The Game of Life

Table of Contents

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1 Family fortunes

  • One day, perhaps you'll start a family.
  • In this lesson, we'll explore the financial cost of having a child, using real-world figures.

Learn It

  • There are many possible ways to go about working while raising a child. We'll look at one particular example, but you could model others using this spreadsheet.
  • Let's assume that we have parent A (£25000pa salary) and parent B (£15000pa salary).
  • After our hypothetical child is born, parent A goes back to work full time and parent B stays at home to care for the child.
  • If the mother of the child is parent B, she will be entitled to statutory maternity pay which is worth £128.73 a week.

Document It

  • Download and open this version of the spreadsheet.
  • Add the monthly salary (approx 4.5 weeks in a month, remember) to cell D8.

Code It

  • Newborn babies will soil their nappies a lot; you'll need to budget for 10 nappies a day.
  • Go online and find out how much nappies cost. You could use brand-name ones, or supermarket own-brand ones.
  • What's the monthly bill for nappies in a 30 day month? Add this to cell G19.
  • Babies grow very quickly. Clothes will likely only be worn a few times before they're too small and need replacing.
  • Thankfully, baby clothes from supermarkets are relatively low-cost; we'll allow £40 a month for this in cell G19.
  • In addition to your normal weekly shop, you'll now need baby bath, Calpol, bibs, dummies and other miscellaneous bits and bobs. We'll allow another £25 a month for this in cell G20.
  • Some mothers choose not to breast-feed. Formula milk costs approximately £9 a tin, and lasts 4 days. Add this to your budget if desired, in cell G21.
  • You'll use your washing machine and central heating more. Add £5 to your electric and gas bills.

Document It

  • You've now got a problem.
  • There is a negative amount of disposable income for your household; you can't afford to live with these current expenses.
  • Something has to go. Look over your outgoings - what would you get rid of first to reduce your outgoings? You need your balance figure to get to at least zero, but ideally to become a positive figure.
  • Having a whole month where you literally do nothing apart from go to work and come back isn't much fun.

Badge It

  • Silver: Identify three possible areas where you could reduce your monthly costs. Apply one or more of these to your spreadsheet, and upload it to BourneToLearn for marking.