Children are a great asset, but they also cost money. That's why it's worth working out the precise cost involved. Drawing up a detailed family budget allows you to look to the future with financial confidence and shape family life with self-determination. Here is an overview: how much does a child cost?

Long-term budgeting protects against unpleasant surprises

Children can pose a financial challenge, particularly for young, lower-income families. It is therefore worth keeping an eye on the family budget and comparing income and expenses. This enables you to quickly determine which additional costs are incurred and where. The average cost of a child by the time they reach their 20th birthday is in the region of CHF 200 000. That figure only includes direct costs for clothing, food, personal hygiene, leisure time and pocket money. It does not include additional expenditure for braces, hobbies or mobile phones. If you plan your budget well, you have better control of your finances, you can exploit your savings potential and look calmly to the future.

A baby needs more than affection

A newborn, according to “Budgetberatung Schweiz” costs an extra CHF 300 to 400 per month. This money is used for nappies and food, health insurance and higher ancillary costs. In addition, income decreases when parents work less and a crèche space is another added cost.

Even if there are many average values in family costs, every household budget is different. The Swiss Life budget calculator is available to let you know exactly what you need to deal with and what kind of expense you can expect with children. This helps plan a self-determined family life.

Budget calculator

Are you looking for a way to plan your family budget optimally? Attain an overview of your income and expenses now and determine your savings potential.

The older a child, the more they cost

Children are innately adventurous, they also pursue more costly interests the older they become. A trip to the zoo, a visit to the cinema or a weekend in the mountains are not free – despite many discounts. Holidays are also becoming more expensive. Instead of the last-minute bookings you made as a couple, you now book early and hope it will save you at least something – especially as you are travelling with children during the main holiday period. There are also expenses for school camps, hobbies and pocket money.

Children between the ages of seven and twelve need around CHF 500-560 a month for clothes, shoes, food and leisure. The most expensive are children aged 13-18: depending on which educational route they choose, they can cost CHF 650-800 per month. It becomes even more expensive if they want to study, because the monthly maintenance including shared accommodation and train tickets costs a lot. Parents with a child completing an apprenticeship and earning the accompanying salary have an easier time of it.

Each additional child is an extra financial burden, albeit not as much as the first child. This is shown by the study "Kinderkosten in der Schweiz,” (the cost of children in Switzerland) issued by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office: on average, the first child costs around CHF 810 per month, two children cost CHF 1310 and three just under CHF 1590. Those who create a sample budget do not need to be afraid of these figures, but can instead look forward to the next generation and face the future with confidence. 

Average expenses: a sample budget

What is the monthly budget for a three-person family with a net income of CHF 6000? “Budgetberatung Schweiz” has worked it out: about a quarter, CHF 1500, are rental costs. Other fixed costs include taxes (CHF 570) and health insurance (CHF 810) as well as insurance (CHF 30) and incidental charges (CHF 130). Then there are expenses for mobility and the Internet. These items account for about CHF 3300. Of the remaining CHF 2700, around CHF 1150 go on food and drink, personal hygiene and disposal fees. Then come CHF 450 for clothes, shoes and pocket money. Don't forget reserves: CHF 420 for deductibles, dentists, medicine and opticians as well as school, gifts, smaller purchases and repairs. At the end of the month, the three-person model family will still have about CHF 600 to cover everything else – for example holidays, external childcare, pets, bicycles and cars.

Valuable advice for an intact family budget

Arranging an appointment with a Swiss Life advisor is a good way to ensure that parents can enjoy having a family and look with confidence to the future. They will analyse your individual financial situation and show how you can best provide for and save for your loved ones. For a self-determined family life.

Image source: Unsplash

Part-time calculator

Would you like to enjoy family life to the full and work part-time? Find out quickly and easily what impact the reduced level of employment would have on your budget and on childcare.

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