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Does it really cost you around £15,000 a year to raise your child?

(60 Posts)
alittlebitmanic Wed 24-May-17 12:10:18

I've just been reading an article about this and I am wondering how realistic this figure is. Obviously if you aren't careful with your money I can see that spending this and more yearly is easy to do, particularly if you buy excess, premium items and designer brands. Or if you have a very expensive nursery.

But if you're careful with your cash, budget, don't buy more than is needed and shop around to get good value items, can this be reduced slightly? Or significantly?

My partner earns well and I do OK, probably around the average salary. I don't understand how people can manage £15k a year of their joint income to be spent on raising children (30k for 2 seems barbaric!) and this is making me worry!

I know our lifestyle will be affected, but my partner earns enough that I don't think we can claim any child benefit so I'm concerned we'll be struggling if it does indeed cost this much.

Would you say this is accurate? And how easy have you found it to spend less?

Really interested to hear everyone's opinion!

fairiedemon Wed 24-May-17 12:14:25

My nursery fees for one child alone are more than that! I am also interested to see how other people do it.

Lancelottie Wed 24-May-17 12:16:00

It'll mostly be the loss of salary/cost of childcare, plus possibly the need for larger house with more bedrooms - can't easily fit a family of four in a one-bed flat.

Wolfiefan Wed 24-May-17 12:17:03

My first born is about to turn 14. When we looked at nurseries all those years ago full time was £1000 a month.
I can well believe it.

JassyRadlett Wed 24-May-17 12:18:02

My annual childcare bill (one at nursery, one at school with wraparound care and about 4 weeks of holiday clubs a year for 4 days a week each) is around £23k. So that colours my response a bit!

Those calculations tend to take into account things like bigger car, extra holiday costs, more expensive housing and costs of supporting through higher ed etc as well as the direct/unavoidable costs.

Obviously it's not a 'must pay' figure as people earning that amount manage to have and raise kids. And it's worth looking at who's put the figure together - it's often life insurance companies looking for sales!

Writerwannabe83 Wed 24-May-17 12:23:10

Our childcare bill (prior to DS getting the government funded free hours) was only £400 a month so not a huge dent.

The only other increased costs that are child induced are food, holidays, toys, clothes, days out etc etc

It certainly doesn't cost me and DH £15'000 a year to raise our son but I can well imagine that for a lot of families it does, and more, mainly due to childcare costs I imagine.

ExplodedCloud Wed 24-May-17 12:28:27

Loss of earning and/or childcare
Possibly a bigger house/car
Groceries
Clothes & shoes
Toys/pocket money
School fees for some
Other things I can't think of right now...

It's an average of direct and indirect costs.

CMOTDibbler Wed 24-May-17 12:31:26

Its the loss of earnings and/or childcare that does it. When ds was little we paid £900 a month on nursery fees alone

Mu123 Wed 24-May-17 12:32:19

Childcare is obviously the biggest cost. We have no childcare, I'd say the 4 dc cost us roughly about 100/150 a month on average

squishysquirmy Wed 24-May-17 12:35:35

If you include either loss of earnings, or childcare, then yes. Probably more for many people.

And I think that those costs should be included.

CountryCaterpillar Wed 24-May-17 12:41:58

We certainly couldn't pay that (we have 2 kids and don't earn more than 30grand!!!) it doesn't cost anywhere near that. And even people paying nursery fees only do so for a few years as it's not that expensive at school (so it isn't 15grand a year for whole of childhood.)

However yes in terms of lost earnings. As a part time teacher I could earn 15 but it hasn't worked out for us and I'm a sahm.

Friendlylightupbear Wed 24-May-17 12:44:00

When we had DD we needed to buy a new car and we bought our first house a couple of months before she was born - agree with others that when things like this are factored in then it's very believable. It's 1100 for full time nursery around here! I went back to work part time when she was 1, but left after three months due to her having a disability, so obviously that's made a big impact. We now need two cars as my DH works far away and needs the car everyday, and I need to take DD to hospital appts etc.

We get most of DDs clothes and toys as hand-me-downs or second hand, she eats what we eat, is breastfed, we go to cheap/free toddler groups, we bought the big ticket items sensibly so not needing to replace anything, we holiday in this country, etc. So there are lots of way to make savings, but it's the childcare/work thing that makes the big difference I think.

So yeah it's expensive. But she's worth it!

Bat3 Wed 24-May-17 12:45:23

Absolutely. I spend much more than that each year... my nursery fees alone are
14 000 a year.

Friendlylightupbear Wed 24-May-17 12:47:16

Just to say as well, OP, there's a shit tonne of baby stuff that you will think you need (or more accurately, that websites/magazines/baby shops etc will tell you that you need) when you have your first child... you really don't. John Lewis saw us coming with dollar signs flashing in their eyes... grin

MissWilmottsGhost Wed 24-May-17 12:47:22

I work part time and nursery fees were over £500 per month, so £15000 is probably about right for a preschooler if you need full time childcare.

Now DD is at primary school she costs a lot less.

As she gets older I expect she will cost more again (food/clothes/travel/activities/uni fees?).

I don't stress about it too much. If DH and I hadn't been able to have children (we spent years ttc due to infertility) I'm sure we still would have spent every penny we earned on something. I'm very happy to be able to spend it on my DD.

skyzumarubble Wed 24-May-17 12:48:00

I lost 15k a year by going part time so yes if if you include that then it does. The alternative would have been childcare at 2k per month (twins).

MrEBear Wed 24-May-17 12:49:50

Childcare and / or drop in wages for a SAHP. Is the biggest cost.

But what all are they taking into account, uni frees, extra curricula things, holidays, Christmas and birthday presents

Lillieslamb Wed 24-May-17 12:51:47

In a sahm so don't need to pay out for any nursery, so no we spend nowhere near that amount! I imagine if you have children in nursery though, it could easily mean you spend £15k a year. Dh is a police officer and only earns about £21k a year, and we don't get any child tax credits either. We would be in serious debt if we spent that much on dd in a year!

reetgood Wed 24-May-17 12:51:55

I hope not - currently pregnant and that's about half our current income!

Starduke Wed 24-May-17 12:52:47

I think it's fairly accurate.

For me the biggies are childcare (Even when DC are at school you need holiday care unless family step in. If you work FT there's wraparound care too.) and housing space.

Where I live one square metre is roughly 10K€ (admittedly an expensive city). Average bedroom is what? 10 - 15 square metres? so 100-150K€ for child's bedroom (obviously less if shared).

alittlebitmanic Wed 24-May-17 12:57:02

Thanks for your quick responses, it's helping me to put things into perspective!

We earn around 86K combined and although it sounds a lot we are far from rich. We have a nice house in a nice area and both have new-ish cars, so wouldn't need to increase those.

I can understand that during nursery years the 15K is very accurate and that it may well be more. For a few years that makes sense and isn't so frightening. We may be lucky that my mother in law would provide childcare for cheap but I don't want to count on it.

I like to say I would plan to keep working but I guess I won't know how I feel until we get there!

It's very interesting to hear everyone's opinions :-)

Notso Wed 24-May-17 13:07:59

With four children that amount would be more tha DH earns.

Mu123 Wed 24-May-17 13:11:39

Yikes, I've just worked out childcare if I was to work 9-5 mon-fri. 23k... that'll be why I'm a sahm then!

anditwasallgoingsowell Wed 24-May-17 13:12:35

Other than childcare, babies and young children are cheap. There is very little they really need. You can pick up nearly new stuff cheaply and I found lots of people are happy to give hand me downs. They don't eat much and under 5's are often free or very cheap admissions.

Older children/teens are much more expensive in all ways but especially clothes, food and activities. Things like holidays and days out become incredibly expensive.

squishysquirmy Wed 24-May-17 13:43:01

tbh, alittlebitmanic, I know you might not feel rich on that income, but I would be surprised if you could not afford a child. Even if you had to cut back in some areas of your spending, which most people have to do when they have kids. I think you have the right idea in keeping some options open when it comes to returning to work or not.
When you get past the childcare years, family holidays, hobbies, etc start to cost much more, but at least you have some control over this sort of spending.
Good luck!

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