If you live in the south east and have a family of 4-6 (or thereabouts)

(79 Posts)
PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 13:50:50

What would you say you need to live on as a family? And not be fucked financially?

JoandMax Fri 15-Apr-16 13:56:35

For a modest 3 bed semi, good lifestyle (one car, one foreign holiday every 2 years, shop in Morrisons, shop on high street for clothes) then I would say as a minimum 50k....

But if you're living frugally then 40k

Yeahsure Fri 15-Apr-16 13:58:40

It's so hard to answer as so many variables.

I live in central London so property prices 4 or 5 times that of houses elsewhere in south east.

Depends what your lifestyle is like, what your priorities are etc.

We earn high six figures between us, have a terraced house and a very basic holiday a year, a few treats and we eat out a bit but can't afford diamonds, hols in the Maldives or private schools!

We are a family of 5.

TheEntWife Fri 15-Apr-16 14:00:21

we are a family of 5 (6 every other weekend), live in Surrey, have a single car and a three bedroom semi detatched house in the commuter belt. We tried living on DH's salary when i was on maternity leave and it was miserable. He was earning 70k then.

i recognize that my idea of miserable might not be everyone's though.

PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 14:01:45

We're a family of 5 and struggling but I don't think Dh makes a bad wage. (33,000) I stay at home and we have one child in school and 2 not school age yet. We have a lot of debts which which is much of the problem as we're paying those off. We really struggle though. Anyone on similar and how do you get on? As far as I can tell if I were working (only capable of min wage) with costs of travel and nursery we'd be worse off.

We spend over a 1100 for a place big enough for all of us (renting) and I feel "lucky" to spend only that little as it's actually really nice compared to what we had been looking at for the same money.

Never been on a holiday since having kids

IdaBattersea Fri 15-Apr-16 14:03:19

Yeahsure by high 6 figures do u mean over £500k? We earn way less than that live in 5 bed semi in zone 3, 2 kids in private school (to be fair paid for from inheritance) foreign holiday most years.

If I had high 6 figures I could def afford Maldives annually!

PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 14:04:14

*Should say we don't live in London but close enough that people do commute. In Sussex

Yeahsure Fri 15-Apr-16 14:07:22

Oh sorry I'm being thick Ida - I meant in the high 100s

IdaBattersea Fri 15-Apr-16 14:07:41

I should also clarify we couldn't afford our house now on current salaries (combined £150k) but benefited hugely from DH's first flat in zone 2 bought for £80k in late 90s sold for 4x that again next purchase in London benefited from huge capital increase as has current house so small mortgage relative to current value.

PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 14:07:49

I'm kind of "glad" to see people think you should be on a lot more to live comfortably though as I do often feel guilty for wishing we were better off as we're not poor... kids are fed, shit gets paid, just you know skint. And I'm abit worn down by never being able to do little extra things like nice days out or meals out.

IdaBattersea Fri 15-Apr-16 14:08:41

Thanks yeahsure! I thought so.

BarbaraofSeville Fri 15-Apr-16 14:09:07

£33k doesn't sound like loads with £1100 rent and 3 DCs. But it's probably about or slightly above average.

Have the debts stopped growing and are they going down now? How long before they will be paid off and will things look better then?

Did they arise from something specific or just trying to live on not quite enough money? Have you had advice and is interest frozen/minimised (credit card balance transfer etc). Will you be able to work profitably when the younger 2 start school? Are you helping your money go as far as possible by shopping around, using quidco, minimising outgoings etc?

One of the hardest things about paying off debt is that sometimes most of the payment goes on interest and you can struggle on for years without really getting anywhere - if you're at that stage, it may be worth looking at more formal solutions.

Lasaraleen Fri 15-Apr-16 14:09:22

Doesn't this massively depend on your cost of housing and your general living expectations? House prices vary quite a bit around the SE and cost will depend on owning or renting, and if owning what kind of deposit / mortgage you have etc.

We are a family of 4 living in a 3 bed semi. Lucky enough to have a mortgage that is less than half the value of the house so cost is lowish compared to rental rates I see for similar housing round here. We earn around £75000 between us and are fairly comfortable, but we are not in London or really in commuter belt. We have old cheap cars and no expensive foreign holidays but those things are not that important to us - we probably could manage it if we cut back in other areas.

IdaBattersea Fri 15-Apr-16 14:11:22

Poodles stuff is so expensive though. We went to wagamamas the other day £75 for 4 of us if we did that weekly that would be £3,600 per year...which we def don't have going spare.

Needmorechocolate Fri 15-Apr-16 14:13:58

We earn approx £80k between us. Have 4 young kids and live in a 4 bed semi (only managed to afford the fourth bedroom by extending existing house as it was cheaper than moving!). We would struggle on just one salary. £80k allows us to live quite comfortably. We have one main holiday a year plus one short break/days out, one car, we shop online at tesco, kids at state school, we pay for nursery for 2 kids but also have family help so that makes a huge difference.

PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 14:16:22

ne of the hardest things about paying off debt is that sometimes most of the payment goes on interest and you can struggle on for years without really getting anywhere - if you're at that stage, it may be worth looking at more formal solutions.

We're in that stage. We don't over spend on stuff or nice things but everything is very tight. We had to put ourselves in to a debt for a couple reasons and now that 's over we're left with the fall out. It's annoying because before children we'd never been in debt. I think Dh might had had a cc with like a £200 limit or something hmm

We tried taking out a loan to cover the costs of the debts but struggling with that as we just don't seem to always have quiet enough so it's using overdrafts etc. It worries me.

edwinbear Fri 15-Apr-16 14:17:47

In London, 4 bed house, 1 or 2 decent foreign holidays a year, 3 cars, family of 4, dc's in private school, DH and I both earn 6 figures and not rolling in spare cash by any means. Although we would be without the school fees.

PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 14:18:32

Never really go on with quidco, though I think I signed up for it on the advice of a MSE thread... [maybe]

75! at Wagammmas! I'm still shocked when people tell me they are taking their 3/4 kids to the cinema. It's so expensive nowadays! <gimmer>

PollyPerky Fri 15-Apr-16 14:18:59

Renting a house in the SE for £1100 is quite cheap when you consider London rents for a single room in a shared house. I guess it depends on what you mean by SE.

Why would you have to work for a minimum wage? Have you thought about training, gaining new qualifications or is childcare the issue that's topping you earning?

£33K for a family is pretty tight.

ShesAStar Fri 15-Apr-16 14:19:17

Like a PP said it depends on what you're paying out in rent/mortgage. I think you need upwards of 50k before you feel comfortable. But if you have a high rent/mortgage and high childcare costs you might still feel stretched until you get to 75k (ish)

Floralnomad Fri 15-Apr-16 14:22:14

If your dh works regular hours could you find a job that fits in with that so weekends / evenings just for a while to increase your income .

hellsbellsmelons Fri 15-Apr-16 14:22:57

South Bucks, very commutable although neither of us do.
Earn approx 80K between us.
1 decent holiday a year.
Only 1 adult DD myself but OH has kids he pays for.
I do watch the pennies but I was also very lucky with property (thanks to delaying my divorce by 5 years)
So we are comfortable but not well off by any means.
I did cope on my own for a good while once my ExH left. I managed on half the amount shown above.
But.... My DD was in high school, I have an OK paying job and I only had 1 child.
With 3 it might have been very different.
I think you are doing great with your money.

idontlikealdi Fri 15-Apr-16 14:32:45

We live on 90k comfortably. 2 kids and a dog. Massive mortgage though.

PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 14:35:10

Why would you have to work for a minimum wage? Have you thought about training, gaining new qualifications or is childcare the issue that's topping you earning?

NO skills or qualifications and would need to be the one who arranges their job around school because I'm the lower earner. So always going to be crap wages unfortunately. Would LOVE to look in to qualifications of some sort but have been trying to imagine a way of doing it for past 2 years and don't think it's possible unfortunately. I could look for work in the evenings and weekends but that would mean full time with preschool age kids and then working and we do get some benefit money which would be cut too. So I don't think I'd actually be financially better off. Just nackered.

witsender Fri 15-Apr-16 14:36:31

We have 2 kids and live off the South Coast. We have had a salary ranging from 25 to 50k and have managed on both, own home with a mortgage. Don't holiday abroad but in part because we don't want to yet. I now work part time, but haven't for 5 yrs. We have a 3 bed semi in a rural location with a large garden, DH works average hours a week.

When we were on the mainland we found we struggled more on a middle salary, around 35k.

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