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Can I afford to start a family ?

mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 749
edited December 2016 in The cake stop
Ok so I was not sure what forum to go to for advice so I just thought best to stick to the site I know - I am sure there are lots of parents on here so here goes....

Basically my fiance and I are planning on trying for a baby however we have some concerns re finances that hopefully somebody can advise on - Maybe someone who has been in a similar situation.

Currently we both work full time with me on £18k and the missus on £19k, Our 2 bed end terrace costs £400 a month mortgage (with £90k remaining & house has been valued at £120k not sure if this info is useful?) - Benefit of living in the Midlands :) .Neither of us are big into clothes or drink/smoke etc and as such we have a very modest lifestyle - I am also super cheap with the leccy and gas (still have not put central heating on yet).

I won't bore you with the full break down but after everything has been paid we have roughly £500-700 a month of disposable income depending on if we have been out for a few meals / nights out etc. Neither of us save anything ( I know we should but at 0.5% interest or whatever seems little point rather pay off more on the mortgage).

If we were to have a child then we don't want to pay for childcare as based on our income I have been lead to believe that one of us would effectively be working for just a few £k a year so one of us would be staying home and given that I earn the least and work for a small company (not much room for progression) it would be me who stays home which is fine by me :)

Do you think based on no childcare costs would our budget work ?

We are both totally aware that any luxuries like meals out / holidays etc would be out the window but just want to know if its possible without having to live hand to mouth or take loans or downsize and still be able to have a comfortable lifestyle. If the general opinion is that we will be living on beans on toast then we may have consider waiting a bit until the missus gets a promotion.

There is a possibility of me working part time from home via remote connection but I am after advice based on just the missus working - If I get to keep my job and work remotely from home then that is a bonus & I don't think money will be an issue.

Anyone in a similar position who can advise ??

Ta.
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  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 749
    Should add the above £500-700 a month left over is based on our current spending, As mentioned we don't have expensive tastes but we do spend a lot on food and go out for probably 3 dinners a month, Typically the bill is about £50-70 a each time.
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    I haven't read much of your post (I'm working dammit!) but the given is that no-one can ever afford a family.

    You might (will) have to tighten your belts for a few years, accept that someone else's kid might start off life in a nicer pram, better pre-school, bigger silver spoon. Don't worry about it. Good luck!
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    Economics is not the basis for your decision. As you have a wife and at least one job and some of you at least are responsible then the basis for having a child is completely satisfied. There is no question about it. It is a good thing to do and will compensate you for living in the midlands.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,390
    Yes, as Craker says, kids never make financial sense. You will probably be eligible for tax credits, (but don't tell Mamba80). Basically continue to pay off extra on your mortgage, and you may be in a position to reduce your monthly payments when/if the finances start to get tight. You will eat out less anyway when you have a baby - you'll be too knackered most of the time.
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    edited November 2016
    You can never afford it but its the best thing ever.

    We couldn't afford the first but it happened. We were skint but somehow ended up with two.

    We were just reeling from that and working out where the money was coming from when number 3 happened.

    I then had the snip.

    We are so lucky to have been able to have kids. We had a lot less disposable income than you an managed ok. Things have changed and we're now more comfortable. We do wonder what the hell we did with our time and money before kids though.

    NapD

    Proud Dad to 3 girls, 13, 10 and 5.
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
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  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    other than nursery fees ..... having a kid hasn't cost anything more.

    yes you have the additional cost of clothes, toys, food .... but you no longer go out 5 times a week, eat at nice restaurants, go on expensive holidays.

    your hobbies go from being self motivated to baby oriented .. so money just changes direction

    Do it !!!!
  • floreriderflorerider Posts: 1,046
    Looks better than when I became a father, my housing costs represented well over 60% of my take home, and my wife gave up work on top.

    It is never economics anyway.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 749
    Ok so basically I am F**ked financially no matter what if I have a child ! I really want to start a family tho - Hell if the scroungers across the road can afford 3 of them I reckon I can make a go of it on our budget :)
  • Your 'disposable' income will increase as you won't be having nights out or dinner at a restaurant.

    If your fiance breast feeds there's very little in the running costs for a few months (nappies aside).

    Go for it - plenty of people worse off make it work
    Road - '10 Giant Defy 3.5
    MTB - '05 Scott Yecora
    BMX - '04 Haro Nyquist R24 (don't judge me)
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    If you wait till you think you can afford it, you'll die childless.

    just don't get suckered into thinking you need brand new, top of the range designer stuff for the baby. They grow faster than turkeys being fattened for Christmas; some stuff is obsolete after a few weeks. Carefully chosen second hand stuff is fine; I'm pretty sure when I came along in the 50s I was in hand me downs from the start...
  • How old are you Mr_Eddy?
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • NapoleonD wrote:
    You can never afford it but its the best thing ever.
    This says it all really
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    Give 'er one from the Bikeradar team 8)
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 749
    Lol ! I am 34 and the missus is 28. Re nappies etc I am quite lucky as the other half works for Boots so get epic discount from the staff shop - most recent purchase was a BOX of 24 2-1 shampoo bottles for £1.50 , Nappies are usually in the staff shops too so I think that will be a saving grace.
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    keef66 wrote:
    I'm pretty sure when I came along in the 50s I was in hand me downs from the start...

    Mrs Craker's dad (Grampa as he's known these days) was raised in the South Wales coal fields just after the war. He had long hair and they couldn't afford clothes for him so he just wore his big sister's hand-me downs.

    So don't tell me you had it tough :wink:
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    just lose your job and you'll get a nice house an plenty of benefits so you'll easily be able to afford a kid!

    :wink:
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    mr_eddy wrote:
    Lol ! I am 34 and the missus is 28. Re nappies etc I am quite lucky as the other half works for Boots so get epic discount from the staff shop - most recent purchase was a BOX of 24 2-1 shampoo bottles for £1.50 , Nappies are usually in the staff shops too so I think that will be a saving grace.

    If you ask around, you really don't have to buy a ton of stuff. Sounds like you're a responsible sort of chap if you're actually thinking hard about these things up front.
  • mr_eddy wrote:
    Lol ! I am 34 and the missus is 28. Re nappies etc I am quite lucky as the other half works for Boots so get epic discount from the staff shop - most recent purchase was a BOX of 24 2-1 shampoo bottles for £1.50 , Nappies are usually in the staff shops too so I think that will be a saving grace.

    I was going to say wait until you're at least 30 so you're all good there.

    Go for it, you sound like you've got your head screwed on. Having kids is THE BEST thing I ever did. (I have 5 of the little darlings) Your children will cripple you both spiritually and financially but your life will be happier for it.
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,285
    As others have said, most people have a baby and back solve to find out how to finance it afterwards. They always find a way.

    However, purely on the numbers, presumably you will be losing your £1280 a month pay and you have £500-£700 surplus at the moment, so you need to make up £700 or so. Presumably you will receive child benefit (£90), maternity pay for 6 months (£600), spend a bit less (£??) and what about tax credits (I have no idea how they work) and other benefits?

    You could also work Fri / Sat evening or something like that if you wanted a bit of extra cash.

    Otherwise, babies are quite cheap. For example, 5 John Lewis sleep suits is about £12. They're probably half that in Primark.

    The main thing you need for free / minimal cost is a buggy / pram - be on the look out!
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    ...and with all the money you save you can get a new bike.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,735
    You'll never be able to afford it as everyone else has said! However the rewards of parenthood go beyond the financials. Holding your little one's and watching them grow into horrible little people is a true joy
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 18,068
    Go for it, there is always a reason to say wait and if you keep waiting you will miss the boat
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,598
    I would try and stay in some kind of work if you can - you may not be able to - but it'll be easier to get back into the workplace if you haven't got a gap of several years - either that or tell your wife to get a better paid job.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • Yeah, you can afford it, blah, blah, blah...but that disposable income could be spent on YOU. Your left over spends could buy a lot of mojitos.
    I realise I might be in the minority here.
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,523
    No. And it's not how you should think.

    If you ache inside when you see kids, if you feel incomplete, if you can't imagine life without your other half, then go for it.

    But it's hard work. Fun at times, heartbreaking at others.

    Best wishes, SecretSam - father of 11 year old twins

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,868
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Proud Dad to 3 girls, 13, 10 and 5.

    Interesting names but couldn't you have gone with 1, 2, and 3 to make it easier to remember?
    keef66 wrote:
    If you wait till you think you can afford it, you'll die childless.

    This is the advice I've heard many times, I have nothing else to add aside from childish jokes.
  • Fertility in men and women start to drop off with age. I got told by a researcher involved in fertility the actual rate of drop off but can't remember it right now. It goes something like a typical 35 year old woman is half as fertile as a typical 25 year old woman. Can't remember whether it's the eggs are half as viable or just the whole fertility.

    Anyway I would like to point out that if you leave it until you have a greater income you are at risk of reducing your chances of conceiving and going full term.

    We got pregnant by surprise, well my partner was pregnant I was just the scared new dad worrying about how much it would cost. I was scared we couldn't afford him. Do not worry! With your income levels you should afford a baby. I was on less than you and my partner ended up without an income. I've managed to hang on to my redundancy savings but I am breaking even on actual incoming vs outgoings. My partner Isn't any better. We haven't scrimped on life neither. Our son is happy and very well adjusted, despite my input. To qualify that, I'm a bit strange in my outlook on life I guess, kind of in my own world.

    It does sound like you could join the new social phenomena... the JAMs. We are the Just About Managing.

    But seriously, back to my first point. If you go ahead with trying for a child. You'll have it, cope perfectly well and want another. The later you leave it the lower your odds of having.a second child. I'm pretty sure if you have one you'll want two. 34 and late 20s for your good lady is just about the perfect age for starting a family.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,320 Lives Here
    haydenm wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Proud Dad to 3 girls, 13, 10 and 5.

    Interesting names but couldn't you have gone with 1, 2, and 3 to make it easier to remember?
    That did make me laugh, very good.
    Nothing to add other than to agree with the majority. We still can't afford to have kids. Our son is now 18 years old and daughter is very nearly 15.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Our little darlings are now 25 and 28 years old, and barring relationship disasters, have probably flown the nest for good. They have both grown up to be bright, well adjusted lads, despite my parental input, and are making their way in the world which is nice to see. Who knows, we may become grandparents some time in the future!
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,268
    My two sons are now 26 and 22 (I think, I lost count a while back :) )

    I haven't looked at the OPs numbers, but as others have pointed out, most of us can never really afford kids.

    But don't let that stop you.


    The older I get, the better I was.

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