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Can we afford a child?

(99 Posts)
TheMD Thu 27-Mar-14 20:13:42

DP and I have been together for a couple of years and would love to have a baby at some point in a not too distant future. I'm worried about whether we can afford it without compromising the quality of our life too much, although I do realise that things will have to change.

We have a combined income of £50k at the moment although I would only get the legally required maternity pay from my employer. There are things we could easily cut from the budget (like the £80 per month gym membership and not strictly necessary designer make up) but I'm worried our lives will become an endless struggle to pay for childcare/find the cheapest possible holidays etc.

I do realise that the emotions and joys of being parents can't be measured in monetary terms but at the same time...We will still be the same people who like being financially ok. Not brilliant but ok.

Can we afford to have a child?

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Thu 27-Mar-14 20:16:16

Dh and I have a combined income of less than half of yours and we manage it.

TheKnightsThatSayNee Thu 27-Mar-14 20:16:39

No one can afford to have children. If you want to have them your priorities will change.

CunfuddledAlways Thu 27-Mar-14 20:21:33

We like on a lot less than you and I am having my 3rd baby in November, we work around each other so one of us at work one at home so pay no childcare. It works for us.

Waggamamma Thu 27-Mar-14 20:23:10

On paper earning £50k a year you should be able to afford a chils no problems, but it all depends on how you budget and yoyr outgoings and changes you're prepared to make.

DP and I earn 25k between us. We have one ds age 3 and another child on the way. I would say we have a very comfortable life style. We run two cars, mortgage on a three bed semi in a good area, two holidays a year (one uk self catering and one 4* abroad), love film subscription, smart phone contracts, dp local commute and mine is £150 a month. Minimal childcare needed due to dp shifts, around £200 per month.

We do have to budget quite carefully for days out, clothes, food shop and extras but we still manage to eat well and go out as a family. We manage to save a small amount too and make monthly over payments on the mortgage.

However if we had to pay full time childcare it would be over £1k per month, we don't have car finance or loans because we bought them outright and we live in Scotland so property is more affordable.

You can afford children you just need to budget.

Waggamamma Thu 27-Mar-14 20:25:08

Sorry about the typos I'm on my phone.

apermanentheadache Thu 27-Mar-14 20:25:43

Impossible to say! Where do you live? Small babies are relatively cheap. Older children less so. Full-time nursery fees in London come in somewhere around �60 per day and you usually need to pay 50 weeks of the year.

It mightn't be money that changes your behaviour re. things like holidays... DH and I never dreamed of eurocamp holidays pre-kids but we quite like them now wink

givemeaclue Thu 27-Mar-14 20:28:05

Wagtail, is your mortgage very low as that is a high std of living for the combined net salary

apermanentheadache Thu 27-Mar-14 20:28:27

Wagga, am amazed you manage all that on less than 25k. I want to move to Scotland and get some budgeting advice from you

morethanpotatoprints Thu 27-Mar-14 20:30:31

If you waited until you thought you could afford it, you'd never have kids. This goes for planning too.

RandomMess Thu 27-Mar-14 20:32:41

All depends on where you live as this massively affects your housing and childcare costs IMHO.

Also depends on your age, personally if you definitely want dc do not leave it too long due to decline in fertility etc.

TheMD Thu 27-Mar-14 20:33:18

Thank you for all the responses. We live in the South West and property is expensive but nowhere near London prices, obviously. Our mortgage is around £600 per month (3 bed) but we would be looking to buy a 4 bed if we had a baby.

I suppose the big choices need to made once maternity leave comes to an end - I would like to stay at home for a couple of years or maybe work part time as DP works shift pattern (unpredictable though)

We do have car finance atm but the rest is pretty much as Waggamamma describes.

Waggamamma Thu 27-Mar-14 20:33:23

We're young (early 20s) so managed to take our mortgage over 40 years which does make our monthly payments quite low. Although we're trying to get the term down by over paying each month.

We don't get any benefits (other tham cb). We just budget really carefully. We can afford holidays because we keep our food shop cheap and ds wears supermarket clothes etc. I realise we're very fortunate. I think a lot of it is due to very careful budgets, having no debts and a low childcare bill.

TessDurbeyfield Thu 27-Mar-14 20:34:04

DH and I lived worked out the budget we'd have to have and then lived on that for a while before TTC. The major expense will be childcare and/or loss of income so work out what that will be and try to live without it for a while. Of course there will also be costs such as clothing but you will probably find that you go out a lot less etc which balances it out.

DH and I weren't sure what we'd do for child care but wanted the possibility of having one of us at home, and that was more expensive than any childcare, so we just lived on one salary for a while saving the extra. It has two benefits (1) you get to see if it is liveable on and (2) you get to save the cash to put towards maternity leave/major purchases for baby. I strongly recommend it. Alternatively try to save the cost of childcare. At our nursery that would be c£1150 a month full time for a baby so save that each month and you quickly have a nice pot.

TheMD Thu 27-Mar-14 20:34:30

and yes - I am in my late 20s (DP just over 30) so we wouldn't want to wait too long now.

Fairylea Thu 27-Mar-14 20:35:42

Well it depends where you live and what your mortgage is (or rent).

We have a small mortgage of £390 a month due to downsizing from London to Norfolk and I gave up work and we manage on Dhs salary of 16k plus tax credits. It wouldn't make sense for me to work due to childcare etc. We do struggle a little sometimes but we do manage.

You cut your cloth accordingly really.

Swoosg Thu 27-Mar-14 20:36:23

If you want to buy a bigger house, do it now. It's hard to house-hunt and move while pg or with a small baby.

I would give up the gym membership and start saving, to fund your time at home.

And yes, you can afford it. Life does change, but it is good.

TheMD Thu 27-Mar-14 20:38:45

TessDurbeyfield - brilliant advice, thank you so much! Although the prospect of living on one salary (probably DP's, as he earns a third more) is scaring the bats out of me....

TheMD Thu 27-Mar-14 20:41:02

Thank you for the encouraging words, Swoosg (did you mean to call yourself Swoosh but mistyped?)

bonvivant Thu 27-Mar-14 20:42:08

You will find a way - having a child is life changing and is worth every bit of the change/adjustment. I worried about it too - I just wish I had more than one now!

diddlediddledumpling Thu 27-Mar-14 20:43:22

If having a child was unaffordable on a combined income of £50k, the human race would have died out a l

diddlediddledumpling Thu 27-Mar-14 20:43:38

A long time ago!

Waggamamma Thu 27-Mar-14 20:45:11

That's great advice tess. I agree with others too, you just cut your cloth accordingly.

The sacrifices are totally worth it.

TheMD Thu 27-Mar-14 20:53:55

Thank you all for such lovely encouraging words. I do realise that people have been having babies for hundreds of years and it is no big deal etc but it scares me as any big change would, I guess.

diddlediddledumpling Thu 27-Mar-14 20:57:10

One of the things that changed for us after having our first was that our spending on our social lives plummeted. SAMs for travel. So while it can be scary, it's not just that you have expenses you didn't have before. You save on certain things too, as a result of your lifestyle.

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