To ask how people afford to live

(130 Posts)
Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:35:05

I know it's a cheeky thing to ask but struggling to understand how we're going to manage.
I'm 11 weeks pg with our first baby (surprise baby) and I have a 20 hour a week job although most weeks do overtime which means I work full time so earn about £800-900 a month and DP works full time his salary is £17500 per year. That works out to around £2000 a month after tax.
At the moment we live with his parents, we pay £180 a month in rent (that covers both of us, and our food) but are looking to move out. However it's all so expensive sad
We've been looking at properties in the £500 per month range but I have no idea how much bills cost, and then with the added costs of travelling to work etc, food, nappies it all seems like we won't have anything at all left over. Oh and DP has a car finance agreement which costs 200 a month as well as various other outgoings.
sad
How do people manage it?

Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:57:07

Yes sorry I meant 2k combined income, not DPs.. I wish!
Yeah I am 18 so no never dealt with bills etc.
our income will decrease by £400 per month when I go on ML but going to do my best to work as far up to my EDD as I can so I get the maximum amount of time at home with baby. Really want to be a SAHM but we will see how we are with finances.

sunseasurf Thu 18-Jul-13 14:57:29

Whilst having only £180 per month to spend on rent, you should be saving massively with £2K coming in, regardless of other outgoings. My advice would be to stay as long as poss where you are, and save for a deposit on a new house. There are govt schemes which will pay half of your 10 % deposit for first time buyers. Really worth looking into.

I wish someone had given me this advice 10 yrs ago, as I made the mistake of renting too long and being priced out, and then ended up in a position of paying high rent so unable to save.

MyDaydream Thu 18-Jul-13 14:57:51

We have less than that coming in but only my DP works. We negotiated a cheaper deal on our rent for a longer term contract and live on the edge of a not so desirable area so we get more for our money. But I think the biggest thing that saves us money is we don't drive. DP does train and bus to get to work, I get the bus or walk when I want to do something. We manage this just fine, but we find people who drive think getting a bus is a massive inconvenience even though its not. Although I think the biggest thing that helps is living up North, we were helping SIL find a rental in the South and we couldn't maintain our lifestyle there.
With DS I go to free baby groups at Sure Start, didn't do NCT I mumsnetted instead for my info. eBay is great for baby clothes and maternity clothes too. And really do your research before buying anything, most of the stuff out there that get called essentials really aren't.

AudrinaAdare Thu 18-Jul-13 14:57:53

BF if you can (and if you want to of course) - lots of advice on MN and almost always someone here to help as things crop up, day or night. I saved a fortune with last DC although I did have to budget for chocolate hmm

Congratulations smile

If you go back to work you will need to look at childcare costs and working tax credits

Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 15:00:02

Yes definitely going to BF if I can. It'll work out a lot cheaper than FF.
My mum is going to give us some money towards a pram. My parents are not bad off at all but I don't really want to have to rely on them for handouts or anything. Thank you everyone for your congratulations smile

sunseasurf Thu 18-Jul-13 15:00:39
Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 15:01:06

Thank you sunseasurf

Whothefuckfarted Thu 18-Jul-13 15:01:57

Welcome to the real world. Lots of good advice re bills on here already.

You need to be organised and make sure you claim the tax credits and child benefit you are entitled to.

Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy flowers

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 15:02:33

Holly,
you are so young and only 11 weeks along. You've not even had that much time to digest what is happening. You are doing great. You are not putting your head in the sand but trying to make constructive plans.

The council where you live will ave a homepage and it will tell you how much council tax for each band is. And when you look at flats online, quite often it tells you which band they fall into. So you can add that on to the rent. £100 for ct is good, quite often it's more. This depends on the area you live in.

Keep asking questions on here when there is stuff you are unsure of. I'm older than you but am foreign, so there is quite a lot of stuff about living in the UK I don't know about and I love how wise and willing to help mumsnetters are.

KellyElly Thu 18-Jul-13 15:03:11

You won't get child tax credits as your combined salaries are over 26K. You may get some Housing Benefit. You will get tax credits while you are on maternity leave though, so make sure you claim them then. Save as much as you can for your maternity leave as that's when you are going to struggle a lot. Do you have a good maternity package?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 18-Jul-13 15:03:16

I think youll be fine hun,we bring in less than that and have a mortgage and expensive childcare and we cope fine.Its normal to worry but you seem smarr enough to be thinking about it all so im sure you can do it x

LimitedEditionLady Thu 18-Jul-13 15:05:17

Btw i moved out at 18 into our home and it was a bit scary and worrying and im a pretty old head on young shoulders person.Itll be great though youll see x

LimitedEditionLady Thu 18-Jul-13 15:05:46

Pm me if you want to ask anything detailed x

Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 15:07:04

Thank you Cheese. Everything's happening so quickly.. This time last year I was looking at uni accommodation, now I'm looking at houses and prams!
KellyElly on my contract ill get about £108 a week Mat pay.
Thank you LimitedEdition

Dahlen Thu 18-Jul-13 15:11:02

I;ll list some outgoings I think you'll probably need to be aware of along with what I would expect you to have to pay in relation to a 2-bed flat/house and what we know about your lifestyle. Figures are monthly. Hope it helps.

Rent: £500
Council tax: £100
Water: £30
Gas/Electricity: £80 (averaged over the year, so not going up in winter)
TV licence: £15
Telephone/broadband/mobile phones: £40 combined.
Insurances - car/house/life/etc: £100
Car (don't know your car so can't guess this but basically divide car tax by 12 and set aside an amount per month, plus enough for servicing, annual MOT, a set of replacement tyres and a £200 float for repairs)
Fuel costs (again unknown but allow for supermarket trips etc as well as commuting)
Clothing: £100 (you can probably reduce this substantially if you and your DP have lots of clothes already and won't need to replace things very often, but remember that everyone needs new shoes from time to time and your new baby will grow quickly).
Food and household goods: £400 (again you may be able to reduce this if you meal plan, can cook well, search for bargains and are economical with cleaning products, etc).
Savings/contingency: £100.

Pootles2010 Thu 18-Jul-13 15:15:07

I'd second the advise about stay put as long as you can. If you save every penny, you can really build yourself a nice pot that'll see you through your maternity leave, and buy you time at home with your baby.

Congratulations btw flowers you sound like you've got your head screwed on, I'm sure you'll do a grand job.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 18-Jul-13 15:21:38

Good luck Holly...it can be done.

Don't buy a new pram though, even if parents are paying...you can get fairly compact pushchairs that allow the baby to lie flat. Within months everyone buys one of those cheapy collapsible small pushchairs anyway.

hardboiledpossum Thu 18-Jul-13 15:26:05

We take home about 2500 and our rent is 1150 (London). We used to take home about 500 less and still managed. looking at the other budget posted we probably spend only 30 per month on clothes (charity shops mostly) and 50 on food and other household things, we still manage to eat well and mostly organic veg and meat. we have has to be much more careful with money, but just cutting out all the small things like coffees, magazines and e,pensive clothes has made a big difference. We still manage to go out for the odd meal and we both go out every week with our friends

kitsmummy Thu 18-Jul-13 15:31:16

I think people are forgettingnthat whilstnholly's income is £2000 now, in a year or so's time it's going to be £1100 when she can't afford to pay childcare and has to give up work (or however they choose to do it, assuming no free childcare on offer from grandparents), which really is just not enough, whichever way you look at it

AnotherStitchInTime Thu 18-Jul-13 15:39:13

If your income is quite low you may be entitled to some housing benefit to cover your rent. It is worth checking entitled.to, put in an average rent for a 2 bed property in your area, the £100 a week council tax rate and say you have 1 child under one. You should get an idea what rent you would have to pay after that.

Money saving and management tips:

Always pay the important bills first Rent, Council Tax, Fuel, Water. If you can't afford your phone bill one month it will just mean you get cut off, so long as you pay it next month it will be fine, but if you don't pay your rent, ct, water or fuel it will have bigger consequences.

Get rid of a contract mobile if you have a land line and are at home, just have a PAYG or fixed rate contract that you can't over spend on.

We save money by not having a tv licence, just the Internet and I watch recorded tv programs.

Buy supermarket own brand nappies, Tesco, Asda, Lidl and Aldi ones are good.

Buy second hand baby clothes bundles from EBay, most babies grow out of clothing so quickly that it is often very good condition. Also second hand toys, you can get massive bundles very cheaply.

Second hand cot fine, but buy a new mattress and new car seat.

You can also buy second hand prams in good condition in some baby shops and on EBay.

Buy big 5kg and up bags of rice and 3kg bags of pasta. Buy supermarket own brand food.

Walk more rather than drive or take public transport. Find a local market or get fruit and veg reduced from the supermarket at the end of the day.

Turn off non-essential electrical items and wear more clothes in winter to save on heating.

Pay the same amount of gas and electric towards your account monthly year round so that you don't end up with a massive winter fuel bill one month.

Take your food with you. Coffees, snacks, drinks all add up. If I take the kids out we take food from home. Same goes for lunches whilst at work, DH takes left over dinner or sandwiches.

Make your own baby food rather than buy jars or just give what you are having minus the salt.

Look on freegle, people often give away really nice stuff.

DH earns less than your DP and I am a SAHM (two kids, childcare too expensive), we get by ok.

elQuintoConyo Thu 18-Jul-13 15:40:44

We have a 19mo DS and survive on 1200£ a month.
We:
Use the bus (we have a 15yo car for emergencies)
Go for long walks and picnics for fun
Don't regularly eat out
Meal plan on a budget

We don't have family to help us either with childcare or financially.
We do, however, live abroad, so that means no council tax, no tv licence, longer periods of good weather for enjoying the outdoor stuff. On the other hand there is NO welfare/benefit/childcare allowance of any kind, and no second hand market, a really shitty ebay where people charge as-new prices for very old and in terrible condition stuff.

We spent the bare minimum on ds and mostly in Ikea, but still we didn't need:
Cot (ds would not sleep in it) and therefore all the bedding, matress etc, about £120 worth down the drain
Baby bath - just get in the bath with him (£10 bath, so no biggie)
Changing table - useless after 3 months as DS could turn over and that was the end of cooperating! We just use the bed. (Bye bye £25) I'm actually in the process of painting it to use as a bedside table/bookcase!
Playpen - once again, DS hated it, screamed like a banshee, awful awful thing. (£70 down the plughole).

If there'd been a second hand market like the UK, all of those things I would have got on the cheap (well, besides bath and new matress). Now I can't shift the stuff, even for a few quid.

People survive on what they can. Be careful what you buy - I went overboard on bibs but glad I did as DS was a right dribbler! But he doesn't have many toys, at all, but is very happy.

You'll cope smile thanks

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 16:34:22

well, that won't be the case kit, because on that low an income, they'll be entitled to hb, ctb, and tax credits.

ImTooHecsy - they more than likely won't be entitled to very much in tax credits because it goes on combined income as long as OP and her DP are living together. My partner and I earn very similar amounts to OP - he earns £17k and I earn £12k when I'm working FT and based on those figures I was told over the phone that we wouldn't be entitled to anything except ctb which was <£20 a month (although still better than a kick in the face).

KittyVonCatsworth Thu 18-Jul-13 17:06:44

We're on a combined income of 7k a month and still live in overdraft. This hasn't always been the case though. I was 18 when I had my daughter, single mum earning around £150 a week in a hotel. It was near impossible if it wasn't for my dad babysitting when he could and staying rurally where prices were cheaper. I remember 'treating' my daughter to a brand new outfit from Woolworths for her birthday every year until she was about 6! Everything else was seconds, charity shos etc. I breasted, towelling nappies (all the new age mum but in aid of cheapness!)

The point, you will manage. It will be tough, but you live within your means, don't be too proud to accept help. My daughter knows the Value of money, has a great work ethic and takes nothing for granted because of her upbringing. You will be fine xxx

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