(83 Posts)
IknowImAnArse Fri 07-Feb-14 21:50:11

I am coming to the end of my maternity period with my second baby.

When working, I am a higher rate tax payer in greater london.

I can just about return to work when factoring in childcare costs, so basically I would earn £63 per month - full time. Husbands salary pays bills excluding food..just due to huge mortgage and a couple of hundred quid of existing debts.

It's all very jolly to say ah you are a partnership childcare costs should be split, however the opportunity cost of returning to work makes it pointless.

If I go back to work, I will be paying £22000 taxation for someone else to gain tax credits and
I presume have a greater level of disposable cash than me.

That really is an aside...

My real question is, am I being unreasonably to ask, does anyone else work for nothing (full time) for the future of your career, knowing that if you take 5 years out, your skills are obsolete?

How do you motivate yourself?

How do you not feel a little bit bitter?

JenBehavingBadly Fri 07-Feb-14 21:53:56

When I first went back to work after DD, DH was working for nothing - (if you go on single wage, our childcare and his transport costs were more than what he was earning.)

However, 3 years later, DD has nursery vouchers, he's earning more, I'm earning more and she'll be in school soon.

It's bloody hard. I really resented going back to work after my first DC where it was barely worthwhile, but it got better. I then resented going back after my second DC as it was barely worthwhile to have both of us working.

BUT I am glad I am still working. Things will change.

TheGreatHunt Fri 07-Feb-14 21:55:41

What childcare are you using??

You aren't paying tax to go straight out as tax credits. It's a contribution to society ffs.

Chippednailvarnish Fri 07-Feb-14 21:56:14

I don't but I have done - career wise stopping for me would have been very difficult to return if I had stopped.
It does get easier the old the DC's get...

Well if you work youll only have 63 per month for food. Presumably id you dont work you wont even have that

gordyslovesheep Fri 07-Feb-14 21:59:25

oh please - I am alone raising 3 kids - without tax credits I wouldn't be able to work - and while they where young and I was married and working I received nothing and paid for childcare myself

not once did I begrudge other people getting help - you have a 'huge mortgage' - your choice

marmitecat Fri 07-Feb-14 21:59:37

I remember the crippling cost of having two kids in nursery. I extended my maternity leave with my youngest to cover the period until the older one started school. Presumably your eldest will be 3 soonish and you'll have a bit more change after paying for childcare.

Have you considered part time or job share or changingjobs?

Whatnamenext Fri 07-Feb-14 21:59:42

I'm in an industry seeing people returning to work after 5 years out. It ain't pretty. I'm 2 grades higher (having gone back early). Our choices and paths ahead are very different.

Not saying it's right but I can really see how playing the long game pays off.

Your childcare is £3800 a month? That seems steep

Chippednailvarnish Fri 07-Feb-14 22:01:15

I'm with What on this - you need to think about the position you will be in after 5 years.

Worriedkat Fri 07-Feb-14 22:01:49

Yes I did, nothing left after nursery and petrol once DC3 was in nursery. I was glad to remain employed and still be an adult in my own right, which I felt I had lost after having DC3. It was quite an easy role and the social aspect, peaceful lunches etc made it worth it.

After a year or so I got a better role that I never would have got otherwise, DC 3's government funding started and it was well worth it once again.

My roles were part time though, can you drop a day? Wouldn't make much of a dent in your £63?

macdoodle Fri 07-Feb-14 22:02:04

Ummm I thought tax paid for things like school, health, roads, utilities etc etc so yes YABU. You could have worded your OP better.

wonderingsoul Fri 07-Feb-14 22:03:13

get a different child care? a nanny? childminder are normaly cheaper than nursery.

Daykin Fri 07-Feb-14 22:03:23

I didn't. My career is fucked, as is my earning potential. I would not make the same mistake again.

If you are paying £22K in tax, doesn't that mean you are on about £65K? Even with travel costs, pension contributions etc. it seems like a hell of a lot left over to only have £63 after childcare.

maddening Fri 07-Feb-14 22:05:40

could you go interest only on the mortgage for a year?

Worriedkat Fri 07-Feb-14 22:09:54

Actually one of the difficult aspects was trying to explain to older generations that I didn't actually earn any money to pay for anything other than childcare and travel . Playing the long game was beyond most peoples understanding as the issue didn't exist in their day.

MichaelFinnigan Fri 07-Feb-14 22:10:01

Yes, of course. You have to take a long term view

poppyrosefairy Fri 07-Feb-14 22:11:22

YANBU but it won't be viewed sympathetically here.

ceeveebee Fri 07-Feb-14 22:14:01

Putting aside the incredibly selfish comment about tax credits, to answer your question, I would try to work at least part time in order to keep your skills up to date. At age 3 childcare costs should decrease.
Also look at your current arrangements - would a nanny be cheaper? Can you stagger mornings or evenings with DH so that you need fewer overall hours of childcare? £3800 pm seems a lot for childcare - full time live-out nanny is a lot less than that - live in would save some more.

You stop feeling bitter by recognising that it was your choices that led to this situation. You are not some passive participant that all these things just randomly happened to. You chose to have a huge mortgage, you chose to have two young children, and all this in a city with high transport and childcare costs.

Yes, it sucks massively, but in the long term you know you will be better off. That's your motivation.

I also don't understand your math though.

maparole Fri 07-Feb-14 22:23:17

Be grateful you are not one of the rising number of people depending upon food banks just to survive. Be grateful you have a decent marriage, 2 healthy children, a roof over your head and a career.

MostWicked Fri 07-Feb-14 22:30:20

I don't understand how you can be left with only £63 per month

It's only short term anyway so I don't really think you have anything to complain about.

IknowImAnArse Fri 07-Feb-14 22:58:37

Ok, thanks all for valid points. Some really interesting viewpoints. If I could work PT in my field I would!

I don't mean to say that I am directly paying for anyone else tax credits directly, my flippant terminology.

Really very little part time opportunities, to the extent that in the last tow years I have come across only a handful of jobs in my field actually cover childcare costs. My expertise is in finance.

Currently, salary in the mid fifties, travel, SL, pension, £2.6k childcare in nursery fees, Slight typo on tax..but nonetheless...

I can do other stuff such as work Ina supermarket or be a waitress so I can do it around the family. I just think I will have no chance at getting back into a role at my current level and it upsets me.

Sorry to vent..I just wish i could make a couple of quid whilst the boys were young.

foslady Fri 07-Feb-14 23:08:14

God, I wish I had your worry. Taxed at £22k? I'd love to EARN that. let alone be taxed it. Dd's dad left when she was 6. Without my tax credits (and yes I AM working FT) I would loose my home (mortgaged, v small and less than renting and it's a 2 bed, same as HB would pay). Prior to dd being born I earned (for the area) a good wage. 11 years later I'm still not earning what I did then. And why? Because he's now xh and the plan of 'It's ok, my pension will be enough for us both to retire on' walked out the door with him.
If I rented, I would be entitled to a payment towards my rent. That would be to pay someone else's mortgage. So what would you rather do - keep me able to keep some form of stability for my dd or pay someone's investment mortgage???
Your life will change in a few years as your children get to school. I am stuck right now, and YES I have tried again and again to change my position. Be grateful for what you have.

IknowImAnArse Fri 07-Feb-14 23:08:44

Thanks ladies...perhaps I should keep looking for PT roles, maybe look for a Pt evening role as well to make ends meet in the interim and see if nursery maybe give me a deal! I don't really want to be in the position Ina. Few years when the boys are in school that I have to start again!

Worriedkat Fri 07-Feb-14 23:09:48

Look into a childminder? Got to be cheaper than £2.6k?

What kind of finance wouldn't work part time? Have you requested flexible working, what would your employer say? Agency work?

IknowImAnArse Fri 07-Feb-14 23:12:56

I am sorry for your struggles too foslady...I really don't want to appear flippant, and I appreciate more so now that I should be grateful for my position.

RandomMess Fri 07-Feb-14 23:14:09

Nanny Share or childminder? Yes it is worth it - you have to look at the costs over the rest of your career earning potential not just those few years.

Can your DH reduce his hours at all?

ceeveebee Fri 07-Feb-14 23:15:15

If you earn mid-fifties you should be coming out with £3.2k a month so how do you get to £63 from that?
I was in finance and went back 3 days a week. Have you discussed potential of PT working with your employer?
You'll get early years funding when your oldest turns 3 which can't be that far off?

SeaSickSal Fri 07-Feb-14 23:18:35

Get an accountant. I'm sure they'll be able to work out some ways to claim some of it back, particularly against childcare and travel. Have you looked at childcare vouchers? They give you tax relief on £243 a month.

I don't think your problem is more to do with your pre-existing debt than tax. Can you figure out a way of reducing payments on that? Maybe a lower interest loan? Or could you just pay the minimum until they are old enough for nursery vouchers.

You could look at moving to a cheaper house short term, perhaps renting somewhere cheaper and letting your place.

Have you looked at the option of a childminder instead of nursery? They are a lot cheaper.

itsbetterthanabox Fri 07-Feb-14 23:19:22

I'm a bit confused by this. Would you not go back to a very similar job? So why would that be a negative impact.

Wantsunshine Fri 07-Feb-14 23:23:25

YANBU It is soul destroying when you pay that much tax and pay for everything. The stress of going back and getting nothing for it except the vein hope that it will be good long term. Feel for you.

If you earn in the mid 50s you'll be paying around 16.5k tax. More than a typo to leap from that to 22k

BackforGood Fri 07-Feb-14 23:28:16

I too am a bit confused by your figures. Can't work out how someone on £55,000 ish is left with just £63 a month when only paying for childcare and travel.
However, without knowing exactly how old your older dc is, this paying for FT childcare for two is only going to be a very short term thing, before you can at least take the 15hrs a week off once 3, and then the school hours off once they turn 4 and go into school.
Of course it's worth doing the job for that year or so without seemingly earning anything for yourself, in order to maintain your position for the next 40 years or however long you are likely to be working. The maths is easy. The emotions may be different, but purely on a financial level, it's a no brainer- of course it makes sense to go back.

IknowImAnArse Fri 07-Feb-14 23:28:56

Pension, travel, student loan makes it more £2.6...

If only I could work PT. It is my dream!!!!!

EYFmakes about £120 difference PCM so that will kick in in September.

Wantsunshine Fri 07-Feb-14 23:32:56

Ceeveebee £3.2k take home is more like a £65k salary by the time you have pension and car tax

IknowImAnArse Fri 07-Feb-14 23:36:50

So back for good, is it school hours the September after they turn 4? That will help!

IknowImAnArse Fri 07-Feb-14 23:39:31

5% pension
£243 childcare vouchers
Net £2.6k inclusive of £243..
Childcare costs £2,5k
Transport £200pcm

Go figure..

PhilomenaCunk Fri 07-Feb-14 23:39:44

My DH theoretically worked for less than nothing but we viewed it as money out of our overall budget. It's worked as he has been promoted twice in two years and increased his salary by about 35 percent. It's really bloody hard but we've got through, just. Eldest has now started school and youngest will get some funding in September. We will be substantially better off in 18 months when she starts school.

There are many people worse off than us but I look back at the sacrifices my parents made for us and although it's tough and stressful, it's not much different and it will eventually get easier.

SaucyJack Fri 07-Feb-14 23:46:17

Can you really not find decent childcare for less than 2.5k a month?

PhilomenaCunk Fri 07-Feb-14 23:50:47

Also, op are you double counting child care costs. Your 243pounds (and presumably your dh's) should be taken off your total child care costs. Also, they are paid out of gross pay, not net pay so should only cost you £180 ish?

BackforGood Fri 07-Feb-14 23:51:43

YEs, in England and Wales children start school in the September after their 4th birthday (slightly different rules apply in Scotland, I'm not sure about NI)

ceeveebee Sat 08-Feb-14 00:00:21

Ok - can see how it gets down to £2.6k with pension and season ticket.

Can easily understand how childcare can be £2.5k a month - round here its £75 per day for nursery per child, marginally less for a childminder. We have a nanny instead which for 2 preschoolers is cheaper (and has lots of other benefits too)

If have any intention of remortgaging in next 5 years (eg fixed rate deal coming to an end) then don't give up work unless your DHs salary can support your huge mortgage on its own. We struggled to remortgage because I had taken a 40% salary cut on going part time - without my salary we would not have been able to remortgage.

MrChow Sat 08-Feb-14 00:02:54

2.6k a month on childcare ������������

MrChow Sat 08-Feb-14 00:03:09


FudgefaceMcZ Sat 08-Feb-14 00:11:19

I don't see how you can feel bitter when you admit you are in part paying off large debts (which poor people on tax credits can't afford to get into in the first place, so don't) and had two children so close together that you get no free nursery hours for either (which again, poor people on tax credits usually space their children sensibly so they can afford childcare).

On £54k you definitely aren't paying £22k tax. More like £15k. After that, you still have a pretty big wage left over, more than enough for your childcare and transport plus £63. says £3190 a month, so subtract your £2600 (not even taking nursery vouchers into consideration), and you have £590 a month, since you say your husband covers all other costs. Take off your transport and that's still £390. That's plenty given that you aren't paying any costs other than food, you say yourself. Most people on tax credits have less than £590 to cover all of their bills, and in many cases don't have a rich husband to cover it!

How on earth are you paid so much in what really must be a non-numerate role?

Wantsunshine Sat 08-Feb-14 00:31:28

And people wonder why going on benefits is a bad idea.

Wantsunshine Sat 08-Feb-14 00:34:16

You would have more disposable income as a single parent, housing paid for, no stress working, no communing costs, get to stay at home with your children.

IknowImAnArse Sat 08-Feb-14 00:34:31

Fudge face really?

IknowImAnArse Sat 08-Feb-14 00:41:27 I suppose I should have made my original post different. It's all a bit new his mumsnet thing.

I should have had one post along the lines of : anyone work full time for very little net pay, how does it feel, how do you cope, how do you feel enthusiastic working a 70 hour week for buttons. Have your overall prospects been better do you think than if you had returned to work pT and had time with your children given that the financial side.

IknowImAnArse Sat 08-Feb-14 00:42:59

Given that the financial side is not your determining factor for a finite period whilst childcare costs are so high?

Worriedkat Sat 08-Feb-14 07:06:26

I have worked part time in finance for years, qualified roles for about 30k pro rata outside of London. We have just recruited a part time FD on nearly 60k pro rata. If you're in a good role with a good employer the part time aspect wouldn't hold you back, worst case scenario you might tread water for a few years until you can pick up the full time pace again. Much preferable to giving up altogether and being a SAHM, did that for a few years as we'll and it was much harder to get back into employment than I had thought it would be.

TheGreatHunt Sat 08-Feb-14 07:43:22

Please tell me again what is your childcare? How many children? Two in nursery for 2.6k?!

I'm in London and have two dc with a nanny and it is cheaper than that - at around 1,8k a month. So I suggest you find new childcare.

What exactly do you do in finance? I'm an accountant (auditor) and work 4 days a week. There are plenty of financial controller/head of finance roles which are part time.
Plus, as many men I know have done, you could apply for a full time role and negotiate part time hours.

bakingtins Sat 08-Feb-14 07:56:24

As a higher rate taxpayer can you not use the salary sacrifice schemes for nursery vouchers which will reduce your effective childcare costs? Plus as others have said soon your older child will get some government funded hours. Any way to remortgage or downsize to reduce outgoings? Look at other childcare options - might a nanny-share be cheaper?
I think you are fortunate to be in the position where you have choices and a career. You need to take the long view that maintaining or improving your position at work will benefit you once your kids are at school.

CalmaLlamaDown Sat 08-Feb-14 08:01:31

In my experience it was short term pain for long term gain. Went back to work when DS was 9 months so very little or no financial gain on being SAHM at that stage, BUT it did allow me to call the shots a few years down the line re my working hours. I now do 9 - 2.30 so work around the school run and I love it. This wouldn't have been possible if I'd had a career break of 4 or 5 years. Hope you work something out to find that happy medium.

BirthdayMuppet Sat 08-Feb-14 08:07:43

In terms of my feelings about it, well, in the end I couldn't do it. I was in almost exactly your position - salary mid forties for four days, two kids, great prospects if I went back, 300 travel a month, 1,200 childcare a month (minus vouchers), but god I hated that job and missed my kids. It was never working for buttons though, but that still didn't make the emotional side any better. I lasted six months then had a bit of a break down. I took a three year career break till my youngest went to school but by then I knew I didn't want to go back at all. And two years after that it's still the right decision for me. But there are costs: I've lost a certain sense of self beyond the children, I'll almost certainly never work at that level again, we've halved or family income and even minus childcare and travel that's a big big difference to our budget. Looking back I'd just say make very very sure it would be the right decision for you. Your childcare cost estimates do seem excessive - I too was in the South East and we still came in at under half your figures. You'll have a Damn sight more than £63 left over, that's for sure.

MellowAutumn Sat 08-Feb-14 08:23:49

One does wonder for someone earning that amount in finance just how you can be quite so crap at finances ;) So many ways suggested to make this work for you instead of crying poor me.

GingerMaman Sat 08-Feb-14 08:28:54

I will be going back for nothing, in fact will be dependent on DH, but I know that if I don't oh back now and of what I need to do, I'll never get the chance later. So I suppose it's for the longer term benefit.

However, I am going back part time. And if it gets too stressful, I will probably call it a day - it wasn't meant to be.

Joysmum Sat 08-Feb-14 08:37:47

Your choosing to invest in your future by having the massive mortgage.

If you gave up work, it's not just the wage you give up on, it the lack of promotion opportunities. Worse than that, when you do go back you go back at a ladder level then you are now and your career has gone backwards.

You also lose out on pension and a sense of self as society, and you, see you as just a wife and mum, many see you as unemployed!

Being a 'kept woman' isn't the easy life people think it is hat from the things I've written above.

Carriemac Sat 08-Feb-14 08:42:01

I really understand how you feel OP. I remember it well.
It's crap getting out of bed early in the morning ad dropping kids to nursery for so little reward. And I did resent all the tax I paid, rewarding society for my hard work, whereas if you are a SAHM society rewards you. And to say that on MN is taboo, because of all the people on tax credits etc who are so touchy about any hint that anyone else is subsidising them.
The best solution for me was to go part time, 4 days per week, just made it all more bearable. I'm now a couple of grades higher than the ones in my career who did SAHM , and my salary and pension pot reflect this and make it worth it.

LittleBearPad Sat 08-Feb-14 08:46:28

You do it so that in five years time you have a job that uses your skills and you don't have a black hole on your CV.

A nanny would be cheaper for childcare for two.

How are you going to buy food with £63.

Ziplex Sat 08-Feb-14 08:50:16

80k to pay 22k in tax.
That is 50k after tax/NI, 4k plus a month take home, £200 per day.
I suppose if you figure child care/travel etc it wouldn't leave a lot.

BananaramaLlama Sat 08-Feb-14 08:56:17

"I did resent all the tax I paid, rewarding society for my hard work, whereas if you are a SAHM society rewards you"

Huh? How do you figure that out? As far as I know, SAHM don't get anything, financially speaking, that working parents don't get.....

BananaramaLlama Sat 08-Feb-14 08:57:04

Sorry, that quote from Carriemac

IknowImAnArse Sat 08-Feb-14 09:01:18

Thank you for all your points, it's really given me some food for thought.

Err, just to say I am exactly correct about my net position, however I made a mistake regarding tax. Other than that, finances are spot on - aside from finding cheaper childcare costs I can really see any viable solutions. I think it would be daft to stop paying mortgage in order to subsidise myself working for nothing. If we need the money that badly I shall get a job in a supermarket stacking shelves in the evening and then there will be no childcare costs.

I shall spend some time updating my CV and make more of a concerted effort to see if there are any part time roles available. I think I have now come to the conclusion that I want to work part time so I get the best of both worlds. I really want to be a viable prospect to an employer in 5 years time so I suppose I just need to grit my teeth for a few years.

Where we live a childminder is 6.50ph per child. I shall look into nannies and see if that will help the budget.

Thankyou all.

Caboodle Sat 08-Feb-14 09:03:04

Can we please avoid the 'I pay my tax and it goes to everyone else - poor me - it's unfair' thinking? Roads / schools / hospitals? It also implies that the person who is genuinely struggling on a very low wage can do without the little financial help they get.
Also, it isn't helpful to say to the OP ' you chose your huge house so huge mortgage'...this is the SE; I expect even a small house is expensive; ditto for transport.
OP - you will be working for your career and you have to ask yourself is it important to you? Also, you are paying a pension, be grateful you earn enough to even consider this. I went back to work (part-time) in part because I would have been a fool to pass up on my pension. I think you need to be a bit more pro-active - can you take a break from your mortgage? Opt out of pension or reduce payments on pension for a short period of time? Is it possible to freelance / work from home for some of the hours you work? Share a nanny / get a childminder?
And does look a bit daft if you say you work in finance but your maths doesn't (at first) appear to add up....

Caboodle Sat 08-Feb-14 09:04:14

Ha - after possibly my longest post ever appear to have X-posted...typical grin

You mention looking for a part time role, have you actually asked your current employer for flexible working? Or are you just assuming you will need to return to full time?

Also, does your DH claim childcare vouchers too? If so that's another £243 to deduct from your childcare costs that you're paying

dannydyerismydad Sat 08-Feb-14 09:21:38

Returning to work for me would only have been financially worthwhile if i had gone back full time, but for DH and I to both work full time with a 3 hour commute juggling childcare drop offs and pick ups would have been a logistical nightmare.

I don't regret being a SAHM, but don't fall into the trap that I did of thinking your childcare costs are zero if one parent stays at home. All the activities (and meals and snacks) that a nursery provides have to come out of your pocket. It's certainly cheaper than the £70 a day I would have paid to a nursery, but activities aren't always cheap.

I don't understand how you are going to survive actually
Your DH pays for everything other than food and childcare
Your salary covers childcare and you have £63 per month left over
Which presumably you'll spend on food ~£15 per week for the family


And how will going part time help? You obviously earn slightly more than childcare so PT will just mean that net difference is smaller

jenecho Sat 08-Feb-14 09:38:23

fudgeface her numeracy is fine, and she has explained all the deductions, you cant just use a mse calculator and think you know the ins and outs of someone's payslip.

I'm an accountant, earn 5k more than the op, and my net pay is only 2.8, after not only tax and ni, but student loan, pension and childcare vouchers. Oh and you are only allowed £124 as a higher rate taxpayer of ccv if you joined the scheme after they changed the rules.

op that being said, you need to look at the sl and pension deductions ( and ni i guess) as being a longer term investment. Although it is reducing your net benefit from going to work at the moment, you should take them out of the equation as irrelevant costs. Essentially the gain you make from going to work is £63 PLUS reduction in your student loan debt that will otherwise be earning interest, PLUS accruing pensions for the future, and of course the career benefits in the long term. Perhaps if you added those into the equation you would come up with a more palatable figure that would make you feel less bitter?

ceeveebee Sat 08-Feb-14 09:44:01

stealth is right - whether you give up work or not, you will not have enough money to buy food. So you need to look at ways of reducing your household bills (remortgage to consolidate debts?) and if you decide to go back to work, look at ways of reducing childcare eg get a nanny (live in if possible), suspend pension for a bit etc.

Surely they cannot survive on £60 per month for food?

FredFredGeorge Sat 08-Feb-14 11:20:58

YABVU Because you are completely ignoring the massive pension contributions you're making - you're choosing to save all that cash, and then moaning about not having any spare money.

Maybe if you'd thought more about not getting a completely inappropriate mortgage and other debts you wouldn't've got in this position.

jenecho Sat 08-Feb-14 11:49:00

stealth going part time might actually help, if she stopped being a higher rate taxpayer, which would probably happen if she went down to four days at c.£43k, given pension contributions aren't taxable and would push her under the threshold. Essentially that fifth day is the higher rate portion of her salary so on that day she is paying 40% tax, 2% ni, 9% sl plus ??% pension- that could reasonably add up to 60% deductions, which would mean she is only taking home c. £80 net a week for the fifth day, then paying out childcare and transport costs in excess of that (£130 per day at £2.6k nursery and £200 transport a month)

obviously its not that straightforward, because of discounts on nursery and travel if full time/ season ticket, but if it were, the op would be losing £50 a week/ £200 a month by being full time over doing four days.

OP you need to do some detailed calculations of the relevant opportunity cost of that fifth day- find out from the nursery what the cost difference is between four days and full time(assuming the weekly rate is discounted) and work out whether it is still worth having a season ticket at 4 days per week. Depending on where you live you might be able to get carnet tickets, or oyster payg might be cheaper than a season ticket. So then the question is whether the incremental cost of the fifth day childcare and travel is more than £80, in which case you would be better off asking for four days.

hope that helps

Yes gpod point jen

jenecho Sat 08-Feb-14 12:04:58

Btw i realise i contradicted myself by first saying the student loan and pension weren't relevant costs and then including them in my calculations. Essentially i think there are two issues, the first being the long term view of whether to go back at all, in which case paying off sl and building up pension are positives, and the second question of how many days is best in the short term for you to have enough money for food, in which case i would include them.

do you know when you will have paid off your student loan? You may suddenly get a big increase in your net pay if it is due to end soon.

Littleen Sat 08-Feb-14 12:09:01

part time could be an option. Really it's down to you deciding which is the most important for you - if you are enjoying your job and wish to progress, it'd be a wise choice to go back. If you are desperate for those £63 extra per month, it would be wise to go back. If you're not bothered, you would have to consider what would benefit your kids most - staying with you or at nursery. I plan on going part time personally, as I want the career but also feel kids don't benefit from full time nursery as much as a mixture smile

Thetallesttower Sat 08-Feb-14 12:47:22

I think you have had excellent advice about how to make this work- you say why not pay the full mortgage for a year or two, but having a mortgage break would allow you to get over the hump of double childcare, or you could do a 5 day week in 4 long days (if employer agreed) or cut childcare costs (there are people on here doing it cheaper).

If you managed to cut your childcare costs and say went mortgage free for one year it is more than doable, and given a mortgage is 25 years anyway, it is for a short time period.

I wouldn't give up a career in a sector you enjoy and that you would like to return to for the sake of temporary financial constraints. It's a bit different if you believe the job is incompatible with family life and want to get out anyway. I am now extremely glad I have an interesting career as my top primary age children don't need me as much and I can ramp up my career at this time point. I feel very sorry for people plugging away doing jobs that pay poorly part-time with no prospect of advancement, so if you have a chance to avoid this destiny I would grab it with both hands (all assuming you like to work, not everyone loves that path!)

KateSpade Sat 08-Feb-14 14:11:34

'I will get a job in a supermarket'
I'm glad you will find it that easy, a few months ago I would have killed for a job stacking shelves!

I'm trying to get into a very hard industry which I've heard similar things about finance, so I'd say don't leave all together.

I went through a time if paying my nursery fees & was left with nothing at all too. & it worked out in the end, kind off. It's bloody hard, but worth it!
Good luck!

FloppyRagdoll Sat 08-Feb-14 14:50:05

I paid to go back to work - in the country where we live, the lower earner can transfer their tax-free allowance to the higher earner; which meant that I had 53% deducted by the state off every eurocent I earned working freelance. By the time we paid for childcare and transport, we were paying more than I was bringing in. But it was essential to go back to work, as my DH was on short-term contracts, and if his contract hadn't been renewed, we would have had to rely on my income. (Which, of course, would have been much higher if I had become the main breadwinner.)

Once the children were older, I acquired a "proper" job, for which I wouldn't have been eligible had I not been doing the freelance work earlier. In my new job I was, in effect, doing exactly the same job as my DH. We had the same employer, an identical job description, but I was working on a different site. But because DH had 12 years' more increments, and because the t's and c's for the job had changed 10 months before I began, and because I had higher transport costs, my take-home salary was nearly 1000€/month less than his.

Just over 3 years ago (aged 48), I changed jobs; with the perks that come with this job, for FTE I would have overtaken my DH. (I had some health issues, so I opted to work 75%.) The impact on my future pension, should I live long enough to draw it, both with my previous job and my current one, is enormous. None of that would have been possible had I not been in it for the long haul when the DCs were small.

Stripyhoglets Sat 08-Feb-14 15:21:54

It's worth staying in work in the long run in a career job because when the childcare costs go down you once again have a good income, but YABU to resent people getting tax credits as thy are only getting them cos they are On a very low income to start with, you and your DH would have more disposable income if you had a smaller mortgage, but that was your choice.

maddening Sat 08-Feb-14 21:58:49

is your industry one where you could freelance or work from home so more around your dc?

I think you need to weigh up all your options - change the childcare/ change location - cheaper property,travel etc and maybe a better work life balance/change career etc or a combination.

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