How do you calculate child living costs?

The cost of living for a child plays an important role in calculating whether you are entitled to child benefit, but also in child support. How do you actually determine these costs of living, because in practice not every child is equally expensive. In addition, the cost of living per child may be lower if there are multiple children. The amount depends on the age of the child and the costs you incur.

How do you calculate the cost of living for a child?

  • How much does a child cost to maintain?
  • Standard child support costs
  • Special child support costs
  • Child benefits
  • Calculate child support and child-related budget
  • Conclusion: how much does a child cost?

How much does a child cost to maintain?

When calculating the costs of living, the basic expenses for a child (the standard costs) and the special costs are usually taken into account:

Standard child support costs

The standard costs include:

  • Food and drink costs.
  • Costs of (basic) clothing.
  • School costs.
  • Swimming lessons, regular sport.
  • Gas, electricity, water.
  • Rent or mortgage costs.
  • Depreciation.

Special child support costs

The special costs include:

  • Study costs.
  • Deviant hobbies.
  • Expensive sports, multiple sports, a top sport.
  • Pets purchased specifically for a child (dog, horse).
  • Medical costs that are not covered by health insurance (such as orthodontics, coaching).

Nibud regularly tries to estimate these costs based on CBS figures. It will be clear that not every child will be equally expensive (not every child participates in top sports or follows an expensive course of study). The costs also appear to be income-related. If there are multiple children, some costs will have to be allocated per child. Consider the costs for gas, water and electricity. Finally, age also affects the cost of living. In short, making a quick sum and calculating the exact costs of living is often not possible (keep the receipts for everything). In most cases it will be an estimate.

Child benefits

The Social Insurance Bank can refuse child benefit to someone if the bank believes that this person does not sufficiently provide for the costs of supporting a child. The SVB uses the following amounts for this:

  • 2021: minimum 440 per quarter.
  • 2020: minimum 433 per quarter.
  • 2019: minimum 425 per quarter.
  • 2018: minimum 422 per quarter.

Calculate child support and child-related budget

When it comes to child support, the cost of living also plays an important role in determining how much child support must be paid. With child support, it is customary for both parents to pay for the costs of living minus child benefit, depending on their ability to pay. The child benefit is deemed to accrue directly to the children and thus reduce the cost of living borne by the custodial parent. The remarkable thing is that this does not apply to the child budget. The child-related budget is added to the income of the recipient of the allowance when calculating child support and increases his/her capacity to pay, but does not reduce the costs of living. For example, it may happen that a custodial parent who receives the child-related budget, together with child support, receives more budget than is necessary to pay the living costs of a child.

Conclusion: how much does a child cost?

The cost of living varies per family and per child. The income and living standard of a household plays an important role, the health of a child and, for example, whether a child plays an expensive sport. This also means that in order to calculate these costs, the costs incurred must be identified on a case-by-case basis. If there are several children, you can use an allocation key for fixed costs, for example. Nibud regularly tries to estimate what a child costs, but that is also an approximation. However, these types of insights do help to make your own calculations on which there is some consensus.

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