Is this possible to live of?

(29 Posts)
77eleven Sun 17-Nov-13 21:39:11

For various long and complicated reasons I looks like I'm going to have to hand in my notice rather than return to work after maternity leave. I'm currently off looking after 9 month old ds.

My husband brings home between £1750 and £2000 a month depending on commissions etc.

Our mortgage is £780 (fixed for 5 years), and other bills, insurances etc come to £485.

I think that £100 a week for food is comfortable.

This leaves me with not much.

Does it seem feasible to live on this? I am absolutely terrified, although I realise it is more than a lot of people probably live on. I don't HAVE to hand in my notice, but would need very-full-time childcare and would be extremely stressed (whole other thread!).

I have done spreadsheets/estimates till the cows come home, but it is hard to say whether something is feasible until you've done it I think. The problem is I only have a couple of days to decide, so no time to 'experiment'.

Any advice/opinions welcome!

77eleven Sun 17-Nov-13 21:39:50

grrr obviously the title should be "off", I can spell really!

Reality Sun 17-Nov-13 21:42:02

You could easily halve your food costs.

I don't spend £100 a week and we have three children.

If it's short ish term, or until he goes to nursery, then it'll be doable.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 17-Nov-13 21:45:08

well I do a whole months shopping for 2 of us (plus 2 dsc some months) for between £80-£100 so personally I think it's doable, it will take lots of budgeting and you may not have many luxuries but it can be done if that's what you want.

ZombieMonkeyButler Sun 17-Nov-13 21:48:29

Yes, it's doable. DH works FT and earns £1250 after tax. I work PT and earn about £700 after tax. So a very similar income. We have 3 DCs & I work evenings and weekends - so no childcare costs.

I do not spend £100 on food every week though - some weeks I will, but then the next week it'll be £30 because we don't need as much.

We are not rich by any standards but we manage.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 17-Nov-13 21:53:00

Hello OP.

We managed to survive on one min wage with 2 and then 3 dc.
It is amazing what you can do, if you want or have to.
The first thing we learned was to ask what do we need, rather than what do we want.
Also, cutting back on none essentials is important as this helps you to save for the odd treat.
I wish you well as it takes motivation and determination to sustain over a long period.
It was the best thing we did and the best choice for our family and honestly have no regrets.
I totally agree about the spreadsheets and planning, it doesn't give any info and you don't know until you experience it.
Don't forget what you save on none essentials could be a lifeline you need sometime, like broken boiler etc.
Good luck to you thanks

Thatsinteresting Mon 18-Nov-13 06:41:50

Virtually everyone manages on what they have. Girl called Jack had a £10 a week food budget, so she managed but it wasn't pleasant. It really depends what type of people you and dh are. An ex friend of mine loved new stuff so went back to work as she didn't want a life meal planning and only getting new clothes for Christmas and birthdays. If BOTH of you share the attitude that things will change but firstly you feel that it's best for your family and secondly it's not forever then do it.

You could cut your food budget and with further shopping around and using cashback sites you could probably cut your bills a little. Even saving £10 a month will be a big help at Christmas. My only other advice would be make sure you and dh have some pocket money to so you still feel you can have some fun. The occasional meal out (tesco vouchers/groupon), trip to the cinema (usually cheaper on Tuesday) or even a trip to the pub does your sense of happiness the world of good.

Good luck.

Charlesroi Mon 18-Nov-13 13:23:38

You should be fine. £100 per week for food is an awful lot, so penty of room for savings there.
You could also check whether you are on the best deals for your other expenses like energy, insurances, mobiles and broadband. You can save quite a bit by paying for your landline and car insurance a year in advance.
eBay old clothes before you buy new ones.
Use cashback sites if you want to switch.
When your husband gets a £2k month put £150 in savings and have £100 for some extra treats.

If you find you can't manage then get a part-time evening job so you don't have childcare costs.

BrownSauceSandwich Mon 18-Nov-13 20:40:28

Yes, you can do it, and if you don't like it, you could consider trying to fit in a bit of evening or weekend work to supplement your income.

Agree with Charleroi, if you budget for £1750, then anything beyond that is savings/bonus.

notagiraffe Tue 19-Nov-13 11:19:35

for 2 adults and a baby, including the cost of nappies, I'd be aiming at no more than £60 pw, preferably £50. Put the £40-50 aside as you will need it, certainly, for other things: clothes, birthday presents, the occasional night out and baby sitter etc. Don't waste the lot on the weekly shop and then feel broke. If you meal plan and shop wisely you won't need anything like that much, but if you just shop without thought, then you will spend it easily.

Preciousbane Tue 19-Nov-13 23:16:10

I'm not working at the moment so no longer have to buy smart clothes. Nor have to go out for lunch with the girls as they term themselves, how I used to hate that, I'm a miserable old curmudgeon though. I am considering getting rid of my car as well as it is a second car and hardly used.

Will you have cuts related directly to work?

specialsubject Wed 20-Nov-13 09:26:30

that seems about £600 a month after bills, to cover food, clothes etc.

seems fine.

heartichoke Wed 20-Nov-13 09:35:54

Hi OP - I agree with the others - £400 pm for food is a generous budget for 2 adults and a baby (depending on what you're used to). IME you're more likely to get caught out with all the incidental expenses than with the major items that you might have included in your budget. For example, newspapers, odd spending in the corner shop, unexpected expenses (car repairs) etc.

Can you look back through your bank statements and see what you actually HAVE been spending on food etc?

Viviennemary Wed 20-Nov-13 19:51:47

It will be tight but as others have said you could cut your food bill down. A good idea is to get evening or weekend work if your DH can look after your baby and then you will save on child minding fees and probably won't earn enough to pay tax.

MummyofIsla Wed 20-Nov-13 19:57:49

£100 a week on food shock are you feeding a whole army? To feed three of us (decent home cooked food) it costs me less than £40 a week. Its absolutely doable.

Heifer Wed 20-Nov-13 21:29:39

I'm impressed your other bills only come to £485! Have you added in petrol? as that is one of our biggest "other bill".

Along with Council Tax, Electricity, Gas, Insurances, Water, mobile phones, phone, sky,broadband, TV license ours comes to much more than that.

Also don't forget to budget for MOT, car tax, car service, Boiler Service, DIY, Pets (if any).

DH earns similar and we are struggling these days. Our mortgage is much less than yours, but I do have an almost 10 yr old + dog. The 10 yr old isn't cheap with all her activities and school lunch etc.

Good luck. I do believe you can make it work but not as a long term option (like us) as it eats away at any savings and gets depressing after years of living like that.

OrangeFlower7 Thu 21-Nov-13 22:10:48

Wouldn't you get some help with Tax Credits? It might be worth checking with the tax credits calculator.

lisad123everybodydancenow Thu 21-Nov-13 22:13:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EleanorRugby Fri 22-Nov-13 18:03:04

I was in this position 4 years ago looking over spreadsheets trying to decide if I could afford to give up work and survive on one income. Our monthly incomings and outgoings are similar to yours and we are ok day-to-day. I have learned (and actually enjoy) to save money wherever possible. I shop at Aldi most weeks and buy most of my and dds clothes at charity shops. I also buy lots of toys second hand through Ebay or local selling pages. My dds are young enough to not be bothered that they're not brand new. Are you the sort of person who enjoys bargain hunting or would you miss the little luxuries you would no doubt have to give up?

Also do you have any savings? We have recently had to pay over £1000 to repair our car and £400 to repair fence panels lost in recent panels. This was paid for from savings, we wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise.

We have been fine for the past few years, but I am now looking forward to trying to get back into work next year once dd2 starts school and looking forward to the prospect of having more disposable income.

EleanorRugby Fri 22-Nov-13 18:08:34

of course should read "fence panels lost in recent storms"!

Wil you have maternity pay to pay back?
What about when something big in the house breaks down?

77eleven Fri 22-Nov-13 21:12:59

Thanks for everyone's advice, especially EleanorRugby, nice to hear from someone in the same position. I love bargain hunting, and have spent most of my maternity leave feeling smug about all the money I'm saving by not being at work and being time-poor.

I'm actually going back for 13 weeks stealth (happens to be my notice period anyway) so won't have to pay back the maternity.

Petrol used to be a major cost Heifer, but only to get me to work! If I'm not working petrol should be almost zero. Husband gets a van through work.

I'm going to go for it, hand in my notice, batten down the hatches, and then if it all gets too stressful I'll look for some part-time work.

Thanks again.

Bumbolina Fri 22-Nov-13 21:18:55

Aldi is your new best friend grin

It's completely doable. I have an extras spending budget of £10 a week, and I manage a treat for myself and 2 baby groups out of that! If you can cut your food bill down to £40 (seriously shop at Aldi) then you will be pretty flush in comparison to me!

LamaDrama Fri 22-Nov-13 21:21:16

Lidls nappies are fab - I pay £4 for 44.

KatherinaMinola Fri 22-Nov-13 21:33:17

As others have said, you do not need £100pw for food. We manage on half that, including nappies!

Basically you'll have around £585pcm after housing and bills - that's completely doable. You'll get Child Benefit on top of that, and you may be eligible for some tax credits too. You answered your own question in the OP really - you realize that it's more than a lot of people have to live on, but you wonder whether it's feasible to live on...?

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