If you are or have 'paid' to go to work...

(11 Posts)
AnotherMorning Sun 23-Mar-14 14:11:23

Can I ask how much/for how long? And if you have any regrets or would do it again. We probably have just enough savings but then our safety net would be gone. If I do go back to work eventually we'll be in a better position.

And of course I mean that your household income goes down as a result of both parents working. (We'll get nothing other that the childcare vouchers)

Trying to weigh up options at the moment... Made redundant while pregnant with dc2. Nursery was great for dc1 but I think dc2 would really struggle. Not many CM in the area so looking at how much a nanny would cost, and my likely salary initially wouldn't quite cover that plus associated costs and commute etc.

JaneinReading Sun 23-Mar-14 15:04:34

We had one year when the childcare cost was the same as one of our salaries (we both earned the same) so we each worked for half our pay or one worked for nothing however you want to describe it. That was a long time ago and we both went on and earned a fair bit.It was definitely worth it. We were not in a job where the pay would be the same at age 65 as it was at age 22 which is the case for some.

I suspect state benefits for those in work and part time work and child tax credits and child benefits will get less and less as whichever party is in power the country is so very much in debt so working is going to become more and more the better option over the next 5 - 10 years.
As a feminist anyway I would never say it was the woman's cost. Your husband need to find someone to care for the child and he has his half of the cost and you have your half so it certainly is something for you both to consider and fund.

BikeRunSki Sun 23-Mar-14 15:15:42

2dc
1 work 3 days a week
1 at school, with breakfast club/after school club three days a week plus holiday club
1 at nursery three days a week (she is 2; no funding yet)
Childcare vouchers
no family for 100s of miles, all the childcare we need we have to organise and pay for

The contribution made by my salary to the family finances is less than £100 more than the cost of childcare, school dinners, commuting fuel and petrol and little things like dry cleaning and tights. The aggro of balancing work and commuting with inset days, nativity, open days, parents meetings , pick up etc can be pretty stressful

The long term benefit in terms of pension, future earnings, self worth, mental health is priceless.

janey68 Mon 24-Mar-14 16:47:51

For about a year we were probably slightly worse off through working... Childcare cost the equivalent of my salary, and of course when you add on the other costs- commute etc, that would have tipped it over into actually costing us to work. After that there were a few lean years when we weren't worse off but neither were we making a great profit.

However, I totally endorse what's said above, that it is a joint cost, and also the fact that I was continuing to pay into my pension and remaining employable, has been invaluable. Although it was a tough call at the time and the easier short term option would have been jacking in my job, in retrospect I would still do the same again. In the big scheme of things, it's not very long that you are worse off and having watched people I know struggle to get back into a decent job, I'm very glad i stayed in work

CPtart Mon 24-Mar-14 16:56:01

We broke even for two years with two DC in nursery part time and my salary paying for that completely.
No regrets. It preserved my skills, confidence, pension and sanity!

Don't think of it as 'my salary is just about paying for the childcare'.

Think of it as a family expense and then look what else you get out of working outside the home:
- maintaining your skills
- building a career/pensions/staying up to date in your field
- teaching your DCs that mum is not just a picker-upper, nose cleaner, cook, laundry woman etc
- some time to be 'you' rather than 'mummy'.

This is not your expense; it's yours (plural). If your DH was not working, you'd be at work (presumably).

Consider the downsides too - the juggling of never feeling you are doing quite enough at home AND at work and the inevitable stresses if the DCs are ill for instance. Have a very good Plan B in place.

That said, I'd've long been committed to a secure mental hospital if I had not returned to work...

GingerMaman Mon 24-Mar-14 17:04:35

I am doing that. I have a very needy baby so it's not just for my career but also my sanity. Also, once DD goes to school ill hopefully have a career. Also, I'm bored at home tbh and need some mental stimulation.

tumbletumble Mon 24-Mar-14 17:08:15

OP, if your employer contributes to your pension remember to include this is in your calculation - lots of people forget this.

AnotherMorning Mon 24-Mar-14 17:10:33

Thanks so much everyone, confirmed what I'm thinking but good to hear it was the right choice.

I'm not cut out to be a SAHP that's for sure!

JaneinReading Mon 24-Mar-14 17:11:35

And there is a really big problem if you get out of a career for 3 - 5 years in getting back into it in many jobs. Some people find they cannot get any sort of job or only a minimum wage one. So you might even be losing the next 30 years at £40k a year (over £1m) if you get off track.

janey68 Mon 24-Mar-14 22:54:53

Yes- very easy to overlook the employers' contributions to your pension. I pay around 10% of my salary into mine but my employer pays about another 14% ... That in itself makes it worthwhile in the longer term (quite apart from remaining employable.)

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