worked nights for first 3 years when dd born and I worked days.
Thanks for all the responses. It seems there is no easy answer, looks like the majority here chose to have an age gap to make it work. I do also agree that the few hours a day free childcare you get when the child turns three doesn't really put enough of a dent in full time childcare (though maybe does to some). I'm 30 years old and while I know that is still relatively young, I am also aware it took a year for us to conceive in the first place (for no known reason, just because). So I'm cautious that could happen again and sometimes we convince ourselves we should try again on the basis it could take a long time, but then panic when we realise I could get pregnant first time! Haha. It's a shame this isn't more simple and though it doesn't necessarily change things, I do take comfort in hearing your experiences. So thank you!
We have three and work opposite shifts to cover childcare. It's rubbish but when the littlest starts school we can line up our shifts a bit more, so one goes in after drop offs and the other is home for pick up, and we might get to actually see each other once in a while. Just need to persuade OH to have a 4th.
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