By Patrick Konrad Last updated: 14. December 2021
Children cost money. A lot of money. Up to the age of 18. Lebensjahr give parents an average of 130.000 Euro per child. With several children accordingly more. For this one would have paid Ruckzuck a beautiful condominium. How do you actually pay these costs?? And how do people who earn little or even have to live on Hartz IV do it??
The first things a baby gets are usually gifts from relatives and friends. The first pacifier, the first cuddly toy or the first picture book. All gifts. But soon it will start that mom and dad will have to dig deep into their pockets. The Federal Statistical Office has calculated it: Especially at the beginning, a child costs about 6.200 Euro per year. That is 516 euros per month. And only for food, clothes, free time, playing and furniture. The care costs are not included at all. But many young families do not have so much money.
In the first years can be saved
But because often relatives or acquaintances in the environment already have children, can be saved here partly. Often, other children’s clothes become too small and can be given to other children. Things like stroller, high chair or baby bed can also be bought used. And those who are in the fortunate position of being able to work at least part-time, put the approximately 400 euros for daycare children, or. 250 euros for kindergarten children easier away. Whereby these values are only rough values. Because fees vary.
The good news: it’s cheaper with the second child
If you are expecting your second child, you can rejoice: at least the purchase costs for clothes and toys will be cheaper. Because there is little to stop them from using clothes one more time. Even baby cribs or other pieces of furniture can be recycled perfectly if they are still in good shape. So the more children there are in the household, the lower the average costs per capita will be.
The older the children get, the more expensive it becomes
As a child grows up, its demands increase. Consumer electronics and toys in general occupy an important position. Later, clothing is added. Statistically, a child of school age costs around 604 euros a month. Also here: Childcare costs are not included.
After the age of twelve, the cost curve goes steeply upwards. On average, the adolescent child then costs about 700 euros per month. Teenagers are growing, need a lot of food. If you grow, you need clothes – and you need them constantly. Your own cell phone, pocket money, school trips, etc. – all this goes into your parents’ money.
The figures published by the Federal Statistical Office are exclusively consumption figures. Pension and insurance costs, for example, are not included. Nor the cost of studying. Also energy costs are not included. Not to mention the loss of income that occurs when one parent takes a career break because of the children.
What government aid can I expect?
Of course, families with children are not alone in this country. There are some state benefits that should alleviate the financial worries a bit.
Child benefit is not calculated on the basis of income. It is always the same and is paid up to the age of 18. The allowance is paid until the child reaches the age of 18, under certain circumstances even beyond that age. Currently, child benefit is 219 euros (as of 2022) per month for the first and second child, 225 euros (as of 2022) per month for the third child and 250 euros (as of 2022) per month from the fourth child onwards.
The tax burden is reduced with the child allowance. It is currently at 8.388 euros (as of 2022) per year. This sum is not taken into account for tax purposes, so no taxes have to be paid on it.
For the caring parent, there is parental allowance for up to 24 months after the birth. How much it is depends on how much you earned before the birth. At least 300 euros and a maximum of 1.800 euros (if you only receive the parental allowance for 14 months) are possible.
Maternity benefit is paid to women who are in a statutory health insurance scheme and are entitled to sick pay. The net salary of the last job until then is paid in the period from six weeks before the calculated date of birth to eight weeks after the birth.
Housing allowance for families
You have to apply for this allowance. Decisive is the income, the number of family members and the amount of rent or load. In principle, it counts that all low-income people have the right to housing allowance. This applies all the more to families.
Also this achievement depends on the income. The subsidy, along with the actual income, should cover the family’s needs. The background is: This prevents families from having to apply for unemployment benefit II.
Financial worries often make life difficult for parents
Having a child is worse than not having a job, worse than a separation and even worse than the death of a partner. That’s how many Germans feel, according to a study by the Max Planck Institute. About 20.000 participants were followed in this study over several years. Periodically, they should indicate how happy they are on a scale of 0 to 10. 0 means "unhappy," 10 means "very, very happy". Result: Happiness of German parents drops by 1.4 units in the first year with child. According to other studies, unemployment or the death of a partner only reduced satisfaction by about one unit. A divorce even accounts for only 0.6 units.
Why are many parents unhappy?
First everything is in order. The anticipation provides happiness, even the birth itself gives another huge boost to the top. However, at the latest when lack of sleep, a crying baby and less time for oneself make themselves felt, the curve goes down again. This mainly affects young parents. This may be because it is harder for them to accept how much a child changes their lives.
The legislator should make life all the more pleasant for parents before and after the birth of the child. Possible points are for example:
- Secure, affordable childcare
- Easy return to work
- Problem-free reconciliation of family and career
Today, it is known that a secure job and adequate payment ensure satisfaction.
Is there a loan for single parents?
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon nowadays for couples to separate. Then the child usually stays with one parent, usually the mother, and is also cared for by her. While entitled to child support, often even this payment is not enough. What is missing is the salary of the former partner.
Banks find it difficult to grant loans to single parents. You are usually not fully employed, so not creditworthy. Although single parents receive help from the authorities, this money is intended for living expenses and is not enough to repay a loan with it. Only with a guarantor, who steps in, if one is no longer able to serve the rates, such a loan is possible.
An alternative would still be the credit of a relative or friend, in urgent cases also the help of the office. This is for example for the repair of the washing machine or a new crib etc. a.
Into the poverty trap because of too high costs?
It can be a vicious cycle when parents don’t want to let children suffer because of their financial scarcity. Then sometimes the new game console is purchased in installments. Or clothes, which are also ordered online, paid off in installments. This can have fatal consequences. Whoever buys things on installments despite a tight budget sooner or later maneuvers into the debt trap. And: The money, which is spent unnecessarily, is missing in another place. It can happen that the child cannot go on a school trip because the parents simply cannot afford it. Also with the nutrition then often on cheap, little healthy food one falls back.
Are there ways out of child poverty?
It is usually the state authorities and church institutions that offer help when one is lost in the debt trap. But more important is that this help is also taken up. Because many do not admit to having debts, it is up to others to keep their eyes open. Teachers, friends, relatives – they should all recognize the signs when someone is obviously overdoing it. Only then is it possible for aid institutions to offer their services so that the family can once again lead a financially secure life.