Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications, experience, or professional insurance of anyone posting on Mumsnet and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

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'.

DontmindifIdo Fri 29-Mar-13 16:39:34

BTW - the child is equally his, therefore the cost of childcare is equally his - either he pays you or he pays a 3rd party. As an unmarried woman, I'd suggest you make him pay a 3rd party, far far safer for you in the long run.

Viviennemary Fri 29-Mar-13 16:43:32

Do you know how much of his income he has left to spend on himself after all the household expenses are paid. If you have the JSA just for pocket money that isn't a bad amount and you should afford to buy some clothes out of that if you're not paying any other bills apart from the ones you mentioned like contact lenses and mobile phone. But this is not to say he is being reasonable He isn't.

Parker231 Fri 29-Mar-13 17:18:38

These types of threads amaze me - it's a joint baby, you both live in your home and incur joint bills, food, car etc - why on earth have you got yourself in the position of not having access to any money coming into the home ? This is abuse of the worst kind !

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 29-Mar-13 17:27:12

Um, if he is the child's father then he is 50% liable for the childcare bills.

Are you married?

FWIW he sounds like a cunt.

DorisIsWaiting Fri 29-Mar-13 17:32:09

I'm and SAHM we have several accounts but DH's pay goes into our joint account we then each have £50 spending money per month (we worked out what we could afford and that was it. We each have money £25 going to ISA's and I have additional tax free savings in my name (non tax payer).

You really really really need to sort something out before your child is born. Otherwise it does not bode well for your relationship in the future with such inequalities present.

cq Fri 29-Mar-13 17:45:34

I haven't worked for over 10 years. All DP's income goes into the joint account, all bills, including my credit card, are paid from this account. He has never begrudged me a penny, and I reciprocate by not overspending or buying ridiculous handbags etc.

But, from the day I stopped working, I told DP that I needed a small amount of money to call my own, so I could spend it as I pleased and not feel guilty or beholden to him. We set up a standing order from the joint account into my sole account, and it sits there slowly piling up. If I want to give it all to charity, I can. If I want to use it to bail family out of debt, I can. He does not say a word. As his salary has gone up over the 10 years, I give myself a payrise by the same amount grin

Works for us, and I have my 'escape fund' should I ever need it. Heaven forbid.

It also helps my self esteem and negates some of the 'put-upon' feelings that crop up regularly as a SAHM.

blueberryupsidedown Fri 29-Mar-13 17:58:23

Have been SAHM for 6 years and first I have to say that I had savings, investments and a pension of my own. So in terms of long term 'security' I felt confident that I was not going to lose out.

Exactly as CQ said, I don't overspend, buy reasonably priced stuffed, no luxuries, and If we need to buy something more expensive we always talk about it first (such as a new appliance or a repair for the car). Sometimes DH will say to me 'this month it's a bit tight because we have to pay for municipal taxes' or something, then I'll be even more careful with food budget. The rest of the time I never have to ask for anything. We have a set budget for Christmas.

IYes OK I buy Nivea instead of Clarins, many luxuries have had to go, but we very happy.

Snog Fri 29-Mar-13 18:11:18

If you are not working, have a joint account for household costs.
The remainder goes 50/50 into your personal accounts.
If your dh is unhappy with this I would consider leaving him tbh.
Once the baby has been born I would recommend working full time again with the childcare to come from the joint account. Having your own career is very important over the longer term even if as a family you might pay more in childcare than you personally earn in the early years. It's an investment in the future.

ParmaViolette Fri 29-Mar-13 18:12:30

Errr- I'm slightly concerned that he doesn't want to pay childcare for his child if it means more family money and his wife to have some financial independence?

mercibucket Fri 29-Mar-13 21:21:58

if you are not married, think very very very hard about what it will mean for your future if you stay with this man and become financially dependent on him

If you won't get any child related benefits at all do you mean he is a higher rate taxpayer so you won't get child benefit?

But he thinks if he pays half of one bill, you need to pay the other half AND half all the other bills?

He sounds like a controlling miser. Where do you live? Whose name/s is the house in? I could never ever become dependent on a controlling miser like this.

After maternity leave I went back to work with one child in nursery which took up 1/3 of my salary. After 2nd maternity leave the 2 lots of nursery plus travel costs probably took up all my salary. BUT they weren't paid out of JUST MY salary. They were paid out of our joint income and yes things were tight but we both adjusted our spending.

So for 2 years I was working - not for 'nothing', but to stand still for a couple of years so that we would be far better off in the long run. Which, now the children are 6 and 8, we are.

Fairylea Fri 29-Mar-13 21:45:33

No no no.

All money is both your money. You can't be a sahm and live on nothing while your partner has a wage etc. You share.

I am a sahm. We have a joint account, wages tax credits everything goes in. We pay all bills from this. We split what's left between us as spending money. We have the same regardless of my dh having a wage etc. I am equally entitled to that money as I am providing childcare and housework etc.

Everything must be shared.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 30-Mar-13 13:29:37

It helps if you both look at it as joint family income.

We receive WTC/ TC and cb. This goes into my account as do half of ds salary.
The other half goes into dhs account.

Ds pays all the bills out of his account and I buy food, household, dds lessons, and anything else out of my account.

We have never looked at it as his n her money, just different names on accounts. To me it is all one pot. If one account is a bit short, the other bails it out.

You are a partnership and need to communicate about finances. You certainly shouldn't be feeling guilty about spending money unless as a family you can't afford to and that is just being sensible.

amicissimma Wed 03-Apr-13 17:21:30

If he works in finance he should be well aware how vulnerable your position is if you are not married.

If you are not married, he is not committed to you legally.

If you do not have a joint account he is not committed to you financially.

He has a genetic link with your (plural) child. At the moment he is sharing a property (in whose name?) with you. This could be permanent but there are no guarantees.

As a SAHM, I would say that you have a joint bank account into which ALL income goes. In the absence of any current evidence whichever one of you has past problems should be assumed to have learned better (although a cautious eye should be kept by the other). Any surplus funds should be in an account in your name for tax reasons. (And if the previous problems were yours you need to make sure you keep yourself in check).

You are joint parents. Your child needs mutually supportive parents who trust each other and work as a team. 2 major and equally valuable tasks are required: childcare (provided by you) and money (provided by him). He does not have any right to put a financial value on you or your input.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 17:33:59

He can only work full time because he has you doing the child care for your joint child. Therefore you are jointly earning his salary and need a joint account from which you can take the money that you need.
If he is not doing this then have your own account and tell him to put into it what he would have to pay a nanny, cook, cleaner etc. (I think the joint account would be cheaper!)

Jadems Mon 08-Apr-13 12:06:37

Thanks for all the advice guys. You all sound very assertive, and you must have quite reasonable partners!

We talked about this over the Easter bank holiday, I even showed him some of the responses where he's made out to be some tyrant but he didn't seem to bothered about it.

We do have very different standards of lifestyle, even now. He's a higher rate taxpayer and I've just had to sell my iPhone and iPad to put my account back in the black after a month of JSA sanctions. That's just how it is.

Don't really have a lot of options though. No family to help me out, and I don't have any savings. Were I to leave, me and the baby would be in some grim council subsidised b&b and no better off. At least here, the baby gets a decent place to live, is well provided for and will be fed.

On the job front, the only local jobs are terrible minimum wage affairs. The childminders would be earning more than I would, and I wouldn't be doing anything career enhancing or engaging. London jobs would pay more and be in my line of work (communications), but I'd be paying about £400 a month in travel and childcare costs would be astronomical as baby would need to be dropped by 7:30 and then not picked up until 7pm.

I've just made some really bad decisions, and now need to live with them.

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 12:15:54

You are being financially abused. How can he stand by with money in the bank whilst you sell you possessions? Think about posting on the relationship thread or ask for this thread to be moved there, you will get good advice from women who have been in similar situations. You cannot live the rest ofyour life like this.

What did he say about it?

DontmindifIdo Mon 08-Apr-13 12:25:44

erm, are you assuming that childcare costs are only your costs? Why would he not be paying 50% of them?Could he do either drop off or pick up so you could have your DC in childcare shorter hours?

I think you might want to start doing a bit of research and finding out a) what you would be entitled to in way of benefits, b) what you would be entitled to in way of childsupport from him. You are unlikely to end up in a grotty B&B, particularly if you can get work - a small loan to get you moved into a flat closer into London so that you can then shorter commutes might well be worth it.

Long term you can't live like this. Something has to give. If he's unmoved now, then your relationship migth have to be the thing that gives. You aren't a unit now, so best you use his house as a base in order to get yourself organised back into a life for you and yoru DC without him. (Oh, he whatever he says, his attitude to you suggests he really doesn't give a shit about you, why waste your life with him? Men like that are always crap fathers, so it's not like you'd be denying your DC something worth having by removing him from their day to day life)

Jadems Mon 08-Apr-13 12:32:49

He offered to keep giving me the money he currently gives me for driving lessons, after I've passed my test - but didn't really see the need for any further integration as he pays for everything and all bills are in his name. Don't know whether that will happen or not, he's good at offering money when I complain but it never materialises.

Also told me not to sell my ipad but didn't really offer any alternatives. I didn't have any money even to take a bus, go into town for a coffee prior to selling these things, so I didn't really know what else to do.

To be fair to him, he's under no obligation to support me - we're not married. I just made some really bad decisions moving out here, having the baby etc.

It is a really precarious situation. His house -he could get rid of me tomorrow. But I guess I shouldn't have been so stupid.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 08-Apr-13 12:36:49

I feel so sorry for you. I can't believe you have to sell your possessions to live while he's a higher rate tax payer.

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 12:39:49

Op please post on relationships thread, link to this thread. There are lots of women who have been where you are and can advise.

expatinscotland Mon 08-Apr-13 12:40:02

'Also told me not to sell my ipad but didn't really offer any alternatives. I didn't have any money even to take a bus, go into town for a coffee prior to selling these things, so I didn't really know what else to do.

To be fair to him, he's under no obligation to support me - we're not married. I just made some really bad decisions moving out here, having the baby etc.

It is a really precarious situation. His house -he could get rid of me tomorrow. But I guess I shouldn't have been so stupid.'

That is water under the bridge now. STOP allowing this person to control you.

You need to make plans to leave this person, go back to work, and he will need to pay maintenance for your child.

You have no future with someone who abuses you like this. And that is what it is.

DontmindifIdo Mon 08-Apr-13 12:40:19

can you stop the lessons and start banking the money now? Make it clear you need the money to live off?

As much as possible, start saving. As you said, you are in a very very risky situation, I really would rethink not going back to work, would he be prepared to pay towards childcare? Have you directly asked him if he'd pay half of the costs?

NomNomDePlum Mon 08-Apr-13 12:49:01

he sounds like an utter cock, and the way you are talking about him sounds like you know this.

sorry, i think you should leave him. you don't have bus fare now, it can't actually get much worse.

mercibucket Mon 08-Apr-13 13:45:45

Do you want your baby to grow up and think it is normal for her mum to have no money to spend on herself? How much less money would you actually have if ypu left? Bet you would have more! Anyway, make sure you claim child benefit at least - it's up to him to declare it and have it taken back off his salary.
I'm really sorry he is such a twat. Better off leaving sooner rather than later, imo, as your self esteem is going to take a battering otherwise.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now