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Do you use one salary to pay for private school?

(87 Posts)
TurkeyDinosaurs Fri 27-Jan-17 15:28:42

We're not on a high combined income £65k, but we really want to send our 2 dc private in secondary school. I was wondering how common it is for a family to use almost all of one person's income to do this. For example, one income is £30, other is £35 and 2 dc at private would be £24k pa. It would mean we'd be living on a household income of £41k obviously. Does anyone do this and does seem like a crazy sacrifice? Can you afford any sort of holidays or days out on this? I went to private so I want to give my children the same ideally.

NotThrowAwayMyShot Fri 27-Jan-17 15:34:12

Yes, we do this. I earn £30,500 & dh earns £29,500. School fees for two children are £22k

TurkeyDinosaurs Fri 27-Jan-17 15:38:48

Wow notthrow *I'm glad to hear someone else in the same position. Are you able to save for holidays? If so, are we talking UK, Europe or beyond? Do you feel skint -- we are just imagining that staying at this sort of money means that our standard of living is going to stay the same for many year but that's a sacrifice we're willing to make.

TurkeyDinosaurs Fri 27-Jan-17 15:38:50

Wow notthrow *I'm glad to hear someone else in the same position. Are you able to save for holidays? If so, are we talking UK, Europe or beyond? Do you feel skint -- we are just imagining that staying at this sort of money means that our standard of living is going to stay the same for many year but that's a sacrifice we're willing to make.

Thisdoesnotgeteasier Fri 27-Jan-17 15:47:12

Is your £65k pre tax earnings? If so £24k of school fees sounds like an awful large chunk of your disposable income. Do you have a mortgage and other fixed outgoings?

It sounds crazy to me.

Wilywizard Fri 27-Jan-17 15:48:13

Yes we do but I would not be able to do it on such a tight budget.

Wilywizard Fri 27-Jan-17 15:50:47

So take home for both is about £4200? Then 2k a month for school fees.

Do you have housing costs etc? I can't see how this is achievable unless you have very few other outgoings.

Thisdoesnotgeteasier Fri 27-Jan-17 15:52:11

And school fees will likely rise above inflation every year while most people's salaries are not these days.

It leaves no room for error - what if one of you lost your job? Do you have a large savings cushion?

We are currently considering private v state for our eldest (also got 2 kids). Household income is significantly more than £65k and we still question the wisdom of the expenditure. Is your state alternative all that bad?

ToastieRoastie Fri 27-Jan-17 15:52:35

As PP asked - is £65j your pre-tax earnings or after tax and NI taken off?

Why don't you use the MSE budget tool to see how much disposable income you have left after mortgage/rent, utilities, groceries, car, car tax/maintenance, travel to work, essential budget for school uniform etc etc are all taken off? Then you know how much of a chunk private fees will take off the actual disposable income you have.

We can't answer your question as we don't know how much disposable income you have.

Bluntness100 Fri 27-Jan-17 15:52:42

It never occurred to us. We put a percentage of our salaries into th joint account and that pays for everything, inc all the years we paid school fees. What was left was ours to spend as we pleased. Both our salaries were much higher than the school fees but no one person was responsible.

TurkeyDinosaurs Fri 27-Jan-17 15:54:12

Yes 65k pre tax. It would be tight and there would be that worry if one of use were to be made redundant. But I feel it's doable as long as we're prepared for no increase in living standards for a while.

Wimbles101 Fri 27-Jan-17 15:56:46

Sorry, slight reality check here - we have a combined salary of a lot more than that (details not to be revealed!) and struggle to have two at private school - we do not have a lavish lifestyle - old car, holiday once a year to somewhere in the UK or France...small mortgage and that's it. How on earth do you send two kids to private school on £65k?!
I wouldn't do it tbh - think about doing one at a time is my honest advice.

Wimbles101 Fri 27-Jan-17 15:58:58

BTW, uniform is a smallish one-off cost. If anything with private the biggest cost after fees are lunches, and travel if taking school bus.

You're really not leaving yourself much room there and once you're in the private sector believe me you won't want to take them out...that's been our experience anyway...

Bluntness100 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:01:35

I don't think uour maths works out,

41 k before tax and national insurance is less than thirty grand after. With the other costs of private education, what would you live on? You'd probably have about three or four grand max a year, for food, bills, rent or mortgage, transport, council tax, I don't see how it's feasible.

TurkeyDinosaurs Fri 27-Jan-17 16:02:19

A small mortgage is relative isn't it? Ours is just under £600 and we'll get a different deal hopefully in the future to reduce it monthly if need be. Our car is oldish and paid off. Apart from utilities, council and car tax and 2 mobile phones we don't really have anything else to pay. Is there anyone else that does this on a similar salary like the first pp?

Wimbles101 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:02:52

You need to allow for the unexpected as well - things break down, unusally high utility bills etc etc....

Kennington Fri 27-Jan-17 16:04:16

65k pre tax will barely cover 1 child unless you have no mortgage and a v energy efficient home.
I would add a 5% per year increase in fees.
Increased holiday childcare due to longer holidays.
Uniform is ok but pricey
Extras cost me in the region of £500 per term, on top of 3.5k per term fees, in reception.

Bluntness100 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:04:30

You need to do the math, your mortgage payments are over seven grand a year, then you have 24 on school fees, that's thirty one grand before you even pay an electricity bill or buy a loaf of bread or fill up the car with petrol, or tax it.

Bluntness100 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:05:19

You need to look at your net income after tax and national insurance, I think the issue is you are looking at gross.

Wimbles101 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:06:52

Hmm, TurkeyDinosaur maybe this depends on where you live. We are in London, a our two are at Prep and I suspect there are very few on a salary of less than a £100k sending kids to private here. I have a mum friend who is a single mum and has both at the school. She earns £100k plus and struggles - again no mortgage etc.
What I think people forget is that this is an ongoing commitment.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Fri 27-Jan-17 16:11:38

We earn more than that and I wouldn't even dream of sending DC private as it would cripple our day to day flexibility.
(Also wondering where you can get 2dc in for £22k, more like 30 here!)

I suppose the question for me is, what do you think Private will get that State wouldn't and is it worth the day to day sacrifice? What's the main driver?

TiredAndRavenous Fri 27-Jan-17 16:17:25

Private schools are very funny places (I have both worked and attended) make sure you have enough money let over for trips etc. A lot of children there will obviously have very rich parents & their children will have the best clothes and equipment, and if you can't provide this to your children & they might get bullied & left out of friendships/experience.

Thisdoesnotgeteasier Fri 27-Jan-17 16:18:17

So post school fees and mortgage you are leaving your family roughly £400 a week, based on info provided, to cover utilities, food, clothing, holidays, petrol, etc.

I honestly think you would be crazy to do it.

TiredAndRavenous Fri 27-Jan-17 16:18:20

Sorry very badly written, I have a cranky toddler today 😂

AgentProvocateur Fri 27-Jan-17 16:21:27

No, it's not enough. We briefly considered it many years ago when the DC were at that age and we were at that income. It's not worth the years of scrimping and saving it would entail. No holidays, no meals out, no concerts, no extra curricular activities... It would be madness on a joint income of 65k to send two children to private school.

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