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Coping without your own money - SAHMs

(77 Posts)
Jadems Thu 28-Mar-13 15:42:25

Hi,

Just looking for a little advice from how other SAHMs have coped without having their 'own' money.

First baby due in July, and due to cost of childcare in the SE I won't be working after the birth (would literally be left with nothing after childcare and travel costs).

Really worried about how I'm going to manage without any money of my own. We won't receive any child-related benefits due to partner's salary level, so the only money I'll have is Maternity Allowance for 39 weeks. After that, I imagine I'll have to ask for money every time I need something.

I'm currently on JSA after losing my job in November, and I'm already finding it really hard to cope without having my own salary. So far I've managed to do without any maternity clothes, just so I don't have to ask my partner for money. My partner pays for everything (house, bills, food etc), and is even paying for driving lesson for me at the moment, which are extortionately expensive. So I don't feel able to ask for money. Just use my JSA to pay for my fixed costs such as contact lenses, mobile phone etc and just do without everything else. Feel guilty adding 'luxury' shampoo to our fortnightly shop even.

Just wondering how everyone else copes? I'm used to having my own money, so not even being able to afford clothes etc for myself is very depressing. It's got so bad that I've even thought about leaving my partner (and baby) after the birth, just so I could return to work and have some money. Awful I know, but miserable feeling like a teenager dependent on 'handouts'.

annagray77 Thu 28-Mar-13 15:47:31

It's really hard I am in same position...my maternity pay is just about to run out and my other half is going to start transferring the same amount to my account....however I have got to buy food from that for us, so I will still have to ask whenever I need anything. Rubbish isn't it?!

BlingLoving Thu 28-Mar-13 15:50:40

You and DP need to sit down and have a serious talk about money. You are having his baby which, I assume, was a decision you took together. Therefore, while it's great that he's stepping up to the overall financial responsibility, it is not okay for you or him to think that he only has to pay essential bills and that you have no ability to purchase anything else.

You now have a household income which has been reduced as a result of you not working. That household income is the result of DP working. You are also working, but it is unpaid. But you are both contributing to your family and as such, where the household income comes from is irrelevant.

From that household income, you should be paying all bills - rent, mortgage, phone, travel, food, baby costs etc. Then as a couple you should agree how you will handle any surplus - do you spend a set amount each month on luxury items? Do you each have a coffee/nice things budget? Do you just spend until it's gone? Whatever solution you come up with, it needs to take into account that there is a household budget which includes both household and personal expenses.

As an aside, DH is a SAHD. All income (99% of which comes from me) goes into our joint account to which we both have access and which we use for all family and personal essential things (ie food/mortgage etc but also cosmetics, clothing, travel costs) . We then each get a small "allowance" which we use to buy frivolous things without having to feel we have to explain it to the other person.

Please do not fall into trap of having to ask for money. Having a child, and caring for that child, is a full time job and if you did go back to work the household income (which would be higher as you'd be working too) would have to pay it.

mercibucket Thu 28-Mar-13 15:51:29

The solution is very easy

Joint account

mercibucket Thu 28-Mar-13 15:51:29

The solution is very easy

Joint account

PiHigh Thu 28-Mar-13 15:51:31

Well, we have a couple of joint accounts (they cover monthly and yearly bills) and then the leftover money from Dh's salary is split equally between the two of us into our personal accounts.

Soupa Thu 28-Mar-13 15:53:08

And if you sat down and shared this with your partner surely he would suggest a joint account with equal access. If he outsourced the services you provide he would find their monetary value high. The value of your contribution is significant fiscally and otherwise.

It can though be worth returning to work if you want to as way of sustaining your career despite low initial returns. It's not worth sodding mat leave because your value isn't being considered in your relationship.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 28-Mar-13 15:54:21

I have my own money. We pay everything which needs paying, including food money, and split what's left to spend on whatever we want.

I really don't understand why married couples with children have separate money! Especially if one is a SAHP. Surely you are a team?

SueDunome Thu 28-Mar-13 23:39:27

You have to look at it this way. It is his baby too and he needs childcare to allow him to go to work and continue earning the money he does. You are providing that service for him, otherwise he wouldn't be able to work. Therefore, you are a team. It is your joint baby and your joint money. So, as others have said, joint account with equal access, and don't feel guilty about taking money out.

FelicityWasCold Thu 28-Mar-13 23:45:27

I couldn't do this. You need either a job (and he pays for at least half the effing child care) or you need a joint account.

Whatever you would both prefer.

ThisIsMummyPig Thu 28-Mar-13 23:45:45

My DH gave me an allowance - It was £500 a month from which I bought the food, but it did still give me an amount which I could use to buy other stuff as well. He would have given me more, but I didn't want to ask (I decided on the £500). I never wanted to be in the position where he would know how much I had spend on his birthday present, which he would have done with a joint account.

Funnily enough now I work part time I still don't have any more money.

expatinscotland Thu 28-Mar-13 23:50:15

Joint account. Or you go back to work and YY, you both pay half the childcare.

abbyfromoz Thu 28-Mar-13 23:56:55

DH and i don't even have a joint bank account. It's an issue.
DH is self employed so doesn't get a wage as such therefore he needs to draw down money from the business account as and when it's needed. It's never a consistent amount so i get that our situation isn't that straight forward.
I used to work but maternity leave ran out last year and took some adjusting...
How do i cope?
I am a curlew bird... I pluck all the gold from the coin jar... Seriously
I call it my 'wage'
You would be surprised how much you will find!
Don't get me wrong i don't go 'without' but i just hate having to explain why i need money... Etc
Also i do the laundry/housework so what i find i keep.
grin
Haha can't believe how that sounds but we both find it kind of funny...

Startail Fri 29-Mar-13 00:03:58

DH and I had a joint account from the day we got married. We have just always spent what we can afford without thinking about it. No deep discussions, we just look at the bank statement and adjust our personal spending accordingly.

He's always earned more than me and for the last 16 years £1 would be more than me. I didn't mean to be a SAHM that long, but it turned out much easier that way.

I guess it helps that DH earns a reasonable amount and that we both have pretty affordable tastes in clothes and shoes and a practical take on cars.

In fact DH only has any clothes and shoes because I drag him into shops to buy them or just get them on my own. Thus I confess what a vainer man might spend on clothes goes on not strictly necessary clothes for me and especially the DDs. Very sexist, we appreciate them, he appreciates us looking nice. As long as he had smart trousers, white shirt and tie for work, some weekend Scruggs and a pair of shorts he doesn't care.

Jadems Fri 29-Mar-13 04:27:31

Thanks for the replies guys.

Joint account not really an option, as due to past financial difficulties my partner wouldn't want to be linked to me financially. He works in finance, so he'd have a point on this.

abbyfromoz - laughed at you having to salvage money from the laundry, coin jars etc. This is exactly what I have to do most of the time; I usually make some joke about it being a charge for 'services rendered' if he queries it.

Think longer term I'm going to have to ask that we work out a set amount for personal expenditure, and have mine transferred to my account each month. Will still feel a bit like 'asking for pocket money', but ....

Did bring up the topic of my returning to work after birth, and him paying 50% of child care, but he then countered with in that case I should be willing be pay 50% of everything else in that instance. Which I don't know if I'd even be able to do, given my earning capacity in relation to his. Don't think he's super keen on the idea of my working tbh.

BlingLoving Fri 29-Mar-13 07:21:30

There is nothing funny about a woman salvaging coins from the penny jar while her dp has plenty of money to spend but won't give her any because she's apparently not contributing financially. On what planet is childcare the responsibility of the woman only, including the financial sacrifice? So you will have a baby and his life won't Change at all while you will be living in an entirely different way in terms of both activities and finance?

I'll bet he also won't be getting up to help in the night on the basis that he "works so needs more sleep."

twooter Fri 29-Mar-13 07:29:04

At least get him pay what 50% of the childcare fees would be

abbyfromoz Fri 29-Mar-13 07:38:03

Blingloving- DH never got up for night feeds in the first 6 months as i was breastfeeding- and yes he was working so i thought why should we both be tired? But now he wakes up with DD every other morning so that i can have a lie in. Yea it sucks that his life hasn't changed much... But he also feels a huge burden as our entire future is on his shoulders so i try to give him a bit of a break and have a sense of humour about it...

BlingLoving Fri 29-Mar-13 07:41:54

Abby: I am not saying men have to get up at 2 am to be considered good partners. It's more generic than that eg dh getting up early before work so that dw can have a break, like yours. But, I will put money on OP's oh taking the view that he doesn't need to do that. So will getup with just his usual amount of time to prep for work/ will go to bed and do his usual evening things too.

Dh wasn't great in middle of night. But he always got up early so I could get an extra hour or encouraged me to go to bed early while he handled anything that came up with ds before he went to bed. And while I was bf, that meant hanging out with him while he was niggling, nappy changing, burping etc.

CabbageLeaves Fri 29-Mar-13 07:45:41

This is all waving red flags at me.

It's very dysfunctional that you talk about decisions happening to you rather than you're choosing to make.

After 50% of childcare costs have been paid what would you be left with? That is why you would wish to work. So in my view if he wishes you to stay at home he needs to pay that much into an account which is yours.

Both parents have a responsibility to consider how bringing a child into the world is going to be financed. Whether you choose to be SAHM or not is irrelevant but whatever situation you choose together it should be discussed and agreed not just 'come about'

You risk becoming an apologetic smaller version of yourself know towing to the wage earner. Don't do it. Speak up now.

abbyfromoz Fri 29-Mar-13 07:54:18

Blingloving- agreed
Jadems- the reply about you having to pay half of everything is unfair- why don't you suggest a percentage?
It's quite common that women don't earn as much as their DH hence why it often makes more sense for women giving up work (unfair but often the case)- so it was a bit unreasonable to say pay half of everything- i think a percentage makes more sense-
For example you earn £300 a week, he earns £900 a week. You each contribute a third into the expense pool- that means you pay £100, he pays £300?
That sounds fair to me. This is what we (tried to do) before i gave up work.

CabbageLeaves Fri 29-Mar-13 07:55:18

It. Seems odd to talk about a relationship in such practical financial ways but this is what I'd do...

Start by saying I can't live like this, dependant on handouts. It's bad for my self esteem let alone my living conditions

So I'd like to work and recognise that this will cost us both in childcare.

If he maintains that you should pay 50% of other household costs and you really cannot afford them...say non confrontationally I can't afford 50% of all the other living costs so if you expect them from me we will need to downgrade our living or separate

Blunt but true

If he really thinks that forcing you out of the house because you can't afford to live there now you have a child is financially viable then you have a problem.

The alternatives are he allocates a sum to you so that you don't work and don't need to ask each month for a hand out

However if this is done under duress, quite frankly he's likely to backtrack in the future and what fall back do you have. Do you wish to be at his mercy financially? I would keep working if I were you.

QuickLookBusy Fri 29-Mar-13 08:01:33

Agree with everything cabbage said.

If you can't have a joint account, then he must put into your account, an amount at the start of each month, which you are happy with.

You are not working because you're having HIS baby. Therefore he needs to support you at this time. I've been a SAHM for a long time. I simply wouldn't have been with someone who thought it was all his money, while I scrounged around looking for coppers.

In fact I'd advice any SAHM to be incontrol of the finances, I do almost everything as far as family finances are concerned. DH is happy with that and so am I.

NotMostPeople Fri 29-Mar-13 08:03:48

This is waving lots of red flags to me too. The baby will have two parents, so why should only one make all the sacrifices? It's simple regardless of both of you working full time,part time or not at all the money is pooled, the bills are taken out and the rest is spilt.

In our family we transfer an amount to my account and an amount to his, the bills come out of the joint account. Neither of us has to justify why we spent what we spent. My amount is three time that of his btw but I also cover food and all the children's lessons, clothes, school meals etc.

I've been a Sahm on and off for thirteen years, in the beginning I used to refer to it as his money and he made if very clear it was ours, my new job was to look after the baby his was out of the home.

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 29-Mar-13 08:12:35

Another one worried by the red flags. This is not okay.

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