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Will Having Kids Soon Be Out Of Reach Economically?


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The state makes any age domestically secure, the rules have changed

In theory.

That at least is a pendulum that can swing both ways. We've had two periods now when dropping a random sprog was a strongly rational career choice for a single girl: the 70s and the 00s. But they weren't the same, and I wouldn't rely on it always being thus.

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Growing up "not being spoilt" stunted my development in ways I am only just finding out, 30 years later. To set out such a "not being spoilt" agenda when children are nothing more than 70 years of potential opportunities is quite a dogmatic view of world that I hope does not come back to haunt.

For every child that thrives under such stimulus/stigma I see more and more adults who didn't. Given that your children are your own genetic progeny, chances are you know what would be best for them. If it's dogma maybe you should steer them toward the church?

Whoa

But true

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It isn't that expensive in cash terms. It is the opportunity costs.

It us costs about £20k in lost income from working part-time (or alternatively £20k in childcare fees if we worked full time) to raise 2 children.

I would say that position is expensive in terms of cash and opportunity.

I would describe the opportunity cost being the lack of progression and potential for better paid work by not being full time and basically having something more important in your life than your job. the cash cost, well you said it, the £20,000 hit.

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In theory.

That at least is a pendulum that can swing both ways. We've had two periods now when dropping a random sprog was a strongly rational career choice for a single girl: the 70s and the 00s. But they weren't the same, and I wouldn't rely on it always being thus.

Agreed

I suspect when it ceases being true then other opportunities, like affordable housing and jobs with futures, will become available as the inevitable flipside of the same coin

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In a huff I decided to walk around the "Golden Triangle" NR2 for a good half an hour.

All the little terraced houses full and sound of kids and life.

Turn the corner to the detached roads all dark with the odd room with some old dears watching tvs.

Sounds like Jessopp Road to me. ;) Mind, some of those big houses (bought decades ago for a 4 or 5 figure sum I guess) are looking in a state of disrepair.

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Growing up "not being spoilt" stunted my development in ways I am only just finding out, 30 years later. To set out such a "not being spoilt" agenda when children are nothing more than 70 years of potential opportunities is quite a dogmatic view of world that I hope does not come back to haunt.

For every child that thrives under such stimulus/stigma I see more and more adults who didn't. Given that your children are your own genetic progeny, chances are you know what would be best for them. If it's dogma maybe you should steer them toward the church?

Fascinating take - which I have a lot of sympathy with. I don't blame my parents as they never had the cash and they did better by me than their parents did for them. Being able to grow confident and empathic kids who have a broad view of the potential the world offers doesn't require huge amounts of money - but it certainly needs more than barely scraping by. Otherwise the world just ends up being a very small place indeed if it is ring fenced by a "No, we can't afford it" or "You're spoiled enough already" - and it embeds itself in all kinds of insidious ways (even stuff like salary expectations, what a good life looks like etc). I've always liked this Kennedy quote:

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

Without wishing to get all Californian, it's partly why some see the world as a abundant, rich one - and why most see one of scarcity and limits.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat
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Being able to grow confident and empathic kids who have a broad view of the potential the world offers doesn't require huge amounts of money - but it certainly needs more than barely scraping by.

That's kind-of what's changed.

Looking back to my childhood, it didn't matter that we couldn't afford to maintain the house, and had the weather come in through the roof and elsewhere every winter (nor even that the ceiling once collapsed on me in my bed). But being without a telly - which should have been a trivial thing - was actually a worse deprivation. The kiddie who hasn't a clue what the "in" crowd are talking about at school is doomed to be an outsider, and life isn't easy :o

As an adult it's the opposite. I value having a roof that stays up, but I have no desire for a telly.

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I think the problem is that too many people want to spoil their kids tremendously.

They budget for things the think they need but do not.

The things they need the most are loving parents (siblings and extended family) that both want them and have the time for them....new and borrowed stuff is not important, nor the latest toy or gadget.

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There is going to be a glut of rich kids and benefit kids and very few middle class kids.

You have a point......but then again you don't, if bringing up kids on benefits was so lucrative why don't more do it if they want kids?....not something most would choose.

Most middle class people have to sacrifice material things, holidays,time, income or their career for say seven to ten years to have a family.....sometimes, for some they can't have it all always...life is not like that....choices.

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Fascinating take - which I have a lot of sympathy with. I don't blame my parents as they never had the cash and they did better by me than their parents did for them. Being able to grow confident and empathic kids who have a broad view of the potential the world offers doesn't require huge amounts of money - but it certainly needs more than barely scraping by. Otherwise the world just ends up being a very small place indeed if it is ring fenced by a "No, we can't afford it" or "You're spoiled enough already" - and it embeds itself in all kinds of insidious ways (even stuff like salary expectations, what a good life looks like etc). I've always liked this Kennedy quote:

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

Without wishing to get all Californian, it's partly why some see the world as a abundant, rich one - and why most see one of scarcity and limits.

Quite.

As the word gets smaller, your ideas must become bigger.

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In Britain you get free education, free healthcare, free nursery places (2.5 days a week), free money in child benefit and tax credits.

So other then rent which youll be paying anyway its not that much more expensive to have a kid.

In Britain you get fed alk for free....someone else is forced to pay for it.

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Eventually you get to our are 32 & 35, you say feck it and just get on with it. So what if you can't afford it, the state picks up the tab!

We are planning to start a family after Christmas, if things go well we should get our own home before hand, but if we can;t get a mortgage or something else happens it's going ahead anyway. To old now for alternative plans or to wait for a while.

So no, people will have kids whatever their economic status. Beeing poor hasn't stopped people in Africa/Asia breeding like rabbits and it won't here either. I suspect that there is a cohort like me (I know a few too) which will be following the same path. Student loan, no pension, no house - you just get to a point and say fect it I am going to do what I want to.

With all due respect I think you're actually providing evidence that having kids is becoming out of economic reach, even though your story set out to demonstrate the opposite.

The reason I say this is because you concede the point that you have delayed having kids for financial reasons. And that's really the way demographics works, it's not the main part of society suddenly flicking a switch between ever having children and not, it's the slow social momentum towards having children just a bit later, which in turn averages out into having just a few less subsequent children, which then leads to a declining population.

By the way, I'm not trying to pick an argument, you've been honest enough to lay out your story in good faith, I'm just observing that population change is driven by lots of relatively small individual decisions that can accumulate into significant social trends. So the difference between a growing and a declining population can be as seemingly innocuous as couples choosing to put off having a family for just a year or two.

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Because most people prefer quiet and sanity to having a bazillion kids just for the money. Obviously there are a group of people who love to have big families and all the benefits that come with but I suspect many middle class families prefer a few kids and more to spend on each or fewer kids that they can put through university rather than 5 kids who they can spend £350 each on at Christmas. Different priorities I guess.

Putting kids through university appears to be fine if you're actually working but not on too high an income. Doesn't have to be so low as to qualify for things like council housing or tax credits.

My oldest nephew graduated last year. His brother is a current student. The package of grants and bursaries they've had is pretty generous, in complete contrast to all the headlines.

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With all due respect I think you're actually providing evidence that having kids is becoming out of economic reach, even though your story set out to demonstrate the opposite.

The reason I say this is because you concede the point that you have delayed having kids for financial reasons. And that's really the way demographics works, it's not the main part of society suddenly flicking a switch between ever having children and not, it's the slow social momentum towards having children just a bit later, which in turn averages out into having just a few less subsequent children, which then leads to a declining population.

That's long been known. It's usually expressed as the middle class having fewer kids than the poor, hence birthrates falling as society gets richer.

And that's a real rich/poor distinction. There are people alive today who slept six to a bed in their childhood. Probably still families like that, at least among immigrant communities with poorer-peoples expectations.

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Contrary to what the Daily Mail may have you believe, if having kids on benefits was some kind of 'easy lifestyle choice', a lot more people would be choosing it, yes they get some money from the state but they also have a lot of extra expenses.

The mean age of FIRST childbirth in the UK is now 30, the highest in Europe - [sF2.3 Mean age of mother at first childbirth (.pdf) (.xls) ] (and that presumably includes immigrants.)

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With all due respect I think you're actually providing evidence that having kids is becoming out of economic reach, even though your story set out to demonstrate the opposite.

The reason I say this is because you concede the point that you have delayed having kids for financial reasons. And that's really the way demographics works, it's not the main part of society suddenly flicking a switch between ever having children and not, it's the slow social momentum towards having children just a bit later, which in turn averages out into having just a few less subsequent children, which then leads to a declining population.

By the way, I'm not trying to pick an argument, you've been honest enough to lay out your story in good faith, I'm just observing that population change is driven by lots of relatively small individual decisions that can accumulate into significant social trends. So the difference between a growing and a declining population can be as seemingly innocuous as couples choosing to put off having a family for just a year or two.

I get where Wurzel is coming from. Couples get to a point where they think "f*ck it" and have kids. I have a friend who was in a similar position. They work hard and will no doubt provide for their kids, but there's never a perfect time to have kids. You can get your finances in order, but it could all turn to sh*t at any point, with or without kids. From a state benefit point of view, your better off being reposssessed and made redundant with kids, so why worry about it. Agreed though, it could set a significant social trend.

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Putting kids through university appears to be fine if you're actually working but not on too high an income. Doesn't have to be so low as to qualify for things like council housing or tax credits.

My oldest nephew graduated last year. His brother is a current student. The package of grants and bursaries they've had is pretty generous, in complete contrast to all the headlines.

If you're smart enough to apply for them

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Because most people prefer quiet and sanity to having a bazillion kids just for the money. Obviously there are a group of people who love to have big families and all the benefits that come with but I suspect many middle class families prefer a few kids and more to spend on each or fewer kids that they can put through university rather than 5 kids who they can spend £350 each on at Christmas. Different priorities I guess.

£350 quid each at Christmas, they are hav'in a laugh.....no kid needs that amount spent on them, being a spoilt brat does not do them any favours..once you have one you have only one.... When having two or three or four or five is not that much difference...... Go for broke, but worth it in the end, fear of poverty and long-term commitment stops many would be excellent parents having a good happy family......no gain without some pain.

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If you have kids today then your going to face 3 options when they grow up:

1) you buy a massive house because they live are going to live with you until they are 40+

2) you buy them a vastly over priced house

3) you kick them out and force them to live on benefits

Well at least that will be the case for the case for the 99% that cant get a top 1% salary job.

So while kids may not necessarily be hugely expensive, they certainly will be once they become adults.

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  • 417 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?


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