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How did you figure out how many children you could afford to have?

(29 Posts)
MrsTargaeryan Mon 02-Nov-15 17:34:32

Good evening! Just out of interest, if you are someone who tried to figure out how many children you (and your partner if in relationship) could afford to have, how did you make the calculations? And what did you decide?

fakenamefornow Mon 02-Nov-15 17:36:22

You sound like a journalist?

FaFoutis Mon 02-Nov-15 17:37:23

It is biology, not maths.

MrsTargaeryan Mon 02-Nov-15 17:58:30

Oh! Sorry FNFN didn't mean to sound like a journalist...just wondering because an acquaintance with twins said she'd worked out that she could only afford one. I just sort of took her word for that without asking any questions, but I've since wondered how someone would go about working something like that out? I'm not a journalist, I'm a SAHM of 1 DD. I didn't do any in-depth calculations myself before having her.

FaFoutis are you saying that people have as many children as they biologically can without reference to finances?

Babyroobs Mon 02-Nov-15 18:04:12

We didn't work out how many kids we could afford ( we are not that organisied !). We had two then two unplanned pregnancies so ended up with 4. We just worked more hours to be able to pay for what they need, and a house big enough for us all to comfortably live in.

FaFoutis Mon 02-Nov-15 18:05:08

Not really, that the biological urge to reproduce is stronger than rational calculations for most people. The biological urge has its limits, lots of women say they 'know' when they have had their last child.

How would you even know what children would cost before you have them? It all depends on so many different factors.

confusedandemployed Mon 02-Nov-15 18:07:14

We didn't work it out, but only have the one anyway.
My friend has 2 and tbh they can't afford 2; struggling to find the money for childcare, both working FT, can't afford to move to a bigger place...yet they still want another. I think they're bonkers grin
Each to their own, I suppose.

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Mon 02-Nov-15 18:15:44

We didn't work it out. The first was actually two and we're stopping at that!

Savagebeauty Mon 02-Nov-15 18:17:15

I would never have had more than two. Nothing to do with money.

sparechange Mon 02-Nov-15 18:19:20

We worked out how big a house we could buy, and how many sets of school fees we could pay, as those were the top priorities for us.
Any desire to have more children has played second fiddle to us wanting a comfortable home life and good education.

MrsTargaeryan Mon 02-Nov-15 18:21:56

FaFoutis, yes I agree with what you've said. I can't work out a way in which the calculations could be accurately done...but she definitely said "we worked out that we could only afford to have one child". Just thought there could be some way of working it out that people were using, but that had completely passed me by.
Thanks Babyroobs, your experience sort of puts my mind at rest - I was starting to think I was abnormally unorganised to not have done any real financial workings-out before starting a family!

Kcat78 Mon 02-Nov-15 18:30:36

Perhaps she couldn't afford to be on maternity leave again - that is what I think of when discussing affordability of children. Everyday items tend to fit into a budget but being off work for up to a year can be a massive financial burden and one that myself and OH certainly discussed at length.

OffMyAyersRocker Mon 02-Nov-15 18:33:31

We could easily afford one and then the urge for dc2 kicked in and tbh we didn't sit down and work out anything but l think if circumstances remain the same we'll be fine. However as l have two of the same sex dc2 will naturally be getting a lot of hand-me-downs grin

BertieBotts Mon 02-Nov-15 18:40:16

Didn't work anything out here either! smile DH is a master planner, though - I bet he could work out a way to plan such a thing.

Perhaps it was based on time taken off work (out of career) and/or childcare bills, plus size of house needed. I know one in our NCT group said they couldn't afford to have #2 until #1 was at school because of childcare costs. There's a big jump if you go over 3 as well in needing a larger car. In fact most parents of 3 go for a bigger car because it's such a pain fitting 3 carseats in a normal one.

Ah yes school fees, too, if private is important to you. (And within reach in the first place grin) They are a hefty chunk.

poocatcherchampion Mon 02-Nov-15 18:45:19

I'd guess childcare costs

grumpysquash Mon 02-Nov-15 19:21:25

Yes, childcare is the biggie, for me at least. We totted up the cost of another child - 4 years of nursery fees, then after school club for a few more years, that's about £50k. Figured that if we went for it, we would never be able to get a house big enough for all the DC.
Also thinking about the costs of uni/further education, as this has gone up massively since they were born, so I couldn't have factored it in accurately even if I'd been that organised!

MrsTargaeryan Mon 02-Nov-15 19:31:56

Hmm yes I guess it must have mostly been based on childcare costs, since having two children instead of one would double that.
Wow GrumpySquash, is that about £50k per child in nursery fees etc? If that's the case for the person I know, im surprised she decided to even have one...such a huge amount of money.

Memyselfandthatotherperson Mon 02-Nov-15 19:43:51

Thinking about having a second. We calculated what it would cost to have two in nursery incl free hours and sibling discount and what I would save being on maternity leave, to deduct from that and then worked back to find out when we can start ttc.
It's the childcare that gets you.

LittleMissStubborn Mon 02-Nov-15 20:13:35

We didn't particularly work anything out either.

We couldn't afford a 4th but that is more to do with house size and the fact that it is already a pain paying for 2+3. tbh though finance is only one of the many reasons for not having a 4th, if it was the only reason I am not sure if it would be enough to stop us.

blimpfrog Mon 02-Nov-15 21:20:18

We decided to have one child and drew up a lot of spreadsheets and discussed various scenarios beforehand! For me I've never felt that biological urge/broodiness so it was easier to think rationally and mathematically about it (and DH and I have backgrounds in mathematics). It was partly about finances (we have a good income but didn't want to downgrade our lifestyle too much) and also enjoy good careers and hobbies, so wanted to minimise the impact having a family would have on that. For us it's been the right decision smile

grumpysquash Mon 02-Nov-15 21:20:24

When DS left nursery (in 2010) it was £11k per year for a full time place. After school club is £10 or £11 per day, 5 days per week 38 weeks per year.......

I am not in London and it wasn't even a city centre nursery!

If you had a August baby and took a full year off, it would only be 3 years of nursery fees smile

fakenamefornow Tue 03-Nov-15 08:09:35

Actually buying all the stuff you need for a small child costs very little. You can also pick up loads of free stuff/hand me downs. It's childcare/loss of one income that's the killer. Also in the UK if you really want more children and don't mind squeezing up (and you don't have a mortgage) the state will pick up the slack. Actually, this may be about to change for working families with the loss of tax credits. It's still true for non working families though.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Tue 03-Nov-15 08:14:18

We're about to have dc3 but it was entirely an emotional decision. We are going to have far less money to spend and won't be going on holidays for a long time. But we can afford a mortgage (just!) for s big enough house and to feed/clothes ourselves which I'm happy with

HeadDreamer Tue 03-Nov-15 08:40:05

It's just something I have a gut feeling of. I know if I have three, I need to pay more for a lot of big ticket items. I want my children to have their own rooms, so I need a bigger house. That's probably the most expensive of all. Then because we both drive small cars, we would need bigger cars. Neither of our cars can fit a passenger between two car seats at the back. And if we go on holidays, we will need a 3 bed villa or 3 hotel rooms. The extra cost of a 3rd child just seem much too high to me.

Also I know I always wanted only two.

HeadDreamer Tue 03-Nov-15 08:41:06

Oh and the extra cost of childcare and activities.

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