Back in 1973, my parents bought a two-bed London flat for £12k and had their first baby not long after. Mum was 23 at the time, earning £1,000 a year as a nurse, and Dad was still training as an accountant. Fast-forward 40 years and things look a whole lot different for my generation... I’m approaching 30 but ticking off the ‘grown-up’ checklist of mortgage and baby still feels like some faraway ideal. But is money the deciding factor in having a baby? A feeling that you need to have your shit together first?
Recent studies would suggest so, with headline-grabbing articles claiming big cities like London are now simply too expensive to raise a child, correlating rising house prices with a decline in birth rates. More and more women in their 20s and 30s feel they simply don’t have the financial security to get pregnant. But how much does it really cost? And is it so necessary to own a home beforehand? Would fewer avo toast brunches and 10-mile Ubers leave plenty of money to bring up a small person? To shed some light on these questions, I spoke to five women renting in London, with salaries ranging from £10-80k. Read on as they do the maths on everything from nappies to childcare to freezing their eggs, with first-hand stories on bringing up a baby in an ever-expensive city.