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can we afford to have a 2nd child in London?

(84 Posts)
bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 07:33:46

DH and I were discussing the idea of having another child last night and turns out he thinks we really can't afford it. We already have a two-year-old DD and had assumed we'd have another, but now DH is adament that we just dont have the money. Tried to do the sums and I do see his point but at the same time also a bit sad for DD as I think that she would have to have a sibling, so for example - our current take home is 6k per month and mortgage plus nursery come to 3.2k. Both of us work full time in jobs where you cant go p/t and our salaries wont go up by much in the next few years, plus it would mean having to leave our current two-bed flat and move out of the area.

Is having another child really expensive or is DH being unreasonable? Our friends have all either moved out of London when the kids came along or earn enough to put theirs through prep school. Does it get 'cheaper' once they get a little bit older?

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SnuggyBuggy Thu 18-Jun-20 07:35:41

I think it comes down to whether you want to move from where you are living. Are there any areas you have in mind? Could you both visit them to see how you feel about it?

copperoliver Thu 18-Jun-20 07:37:27

You always find the money somehow. X

40hello Thu 18-Jun-20 07:37:59

She won’t be in nursery forever. Time it for when she starts school? (Or school nursery.). That’ll drop the cost instantly.

Keep all her clothes and shoes and pass them down. They can share a room.

Plenty of kids in my London neighbourhood share a room and live in a 2-bed flat. Some with plans to leave eventually, some happy to stay because the area is more important than the space.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 18-Jun-20 07:40:54

Jesus how much do you think people raise children on....and I live in London and pay for a nursery, get a grip!
Sorry these threads are ridiculous, either they are bragging or some people really do live in a deluded bubble.

40hello Thu 18-Jun-20 07:45:35

SAlso to add, I have two children in London and considering a third. Our take home salary is about the same as yours I think. Our mortgage cost is much lower, and nursery is not expensive as we have 30 free hours.

We don’t ever go on fancy holidays, I don’t splash out on new clothes very often. But we aren’t broke.

Can you renegotiate your mortgage now that interest rates have fallen again?

Also, the older my children get, the grittier my London neighbourhood looks (zone 1/2 border) and the more I want to move somewhere greener in London (therefore cheaper).

bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 07:50:27

@40hello - yes, have been doing that. Our two-bed is sort of ok for three people but it's about 65m2 no garden .... I wouldnt mind moving out of the area but my parents live nearby and pre-Covid19 used to help out so a bit reluctant to leave.

@OnlyFoolsnMothers - so around us on quite a lot or they leave london.....DH says that we were totally unrealistic about how much it would cost just to have DD and must be more responsible this time around. For example, our current nursery costs 1750 for 4 if you add that up for two kids plus mortgage - it would be about 4.3k and we only have 6k in total. But yes I agree that it can be done, but DH is worried

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bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 07:52:34

@40hello - we thought about that, but we only bought the flat two years ago at the height of the market and honestly 1,500 is at the lowest rate. Dont get me started on how expensive London has become - but we wanted to be near to my parents so they could help and it's a safe area. Being a FTB at 40 with a kid is just a bit rubbish.....

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OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 18-Jun-20 07:55:26

Yes but your eldest will qualify for 30free hrs a wk after they turn 3- also if that’s the worry space out the age gap between your children. I’m due in November my eldest starts school next September, there will be 3 yrs between them /4 school years. So I’m only paying for 1 nursery place at a time.
As for leaving London, do they move further out or leave altogether?
You budget is very comfortable I really don’t see the issue.

Equimum Thu 18-Jun-20 07:58:05

Your daughter will start getting free hours at nursery from the term after she turns 3, so that will cut your childcare bill quite a bit.

If you cannot go part-time, is going a year career break an option? My friend did this, which I top of her maternity leave, meant she was at home until her younger turned two, and for the duration that she has two pre-schoolers. It worked out far more cost effective for them than having two in nursery. She resumed her career and has continued to progress.

StayAlert Thu 18-Jun-20 07:59:18

We had a second child in London but waited till DC1 started reception before having DC2 just so we were not paying 2 lots of nursery fees at the same time.

DC1 Started reception in September and DC2 born in November. Also being on MAT leave for a year, I didn't have to put DC1 into breakfast and after school club.

But then we did move out of London (north) and life became considerably cheaper!

user1728393 Thu 18-Jun-20 08:00:08

Nursery will be your biggest expense so once you get your free hours when your dc turns 3 that will make a big difference. You could try to plan it so that you only have a year of paying two sets of fees before your eldest starts school. Or have a bigger gap and pay one set at a time.

Your second won't be so expensive as a baby as you'll have the main things already but they do get more expensive as they get older. With your take home it shouldn't be a problem unless you eat out a lot and go away frequently.

bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 08:00:32

@OnlyFoolsnMothers - we are sort of talking about it now because I've just turned 40 so its really now or never sort of situation.

In terms of our friends - a lot of people we know are in public sector jobs and those that could leave did, a few commute in but complain that two train tickets is really expensive. Honestly, of our friends that have stayed they are all on about 100k each. We all went to the same 'top' uni and it's been interesting to see how things have split according to our job sectors.Hence if we ask around - both sets (those that stay and those that left) seem to side with DH

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Letsallscreamatthesistene Thu 18-Jun-20 08:02:24

I dont live in London (but lived in Fulham for 3 years so I understand the cost), but wont have a second child because of cost.

My husband and myself are roughly on the same as you guys. I think you need to weigh up lifestyle vs 2nd child

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 18-Jun-20 08:05:41

Is it just the money or do you think your husband doesn’t want another one? Going back to the baby years can we a mental challenge as much as a financial.
Are you from London? - I wouldn’t move far from London as I’m from here and my support networks are here. I did move from zone 2-4 so I could afford a house, my travel went up by c. £70 a month. Also I recon there will be a lot more flexibility/ working from home thanks to covid going forward, so you may not need to commute every day.

zafferana Thu 18-Jun-20 08:06:18

Have you factored in 30 free hours of nursery when your DD turns 3 OP? That will make a big difference to your nursery bill and with two FT working parents you will qualify.

bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 08:06:52

I think that DH is worried that whilst everyone says it gets easier/cheaper when they finish nursery that's just an illusion and we'll just need to pay for something else. Does it really get cheaper after that? Or do other 'new' costs pop up?

We're probably also a bit shell shocked by the nursery costs - I went back to work at six months so we've been paying it for a year and a half now.

It's probably also a bit of a change - before kids we didnt have an expensive lifestyle but didnt need to worry about money. In our sectors - 70k is the current top rate in both of our professions and thats for seniors

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bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 08:10:42

@OnlyFoolsnMothers - i think it might also be that. The last few years have been a bit of a rollercoaster - we moved country, got new jobs, bought a flat and had a baby within the space of three years and are only just coming back up for air. but because of our age its not like we can wait for much longer.

We did spend our 20s and 30s studying and working plus chilling - seems like a distant memory now ;-)

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DippyAvocado Thu 18-Jun-20 08:10:48

When they are small, the major cost is childcare. For a year, my childcare costs for 2 children in nursery were more than I earned. Also, look into what childcare is likely to cost in the long term. For me personally, costs didn't drop as much as I thought when my DC started school as all the wraparound provision was off-site which is more expensive. Do most schools local to you have on-site provision which is cheaper? I would have thought it likely in London. Also factor in childcare for the school holidays.

Another big expense for me is extra-curricular stuff - we do swimming, gymnastics and dancing. These are not essential but are they the sort of things you would want your child/children to do?

However, you are on good salaries. Also, if you wait until the elder child is 3 they will get some of their childcare costs funded or you could wait until they are school-age.

StayAlert Thu 18-Jun-20 08:13:34

Would a childminder or nanny be cheaper for 2 kids than nursery?

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 18-Jun-20 08:14:07

The money goes to other things for sure, not that much money, but yes after school club, after school childminders, school trips, lunches etc- but again OP I stress you are financially very well off, with options to move out of London. The talk to have is do you see your child being an only child, would you be happy with that to upload a certain lifestyle (which is fine btw, you don’t have to have 2 children)

40hello Thu 18-Jun-20 08:19:00

It definitely gets cheaper when they leave nursery. When my older finished, it was like dropping a mortgage.

Older goes to after school club, that’s £15. He does that once a week and we have play swaps the other two days - so cost nothing (apart from food as he and his friends eat everything in sight! grin)

I spend £15 on after school club and £10 a week on football, £10 a week on swimming. That’s £35 a week, so £151 a month. His siblings’ monthly nursery fee is about £350 because of the 30 free hours, goes to a cheaper nursery than older did. Total for the both of them, childcare and lessons etc is around £400 a month.

I don’t tend to do holiday clubs, though do sometimes depending. Instead, DH and I take annual leave or grandparents help out.

I’m also from London, my parents live about 30 mins away. They don’t help day-to-day, but help an awful lot in school holidays etc. (Not that I’m trying to persuade you to move (!)), but they still babysit and have the kids overnight.

40hello Thu 18-Jun-20 08:21:51

But yes - it’ll be a juggle.

It all comes down to whether or not you really want another. Nothing wrong at all in not. A local friend stuck with one so she could give her the best of everything - private school, great holidays.

It’s down to what you and your DH want in your gut.

bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 08:27:27

I think part of the issue is that having another was always just an assumption for me..not something that I've really thought about in terms of costs etc. Having the first has been quite an eye-opener...and i just dont know what it's like having an only child. is it that much worse? i have a sister and a brother but there's nine years between each of us - why my parents chose to have a child in every decade is beyond me. but it does mean that whilst I have two other siblings its not like we really grew up playing together or anything. But everyone else has at least two kids if not three and DD is super sociable and loves having lots of people around

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bubblebee40 Thu 18-Jun-20 08:36:50

@40hello - the irony is that even if we stick to only one child, it's not like we can afford a private school or such amazing holidays. Not sure about you, but Covid has really reminded us that we cant take grandparents help for granted. They are both 70 and probably won't be looking after DD for the foreseeable future, but they have been great for the last year and a half in helping out with DD.

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