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Couple With Two Children 'must Earn £40,600 To Meet Basic Needs'

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£700 pcm for food and consumables for a family of four seems very high to me, unless I have misunderstood what consumables are.

My wife and I spend between £150 and £200 a month between two of us on food, toiletries and cleaning products (basically all the regular items we buy in the supermarket). We live abroad but food etc is about the same price as the UK. A big saving is only having meat once or twice a week. We don't buy branded cleaning products but use vinegar, soda crystals etc for cleaning.

In fact, we recently increased the food budget so that we could buy more wholesome foods such as oat flour for making bread, more free-range meat etc, so we eat quite well. It is helped however by the fact that I only work part time so have more time to spend on making nice food etc, but then I've always wanted to work to live rather than vice-versa.

This isn't intended to be a 'frugaler than thou' post - just that savings can be made to most budgets without a decrease in quality of life.

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....with food a lot depends where you buy it, what you buy and how much you make from scratch compared to eating out, snacks, coffees, takeaways etc....also this time of the year what you can grow and who you know that are growing with excess, to a lesser degree....what can be cooked in bulk and what can be blanched and frozen for lesser or busier times.....make your own ready meals. ;)

Many cleaning products are a waste of money imho.....all much of a muchness......bleach, basic disinfectant and bog standard cleaning cream, vinegar and newspaper cleans windows excellently together with a few old cloths made from old towels or tea shirts does the majority of jobs for very little cost indeed. :)

Edited by winkie

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£700 is our monthly supermarket bill. Two adults, two kids.

indeed; same for me

plus rent £1300 in zone 6 close to M25; nothing cheaper there for 3b terrace

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£700 is our monthly supermarket bill. Two adults, two kids.

Ours is about £700, but I certainly wouldn't describe it as frugal. We eat really well. I think i could halve it relatively easily but delicious, nutritious food is a luxury worth indulging for us.

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I would have thought that if I were to have a child and give him the sort of childhood I had it would cost £20-£30 a week. How much a week do you lot spend?

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I would have thought that if I were to have a child and give him the sort of childhood I had it would cost £20-£30 a week. How much a week do you lot spend?

unfortunately it's not about YOUR childhood, it's about the childhood these children and their cohort lead today.

My 2 kids got invited to a party last weekend. Probably cost the other family £15 a head for each kid. Buying them a set of domino's or pack or playing cards or a children's book or a lump of coal and a satsuma isn't really going to cut it.

Or should I be telling my children, "No, you can't go to the party as your mother and I disagree with Tabitha's materialistic and over consumptive lifestyle."

???

(I should add this is not particularly extravagant as parties go, nor infrequent. I just wanted to use a simple real life example

But I'm sure it will surprise those who think a birthday party is a few rounds of sandwiches, a game of pass the parcel and a birthday cake at home one afternoon after school)

Edited by 7 Year Itch

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£700 pcm for food and consumables for a family of four seems very high to me, unless I have misunderstood what consumables are.

My wife and I spend between £150 and £200 a month between two of us on food, toiletries and cleaning products (basically all the regular items we buy in the supermarket). We live abroad but food etc is about the same price as the UK. A big saving is only having meat once or twice a week. We don't buy branded cleaning products but use vinegar, soda crystals etc for cleaning.

In fact, we recently increased the food budget so that we could buy more wholesome foods such as oat flour for making bread, more free-range meat etc, so we eat quite well. It is helped however by the fact that I only work part time so have more time to spend on making nice food etc, but then I've always wanted to work to live rather than vice-versa.

This isn't intended to be a 'frugaler than thou' post - just that savings can be made to most budgets without a decrease in quality of life.

Bear in mind that my numbers had no element of discretion.

Think of it as £700 for food, other consumables, cash in pocket, days out, events..

And although it is possible to live more frugally, it's often a case of trading time for money. Harder equation with kids around.

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I would have thought that if I were to have a child and give him the sort of childhood I had it would cost £20-£30 a week. How much a week do you lot spend?

Cub scouts £10/week (beginning of the 80's, it was 5p/week). Swimming pool is £8/week for lessons and membership. £5/week for football at school. £10\week for learning a musical instrument at school. Competitive swimming club is a further £10/week (the idea of competitive sports appears to be entirely excised from primary school), and rock climbing £15/week.

So £58/week/child, minimum as I'm not counting the relentless top ups the school requires for them to go on field trips, do cooking activities etc as part of the curriculum.

Additionally, during school holidays they need alternate daycare so "holiday camps" come in between £15-25/day. Also a lot of activities have additional specials for instance cub scout camping trips happen periodically and cost circa £50 a time.

It seems, as far as I can tell, this is fairly normal among most of my sons' peer group. Those who have gone down the private schooling route seem to spend dramatically more on activities too.

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Mortgage £850


Council Tax £150


Gas/Electric £90


Phone/Broadband £30


Cars(2) Keeping on road (servicing+tax) £80


Insurances £200


Water £40


Fuel £160


Food+consumables £700


Minimal cash savings (to replace big ticket items) £200



well I am guessing that this illustration is for when 1 parent is earning the £40000 and the other one can look after the children. If not (and the majority of people don't earn close to that amount) you can add Childcare... depending on how many hours and where between £500 and £1000 a month I guess - sorry don't know exactly the cost of childcare and there is a reason for that.... we just cannot afford to have kids! (a choice too but the cost of having them is definitely comforting our choice)


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You can have kids, but you can't keep paying out for expensive schools, education, trips, activites, designer clothes, latest technology and mobile contracts, fast food etc....I think a parent at home sometimes is the better subsitute...can't have it all ways, always. ;)

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But parent at home means only 1 salary which in a lot of case means closer to £25000 than to £40000.

I agree this is a choice but even in stopping all "luxuries" most families would have to avoid childcare costs to fit all the essential in 1 salary and very few will therefore reach £40000 household income.

Edited by Mayalabeille

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Cub scouts £10/week (beginning of the 80's, it was 5p/week). Swimming pool is £8/week for lessons and membership. £5/week for football at school. £10\week for learning a musical instrument at school. Competitive swimming club is a further £10/week (the idea of competitive sports appears to be entirely excised from primary school), and rock climbing £15/week.

So £58/week/child, minimum as I'm not counting the relentless top ups the school requires for them to go on field trips, do cooking activities etc as part of the curriculum.

Additionally, during school holidays they need alternate daycare so "holiday camps" come in between £15-25/day. Also a lot of activities have additional specials for instance cub scout camping trips happen periodically and cost circa £50 a time.

It seems, as far as I can tell, this is fairly normal among most of my sons' peer group. Those who have gone down the private schooling route seem to spend dramatically more on activities too.

I don't have children, so I'm out of touch, but I find this mind-boggling. Ten pounds a week for cubs? What do they spend it on, gold plated woggles? When I was a boy it cost about the same as a weekly comic or packet of sweets I think, or perhaps a little more. Up until about five years ago I was a member of a drama club in London and the cost PER YEAR was, I think, £25 for children, but it was only open for about six months of the year. Even so, that worked out at a pound a week or so for two nights a week fun.

I'm pretty sure when I was a boy most of my peers only had one club type activity a week, that was usually cubs/scouts, Boys' Brigade, or possibly football or swimming. Do children really appreciate doing more than one thing like that a week anyway?

I put a lot of this down to the fact that children these days only seem allowed to have supervised leisure activities, due to largely unfounded fears about traffic, yobs, paedos etc. Everything then has to be run by adults who even if they are volunteers still have to pay hall fees, overinflated insurances (again, which cash in on modern day fears about being sued etc). Plus the grownups have to ferry the children by car, (because the kids might be touched up by a paedo or run over by...er...another parent in a car) costing money in petrol.

Edited by Austin Allegro

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I don't have children, so I'm out of touch, but I find this mind-boggling. Ten pounds a week for cubs? What do they spend it on, gold plated woggles? When I was a boy it cost about the same as a weekly comic or packet of sweets I think, or perhaps a little more. Up until about five years ago I was a member of a drama club in London and the cost PER YEAR was, I think, £25 for children, but it was only open for about six months of the year. Even so, that worked out at a pound a week or so for two nights a week fun.

I'm pretty sure when I was a boy most of my peers only had one club type activity a week, that was usually cubs/scouts, Boys' Brigade, or possibly football or swimming. Do children really appreciate doing more than one thing like that a week anyway?

I put a lot of this down to the fact that children these days only seem allowed to have supervised leisure activities, due to largely unfounded fears about traffic, yobs, paedos etc. Everything then has to be run by adults who even if they are volunteers still have to pay hall fees, overinflated insurances (again, which cash in on modern day fears about being sued etc). Plus the grownups have to ferry the children by car, (because the kids might be touched up by a paedo or run over by...er...another parent in a car) costing money in petrol.

Well I suppose cub scouts, brownies, music lessons etc. were all cheaper as ground rents and mortgages were. Akela's got to eat too.

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Never paid 1p for any activity when i was a kid in the 70s early 80s.Bird nesting,swimming in the river,catching newts/frogs,camps,shooting rabbits taking girls bras off,stealing lead from school roof etc.All free.Money was only spent on things that was needed,Fags and booze.

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Do children really need that many activities?

Most evening they play in the garden. An 8 foot trampoline is 100 quid.

For instruments buy them a Ukelele and a book for about £30

I take my kids on a cycle ride to the park for a cheap saturday outing.

3 miles there.

1 hour of football, tree climbing and arguing.

Picnic

2 hours in massive adventure playground

Ice creams

3 miles home, including a stop at playground

Total cost: £5.

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I don't have children, so I'm out of touch, but I find this mind-boggling. Ten pounds a week for cubs? What do they spend it on, gold plated woggles? When I was a boy it cost about the same as a weekly comic or packet of sweets I think, or perhaps a little more. Up until about five years ago I was a member of a drama club in London and the cost PER YEAR was, I think, £25 for children, but it was only open for about six months of the year. Even so, that worked out at a pound a week or so for two nights a week fun.

I'm pretty sure when I was a boy most of my peers only had one club type activity a week, that was usually cubs/scouts, Boys' Brigade, or possibly football or swimming. Do children really appreciate doing more than one thing like that a week anyway?

I put a lot of this down to the fact that children these days only seem allowed to have supervised leisure activities, due to largely unfounded fears about traffic, yobs, paedos etc. Everything then has to be run by adults who even if they are volunteers still have to pay hall fees, overinflated insurances (again, which cash in on modern day fears about being sued etc). Plus the grownups have to ferry the children by car, (because the kids might be touched up by a paedo or run over by...er...another parent in a car) costing money in petrol.

Cubs is ~£3 a week but on top of that you have the uniform and equipment for the odd camp plus every other year the Scouts go to France which is around £150, not a great deal by other activities standards e.g. if you play Sunday league football it's usually ~£200 per season subs, plus ~£300 if they want to go to a residential tournament, which is common, plus there is all the driving around the county every other Sunday; if you don't have kids you probably think modern parents are mad...

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Never paid 1p for any activity when i was a kid in the 70s early 80s.Bird nesting,swimming in the river,catching newts/frogs,camps,shooting rabbits taking girls bras off,stealing lead from school roof etc.All free.Money was only spent on things that was needed,Fags and booze.

Rabbits round your way like the ladies?

Edited by rantnrave

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How much 'elf and safety, equality, diversity, child protection was there in the 60s/70s/80s?

34 million vehicles on the road in the UK now, how many in the 60s/70s/80s?

This 'service' economy that the adults in the 60s/70s/80s left us with, how will it survive if we don't spend money on these things?

Are families raising their kids in equivalent housing relative to incomes as in the 60s/70s/80s?

Answers on a postcard please.

Or if you live in the modern world, send me a text, tweet or email.

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I don't have children, so I'm out of touch, but I find this mind-boggling. Ten pounds a week for cubs? What do they spend it on, gold plated woggles? When I was a boy it cost about the same as a weekly comic or packet of sweets I think, or perhaps a little more.

My kids go to the same cub pack I went to as a child. In the early 80s it was 5p that you paid when you attended. Now it's £80/term (8 or 9 sessions) regardless how many you attend.

The scout huts I used to go to were demolished as unsafe and the council sold the land for housing development, now they have a dedicated building by the sports centre, but they have to pay a significant rent. I'll bet insurance (if they even bothered back then) has gone from a token cost to something astronomical. Also the cost of regulatory compliance has gone up considerably (the volume of official forms is insane) not least of which is the cost of DBS checks.

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My kids go to the same cub pack I went to as a child. In the early 80s it was 5p that you paid when you attended. Now it's £80/term (8 or 9 sessions) regardless how many you attend.

The scout huts I used to go to were demolished as unsafe and the council sold the land for housing development, now they have a dedicated building by the sports centre, but they have to pay a significant rent. I'll bet insurance (if they even bothered back then) has gone from a token cost to something astronomical. Also the cost of regulatory compliance has gone up considerably (the volume of official forms is insane) not least of which is the cost of DBS checks.

Quite.....and they call it progress, you could have fooled me. ;)

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Of course there are also parallels to the housing market here. Working parents who fill their children's time with organised activities to make up for not being there. That leaves other parent having to compete by sending their kids to things whether they want to or not at times to build and maintain friendships.

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I don't have children, so I'm out of touch, but I find this mind-boggling. Ten pounds a week for cubs? What do they spend it on, gold plated woggles? When I was a boy it cost about the same as a weekly comic or packet of sweets I think, or perhaps a little more.

Have you seen the price of a packet of sweets these days?

http://store.makro.co.uk/p-35847-haribo-starmix-pmp-1-12x220g.aspx

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Of course there are also parallels to the housing market here. Working parents who fill their children's time with organised activities to make up for not being there. That leaves other parent having to compete by sending their kids to things whether they want to or not at times to build and maintain friendships.

I think it has more to do with the gaping vacuum where doing sports at school used to be.

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  • 277 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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