Is it worth working for thirty quid a week?

(59 Posts)
worthitornot Tue 05-Mar-13 13:42:07

I'm due back to work soon from maternity, I've asked for time off over the summer as I can't afford to pay for summer clubs for my 6yr old and for my baby to go to the childminder.

When I go back to work I'll clear less than £30 a week - not including petrol for commuting and all the quids here and there for school fundraising and things like that. My husband earns reasonably well so I doubt we'd get benefits etc, and to be honest it's not so much the money, just the futility of it all. I'm sure there must be so many people giving up jobs they like because working isn't economically viable.

I get the impression work isn't overly happy about me being off over the summer but are prepared to go with it, which I'm grateful for, but they don't realise I would be PAYING to work if I came back during the summer. I think it would all grate less if I didn't know they'd been unable to find anyone to cover my role for the amount they pay me so had got someone in on a higher salary.

I don't want to give up work because I fear when I'd be able to go back in a few years, I'd be pushing 40 and unemployable - but right now it's a tempting option. I guess I need to ask for a raise.

Sorry for the rant, just wanted to get it off my chest. I'll prepare to be flamed by people saying I should be grateful for what I've got!

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 17:20:27

I worked for £10 after costs (nursery, luckily WAH) when DC1-DC2 were little. I'm looking at jobs that will net £1-£4/hour now which seems positively miraculous.

whenitrainsitpours Wed 06-Mar-13 11:59:38

I sympatise with you not an easy choice/decision to make. I also had to make that decision when I had my first dd as I was in a full time job that I loved and on good enough salary. My husband also worked ft earning a bit less than I. After doing the maths, decided to become a sahm as what i really wanted to do was stay with my dd and raise her till she would be in school ft. Three years later, had ds who is now going to start school ft in September. I am planning to go back to work ft and have to to share all my holidays and husband's to look after our to dc during all of their 12 weeks holidays (6 during Summer, 2 at Easter, 1 week at each term=3 and 2 at Christmas time). I hope we will have enough holidays to cover it all. I am lucky as my dh finishes work normally for 3pm so can pick up dcs from school. As for being 40sh not being employable i reckon it is all in the frame of mind. If you can keep up your skills and contacts ie references, it makes it easier to return. I have to say also that since dd was 8 months old, i started a part time job working three shifts a week while dh stayed at home in the evening with dc. As they are in bed early it did not cut on my time spent with them and was able to maintain some sanity on my part to be able to socialise outside the home and also make a few extra pounds usually nmw 12 hrs a week so about made £75 a week tax free as i earn under personal allowance. Also manage to get family tax credit as my dh was the only breadwinner. Lots to pounder when making decision, not just financially but also what will make yu happy whether you prefer working or be at home with dc. Good luck.

worthitornot Wed 06-Mar-13 10:22:16

Thanks for the replies, and encouragement...

My gut instinct is to go back, and I do want to go back, I enjoy my work. grobags is right, there is a part of me that worries that if something happens and I needed to support myself if I'd given up work I'd be stuffed.

I'm going to try and move heaven and earth to make it worthwhile and just suck it up for a little while if it's not.

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the input - it's made making a difficult decision a bit easier.

Kytti Wed 06-Mar-13 10:20:23

YANBU if you want to be a SAHM. I'm (ahem) pushing 40 and sacked off my career for the children, but that was a joint decision with dh. That was always our long-term plan.

If you want to work quickly again though, I dunno... you're going to have to give it serious thought. I'm going to retrain in a few years, as I don't want to go back to my career. You need to work out what YOU want to do.

DueInSeptember Wed 06-Mar-13 10:09:09

What about going part time? Less of your wages will be swallowed up by tax and your childcare bill will be smaller. I'm guessing there will be a point where your earnings will be maximised depending on the ratio of these.

What qualifications, skills do you have - can you apply these to a different career later on, or could you retrain and build on these?

Any option of freelance/ self employment in your line of work? Or something you've fancied trying for a while?

These would be the sort of things I'd try and ask myself and I'd try and think of alternative solutions.

MummytoKatie Wed 06-Mar-13 09:00:16

One thought is that your children will be fed and kept warm at the childminder. Otherwise in winter you will all be at home with the heating on so some savings there.

My own experience was that 2 weeks after I went back to work with dd my dh was made redundant. No warning. Just went to his normal 9am meeting with his boss and 20 minutes later was escorted off the premises. It was a hard time but would have been so much harder if I had given up work.

CPtart Wed 06-Mar-13 08:26:31

I worked for next to nothing for two years while my two DS were at nursery part time. I have nor regrets at all. Least of all maintaining my sanity, I kept up with my pension, professional skills, confidence in the workplace etc.
I would have a careful think about how you will manage every summer hols though, and also all those half terms and times when DC are ill and unable to go to school. We manage but it's a struggle, and usually end up taking opposite annual leave from work with my DH to try and cover.

youfhearted Wed 06-Mar-13 08:10:53

basically you need cheaper child care. i gave up with 2 when i was going to be left with £50 a week shock whch in retrospect was not such a good decision.

grobagsforever Wed 06-Mar-13 07:54:38

I agree with the poster re protecting yourself. Women must protect their own earning potential, given that half of all LTR fail. No one thinks it will happen to them. I think bring a sahm is v risky unless you have a career you can walk back into such as doctor...sorry, not a popular view but with child support payements being so low...

worthitornot Wed 06-Mar-13 07:28:38

Oh, just realised I did my sums wrong and it's £30 a month not week... which will all go on petrol.

Clearly I'm an idiot...

worthitornot Tue 05-Mar-13 15:55:34

There are a lot of us then!

I think I will go back and grin and bear it. I don't really feel annoyed at my employer to be honest, though the fact I am probably underpaid grates a bit, they have been good to me in the past and I appreciate that. It's not their 'fault' I decided to have a family.

I need to get in the 'long term' mindset and think that in a few years time I'll be glad I (hopefully still) have a job.

elfycat Tue 05-Mar-13 15:27:15

I've just let my nursing registration lapse. My specialty would call for shift work and with DH working away from home for weeks at a time I just couldn't get the childcare. I did try when DD1 was a year old but it was clear that it wouldn't work when DH is away.

DD1 starts school next year and DD2 2 years later. I have trained in complementary therapies which I will be able to do as self-employed. I figured I should crack on with it as soon as DD2 gets her childcare hours (Jan 2014).

Today I discussed with DH (over the phone as he's away at the moment) that since I have enabled him to take up his career (which he is loving) maybe in return he could enable me to continue to be a full time parent to our children, which I enjoy. Not having to find childcare to fit a job that just about fits our lives until all the changes settle. He thought it a quite reasonable balance shock

But this suits us and our philosophy over money and work/life. It took me a while to come around to the idea that I didn't want to work and I was quite resentful over losing that aspect of my life. I was very stressed about letting my nursing lapse but once it was gone the stress evaporated.

But now I'm looking forwards to the next 2-3 years. After that who knows?

JuliaScurr Tue 05-Mar-13 15:24:49

eternal dilemma - jobs are for people who have mothers or wives. As soon as children arrive it's virtually impossible. 'Job' should be redefined as compatible with schoolhours/holidays and parental leave. For men and women. Particularly helpful to party solve unemployment by sharing availabe work. Or child bearing age women will always lose out. Child care & care for elderly should be a given, like basic education.

StuntGirl Tue 05-Mar-13 15:16:53

I would balance the £30 a week now against the benefits of a pension, national insurance payments, continuing employment and better future prospects (pay rises, experience to get a better job). £30 looks pretty good to me against that backdrop.

But that's based on my career which has good prospects. If it was my old retail job there'd be no future pay rises bar the next NMW rise and virtually no a much lower chance of progression. So you'll need to think about your own personal circumstances and how positive an effect working will, or potentially could, have for you.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Tue 05-Mar-13 15:08:39

I'm watching this thread with interest OP.

I'm due to return from Maternity soon and after nursery fees, travel etc. I'm not going to be left with much.

I earn an OK salary, but had to accept a salary cut a year ago, due to funding issues (my employer is a not for profit charity and we rely on funding for all of our projects, every financial year). Funding is never guaranteed and every employee faces possible redundancy every financial year start, so I'm actually waiting to find out if there's a job for me to return to. If there is, I may need to accept another cut in my salary.

I think about work constantly and despite loving what I do, I wish my DP earned enough for me to SAH with our DS for a while.

I say, if you can afford to, stay home with your DC. They grow too fast.

thejoysofboys Tue 05-Mar-13 15:03:58

I’m in a very similar situation but I take home £30 a month, not per week :D

I have 2 children under the age of 3 so childcare costs are astronomical.

I work part time (3 days).

I would have happily taken a career break if one was on offer as I would really prefer to have been at home with my children during their early years but I go to work for the following reasons:
-I work for a good employer who has given me a lot of opportunities during my career so far
-I’ve recently transferred offices and departments (at my request) when we moved over 100miles
-My field of work is v v v male oriented and, although my office here has quite a few part time working mums in good positions, it’s the exception rather than the rule so the possibility of getting a decent job at a similar level with similar pay and working hours would be v difficult if I left my job and tried to return to work in a few years time
-It’s important in my job to keep up with new training and skills
-I do actually like my job
It’s not a great position to be in & my £32.78 a month (plus pension contributions) is hardly compensation for the stress of juggling small children and big projects but I do believe in the long term it’ll be worth it….

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Mar-13 15:03:01

Not bloody likely!

But then Im not career orientated. for me a job is just a job.

JsOtherHalf Tue 05-Mar-13 14:59:04

In all honesty I have only been making money for working since ds started school. I am grateful I went back after the 12 months as I probably would not get the job now without a post grad qualification. Also DH's job was in doubt last year, and it was reassuring to have another income, albeit much smaller.

BionicEmu Tue 05-Mar-13 14:58:52

I just don't know what the answer is, but I can completely empathise with you.

I've just had DC2, & will not be going back to work. I simply can't afford it. My take-home pay is approx. £60 a day, but childcare for both DC will be £80 a day, plus approx. £7 a day commuting costs. So going back to work will actually cost us approx. £27 each day.

It's truly shit. My job isn't really a career, but it's something that's taken me several years to work my way up to being as skilled as I am, & it just seems such a waste. Although otoh, I love my job but I really hate where I work.

worthitornot Tue 05-Mar-13 14:58:23

Thanks for the replies, I guess I need to have a long think about it.

My gut is to go back as I do like my job and I think it will be worth it in the end, but it's just so annoying.

DH is good with helping but he has projects at work that mean he can't take much time off before the summer. He earns more than me so is the main breadwinner really.

I appreciate all the responses, it's a shame there are so many people in the same boat.

Will have a long hard think...

JsOtherHalf Tue 05-Mar-13 14:52:14

Can you salary sacrifice from your wages? Childcare vouchers would be usable towards a lot of summer schemes, as well as nursery. Any chance of compressed hours etc?

www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/

QueenOfCats Tue 05-Mar-13 14:52:10

I'm £6 per month better off working than not.

jellybeans Tue 05-Mar-13 14:50:58

Not worth it at all. Plenty of time to go back later.

Llareggub Tue 05-Mar-13 14:47:41

You need to factor in all eventualities. If you'd ask me 3 years ago when I was on maternity leave with my second child I'd probably have advised that you give up work. Three years later, I am a single parent of a 6 and a 3 year old and bloody grateful my earning capacity is greater than average. My exH is an alcoholic and contributes sporadically.

Married women I know all seem to think what happened to me could never happen to them, but hey, shit happens. Keep earning.

valiumredhead Tue 05-Mar-13 14:46:41

cassgate you and me both, I could've posted that smile

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