To not get F/T childcare because DH doesn't earn enough to cover it?

(46 Posts)
MummytoMog Fri 23-Nov-12 14:36:52

To insist that we can’t afford FT childcare unless DH earns more money? I earn basically twice as much as he does, but after tax, NI, tube fare, Student Loans, Mortgage and bills we have about £500 of my salary left each month. Now, OH is a self-employed musician type so his income is massively variable, but generally is about another £1500 a month (before the whacking great tax bills we forget about EVERY year and really struggle to pay because we’re hideously disorganised). But we don’t know when it’s coming in, when he will have work and when not etc, so it makes organising childcare pretty difficult.

We’re getting someone full time (actually more like eleven hours a day EEP) for January because he has a particular job on, but normally we get people through likeminders, or have the kids at our childminder, who is happy to have them on ad hoc days. OH is being incredibly whiny at the moment because he’s ‘stressed’ and has ‘so much on’. The only person who controls how much work he has is him. I have told him this. Every time he gets overcommitted and me and the DCs suffer his bad temper and general prickishness. I understand the desire to take every bit of work being offered because you don’t know where the next job is coming from, but when he is ‘working’, he’s also eating long lunches, going out for runs and messing about on twitter and facebook. Which is fine, except when you’re paying someone £10 an hour to look after your children so you can ‘work’.

Anyway, he is now saying that he is ‘so busy’ that we’ll need someone full time permanently. Erm, not on your salary mate! It would cost us around £1500-£2000 a month to have the kids in full time childcare. Last year, which was a good year, he cleared £27k before tax and NI. If his work doesn’t pay him enough to cover this, then it sucks to be him. Maybe he should have done something useful with that Oxford degree and got a proper job.

AND he doesn’t do the laundry, the cleaning, tidy up after the kids or anything useful around the house when he’s at home during the week. Oh, actually he will put a nappy wash on, but only because it’s unavoidable. Last night I got home to find that DD had wee’d on the sofa, and he’d just left the sopping covers and cushions on there. It smelt like a urinal in the living room. [I know this is irrelevant but my BFF has suffered enough]

MummytoMog Fri 23-Nov-12 15:56:26

Oh and he doesn't have a pension. Better hope we're still married when he wants to retire....

expatinscotland Fri 23-Nov-12 16:03:20

You two need to have a serious talk about money, whether he likes it or not.

OneMoreChap Fri 23-Nov-12 16:20:29

MrsMangoBiscuit did I suggest one partner should spend all the money? No.

Joint finances are better. It gives you a better picture of the family income and your expenditure Of course, it does rely on you both being grow ups.

Sallyingforth Fri 23-Nov-12 16:28:02

OP didn't you post something like this before?
I seem to remember a very similar post about a 'musician' husband who was in reality just doing his musical hobby and contributing nothing about the house.

It sounds like you are being his mother as well as his partner. You need to have a long, serious talk about his responsibilities - both financial and parenting.

PhilipLarkinwasright Fri 23-Nov-12 16:29:59

OP could you change your long hour job and try to get something that'll get you home before 7 every day? You sound damned worn out by the whole situation.

OneMoreChap, in this case, OPs DH getting FT childcare would be one partner spending all the money. Did you suggest it? No, you just made a sarcastic raised eyebrow comment implying it.

milktraylady Fri 23-Nov-12 16:55:01

You could try using the budget software www.youneedabudget.com

Me & my DH are using this to cope with my maternity leave & lack of earnings & it's a good system.

ReallyTired Fri 23-Nov-12 17:01:00

Do you love your husband? There is more to life than just money. I agree that not clearing up wee is gross.

I think that the health and happiness of your OP Dh is important as well. Some people just don't like looking after small children and that is OK.

How many children do you have under 5? I am surprised your child care costs are so high. I assume you must be in London. When your children are three they will be entitled to nursery vouchers for 15 hours a week. 18K is not that terrible salary and you say that last year he earnt 27K.

I suggest that you get yourself a good accountant who can suggest ways of minimising taxation. There are often allowances that can be used to legally reduce the tax bill. ie. does he need a car for work? He could claim fuel costs for getting to gigs and possibly wear and tear on the car.

Children are small for a short period of time. I imagine that if your DH stopped working he could permamently lose his music career.

MummytoMog Fri 23-Nov-12 17:01:05

I don't think I've posted about this before - this really is his job, and he makes a heck of a lot more now than he did five years ago for example. He does work hard (just inefficiently and in an unfocussed way IMO) but when I think of how easily he could have been earning at least as much as I am, if not more if he'd just done a decent graduate entry level job straight after university. Then we could both do four days a week, have three days childcare and weekends might be about spending time as a family rather than resentful housework and OH locked in his office.

To be fair, he supported my brief flit into creativity (I hated it, I was bad at it and it cost us a lot of money) and I actually really love my job and I'm good at it. Would be nice if I could afford to go part time until the kids are older, but I can't.

I know I enable his inability to do housework, basic DIY, fix things, replace lightbulbs etc etc, but it's second nature to me to see a problem and fix it. Not so with him. One of his favourite phrases is 'we really need to X' by which he means 'YOU really need to X. NOW'.

AThingInYourLife Fri 23-Nov-12 17:19:20

"because he of course still gets to see his friends while I have to make arrangements weeks in advance which still get cancelled because the assumption is that I will do all childcare in evenings and at weekends"

OK that is completely unjustifiable bullshit and an example of him treating you like utter shite.

Your work is basically keeping him, which is fine. But is not fine for him to use you for your money and use you as free childcare whenever you're not earning it. Not to mention expecting you to skivvy after him.

He is inefficient with your time and money, not his own.

You are running yourself ragged while he is living a very enjoyable life at your expense.

shriekingnora Fri 23-Nov-12 17:22:55

Can you go somewhere neutral and sit down and have a 'meeting' about it? This works well for us, we stay focussed and don't get interrupted by the DC etc.

Two days a week sounds like a good compromise but you also sound like all the arrangements need an overhaul.

I actually now run a business with DH and to start with his disorganisation and inefficiency drove me insane. He has a scattergun/firefighting approach to life that is totally at odds with my approach. We sat down and had a really good talk about it all and he does get it now. He is so much better but I do get frustrated that he makes such a meal of things.

We have to treat the working bits of us as totally separate from the home bits. He used to work from home and struggled to stay motivated. I found that the less time he had, the more he got done. I also have to clearly let him know what needs doing because he can't read my mind and he doesn't see things the same way I do. I worked with a woman a few years ago who treated me like I shoud know what she was thinking and have followed her line of thought through to the end every time. It taught me so much about how to deal with people as I was on eggshells every day in case I got it wrong. I also ended up asking her questions about everything because I was afraid to do things in a way she hadn't imagined. She was mega efficient and organised and very very productive, just scary!

Like your DH my DH he has many good points and is a fab bloke but it is very difficult to be patient with him when I can clearly see how to do things so much more efficiently. Like the other day when I asked him to cook some rice and it took him 25 minutes...

And my DB is a musician and has found that ringfencing time really helps.

Sorry this is so long and rambling, hopefully there are some helpful things in there somewhere!

BeeBawBabbity Fri 23-Nov-12 17:27:29

I don't understand why the childcare costs need to be covered by his wage alone? Would he be able to work more (and thus earn more) if you got this full time childcare? Also, its worth thinking ahead- they wont need childcare forever, and maybe if he capitalises on opportunities now it would pay off in the long run?

For what its worth I believe separate finances can work very well if both partners are organised and fair, and contribute to shared costs in proportion to their individual income.

He definitely needs to pull his weight more round the house - no excuses for stinky sofas!

Laquitar Fri 23-Nov-12 17:28:48

Tbh i think 1500-2000 for 2 kids ft is cheap in london (you mentioned tube in your op). Does he suggest ft nanny? If so search nannynick's thread about the real cost (nanny's wages, tax, presents, lunch, kitty money, off sick) then print it and show it to him. Also you would struggle to keep a nanny happy if he is at home and he is lazy, she might leave.
Maybe you can cut the cost with a nanny share and use the other house as basis.

Tbh i wouldn't call his income a 'lazy' income but leaving the wee on the sofa?? Wtf??

lottiegarbanzo Fri 23-Nov-12 17:55:20

I think you need to take control of the situation, in order to demonstrate to him how things do and could work. (No 'begging and pleading' just do it).

Then TELL him what you are willing to do and how you need the finances to work and, therefore what he will need to take responsibility for.

He's taking advantage of you, while continuing to live the casual lifestyle of a footloose student and you must stop letting him. Even though that will be very hard.

NamingOfParts Fri 23-Nov-12 17:59:22

Just purely financially £27k income gross is £20k net (on self employed rates of NI). This is £1666/month. It really isnt difficult to keep on top of tax (you do not need an accountant if you keep things simple).

There are various costs which could be used to reduce the tax bill:

- I wouldnt take the vehicle into the business if it is also used for the family - instead charge mileage (45p/mile for first 10,000 miles). It is easy to keep track of this.
- keep relevant receipts - we keep them in a heap then a couple of times a year I go through them and do a simple income & expense spreadsheet
- dont try to over complicate things

You need to get businesslike.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 23-Nov-12 18:03:56

Another way of putting that is to say 'you want to have freedom to be able to work and socialise in this way, these are the requirements for the rest of the family in order to support that, so you need to identify how you're going to make it happen. Or, if you can't secure that level of support, you need to find a less demanding way of working'.

The idea that he need to put the hours in to 'grow his business' has been put but if that's the case he needs to come up with a basic business plan, explaining how the investment of time is being used and to what realistic end. Essentially you are subsidising him with your time (setting the uneven earnings aside) and he needs to make a case to you, the investing 'dragon / bank manager', if he wants you to continue to do that.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 21:36:28

So what would he do if you weren't around or he didn't have access to your money?

It's always hard juggling work and childcare, and even more so if you work odd hours or have an unpredictable work pattern (like me and dh...). But the basic problem is the same - if you work you have to sort out childcare. If you want full time childcare you have to pay for it.

Unless you subsidise him, he can't afford it. And if he is expecting you to subsidise him, then you can have some say in how he manages his work time.

I earn more than my dh, but he contributes equally to paying for childcare (I contribute more towards the household in other ways). I think it is really important he connects work time with time he is paying for childcare. And it has focussed his work - he is a lot more efficieny now than he used to be, in terms of finding work that has more manageable parameters (no rolling deadlines and changes of brief), he is more assertive with his employers and uses his time a lot better.

Better than me, in fact. Hmm. Anyway - the point is, he uses phrases like 'the job has to be worth it if I'm paying x pounds a week for childcare.' If I subsidised him, he'd never think like that.

BranchingOut Sat 24-Nov-12 08:20:21

I think that is a question - what would he do if you weren't there?

I feel a bit of sympathy for him in some ways, because when the present generation of thirty somethings were choosing their pathway in life everything was so much easier - lower housing costs. There was a sense that you could choose to do anything and, as long as you didn't expect luxury, you could probably get by.

I did an arts degree and wonder sometimes what happened to the numerous people heading off afterwards to work 'in theatre' or 'in the arts'. I didn't have parents who could bankroll me, so that just wasn't an option.

But, in the meantime I feel much more sympathy for you!

Definitely say no to full time care, as it will probably engender even more of a lax attitude.

MummytoMog Sat 24-Nov-12 10:08:12

Lots of useful suggestions smile of course if DH wasn't here, I'd be stuffed too, so it's not as one sided as what would he do without my money ;) I think I'll sit down, work out our income and expenditure and lay it in front of him. He's not completely reckless, just very happy to be wilfully blind about our finances.

Oh god. He's chewing with his mouth open again. Maybe I should divorce him.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 24-Nov-12 13:03:36

Agree sitting down with expences in and out. Also ask him to write a timetable for the usual midweek work he does. Tell him to keep running for evenings. He can take kids to the social things he does.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 24-Nov-12 13:04:15

Also timetable cleaning and household jobs together.

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