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.
How do people manage it?

gordyslovesheep Thu 18-Jul-13 14:40:39

lots of people manage on less than £2900 a month!

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:41:00

I think with £2k after tax your quite well set up. You'll get child benefit and qualify for tax credits, or will it be universal credit by then as well.

You'll have to make a spreadsheet of our outgoings. How much will council tax be where you are? Etc. It's overwhelming if you'e not run a household before but you will be fine.

Budgeting mostly, and being aware of how much things cost.

Write down all your monthly outgoings.... phone bill, direct debits, car etc and work out how much you need to maintain the basics. Maybe downgrade to a cheaper/more economical car?

How much is your commute? Food- varies from family to family but £100 a week sounds fair.... etc etc

Whatever is left over you could put towards rent.

Having a baby doesn't need to be expensive, do you have families that would be willing to help out? (Eg: My mum gifted DD her pram)

It is tough. But people manage! When we had DD we had less income than yourself as well as DP was made redundant. (Not being competitive-just illustrating that it can be done!)

Be positive!

Methe Thu 18-Jul-13 14:42:38

Tax credits.

We've all been so screwed over by a succession of governments that if you earn a low ish wage it is impossible to survive without government subsidy of some sort.

Have a look at and see when you'll get when your baby is born.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:12

thats more than enough to manage.

you just need to know what your bills are and what day they come out and be on top of it.

have a budget and stick to it.
there are online budgets you can use.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:13

While you're on ML, you will also save money as you don't have to travel to work. Nappies aren't that expensive. I think the cheapest ones are the kiddicare ones. £20 a months. They deliver them. We've not had them but I have heard good things.

Surely 17.5k doesnt equate to 2k a month after tax. Its only 1.5k before tax!
Or am missing something

MortifiedAdams Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:41

£17500 is NOT 2K after tax. I earn 20k and come out with 1300pcm.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 18-Jul-13 14:44:34

The way you live changes when you have a baby. You don't go out as much for a start. How do you shop? Do you look for bargains, buy own brands etc. There are ways you can save. £2000 a month is perfectly doable.

Baby stuff doesn't have to be expensive.

ChocHobNob Thu 18-Jul-13 14:44:40

Gordy I think the OP meant £2000 a month combined. Her partner wouldn't be getting £2000 take home a month on £17500 per annum.

Just looked again and I suppose she means the 2 together. Doesnt read like that though.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:45:19

And you can do food £50 a week for 2 people, no problem. Use the time you have now, to make strategies to reduce living costs.

ageofgrandillusion Thu 18-Jul-13 14:45:24

Depends where you live and when you bought. If you live darn sarf and bought any time in past decade or so, you are goosed. I live up north and im rolling in it.

JustPondering Thu 18-Jul-13 14:46:01

Maybe OP means that 2k is their combined monthly wage after tax.

gordyslovesheep Thu 18-Jul-13 14:46:32

yes I am on 18k and don't get 2 grand!

You will get maternity pay, cb and tax credits - you will be fine xxx

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 14:46:49

if you dont know how much bills are you have been very sheltered grin but now you are to be a parent you have to be on top of it.

ask your parents what bills there are and how much they are.

gas electric water council tax phone internet rent insurance tv licence etc etc

theres a long list but dont let that put you off . as long as you keep control of it it cant surprise you!

Dahlen Thu 18-Jul-13 14:48:37

Well don't forget you'll get child benefit and a little in tax credits. You may qualify for help with child care costs if you plan to continue working. Put your details into this site to see what you're eligible for.

It doesn't matter whether you're on a fortune or a pittance in terms of how you compare to others. Everyone's situation is different and affected by too many variables to make comparisons meaningful. Your best bet would be to go on a site like Martin Lewis's site and take a look at his budgeting advice.

You will have to accept that your standard of living is going to fall. £180 covering rent, utilities and food is exceptionally good so you will notice the difference. That will feel hard. If I were you I would use the time between then and now cutting back as much as possible so that you can save as much as possible and give yourselves a bit of a cushion.

Congratulations on your baby BTW.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:52:44

The OP is 18, so I'm not surprised she doesn't know about bills.

We pay:

Council Tax/Water
TV Licence
Home Insurance
Food/Household stuff

Make a list like this. Then make a list for what money comes in.

Make an appointment with the CAB. They can tell you whatother money you are entitled to.

It's not easy.
I'm a single parent with no help from Ex at all.
I work full time and in a pub part time and I have a lodger to help make ends meet.
You will cope because you have to basically.
I have an excel spreadsheet showing all incomings and outgoings and what I have left to spend etc...
Works well for me.
Congrats by the way and I hope it all goes well.

Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:53:31

CheeseFondueRocks one place we had a viewing for yesterday evening said they were in council tax band A so we would pay about £100 per month
I think that's what it is.. Overwhelming. The shock of finding out I was pregnant and now having to find somewhere to live etc

Beachbum48 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:54:15

We live off 2k pm with two LO our rent is 1150 pm (in SE obviously). Basic bills take us to 1600 (no insulation) and that leaves 430 for food and petrol. We don't buy anything extra basically. If you have to do it you do. You sound like you will be at least 450 better of than us so don't fret!

I'm sorry sad There is no other answer then listing your income and outgoings (don't forget things like car insurance, upkeep, tax) and then seeing where you can make cuts if needed.

OhDearNigel Thu 18-Jul-13 14:56:16

We are on good salaries for our main jobs but it doesn't go far down here in Sussex. To bring in extra money:

DH does work for a hot air balloon company doing crewing
DH does gardening for 3 old dears
I work 14 hours per week at a hotel on top of my 30 hours at work
I run a cake decorating business (used to be a patissier)

We take in foreign students, grow our own veg & fruit - all from seed from poundland. Flowers for the garden are raised from seed. We are very tight on stuff that doesn't really matter to us (loo roll for example) which allows us to spend more on nicer stuff. We just moved house and got all the new furniture we needed on ebay. For the grand total of £391.99 we got a dining table/6 chairs, 2 kitchen stools, 2 floor lamps, 2 wing armchairs, a large bookcase, 5 single beds and a tumble dryer. They are all in really nice condition as well. We buy the majority of our food in the reduced counter and I don't buy anything branded unless it's cheaper. I love Poundland.

We are about to get some chickens - we're getting rescues so they hardly cost anything and will be renovating a garden shed rather than buy a coop.

Basically we have a nice life on a shoestring because we buy secondhand, trade stuff and make do with what we have as much as possible. The rest of it we work like dogs to earn.

Although I have to say I don't think it sounds too bad. let's say £700 pm for rent and council tax. That leave £1300 for everything else!

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

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 can be done.

Don't buy a new pram though, even if parents are 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, 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.
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

Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 17:06:45

Oh god I'd completely forgotten about managing after ML finishes. We've got grandparents who are willing to look after baby for us so if I have to go back to work then at least I've got child care covered.
I was looking into doing a uni degree - I'd get full loans and a grant which would cover us a bit as well, and more employability by the time I'd finished, which would fit in with baby starting school.

maternitart Thu 18-Jul-13 17:36:50

All our bills incl food, petrol etc but not mobile phones come to £1600. That's including a mortgage of £950. We don't eat much meat or fish which means our weekly shop is about £45.

All baby stuff we get 2nd hand.

Bumpotato Thu 18-Jul-13 17:53:36

Good luck. I think by the sounds of it you'll manage fine.

We had our kids late when we were set up. The m

Bumpotato Thu 18-Jul-13 17:55:50

Feck hit post too soon

Was going to say the minute we had our first I wished we hadn't waited. All things being equal, you will have your child(ren) in your life much longer than I'll have my girls in mine. And that is priceless.

Nottalotta Thu 18-Jul-13 17:58:13

It can be a huge shock when you first move out. Save as much as you can now so you have a small 'cushion' of money in the bank.

Agree you need to list all outgoings which your IL can help you with. I find friends spend a LOT more than me on heating because they have it so warm all the time whereas i put on a fleece and extra socks and have hot water bottle....(may not aplly with new born!)

Aldi is your friend. I can spend £120 a week on shopping in tesco for two of us, £60 max in aldi including wine!! Apparently their nappies are better than pampers

Good luck!

Nottalotta Thu 18-Jul-13 18:13:09

Also, there are things that you can easily do without. We have no sky, no landline, no computor, no internet at home. I have a smartphone on contract which we use for all calls and internet, husband has an aged pay as you go. People can't believe this when i tell them.....

I earn 30k and come out with less than 2k after tax

LessMissAbs Thu 18-Jul-13 18:24:55

Most people know (and admittedly it is a limited demographic in that its people I went to university with or who worked with dh or I, or who do the same sports as us) earn more than you do, save up til early thirties, buy cheap cars outright, not on finance, or dont have cars, and only then start planning a family.

maddening Thu 18-Jul-13 18:26:12

Can you stay with parents a bit longer and save up? Have you been saving so far?

maddening Thu 18-Jul-13 18:27:01

Also can you increase your hours for now?

peteypiranha Thu 18-Jul-13 18:28:17

We earn that and live down South in mortgaged property, and tbh we have a lot of cash to spend a month. Its easily doable on 2k

Nottalotta Thu 18-Jul-13 18:31:12

I would agree that you need to ditch the car. I drive an 04 rover. Cost me £1200 a couple of years ago,.excellent condition, low mileage, cheap to run and so basic that its cheap to fix too.

peteypiranha Thu 18-Jul-13 18:33:29

kitsmummy- She wont have to give up work she can get a large chunk of her childcare paid for her.

KittyVonCatsworth Thu 18-Jul-13 18:35:21

And for the record, now my DD is all grown up and having dispensable cash, is lovely. A lot of my friends are doing kids now and are still struggling. My income now allows me to support DD longer IMO.

Go for it, study where you can, and be the success story xxxx

arethereanyleftatall Thu 18-Jul-13 18:51:37

I would start putting aside as much as you can now as you're very lucky with your current outgoings. At least £1k a month so you'll have £7k saved .

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 19:01:57

Most people know (and admittedly it is a limited demographic in that its people I went to university with or who worked with dh or I, or who do the same sports as us) earn more than you do, save up til early thirties, buy cheap cars outright, not on finance, or dont have cars, and only then start planning a family.

How is this post helpful at all? The OP said that this wasn't her original plan. Accidents happen, she's taking responsibility. Let's try and give her constructive advice.

BergholtStuttleyJohnson Thu 18-Jul-13 19:18:50

Me and dh pay 550 rent and have about 1400 income per month. We don't consider ourselves really poor, we have no savings but manage to run a car and feed and clothe ourselves and two children. We don't buy things we don't need and we don't go for expensive days ir nights out.
Every purchase is discussed and okayed by the other, we shop at lidl, buy cheap clothes and only replace them when worn out (I've had primark stuff last years). If we get a takeaway we cook the rice ourselves and one main between us. We didn't buy expensive baby stuff apart from the car seats (they were 100 but are birth to four ones). I walk everywhere I can and go and we don't have holidays. We also don't drink alcohol.
I think we manage fine, have a reasonable standard of living and do not feel deprived. We would like more money, a better car and a bigger house but they're not essential and we live within our means. You can easily manage on what you have if you budget properly and adjust your expectations.

BergholtStuttleyJohnson Thu 18-Jul-13 19:21:52

sorry about the typo's. I'm on my phone and don't know how to use it properly. Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way.

RoxyFox211 Thu 18-Jul-13 19:22:06

shock would love your income! We manage on 11,000 a year, although it's a boring slog I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 22:09:00

Thank you everyone for your words of wisdom, I'm feeling a lot more confident now after speaking to people who've managed on the same or less money.
Oh and LessMissAbs... We didn't plan a family, I missed a pill and I fell pregnant accidentally. Yes I made a mistake, yes I should have been more careful. But it is what it is, and it's not the baby's fault, and my priority is being able to give my child the best life possible regardless of my age or circumstances. I will better myself for the sake of my child, and I'm going to make sure that me and DP do everything we can to give this baby the best life possible. And trust me, this may not have been a planned baby but it is very much a wanted baby.

musicposy Thu 18-Jul-13 22:19:58

You'll be fine. We earn the same or a bit less than you and manage and I'm supporting two teenagers who have expensive ballet lessons and the odd tutor. It's been quite tough their whole childhoods, but people manage on less than us!
You will have to economise and sacrifice stuff you might want for yourself so you can provide for the baby. We don't have clothes except absolute essentials, or meals out, or holidays except for the odd bit of camping. The house is falling apart a bit and we drive one old cheap banger. We have some debt which is the only part that worries me, but a few years ago we just couldn't make the money stretch to the end of each month. I don't spend anything really without it being a joint decision, me or DH, because we can't afford to fritter.
But you will do it. Just keep a very careful track of your outgoings.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 18-Jul-13 22:24:50

Dont let anyone define you by your age.My best friends had babies at your age.they brought their children up with people judging their parenting abilities yet ive seen 30 year olds with less of a clue than them.Being younger parents only made them more determined to get their lives to the points they are in now.They both got the kids to school age and worked their way through uni and now have fantastic lives ahead of them.Im so proud to say theyre my friends and those two kids want for absolutely nothing.

Twattybollocks Thu 18-Jul-13 22:40:10

Congrats on the baby :0)
Do buy second hand baby stuff where possible (except cot mattress and car seat) there are loads of bargains on eBay, especially prams or pushchairs. Lots of people buy something, use it for 2 weeks then realise it doesn't fit in their car/doesn't suit their needs and then sell it for half or less than what they paid for it. Also, swings, bouncers, baths, baby monitors, furniture is often found very cheap. I paid £50 for my second daughters nursery furniture, it was solid pine, I got cot, wardrobe and chest of drawers and all they needed was a sand and revarnish. Likewise £80 baby monitor for £20, £120 jumperoo for £30 etc etc.

Itsnotahoover Thu 18-Jul-13 22:58:29

My rent is £475
Council tax £87
Water £24
Gas & Electric £120
TV licence £10
Contents Insurance £7
Phone/Internet £40
So £763 for the basics...

Car insurance £27
Tax/MOT/servicing etc £30
Diesel £60
Breakdown cover £4
Pet insurance £10
Grocery shopping £160
Dog food £15
School dinners sometimes £16
Football for ds £25
£347 for everything else, so £1110 in total per month.

I earn £900 over several part time jobs, then get £333 per month in tax credits and £80 odd in child benefit, so have approximately £50 a week "spare". This gets saved for holidays, days out, spent on clothes, school trips etc. We live very modestly but I work 7 days a week so not really much else I can do!!

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 18-Jul-13 23:08:03

I'd recommend seeing if you can get baby equipment second hand. Check out whether there are going to be any NCT sales near you or, better still, head off to a car boot sale. That's where I flogged all my baby stuff (pushchair, highchair, etc.). Also don't get caught up in the hype about what you need. A lot of it is nice but unnecessary - you don't really need most of it. And keep what you do have in good nick. That way you can sell it on yourself and raise cash for the next thing you need.

LessMissAbs Thu 18-Jul-13 23:08:48

How is this post helpful at all? The OP said that this wasn't her original plan. Accidents happen, she's taking responsibility. Let's try and give her constructive advice

I read the title on my mobile and replied to the question it asked. I admit I'm not in a position to give the OP very constructive advice, except that at age 18 if her main ambition in life is to be a SAHM, her financial position is unlikely to improve much in the years to come. Excuse me if I have read this wrongly as I'm currently unable to scroll back through all the posts.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 18-Jul-13 23:10:35

For example, the baby monitor I bought was possibly the biggest waste of money ever. I used it, maybe, twice. I do have ears afterall!

Nagoo Thu 18-Jul-13 23:13:38

When I was pg they gave me a book thing with loads of budgeting advice in it smile you will manage, you are planning already.

Best of luck! thanks

LimitedEditionLady Thu 18-Jul-13 23:59:44

Lessmissabs that post read to myself that you were being negative.Im sure Holly knows what she aims for.

LimitedEditionLady Fri 19-Jul-13 00:02:50

And when did she say her main ambition in life is to be a SAHM?Im going to judge you now,yeah shes going to be a mum,doesnt mean she cant ever be anything else if she so chooses.

LessMissAbs Fri 19-Jul-13 00:16:22

It was the bit where the OP wrote Really want to be a SAHM but we will see how we are with finances. Excuse my wondering how that fits in with wondering "how people afford to live".

Holly94 Fri 19-Jul-13 07:38:02

I said that because if money allows us to - say if we were in a better financial situation in a year - then I would like to stay at home to look after my baby instead of going out to work. It is not my main ambition in life at all, I was all ready to go to university, I had places at several very good universities for a competitive degree, and then I fell pregnant, which, like I said was an accident. So no, my main ambition in life is not to be a SAHM but as I don't like the thought of leaving a child under the age of 4 in someone else's care all day everyday - I appreciate a lot of people have to do this, and if we can't afford it then I will obviously go back to work. What's so wrong about wanting to stay at home to look after my child? I still plan to go to university and get a degree, just my life will be lived a different way round to other people's.

MadBusLady Fri 19-Jul-13 08:09:28

Ignore LessMissAbs, I only ever seem to see her being objectionable.

There are positive advantages to doing it this way round, I'd say. Your options on university might end up being limited geographically, but you'll come to it as a mature person and probably make better use of your time and get a better degree than the people who are still essentially school kids in their heads. smile

I do think your DP needs to look at ditching/downgrading the car though. That's a helluva chunk of your monthly outgoings. Car finance is one of the most expensive kinds of loan there is.

Good luck!

samandi Fri 19-Jul-13 08:28:32

Lots of people don't pay £200 per month for a car or have "other outgoings". £180 a month rent ... good lord

samandi Fri 19-Jul-13 08:30:40

Actually, I take that back. I can think of a few people I know who do this (car finance). A few years ago I didn't know anyone, everyone either had their own car bought outright or didn't have one. Our car cost a few hundred quid to buy so I find it astonishing that people pay the same every month and then plead poverty ...

Holly94 Fri 19-Jul-13 08:34:11

MadBusLady there's no way the car could be ditched, he has no other way of getting to work and he also runs a canvas printing business on the side which means he needs the car to deliver them.
He's been looking at changing to a cheaper, more fuel-efficient car though and downgrading his finance payments so he pays less but over a longer period.
Samandi the car was bought before he even met me, by 'other outgoings' I mean his petrol to get to work, etc. We are lucky to pay £180 a month rent - his parents have done it so we can save, and I wouldn't expect to live there for free. A lot of helpful comments on this thread so thank you everyone. Do wish the odd person who has nothing constructive to contribute wouldn't say anything at all though!

Holly94 Fri 19-Jul-13 08:35:42

We're not 'pleading poverty' I have made this thread and have included the car payments in the money that has to be paid out each month.

Fairylea Fri 19-Jul-13 08:37:14

You'll be ok. I second living at home as long as possible and saving as much as you can.

Our incomings / outgoings are as follows -
Dh £1000 a month (I am a sahm)
Tax credits £144 a week
Child benefit 2 children £134 a month
Child maintenance from my ex for dd £200 a month

Mortgage £400 (we are lucky enough to own half our house already from a high income job I used to have)

Including mortgage rest of bills combined is about £950 a month.

We put £100 into savings.

We have a very old car that cost us £900 about 3 years ago smile it goes, that's all that matters smile

We split whatever is left over between us to spend equally.

With the baby buy as much as you can from eBay or gumtree. Especially clothes..they grow so fast!

Ds is now 13 months and is in age 2 clothing!

Holly94 Fri 19-Jul-13 08:40:05

Thank you Fairylea! Both sets of parents have told us not to bother buying clothes for now as they'll sort that out, and my mum is helping out with the pram so we just need a cot, Moses basket, baby bath etc.. Been doing some sale shopping and will be looking on gumtree, eBay etc too smile

Fairylea Fri 19-Jul-13 08:59:15

If you can get the cot by your bed I really wouldn't bother with a Moses basket... in my experience babies grow out of them so fast and none of mine ever settled well in them (I've also fostered babies).

If you get a bouncy chair that vibrates as well as reclines quite well you'll get more use out of that for longer and the baby will be able to nap in it during the day. Fisher price jungle friends is a very good one.

As they get older they will nap in the cot anyway (hopefully!) smile

Also don't worry about what anyone says about being a sahm ... I had dd when I was quite young, I sahm'd for abit, then went back to college, then had a career for a bit, then had ds many years later then now I wanted a break so I'm a sahm again. Life is very long and when you have dc young you have plenty of time. Don't panic.

AnotherStitchInTime Fri 19-Jul-13 09:08:51

I wouldn't bother with the moses basket either, the grow out of them so quickly. We have a cot bed which goes from birth to age 4.

formicadinosaur Fri 19-Jul-13 10:21:39

I quickly realised that pre kids we flittered our money away a little. I expect you are doing he same. We are more careful now. Lots of items are second hand and I do home haircuts. We have no loans on cars as we bought something very basic but reliable. We don't own lots of gadgets, only one or two. We have quite a nice life in a nice area but it isn't extravagant

Living at home on 29k you must have saved loads of money. You could probably even have hAd a house deposit saved if motivated.

formicadinosaur Fri 19-Jul-13 10:32:17

I see you are a teen and so it must be all new to you. 27k per year is a lot when living at home. 17k if you are to be a SAHM will be tricky but it just takes some thought and planning. Don't be lulled into thinking you need lots of things to keep up with technology or things for the baby. Keep if simple.

LimitedEditionLady Fri 19-Jul-13 11:17:13

I think moses baskets dont last either i had a 10lb baby and he had weeks in it!vibrating chairs are a lifesaver,

lljkk Fri 19-Jul-13 11:21:16

A thread asking people to share their 2k/month budgets, might help you see how to make it all work.

specialsubject Fri 19-Jul-13 11:37:29

second hand baby kit all the way. Pushchairs, cots etc go for cheap as chips because of the 'nothing but the best for my baby' crap. Baby clothes and kit from charity shops, plus you will probably get some presents.

Look at ending the car finance - more than your rent on a car is not sensible! Buy a £1000 cheapie which will do you fine.

no mobile internet - home broadband, £10 pay as you go phones. No wasting money on magazines, takeaways, clothes for adults, makeup etc etc.

if your baby is wanted that is all that matters.

elQuintoConyo Fri 19-Jul-13 16:38:36

Also look around for the NHS-led antenatal classes. The paid ones may be better (not sure, I'm not in UK). My classes were dull as fuck, I learnt more from What to Expect When You're Expecting and made only one friend sniff sniff I'm nice really plus the first or last hour, of a two-hour class, was lying on the floor 'relaxing'. At 9am I preferred relaxing at home!!
Obviously if you are nervous and unsure about some bits, find a class and ignore me! I'd have been naffing useless at 18!

GinOnTwoWheels Fri 19-Jul-13 19:44:40

Congrats OP.

Save as much money as you can now, while you are paying tiny rent.

When looking for your own place, if you find somewhere within walking/cycling distance of your DPs work, you could get rid of the car and save massively on car costs. Cars just eat money. How much is his insurance, assuming that he's a similar age to you?

Spend as little as possible on food out of the home, and things like mobile phones. It's possible to spend loads on these items and view them as necessaties, but really they're luxuries.

Could you both work part time to reduce the amount of paid child care needed?

Make sure you're getting all the benefits you are entitle to - you might get different types of tax credit, child benefit and help towards childcare if you pay for it.

Also check if there's anything extra to help student parents.

Is your DP on board with living within your means and how things will change when the baby comes along?

Draw up a budget and work out how much regular bills cost, then food, then saving for things like christmas and holidays and then how much is left over for 'fun'.

Don't borrow for every day living. If you can't pay off the credit card at the end of each month, don't have one.

If you're going to be a SAHM, if you can manage timewise, one thing that can really make a difference is if you also manage the family budget and make sure you are always get the best prices for gas/electric/insurances etc, and also meal plan and cook from scratch.

Look at It covers all aspects of getting the most from your money.

HTH and best wishes!

secondchances Sat 20-Jul-13 07:07:28

I strongly don't suggest weekly food shops! I can spend just over £100 on a monthly online shop for myself & dd. I freeze cooked meals to use again & it's saved me loads compared to going shopping every week.

Dilidali Sat 20-Jul-13 07:39:00

You will be fine.
The basic bills are

Council tax
TV licence

Set aside roughly £300 for this and make it direct debit, it is cheaper. BT gives you the option to pay line rental in one go, about £120 for the year, makes it much cheaper.

Insurance, MOT, service for the car and petrol are another expense you need to budget for. With my car I need about £500 a year, roughly, petrol on top, I spend about £150-200 a month on petrol. Add all your sums together then divide by 12 and see how much you need to set aside for this.

Food wise, we are 3 and I spend about £40 a week in Lidl and one shop in Sainsbury's for stuff I can't find in Lidl, about £60. I cook from scratch. The treats are mainly baked on a saturday afternoon, biscuits, cake etc. i found it helpful to menu plan and set days for certain ingredients, eg: tuesday egg night( eggrinmelette), friday pasta, monday rice etc. gives you a rough idea what to cook.

To give you an idea, twice a year I need about £150 for kid's clothes and shoes. I am not adverse to second hand so I buy a mix of sales and charity shops. Mine is a bit older, so she needs school shoes, boots, crocs, flipflops and trainers, once or twice a year, I never buy second hand shoes. I have a girl and often buy dresses that in a couple of years'time turn into t-shirts/tunics worn with leggings. Sometimes you'll find in sales things your child would be able to wear next year, buy it and write it in your diary for the appropriate month: she has winter jacket ! under October,for example, for a coat you bought last march, because of sales. Or: school shoes, under august, maybe july as well, so the expense doesn't catch you unexpectedly, gives you time to budget.
You'll be finesmile

marleebrodie Sat 20-Jul-13 07:59:12

Do you have to go into a private rent?
Any housing associations in your area?
Shared ownership schemes?
What is the local authority stock like?
Is it worth looking at other housing options as rent likely to be your biggest outgoing?
Congratulations by the way you sound really sensible and forward thinking will be fine.

ComposHat Sat 20-Jul-13 14:42:43

The car payment is a bog monthly outlay. How much is left to pay and could it then be traded in for something cheaper?

Holly94 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:50:31

DP has £5000 left on finance to pay. He's trying to change cars and lower the monthly payments.
Ditching the car just isn't an option. If we were to live near his work for him to cycle we'd pretty much be paying for city centre living - way beyond our budget. We're opting for lower rent to live a bit out the way so need the car for supermarket etc.
also what happens if baby is poorly or something? Will need a car for hospital/doctor runs. I am being investigated for lupus so have regular hospital appointments and would take a ridiculously long time to get there on public transport. Not nice when you have aching joints/feel rubbish in general sad so we want to keep the car.
We have applied for council accommodation so can 'bid' on houses when they come up smile
Put an offer in for a lovely, spacious 2 bed flat yesterday for 500 PCM.

ComposHat Sat 20-Jul-13 20:57:37

ouch that's a lot!

with insurance, tax and petrol be prepared for it taking a big chunk out of your budget. Coild the car be sold for more thsn the balace of the finance and leave enough to buy a cheap runaround?

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 20-Jul-13 21:59:08

You've had lots of good advice, and I don't have anything to add.

But just wanted to say you sound lovely - really mature and sensible, and I'm sure your baby will have the most fantastic parents. I hope it all goes well for you.

Holly94 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:01:37

Thank you MiddleAge

Compos we are looking into that. We've done a budget spreadsheet and included the car in that so know what we have to work with. Insurance isn't too much as DP is older than me and has been driving a few years. I don't drive and don't really have any intention as I've had tons of lessons, failed tests and just can't do it sad and its too much for me to keep practicing now.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 20-Jul-13 23:41:43

Look out for nearly new sales. The Nct run them every few months and you don't have to be a member to go. We've got some great clothes for DS from them and they sell equipment (pushchairs, highchairs, stair gates etc).

Buy clothes for baby from supermarkets. Not only are they cheap but they are actually really nice. The best currently is Sainsburys. They have some lovely baby gro's. Primark do 7 vests for £7. Seeing as in the first few months they'll only be sick on them there's no point spending a fortune.

Look on 'mum' websites, made for mums etc. local people to you will be selling stuff they want to get rid of. Try preloved and eBay too.

The only things you shouldn't buy second hand are car seats and mattresses.

Holly94 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:53:23

Pobble thanks I really want to buy second-hand! Are baby clothes bundles etc off gumtree and eBay any good? DP is being so funny about buying second hand it's doing my head in sad

AudrinaAdare Sun 21-Jul-13 00:22:07

Keep it simple. Boy or girl, they will spend 90% of the time in cotton vests and sleep-suits until they are quite old and walking and not napping during the day. I wouldn't want to sleep in waisted actual clothes so I certainly didn't think that my delicate-skinned babies would. One or two "proper" outfits per size is all that's needed.

I spent a fortune pre-having DD on all sorts of beautiful things but by the time she was a couple of months old I just went to the supermarket and bought a pack-of-three pretty pastel but utilitarian things she was comfortable in whenever she had ruined the last lot with milk / poo / food stains.

Baby socks and shoes are also a complete waste of money. They lose them and / or kick them off.

AudrinaAdare Sun 21-Jul-13 00:24:29

So no need to buy second-hand. Supermarket packs are very competitively priced and you'll be binning most of it in the first few months, believe me.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 21-Jul-13 00:34:59

I know this isn't a huge amount but I used to use cb money for nappies and milk. Any left over would go into baby money box tin. There was usually enough for new clothes, shoes when older etc.
Most brands were the cheapest, but once walking clarks really are the most economic footwear.
Washing powder tends to be cheaper as non bio.
My friend just got a huge bag of first baby clothes from charity shop, only £3.50 and will keep her going for ages.
I had second hand everything, but bought new mattress.
Car seats, really cheap from argos, buy the one that converts to a booster seat and you can do birth - 10/12 if you need it this long.
You will manage, I keep saying that babies don't cost anything much but nobody believes me. DS1, we were so skint I lined a drawer, it was well sanded and clean. My midwife was mega impressed.

Thisvehicleisreversing Sun 21-Jul-13 00:52:23

Me and DH have about the same income as you. We have 2 DS's and rent a £700 a month house. We manage ok. We do have to go without some things (holidays are 4 days in term time and never have expensive clothes and rarely go out)

You'll manage.

We look back at the time we struggled with our unexpected baby in a 1 bed house with next to no money fondly smile

It was the making of us.

poppingin1 Sun 21-Jul-13 01:08:53

Buy everything second hand! I buy all DD's clothes from ebay and I get fantastic quality stuff at great prices that way.Obviously make sure you buy from a seller with good feedback though as some people do scam on baby items which I have experienced, though it has not put me off. I love charity shops too! I just give everything a good wash and 'bob's your uncle!'

Kiddicare is amazing for prices and delivery.

My only major ongoing expenditure for my DD is her shoe's as I personally have problems with my feet so take foot health very seriously. You don't need baby shoe's till they are walking anyway as Audrina pointed out.

My DH was very fussy about buying second hand too until he saw that the items were really nice and genuine bargains. For example, I always buy lots of Baby Gap jeans for DD from Ebay and they are great! On average they cost me about a fiver a pair.

Freecycle is AMAZING!

When I was pregnant there was a lovely lady not far from me who gave away a breast pump, baby bottles, baby bath and various toys and other bits. I have even seen people giving away excess packs of nappies and clothes bundles.

When I'm done with my baby things I will be selling them on and giving things away too.

I do buy onesies and bodysuits new though as they go through a lot of wear. They are very cheap and quite good quality in places like ASDA. I find ASDA great for DD's clothing now she is older too.

poppingin1 Sun 21-Jul-13 01:10:31

And I also think you should ignore LessMissAbs hmm

Holly94 Sun 21-Jul-13 05:45:52

Some brilliant advice from everyone, thank you all so much.
Love the idea about using CB money for nappies then putting leftovers into tin for savings for clothes etc.
We've already been given a load of body suits etc from family/friends who decided to buy us a gift when they found out our news. Seen loads of cheap stuff in ASDA like you said too smile
Thank you thisvehicle I have confidence! Went to do a supermarket shop for first time last night to see how we got on and DP wanted silly stuff like spending £2.25 on a melon (made him get the 80p apples instead) and branded squash. We kept to own brand where possible and spent £25 which will cover our lunches for work this week, and our evening meals.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 21-Jul-13 07:57:22

£2.25 on a melon?! In Lidl they cost 69p!

You do need to make your DH realise how much things cost and how much you can save. I didn't buy from eBay no, I bought from supermarkets. All of DS's baby clothes were from Asda and tesco. I do know people that buy bundles from eBay though and haven't complained about them. To be honest I think supermarket clothes are as cheap. Look in charity shops too. They get given stuff that hasn't been worn.

Don't forget to budget for maternity clothes for you too.

lljkk Sun 21-Jul-13 08:11:48

NCT used to hire out maternity clothes for a pittance. second to that, their Nearly New sales (If one is in your area, typically September so that's handy) are a good place to pick up cheap maternity clothes.

Problem with Lidl melons, they tend to be rock hard and never ripen properly or so ripe that must be eaten within 24 hours.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 21-Jul-13 08:28:08

Oh and the other thing is, nappies. Asda Little Angels are brilliant as are their wipes. I've been told that Aldi nappies are good too. Look out for baby events at supermarkets and stock up.

Don't be surprised though that as your baby gets bigger and starts sleeping longer that your brand of nappy may change as they can start to leak. Nappies are a bit of a personal preference, what works for some won't work for others.

Join Boots for parenting points, they also send you vouchers and I think I got a free weaning kit or something. If you join Asda baby club you get a free box of wipes.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 21-Jul-13 08:29:51

lljkk I've never had that problem with Lidl melons. I've always found their fruit and veg cheap and good. Lidl ice cream is amazing.

Holly94 Sun 21-Jul-13 09:51:03

Yes I've told him we've got to be very careful and I want to try and keep our food costs when we move out as low as possible so we can put more money aside into our mortgage fund and baby.

We have a very similar household income to yours. Unfortunately we aren't entitled to tax credits, housing benefit etc as we are over the threshold (26k for one child) but we manage fine.

A few tips for you - save as much as you can before you go on maternity leave. Tax credits etc are calculated on household income for the whole tax year (April-March) so you won't necessarily be entitled to any help. We weren't even though my take home pay more than halved. Use the online calculators to work it out.

Asda and Aldi nappies are absolutely fine. No need to spend twice as much on Pampers. Same goes for clothes - don't spend loads because baby will grow so fast it's not worth it. Stock up on nappies whenever they are on offer, by the time you run out chances are they will be on offer again.

Do a spreadsheet of all your incomings and outgoings. See where you can cut back and if there are things you can go without. It's better to overestimate how much you pay on things than underestimate. Eg don't put down £50 a week for food if its not realistic because then you will leave yourself short at the end of the month.

Pay all important things as soon after payday as possible so you know exactly how much you have left over. I pay rent, council tax, utilities the day I get paid. It means there's not much left but I know that all the important things are covered.

If you have enough money to save then do a standing order each month to a separate savings account. If it's in your current account you might start dipping into it and before you know it it's gone.

Finally congratulations and enjoy your pregnancy. Try not to worry about it too much, it will all work out.

ComposHat Sun 21-Jul-13 10:44:44

I hope you don't think I'm being patronising but you comr across as incredibly mature and responsible for someone so young and really well organised. Try mot to worry too much!

Holly94 Sun 21-Jul-13 10:57:16

applepie my mat pay is also going to be half of what I bring in at the moment so we definitely need to save for that. On the plus side, I won't be paying transport to work everyday for however long I'm off work, so we will make a saving in that area. We keep all our savings in a special account for that to make sure we don't go into them. Sometimes we've needed to dip into them, for example the other week the car needed new tyres and a service unexpectedly due to a problem coming up, and we didn't have the cash available for it, but if we take some out one month we put more in the next to make it up again.

Thank you compos, no it doesn't sound patronising at all! Older people keep telling me 'oh you've got no idea how hard bringing up a child is going to be, you think it's all playing house now but it's going to hit you really hard when you have the baby' and I just think please just leave me alone and let me plan as much as I can so we don't have financial problems on top of everything else that will be going on in February!

lollystix Sun 21-Jul-13 11:06:31

Can I just add that Lidl nappies are amazing. I only discovered them on my 4th and then emigrated a few months later. But I order European nappies online on the other side of the world and they happen to be the Lidl ones so I am very happy. So cheap and really much better than the other major brands

Ps you don't need half the baby stuff the marketing companies tell you you do. Don't be proud- take all offers of second hand kit as you won't use it for long.

iheartshoes Sun 21-Jul-13 11:23:22

holly have you looked into doing your degree with the OU? Definitely worth looking at with a young baby. I never went to Uni and had my little girl at 25 started the degree just before I found out I was pregnant but have been able to carry on. You would get it all funded and my DD is 3 months old now and I do my studying evenings / when DH takes her out. There are some fantastic courses you can do and it would potentially mean you could be degree qualified by the time your LO starts school. This is what I am planning to do so helps with child care issue a bit as you wouldn't have to arrange child care for lectures etc. definitely worth a look. Good luck with it all .

Holly94 Sun 21-Jul-13 11:33:55

iheartshoes I have looked into that and can't decide between a 'classic university' or doing the OU. I know it's cheaper for childcare etc, do you struggle with not having a lecturer or anyone on hand to ask when you're stuck on something? Also could I ask what degree you're doing?

AudrinaAdare Sun 21-Jul-13 11:43:26

I used a cold water steriliser for DS' bits and breastpump. Just a cheap blue container made by Milton and some solution. Much easier on the electric bills and keeps things sterile unlike the whizz-bang Avent thing I used to have where are soon as you lift the lid to get out one bottle the whole lot needs doing again. Pointless! And I was always scalding myself in my sleepless state.

iheartshoes Sun 21-Jul-13 11:44:20

You are assigned a tutor for each module and there are tutorials once a month or so. You are given email
Addy and phone no for tutors who you can ask if you have any problems. Tutors are normally v helpful. There are chat rooms too where you can talk to other students. I love doing my studying I think of it as my "me" time. I'm doing a history degree. They are very understanding in terms of getting assignments done and if you need extensi

iheartshoes Sun 21-Jul-13 11:46:05

Extensions even. I was meant to sit an exam in June but wasn't able to due to dd arriving late and emergency c section throwing my revision plans out the window so they arranged for me to do a re sit this October. I would 100% recommend it. There are quite a few people on mumsnet doing OU degrees I think .

CheeseFondueRocks Sun 21-Jul-13 12:04:09

Another one here doing an OU degree while having young children at home. They are very helpful and flexible.

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