If you ask a German person how much do they spend on their kids, he’d probably tell you this standard line: “Until they grow up, a child will cost you a nice appartment in a good location”.
According to official statistics (Statistisches Bundesamt) the costs of children broken down by age group looks like this:
- 0-6 years: 6000€/year
- 6-12 years: 7000€/year
- 12-18 years: 8500€/year
In total, the average cost of a child until their 18th birthday in Germany is ~129.000€.
Seems like a lot for some. For others this might sound cheap. For me it sounds like a lot but looking around at other families and seeing all the expensive and mostly overpriced and avoidable shit they buy for them, I understand why the stats are so high.
We have 2 kids (born in 2012 and 2014) and we’re tracking their expenses right from the beginning. Maybe not every cent is properly tracked but we’redoing our best without going unnecessarily crazy about precision.
For me personally it’s quite interesting to know how much we actually spend on Kids. Not because I want to give them a bill on their 18th birthday: “hey kid, we want our money back!” but because I somehow have the feeling that average families spend far too much. I want to see whether my suspicion is true or not. Also, I keep hearing all these complaints about how expensive kids are. I want real numbers, no stories from spendypants!
So here are our numbers about how much we spent on our kids between late 2012 (birth of first child) and end of may 2017 (when we left Germany).
Background infos: our doughter was born late 2012. Our boy was born mid 2014.
Expenses without childcare: 6220€
- 2012: 880€
- 2013: 350€
- 2014: 880€
- 2015: 1418€
- 2016: 1663€
- 2017: 1029€ (until may)
Childcare expenses: 14192€
- 2013: 1126€ (Miss W started childcare mid 2013)
- 2014: 3214€
- 2015: 3750€ (Little W started childcare)
- 2016: 3276€
- 2017: 2827€ (until may)
TOTAL CHILD EXPENSES: 20.412€
- 2012: 880€
- 2013: 1476€
- 2014: 4094€
- 2015: 5167€
- 2016: 4939€
- 2017: 3856€ (until may)
Is it much? Ist it little? Does it matter?
No. Not yet!
Why? Because we didn’t see the child benefits and calculate the difference! And this is what I really want to know. Bear with me for a moment…
The income side…
With income, I mean the sum off all the one-off payments (like Mutterschaftsgeld) or running payments (like Family Allowance/Kindergeld) from the state during the time period mentioned above.
- Mutterschaftsgeld: 1651€
- Elterngeld (Mrs W+Mr W): 13643€
- Family Allowance: 10280€
- TOTAL Miss W: 25.574€
- Mutterschaftsgeld: 1390€
- Elterngeld (Mrs W+Mr W): 16633€
- Family Allowance: 6600€
- TOTAL Little W: 24.623€
TOTAL CHILD INCOME: 50.197€
TOTAL CHILD PROFITS: 29.784€
Yes. We made almost 30K profit during the first 4.5 years of parenthood! Isn’t that unbelievable?
But, I have some mistakes in the numbers. Arghh!
Where are the mistakes?
Well, these are the positions where I know I made mistakes or didn’t factor stuff in properly:
- didn’t include presents the Kids or we have received from relatives/friends.
- we didn’t use the Kindergeld (Family Allowance). We used automatically the ~7000€ of tax deductible ammount which means that our “child-related income” is actually higher. It was simply too complicated to figure it out exactly so I’ve just used the smaller number at the income side. All this stuff is a tiny bit complicated but I’ve tried to explain it here…
- we didn’t account for loss of income of Mrs W since She didn’t work for years. But…actually, we don’t have to count. Let’s just call it: “free time” or.. “life”. Of course other people can have a different opinion about this and that’s OK.
- Also, I probably didn’t track the flights/travel cost of the kids properly (but I did try most of the time).That would higher the expenses by a few hundred.
All in all, if I would have calculated everything properly, it would probably higher the “profit”.
But how would future child expenses evolve in Germany?
Well. At some point they would go to school. Which means that we wouldn’t have the expensive childcare positions. I think (I might be wrong), during school time the expenses would not be higher than during this time. Especially because we tend to buy second hand (but good quality) stuff for our kids. On the other hand I know that we would have had to account for some travel expenses for them for all thos school trips. Anyway. We’re away now, so somebody else should do the math for that period… 🙂
How much do you spend on kids?