One of the biggest reasons people put off having children is the perceived cost of raising them. Let’s face it – kids ain’t cheap, (especially if you aren’t able to access tax credits!)
Think about things that you might need starting big and working to the smaller things:
- House with N+1 bedrooms
- Car with space for car seats (friends of ours bought a pram which didn’t fit in their car. They got a new pram not a new car – but many would do the opposite.
- Car seats and booster seats, baby on board sticker
- Baby furniture (cot, moses basket, furniture, nappy hygiene centres, stairgates, playpens)
- Baby clothes (and they grow out of them fast!)
- New baby clothes for Girl after Boy (or boy after girl)
- Baby-proofing of the house
- Baby food utensils and cutlery, bottles
- Hundreds of nappies and lots of toys…
All of these things cost money.
However, we found that our average spending reduced when we have the Master because:
- We already had the house and didn’t change the cars
- We took fewer holidays, weekends away
- We stopped boozing – and booze is pricey and sometimes leads to kebabs!
- We practically never went out in the evening – goodbye cinema, theatre, restaurants, bars
- We got almost everything second hand for the Master – and all at prices about 10% of retail if you are in Scotland – give this a go
- There are loads of free activities for kids and prampushers examples
- There’s also the pathetic £20.70 children’s allowance from the government per week to consider – hey it all adds up. 🙂 why you should still sign up for Child benefit if you earn above £50k
The overall result was that our spending dripped with the arrival of the Master and to quantify it, our spend in the first year of his life was over £1,000 a month less than the year before and with market returns that’s now over £20,000. See the graph below – FYI, the birth was around Autumn.
I think that the biggest differential was that having kids put pay to me wanting to travel so much – and travel costs more than the £19.99 one way Ryanair flight price tag when you add up the full cost!
Now I want to spend my time at home and with my family – the best things in life are free and nothing beats a Gentleman’s Happy Family.
Edit: This recent news article says I was right about still signing up for Child Benefit if you are already a higher tax payer. It’s maybe because it was written for the Daily Mail readers – but nobody seems to be taking any responsibility for their own stupidity.