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The "true" cost of raising children?

(15 Posts)
Janh Wed 05-May-04 09:08:36

There's a piece about this in the Graun today (following on from that £164K per child thing yesterday) detailing what 3 families spend a week - here . The third family - 2 children, 18 and 12 - apparently spend, WEEKLY, £150 on theme park trips and £40 on cinema trips and give the 18-yr-old £50 for clubbing.

Any comments???

wobblyknicks Wed 05-May-04 09:37:27

Comments - yes - they've got more money than sense.

webmum Wed 05-May-04 09:38:15

I think it's disgusting be honest!

I think it is not necessary to spend those amounts of money on children, and I think it is essential to teach them the value of money!!

I musta dmit we probably spend more than we should ourselves on our daughter (as we can afford it, or we wouldn't!), but I do make an effort to keep treats and presents outside birthday/xmas toa minimum, and usually as a reward for her being particulalry good on a given occasion.

It's still quite easy for us as she's only 3, but I was v. much into designer clothes as a teenager, but my mum would only buy us v. expensive stuff for xmas or birthdays, we got a new coat if the old one was worn out, or too small, and if something was really expensive it would make one gift for both xmas AND birthday.

I must admit that I grew up thinking we were poorer than we actually were, but I suppose the reason why my parents always had savings was that they were not splashing out on too many things for us!

We did not miss out on anything, but we did not have the superfluous and I think it taught us to be wise with our money!

Northerner Wed 05-May-04 09:39:37

Far too much! 18 yera old is old enough to get a Saturday job and earn clubbing money IMO.

Marina Wed 05-May-04 09:55:58

They must have misunderstood the question - how could they possibly have time to go to theme parks every week? Agree the 18 year old should get a Saturday job, that's how I funded my going-out money. I don't ever recall asking my parents for leisure cash after I got a Saturday job at 14. They were generous with clothing essentials (or rather my mother was, I've picked up her habit of hiding receipts for shoes ) but everything else I paid for myself.

Janh Wed 05-May-04 10:01:20

Marina, I thought that too, but she is quoted as saying "One of the reasons why we pay for so much entertainment for them - things like trips to the cinema and to theme parks - is because you can't let kids go out by themselves any more."

But then she also says "The most expensive thing that we pay out for our kids is clothes," and that's only (only!) £40 a week so I don't get it really. (Actually my boys have a very expensive football-boots-and-trainers habit, I bet if I added all that up and divided it by 52 it would come out a bit on the high side.) (But they have to contribute if they insist on having expensive ones.)

Agree completely about him getting a job - no job, no clubbing - a valuable lesson to learn!

toddlerbob Wed 05-May-04 10:34:59

By all means go out with your kids, but why not to the park, the library, the local pool, free stuff councils put on...sounds like they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

GillW Wed 05-May-04 10:50:50

And how does the first one manage to spend £50/week for school uniforms for 3 children. £860 a year *each* for school uniforms?

moodyzebra Wed 05-May-04 10:58:56

£40/week for computer games!?

roisin Wed 05-May-04 13:20:50

I found it quite scary reading .. but I've never sat down and done the same exercise myself, and am reluctant to do so! My boys are 4 and 6 (birthdays soon), and the amount of 'extras' suddenly seems to be exploding ... football coaching, tennis and swimming lessons, Beaver outings, birthday parties, school trips, theatre and cinema tickets ...! I find it easier to spend money on 'experiences' rather than clothes and possessions, but it soon starts adding up.

Batters Wed 05-May-04 13:41:48

okay, who is going to be brave enough and be the first to post their own detailed spending?

hatter Wed 05-May-04 16:19:25

Just read the article and am horrified. Hate to sound like some sort of martyr but I had a weekend job from the age of 14 from which point I bought all my own clothes, make-up, and whatever else it is that teenage girls spend money on. I loved it because I had total independence - it was MY (hard-earned) money and I could spend it how I wanted. I can't believe that an EIGHTEEN year old is being so molly-coddled - he doesn't even have to budget : "We don't really give them pocket money but tend to give them money when they need it." That's going to stand him in good stead *when* he's grown up.

Codswallop Wed 05-May-04 16:21:41


GillW Wed 05-May-04 17:45:37

I'll start .....

At the moment (ds is 2.8):
Nursery £125/week
Clothes/toys £5 week on each (mostly not new, and ds isn't old enough yet to distinguish between lots of toys from car boot sales at a few pence each, and a few new ones at shop prices).
Birthday/Christmas probably about £200 total, so £4/week on average
Annual pass to local farm park/soft play area £50/year, so £1/week
Other activities/swimming, etc £5/week
Food/drink (above what we spend on ourselves): £20/week (most meals during the week are at nursery)
Eating out: £3/week
Nappies/wipes: £3/week
Holidays/Days out: £20/week (including entrance costs for us to places we wouldn't go without him - it's only so high because we take him to Canada each year and pay airfares)
Savings: £20/week
Other (skis, redecorating his room, birthday party, birthday cards/presents for friends, etc): £5/week
Total: £216/week for 1 child.

More than half of that is nursery fees, which hardly figure in the original article but I'm sure are an equally significant factor for anyone with pre-school children. But then nor do they include savings and holidays, and I'd bet the example families have those too. Yet they include "food for the family" - surely some of that would be bought for the adults even if they didn't have the children, so it's hardly realistic to include it in the cost of having children. And for them to take the current cost per child, per week and just multiply that by the number of weeks in 21 years is way, way, too simplistic. By that reckoning ds is going to cost me over £236,000!

Actually the original survery they've done this article on the back of is a bit more realistic in recognising that expenditure changes at different stages, but it still nothing like our situation (why do average childcare costs/year go up when the child starts school, and pre-school children get pocket money, but 5-11's don't?)

We're definately way over their estimates for the 1-5 group, but will hopefully be under for 5-11 (as have no expectation of paying over £7k/year for a nanny).

There's quite a good take on this in today's Telegraph

kynamummy Tue 01-Dec-15 12:26:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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