Kids cost millions

This doesn’t even include vacations or costs for additional/better education.

Assuming you have 2 kids who both will stay till 25. You’re looking at 800k minimum, probably closer to 1 million. Invested in ETFs in all this time = 2-2.5 million.

Looks like FIRE isn’t even possible for >90% of the society with kids (including me).

What are your thoughts?


Welcome to the real world, Cortana!


Although to be honest you have to decrease this amount by effective tax deductions and state support for families. But still it is expensive.

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Well realistically, if financials are tight, then starting 18 years old, the kids can also contribute a little. Completely relying on the parents til 25 in your scenario, doesn’t sound realistic to me.

But yeah, life costs $$$, your life and your pets included. And it cost your parents as well to raise you :slight_smile:


I’d like to have 1 or 2 kids but the costs are the decisive factor why I decided not to have any children. On one side it would be very nice but on the other hand the costs are exorbitant. I also want a certain amount of freedom, being able to move to other places and I like to travel.

I also don’t want to be one of those guys who has children just because I want it but then because I cannot afford everything else I want, to ask the government and tax payers to come up and pay for my personal wishes.

In the end, everyone has a certain budget and we need to live and prioritise within that budget rather than asking others to help because we overspend. In my case, I decided that other stuff has a higher priority.

For me, FI is very important but RE not so much I’d probably rather work till 65 but only part-time. And basically, instead of FIRE’ing I’d rather do a job I really like even if it pays only 60’000 CHF just because I have enough money so that salary isn’t really relevant anymore.


It also seems to exclude the Kita for the first few years, as nowadays both parents are working. So add another ~2500CHF to that bill per child!


I’ve recently been getting YouTube ads for a Swiss startup company offering childcare loan financing.


In my opinion these are not really mustachian figures.

350.- per month for food for a 13-18 years old? At my parent’s house we were 5 people and they spent around 1’000.- a month for groceries and we ate a lot :rofl:

65.- per month for phone/internet? Do they need a swisscom all world unlimited subscription or what?

What exactly do they mean with “Wohnen”? Is this meant as their part of the rent? Seems way too high for me.

Also what are the costs fot health 185.- month after the health insurance?

Also as mentioned before you get tax reductions which amount to around 200.- a month as well depending on your salary. And you get 200.- per month child supplements

My parents didn’t even earn 100k combined and they RE at 57. They travelled for 3 months every second year after we left the house. It’s all a matter of lifestyle and frugalism in my opinion.


If you’re only 2 you can live in a 2-3 rooms flat, if you have 1-2 children you need a 4-5 rooms flat, which is obviously more expensive. Depends also on the region of course how much more expensive such a flat will be.

It probably does not only include the subscription, at some point you also need to buy a phone and replace it from time to time. And nowadays with all the group dynamic processes at school etc. you can’t just buy a cheap 100 CHF phone or give them your old phone if everyone else at school has an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.

Yes, in some areas the figures are well budgeted but I still think it’s realistic and overall even over-optimistic because lots of other costs are not even included in the list. Kita was already mentioned, but there will be also excursions with school, things you need to buy for school, toys, etc. At some point they will want a tablet and/or notebook and you can’t say no if everyone else at school has one, and you can’t buy some cheap crap if you don’t want your child will be bullied at school.

Then you probably want to do some family trips and excursions on the weekends, go on holidays, they will want to do a hobby or sports that costs money, membership in some clubs and associations, they will want a bike or skateboard, etc. Maybe they will want to play some games or have a Spotify subscription, etc.

I don’t want to say you need to buy everything and that the child will need to have everything and only the best stuff, but nowadays you can’t say no anymore to lots of stuff because everyone has it. Teachers send stuff via WhatsApp, homework to be done on tablet etc. access to some cloud drives needed to collect school stuff or upload homework.

So there are also lots of costs that are not on the list.


I think the solution to all this is just to earn at least 200k gross together. But if both are working, you’ll end up spending a lot of money for the Kita, so this might be offset.


Agree, however this highly depends on your situation. E.g. my wife only works 50% and we have parents family and friends close to where we live, which are more than happy to look after our kids (especially my parents, they were waiting for their first grandchildren and have more than enough time now that they RE :smile:). So we are looking at max. 1 day per week in Kita. Of course many people here in the forum migrated to Switzerland and don’t have any relatives living close and also two parents working 100%.

This is a low amount on a monthly basis, excursions are cheap and mostly 1-2 times a year, the most expensive excursion I made in school was 700.- for our Matura trip. The few books and writing material is negligible, that only becomes expensive at university, if you buy all the books they recommend (I bought only one book during my bachelor and passed just fine).

You don’t need to spend a lot of money and can still do wonderful trips. There are so many beautiful mountains to go hiking and lakes to swim, bring your own food and make a nice picknick, perfect trip for me.

Children don’t need 1000 of toys, most parents buy way to many toys for their children only to throw them away 2 months later when the child lost interest…

They budget leisure and public transport with 300-360 in this table. Club memberships are cheap 200-300 per year, most sports don’t need expensive equipment think soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis, karate, etc.
You don’t buy your children a bike for 2000 only to use it 1-2 years until it’s too small.

All in all, as I said, it’s a matter of lifestyle. As mentioned above my parents had less than 100k combined and me and my two siblings came out just fine and had all we needed and I for one enjoyed my childhood and have a lot of awesome memories.


Yes, sure it’s even bad if you buy too much to children because then they get spoiled and become anti-social. One of our relatives they give everything to children and they can do what they want, and they’re extremely spoiled. When they’re in a shop and want something but their mother says no, they call their mother a ‘stingy rat’. Wouldn’t be surprised if the become criminals one day.

On the other hand, it’s also not pleasant when children grow up too poor. My parents had probably less than half of yours because at first only my father worked and then when they divorced and he went abroad only my mother worked and she had a terrible salary.

I remember in Kindergarten when every week there was a toy day and everyone could present a toy they had or something at home they like. I basically never had something useful to show whereas other children had Lego, racing cars, whatever etc. Or at school, the first day after holidays when teachers let everyone tell others what they made during their holidays, most explained how they travelled to various countries all over the world and all I could say was just that I sat at home and did basically nothing. Or in French lessons where we spoke about family and some children explained that they live in a house and have 4 cats and a dog etc. and I had nothing like that. Or at Christmas where everyone got lots of presents and happily presented them back at school and all I got was a new pullover. I couldn’t even attend all excursion because my parents didn’t have the money for it and I remember when I had to go to school and tell the teacher that I couldn’t go to the 1 day event they planned because my mother didn’t have the 100 CHF for it. It was shameful somehow.

And from what I see from friends who have children, today this is even 10 times worse than it was that time. If your 12 year old doesn’t have an iPhone 13 Pro they get laughed at, bullied and are not accepted in their gang. They need tablets and laptops and Spotify subscriptions, and when a certain brand of shoes are trendy now, they need to have it, etc.

So if someone doesn’t have the money for all that or is not ready to spend it, I would think twice before having children today. It’s not nice to get bullied or laughed at because your parents cannot afford stuff that is considered ‘standard’ nowadays.


My daughter takes tons of pictures with her devices so that this year I was finally forced to upgrade to the 2 TB Apple family subscription! :joy:

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Err… not to pass judgment on the educational system here without context, but this seems like a pedagogical version of social media FOMO.

I perhaps from a different culture, but the above was a no-no in my schools (not that it did not happen outside lessons of course).


What is the source of this chart? The cost seems very upper middle class.

The highest cost of having children is:

  • Childcare: Lost income and Kita costs
  • Opportunity cost of not investing: All that money spent on kids does not go into the stock market
  • Housing and transportation: You need a bigger place and a bigger car/more tickets because you’re more people
  • Financial support during education: If your kids do lots of studies, you’re going to have to support them for longer

On the other hand:
Child allowances and tax deductions are not to be sneezed at.

Holidays and life with kids are doubtlessly more expensive, but even here you have a huge choice over how much to spend and what to do. That discretionary spending still offers a huge savings potential.

I think that having a five-figure monthly family income should still allow you to do significant savings in Switzerland. Maybe not FIRE with 40, but still. If you set aside 2000 CHF per month over 20 years, you should still get to around 800k-1m CHF (5-7 % annual return) which will carry you far.


From experience waiting to be older and a bit better off helps (although the primary reason for that happening was finding someone with a mutual interest in mating)

The costs are subjective. It helped me to know approximately what we spend and a spreadsheet modelling more or less when we should reach FI. Based on that you understand the delay caused by lifestyle choices. For example we decided we could afford to move to a bigger place with a garden

Regards fancy smartphones and expensive sneakers. I see some kids getting them but mine will not. I do understand why some parents feel they need to buy them though - your story is very helpful @Patron


Bit of a different perspective from my side: I’m FIRE since 2019, aged 38 now. So 2022 is year 3 for me without a job. First couple of years never thought about working at all. Lots of hikes to do, mountains to cycle, ski slopes to run,… but what kept me most busy and prevented boredom? My kids!

And it’s a funny thing- I’m more than happy to drop cash on my kids. Not toys and material things. But education. Piano classes, skiing classes, tennis classes, swimming classes etc. Somehow I almost feel a joy when I spend on that. It’s kinda weird.

Sometimes I get this impression in the FIRE community that there is this romantic perspective on retiring early. Yes, it is great in the beginning. But you do need to have something to do with your time after leaving a job. Now in year 3 of FIRE, I had my first thoughts about taking up a role again. But not going to happen after all, not a 9-5, maybe my own thing but for that I am lacking a proper idea right now.


Grew up with three siblings on 80k salary and never missed anything. Holiday mostly in youth Hostel in Switzerland.

Now I have three kids and we combine for 200k gross and there is easily money for saving for FIRE.

2nd hand is the trick. It’s insane what you can find second hand. Example: kid bike like new, never used, from a suburban home for 30 chf instead of 200.


Either hustle harder and get that 200k+ combined income or don’t have kids. I agree with others, it’s a lifestyle choice and yes Kids are expensive. My son turns 4 next week and I’m still on the fence if it was a good choice to have kids in the first place.