To not understand how some people afford to have so many children?

(406 Posts)
KiKiFrance Tue 05-Aug-14 15:19:23

I mean this as a genuine question, but how the heck do they do it?

We have 3 DCs as that was all we could afford, yet I know families that have only one very average income that just seem to keep having children, and affording nice things, activities and holidays too.

Someone I know has just had her fifth baby. They are very early thirties and her DH works in a supermarket, and she is a SAHM, so obviously not on a high income, yet they always have nice clothes, the older children to lots of activities, they have a lovely new build house which is decorated beautifully, always eat out, and they bought all new (expensive) baby equipment for baby #5. She has also said to me that they'll have a sixth baby at some point, and possibly a seventh too!

The other person that I know has 4 children. Her DH is a chef but is always in and out of work, but again they seem to have such nice things, and her children to lots of activities and clubs. One of her sons has just had a huge birthday disco in a hall, and she said it cost over £300. They too are planning to have more children.

Our income is good, yet we generally can't afford half the things that they can, and certainly could never have afforded a 4th child, even though I would have quite liked another baby.

timeforanappychange Tue 05-Aug-14 15:22:08

You never know where other people get extra money from (eg family, inheritance), or whether they're living on credit.

A lot of people use credit cards to boost their finances, so it might seem like they have loads of money coming in but half of their expenses might be on credit!

KiKiFrance Tue 05-Aug-14 15:23:09

The one with 5 kids probably does get a bit of help from her parents as they seem quite well off

OpiesOldLady Tue 05-Aug-14 15:23:09

Do they have big flat screen TV's too? If so, they are probably fiddling the system hmm

Terrible thing, envy.

There are so many different variables in people's lives it's impossible to say without having a good look at someone's accounts!

On the nice side maybe they had a secret lottery win, on the negative maybe a massive pike of debt.

Try not to get too focused on comparisons, you'll only stress yourself out for no real gain.

Viviennemary Tue 05-Aug-14 15:27:31

A lot of people are propped up by parents. Some people are in to a bit of dodgy dealing on the side.

MissBeans Tue 05-Aug-14 15:28:00

Tax credits; rich parents or credit cards/loans

Long term these people and their children will suffer: teenagers are very expensive!

MorphineDreams Tue 05-Aug-14 15:28:39

Tax credits.

DiaDuit Tue 05-Aug-14 15:29:01

it is impossible for anyone other than the couple in question to tell you how OP. no-one here knows their finances or circumstances. stop letting it take up space in your head and put it down to their circumstances and decisions being different to yours and that's that. you'll be far happier in life if you forget about what others do or don't have that you do or don't want.

MissBeans Tue 05-Aug-14 15:29:12

YANBU btw, we only have two as that's all we could afford and cope with.

MorphineDreams Tue 05-Aug-14 15:29:42

I think very few people can genuinely afford to have a baby. You just have to take the plunge and deal with it.

FrankSaysNo Tue 05-Aug-14 15:31:20

Tax credits, housing benefit. All adds up. No one seems to have to pay for anything themselves these days, it's all subsidised

elliejjtiny Tue 05-Aug-14 15:34:30

We have 5 DC on just DH's fairly low wage. We don't have lots of "stuff" though. PIL paid for us to go on holiday with them last year, it was our first holiday in 3 years. The DC mostly wear hand me down clothes and we don't do big birthday parties.

Thebodyloveschocolateandwine Tue 05-Aug-14 15:39:14

Babies and young children are piss cheap.

We have 4 and really felt it through the teen years and then uni years. Those are the years you really feel the financial hike on clothes, holidays, gadgets, uniform, endless endless food etc.

expatinscotland Tue 05-Aug-14 15:45:48

No idea. Plenty of them, though.

SorryForTheTypos Tue 05-Aug-14 16:00:47

I'm really nosey and forever wondered how a new aquaintance could afford the beautiful house and lifestyle when she didn't work and her husband had a bog standard manual job. Turned out he'd sold his business about 3 years earlier and made an absolute shedload. What I thought was his bog standard job was him site managing for the firm he used to own.

Also, I know a couple who got to gether in their late 30s. She had kids already and had full ownership of house under divorce settlement. He sold his flat which had loads of equity. Mortgage free, loadsof money in the bank. She is SAHM and now they've 6 kids between them. He does the same job as my husband, I work and 2 kids was a stretch for us!

My friend and her husband met around age 26. Both sold their starter homes around yr 2003 and made a packet each. Were able to put their combined equity together and buy a MASSIVE house which they've now paid off.

So, combo of luck, hard work, timing...and yes I'm jealous! grin

LuisSuarezTeeth Tue 05-Aug-14 16:17:05

It's a good question. I think as pp have said, could be all kinds of reasons, you only see a snapshot of people's lives.

I'd have thought 3 was a lot as well!

I think sometimes it's different priorities too - you don't know what they're cutting back on in order to finance the things they do. You might not even assume they'd cut back on them because for you they're always something you do or buy.

Thefishewife Tue 05-Aug-14 16:23:12

Yanbu the only people these days that can have very large families are people on welfare and very well off people

So your answer is if they are not very well off then usually they can't and it's funded by the tax payer

Snatchoo Tue 05-Aug-14 16:24:03

We'd be soooooo much richer if we didn't have any debt! Credit card and loans are crippling - but I admit this is our own fault.

fizzylime Tue 05-Aug-14 16:26:44

DH and I don't understand how people have any children, tbh. Finances are the one reason we haven't had children yet. Time is running out but I can't see how the money situation is going to improve.

JackShit Tue 05-Aug-14 16:27:56

I'm always amazed by the number of 3, 4, 5, 6+ child families on here and in RL! Not affordability wise, but from a Planet Earth pov. Lots of heads in the sand about the issue of over population.

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 16:29:48

We have 4 children. We both work around each other ( i work nights , weekends , evenings) so no childcare costs. We have an average income. We have a 4 bedroom house but it needsa lot doing to it. We have a holiday each year but the only time we have been abroad was when sadly my mil died and left my dh a small amount of money. We don't splash out extravagantly on kids birthdays. It worries me how eapensive the kids are becoming now they are teenagers, 3 huge teenage boys to feed ad taking mens size clothing and shoes. they are certainly a lot cheaper when they are little. I agree that lots of low income families are being hugely topped up by benefits, the more kids you have the more it goes up. We don't claim any tax credits or anything like that, just child benefit which the vast majority of families still get.

redshifter Tue 05-Aug-14 16:31:38

Thefishewife will probably get called a benefit basher but in many cases she is correct. For people in certain situations their income can increase dramatically with each child.

Some people choose not to have more kids as money will be very tight, other look at their situation and realise they can have more kids, work less hours and have more money to to spend. Sounds crazy but it can often be true.

Not benefit bashing but it is just the way it is sometimes.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:34:54

i agree with the baby's are cheap teens are expensive

i have to teenagers and a younger one,the teens cost loads especially in the holidays,the little one is dirt cheap

i do think if they are in low paid jobs the Tax Credit can be pretty high and it's not worth the sahp working,they would just be paying for childcare so makes sense for one to stay at home

one ?? though,it's always said that could be put on credit cards and while i can see that being true also what happens when they cant pay or up to the limit and have a morgage,they cant just go bankrupt,are people really short sited

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 16:35:48

If you have one low income worker in the family, and have a few kids you can be bringing in the equivalent of another low wage in benefits- working tax credits, child tax credits, and child benefit. The more kids you have the harder it becomes for both parents to realistically work. I'm not a benefit basher , that's just the way it is and will continue to be unless the government stops paying more benefits for each additional child.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:36:54

We have 4 and want more, our main income is DH's £26000 a year plus whatever he does in overtime. I work but don't make enough to even pay tax most of the time, We get child benefit but we don't claim tax credits (because if I had to deal with that facking agency ever again I could see myself going awol with a shotgun). To the outside world with all the horses and animals, two big cars and the house we own it probably looks the same but also the cost of living up here in rural Scotland is a LOT cheaper than most places.

We don't do Ithings - we have one computer for sharing, one games console for sharing and one tv for sharing.

Our holidays are at MiLs caravan in the borders or visiting DH's grandparents in London.

Clothes are handed down and mended and often bought off gumtree etc. School clothes are unbranded supermarket stuff.

Every time I have a baby I use the same stuff as I did for the last one (except those pesky twins where I needed to double up on a lot - MiL to the rescue)

We have 2 cars (well I have a truck) but they are both old and DH does all the work on them.

We own our own house which we got for £60000 because we bought it as a fixer upper and do all the work ourselves apart from large gas work.

We still own our first flat (because we cant sell it in this market) so we rent that out and make about 60/70 quid a month from that.

I work on a farm around kids so don't need childcare ever.

We don't go overboard at birthdays and Christmases' and spend hundreds.

We get a lot of free food from my work (perks of the job).

Thenapoleonofcrime Tue 05-Aug-14 16:36:58

If you are a middle-earner, then childcare costs are what cripples you. I have really good friends who earn a decent professional salary, but childcare is £1000 a child, so they have spaced their children three years apart for this reason; they can't afford £1800 a month childcare (even with voucher scheme it's not cheap). Plus starting later in their thirties- this puts a natural ceiling on the number of children.

That doesn't really explain why some people have more, more why some people have only one or two.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:43:21

i do think the last few post have really summed up how people can do it

it's not bashing it's the way things are,hell im on benefits and have 3 children and the majority of 3+ kids i know are on TC or some sought of benefit

thats the way it is for many

Vajazzler Tue 05-Aug-14 16:45:34

We have 5dcs. We receive CB and minimal TC. DH works his ass off 6/7 days a week to support us.

Rockethorse Tue 05-Aug-14 16:45:58

YABU and very nosey
I have 6 children - I am Sahm, my husband is a self employed electrician but a very specialist one so can charge huge rates, (but ask anyone we know they would just think he was an ordinary trades person earning average money) we do not get tax credits or child benefit as we are above the threshold. We are late 30s and have just paid off our mortgage thanks to sound financial planning and our endowment policy from our first house (which we bought at. 18) maturing.
I am quite sure there are sneery nosey buggers who look at us and think it must be all down to benefits or stacks of debt (of which we have none) but in reality we have worked and planned hard and can enjoy our children and spend our income on them

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 16:47:32

And posters ( including myself) have also explained how they afford 3 or 4 kids without claiming tax credits so it is possible. the main factor in us being able to afford it is that we bought our house relatively cheaply (before the prices shot up around 2002) and work around each other so no childcare costs. i imagine for many younger folk it is high rent/ house prices and childcare costs which make a large family imposible.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:49:54

every electrician i have known (4) have always earned good money,i would never think one was poorly paid

so in that case i really wouldnt wonder

SaucyJack Tue 05-Aug-14 16:50:02

Tax credits and housing benefit.

Missunreasonable Tue 05-Aug-14 16:50:58

If they are on a very low wage they will get full tax credits which means each extra child brings in an additional £70pw in tax credits and child benefit. They are not spending anything on childcare due to one being a SAHM and they might use hand me downs so the cost of having another child is less than the £70pw extra in benefits. I'm not saying that these people are having children to get benefits as I am sure that no sane person has children for extra benefits but it is the way that the system works.
Of course when they are teenagers they cost more in clothing and food.

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 05-Aug-14 16:51:13

Tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit etc for the majority. They get a rise for every child so don't even consider the financial implications. Working the "magic" number of hours they need to ensure maximum working tax credits for the least effort.

Those that don't get assistance tend to have less children as they know they have to financially provide for any they have out of their current earnings.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:51:37

Vajazzler same here but I hate fighting with the tax credits agency because DHs overtime changes his allowance and a lot of his overtime is mandatory with court dates etc and we both work shifts. How do you do it? We claimed for one year but then with the next years P60 shows different earning e were told we had to pay x amount back and it crippled us so we never claimed it again for fear of that again.

weatherall Tue 05-Aug-14 16:51:54

People I've known like this spend less than I do in other things eg eating only value food, cheap toiletries, no car, no childcare.

Other options are:

Debt
Grandparents
Low housing costs
Inheritance
Tax credits
Windfall
Disability payments

gordyslovesheep Tue 05-Aug-14 16:52:26

what business is it of yours anyway OP

maybe they are better at managing their money than you are hmm

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 16:57:53

Hello OP

We have 3 dc and one low income and we have just cut our cloth accordingly and tax credits and cb have helped also. As this stops when dc leave ft education'training you adjust again.
If you are a sahm i have found it easier to be thrifty, you have the time to shop around and can take advantage of cheaper deals easier.
This is how we have managed the odd holiday.
We have never had any credit as we don't believe it is for us, so saved and done without untilthe funds were there, saving � on interest.
You manage one way or another, its a case of having to. Then when the dc get older you may be better off and be able to afford lots of activities.
We didn't do activities when they were younger, but now dd has music lessons, she used to dance as well but has stopped now.

1lov3comp5 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:59:37

A family I know have 3 kids and planning more. She's a SAHM and he has average paid job, they don't do holidays but kids always well dressed, big bday parties etc.i used to wonder how they did it but found out that they are quite a bit behind on their mortgage as a result...wouldn't be how I'd want to afford kids but hey each to their own.

dancestomyowntune Tue 05-Aug-14 16:59:44

i am newly pg with dc5. my dh works as a master butcher and i am a SAHM. We house share with my mother and pay half the bills and almost all the day to day living costs for the whole household.

my children dont "go without", but they also aren't spoilt. dd1, 11, has just had a reconditioned iphone which is much better than the samsung galaxy that i use. but the galaxy is sufficient for me.

my children all dance which is subsidised by me working in the office.

that said we dont drink, or smoke, or have lavish holidays.abroad. we make choices. the children come first at the end of the day.

Trapper Tue 05-Aug-14 17:00:09

I assume there are economies of scale if you keep kids club membership down, have a SAH/flexi-working parent.
It is possible to be frugal in some areas to splash out in others. Living off baked potatoes and beans behind doors to pay for holidays for example.

ouryve Tue 05-Aug-14 17:01:07

Hang on while I go get my bingo card. I might have 4 corners already.

SaucyJack Tue 05-Aug-14 17:01:50

No need to make nasty remarks about people on low incomes daisy

You've got as much right to go and get a part-time job on the till at Asda for the tax credits as anyone else if it's such an easy ride.

whatever5 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:02:40

You can't buy a nice house (not what I would call a nice house anyway), have lots of children and a nice lifestyle on benefits.hmm

I think that if they can afford a really nice house/lifestyle and have lots of children then it is likely that either the DH earns a lot more than you think or they have inherited money or (less likely) have won the lottery.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 17:10:04

Daisy*

Is that what you would do magic number of hours
Please don't judge us by your ownstandards, yes some people by sheer averages would do this, but I don't know many tbh.
Many people rely on benefits, some awards considered benefits now weren't in the past as well.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:11:33

Who are you Whatever to determine what is a nice house and a nice lifestyle? Like I said before we only get child benefit, I make about 7000 a year, DH makes about 26000 a year plus overtime and I love our lifestyle, Sure none of my kids have ever been abroad or owned an Iphone or Ipad but its our choice and our kids are happy, healthy and well behaved (most of the time).

ouryve Tue 05-Aug-14 17:12:36

I wouldn't have thought many people in low paid jobs would even be in a position to dictate "I'll just have 24 hours please, no more, no less"

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Tue 05-Aug-14 17:16:49

YANBU. A girl from my school has 3 kids with her husband, she's a SAHM and he works at the carphone warehouse. They have an expensive house, 2cars and are always heading off to London for breaks away. They go to Bali every year too. No idea who the hell they afford it!

Chunderella Tue 05-Aug-14 17:17:50

Tax credits. I am no benefit basher, but it's true that for people on anything other than fairly high incomes, if you have enough children you can end up with a higher income than you'd get from work alone. Whether this is enough to bring up said children, especially once they start getting expensive, is another issue altogether. It's not that difficult to bring younger ones up on a tax credit income, it's a different kettle of fish with teenagers who need adult food portions and clothes sizes. But you can certainly be bringing in large sums.

Interest only mortgages. Housing benefit, you'd probably be eligible if you have a lot of children, a low wage job and you rent. Previously having made an absolute killing on property. Credit. Buying everything second hand- it's possible to get stuff that's never been used or looks like it hasn't this way. Selling everything once you've used it, I know lots of people who basically bought new stuff once and then just kept on swapping it every time they want something new. Help from family. Inheritances. Economies of scale. Owning other assets that provide an income, such as shares or a second property. Making best use of accounting and deductions if one party is self-employed: I don't mean fiddling, but things like paying the other partner a wage just under the nil rate threshold for their contribution, using business vehicle as family car too.

Chunderella Tue 05-Aug-14 17:18:24

Holidays can also be loads cheaper then you might think.

DogCalledRudis Tue 05-Aug-14 17:24:12

Having a first child is expensive. With subsequent children costs tend to diminish.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:25:19

of course you can have a nice house on benefits,we dont all live in tower blocks with damp running down the walls,

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 17:27:10

The benfits system traps people so that they are often no better off working more hours as any increasein wages will wipe out other benefits.i ahve a lone parent colleauge with one 14 year old dd who will not increase her working hours above 16 as she will lose HB and tax credits and be worse off. in the same way couples can maximise benefits by working the minimum of 24hours required to claim working tax credits. If they increase their hours they lose tax credits so it may not be worth their while.

alemci Tue 05-Aug-14 17:28:42

I think if you have your own business you can offset things and have a large amount of cash at certain times to put against your mortgage but not so great if you are ill or if the work dries up.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 17:30:28

whatever

We have managed a nice house and good mc lifestyle on a low income and tax credits, although it has taken us 20 odd years to do this.
We eat good food cooked mostly from scratch, shop for bargains and only run one family car.
We have holidays, kids have done lots of activities, paid one mortgage off and nearly finished the second, this one was aided with a small inheritance.
We own everything we have, don't owe a penny except the last bit of mortgage.
Of course its possible.
You can save a lot of money by having a sahp.

Itsjustmeagain Tue 05-Aug-14 17:31:21

We have 5 children. I dont know what sort of income your friend would have but ours is probably around £50000-60000 but DH is self employed so it varies from month to month.

We live in a 5 bedroomed house in a quite cheap area and we rent rather than buy and we dont have a car so use trains etc. Other than that we easily afford the children, we were getting child benefit but we dont get that anymore. No tax credits.

when our third was born our income was probably around £25,000 and we didnt struglle then either - I have no idea why the only thing I can think is that we have low outgoings and are really careful with money.

at the moment all of our bills rent, etc etc comes to around £1300 per month and we spend around £400 a month on food.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:35:47

Babyroobs good point

i also think we have to remember that many in low paid jobs see it as a job and just that,they are working to earn money not see it as a career for what ever reason,do the work and go home

many people are stuck in dead end boring jobs,they may not want to climb the ladder maybe just earning the money is just that

so i get why some do the minimum

im not sure ive put this across very well grin

wafflyversatile Tue 05-Aug-14 17:38:38

How come this isn't full of ODFODs like usual? hmm

OP, maybe she thinks lovely thoughts all day creating lovely fluffy laundry fresh air around her so a money fairy comes round her house every night with a magic money pot and a spirit of largesse. Maybe the money fairy skips your house because of all the mean thoughts oozing out into the atmosphere. sad

merrymouse Tue 05-Aug-14 17:43:17

Even if somebody receives tax credits, I don't think they are enough money to pay for nice clothes, activities, eating out etc.

On the other hand, some people don't do things like pay into a pension, save, insure a house, pay for a car, new roof etc.

Boring expenses can really add up.

Beyond that you can't tell whether somebody inherited money/sold a business/used to have a very high paying job or is just in loads of debt unless they tell you.

VinoTime Tue 05-Aug-14 17:46:07

My Gran used to have a saying...

If your front door's kept nice, nobody will ever suspect the poverty inside.

I had a colleague who I am friendly with say to me on Saturday whilst I was at work how lovely my lifestyle seemed. The "I don't understand how you afford it!" was subtlety implied. I'd been telling her that I was feeling happy having booked a weeks holiday over at Seton Sands in April for me and dd (7), in a 'it's nice to have something to look forward to' kind of way. I wasn't being at all boastful - I was just happy about it. It's only a silly caravan holiday and cost £300. The only way I am affording it is by paying monthly instalments for the next few months.

But she was saying how me and dd are always dressed really nicely and how my Facebook pictures are always showing us doing things and going places. I'm sure she meant it to be complimentary, but there was a bit of an edge to the way she was saying it.

I think because she's been to my house (an incredibly sweet 1800's cottage that I have looking beautiful - but my parents own it so it's not like it's mine) and has seen my things, she can't quite figure out how, as a single parent earning very little, I manage it all.

The truth is I really don't have very much financially. I receive nothing from dd's dad and I survive on about £1,000 per month and that has to cover rent, council tax, bills, a small child, food and toiletries, a cat, dog, etc. As soon as the essentials are paid and bought, there isn't much left at all. But I try my best to budget and shop very carefully. I manage to kit dd out in a few nice clothes from the likes of Joules and Boden because I buy in the clearance sales. We loved going to some of the Commonwealth Games but we bought the cheap seat tickets (adult £15 and child £7.50). The pictures on FB of me and dd cooking don't show the Tesco Value ingredients I used because that's all I could afford. And yes, we're at the park and having a fab time - because it's free and there's nothing in the pot for an expensive day out. Thanks for telling me my hair looks great - I'm growing it out because I don't have the £30 it would cost to get it cut at a half decent salon. I used a home dye kit that cost a fiver and cut the split ends off myself grin

These friends of yours could be in a mountain of debt trying to sustain their lifestyles. Perhaps they're living off some inheritance they received from good ol' Uncle Henry. Or maybe they stalk the likes of Freecylce, FB selling pages and ebay for items they could normally not afford new. Who knows. Appearances can often be deceiving, OP. I am, technically speaking, a poor person. But you wouldn't think it to look at me. And I don't think it would be any different if I had 6 children instead of 1, because I would still always keep my front door immaculate wink

redshifter Tue 05-Aug-14 17:51:29

I work 40 hours a week in a well known supermarket for £7.50 per hour, side by side with two twin brothers who do the exact same job as me but only for 22.5 hours a week..
Brother A has no kids lives in a 6ft x 5ft room in a shared house with 10 other people, one bathroom, one kitchen. It costs him £80 per week.
Brother B lives in a 3 bed house with his wife and 4 children cost £350 per week which £300 is paid for with HB.
I live live in a studio flat cost £145 per week. My DC are adults now.

My income for 40 hours = £300 p/w, £15600 p/a, pre tax. Rent cost = £7450 p/a

Brother A, 22.5 hours = £169 p/w, £8775 p/a, rent = £4160 p/a - £1040 HB = £3120

Brother B, 22.5 hours = £169 p/w + CTC, WTC, CB = £460 p/w, £24000 p/a (tax free). Rent - HB (for 3 bed house) = £2600.

It used to be that my single colleagues with no DCs or adult DCs were the only ones who could afford to run a car, have nights out, eat out, have holidays etc. While tthe colleagues with spouse and children lived a much more spartan life. These days the roles seem to have drastically reversed.

Given just this one example of figures, can you see now why in certain cases (but no means all) you can have a much better and easier lifestyle by having more children?

Not benefit bashing. I don't blame anyone for claiming what they can ( I would) but I do feel sorry for young single people today that they can actually lead a much better life (both financially and environmentally etc) by having more children.

It's crazy really.

But that is how it is.

Chunderella Tue 05-Aug-14 17:55:21

Those things can have wildly varying costs though merrymouse.

Vajazzler Tue 05-Aug-14 18:01:35

Lally I've just submitted our final figures for TCs and I think we'll end up owing them money due to dH's overtime. He is self employed carpenter but only works for one company. The boss often leaves him in charge when he swans off on holiday so dh is in charge of running the jobs he's on.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 18:08:33

Feck, that's what happened to us when we had DD1, We didn't know it existed with DS1 so only started claiming it after, the way they work it out by using the previous years P60 is ludicrous so after 1 year we spent the next year paying most of it back because we weren't entitled to it any more based on the earnings with overtime.

DH is in the police so his overtime is mandatory most of the time and because we don't work set hours every week that always go above or below their thresholds we are too scared to put ourselves in the same position as last time and talking to them on the phone is frankly as much use as putting a condom machine in the Vatican.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 18:11:53

Yes, merrymouse

We have managed all maintenance and refurbishing costs by dh doing most of it himself. He learned how to do things from when we first started out and will tackle most things confidently now apart from electrical or gas whereby we have friends who will do odd jobs for mates discount.
As dh doesn't do roofs anymore the ds who learned through dh have takenover these jobs.
I don't think we could have paid tradesmen for all the jobs they have done.

I don't understand why people are saying that tax credits must be why people can afford a car, mortgage, designer clothes, foreign holidays etc. They boost your (already low, if you are receiving them) income by a couple of k. I just worked out that when DS is born we will qualify for them, but it certainly wouldn't be enough to nudge us into affording all of the luxuries listed above.

Am I missing something? confused

ElephantsNeverForgive Tue 05-Aug-14 18:17:02

Grandparents paying school fees and moving out from London/inheriting chunk of family business at about the same time meaning far less mortgage than us.

whatever5 Tue 05-Aug-14 18:18:02

Who are you Whatever to determine what is a nice house and a nice lifestyle?

I can determine what I think is a nice house and nice lifestyle surely??

savingupforanother Tue 05-Aug-14 18:20:01

Once you have more and more kids, one of you being a SAHP is financially valuable as then you are dodging the childcare bullet but getting more benefits. We would like to try for a second but have had to wait so that we wouldn't have two in childcare together.

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 18:20:17

Tax credits are perhaps worth 2K if you have one child, but if you have lots of kids on a low income they can be worth hundreds of pounds a month.

savingupforanother Tue 05-Aug-14 18:22:19

Plus a lot of people like this get help from their parents so it's invisible.

Lally112 Tue 05-Aug-14 18:23:13

But what you class is a nice house and nice lifestyle would be a hovel and a suicide mission to someone else whatever. I and others like me above are very content with their houses and lifestyle without you insinuating that we cant possibly have a nice house or lifestyle because we have x amount of children and an average wage coming in. My house is wonderful, kitchen or bathroom hasn't been touched since the 60's, back boiler with log stove from about the 40's, lead piping, asbestos but the most important part is no friggin nosey neighbours close by. That to me is th best kind of house.

merrymouse Tue 05-Aug-14 18:26:52

I can believe that tax credits enable you to feed your children (otherwise there would be lots of children begging on the street), but I can't believe that they are so generous that they enable you to have a nice house, nice outfits for the children and plenty of extra curricular activities.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 18:27:24

It can be drastically different if you have more dc but of course it dependson the gap just the same as your childcare expenses.
We started out claiming for 2 because when ds1 was born there weren't tc's. We did this for aprox 9 years, then dd came along and we claimed for 3 for a further 6 years. Then it was 2 for a further 4 years, and now it is just dd we claim for.
All in all we have had tax credits in one name or another for about 20 years.

merrymouse Tue 05-Aug-14 18:31:20

I'm not insinuating that people on benefits live in hovels - but there is cosy, clean, happy family home and then there is 'keeping up with the joneses' style house and I don't think you can have the second kind of house on tax credits alone.

merrymouse Tue 05-Aug-14 18:34:56

Some people are very good at creating little out of nothing and buying second hand, but I don't think that is the kind of lifestyle the OP is talking about - that sounds more like extra cash is coming from a credit card or unseen source.

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 18:35:24

There was a famous thread on another parenting site where a family with 5 kids were claiming hundreds a month in tax credits a month which were paying for the dd's pony riding lessons and all sorts ! The op got a very hard time.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 18:35:40

merrymouse

That is our experience anyway. I'm sure we aren't on our own, it is quite possible.
For example, I have never done an online grocery shop, we live near to town and most days I'll pop to the shop.
I get really good food from whoops close sell by date etc and sometimes we eat whatever I come home with. It costs a fraction of the usual price and we get to eat really well.
I also buy lots on offer and have been known to buy a full years supply of loo rolls or coffee etc when it has been half price.
I can only do this because I have time to wander round town getting the bargains.
The money I save goes towards dds music lessons, travel, ensembles etc.
I have lots of examples but don't want tobore you grin

melissa83 Tue 05-Aug-14 18:35:44

Surely it depends on lots of things. We bought young so our mortgage is currently only 350. We will have 3 children in a couple of months and money isnt tight. Weare lucky to have a very nice lifestyle on a low wage.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 18:36:50

does 50 inch tv and virgin subscription count as living well wink

if it does im doing dandy on TC

whatever5 Tue 05-Aug-14 18:39:34

Lally112 obviously a nice house and lifestyle is a matter of opinion. The OP's description of a nice house and lifestyle sounded similar to my idea of a nice house and lifestyle though (plus they have a lot of children) and I don't think that you can could do that on benefits.

nicename Tue 05-Aug-14 18:42:11

Our parents had a lot of kids.

Dad worked for himself as a consultant (in the early days he had 3 jobs), so earned well and suppoted both grandmas when they were widowed. We were all fed and clothed well, had nice holidays and had a nice house.

He invested wisely and worked six days a week.

No help, no handouts. I think it was easier in ye olden days - people didn't 'need' gadgets, numerous foreign holidays, designer clothes etc.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 18:52:47

ilovechristmas

We have 2 large tv's they came out of inheritance, but can't justify virgin subscription. But yes, we could afford this on tc. Its just that enough hours of tv watching doesn't happen in our household tojustify the cost.
Ime you can live very well on tc, people have different priorities and different levels of materialism but as a general rule luxuries aren't out of the question.
Our dc weren't into the latest gadgets, they did have them when they were cheaper though. Designer labels weren't really their thing neither but if they needed something and it was then so be it.

DiaDuit Tue 05-Aug-14 18:55:45

I can't believe that they are so generous that they enable you to have a nice house, nice outfits for the children

'nice' isn't really a measurable term though is it? nice for me might be vile to you. also, what I consider to be 'nice' clothing can be bought cheaply in charity shops or ebay. also. my sister is loaded and spends a fortune on gorgeous clothes. I get them all when she is done. you might think I'm rolling in cash to see me and my DCs but the clothes were either free or very very cheap.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 05-Aug-14 18:59:22

I know a couple with 9 kids flat screen in every room all kids have got laptops and they have a foreign holiday every year and no one has worked in that family for years.

DiaDuit Tue 05-Aug-14 19:05:00

and 34 goats as well, no doubt hmm

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Aug-14 19:15:44

We live in a good street in a good area, our neighbours are retired HT, retired Civil engineer, a teacher/sportsman, solicitor, builder, clergy, all professional or retired professional couples.
It is in a very sought after area and you would not think that anybody on the street was any different than rich.
Perceptions can be wrong, and I doubt if any of our neighbours are aware we have tax credits, in fact I know our closest hasn't a clue as he is typical DM reader.
My dd went out a few days ago in a brand spanking new mountain bike that must have cost an arm and a leg.
My dsis bought it as a guilt present for my niece. It has sat in her shed for a year untouched and now dn doesn't want it. They have given us clothes that my spoilt dn has craved for, that still have the labels on, they are all top quality labels.

Chunderella Tue 05-Aug-14 20:20:19

The thing to remember here is that while essentials like housing and food are now much more expensive than they used to be as a proportion of incomes, inessentials like meals out and consumer electronics are considerably cheaper. Flat screen TVs (can you actually get ones that aren't flatscreen?) used to be thousands, now they're a couple of hundred in Tesco and you can double your loyalty card points for them.

And housing, the major expense for probably the majority of households with young children, is far from uniform in price. Some people genuinely do have very cheap accommodation. They might be in social housing. They might, like morethan, have bought a long time ago and got a lot of it paid off- houses that would price out well heeled professionals now were often quite accessible to those on low incomes a few years back. I know in London in particular you get roads where the older people are all working class and the under 35s are professionals because they're the only ones who can afford it now the area is gentrified. A family who bought 10 years ago or more will usually occupy completely different financial territory to one that rent privately or purchased more recently. Also bear in mind that interest only mortgages are incredibly common, and lots of people used them during the boom to get houses they couldn't afford otherwise. Lots of them are still in situ now.

There isn't quite as much scope for variation on other essentials like food and utilities, but there's still quite a lot.

Openup41 Tue 05-Aug-14 20:22:26

We are middle earners.

We considered having one child as childcare costs are around £1k a month. We earn above the threshold to receive CTC, WTC, nursery contributions.

We decided to have two dc but with years between them.

I seriously used to wonder how my neighbour was able to be a sahm to 5 dc. Her dp had a general level job. Their garden was like a park and adventure playground - swings/slide/trampoline
swimming pool/tree house.They held parties on all their birthdays, had bbqs literally every weekend with bucket loads of alcohol in the summer.

I am out of the house almost 12 hours a day yet cannot afford to buy lunch/coffees and magazines on route. I bring a packed lunch every day. I shop in New Look and DP. I buy dc clothes in H & M/Sainsbury. Everything we spend has been budgeted for. No impulse buys - unless it is a packet of sweets.

Openup41 Tue 05-Aug-14 20:25:55

A friend even suggested I take a low level job, work part time and be supplemented by benefits.

I would not consider this.

merrymouse Tue 05-Aug-14 20:31:35

I am not In any way suggesting you can't be frugal and well dressed, but from the description I think there is more to the op's friend's lifestyle than tax credits.

Laquitar Tue 05-Aug-14 20:32:12

As well as some of the above points i think that it is also to do with attitude to life and personality type.

For example when mine were very little i was spending very little on their clothes and days out but i was stressed (i'm always stressed) about later, after school activities, school trips etc. Now i cover those i get stressed about the bigger school trips, tutoring, uni, housing.
Some people dont get stressed about the future and are optimist that things will work out well. Those people i think are suited to have 4 or more.

There are parents who are planning to fund uni and others who are planning that their dcs will support themselves ones they are 16. This makes a huge difference.

Also insurances, pension, money aside for roof or boileretc. Again it depends on your personality type.

fluffyfanjo Tue 05-Aug-14 20:33:43

*I work 40 hours a week in a well known supermarket for £7.50 per hour, side by side with two twin brothers who do the exact same job as me but only for 22.5 hours a week..
Brother A has no kids lives in a 6ft x 5ft room in a shared house with 10 other people, one bathroom, one kitchen. It costs him £80 per week.
Brother B lives in a 3 bed house with his wife and 4 children cost £350 per week which £300 is paid for with HB.
I live live in a studio flat cost £145 per week. My DC are adults now.

My income for 40 hours = £300 p/w, £15600 p/a, pre tax. Rent cost = £7450 p/a

Brother A, 22.5 hours = £169 p/w, £8775 p/a, rent = £4160 p/a - £1040 HB = £3120

Brother B, 22.5 hours = £169 p/w + CTC, WTC, CB = £460 p/w, £24000 p/a (tax free). Rent - HB (for 3 bed house) = £2600*.

Really ? How does "Brother B" manage to claim WTC when you need to work at least 24 hours a week (if a couple) to be eligable for WTC..........

The only thing missing is the herd of goats tethered in his 30 acre country estate.

merrymouse Tue 05-Aug-14 20:36:03

Agree laquitar.

Some people just trust that somehow things will work out and spend accordingly. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong.

Laquitar Tue 05-Aug-14 20:38:52

YY Chuderella

Things like houses and childcare bills go up and up but tvs, laptops and clothes get cheaper.

It is not very difficult to dress your dcs and to buy a tv even on a low wage if you save on something else like food or going out.

MaryWestmacott Tue 05-Aug-14 20:54:51

It does come down to when you bought a house, we live in a street of 1930s semis, all pretty much the same 'box', one down the street has sold recently for £150k more than we paid. I know someone down the other end paid £100k less than us when they bought a few years earlier. Same house, same road, £250k difference on your mortgage. Big, big difference.

You can be working in a supermarket in a managerial role and earning quite alot, you can be a chef and while out of work regularly, making huge sums when in work (including doing things like being a private chef for dinner parties for the great and good, that pays very well as 'one offs') - basically, you can think someone's on a lowish wage or a similar wage to you because they have asimilar size house and stuff as you, but they are actually very high earners.

Mind you, the only people I know with 4+ DCs in real life are pure sterotypes - I know 2 who are living off benefits in council owned properties, and I know 3 who are married to bankers on £250k+ salaries and the trophy wife who's 'snapped back' after each DC, large countryside house, dog and several children (all in private schools) are a status symbol.

jenniferalisonphillipasue Tue 05-Aug-14 21:35:46

I have 4 dc. We live in a nice house and have a nice although not extravagant life. My dh earns a good salary but we have high fixed monthly outgoings.
My dsis has 2 dc. He dh earns less than mine but her dc go to private school, they will have 4 holidays this year and run two decent cars.
The difference is that she bought her house 2 years before us in a good area. They recently had the house valued and it has increased in value by 25%. She also has a low mortgage rate as her mortgage company have kept to their .25 above base rate as opposed to ours who upped it with some interpretation of small print. They have also inherited money from her dh's family.
My point is that people's circumstances are not just based on their jobs. You don't know their situations so in some respects YABU!

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Tue 05-Aug-14 21:37:45

they are probably getting tons of tax credits and child allowance.

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Tue 05-Aug-14 21:40:20

you could also be spending very little on your children and using them to bolster your income.

dress and feed them cheaply, do very little with them...

Chunderella Tue 05-Aug-14 21:53:27

To be fair fluffyfanjo his partner could be making up the hours. The requirement is 24 with at least one doing at least 16, so the partner could be doing a shift or two somewhere on NMW and they'd qualify.

Childcare is another good point. Most large families are better off with a SAHP, but for those who aren't, getting free help from family makes a huge difference. Even just a couple of days a week for one child is still potentially saving thousands a year- bear in mind not everyone is eligible for childcare TCs and not all employers offer vouchers. And a couple who both claim the maximum voucher allowance are saving about £160 a month compared to one who get none at all. You could buy a lot of consumer goods with that.

NacMacFeeglie Tue 05-Aug-14 22:06:49

I have four kids. I had them all close together and was young. I was married to a man with a good wage and at the time we could afford it though not any flashy lifestyle by any means.

Unfortunately eight years later we split due to a dv incident. At the moment I am currently on full benefits and barely have two pennies to run together. I am in college in the hope that once qualified I might make a decent wage. I have also worked full and part time over the past few years.

In hindsight I was young and irresponsible having so many. I thought I was married for life and exes career was going up and up. Until he tried for his own business and we ended up in a lot of debt. I certainly never considered the costs as they grew up.

Most days I feel bad because I can't afford fancy things and holidays etc for the kids. There isn't a lot I can do about it now though.

I was also from a family of five kids and though my parents were never well off or even wealthy we never went without. I wonder sometimes if when I was younger it was the fact is been a part of a large family that I could manage one myself.

I am thirty soon and horrendously broody. I adore my kids but wish I had approached life from a more sensible stand point and had one or two at most in the right circumstances.

As for other large families as people have said there could be all kinds of reasons. I just make do with what I have and let people about their own business smile

redshifter Tue 05-Aug-14 22:11:56

Really ? How does "Brother B" manage to claim WTC when you need to work at least 24 hours a week (if a couple) to be eligable for WTC........

His wife does 3 hours cleaning at NMW. Well actually she does more hours but just puts 3 "on the the books".

No goats. Not living an extravagant lifestyle, just a better lifestyle than his brother in exactly the same job.

I'm not judging just stating the facts (and they are facts) of the income, rent and lifestyle of 2 very good friends and colleagues of mine.

Not moaning about brother B, good luck to him. More frustrated for brother A and the lack of decently paid full time jobs and decent affordable housing for single people.

Why can't you compare the facts of two peoples particular circumstances, for discussion here on MN without someone shouting "benefit basher" and calling bingo goats.

Cannabis farming in the loft?

NacMacFeeglie Tue 05-Aug-14 22:13:43

I will add I worked full time until January this year where ill health meant I ended up signed off for a long period and eventually left for college instead. It was a low paid job. Full time I earned just over seven hundred pound. My private rent cost five hundred and eighty five of that and council tax another ninety. I did not receive housing benefit as my wage was too high. On top of that I had childcare with afterschool clubs and my youngest still in nursery. Childcare tax credits paid seventy percent of that but still left me finding around two hundred myself. I was actually worse off working fulltime but was determined to carry on. Unfortunately the stress of the four children the job and the financial worries led to my ill health in January.

This is why I have chosen to go to college in the hope I can start a little higher up where working fulltime won't actually cripple me.

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 22:15:39

I also had four close together without much thought for the longer term financial implications. We both work and have decent careers but now they are teenagers they are costing a lot more in term of food, clothing, potential University costs etc. I honestly didn't realise how huge the costs would be and do feel stupid for not thinking it through properly.

SoonToBeSix Tue 05-Aug-14 22:25:43

We have six , four three and under though so they don't cost much. We pass clothes , toys etc on , no holidays abroad. Days out we use vouchers , holiday mainly in travodhe sales two rooms at between £10-£15 a night usually stay five nights. Don't smoke, don't drink , maybe go the cinema two or three times a year or £10 theatre tickets.
We live in a HA property in the North West so cheap rent. Dh works full time I am a sahm.

SoonToBeSix Tue 05-Aug-14 22:26:56

We have six , four three and under though so they don't cost much. We pass clothes , toys etc on , no holidays abroad. Days out we use vouchers , holiday mainly in travodhe sales two rooms at between £10-£15 a night usually stay five nights. Don't smoke, don't drink , maybe go the cinema two or three times a year or £10 theatre tickets.
We live in a HA property in the North West so cheap rent. Dh works full time I am a sahm.

redshifter Tue 05-Aug-14 22:33:20

I wouldn't have thought many people in low paid jobs would even be in a position to dictate "I'll just have 24 hours please, no more, no less"

The large supermarket I work at filled 32 vacancies a few months ago, every single one was 25 hours or less. It suits the the company to do this, it saves them money. And they know they get very few applications for full time positions.

They ask employees to work extra hours all the time and put pressure on them to do so but they cannot make them work more than their contracted hours. In reality the only people that do all the hours they can get are the ones that won't lose WTCs etc by going over their threshold. These people would love a full time job and in reality they work 48 hours most weeks but when on annual leave only get their contracted hours (15 - 25) pay.

This is how it works in a lot of big companies these days for low paid workers.

Again., I am just telling the truth about how it is in my workplace at the moment, no agenda, just sharing my experiences. Make of it what you will.

But I am sure someone will shout bingo goats at me.

LuisSuarezTeeth Tue 05-Aug-14 22:35:21

Buds that's rather cynical

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Tue 05-Aug-14 22:37:52

A relative of mine with 5DCs gets about £1400 pm in CTC, plus CB, so it's hardly an insignificant sum, in fact more than a lot of people's salary.

The fact is that part time low earners, meeting the hours criteria, with 3+ DCs will be topped up by such an amount that they will have a similar income to full time workers on salaries of £30-40k per year, especially when childcare and travel is taken into account.

Which explains how part time supermarket workers appear to be able to afford similar lifestyles to full time professionals, despite working fewer hours in lower status jobs. Quite simply, they may have a similar amount of money coming in.

And I'm not belittling supermarket workers, it's an important job, and I am aware that some will be graduates or studying. But if you are in a graduate professional job that requires qualifications, student loan repayments, travel, long hours, answering emails out of hours etc, you would expect to see something extra for your efforts, wouldn't you?

soverylucky Tue 05-Aug-14 22:40:19

Tax credits are an absolute mystery to me.

It seems everyone gets different amounts even when their circumstances seem the same.

SweetSummerSweetPea Tue 05-Aug-14 22:42:48

A relative of mine with 5DCs gets about £1400 pm in CTC, plus CB, so it's hardly an insignificant sum, in fact more than a lot of people's salary

yes thats more than our salary. and thats without CB on top.

SweetSummerSweetPea Tue 05-Aug-14 22:45:01

also agree its often vast difference in priorities, family helping out, cash flowing round....credit cards...

EverythingCounts Tue 05-Aug-14 22:55:47

1400 a month! Wowsers. I wouldn't have thought it was that much. Plus nearly 300 quid in child benefit, by my reckoning, each month.

BeyoncesCat Tue 05-Aug-14 23:06:43

If they're anything like half the street I live on, they're probably claiming benefits as a single mother! hmm

citycamper Tue 05-Aug-14 23:14:29

The big families I know are either extremely well off (with both parents in very well paid jobs) or, the low paid ones aren't nearly as comfortable as the ones in the OP. They are usually in supermarket clothes, struggling to afford/organise activities, parents always a bit snappy due to having to herd their dc, only do cheap days out, no holidays abroad, with tired looking homes. Some of them started with better circumstances but relationship breakdown/redundancies have made life harder. It is a bit of a time bomb as well when the dc become teens. Not the sort of lifestyle I'd want to live. I only have one dc but despite having had some unexpected financial hitches, we've always been able to pay for foreign holidays, have never scrimped on food, clothes or days out, paid for lots of extra activities.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 23:21:16

3 kids and me

169 ctc
123 esa
45 cb

£337 approx weekly

100% council tax paid

no hb as own my own home but if i didnt would get approx £8-900 a month allowance

so yes it is possible to have a reasonable sum,though depends what your life was like before

HappySeaTurtles Tue 05-Aug-14 23:21:44

Different people prioritize their money differently. They could be spending a lot on their house but then buying budget meals.

Philoslothy Tue 05-Aug-14 23:22:07

We have five, we will soon start trying to conceive number six. Combination of luck and low standards works for us.

GiveTwoSheets Tue 05-Aug-14 23:27:54

My sis has 6 and can afford to because her hubby works hard and has good paying job so much so that they earn over threshold for child benefit even.

Very close loving work ethical family.

Babyroobs Tue 05-Aug-14 23:29:18

£337 a week just for food, clothing and utilities is pretty good to be honest, I'm quite shocked that you don't have to pay any council tax out of that.

ilovechristmas1 Tue 05-Aug-14 23:32:12

it's because im on ESA support group,if i was just on the standard one i would pay £5 a week towards ct

TedAndEd Tue 05-Aug-14 23:32:18

Although we only have 2 dc and won't be having any more, we are on low incomes but our dc don't do without as they have generous gps who pay for nursery, toys, clothing, holidays as well as cash gifts. I wouldn't share this information with friends as they might be envy but I know they may wonder about our lifestyle. You can't really make presumptions about other people's income and finances.

usualnamechanger Tue 05-Aug-14 23:41:03

I want to know these people of which of speak of. I need to know about their magical chickens and all that.

MorphineDreams Tue 05-Aug-14 23:47:59

£337 per week shock thankyou for being honest and giving figures ilovechristmas is interesting

Morloth Wed 06-Aug-14 00:07:13

I wonder the same thing about where I live.

DH and I make lots of money, we are very fortunate and when I look at our income on a scale for Australia we are right at the top - not stealth boasting, just pointing out I am not envious.

We have fab lifestyle, really but my neighbours are much 'flasher' than we are. How?

If I believe the income scale thingies how are people affording all this 'extra' stuff? Not to mention the extra kids, usually at private school - we looked at private schools in our area and you are dropping $20k a year per child easily, so 4 kids means $80k a year (post tax income), just on schools.

I really am not envious, I don't see how my life could be better, but I just wonder how it works.

We can't figure it out.

SweetSummerSweetPea Wed 06-Aug-14 03:04:50

Interesting Morloth, I would love to know some more figs...(ultra nosey!!)

the only people I know who can truely afford an ultra flash lifestyle are friends who are married to bankers.

but they are really high up successful.

even people who are millionaires but under 10 mill, dont go crazy....save up, wait for things, dont live in massive mansions...etc...

maybe you save and wait and they just go for credit? or rich family wealth on top of their own earnings?

Morloth Wed 06-Aug-14 05:30:53

DH is a Banker, I am in Mining.

Our joint gross incomes exceed $300k.

And yet, we don't live in the most expensive part of our City, we don't drive a flash car etc. But other people do.

I guess we could but to do so would mean we were spending more than we earn so it wouldn't be sustainable.

People do sustain it though - HOW?!

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 06:12:05

On 30k we have a mortgage, 3 children, save money for he dcs (even 50 quid each per dc means 10k at 18 and 50 quid is nothing to miss a month each). My dd gets private tuition and goes to drama school. We had 4 holidays in last year of which 2 were abroad. Dh drives a decent make car as hes really into cars etc. If you dont have debt, got a mortgage early on in life, space your children out a bit and are good at bargain hunting its do able.

merrymouse Wed 06-Aug-14 06:23:01

The thing is, assuming you have to provide your own housing and don't have family support, most households, at least in the South East, would be worrying about having one child with a total income of £30-£40K - never mind 5.

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 06:31:28

I live in south but afforded my own mortgage at 18 then sold at 21 when I was married then bought another place so my mortgage is cheaper than if you bought late such as in 2006 as for a start you have had years to pay it down and it was a lot cheaper. It makes a massive difference.

coldwater1 Wed 06-Aug-14 06:37:26

I don't know why people are so concerned about other families, spend your energy concentrating on your own family rather than worrying how others afford x, y or z. If you don't like your situation change it.

Morloth Wed 06-Aug-14 07:26:43

But how can you change it if you don't know how they are doing it? Change your situation how? I don't even want to change, I just wonder how it is done.

I am not 'worrying' about it, but there is must have been a memo I missed as to how in Sydney the average salary is $60k(ish) a year and the average house price is something like $750k(ish) a year - does not compute.

dancestomyowntune Wed 06-Aug-14 07:30:25

i think the point about mortgages is a valid one. ours is £360 a month. dds friends mum was telling me hers is over £1000 a month! her home is slightly bigger than ours but even so! sad

also we all have different priorities.

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 08:26:00

It's called the property ponzi Morloth. Much of the UK is also embroiled in something similar.

Glasshammer Wed 06-Aug-14 09:06:09

We have 4 and a total income of 40k. Thankfully don't live in London. We have a large mortgage (for us), lots of building work underway and have no financial or physical help what so ever from family.

All clothes and furniture are secondhand/hand me downs, we have cheap or free fun/holidays and cars are old. Kids do some limited paid activities and we eat well. We have no debt apart from the mortgage but have to be very careful as there is no one to help us out if we desperate.

My good friends on the same wage have 4 boys too. They have new clothes, are members of lots of clubs and generally have the best technology/cars/have a smaller mortgage. They have lots of physical and financial family help but also struggle to control their spending and are always in debt/being helped out.

Olbas Wed 06-Aug-14 09:17:35

I am expecting our 6th. No tax credits, no family allowance, no other benefits. Do you know how we do it... sheer good fortune, right place, right time and a husband with a brilliant mind. As for making chickens last for 3 meals, yeah I can do that but I buy a bloody big chicken (capon) in the first placegrin Hasn't always been like this though.

redshifter Wed 06-Aug-14 09:18:06

Another factual (not Daily Fail BS) example. Make of it what you will.

My DNiece, has 4 DCs, lives in a fairly nice 4 bed house in London, front and back gardens for DC to play in. She is a SAHM, her partner works 25 hrs a week in a local supermarket for £7 per hour..
He earns £175 per week, not liable for income tax but pays £2-3 per week in NI.
Her rent is £430 per week.
When she fell pregnant with twins she was very worried how they would cope but was surprised at the help they received. I asked her how on earth did she manage. So she gave me a breakdown.

Partners wage = £175
CTaxC = £222
WTC = £54
CB = 61

Total weekly income = £512 (£26, 600 p/a) tax free.

They pay £33 p/w towards their £430 p/w rent and £7 p/w towards their council tax.

Annually they receive £17, 500 in tax credits and child benefit + £21, 500 in HB and council tax support.

That is £39, 000 in benefits, plus £9000 in wages.

Benefit cap doesn't apply if you are in work.

In some circumstances it is possible to have an ok lifestyle with more DC.

A lot of people used to choose whether to have a big family they wanted but live in cramped housing and struggle financially or have just one or two DC so they could have a nice house and enjoy luxuries like a nice car, holidays, meals out activities etc.
A lot of younger people today can't see themselves ever getting a decent job or owning their own home but they have found a different option. Not a fantastic lifestyle with a comfortable future but sometimes a lot better than any alternatives.

I mean you both work long hours for low pay, have only one child, struggle with high rent and childcare costs, have limited family time and be too exhausted and stressed to enjoy it.
Or you could have 4 lovely DC, have a SAHP, have time and energy to enjoy your family. By working part time as a shelf stacker, with a tax free income of nearly £27000, with 90% of your rent and council tax paid.

I can't really blame people for making this choice in these circumstances.

nicename Wed 06-Aug-14 09:26:29

Our parents constantly told us to 'cut our cloth' and pay our own way. If you can't afford it, you don't have it.

When my grandfather had to retire early because of bad health, he stubbornly refused to claim state pension because he 'hadn't earned it' at 55 years of age. It would have been shameful to him to get money from the state.

Is the country in such a financial mess that families just can't afford to live?

fun1nthesun Wed 06-Aug-14 09:26:49

Budgeting food, buying clothes in sales, being careful with every penny probably. They might be living on credit, they might talk about what they do do and not what they don't!

There are lots of free sites as well so maybe they haven't bought their furniture but got it free?

They sound as if they are spending their money on the children not themselves, so what is the problem?

weatherall Wed 06-Aug-14 10:07:40

I've worked out that if/when we have a 3rd we would get an extra £3k pa. I didn't think it'd be so much tbh.

A baby wouldn't cost that but I know that an older child would.

I'd rather a system where there weren't tax credits but free childcare for all.

SweetSummerSweetPea Wed 06-Aug-14 10:10:54

Morloth Wed 06-Aug-14 05:30:53

people also pull money out of their homes...take on loans....maybe your own perception of your wealth is tainted...ie you have more to spend than you think but you are afraid too?

I know very successful corporate person who still thinks she is very poor....

SweetSummerSweetPea Wed 06-Aug-14 10:11:56

There are lots of free sites as well so maybe they haven't bought their furniture but got it free?

People have said our home looks like magazine, or that we have nice furniture...most of it was free yes.

timeforanappychange Wed 06-Aug-14 10:48:10

People have said our home looks like magazine, or that we have nice furniture...most of it was free yes

Most of the stuff in our house was either free or very cheap. I buy a lot of things from Facebook groups (eg most of the children's clothes) and most of our furniture. Even if it's 'just' something I like from Ikea, I normally look around and wait until somebody is selling the same thing somewhere in our city. It works out MUCH cheaper.

I wasn't meaning to offend by mentioning earlier that some people might be living on credit. I don't mean that everyone is! We probably look like we are doing much much better than we actually are, but we don't have any debts. We just spend on certain things but not others. I am a freelancer and when there's lots of work I stock up on things that we need (eg clothes/shoes, as like it or not we all need something to wear). When business is slow then I make do with what I've got, which is usually just fine as I have bought things I needed when I had more money and could get them in the sales etc.

DD has a Petit Bateau raincoat, perhaps people see things like that and think woah, how can they afford that? But I bought it for a tenner from a Facebook group. It has already been worn by the seller's 3 children but is in excellent condition. If anyone commented on it (eg 'that's a nice coat') I would be excited to tell them how cheaply I got it for, so it's not like I hide the fact.

We are also given pricey clothes and toys for the children by relatives, I come from a fairly well-off family and they are also fairly generous and extravagant in their gifts.

I try to prioritise things like swimming and dance lessons for the children, I don't consider dance lessons essential (far from it!) but I am happy to not have dinners out etc if it means that the kids can do things like that. But that's not a value judgement. Some parents need to do certain things to stay sane, I am a bit of a homebody so a night in with a really good library book is my idea of a good time blush

We also do things like going to children's theatre shows in the holidays, for which I look for free performances or hunt down vouchers for discounted tickets. It's amazing what you can find online.

Somehow with a combination of good management and good luck we seem to get by. Am certainly hoping for an economic upturn though.

soverylucky Wed 06-Aug-14 10:55:01

Housing is a big issue. I know lots of people who have very low housing costs. This is due to inheritance, luck, wealth or their age - buying lovely homes before prices went silly.

I have to say that some of the figures of benefit money are making me cross and I don't apologise for that at all despite it being against the grain.

timeforanappychange Wed 06-Aug-14 10:59:59

soverylucky I do find some of it a bit odd. I don't live in the UK so I'm not sure exactly how it works there. Where I live, continental Europe, we are lucky enough to get a small amount of what I guess would be 'tax credits'. It doesn't increase when you have another child, just like my wages didn't go up when I had another child. I think (though I'm not sure) there's a difference between how much you get if you have children and if you don't have children, but other than that there's not much in it. If certain UK benefits do increase by quite a lot with each subsequent child (I have no idea if that's true and I don't want to start a bunfight, esp. since I'm not a UK resident or taxpayer so it's not like I have any sort of personal interest in this) then it does seem a bit strange to me.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 06-Aug-14 11:01:06

We have 3dc and I am a SAHM. We don't get TC or CB. We have just bought our first house, so have expensive mortgage for an ex-local authority house. I often wonder how other people manage to have more kids. We definitely couldn't afford any more. We do not live extravagantly either. If we'd bought a house a 20 years, we'd be significantly better off than we are now. I think a lot boils down to when you bought your house.

Laquitar Wed 06-Aug-14 11:01:15

'...and a husband with a brilliant brain'.

# Olbas #
i wish you can tell us more. I am dying to know.

timeforanappychange Wed 06-Aug-14 11:01:29

I wrote that pretty badly. I meant to say that I get tax credits, which did not increase when I had a second child, just like my wages didn't increase smile

SoonToBeSix Wed 06-Aug-14 11:03:28

You don't get £1400 tax credits for 5 dc unless one has a disability.

Laquitar Wed 06-Aug-14 11:08:56

'...and a husband with a brilliant brain'.

# Olbas #
i wish you can tell us more. I am dying to know.

Georgina1975 Wed 06-Aug-14 11:11:50

You might be surprised by the amount of people still using debt to sustain their lifestyle. I am including interest free credit for furniture etc. (includes me blush ).

I think the long view can be helpful if you feel a bit frustrated about your own situation in comparison (I am not saying this applies to anybody btw). Our household income (we both work FT, have no family/friends to help financially or in kind with childcare etc) is only slightly higher than a friend who works 22 hours and her FT working DH. She is a bit smug about that. But I have been paying into a pension for 12 years now and it is a finally salary scheme so I will get I really good lump sum on retirement (which I hope to take early - maybe 55 or 60).

soverylucky Wed 06-Aug-14 11:12:37

I keep reading what red posted and then reading it again and thinking that it can't possibly be right. How on earth can someone work 25 hours in a supermarket and end up with more money than someone on a 40k salary?

weatherall Wed 06-Aug-14 11:15:06

Yes, thinking of the furniture in here now:

Tv - free from relative
Tv stand- £20 from charity shop
Shelf- free from relative
Chair- free from relative
Desk- free from relative
Cupboard - £100 from charity shop 10 years ago
Dining table- £30 from charity shop after looking for a year
Dining chairs - free from relative
Rug - recent gift from relative
Coffee table - Christmas gift from relative 8 years ago
Small couch - £100 from charity shop 9 years ago
Big couch - £1200 in sale 9 years ago

So even though I've been out of work for 7 years we do have quite a nice looking living room.

(I'd never realised this before)

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 11:25:51

weatherall

Our furniture is similar, well has been until now.
We have just splashed out on a new settee and chairs and with the carpet it came to nearly 4k.
This is the only thing we have bought new in our 26 years together.
My pil gave us a suite once because they didn't like the olour after all, it was only about 6 months old.
We made do with the colour, it wasn't brilliant but for free we lived with it.
We have my parents old dining table and chairs, it has sentimental value even though a bit dated and scruffy looking.

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 11:27:39

I too know someone with 5dc who gets £1400 pm in tax credits £300 cb £760 rent pm paid for, no council tax to pay partner works pt for £240pw Thats £2660 pm with just gas and electric to come out of that, they don't pay water as they don't think they should have too, as her dp works pt she has started uni (only for the money as she's told everyone) £3000 loans 3 times a year + any extras, she's really not bothered about paying it back! Thats over £40k a year a high earner for the NW, we have 2 children partner works full time for not even half of what they receive and we get no HB or help with council tax, v low tax credits and just CB which doesn't go far when we pay most of it into there children isa's.

Im not a bitter person, I'm far from jealous I'm bloody angry, I can't go to uni as I have a 1yo and 7yo who I cannot afford childcare for and my dh works 46h+ a week for us, Out of or £1800 pm income we pay full rent £600, council tax £120 and all our other bills etc, we have to be really careful and plan in advance for days out etc.
The person I know with 5dc wasn't lucky or fortunate to have there lifestyle, they played the system and now they are not the only ones I see more and more families with 4+dc than ever round here and is it any wonder when this is what they can get!
Benefits need to be capped to a limit of 2 children its madness the benefits these people receive for simply having children non stop, I can't have another dc I would absolutely love to but we can't afford it, we can't afford to move to a bigger house, we are stretched enough as it is with 2!
Im going to be flamed for this but its the truth, something needs to be done about it as I for one am fed up of seeing my dh work non stop to provide a lifestyle that we can only dream would match these others who hardly work and receive benefits equal to someone wage in a good job!

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 11:32:42

Soontobesix, You do believe me! I have seen the tax credit award and have been told countless times what they receive!

whatever5 Wed 06-Aug-14 11:35:08

I'm amazed by how people seem to know the exact breakdown of peoples incomings and outgoings. Do people seriously discuss this kind of thing in such detail?

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 06-Aug-14 11:35:25

That's actually over 3k a month 3bears, if you include his wage as well. I wonder why the government thinks we shouldn't get CB then on a similar wage?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 11:37:10

3 bears

You have just the same choice as everybody else, you can do the same if you want to.
Because you obviously don't want to live like this, "Something has to be done", to stop others.
Thats a very mean way to think, but each to their own.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 06-Aug-14 11:38:38

If everyone lived like that morethan, who would pay the tax to finance it?

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 11:43:03

Well I've had it thrown in my face plenty of times, what they receive.
Why is it mean to think like that? I wouldn't have 5 children as my partner works FT and I know I couldn't give them all the attention they deserve, I wouldn't have lots of children just so I could receive £40k+ a year!! I am entitled to my opinion and a lot of other people feel the same way.

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 11:44:43

exactly ihategeorgeosborne I for one wouldn't like to be working ft paying tax to pay for people like this to have a lifestyle I would do anything for!

Laquitar Wed 06-Aug-14 12:02:34

Many jobs that pay 40-50K will pay more in few years. A new dr or solicitor knows that he/she will make a lot more in few years. A teacher or a nurse will have a good pension. They might become head teacher or specialist nurse. A home owner will have a house and can retire abroad and live like a king.

It is still better working. I dont think that people work for moral reasons. I will admit that i work for my house. I can sell it in the future or rent it out and go abroad. I dont envy the family on benefits even if we are extremely under pressure at the moment.
The families on benefits are NOT better off.

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 12:05:33

The large families I know have never received any benefits except child benefit. One of them (with 9 children) the parents are both incredibly resourceful. The DM is an amazing cook, dressmaker, makes own soft furnishings, etc. The ddad (as well as working full-time) ran a business at night and is great at sourcing secondhand bikes, pianos, etc. He'd stay up in his garage respraying, mending tyres, etc so the DCs could have like-new shiny bikes.

So yeah lots of different ways that parents can afford more DCs and look as though they have lots of money too.

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 12:06:35

irritates me too. my dh always earned slightly too much and what you paid out e.g. mortgage amount was never considered. we had no spare cash when my dc were young.

I thought benefits were meant to be 26k or less and it makes a mockery of getting good qualifications and a career if you can 'earn' this much being a shelf stackerhmm

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 12:06:35

irritates me too. my dh always earned slightly too much and what you paid out e.g. mortgage amount was never considered. we had no spare cash when my dc were young.

I thought benefits were meant to be 26k or less and it makes a mockery of getting good qualifications and a career if you can 'earn' this much being a shelf stackerhmm

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 12:07:14

sorry didn't mean to post twice.

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 12:07:24

Thats very true Laquitar these people who receive benefits because of having lots of children may be better off now and we envy them as they hardly work and get to spend lots of time together however they're children will not be children forever and then there benefits will then stop.

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 12:09:02

Aslong as they are working alemci even PT they're benefits are not capped.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 12:14:58

certain benefits (if not working) void the cap,so it is possible to to be on them fulltime and go over the cap and not be effected

usually disability benefits

Isitmylibrarybook Wed 06-Aug-14 12:26:56

I think it's usually an issue with any means tested benefits. Universalism is regarded as unaffordable idealism now, but there is also a hard headed economic reason for universal benefits - means testing does create disincentives in certain situations. Not just to earn, but also to save - If, as many believe, the state pension ends up being means tested 'you will be better off in the future even if not now' may not be true for everyone.

I think also not many people really know how the tc sysstem works - i am always surprised when mners present the figurres showing you can be worse off working more hours once you have more dc. As someone said below, people dont understand how tcs are calculated. So there is no wideapread debate about this issue.

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 12:27:24

No, benefits aren't meant to be 26k or less. There is a benefit cap, but if one of the adults in the house is working 24 or more hours a week it doesn't apply. So people can and do get much more. There are lots of problems with this, but I think it's worth pointing out that the people who claim aren't the ones who constructed a system where full time work doesn't pay basic living costs, where taxpayers subsidise massive corporations to not have to provide proper pay or hours. And that being reliant on the state for a large portion of your income is not as cushy as it looks because of the autonomy you give up. For that reason, it's not a road I'd want to go down- you never know how long it's going to be there.

But you're taking the piss a bit describing people who don't fancy paying for other people's desire to work less as mean morethan. The money that people get in tax credits, yours included, doesn't come from a magic money tree. It has to be earned or, more likely, borrowed by the state at an exorbitant rate that will one day have to be repaid. And it's money that can't be spent on anything else like health or education. I don't have any moral problem with people making the choices that work best for their family (and of course many substantial benefit claimants don't have any other options anyway, due to lack of available jobs, ill health etc) but equally I don't have any moral problem with people who are paying for this being unhappy about it either. For the sake of completeness, I should probably add here that as a person who works but pays no tax and doesn't receive tax credits either, I don't really have a horse in the game. Additionally my own parents did something similar to what you have done morethan in terms of making decisions to maximise TC entitlement, and while I'm not responsible for that I did derive indirect benefit from it.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 12:28:44

The3Bears

You can choose to live however you want to justas everyone else is.
I'm sure you do whats best for your family the same as others.
If you arehappy with your choices what does it matter what others do?

I know couples who have never worked who seem to have the same lifestyle as we do with dh working constantly as he is small business owner. I am not jealous of them or angry about what they have.

Tax credits and benefit only take income into consideration there are many like me who yes have played the system to some extent, because that has provided the lifestyle (not just financial) that we have chosen for our family.

We would have been far worse off if both had continued working after ds1 and I'm not prepared to work and be worse off.
If this has given my family far more opportunities than we would have had doing anything else then I am pleased with our choice.

There is no way our future after tax credits would be so secure had we taken an other route, so at least people like this are providing well for their family.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 12:35:40

Sorry Chunderella x post there, my laptop is really slow at sending atm.

I really haven't ever sat down and said well if we do x we'll get more money. The system has just seemed to work for us.
I know somebody will say well bully for you, but we haven't always used or claimed everything to which we were told we were entitled.
Years ago we had free prescriptions, but didn't need any fortunately. Free school meals, the dc refused to take them as they were embarrassed and we never applied for council tax rebate even though we could have.

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 12:40:42

I'm not criticising morethan, it is as it is. My family didn't always claim everything we were entitled to either.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 12:49:44

Chunderella

I know you weren't criticising, my post was really similar to yours as in its just the way things are.

Also, just to clarify to others that we don't all sit around thinking how we can get the system to work for us.
However, if a certain opportunity arises and you benefit more because you are a low income and receiving tc, you can hardly blame a person for taking it.
I also don't know anybody personally who had a child to gain more benefits, although I admit that maybe a very small minority could have done.

NacMacFeeglie Wed 06-Aug-14 12:59:17

Thethreebears.

The people you know sound very odd to me. Something isn't right. As said I worked full time earning just over seven hundred a month and I was not entitled to housing benefit despite being a lone parent to four children. At the time I had my wage and altogether had about one thousand four hundred a month. I then had full private rent come out of that and full council tax some childcare costs around four hundred a month food bills plus gas and electricity. There was barely anything left.

SoonToBeSix Wed 06-Aug-14 13:01:10

The three bears no maximum tax credits for 5 dc are £1145 a month not £1400 . Plus £545 a year in total not per child. Please stop making up figures, the actual figures are freely available on the tax credit website.
Like I said either the figures are wrong of they have a disabled child.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 13:03:22

i think most people weigh up whats best for their families it's human nature

whether others agree really dosent matter at the end of the day,they dont live your life and you dont live their's

who would put their family at a disadvantage just to appease others

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 13:06:25

SoonToBeSix she probably added the mums weekly allowance appr0x £72 a week

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 13:15:43

It does sound odd but it is 100% true, they get working tax credit too as her partner works an hour over the limit to get wtc so thats what bumps it up, I don't understand how they get all there rent paid too as I have other friends at uni, single mums who have their housing benefit slashed when they receive their loans.
Maybe they are hiding something as I remember her saying after she got her first uni loan that they had told her to put it in her partners name as she can't claim it as she was getting the loans hmm
Im not sure I've never looked it up?
Im not making anything up as I said I have seen the award letter and they get £277 pw ctc and £56 pw wtc so £1332 pm tax credits + £291 or whatever it is CB a month.

NacMacFeeglie Wed 06-Aug-14 13:20:24

I'm not doubting you threebears more doubting them. smile

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 13:20:42

Im happy to admit it bothers me, it bothers me my dh hardly sees our children while we earn half of what they receive, it bothers me all his tax he pays goes to people like this, it bothers me they can go on 2 holidays a year 1 abroad, 1 over here and go on days out to the zoo etc on a whim when we have to plan as to when we have saved up enough and when dh has time off, it really does bother me.
Im not envious I wouldn't want their life but I think its appalling the amount of benefits they get.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Wed 06-Aug-14 13:23:18

Maybe tax credits have dropped over the last few years. All I know was there was a huge fall out in our extended family when sibling 1 realised that sibling 2 had a similar amount of money to them (sibling 1's DH is a professional that works long hours and earns slightly above average wages, while sibling 2 is in low paid part time work and receives tax credits). Plus sibling 2 has received a new boiler for free, on some government scheme.

Even so, �1145 pm is still a substantial sum, which closes a lot of the gap between low paid part time work and full time work that requires a lot more effort (qualifications, always in touch, travel that makes it hard for the second parent to work etc).

And outside the world of law, banking, medicine and accountancy, wages do not keep going up and up and up for ever. Many people will get to �30/40k and stay at that amount more or less for ever.

NacMacFeeglie Wed 06-Aug-14 13:26:46

I received two hundred and seventy when working in Tc.

It came to more than my full time work. Problem is once you are in the benefits trap for whatever reason it occurred it's hard to get back out of.

I'm incredibly grateful to benefits but at the same time I'd prefer not to be on any full stop. Each little change can lead to massive stress over delayed payments etc. it's not a life I would have chosen on purpose that's for sure.

PistolWhipped Wed 06-Aug-14 13:28:27

I haven't felt this well off in years. My DP earns a rubbish wage and I'm a SAHM so when baby came five months ago we were awash with benefits. Bloody brilliant and very grateful, too.

myotherusernameisbetter Wed 06-Aug-14 13:31:59

There are a lot of things I choose to spend money on that others wouldn't and therefore they would have more disposable income. For example payments to pensions, life insurance cover and that sort of thing. If I didn't have those it would seem like i was better off.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 13:37:32

but some people dont want to be a doctor,solicitor etc

some are happy to do a bog standard job,some have no choice

not everybody wants to go to Uni/college,some would but cant afford to

the problem is these jobs pay low,little security and will never pay a living wage now, should we scrap the TC for them just because they arent as lucky or dont want a profession

if wages were half decent in these jobs there would be no need for tax credits,when a grown adult works 40 hrs a week and needs top ups to raise a family their is something very wrong

im sure many that work would rather earn a living wage than have to claim TC

rant over smile

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 13:43:17

Pistol

We were like you, but tax credits weren't available until ds2.
I can remember getting the letter of our first award and weeping for joy, and being just as grateful x thanks

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 13:44:39

We receive some tax credits though, Im grateful for that as we wouldn't be able to buy food etc if not but my dh is not on a high wage, he would love to go to uni but we can't afford it. All I am saying is why do people who have more and more children get the tc bumped up so much, wages don't! £1300 pm is another wage over the NMW in this area and thats without cb and hb added on top. Apparently my dh earns to much to receive any hb or council tax benefit but we have less than half there income, how is that right??

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 13:52:00

so their income is £1300 and your DH earns half of that and you pay full rent and council tax,have i just read that right

The3Bears Wed 06-Aug-14 13:53:15

No, I mean with all there benefits etc.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 13:54:49

ok, smile

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 14:05:33

The3Bears

This was my point up thread, there will always be people better off or seemingly for doing less than you, it might not seem fair to you.
But you can either accept this and be grateful for what you do have, make the most of it or be bitter and jealous, which doesnothing foryour soul or well being.
We all could have lived during a time when there were no tax credits or benefits to support a family, we are all fortunate in this day and age.
Not too long ago we would just have to have made do and if we couldn't support our dc, they would be taken from us.
Personally, I don't give a flying fuck what others have.

SoonToBeSix Wed 06-Aug-14 14:14:43

I love Christmas do you mean the mums allowance of Working tax credit or income support?
Either way it's not £1400 child tax credits a month.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 14:16:58

i thought she was a single parent getting 72 is for her allowance,i thought she was adding that to the tc making it 1400

agree it's not 1400 ctc

SoonToBeSix Wed 06-Aug-14 14:20:58

It's ok Christmas have seen the breakdown , still find it odd that she told you her tax credit amounts three bears but not saying you are lying.
What you need to ask yourself is would the dc suffer if the tax credits were stopped and would you be ok with that?

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 14:32:35

It really surprises me that you got no housing benefit in those circumstances Nac. Did you have very cheap accommodation, or over 16k savings?

weatherall Wed 06-Aug-14 15:45:15

The HB system makes me wish if never bought a house.

We have an interest only mirtgage and bought near the top of the market so we're not accruing any lt wealth. But it makes us in eligible for HB. We would get £600 PCM but instead have to pay this out of tax credits.

If I had stayed renting we would have been tens if thousands better off over the years.

Missunreasonable Wed 06-Aug-14 16:03:04

The HB system really pisses me off too. People who have bought homes always have the fear of losing their home if they lose their job for whatever reason whereas people renting don't have that same fear.
We need greater security for tenants but we also need greater security for people with mortgages.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 16:08:01

i know it does not seem it but you are/will be better of in the long run

no waiting to see if your lease will be extended,no massive deposits to find,no change of school etc,you can more or less do what you want

i get your point about the HB though,when i had a back to work assessment because i had a morgage at the time they would not help with any of the intrest if i worked and would be £70 a week worse of compared to being on full time benefit,but if i had rented they would of paid a large amount of my rent approx £800 a month for working

so guess what i stayed on benefit and got some of the intrest paid made up the shortfall as i only had a few yrs left on the morgage so just got through

i do feel the system is unfair like that and it should be looked at,if you cant pay your morgage then you get repossessed it land's in the council's lap anyway

weatherall Wed 06-Aug-14 16:10:41

Sorry for all the typos!

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 16:14:18

what gets me is they will pay the rent on a BTL which in turn is not a family home but a money maker/longterm investment,but will not help people with morgages which it's purpose is a family home

blardy madness

Purpleflamingos Wed 06-Aug-14 16:18:05

If it makes you feel any better we can't afford my dream of 4-5 children without racking up major debt. We're on track to be debt free with a comfortable lifestyle. I'm a SAHM but will be returning to work once the youngest child turns 7yrs. We could afford more children then, but i don't want a 7 and 9 year age gap.

Missunreasonable Wed 06-Aug-14 16:23:40

what gets me is they will pay the rent on a BTL which in turn is not a family home but a money maker/longterm investment,but will not help people with morgages which it's purpose is a family home

That so the bit that makes me mad. I suppose I can see the argument that the public purse should not be paying for people to buy a home and that people should have to work and earn to pay for their home, but it doesn't sit with the fact that the public purse funds BTL purchases.
We should either have a rule whereby the public purse will only fund local authority rents (and not private rents) or we should have a system where anybody in need of help with housing costs should be able to receive help.
Perhaps that help should be time limited for both Private rentals or mortgage payers to encourage them to seek work and not have the mortgage paid indefinetley by the public purse but the current system is unfair and penalises people at a time when they need support.

sweetnessandlite Wed 06-Aug-14 16:58:22

Somebody mentioned that babies and young children are cheap.
They are right. Once you have all the equipment and clothes, you can pass it on to subsequent children.
What they DON'T realise, is that as soon as those young children hit their teens, the costs go through the ROOF!

Some people don't realise that and just want to carry on having 'babies'.

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 17:06:30

it always penalises those who have mortgages who may have bought because no way would they qualify for social housing and renting is so expensive.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 17:07:55

give me a teenager any day compared to a toddler even with the empty purse and empty fridge grin

CruCru Wed 06-Aug-14 18:05:16

Regardless of money, I wonder how big families cope with day to day living. I can't imagine doing reading, spellings, times tables every evening for 4+ children, getting them to and from a bunch of activities and parties.

aubreye Wed 06-Aug-14 18:15:38

I was only planning to have three children but I had my DTs! I could probably afford more but I don't want more as they would get less attention. You're not unreasonable to think this as a family in my town have eight children and the parents are a sahm and a primary school teacher but they were nice clothes from GAP and NEXT etc. and our families bump into each other often when we're out shopping. They seem to always have TWICE as much shopping as us.

soverylucky Wed 06-Aug-14 18:23:49

My dh is at the top of the pay scale for his job, has not had a pay rise for three years (like most of the working population) and works 70 plus hours a week. It makes me cross, jealous and bitter that other people can get more money than him for working less than half the time in a much less stressful job.

If these figures are correct then there is something wrong. Very wrong and I am beginning to wonder if dh should hand his notice in right now.

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 18:25:14

I dont think teens will cost any more than my little ones tbh. It all depends what costs you factor in.

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 18:31:34

Food?

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 18:33:12

people renting don't have that same fear.

I can lose my home with as little as 28 days notice. regardless of whether I am on time with my rent, keep it like a palace, do repairs myself etc. I don't need to lose my job, it is entirely out of my control if my LL decides to give notice, he can, for no reason. believe me when I say that I do indeed have that fear.

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 18:35:33

They seem to always have TWICE as much shopping as us.

maybe because there are TWICE as many of them?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 18:46:06

I'm very confused how teenagers cost more than smaller children.
Mine cost me nothing because as soon as they were old enough they started work, became grown ups and funded their own lifestyles.
The few years before this we still had tax credits and cb for them.
Please somebody explain about costs going through the roof as I don't get it.

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 18:51:26

they cost more morethan than babies. you get the same amount in tax credits for a 2 year old as for a 14 year old but the 14 year old is likely to want gadgets, branded clothes, more expensive presents, make up/toiletries, eat a lot more food, spend 45 minutes in the shower.

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 18:53:06

never mind phone top ups, cinema trips, petrol/transport to meet friends, activities/sports clubs and equipment.

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 18:54:18

I dont see how they can be more expensive as when they are little as there is all the childcare, classes, tuition, savings and they still are in branded clothes. Well there is for my lot anyway so cant see it getting more expensive as if anything it will be cheaper.

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 18:56:24

The one good thing in all of that though is the more you have the more sibling discounts you get so none are as expensive as your first.

NacMacFeeglie Wed 06-Aug-14 18:57:37

Chunderella I wish I had savings. Any at all smile I lived in a private let three bedroom mid terrace which is considered to be in a bad area of town. The rent was five hundred and eighty five a month.

Whilst working full time I received tax credits including working tax credits and childcare help as well as child benefit and my wage. I was on housing benefit before my full time job and when informing of my change of circumstance and providing payslips etc I did not qualify for housing benefit.

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 19:04:21

The thing with teenagers is they're inevitably going to eat more than toddlers, so their food costs will be higher, and their clothes are going to cost more. Unless you move from branded clothes for littlies to supermarket stuff for teenagers, I guess. They also cost more in utilities because of longer showers and keeping different hours to parents. Some of this, like the clothes, you can still get via bargains and shopping around, but less so the other stuff. I take the point about childcare, but I think melissa you've said before that you get a lot of yours paid for? So it might not make as much difference to your income as it would for others. I can well believe morethan's anecdote about her teens getting Saturday jobs and this helping the family budget, but casual work like this is getting more difficult to find for younger people. It may have changed back again by the time those of us with littlies have teens, but wouldn't bank on it.

I didn't think of the tax credits Nac. I suppose if you were getting a lot of those it would impact on housing benefit.

Babyroobs Wed 06-Aug-14 19:04:41

Teens cost huge amounts more than toddlers ( excluding childcare costs). I have 3 teenage boys who eat man sized meals ( and more!), take man sized clothes and shoes / Trainers etc and want to do expensive things like go to footbal matches and go-karting. A family holiday in a caravan is no longer a cheap option as they are so tall they won't fit in the kiddie beds ! And once they hit the teens they won't settle for charity shop clothes or even hand me downs from older brothers without a huge fuss. That's before we even start to think about helping them through Uni (they are all 2 school years apart so we are facing years of 2 at Uni at the same time). I don't know how we will cope. We are over the threshold for any tax credits or the grants which cover living costs for kids at Uni for low income families. It's a worry but we will do it somehow I guess.

soverylucky Wed 06-Aug-14 19:06:48

Teenagers eat more, go on school trips, need bus fare or a bike, need more expensive clothes, music lessons, sports classes/equipment, stationary items for school, high school uniform - usually involves blazer and separate PE kit etc

They definitely cost more than toddlers imo

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 19:07:50

The thing with teenagers is they're inevitably going to eat more than toddlers

I misread this and thought it said "eat more toddlers" grin

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 19:10:47

No Dia, I've heard the phrase 'eat me out of house and home' but I think consuming small children is where I would draw the line. Although I've met teenagers, lads in particular, who probably could eat a toddler or two and still not be full.

Babyroobs Wed 06-Aug-14 19:11:02

And just to add my eldest does a paper round every morning before school for the great sum of £7.50 a week which doesn't go far ! My second eldest boy cannot get a paper round asthere is so much competition. All the local kids are desperately competng for small gardening jobs/ car washing etc but there is only so much work going. for young girls it seems to be even harder . When I was 13 I was babysitting and earning good money but nowadays parents don't seem comfortable with letting teenagers babysit young children, well this is my experience.

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 19:11:28

Its still over 70 a week and will be more with no 3 then including 88 for first child, 66 for the others drama, 25 a week tuition, savings, clothes, trips with friends etc. I dont see it getting any more expensive.

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 19:12:48

they are expensive at uni. poor dd had a holiday job lined up but had to do a placement at the same time which took precedent (sp)? and so it impacts on us.

other dd gap year so no cb but around now and off to uni for 4 year course, expensive times.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 19:13:11

DiaDuit

Ah I see now, mine weren't materialistic and were leaders rather than followers. Peer pressure passed us by and seems to be doing so with dd.
I did notice the shower thing, but we bought a timer from pound shop and dh is a stickler for utility wastage.
He comes in sometimes and announces you could see our house from space or some analogy to Blackpool Illuminations. grin
I guess ours have been good on the not asking for stuff, I never realised.
I feel really proud now thanks

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 19:13:13

Although I've met teenagers, lads in particular, who probably could eat a toddler or two and still not be full.

and it would help reduce food bills further wouldn't it? grin

Missunreasonable Wed 06-Aug-14 19:13:38

I can lose my home with as little as 28 days notice. regardless of whether I am on time with my rent, keep it like a palace, do repairs myself etc. I don't need to lose my job, it is entirely out of my control if my LL decides to give notice, he can, for no reason. believe me when I say that I do indeed have that fear.

But you won't be left with tens of thousands of pounds of debt and repossession fees owing.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 19:16:00

teens dont cost more,i can only imagine those that say that have younger children or their adults now

i have 2 teen boys

one example last week my teen son wanted to buy a pair of Lacoste trainers (yes yes i know mega £££) anyway he had earned some money so i said i would go half he needed new anyway, they cost £70 so he paid £35 i paid the rest,hes 15yrs and yes he wants the brands

rewind 10yrs and i would of got him a pair for £8-10 big saving

the list is endless at the extra cost and im not talking spoiling them just everyday thinks

and if you have a teen boy it will cost you atleast £20 amonth in Lynx grin

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 19:16:55

you are lucky morethan. mine aren't teens yet so happy in charity shop stuff and hand me downs but I don't know if it will last. ds1 is so easily led and swallows every line his fibbing exaggerating friends spin him. I am a stickler for the lights being off etc though so will be banging on the bathroom door no doubt. they both asked for pony lessons yesterday hmm

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 19:17:45

it is more expensive with teens petrol for constant taxiing, girls want bras and their boobs keep growing, toiletries, tampax obviouslysmile

also mobile phone contracts or payg not going far.

ds isn't too bothered about labels thank goodness

driving lessons

Missunreasonable Wed 06-Aug-14 19:18:03

Mine is gojng to cost me more once he gets to high school : mobile phone, school bus fares, dinner money.....

ashtrayheart Wed 06-Aug-14 19:20:16

I have toddlers and teens, the teens are much more expensive to run!

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 19:21:07

But you won't be left with tens of thousands of pounds of debt and repossession fees owing.

no, however that wasn't what you were talking about in your post. you said that people renting don't have the fear of losing their home if they lose their job.

People who have bought homes always have the fear of losing their home if they lose their job for whatever reason whereas people renting don't have that same fear.

I responded saying I have that fear even without having to lose my job.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 19:22:09

My ds could always eat for England, even as toddlers.
Dh has a big appetite too, they are typical meat and 3 veg type.
All the expensive stuff though like school trips, uniform, school dinners, music lessons are subsidised for dc from low incoe families.
Not that we were entitled to them apart from one year anyway.

alemci
It only impacts on you if you can afford it. My ds was in a similar position but couldn't afford a gap year as he was funding himself through uni whilst working full time. Luckily his employer was happy to give him time off to undertake the compulsory work placement he had to do.
If you can't afford to help them they have to grow up andfind a way themselves.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 19:22:16

im rolling my eyes that teenagers dont cost more [confused

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 19:23:31

Childrens shoes cost an arm and leg anyway. Ive had to paid 47 for a pair of startrite ones for school. My dv all have high instep and never had a pair of shoes under at least 30 except on sale doodles.

BarbaraPalmer Wed 06-Aug-14 19:28:43

Those who say teens are more expensive that toddlers presumably aren't using paid childcare at 49 quid per child, per day. Yoyu can get a lot of lacoste trainers and lynx for that

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 19:41:36

Its a different way of doing things on here as well. Dc wont be getting anything for uni as its up to them to sort themselves. I have savings for them but for house deposits/when they are married etc

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 19:41:37

Honestly, my teenage boys didn't cost me any more than when they were primary. Their sport was free or subsidised by their club whilst in education.
I can quite see that dd will be another matter, she is only 10.
My ds are 22 (nearly 23) and 19 (20 in December) so it wasn't a long time ago that I was going through what many consider the expensive times.
I can't comment on childcare differences as never used it.
Although, they didn't have designer labels, well much anyway, we still managed to afford new clothes from high street shops. Charity shops round here are not good so wouldn't use them.
Phones and entertainment came out of tax credit and cb as this money is for dc anyway. As did food, hea etc.
You just don't let them take the piss, and if you can't afford much how can they be expensive?

soverylucky Wed 06-Aug-14 19:42:05

Agree with that Barbara but for sahps teens are definitely more expensive

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 19:43:03

to be fair she did self fund for gap but she is back home so she will need feeding plus stuff for uni. if she needs money now she will have to do jobs around the house.

ilovechristmas1 Wed 06-Aug-14 19:44:13

valid point BarbaraPalmer

but round here jobs dont pay that to be able to afford childcare like that

thats what this thread is about really,some familys are better of with one working and one staying at home and being within the TC remit

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 19:47:42

Dia

I have just read your pony post.

Not sure if this helps but my friend got very cheap almost free lessons, but she had to take her dd to help clean and muck outfor the day.
It was the only way she could get lessons but it seems to be working for them. Not sure if you have the time to hang around or time for your ds to spend a full day there, but thought itworth a mention.

whatever5 Wed 06-Aug-14 19:59:42

I agree that teens are not more expensive than toddlers if you have to pay for childcare. The cheapest age is when they are at primary school.

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 20:04:49

that's a good idea morethan. thanks for that. they had a 'treat' day yesterday at a local stables. and of course came home insisting they really want lessons but they are £14 each so I have said no for the time being. however if it's possible to trade time for a lesson we might be able to do that. I will contact the stables and ask.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 20:10:30

I really do think it depends on your outlook and preferences tbh.

We are better off now than we were when ds1 and 2 were primary age and dd perhaps gets more than they did. However, the basic necessities are still the same, food, shelter, heat etc although these have increased over the years as they do.
When she is a teen the situation will be the same, we will have a higher disposable income than we did for the ds.
If I buy her more stuff itsecause we have the money not that she ismore expensive.
Phones, other gadgets, designer labels, trip out, entertainment, lessons, tuition isn't necessary and hings yo do if you have the money.
This doesn't make teenagers more expensive, you just decide to spend more.

NacMacFeeglie Wed 06-Aug-14 20:22:16

Chunderella the tax creds I received was more than my full time wage hmm

Don't get me wrong I'm grateful. But it's a hard trap to get out of once you have got yourself into it.

The wage basically replaced my housing benefit as my rent was higher than the maximum amount so I had to find an extra hundred even when not working. So I got to slog my guts out in a sales job on my feet for ten hours in exchange for minimum wage to pay my rent with and still be in the same position as not working. Plus I lost free school meals which cost eighty pound a month and had to find extra for childcare.

I carried on regardless I was so determined to work and subsequently ended up having a breakdown for a lot of reasons including the fact I was plain worn out. And no better off. sad

However I'm about to do it all over again. Interview tomorrow for a full time job. Once again all benefits will go into the air whilst they decide what I am entitled to and I will have to wait to see if there are overpayments during that time and will have no real idea of my financial situation for a couple of months just in time for Christmas.

Why am I doing it. Because I want to work. I have a good brain and get very down when not doing anything. I was also brought up to pay your own way and with the way things are these days relying on benefits alone is not good. If there is independence for Scotland there will be changes over a couple of years. If we stay with Britain and Tories income support will stop for me next year with my youngest now being school age. Plus I want to set an example to my children. For all I know I am making a mistake and may be posting on MN about how utterly deflating it is to keep trying to work full time and not getting anywhere.

Gennz Wed 06-Aug-14 20:46:52

It doesn't surprise me that people in so called "ordinary" jobs are able to have nice lifestyles and perhaps more children. What looks like an ordinary job could be a specialized trade.

DH and I are both lawyers which is seen as a prestigious, well paid profession, and we are lucky to both earn decent money. However we both spent 5 years studying, I graduated with £35k student debt (he didn't as his parents paid for him), we spent our 20s working our way up our careers, with salary improving but initially on quite low pay, bought a house when I was 28 and he was 32 and only now are expecting our first child (I'll be 33 when it arrives).

Compare us to friends we have who are builders or sparkies - they left school at 16, did a paid apprenticeship and never had student debt, often bought their first home in early 20s - so bought for much less and had loads more capital gain, settled earlier so loads more fertile years to have more kids if that's what they wanted - oh and can renovate their houses themselves or pay mate's rates rather tham paying top dollar which is what impractical DH and I did! And yet I bet people would assume two lawyers would be better off than a tradie. (I'm not whinging btw, just pointing out how appearances can be deceiving. )

revealall Wed 06-Aug-14 20:51:50

Great post Nac.

I have a similar situation. I am getting a pay rise soon but I am happy only because I can say I'm worth a bit more . My actual income will go down once the benefits are all reduced. And that will be after they get it wrong for the first few months and make me pay it back as well as everything else.

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 20:55:16

Its always better to be working nac so dont get disheartened. I felt like you a few years back but Ive worked all the way through all my children and have now had the opportunity of my dreams come up to start next month. If I hadnt of worked I wouldnt of achieved anything or be going anywhere. It feels good as well when you workhard for something and I finally comes true.

alemci Wed 06-Aug-14 21:02:11

can yo do your own conveyancing though Nacsmile

you make a valid point though

Chunderella Wed 06-Aug-14 21:08:57

Well that's the thing Nat. The tax credits trap and lack of certainty is why I always say in these threads that although some TC recipients have an easier life than those who don't claim, for me it's not a desirable position to be in.

I can well believe your boys ate a lot as toddlers morethan but I bet it wasn't as much as they did when they were 15 and playing football!

NacMacFeeglie Wed 06-Aug-14 21:16:17

Melissa absolutely and this job I will hopefully get tomorrow does have the opportunity to work your way up. I suppose one of the benefits in having had all my children young is having no need to take maternity etc.

My dream job I just cannot afford the cost of the courses. Nor can I presume that at the end of it there will be a steady income. I got accepted on the course and am due to start in the beginning of September but have made the hard decision to go to work perhaps be able to save up which I can't do now and take the course through open university.

NacMacFeeglie Wed 06-Aug-14 21:19:10

Revealall congrats on the pay rise grin I do know what you mean. The minute your income increases everything drops to mean things are still no different. Hey ho.

Just a quick note. I use a phone to post and unfortunately part of the screen doesn't work. That is why my grammar and punctuation may be a bit out! smile

weatherall Wed 06-Aug-14 21:33:22

You don't get school trips and dinners free on a low income!

Working parents will almost always be in eligible for these, even if they get a lot of tax credits.

Missunreasonable Wed 06-Aug-14 21:44:10

no, however that wasn't what you were talking about in your post. you said that people renting don't have the fear of losing their home if they lose their job.

But I was clearly talking about it from a financial and govt funding HB point of view, not a landlord suddenly giving notice point of view. If you want to bring extra points in then don't complain when I do the same.

DiaDuit Wed 06-Aug-14 22:06:21

sorry, you've lost me. confused

you said that people with mortgages had the fear of losing their home due to losing their job and said that renters don't have that fear. this was wrong. they do.

this is your entire post
*The HB system really pisses me off too. People who have bought homes always have the fear of losing their home if they lose their job for whatever reason whereas people renting don't have that same fear.
We need greater security for tenants but we also need greater security for people with mortgages.*

I'm not sure what you mean when you say I was clearly talking about it from a financial and govt funding HB point of view because Govt funding HB would have nothing to do with you losing your job. btw- HB far from covers all the rent on many homes. the tenant has to pay the rest so if they lose their job and, as often happens, benefits don't kick in for weeks/months then they could very easily be homeless as a result. so yes. that fear is very much there the same as for people with mortgages.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 22:26:47

Weatherall

My older dc were entitled to free school meals and other benefits when they were younger.
It used to be if you earned underapprox 11k even if you had the tax credits/ Family credit whatever it was called.
It then went up to 16k and still entitled.
Then within dds time at school only if you don't receive tax credits.
here if you are low income you have subsidised music sportor drama lessons provided by the LA, trips re subsidised too, by LA or school.
Maybe other authorities onlydo this for income suport which they do here also.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Aug-14 22:37:18

chunderella

Eldest doesn't really live here anymore, well he does on paper, but we never see him.
I can't afford to see him too much grin
When they were both at home the food bill was more expensive but quite often they didn't eat at home, which is one bit of respite I suppose.
I can't say as I noticed a huge difference though, but maybe that's due to my shopping routine I mentioned way way way up thread grin
We have always eaten well, good food, mostly cooked from scratch.
I buy lots of whoops, freeze a lot, live on offers, so have never really spent too much on food.
Any left overs are frozen and its a cheap meal for one sometime.

Morloth Wed 06-Aug-14 22:50:50

Oh no, SweetSummerSweetPea I do not by any stretch of imagination think I am poor and beer tastes on a champagne budget has definitely resulted in a good outcome.

But I do wonder how it is done, we have a 'nice' life, a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood, solid reliable car and so on it is all excellent and we are certainly not living to our means (by that I mean we are way under).

I do just occasionally wonder how people afford the lavish lifestyles so many of them appear to live, knowing that we make towards the top incomes and we can't 'afford' to, well not for any length of time anyway.

It crosses my mind because I worry that people are living in houses of cards and if most people crash, everyone is going down with them.

We have just let go of the idea of a third child because we don't feel we have the 'resources' for 3 instead of 2 (not just cash obviously) so I do wonder how people with 4+ keep it all together.

bcdef Wed 06-Aug-14 23:04:46

JackShit - Check out the documentary 'Don't Panic – The Truth About Population' presented by Hans Rosling. It's really interesting and you may find it reassuring.

Gennz Wed 06-Aug-14 23:29:25

morloth we are similar I think.

we live in a nice 3 bed house in a gentrifying but not super posh area (not UK but akin to London prices), 2 cars (both in good nick but 8 - 10 years old now), we holiday overseas once a year if we can manage it and locally in summer at a beach house - nothing fancy.

We manage to save a decent amount and try to pay down our mortgage faster than the minimum but we certainly don't live the high life - we don't wear designer labels or ever buy flash gadgets! And this is on two very good salaries. I am just having our first child so I don't know how many we'll have, but 3 max, more likely 2 - I grew up in a family where we struggled financially and I don't want to put my kids (or me!!) through that.

I see people living in very flash houses, much fancier cars, designer goodies, one SAHP etc etc and wonder how they manage it. I'm not envious, it's just genuinely a mystery to me. (These are people that I know, or know of, personally I mean, no slebs in magazines). Perhaps there's family money there, or maybe it's all on credit or extending the mortgage - the former would be fab grin but I would find the latter incredibly stressful.

Designjunkie Thu 07-Aug-14 00:37:49

The answer to the original question posted is the same as that asked of 'how do people afford private school\house\car\holiday when they earn similar to me ?' Wealth is rarely dependent solely on wages. Some have no debts, savings, inheritance, wealthy relatives or got lucky in property. Lifestyles are not always funded by credit cards. Obviously some are, but not all.
I know of neighbour's who are both on a teachers salary, they have 2 dc. We live in a very 'desirable' part of London and they send both dds to private school. Not feasible on their salaries alone. However, I know that the wife inherited 2 houses from her mother.
I don't quite understand how the OP has such a hard time understanding that perhaps others could be in a different situation to herself. From what the OP has told us about her friend, she sounds like she is taking good care of her children. I honestly think the OP wanted to ask why this friend earns the same as herself but manages to have much nicer things. The 4 dc is a moot point. A touch of the green eyed monster I think.

Missunreasonable Thu 07-Aug-14 07:01:50

I'm not sure what you mean when you say I was clearly talking about it from a financial and govt funding HB point of view because Govt funding HB would have nothing to do with you losing your job.

Because if you lose your job and have a mortgage you don't get any help with the mortgage for the first 3 months and then you get an amount which covers only part of the interest for the next 9 months and then you get nothing. If you lose your job and rent a home you get HB from day one and it continues whilst you look for work regardless of how long you are out of work. Even if there is a shortfall due to LHA or benefit cap the help is much more significant for tenants than it is for mortgage payers.
It is daft because tenants might live in houses that have mortgages too (BTL)and so the govt is happy to pay landlords mortgages but not owner occupier mortgages.
Do you get my point now?

DiaDuit Thu 07-Aug-14 10:43:15

If you lose your job and rent a home you get HB from day one

No you dont. There is a minimum of 6 weeks here before you will get any payment through. Many people are waiting longer than 6 weeks. In NI (where i am) LL only have to give 28 days notice. You could be homeless by the time the money arrives. With a mortgage you wont have your home reposessed for missing one or two month's payment. My friend started defaulting on her mortgage over two years ago. She hasnt paid anything on it since last september, she has been to court and had the order of repossession. She still has the house.

Missunreasonable Thu 07-Aug-14 11:03:45

It still remains the case that HB is far more generous and less time restrictive than help with mortgage payments. Your friends case is not necessarily the norm and if she got repossessed and the sale price of her home is less than her outstanding mortgage she would still owe the shortfall plus legal costs.

DiaDuit Thu 07-Aug-14 11:08:40

hmm yes, HB may be more generous but, again, that wasnt the point you initially made and it wasnt what i was responding to. You said people renting dont have the fear if losing their homes if they lose their job. They very much do. I have demonstrated (a few times now) why.

Missunreasonable Thu 07-Aug-14 11:51:14

Dia: do you believe that tenants are more deserving of financial assistance with housing costs than mortgage payers at times of unemployment?
Do you believe that landlords are more deserving of public money to help pay their mortgages than owner occupiers?

I would quite happily support a policy of providing equal help to both parties whether that means increasing support for owner occupiers or decreasing support for tenants in private lets. I don't agree with the current financially unequal support system.

Missunreasonable Thu 07-Aug-14 11:54:56

Well perhaps I should have said that tenants don't have the same level of fear of not being able to afford their rent as what mortgage payers have about paying their mortgages if unemployed. Would that have been a better phrase?

DiaDuit Thu 07-Aug-14 12:23:26

*Dia: do you believe that tenants are more deserving of financial assistance with housing costs than mortgage payers at times of unemployment?
Do you believe that landlords are more deserving of public money to help pay their mortgages than owner occupiers?*

confused
what?? where on earth are you getting that from? I answered a comment you made about the fear home owners have that tenants don't have. I showed you that tenants actually do have that fear. nowhere did I say anything about either party being more deserving!

whatever5 Thu 07-Aug-14 12:51:57

If you have a mortgage you should have either have savings to cover mortgage interest for a while should you become unemployed or you can take out mortgage payment protection insurance.

Missunreasonable Thu 07-Aug-14 13:13:32

Dia - I Asked whether you felt they were more deserving - I didn't accuse you of saying that. There is a difference between a question and an accusation.

Whatever5 - I do have some savings to cover my mortgage but not everybody does. It could also be argued that people should have savings to cover their rent if they became unemployed. Everyone should take some level of personal responsibility. However, many people (owners and tenants) just don't earn enough to build up any savings or they have to dip into savings for repairs etc. mortgage protection insurance isn't always the answer either as there is often a waiting period before the claim will be paid and a time limit of 12 months after which no more payouts are provided. What happens if somebody doesn't get a job within 12 months or has to take much lower paid work?

alemci Thu 07-Aug-14 14:09:40

totally agree, we now overpay our mortgage but many people can just afford the interest repayments which was the same for us when our dc were small. we were so skint mil used to give us money to pay.

why should home owners be treated differently. if they lose their house then they cost the taxpayer more in the long run.

lornemalvo Thu 07-Aug-14 19:27:39

I think it is a lot to do with what sort of lifestyle you expect. A lot of people tell me they could not afford a third child or to be a SAHM. I have 3 young children and am currently at home. But we have a small house. It is quite old. Our cars are both more than 10 years old. We are happy to holiday in the UK. We don't need or want a lot of things.
We do get child benefit but until very recently so did the richest of the rich. Barely 2 years ago all the people who refer to people who receive CB as 'on benefits' and imply they are in some way scrounging also received CB. In fact many of them received it for years longer than my family has. For instance, someone no longer eligible but with a 10 year old and 8 year old will have received far more CB than we have but they pour scorn now they are no longer eligible. Some people are very judgy and can't even see how silly they are being.

whatever5 Thu 07-Aug-14 20:54:22

Whatever5 - I do have some savings to cover my mortgage but not everybody does.

They should have savings though. That is my point. If they don't have saving or can't afford mortgage protection insurance they shouldn't borrow money to buy a house in the first place.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 07-Aug-14 21:19:35

Hmm. If you lose your own home, then you've lost the investment as well as the building.
If you are renting then that was never an investment.

Mortgage and childcare are our cripplers tbh.
Although the reason i wouldn't have more than two is because i'm knackered. They're killing me. grin

weatherall Thu 07-Aug-14 21:38:40

Morethan- yes these passport benefits are variable by area.

-whatever- that is ridiculous to say that everyone with a mortgage should have savings!

whatever5 Thu 07-Aug-14 21:45:55

whatever- that is ridiculous to say that everyone with a mortgage should have savings

I said they should have savings or mortgage protection insurance. I don't see what is ridiculous about that! People shouldn't borrow money to buy a house without thinking/planning for what they will do if they become unemployed.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 07-Aug-14 22:19:51

Ok pardon me for being a bit dim, I'll put it down to infection but.

If you have a mortgage and you default on payment it is quite a while before your house will be repossessed, during which time you could find employment or even a deal for lower payments holidays etc.
You can't do this if you are renting and doubtful if a private ll would be so keen on negotiating lower payments or holidays or even interest only. You have far more protection with a mortgage.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 07:21:59

If you rent and lose your job you get far higher levels of housing benefit support in order to keep a roof over your head than what a mortgage payer gets to help pay his mortgage. Not everybody can look for lower interest deals or negotiate interest only. A lower interest deal requires the person to take out a remortgage which requires a new application (not possible if you don't have a job). An interest only deal requires the building society to agree to it which they won't do if your mortgage already takes you to retirement age and they won't sometimes allow it in other circumstances either.
The point made earlier was that the govt are happy to provide HB to cover landlord mortgages but not anywhere near the same level of support for owner occupier mortgages.

whatever5 perhaps people who can't afford savings to cover their rent in the event of unemployment shouldn't rent a house either. Or perhaps the govt should just have a system which supports people equally.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 07:26:05

Re: payment holidays- most building societies do an affordability check before they agree to a payment holiday. Monthly Payments go up a little after a payment holiday due to the additional accrued interest and missed payments so most building societies refuse payment holidays if they don't believe you can afford the payments after the holiday. They use to allow payment holidays quite freely but not anymore since the more stringent lending criteria came in.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 09:21:10

whatever5 perhaps people who can't afford savings to cover their rent in the event of unemployment shouldn't rent a house either. Or perhaps the govt should just have a system which supports people equally.

As I keep saying people who have a mortgage should have savings or they should have mortgage protection insurance. Having a mortgage is not the same thing as renting as people who rent haven't chosen to borrow thousands of pounds to invest in a house. Do seriously think the tax paper to pay towards people's investments should they become unemployed?

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 09:28:12

why should the government pay someones rent though? i think your arguments are ludicrous to be honest. our mortgage is cheaper than even social housing rents. if we lost our house and the council rehomed us in rented accomadation which then we claimed hb for we would be costing the taxpayer more than if they just gave the same help to mortgage owners that they do to renters. in our area social housing rents are a good couple of hundred pounds higher than our mortgage.

weatherall Fri 08-Aug-14 09:38:28

Whether- mortgage protection insurance only helps in limited circumstances. I wouldn't have been eligible for it as my work was temp contracts.

Even then it usually only covers one year.

It isn't a solution.

I agree with others that HB should be paid to homeowners at the same rate as renters.

weatherall Fri 08-Aug-14 09:40:53

Whatever- I assumed that if I became unemployed I would find another job. I didn't predict the recession, 7 years of unemployment and having to retrain for another job.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 09:47:13

also, we are a 'large' family. there are 8 of us living in our house (4 adults, 4 children and 1 on the way). our house is 4 bedroomed but relatively small. if we were in social housing we would be considered overcrowded. we cope. we dont feel that we are so over crowded that we cant manage. we plan, in the future, to build on but if we dont get around to it it eont be the end of the world. if we lived in social housing they would be constantly trying to move us!

redshifter Fri 08-Aug-14 09:55:18

the govt are happy to provide HB to cover landlord mortgages but not anywhere near the same level of support for owner occupier mortgages

Yes, this does seem crazy sometimes. A family on my street were unable to pay their £500 per mortgage after the husband lost his job. They ended up selling it to a friend of mine. They still live there but HB now pays their £300 per WEEK rent. The house has more than doubled in value since. My friend is laughing. The state has been paying his mortgage for years, plus a healthy weekly profit for him, and paying for a very impressive investment.

Same friend has bought ten ex council houses in the area (West London) over the years. All on BTL mortages, most paid for entirely by HB. His mortgages total about £500k. He reckons the current total value of these houses is £2 million. He recieves about £3000 per week in rental income mostly from the local authority in HB who used to own these houses. It used to cost them virtually nothing if the original tenants became unemployed. Now they basically fun my friends investments and have made him a millionaire.

Yes. Very crazy.

redshifter Fri 08-Aug-14 10:03:16

Do seriously think the tax paper to pay towards people's investments should they become unemployed?

No we can't have this. People could just get the biggest mortgage they could get then just give up work and have the government pay their mortgage for 20 - 30 years while it increses in value tenfold. Then sell up by 2 smaller properties mortage free and have the state pay the rent on one for a nice easy retirement. This would be crazy.

But as in the example of my friend I gave above, the state does it anyway, as long as you are not living in the house you have a mortgage on.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 10:06:01

why should the government pay someones rent though?

The government pays the minimum to provide people with shelter because that is (or should be) a basic human right.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 10:08:21

but that is my point, if our circumstances changed and god forbid we lost our house they would be paying a damn sight more in rent than we are currently paying in mortgage. if the help was available for mortgage owners too in that scenario we would cost the government less for shelter. does that make sense to anyone?

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 10:09:44

Whatever- I assumed that if I became unemployed I would find another job. I didn't predict the recession, 7 years of unemployment and having to retrain for another job.

You shouldn't have assumed that you would never be unemployed and would always be able to get another job straight away though.

MissBeans Fri 08-Aug-14 10:11:08

dance you would not be classed as overcrowded. Lucky for you your mortgage is tidy, aren't you lucky you bought at the right time.

Just because parents of a large family own their house & don't claim hb or tc, does not negate the fact that the 'surplus' of offspring are not draining the country's resources.

Pffft, some people live in a bubble.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 10:15:35

i disagree, we were considered overcrowded 11 years ago in this very house with four adults and 1 child! grin

lizhow14 Fri 08-Aug-14 10:21:15

I am one of 5 girls and my parents just worked their arses off. My mum was a nurse and worked nights, my dad was a self employed gas engineer. Never entitled to benefits other than child benefit. We had a good childhood (my 14 year old sis still enjoying hers smile) and never went without anything. I have asked my parents how they afforded us, their reply was they had too!
I think if I would have waited until I could really afford children (whatever that definition may be) then I still wouldn't have any now!

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 10:25:53

but that is my point, if our circumstances changed and god forbid we lost our house they would be paying a damn sight more in rent than we are currently paying in mortgage. if the help was available for mortgage owners too in that scenario we would cost the government less for shelter. does that make sense to anyone?

Your mortgage may be lower your would pay for rent, but that doesn't necessarily apply to the majority of people. Anyway, I have even less sympathy for the fact that you haven't saved enough to cover your mortgage for 13 weeks (until you support for mortgage interest relief) if your mortgage is that low.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 10:27:00

does anyone else feel that the "overpopulation" argument is a bit thin? i mean it wasn't that long ago that 10-15 children were normal, and yes, maybe they weren't all expected to survive but plenty did. sure i'll be flamed but refuse to feel selfish for having a large family.

Lally112 Fri 08-Aug-14 10:34:14

Yes dances it is, isnt it. Unless you count the cows horses and sheep round my way the population is less than 800, apparently too low to keep my village school open. We need more kids here - not less

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 10:35:45

whatever5 where have i said i dont have savings? i'm playing devils advocate and trying to show why the current system can be costing more money than a simple change and more equal help would.

also rented property is notoriously more expensive than most peoples mortgages ime. people do not know what is around the corner. situations change. often unexpectedly.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 10:43:50

whatever5 where have i said i dont have savings? i'm playing devils advocate and trying to show why the current system can be costing more money than a simple change and more equal help would.

I doubt that the current system is costing more than a simple change though. Your mortgage may cost less than you would get for rent from housing benefit but that is because you have a large family.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 10:55:05

not particularly. our mortgage is £360 a month. when we lived in a two bed social housing flat we were paying £430 a month, and that was a decade ago. that isn't unusual. i think your perceptions are unrealistic. rents have risen in our area and a house like ours would be upwards of £900 a month in todays climate. at least. and most familys living in our street, in houses like ours, are mum dad and two children.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 11:11:34

dancestomyowntune my perceptions aren't unrealistic at all. I looked into this recently (for a relative) and found that in my area a family of four would get £500 a month housing benefit (three bedroom house). Most people's mortgages cost a lot more than that (in my area).

alemci Fri 08-Aug-14 11:48:15

i think each case must be assessed on individual circumstances.

you could argue that a renter should have savings for the same reason. perhaps the person with mortgage has to pay alot more of take home pay on this and doesn't get hb or tc.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 11:52:48

Good luck finding a three bed house for £500 a month. Where I live that's impossible. And no, I am not in London.

Hb is a contentious issue but you seem to think it is fine to punish home owners whilst rewarding renters with full rent payments. This seems odd to me. All people who fall on hard times should get the same amount of help to get themselves out of it, regardless of the way they choose to live.

Home owners are punished enough. If you rent, have no savings and need nursing home care it is paid for by the state. If you own your own home you must pay yourself. Home owners are at constant risk of losing everything they have worked hard for whilst those who rent have fewer worries.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 11:53:25

The government pays the minimum to provide people with shelter because that is (or should be) a basic human right.

What about the basic human rights of owner occupiers?
You dontvseembto understand that the govt has created a contradictory situation where they are happy to pay for one persons investment (BTL landlords) but not another persons investment (owner occupiers).
Perhaps it would be better if neither group could claim help with housing support for more than 2 years and certainly not at vastly different levels of support.

alemci Fri 08-Aug-14 12:01:22

totally agree dance. we have never had alot of money and i am naturally frugal. we have a mortgage and our house is worth alot on paper but we have to live somewhere.

somehow we area always seen as cash cows. i think in some cases buy to let needs more scrutiny particularly when there is dishonesty about pretending someone lives there still when they don't probably to avoid taxation.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 12:02:19

Good luck finding a three bed house for £500 a month. Where I live that's impossible. And no, I am not in London.

It would be impossible to find a three bedroom house in my local area for £500 as well. You would have to move to the very dodgy inner city area.

DiaDuit Fri 08-Aug-14 12:04:31

My friend that i mentioned upthread was paying £1300 a month on her mortgage for a 3 bed terrace. My identical house with a bigger garden two doors down cost £450 a month in rent. It's not as black and white as saying mortgages are cheaper than rent.

I do agree the system is fucked up. I would far rather be paying my rent to the local authority knowing it wasnt going to pay for someone else's retirement fund and have some security of tenancy. But there isnt enough social housing. The whole system (i mean the entire welfare/tax credits/tax) system needs a huge overhaul altogether but that wont happen.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 12:04:56

What about the basic human rights of owner occupiers?

They should also have the right to shelter as well but that doesn't mean they have the right to own a home.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 12:10:59

Hb is a contentious issue but you seem to think it is fine to punish home owners whilst rewarding renters with full rent payments.

Renters don't get full rent payments thought unless they already rent a comparatively very cheap home (for that area). Each area has it's own housing benefit limit. The houses in my street cost £900 to rent but housing benefit is only £500 a month.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 12:25:04

They should also have the right to shelter as well but that doesn't mean they have the right to own a home.

But BTL landlords have the right to own houses paid for largely by the statehmm

I am not against the govt refusing to provide public money to pay people's mortgages indefinitely but the same rules should apply for BTL mortgages. Put a time limit on both, put a financial cap on both, but treat people equally and enable them to pay for the roof over their heads to the same value for the same time.
My mortgage = £850pm
Mortgage relief I could get if needed =£350 per month for 9 months (after 3 month waiting period)
Similar house to rent = £900pm
LHA = £180pw (so I would get £720 every 4 weeks towards rent for as long as I needed it)
Is that a fair system?

Heels99 Fri 08-Aug-14 12:32:53

I work for a call centre organization. People in our business earn 90k. Obviously they are the managers but still, "work in a supermarket"can mean anything. Justin king "works in a supermarket".

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 12:33:11

totally agree with you missunreasonable. in the long run by punishing people who dare to think they can own their own home the government is going to cost the tax payer more after thier property is repossessed! crazy business.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 13:07:00

But BTL landlords have the right to own houses paid for largely by the state

That is wrong as well though. The solution is to have more social housing, not for private landlords or house owners to have mortgages paid for by the state.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 13:13:00

That is wrong as well though. The solution is to have more social housing, not for private landlords or house owners to have mortgages paid for by the state.

I agree with that, but we don't currently have that policy or nearly enough social housing to meet demand. In the meantime we should have things more equal, whether that means raising support for one group or reducing support for the other group. I repeat: we should not have a system which allows one group to have mortgages paid for with state funds and not another group. If one group are expected to have savings or payment protection policies then the other group should also be expected to have them. It's about taking personal responsibility and that should not be limited to owner occupiers.

ImBrian Fri 08-Aug-14 13:22:08

I have 4 children and another on the way. I'm a full time teacher and dp earns about 20k a year in his job. We don't get any benefits other then child benefit and manage fine.
We bought an ex council house so very small morgage even after extending. Kids don't miss out on anything, we don't holiday abroad but go away 2/3 times a year in this country.

But we have very little child care costs, only £60 a month for wrap at school for the two middle children.
So not everyone with lots of kids are surviving on benefits/lottery wins.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 13:22:59

what MissUnreasonable said grin

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 13:39:51

If one group are expected to have savings or payment protection policies then the other group should also be expected to have them. It's about taking personal responsibility and that should not be limited to owner occupiers.

I would expect renters to also have savings to help pay rent in the event of unemployment if they are renting somewhere relatively expensive for the area that they are living in. It would be unreasonable to expect someone who is already renting very cheap accommodation to have savings though as those people are likely to be on a low salary. Homeowners are not on very low salaries (when they buy the house anyway) and if they choose to borrow money to invest in a house they should also take also steps to cover themselves in the event of unemployment.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 13:47:48

I repeat: we should not have a system which allows one group to have mortgages paid for with state funds and not another group.

So your argument is that because the tax payer is currently effectively paying the mortgage of some private landlords they should also pay the mortgage of house owners to keep things fair?hmm

ThatLightbulbMoment Fri 08-Aug-14 13:48:50

We have 3 and are ttc, I work ft, he stays at home. we get cb and I get pip but no tcs. I earn about 15k but keep the costs down and we can afford everything we need/want with ease.

alemci Fri 08-Aug-14 13:51:27

the government only pay interest on mortgage so homeowner would still have to pay capital. as others saay it would cost more to rehouse them if home is repossessed.

also why shouldn't government help it's own citizens if help is needed if they have been taxpayers etc

CarmineRose1978 Fri 08-Aug-14 13:57:23

Dances, it's fine not to feel guilty for having a large family - that's entirely your prerogative. Lots of people don't feel guilty about not recycling or about driving everywhere. But the reason people go on about overpopulation now, as opposed to 100 years ago when many families had 5-10 children, is that 100 years ago, the world's population was less than 2 billion, and had taken millennia to get to that level. Today, 100 years later, it's approaching 6 billion. So then it wasn't so much of an issue... Or at least no-one had recognised it as an issue. Now people realise it's a huge problem.

On the other hand, if antibiotic resistance continues and worsens, people will be dropping like flies from minor infections so the problem might go away all by itself.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 13:57:27

the government only pay interest on mortgage so homeowner would still have to pay capital. as others saay it would cost more to rehouse them if home is repossessed.

I don't object to that fact that interest is being paid on mortgages at the moment (after 13 weeks). I object to the fact that some people seem to think that they should receive more than that..

Bogeyface Fri 08-Aug-14 13:57:41

We have 3 and are ttc, I work ft, he stays at home. we get cb and I get pip but no tcs. I earn about 15k but keep the costs down and we can afford everything we need/want with ease.

With 3 children you should be able to claim CTC and WTC, have you actually claimed and been turned down?!

pamish Fri 08-Aug-14 14:00:56

The planet cannot afford more than two children per woman. Preferably fewer.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 14:01:02

whatever5 what do you consider a low salary? My mum bought this house on a low salary, and probably would have lost it had we not taken over the mortgage payments when she was ill. I don't think you have to be well off to buy a house. Maybe more so now, but fifteen years ago, when she bought, she bought on a part-time wage!

Some very sad views on this thread!

CarmineRose1978 Fri 08-Aug-14 14:02:06

Apologies, make that the current world population is more than 7 billion ... The figures I was looking at were from a few years ago. Which kind of underlines my point. The world's population has grown by a billion in ten years or so. So, it is kind of a big deal.

redshifter Fri 08-Aug-14 14:03:23

With 3 children you should be able to claim CTC and WTC, have you actually claimed and been turned down?!

Yes, on £15k you would be entitled to a fair amount of TCs.How much PIP do you get?

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 14:09:52

whatever5 what do you consider a low salary?

Minimum wage (or close to that). You have to be on a higher salary than that to buy a house in most (all?) areas of the country now and even 15 year ago.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 14:17:52

So your argument is that because the tax payer is currently effectively paying the mortgage of some private landlords they should also pay the mortgage of house owners to keep things fair?

Or they should pay neither and expect both tenants and owner occupiers to take personal responsibility and have savings or income protection. I believe in fairness and equality.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 14:20:56

Ok so just googled... the current population is 7.2billion. It is widely suggested that at the current way we use resources the planet could sustain over 9 billion. It is also believed that as that critical figure creeps nearer we develop new resources and ways to sustain a higher population. 100 years ago we could not have sustained today's population. It's an ever evolving entity.

That's the scientific beliefs of some.

Religious beliefs appear to be, in the most part, geared towards reproduction being THE reason for life. Many religions forbid the use of contraception, believe that children are gifts from God.

The idea that women should limit themselves to two children or less is ludicrous. Some may say, in a cold, clinical manner, that if we do have overpopulation issues it is to do with the advancement of medical sciences and artificialy increasing the length of life. The older the population gets, the more young ones need to be born to take care of the elderly.

Many theories, no one truly knows the truth.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 14:26:38

Minimum wage (or close to that). You have to be on a higher salary than that to buy a house in most (all?) areas of the country now and even 15 year ago.

15 years ago I bought a house and at the time I was earning £8500. I think minimum wage had just been introduced at the time and was £3 odd an hour so I was earning above it (not by much). Had I been earning minimum wage I still could have bought a house because there were a lot of houses in various areas of the North West for well under £20k.
Even now you can get a 2 bed terraced house in good condition for £80k and much cheaper of you want a doer upper. Somebody just above minimum wage (full time of 40hours per week) could buy a doer upper house by borrowing 4 times their salary.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 14:34:12
whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 14:38:21

So your argument is that because the tax payer is currently effectively paying the mortgage of some private landlords they should also pay the mortgage of house owners to keep things fair?

Or they should pay neither and expect both tenants and owner occupiers to take personal responsibility and have savings or income protection. I believe in fairness and equality.

As I have said tenants of more expensive houses should have savings or income protection as they are presumably on higher salaries and housing benefit won't cover the full rent if they become unemployed. You can't expect those on very low incomes and living in very cheap accommodation to have savings though. As for "fairness and equality" how would it be fair for tax payers, many of whom are not homeowners themselves to pay for your mortgage and investment? I agree that it's not right that they currently pay the mortgage of so many private landlords but paying your mortgage as well would hardly improve the fairness of the situation for them would it?

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 14:43:30

Not totally getting your logic whatever5. not everyone who lives in expensive property does so because they are well off but through necessity. and not everyone in cheap accomadation is hard up.

redshifter Fri 08-Aug-14 14:43:34

Somebody just above minimum wage (full time of 40hours per week) could buy a doer upper house by borrowing 4 times their salary

Errr. What is the NMW now? Is it still £6.31? That is only about £13k a year for 40 hours a week. 4 x salary would be about £52k. You would have to save a very long time on NMW to get a big enough deposit I think.

dancestomyowntune Fri 08-Aug-14 14:46:38

our house was bought for 32k. 15 years ago. no deposit. part time wage salary of about 9k. her original mortgage was for 38k. (some home improvement money included in mortgage).

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 14:47:10

Missunreasonable I said that you couldn't buy a house on minimum wage in most areas of the country so looking for one or two examples where you can't doesn't really prove anything.hmm

redshifter Fri 08-Aug-14 14:47:42

As for "fairness and equality" how would it be fair for tax payers, many of whom are not homeowners themselves to pay for your mortgage and investment? I agree that it's not right that they currently pay the mortgage of so many private landlords but paying your mortgageas wellwould hardly improve the fairness of the situation for them would it?

I have to agree with you here.

And I say this as someone who lost my house because of unemployment.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 14:51:06

Not totally getting your logic whatever5. not everyone who lives in expensive property does so because they are well off but through necessity.

I meant expensive property for the area

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Fri 08-Aug-14 14:53:20

Someone paying a mortgage of 4x their salary on NMW isn't going to have much in the way of doing up money. I would be surprised if they'd qualify for a mortgage in the new stricter financial climate.

They'd need an absolute minimum of about �3k in deposit, probably more like �7-10k to get a better mortgage rate, which they're not going to be able to save up unless given it by parents etc.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 16:06:41

Missunreasonable I said that you couldn't buy a house on minimum wage in most areas of the country so looking for one or two examples where you can't doesn't really prove anything.

I only found one example but affordable properties are available in more than one area. Lots of areas in the North West and Midlands have housing stock well below £100k if people are prepared to move a few miles and buy in less desirable areas. Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Nottingham, Derby, Birmingham, Leicester are areas where I know cheap housing stock is available. I'm sure there must be other areas that have cheap housing stock too but I am not familiar with other areas so can't give any examples.

Onilkelymoor it is perfectly possible to save for a deposit on NMW (currently £6.50ph I think). The problem is that in order to save for a deposit on a low wage it really is only possible to do if you still live at home with your parents or live in a shared house. Obviously lots of people don't live in those circumstances and those people will find it difficult to scrape together any kind of deposit, I don't deny that.
I saved £6k for a deposit and legal fees in under two years when I was earning £8500, I could not have done that if I was renting a property but I was only paying my mum £160 a month in board and lodgings so I saved everything that I possibly could. I bought a house before I reached the age of 20 because I realised that once I started renting I would never be able to buy a property. I am not in denial about some people not being able to afford property but I think in a lot of areas people can buy if they are flexible on area and house.

whatever5 Fri 08-Aug-14 16:30:43

I only found one example but affordable properties are available in more than one area. Lots of areas in the North West and Midlands have housing stock well below £100k if people are prepared to move a few miles and buy in less desirable areas. Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Nottingham, Derby, Birmingham, Leicester are areas where I know cheap housing stock is available. I'm sure there must be other areas that have cheap housing stock too but I am not familiar with other areas so can't give any examples.

You can't get a mortgage for £100k if you are on NMW.hmm

LaQueenLovesSummer Fri 08-Aug-14 18:19:05

Some people rely on credit cards to provide themselves with lots of nice extras.

An ex colleague of mine, single Mum, only working PT - yet her pre school age DD wore genuine Uggs and had shed loads of Sylvanian Family stuff. My colleague had designer sunnies and had £400 hair extensions, regularly maintained at a posh salon. Lots of other high value gear and treat...

Turned out it was all on credit cards...and she was declared bankrupt at 26 years old.

Bumped into her last year...designer handbag tucked under her arm, Bugaboo pram with new baby in it. Baby's Dad out of the picture completely... Just heard she's been declared bankrupt for 2nd time in 10 years.

alemci Fri 08-Aug-14 18:41:44

I couldn't live with any debt apart from mortgage. I wouldn't live beyond my means and have never been over drawn.

had some lovely friends with a gorgeous house etc. they split and dh told me he was always od even though he earned alot more than dh. think his dw spent alot.

DiaDuit Fri 08-Aug-14 19:22:42

I couldn't live with any debt apart from mortgage.

yeah, I thought that too once upon a time. life had other ideas. debt isnt always a choice you know. you could live with debt. ridiculous to say you couldn't.

Missunreasonable Fri 08-Aug-14 22:10:30

You can't get a mortgage for £100k if you are on NMW.

I take it you don't understand what the phrase "well below £100k" means hmm. Just to clarify because you seem to have difficulty understanding simple phrases - Well below could be any amount significantly below £100k but not anything close to £100k. For example 50k would be WELL BELOW £100k but £99k wouldn't be.

revealall Fri 08-Aug-14 22:25:24

Are there any jobs were the cheap housing is though? Isn't that why they are cheap?
Don't these type of properties get brought up and rented out by people with the money to do so .

revealall Fri 08-Aug-14 22:26:12

sorry 'where'

Bogeyface Fri 08-Aug-14 22:32:24

You can get a 2 bed semi in Rhyl for less than £50k, affordable even on NMW. But you wont be on NMW, you'll be on the dole because there is 80% unemployment there.

So yes reveal you are absolutely right. Fingers crossed the cheap prices will attract young first timers who are prepared to commute to say Manchester and turn the town around but that will take years, if not decades.

MorphineDreams Fri 08-Aug-14 22:34:00

You can get a 2 bedroom for 39k here. Employment isn't bad either

Bogeyface Fri 08-Aug-14 22:42:57

Where's here?! I want to move!

MorphineDreams Fri 08-Aug-14 22:43:50

Northwest Bogey. There's loads of cheap houses in my area and the surrounding, they need minimal work too, just updating really.

Bogeyface Fri 08-Aug-14 23:01:20

And joking aside, define "not bad actually"

Where I live there are a lot of jobs, but they are mainly 0 contract NMW warehouse jobs. The sort of situation where you start in the job at 18 and finish at 65, never having progressed at all in that time. There is no job security, no pay increases above the NMW increases that are paltry, and you be working on week, signing on the next and then expected to do stupid amounts of overtime the next (which you often only get paid for at standard rate as they put in sneaky rules like if you stay late on a standard shift because they asked you to, you get standard rate. You only get time and a half if you are asked in to a 6th or 7th shift in a week, which they never do by making the shifts longer).

Most of the jobs are taken by East EU immigrants (at the warehouse where H works since his redundancy, over 60% of the workers are single East EU citizens). This is not because local born people "dont want a job" but because its almost impossible to live like that. We had to borrow money from my parents when he got no shifts for 4 weeks, its a horrible way to live and I can understand why some people would stay on benefits purely because at least you know your rent will be paid and what money you have coming in each week, even if it is a struggle until you can find something permanent. I would have been tempted if we didnt have a mortgage tbh, but we couldnt afford to and just try to ride out the tough times rather than lose the house.

DiaDuit Fri 08-Aug-14 23:06:13

I'm county down. 2 doors down from me sold last year for 44k. it's a 3 bed terrace with front and back garden. a dooer upper but good houses. last week a 3 bed end terrace house in a former council estate (all now privately owned) with front and back garden, not needing any work sold at auction for 37k. a few months back a new build 3 bed semi with front and back garden went at auction for 35k. the same week a detatched 4 bed new build with front and back garden went at auction for 38k.

i fucking wish i was in a position to buy.

IAmNotDarling Fri 08-Aug-14 23:16:12

My household has a combined gross income of £85k.

We have 1 DC in nursery FT. We live in an average house with around 85% LTV.

With commuting costs, nursery, mortgage etc we cannot afford another DC until school. We have no social life, no expensive hobbies and buy our clothes from the supermarket.

I don't think about having another child as I'll be too old before we could afford it!

Bogeyface Fri 08-Aug-14 23:43:27

Iam where do you live though?

And average house here would be nothing on an 85k income, in London it would be impossible.

How is the job market where you are? Are you in a commuter town where the better off drive to a major business centre and everyone else works in the service industries?

You can just say "Well I am on £X and cant afford another child" when £X is waaaaaay above national average and waaaay above what most people could expect or hope to earn. You need to quantify it by area for it to be comparable.

Bogeyface Fri 08-Aug-14 23:44:44

You can't just say...

whatever5 Sat 09-Aug-14 00:04:49

I take it you don't understand what the phrase "well below £100k" means hmm. Just to clarify because you seem to have difficulty understanding simple phrases - Well below could be any amount significantly below £100k but not anything close to £100k. For example 50k would be WELL BELOW £100k but £99k wouldn't be.

How much below 100k do you mean then? You wouldn't get a mortgage for 50k on national minimum wage either.

whatever5 Sat 09-Aug-14 00:06:19

You can get a 2 bed semi in Rhyl for less than £50k, affordable even on NMW.

A bank wouldn't lend you 50k if you were on NMW.

whatever5 Sat 09-Aug-14 00:10:36

Anyway, as I said, you can't buy a house if you are on nmw in most parts of the country.

MorphineDreams Sat 09-Aug-14 00:12:57

bogey there's lots of jobs that are basically just jobs, not careers. Lots and lots of retail, warehouse, care and sales roles. Mostly NMW, some higher but never much past 15k

But the area is one where not a lot of people tend to get any education past high school and majority of the people here seem to not want to progress much - just want a job. There's not much enthusiasm to do more. Most of my friends are in these sorts of roles and are happy and have good lives. But their jobs are secure and none are zero hour contracts. Suppose it just depends what you want out of life.

MorphineDreams Sat 09-Aug-14 00:14:10

whatever wouldn't that depend on how much deposit you put down?

alemci Sat 09-Aug-14 00:24:25

Dia I was responding to the comment about people using credit cards for non essentials and then going bankrupt. I know sometimes people cannot avoid debt.

ooh some are rubbish with finances.

Bogeyface Sat 09-Aug-14 00:29:10

But the area is one where not a lot of people tend to get any education past high school and majority of the people here seem to not want to progress much - just want a job. There's not much enthusiasm to do more. Most of my friends are in these sorts of roles and are happy and have good lives. But their jobs are secure and none are zero hour contracts. Suppose it just depends what you want out of life

that may have been the case once, but not anymore.

H has a degree, years of experience but is in a high saturation career. This was all he could get.

I am tired and off to bed in a mo, so I wont go into detail about how fucking insulting your comments are, but take it as read, just because some people are happy with a job, dont assume that everyone who packs your shopping, dispatches your online orders, arranges your "click and collect" or wipes your elderly parents arse is happy with their lot or doing it because they are not capable of doing anything else.

MorphineDreams Sat 09-Aug-14 00:35:56

Woah woah woah what are you talking about? You're finding something in my comments that I didn't even mean.

I know this people not you. Obviously I don't know them all but MY AREA is an area where it is basically instilled in people that women have babies and stay at home. It's like a time warp. Those who get jobs do it for a bit of money they have little to no interest in advancing any further. It's just the way it is here. Those who want more, move. They all do.

And obviously you think I'm belittling these people, well I'm not. In fact I was one of them. They're my friends. I know what they want. We're not talking about graduates who can't find other work, we're talking about people who are perfectly happy in their jobs and there's fuck all wrong with that

So before you start going on about how 'fucking insulting' I am perhaps get a bit more information from me first.

MorphineDreams Sat 09-Aug-14 00:38:22

I'm actually really annoyed that you think I was trying to insult these people.

Not everyone is career orientated. Not everyone sees working at Asda as a stop gap. For some it's a job for life and like I said there's fuck all wrong with that. That's what they want and are happy with.

TumbleweedOnspeed Sat 09-Aug-14 01:03:28

Lally Your life sounds like one I saw on a tele documentary once. Do you sell tea and scones to walkers too?

Missunreasonable Sat 09-Aug-14 10:46:53

A bank wouldn't lend you 50k if you were on NMW.

That depends how many hours per week you work at NMW. A couple both working full time on NMW would easily be able to borrow more than £50k. A single person on NMW (40 hours per week) could borrow between £42k and £59k according to money saving expert

www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/how-much-mortgage-borrowing#result

Minimum wage of £6.31 equates to £13124.48 per year based on working a full 40 hours. These figures always surprise me but I know that it does happen in reality because I have a family member who has a 50k mortgage and earns below £7 per hour. I'm not saying that it is sensible to borrow that much, just that it is possible. The real issue is being able to save a deposit and enough to cover legal fees.

dorasee Sat 09-Aug-14 10:55:50

Enjoy your blessings and sweep tour side of the street. Don't let envy creep in.

weatherall Sat 09-Aug-14 11:00:49

A 4 in a block shared garden 3 bed flat near me sold recently for £80k.

But the building is riddled with damp. I wouldn't want to raise a family there.

IMO there is going to be a backlash from the squeezed middle who have to both work ft, pay childcare and see families richer and poorer having more DCs when the middle ones can't due to childcare costs.

But I hope the solution isn't seen as benefit capping for big families. The solution is free childcare. Then people (mothers) can work and actually take home their full pay.

revealall Sat 09-Aug-14 11:10:12

The problem is that NMW doesn't give any advantage over not working income wise than not working especially if you have a few children.
So to have lots of children you need two well paid jobs or no jobs at all.
I'm sure this might have been mentioned already though.

Altinkum Sat 09-Aug-14 11:10:40

A bank would borrow a couple on NMW 50k for a Morgage and they frequently do also.

Deverethemuzzler Sat 09-Aug-14 11:15:06

I have five children.
Four surviving.

We afford our children because we don't get all tied up in knots about piano lessons and holidays abroad and tuition fees etc.

We are working class and I am sick of 'the squeezed middle class' resenting us because they think we have something they should have.

We own our house with a small mortgage. Every penny we have earned has gone into reducing that mortgage and we bought a house that we could afford in an area that people were calling a 'shit hole' at the time. No holidays, second hand everything and budget everything.

There was NO free childcare for our first 3 children. Not a single hour. So we paid for it all. It was great when we got 15 hours for the youngest two and we greatly appreciated it.

We didn't go to university. We both worked from 16 on wards.

We have just done what generations have done. Worked, had a family and got on with life without bitching about all the things we don't have.

We do get TC and WTC now, a lot of people do. They played NO part in our decision to have more children. TBH they always seemed like a novelty to us as we had spent so many years without anything. OH is disabled so works part time. I work part time because I am his and one of my children's carer. This was NOT part of our life plan.

We have both carried on working bar a few years to care for my terminally ill daughter and a few months mat leave.

I feel very much for people who cannot afford to buy or rent. It is a massive problem. The answer is to provide affordable rented accommodation for those who need it which will lower market rents and hopefully take the heat out of the housing market.

Deverethemuzzler Sat 09-Aug-14 11:17:15

85k and can't afford another child confused

People live in a different world.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 09-Aug-14 13:28:24

85k? We have 3 dc and I have never seen this sort of money in a year, not even half this much.
babies don't cost anything really, its what you decide to do with them that costs the money.
if you waited until you could afford kids, you'd never have any.

jellybeans Sat 09-Aug-14 15:26:18

We have 5DC. We manage because
we have a smallish terrace and low mortgage ('poor end' of a very good town), holiday in UK, supermarket/ebay for clothes, like doing free stuff like board games and country walks, share a car, had them very young so we never built up a good two income lifestyle and so only got better off.

DH is working f/t shifts (middle earner) and I am a SAHM. We are nowhere near well off but manage. Def agree that teens are expensive!!!

It is true that some people on very low wages get topped up to match middle income earners (I know a few) but it doesn't bother me because I am happy in my life and get to be a SAHM which I really want to be. I am happy to settle for much less material things, holidays and big houses.

Laquitar Sat 09-Aug-14 15:34:43

How mUch the 85K is in net income with 2 working and using the tax allowance? Is it around 5Kpcm?

Clarinet9 Sat 09-Aug-14 15:39:55

Tax credits, luck , family, fiddling

in no particular order

nicename Sat 09-Aug-14 15:47:47

85k is probably about 4.8k-ish after tax I'd guess.

If you live in London, that would get gobbled up fast with mortgage/rent (easily a couole of grand a month), travel (zone 1-2 card is about £120pcm and even if you don't work, you need some kind of card these days), nurseries/childcare are expensive, council tax, parking permits, service charge, etc.

Plus every sodding thing is more expensive here (ie kids cubs, sports, entertainment, etc) as when I go up to Scotland.

Deverethemuzzler Sat 09-Aug-14 15:53:32

Tax credits, luck , family, fiddling

We have no family help.
I don't consider us unlucky but being dx with MS in your thirties (OH), your eldest child getting cancer and dying and the child you agree to take the care of turning out to have significant disabilities are not exactly 'lucky' either.
We do get tax credits, along with millions of others.

Like millions of others we do not 'fiddle'.

But honestly , if you are jealous of my life you are welcome to it.

Which child of yours do you chose to die, which one to have SN and will it be you or your OH who gets to have the degenerative neurological condition?

expatinscotland Sat 09-Aug-14 15:56:33

Why do these threads always wind up with people who suggest others 'just move' to other areas to get a mortgage?

Deverethemuzzler Sat 09-Aug-14 15:56:38

if you live in London, that would get gobbled up fast with mortgage/rent (easily a couole of grand a month), travel (zone 1-2 card is about £120pcm and even if you don't work, you need some kind of card these days), nurseries/childcare are expensive, council tax, parking permits, service charge, etc.

If you don't work you don't need childcare.
If you don't commute you can use your oyster on a pay as you go. I put twenty quid on mine every few weeks. Lots of people work locally so don't go into zone 1 or 2.
Not everywhere has parking permits.

London is expensive but millions of people with less than £50k manage to live work and have children without relying on benefit and always have.

Deverethemuzzler Sat 09-Aug-14 15:58:04

People are seriously stating that 5k a month is not enough to live on.

Laquitar Sat 09-Aug-14 15:59:54

Thats What i thought nicename.

If in london then nursery could be 1K plus, mortgage could be anything between 1-2K then a second nursery fee would make the budget tight.
Although i know that people will say if you want something very much you find alternatives etc they could have a live in nanny or move further etc.

Deverethemuzzler Sat 09-Aug-14 16:04:07

I must check our bank account.
We must have at least an extra 25k going in a year that we don't know about.
Or we would have surely starved to death by now.

Laquitar Sat 09-Aug-14 16:05:36

Oh ExPat
Thats nothing. I was reading another thread where OP was saying that they can not buy. One pister said: do you have any toys or clothes to ebay to raise the depisit?

Laquitar Sat 09-Aug-14 16:07:21

Sorry something happened with my o and i.

soverylucky Sat 09-Aug-14 16:09:19

If our children did no extra-curricular at all, if we never went on holiday and we had carried on living next to the drug den then we could have had more children but DH is on what I consider to be a good wage.

As it is - some extra-curricular is important to me, I wanted to bring my children up in an area where they could play out without finding needles and it would be nice to go on a little holiday every now and again.

I am from a very large family. In my own personal experience my parents couldn't afford it. We had very little and what we did have was on credit cards etc. My parents are now left with nothing - no house, no savings, nothing.

So I suppose what I am trying to say is that it can be done and there are lots of different reasons/ways in which people cope. However I do think for young people now (under 30) it is very, very, very difficult because of housing costs. If you are just trying to get a place to rent or buy it is tough and I don't think some people realise just how much of a problem the cost of housing is. Also if you have more than the average amount of children the childcare costs often mean that one parent has to stay at home.

It can be done but it is often very difficult.

Missunreasonable Sat 09-Aug-14 16:14:28

Why do these threads always wind up with people who suggest others 'just move' to other areas to get a mortgage?

Did anybody suggest that people move to get a mortgage?
I know somebody stated that people on NMW probably couldn't afford to buy a house anywhere and it was pointed out by myself and others that there are areas where people on NMW could possibly afford to buy a house but I didn't see anybody suggesting that people relocate to live in those areas. Pointing out that some areas have cheap houses is not the same as suggesting that people should relocate, it's just pointing out that some areas do still have affordable houses and that it isn't accurate to suggest otherwise.

dancestomyowntune Sat 09-Aug-14 16:26:10

We live in a nice area. My children do extra curricular activities to a very high, competitive level. Dd1 is about to take up a grammar school place. We manage. We do this with four children and an annual income of 24000. We have holidays. We have a good diet. We have happy children.

Money doesn't buy happiness.

soverylucky Sat 09-Aug-14 16:28:19

Wow dance. I am impressed. Please share how. I would love to give up work and do this. I worry that we couldn't survive on just dh's wage.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 09-Aug-14 16:51:06

dances

We have managed similar with 3 dc although 2 of ours are older now.
Our dd competes and plays at a high level in music and does lots of extra curricular at one time it cost around £120 per week, although it doesn't now.
We have holidays, eat exceptionally well with one 15k wage.
I agree money doesn't buy you happiness.
We do it by living in the NW, its cheaper here. Only one person working so no childcare costs, no commute, one car, parking permit only £85 per year, lower council tax probably, than south.

dancestomyowntune Sat 09-Aug-14 18:26:30

We live in the southwest. Mum bought our house at a good time and we decided to live long term together as it made more sense.

We have one car, parking permit is £20 a year.

Dec all dance, we are lucky in that in exchange for classes I work in the dance school office. This means our fees, which if we paid fully would be £600 4 times a year, are £100 4 times a year. Obviously on top of that we pay for privates, festival dances and exams.

Ds2 has just started horse riding. That's £25 a fortnight but it's worth it!

We are lucky in that my mum helps with extras but we pay the majority of bills. We save for holidays, and tend to holiday mainly in this country.

Dh works a full time job as a master butcher and we get cheap but good quality meat. We shop frugally.

It can be done. It's what you prioritise, and how you work around obstacles. We prioritise the children. They don't go without, but they aren't as spoilt as some of their contemporaries. They have things for birthdays and Christmas, not just because they decide they want it.

FraidyCat Sat 09-Aug-14 18:29:00

Someone up above was wittering about landlords having their mortgages paid by housing benefit. This is bollocks. Landlords own a property and rent it out for what they can get. They get exactly the same rent regardless of whether or not the tenant gets housing benefit towards it, and regardless of whether or not there is a mortgage.

Housing benefit is a subsidy from the government to the tenant. It can't also be a subsidy to the landlord, even leaving aside the fact that it simply isn't, if it were, you'd be counting the same money twice when you tote up government subsidies.

soverylucky Sat 09-Aug-14 18:53:52

Ah you see I don't have the luxury of someone buying a house years ago before prices went mad. It is housing costs all the time that make the difference. Plus I have to pay all my bills. Well done for you but it can't be done for everyone. As you have said - you have been lucky.

nicename Sun 10-Aug-14 10:28:32

If you live in London the housing costs are rediculous. Prices are rising fast and rents are jumping. Our service charge is large, and I know some people paying 4 or even 8 grand a year. My aunt pays £400 a year for her huge flat in Scotland. We pay to park our car on the street as we don't have a parking space in our block.

Nursery fees can be very high, especially if you work full time and need wraparound care (and even more so if your kids are small). I've known parents charged £600 a week for nursery care for a 6 month old (8am-6pm) because they both worked. Most people don't have a spare room for an au pair or live in nanny or have family close by to help with childcare (or family that aren't also working).

Yes, its cheaper elsewhere but if your roots/home/family/job/schools are there, it's not as simple as 'move out'. London is huuuge, so even moving from say, Golders Green to Wimbledon is a big jump - schools, jobs, etc. commute-wise.

You make your choices. I don't judge people living on benefits with 5 kids, just as I don't envy other people their 'fabulous' lifestyles (some of the unhappiest people are those who seem to have 'everything'. You can only really know what you have experience in.

Laquitar Sun 10-Aug-14 12:55:52

The problem with moving further out of london and commute in london is not just leaving behind family and friends.
If you have very young children and both parents working it is not doable.. How can you live a baby at thenursery and then commute into london? Are you going to drop off the baby at 6am? And then when you go back in the evening there are train delays. What happens then, do you collect
the baby at 8pm?
Or does the baby commute with you into london? (crazy idea).
Moving out of london works for some families, it depends on the jobs and the ages of children , but it doesnt work for some others.

What it worked until recently was moving into zone 5 (thats us) and buy something cheap or a flat in areas like hackney etc. Now there is no this option either because areas like hackney are now posh and zone 5 isnow not affortable.

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