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Can't afford to live in London but can't move out. WTF am I supposed to do?

(85 Posts)
SourSweets Fri 01-Aug-14 13:49:26

DH earns 33k. I am a SAHM to a 1 year old and pregnant again so can't work. DH earns too much for any tax credits or benefits, but not enough for us to actually live.

He's been applying for jobs elsewhere in the country for 8 months now. He's had 2 interviews, neither job has been offered.

We moved out of London to live with family while he got another job. He's been commuting in every day. We initially were confident he'd get something, now I'm feeling like we're going to be homeless or will have to raise 2 children in a shitty, overpriced 1 bed flat with no garden and getting further in debt every day.

We're completely and utterly fucked. We can't afford to live just out of London and commute in because of the rent plus travel costs.

What options are there for us that I haven't thought about? Any at all?

Thank you.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 01-Aug-14 13:55:37

could you move further up North, there are cheaper houses and cost of living is less.
I know it will be difficult with work but if your dh and yourself when able were tot take anything that was going until you found your feet then you would be ok.
I'm not saying there a surplus of jobs up here but I think it is easier than the south.
Also, how pregnant are you? I know its dificult getting work while pg but know of a ouple of people who were employed by supermarkets/local grocery shops while pg.

SourSweets Fri 01-Aug-14 14:04:32

I do actually have a weekend job. But I couldn't work full time as it would cost more than my wage to put DS into nursery or similar.

We have looked into going further north, we've spent the last month living with family in the midlands but the commute is £500 (over) a month and takes 4 hours in total. We can't live like that.

BreeVDKamp Fri 01-Aug-14 14:10:37

I totally sympathise. Is DH's job really truly London-centric? Is there any way he's in a position to approach his boss for a pay rise? I don't understand how if the only jobs are in London the employer doesn't pay a reasonable London wage?? :-s I hate that.

My DH says there are no jobs for him outside London, but he hasn't actually looked (he loves his job!). I'd move out of London in a heartbeat otherwise!

SourSweets Fri 01-Aug-14 14:21:56

His job is pretty London centric yeah. But he has loads of transferable skills. He has lots of responsibility, he's the manager, he trains and interviews people, he's brought multi-million pound deals to the company yet we're effectively homeless. It doesn't make sense. The worst part is I can't even talk to him about it, he's trying so hard to stay positive and when I've tried to think of other options he accuses me of being negative and defeatist. He only got the latest rejection today after what we thought was a very promising interview so he's taken it hard too.

He's only just got a pay rise. He was on 31. I guess he could ask again but it's very unlikely to happen and let alone be enough to make a difference.

BreeVDKamp Fri 01-Aug-14 14:29:55

He has lots of responsibility, he's the manager, he trains and interviews people, he's brought multi-million pound deals to the company

How the hell is he only on £33k then???? That makes me so mad. He needs to work for a company where he is valued. Could he start his own business? Or go freelance? Probably not a good idea financially though :-/ sorry I've not for many suggestions.

ReigningQueen Fri 01-Aug-14 14:31:36

Where in London does he work? There are some

ReigningQueen Fri 01-Aug-14 14:32:27

Sorry posted too soon. There are some places you could rent in London. Have you tried the London/Essex borders?

hercules1 Fri 01-Aug-14 14:34:57

Rightly or wrongly it is unrealistic to have the luxury of being sahp without high earner partner in London.

BreeVDKamp Fri 01-Aug-14 14:35:57

Yes good point. I guess £33k = £2.7k per month? Or does he take home less than that? Around here (Brockley region, zone 3) rent on a 2 bed flat is around £1k/month.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 01-Aug-14 14:35:59

Not helpful but I suspect you would be better off if he stopped work or took low paid job? Then you would get lots more options open to you?

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 01-Aug-14 14:36:55

Rightly or wrongly it is unrealistic to have the luxury of being sahp without high earner partner in London.

allisgood1 Fri 01-Aug-14 14:37:35

What about an affordable area just outside London like Tolworth, Raynes Park, Morden? Travel costs won't be that high and you'll get a bigger place.

BreeVDKamp Fri 01-Aug-14 14:38:29

Yes look around in Chessington too

Viviennemary Fri 01-Aug-14 14:47:16

I know this isn't helpful but did you not realise there was going to be a problem with affording accommodation before you planned baby number two and decided to be a SAHM.

chanie44 Fri 01-Aug-14 14:47:30

I sympathise OP. I'm on good money, but find it a struggle. We live in London and all of our families are based in London.

What about moving to somewhere I zones 4-5 so Barking and Dagenham or croydon? So still commutable but costs aren't too high.

I know these places don't have good reps, but it's where I live and I don't think it's too bad.

Runningforfun Fri 01-Aug-14 14:52:56

2bed flat in SE20 for £850. It all depends on where you need to get to.

MsRainbow Fri 01-Aug-14 14:59:01

SourSweets - my advice would be to increase your efforts to find DH a job outside of London. Unless his income is set to considerably increase in the next few years you are not going to be in a position to buy a house / save for a deposit whilst living around London, it's a struggle to get any sort of social / HA accommodation so you are at the mercy of private landlords. Child care costs will hit any earnings you can get (I know plenty of couples in London where one has given up work because the cost of child care is equivalent or more than they earn). I know single people in London who struggle to get by on your family income.
You will probably better quality of life even on a lower salary out of London. Even if it means your DH not having his ideal job at first.

PeppermintInfusion Fri 01-Aug-14 14:59:49

Bree, 33k would be closer to 2k a month in take home pay

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Fri 01-Aug-14 15:05:22

"Yes good point. I guess �33k = �2.7k per month? Or does he take home less than that?"

Rather a lot less: �2116 a month. With the sort of fares the OP has talked about, that's almost half a month's rent living closer to town. I suggest they move back down here unless they are paying family zero.

Addiscombe/ East Croydon. Twenty minutes from there to London Bridge or Victoria. I have friends who live in Addiscombe which is just a few tram-stops from E Croydon station and it's really nice there. Not how you would imagine Croydon to be at all.

SourSweets Fri 01-Aug-14 19:01:20

Ugh. I replied to everyone earlier and just realised it never sent.

Thank you to everyone suggesting areas. I will research them all.

hercules what is our alternative though? My wage wouldn't cover childcare so I HAVE to stay home. Should we just have lived our lives never having children?

He works in Central London.

vivenne you're right, that wasn't helpful. We were in a very affordable place when we had our first that we thought we would stay in, but the landlord decided to sell. We had no choice but to move somewhere much more expensive, and then eventually move out. When we conceived the second DH had 2 job interviews on the horizon and we were confident we would get somewhere before the baby us due. We still have 6 months before that but I'm getting worried. I decided to be a SAHM when I realised paying for childcare would eat up all of my wages, leaving us no better off.

bitter we are paying family absolutely zero at the moment which is great, but I don't want to have my second baby in someone else's house.

msRainbow that's exactly our thinking, and he is continuing to look and still feels positive he'll get something. I'm a bit more unsure but I do feel better than I did earlier. He will just keep looking and take whatever is available.

Phineyj Fri 01-Aug-14 19:15:32

If it's any help, Metro did a survey a while back and concluded the cheapest area when you compare housing costs plus travel costs is Petts Wood. It's quite a nice area and the schools are good. Depending where DH needs to get to, you could consider one of the Medway towns that now have fast connections to London and relatively cheap housing? Schools not so good there, but you could do it for now while DH sorts out the job situation.

MassaAttack Fri 01-Aug-14 19:16:41

If your husband can only earn £33k in central London, and you want to remain a sahm, then you need to look to the provinces.

There aren't that many jobs which can only be done in the capital.

It's pretty piss poor that a family can't get by on £33k, granted. To put things into perspective, between the two of us our gross income is twice that. We're nowhere near struggling, but we're not exactly living the life of Riley, either.

Lucked Fri 01-Aug-14 19:25:36

What about other jobs in London that pay better, he sounds like he deserves a better salary.

scousadelic Fri 01-Aug-14 19:31:35

DH and I are both professionally qualified but were in a similar position to you when DS was small. We moved out of the SE to the NW and have never looked back, we have had a nice home, brought our children up in a lovely area and had a better work-life balance. Granted there are not the shops, theatres and places to go that there are down there but, had we stayed, we couldn't have afforded them anyway.

I would double your attempts to find him another job and look further north

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