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Question about expenses for those with older kids

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#1 Rachaelxxx

Posted 22 September 2006 - 07:29 PM

When do the kids start becoming really expensive.  I have a 5yo, a 3yo an 18 month old and a newborn and so far minus the food bills and clothing (which I choose to be exteme with), the major expenses are kinder and activities.

Everyone keeps saying how expensive kids are these days, but we are going to be sending the girls to a state school and that is cheaper than what my kinder fees are at the moment and then we will put each of the girls in one activity per term, so where is it that they become soooooo expensive.  

I'm not trying to imply that these little ones won't break our piggie bank, I'm just trying to work out where most of the money goes.

Rachael and her 4 little princesses

#2 donthavetv

Posted 22 September 2006 - 07:43 PM

Its my opinion that people "over state" how expensive children are, it all comes down to making appropriate and sensible choices, and in my expereince people with big families are good at doing that.

#3 ~*Bubsy*~

Posted 22 September 2006 - 07:47 PM

I have to say this year and last year, with two kids in Highschool now, we are starting to feel the pinch, but its funny how you always seem to find the money when you need it, or the school is willing to let you pay in instalments original.gif
Other than that and bigger appetites, I dont think theres much difference (oh and the lovely expensive school excursions!! ohmy.gif )

#4 4lildarlins

Posted 22 September 2006 - 07:50 PM

Rachel, I have often wondered the same thing .. usually when deciding should I go back for another ...

My friends with older kids say it school uniforms, school requirements, camps etc. They whinge a lot over the school holidays saying it is $20 each for them to go the movies with their friends and then other trips out .. quick calc by me $80 plus inflation I do not think so LOL!!

I cried when I sat down with dh one night and told him there was no way we could ever afford a third child .......... now here we are with now one income, 4 kids, a bigger car, building a bigger house and just doing it .... somehow .....

I am no help at all in answering the question but I too am curious and wonder if it is that large family kids miss out on more material things (not saying that is a bad thing at all, give me siblings over toys anyday!!) than the small family kids do??

Edited by 4lildarlins, 22 September 2006 - 07:52 PM.

#5 donthavetv

Posted 22 September 2006 - 07:57 PM

I am no help at all in answering the question but I too am curious and wonder if it is that large family kids miss out on more material things (not saying that is a bad thing at all, give me siblings over toys anyday!!) than the small family kids do??

Agree !, only I wouldn't call it missing out, I think they are lucky to have siblings instead of "things".

#6 Rachaelxxx

Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:11 PM

I totally agree about giving them more siblings over material things, but there is no denying my girls will miss out on certain material things over other families.  My sister has 2 young girls and we've spoken about how my girls will probably get jeleous over some of the things that she will be able to afford to do with her girls and then my sister said yeah but Rach it's always so much fun at your house my girls will probably want to come and live with you where all the excitement and action is LOL.

I could imagine school holidays being pretty expensive though, especially the christmas break.

Rachael and her 4 little princesses

#7 ~Sorceress~

Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:50 PM

It does get more expensive. School excursions get more expensive, sports get more expensive as they need better quality equipment and/or coaching, and holidays get waaaaaaay more expensive once you start needing interconnecting hotel rooms!

I don't mind my children missing out on expensive toys and clothes, but I would feel really terrible if their education suffered sad.gif. So we pay for music lessons, swimming lessons and a couple of sports each - but when I add up what it costs us on an annual basis it is a little scary!

Edited to add that even though you may plan to send your children to state schools, children are all individuals and some of them may not thrive in the public system. You might want to make allowances for that possibility in your long term budgeting original.gif.

Edited by ViolinCuddles, 22 September 2006 - 08:51 PM.

#8 lizabelle

Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:57 PM

I have 4 girls at home, my son is living in Newcastle for uni now and he is pretty well supporting himself. For us it does seem to get more expensive as they get older, mostly in the way of sporting and school commitments and stuff like that. My kids go to a private school and that is always a big expense, but it is still cheaper than child care LOL.

School hols are expensive but I budget carefully, for example we get DVD's instead of going to the movies (Iget 7 weeklies for $10 and they watch them all week  wink.gif and get together with friends instead of paid outings like bowling or whatever, too expensive for us. We go to the museum, which is free, and also we have a yearly pass at the local aquarium which helps.

And yes, siblings always make up for any "missing out", my son was an only child for 7 years and he was always saying he was bored, whereas I have never heard my girls say they are bored, so in the long run they will look back on their childhood as being one big party LOL. So it all balances out, give me the big family any day  biggrin.gif

#9 donthavetv

Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:59 PM

lol Kristen... I didn't think of holidays because we are very lucky my dh is a travel agent !

I find Catholic school a very good option as an alternative to public school, and we get a low income discount.

I guess my approach is that whilst there is no doubt, they do become more expensive, you sort of know that is coming when you decide to have a large family, and everyone makes do.
Like a pp said... you just seem to find a way.

#10 ~Sorceress~

Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:33 PM

Woohoo - I vote donthavetv is in charge of compiling list of large family holiday options! LOL  biggrin.gif

I find it so frustrating that so many hotels simply don't have accommodation for a family of 6 - let alone at a reasonable price!  mad.gif And so often they suggest that you just get two rooms and they'll make sure they're on the same floor - ummm, hello, so you think I want to spend my holiday with my dh and I in different hotel rooms???  rolleyes.gif

#11 CafeCat

Posted 22 September 2006 - 10:10 PM

I have often wondered the exact same thing. The biggest outlay we have had for our kids so far is swimming lessons. Clothing has not been an issue as we have done very well from birthday/Christmas presents and a few healthy bags of hand-me-downs as well as their own still-in-tact clothes being handed down. School excursions and activities are starting to bite and with the realisation that we will have to outlay for three kids at school next year ... makes me wonder about the teenage years.

I do see myself back in the work force next year but to what degree I am still not sure. I know that it will be eventually a full time position as we will need that income - I hope I can hold out till the youngest is around 8 to 10yo before this happens.

Lucky for us having the latest and greatest of everything was never a high priority - I figure once our 5th child has worked over the TV, much as her sibling before her have, LCD screens should be reasonably priced  tongue.gif

#12 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 22 September 2006 - 10:56 PM

Have to agree that swimming lessons are soooo expensive. We have been having a break from them this winter. My eldest does horseriding once a fortnight and my second DD does dancing, they both go to guides which is fairly reasonable. I would love for them to learn an instrument each especially since I am a music teacher, but we can't afford it ATM. Oh, better go, the divine miss M age 11 weeks just awoke wink.gif

#13 Cheryl_v

Posted 22 September 2006 - 11:19 PM

I've been told by parents with only one child in the school band that it's very expensive (not to mention a 7.20am start on Tuesday!) so I'm going to be steering my kids away from that.  Swimming lessons are our major expense in summer, and soccer cost roughly the same amount for the season as swimming did per term.  It really comes down to what you want your children to do and what your children want to do.  I would prefer to limit my children's activities because I don't want to overschedule them like a couple of kids I know, but I also don't want them to miss out the way I felt that I did when I was a kid.  It's a tough line to walk.

#14 donthavetv

Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:07 AM

We are lucky re swimming lessons, kids from year 1 have two full weeks lessons in the last term of every year at school, and our vacation swimming lessons provided by the Govt are only $1 per lesson, so I have ditched the $14 a hour ones.

Dont know about the music, although they get good school tuition if they want it (in school time for about an extra $5 a lesson)
I am going to wait and see if any of them have an interest in music first.

#15 ~Sorceress~

Posted 23 September 2006 - 10:04 AM

Yes, we did school swimming lessons for a while, but the teaching was a bit erratic - one year they'd be fantastic, the other year they weren't so good. And it loses a whole week's school just for 5 hours of swimming lessons (when you calculate in the bus rides there and back, changing time etc) so our school decided to drop out of the program.

We also have music lessons available at school so all the year 2s learn violin for a year, and years 3 - 5 do recorder, but once you get to a certain standard they recommend private lessons (at $28/ half hour lesson!). But my family are pretty keen on their music (my mother's a music teacher) so good music lessons are pretty much compulsory in our house!

And the minkey sports are very reasonable, but my half yearly basketball fees for two children are now $350 plus balls, shoes, shorts and any coaching camps they sign up for. Ouch, I don't even want to start adding in cricket, martial arts and rock climbing fees or I might be tempted to get a job  blink.gif .

I am trying to make sure we don't overschedule, but it's hard when they're so keen... mellow.gif

#16 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:02 PM

That's what annoys me - when you hear 'experts' banging on about how kids should be more active but it costs a fortune to play some sports. Re - overscheduling - it's really tricky isn't it - swimming I think is essential so it sort of doesn't count, all kids need to learn to swim. Then, as I said, my girls have guides, which is a social/ fun games/ craft sort of activity which they love. Then they have chosen another 'thing' each (ie horseriding DD#1 and dancing DD#2) So if I wanted them to do a team sport or music stuff as well that would be 4 or 5 things each which is not just too expensive, but way too much running around!! It's a tricky one, especially since I think some things (like sports) if you don't start young enough then you are left behind if you try to take it up later. hmmm

#17 donthavetv

Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:19 PM

it is a pet peeve of mine actually, the cost of sports for kids, it really does not get mentioned in he scheme of "obesity discussions", the problem is the insurance, public liability is crippling us. It is also restricting he amount of sport the schools engage in...

#18 ~Sorceress~

Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:53 PM

Yes - it'd be nice to get some subsidies for healthy sports original.gif. Of course, netballers should have to pay extra for the knee injuries <ducking as I'm pelted with netballs>  tongue.gif .

I try reasonably hard to find sports that all the kids can do, and to schedule them together - so swimming lessons are all on at the same time (I pay extra to have the two boys in a private lesson as they're at the same level), rock climbing the boys can do together, then on the day my DD has her squad the boys can hang out there and train together (and belay her when she needs it), and while basketball's a pain this year, next year the kids will be able to train on the school premises so they'll be able to ride bikes to and from training  smile1.gif then we'll only have to drive to matches. And we car pool for martial arts with a super kind mother who doesn't mind taking my DS as company for her DD (only child) biggrin.gif .

For music lessons, I've got two able to have private lessons at school (they do a rotating timetable to the children never miss the same class lesson twice in a row) so only have to take one to his lesson each week.

#19 cathy11

Posted 23 September 2006 - 07:28 PM

Now that my daughter is 16 , I just seem to stand in front of her with an open purse!!!!
Seriously tho..orthodontics for 4 has been a major expense in early teens, especially when i had three going at once!(thank goodness for private health cover---its more like a layby system for us!)
as for hols, we saved up 2 years worth of the child payment bonus thing(you know , the extra  $600 per child) and took the family to Fiji.it was absolutely fab so..
...we big family's are pretty special. we give our kids soooo much.the school is always saying how my children seem to care for others so well, are so willing to share, to help...
we give them love and a sense of compassion. we give them the ability to care for others .we give them a sense of responsibility. we give them all the ability to stand on their own two feet. isn't everything else just window dressing anyway?
our kids miss out on nothing important. (except some quiet lone time maybe!!) or is that just me???

#20 donthavetv

Posted 23 September 2006 - 10:38 PM

Perfectly said !

#21 insanemumofboyzx6

Posted 23 September 2006 - 10:42 PM

ive found sport being the more expensive side at present so i have told the boys they can do 1 all year around event Bradley isnt interested but Jai does Air League not too expensive 45 per year fee then subs $4pw the initial set up of uniform is expensive but not too bad as you only replace the shirt and pants as they grow out of them.  Then they have 1 winter season and 1 summer season sport.  My 2 older boys are doing T ball and in winter 1 does soccor and the other plays football.  Swimming they do through school so they still learn to swim that way and is a little cheaper on the pocket than weekly lessons.

im not looking forward to high school fees we are going to a Gov school but even then they arent cheap either. Im hoping that 2 through at a time might help ease the pain. (and i was contemplating a 5th????) im getting a little scared as its only 2 and bit years and my eldest will be there.

AS for money they get pocket money for now and as they get older it will increase until they are old enough to work.  I will still buy them their necessities but anything special or extravagant they want like designer labels etc they can save and buy themselves going to the movies with friends etc thats what their money is for.  I have a set amount for clothes each season now or else it blows the budget way out.  I think it also teaches them about the value of things and learn to enjoy the special things inlife rather than take it all as if it is owed to them.

Edited by insanemumof4boyz, 23 September 2006 - 10:45 PM.

#22 furmum

Posted 24 September 2006 - 08:42 PM


Children aren't expensive.....lifestyles are !!!   wink.gif

#23 donthavetv

Posted 24 September 2006 - 09:27 PM

Well said.... Aren't we a wise bunch in here !!!!

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