Can I afford this? The financial audit.
I'm really lucky that my wife, Stacey, is extremely switched on when it comes to finances. I, on the other hand, find it like sitting through a Martha Stewart marathon.
Between Stacey, both families, and my one-day a week at home, we have managed to take care of Matilda for the first 11 months without having to use Day Care. As a result, we have skipped that cost, and allowed Stacey a couple of days a week to supplement the family income.
At least in the first year, the cost has been manageable. Aside from big-ticket items – cots, prams etc. – mashed up butternut and nappies (especially when bought online) isn't too much of a worry.
So, we made it through the pregnancy and birth, furnished ourselves with all the baby gear we could ever need – but almost one year in, my thoughts are already turning to school fees.
Figures from Stats SA show that the cost of education has increased well above that of ordinary inflation. Since 1990, inflation for day-to-day living expenses has surged by about 7% a year. Education costs, however, have increased by 13% a year. This 6 percentage point differential each year has resulted in a significant rise in education costs when viewed as a percentage of our salaries.
Also, early application is key in South Africa, if you're looking at a private school.
Troy, there are some very good public schools!
Obviously Troy wants Matilda in private school, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it… Like we say about Matilda, “You have to pick and chose your battles”.
For more information see Fatherhood or Parenting.