Looking to start a family - any help appreciated.

(23 Posts)
emilyjaynetbh Mon 10-Mar-14 11:10:06

Hi all. Myself and my partner are looking into starting a family but before we 100% decide to go forward with it, I thought I would look into the financial aspect of it. Any help on cutting down or if you just think our money wont stretch, will really be appreciated. Thank you.

Monthly Income: between £1580 - £1760 (I'm due a rise too).
Rent: £500 p/month
Council Tax: £90 p/month (10 month only)
Water: £34 p/month (10 month only)
Electric: between £30/40 p/month
Gas: between £30/40 p/month
TV Licence: £20 p/month
Internet/phoneline: £22 p/month
Food a month: £140/£150 p/month
Mobile bills: £25 (for both) p/month.

If you go by the £1580 figure we're left with £659 per month, we will get rather high child tax/child care allowance as we don't earn much so that will contribute also. I work a 9-5 job and my partner works in a care home so does 3 & a half days a week 8-8 (so we would have to pay for childcare). Usually the money left at the end of the month we squander on pub trips, restaurants, take-aways etc.

Any advice would be really helpful!

Thank you all.

How much do you save? Do you have plans for the time when you are on maternity leave and your income is reduced?

emilyjaynetbh Mon 10-Mar-14 12:10:53

Well I tend to save as I'm the level headed one, I have about £200 the end of each month which I put aside for emergencies (eg fridge breaking etc). Well it's going to take a couple more months till we get our possible donor down, so we were going to save through those months and through the pregnancy too. As my partners on flexiwork, she was going to pick up extra hours at work during the pregnancy to put a lot more aside.

Iamnotanugget Mon 10-Mar-14 12:27:16

If you think too much about the finance of having children then I promise you that no one would do it! You could look on the entitled to website to give you an idea of how much you would get in tax credits and you'll get �20 a week in child benefit.

Look on ebay, freecycle, gumtree etc to get kitted out. For the first few years children can actually cost very little.

The only thing I would be concerned about is if it is your partner that is having the baby she may find those shifts exhausting and certainly not want to do any overtime so it's probably best not to 'bank' that income. Go for it, you really won't regret it.

emilyjaynetbh Mon 10-Mar-14 12:41:29

Iamnotanugget it'll be myself that carrys the child, my partner is doing the overtime :-) She currently already does it so she'll continue to do it as its her weekly routine now!

Thank you so much though. I don't like to think about the money aspect of it all but it's only sensible.

Iamnotanugget Mon 10-Mar-14 13:30:39

It is sensible to think money and that in itself suggests you're sensible enough with it to be fine. You'll need a new mattress for the cot, £100 and a new car seat for safety but you can pick up second hand clothes for pence. Get some nappies during one of the baby events that supermarkets regularly do but also get some reusables and try and use those. The trick is to have enough to last a few days so you're not constantly washing them.

Babies don't need toys but find out where your nearest SureStart centre is they may run a toy library. They usually run playgroups for £1-2 a session. And it goes without saying that breast feeding is your cheapest option.

Iamnotanugget Mon 10-Mar-14 13:34:25

The only other thing to mention is you could look at spreading your council tax over 12 months. It doesn't save you money but means you'd have a little more in your pocket most months. Also look at switching your mobiles to payg with giffgaff. We now spend £10 a month between us.

emilyjaynetbh Mon 10-Mar-14 14:45:59

Well I just want to make sure that before I bring a child into this world, I can afford all it can possibly need. I was going to breastfeed and I was actually looking to reusable nappies this morning. I still have the cot that was used on myself so I only need the mattress and my sister has a brand new unused car seat she said she can give me! I'm also on Giffgaff but we pay the £12.50 a month as I need the internet for when I have to go out and about for work (emails) and I need the extra minutes also for work. We try to keep bills down now as much as possible because we thought before we have a child, we want the best we can have for ourselves. So we're used to skrimping and saving. We already shop in Aldi/Lidl/Farmfoods so the food bill is lovely and low for the month.

My only worry is childcare when I go back to work. My mum cares for my sisters 3 kids but said she couldn't handle another, everyone else in the family works! So we just need to sort that aspect out then I think the trying shall begin!

your budget looks very sensible to me. I'd say go for it!

Charlesroi Tue 11-Mar-14 14:13:28

You might be able to save a few quid on your landline/broadband by paying for line rental a year in advance. It depends whether you need inclusive calls, as this is probably extra. Talk Talk had a good deal a while back, plus cashback through quidco/topcashback.
Have you forgotten life insurance? You'l both need that with a baby. How about car insurance/running costs? Clothes for you/partner?
I think the TV licence is £12.50 a month.
You have a decent amount of spare cash though so you should be fine.

Good luck!

WipsGlitter Tue 11-Mar-14 14:19:14

Childcare is hugely expensive. Where we are it's about £600 per month for a part time place. So you really need to think about that aspect of it.

Childcare is enormously expensive-I ended up giving up work because working part time was bringing in about £1k and I was paying £700 of it on nursery. I'm now self employed and work around DD which is much easier! As your partner works 3.5 days though at least you'll only need childcare for those 3.5-is there any chance your own 9-5 could become 8-6 4 days a week or something? That would help too.

As other posters have said though, the finances always look nightmarish and the fact that you're sensible enough to think about them and make a plan suggests you'll be fine!

emilyjaynetbh Tue 11-Mar-14 14:43:15

My dad pays for my home and life insurance and we don't drive! My partners dad only lives up the road and knows we couldn't afford the £3k starter insurance so drives us anywhere at any time. My work hours arent flexible (I know because I work with my sister who has three kids and they wont bend it for her either, luckily for her my Mum has her kids). I don't get paid enough to warrant childcare, I even approached my boss today for a rise he's promised me for 4 months and have been fobbed off again. My plan is to just stick here till I'm pregnant and my maternity is due and then quit 7 weeks before maternity. I only get SM Pay so wont have to pay anything back either.

So are you planning to be a SAHM?

I wouldn't quit your job until you've had the baby and are totally certain you won't be going back to work-lots of people change their mind and end up doing the opposite to what they imagined pre-baby. As long as you give your notice period you can quit whenever you like in your maternity leave period.

(Btw I don't think you'd have to pay £3k car insurance-that sort of rate is usually for teenagers!)

BertieBotts Tue 11-Mar-14 15:19:17

It was 3k for me when I last looked Antoinette and I'm 25 sad

BertieBotts Tue 11-Mar-14 15:19:47

But by adding my mum as a named driver I got it down to 2k. Still unaffordable, but hey! smile

emilyjaynetbh Tue 11-Mar-14 15:22:45

Oh I will be quitting after the child is born - without question! I might be lucky and have a family member spring out offering child care so! I checked a couple months ago for car insurance it was just under £3k :-( And my parents refuse to put their names on their so! I just have my "father in law" driving me around, he doesn't mind because he enjoys the company!

Wow-that is shocking!

emilyjaynetbh Tue 11-Mar-14 16:07:47

I know. How do they ever expect people to drive with insurance prices like that!

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Wed 12-Mar-14 20:30:04

You can get childcare vouchers through work they are tax free n each parent can get £243 a mth n it's roughly £175 less in pay you then use these to pay childcare it saves us roughly£140 a mth rather than paying cash direct n what we didn't know is both parents can sign up immediately baby is born n have a stash ready for when returning your work may say no until back as if on smp childcare vouchers are paid on top so costs them.

Childcare varies around the country our childminder is £32 a day 8_6 and nursery £50 a day we do 2 of each as I work 4 days.

Iamnotanugget Wed 12-Mar-14 21:39:01

Stay employed until you're maternity comes to an end. Firstly your situation may change and you may have to go back to work and secondly you legally acrue holiday while on mat leave and which would either give you a couple of extra weeks off or a small lump sum when you leave. You could always put your notice in a few weeks before you're due back, you don't actually have to work your notice.

aroomofherown Sun 16-Mar-14 01:54:39

Ooh good luck with it all. You sound very sensible and eminently able to care for a child.

I'm excited for you! Go for it!

<NB obviously have nothing of use to say>

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