What does a child cost? | NOW

Have you always wondered what the costs are of a certain product or business and what amounts you have to take into account? How is a price established? In this series we explain several things. This time: how much does a child cost?

It may be a bit of a banal question, because children make you happy most of all. Still, the question is relevant. For example, for purchasing power charts from the statistics bureau CBS, and for the budget information institute (Nibud) that wants to offer parents and future parents an overview of the costs.

What are the costs of a child?

It is difficult to say exactly how much a child costs and it depends on your spending pattern. Do you buy second-hand items, can you take over items from relatives or do you purchase everything new? Is your child going to a sports or music class? School fees can also differ.

Two years ago, CBS calculated the costs of children for single and dual earners on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs. This was done with figures from 2015 from a budget survey. The following percentages of expenditure are on average for children (excluding childcare and benefits):

Family with a single earner:

  • 1 kind 17 procent
  • 2 children 26 percent
  • 3 children 32 percent
  • 4 children 41 percent

Dual earners:

  • 1 kind 19 procent
  • 2 children 28 percent
  • 3 children 33 percent
  • 4 children 41 percent

Single-parent families:

  • 1 kind 27 procent
  • 2 children 34 percent
  • 3 children 41 percent
  • 4 children 48 percent

Remarkable: percentages for single and double earners hardly differ, but single-parent families spend relatively more money with children. As children get older, the percentages increase somewhat, but not enormously.

Are the costs of children stable?

These are averages, but according to Nibud, the costs of children are fairly stable. The budget institute provides specifications, for example 688 euros in minimum one-time costs when a baby arrives, plus 36.50 euros per month in diapers. Costs such as a car seat (89 euros), a pram (516 euros) and a stair gate (40 euros) are not included.

“We not only give the direct costs, but also include the indirect costs, such as having to live in a larger house and possibly a larger car,” says Marion Weijers, Senior Advisor Budget Information at Nibud.

She refers to the Personal Budget Advice where everyone can enter their own expenses. Weijers: “People can fill in their own situation. The given reference figures of similar families and expenses help them with this.”

Many parents also want to save for their child, but how do you do that smartly?

What to do if you have trouble getting by with children?

Nibud provides many tools, such as a Money Plan for getting around with children, with tips for applying for support. Together with other clubs, Nibud founded Startpunt Geldzaken, with eleven different money plans for more insight into all your finances. 120 municipalities are now participating in social support and more than 420,000 money plans have been made by consumers.

What will free childcare mean in the future?

Weijers: “First of all, free childcare saves a lot of administrative hassle from invoicing and applying for and processing benefits. But free childcare for everyone is mainly a financial progress for higher incomes, who are now paid much less. The lowest incomes already receive reimbursed up to 90 percent of their childcare costs.”

“Ultimately, childcare must of course be paid for, so that will mean higher taxes. As a result, childless households will contribute more to childcare than they do now.”

In developing countries, children are the guarantee of a supplementary family income or pension if parents no longer work. “The government offers financial support here in the form of child benefits and child budget, but that is usually not enough to cover all the costs of a child.”