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How do other families survive on one wage?

(41 Posts)
polkadot22 Wed 18-Jun-14 21:16:01

Ok, so at the moment I am Mum to a young son and I am benefits as his dad left me when I was pregnant. I was very ill in my pregnancy and he encouraged me to leave my job and he will provide for us, he never did. My son has milld sen.

In the very near future I am moving in with new partner who I've been with for a year. He has no problem with providing me and my son and we are planning to have another baby.

He earns around 17 thousand a year BUT usually earns a lot more with overtime. So might be 25 thousand or more. He has a mortgage of around 400 pounds a month. Neither of us owe any money.

It is not possible for me to work as I have no childcare. Everyone in both our families work full time, nurseries are too expensive and my partners shifts change so can't find a job to fit around his hours.

Anyway, my question is how to other families on here survive on one wage? Do you have a lot spare each month? Neither of us smoke or drink, we don't go on holidays and generally careful.

I also get maintenance of nearly 200 pounds off my ex each month which helps.

Also how do people manage to afford two cars. My partner needs to get to work and I am moving to a new area but need to travel to where I'm from for nursery, family, friends etc and there are no buses. Our petrol costs won't be extreme. My parters work is 6 miles away and my hometown about 8 and I won't be going out every day.

Just wondering if and how other families survive on one wage? And we probably won't be entitled to any tax credits as he earns too much with overtime.

It partly depends where you are in the country I think. We're in North Yorkshire and between us earn between £45k-£50k before tax-that's mostly DH's salary and then I earn a small amount doing part time evening work. Our mortgage is about £800 a month. We can only afford one car, we don't have holidays and we budget extremely carefully. If we were down south it would be even worse but I guess if we were further north it would be easier!

milkjetmum Wed 18-Jun-14 21:34:40

Possible, we do it on similar income (I work, DH at home). How old is your son? Remember one your son is 3 you will get 15hrs childcare free (termtime) so you might be able to do a little work then to boost income.

With cars it is unpredictable and depends how much you have to spend up front. If you buy an older car you will have lots of repair costs to find - we have an 08 car and typically spend 700 per year on servicing and mot. If public transport is reliable/convenient where you live it will probably be cheaper for one of you to get a bus/train season ticket.

HopefulMum111 Wed 18-Jun-14 21:38:58

Would it be possible for you to share the car? You could drive him to/from work on the days you need the car and he can have it the rest of the time. From what you say, I think a car will be your biggest expense and sharing might help. Good luck.

polkadot22 Wed 18-Jun-14 21:41:04

Unfortunately the public transport where I live is useless. To get my hometown 8 miles away which would take 15 minutes in a car. I would have to get one bus to a nearby town 6 miles away stopping at little villages and hamlets. And then wait for another to where I want to get to for another 6 miles. It would take about an hour and a half in total.

polkadot22 Wed 18-Jun-14 21:43:09

And he is on different shifts where sometimes he starts at 5.30am, or late finishes between 10pm and 2am or even night shifts. Complete pain in te bum sad

weatherall Wed 18-Jun-14 21:45:58

I've never heard of anyone running 2 cars on that low an income.

If you aren't working you have time to wait on busses, sorry.

I do think two cars is going to be pretty impossible. Is there a car share scheme in your area?

Or could you get a bike with a trailer?

SoonToBeSix Wed 18-Jun-14 21:59:02

On that income you would getup to 70 percent of childcare paid for with tax credits .

Fram Wed 18-Jun-14 22:08:38

Why are you travelling to nursery when you say you can't afford childcare? confused

Families/Friends can travel to you, surely?

I think families on one income fall into two camps- those that rely on the state to top them up (HB, tax credits, child care credit etc), and those that earn enough to live on one salary.
In most families I know, both adults work.

Also, if you're really struggling now with three people, is it wise to be planning another child?

Fram Wed 18-Jun-14 22:17:17

£25k is £1,651 pcm, plus your £200, minus the mortgage leaves £1,451 per month.

That doesn't seem much of a struggle for 3 people IME.

SavoyCabbage Wed 18-Jun-14 22:23:08

We've only got one car and it's a complete pain in the arse. It makes things far more complicated than they need to be but we can't afford two cars.

Tomorrow dh has an exam that finishes at 10pm. I gave to pick dd up from gymnastics at 8pm so he can't have the car as it will be dark then and I can't walk back in the dark as the roads are too dangerous.

There are no buses where the exam is so he will will walk about 40 minutes to the train.

Complicated but necessary.

melissa83 Wed 18-Jun-14 22:26:47

As fram said you will have loads of money. I see no reason why you cant run two cars as 1000s do on that income.

polkadot22 Wed 18-Jun-14 22:38:52

He goes to nursery 2 mornings a week with his 3 year old funding. He does 3 mornings. Weatherall: by the time the earliest bus gets to where my lo goes to nursery. It would be over. No way I can rely on buses. I live in a rural area. Where buses run every few hours in and the last bus home is at 4pm.

I cannot work. My son has mild sen. Everyone in my family, my partners family and my ex' family work full time. My partner is on different shifts all the time and I can't work around his hours.

polkadot22 Wed 18-Jun-14 22:39:47

Meant to say 3 not 2 mornings

greeneggsandjam Wed 18-Jun-14 22:44:59

If you didn't have a partner what would you do? You say you cannot work. Then you say your son has mild SEN. Are you saying you cant work because he has SEN? Could you work if here were in school? I'm just wondering why you cant work if the reason is that he has mild SEN, that could be anything really. His mortgage seems manageable.

foxdongle Wed 18-Jun-14 22:53:17

Many people survive on one income e.g. If the working person is on a good income, if they have savings, bought a house at the right time and have a low mortgage, claim everything that they are entitled to, no debts, maybe financial help from family, maybe they have "hidden money" like a property they rent out or inheritance, lottery win, trust fund etc.

we live completely on dhs wage and because most of what I mentioned above apply to us we save most of my wage and also a 1/3 of dhs.

When our dcs were small my Dh worked shifts and I had the car when he wasn't at work (and he also lift shared for part of the week) and I worked around his shifts so no childcare, from then we have always continued with just the one car. If you could manage like that, it would save you loads.

Also if you decide to go back to work, you could get 15 hours a week free childcare if your ds is 3 or 4. In your shoes I would either give up the 2nd car or find a job
At least you have no debts, that's a good start.

foxdongle Wed 18-Jun-14 22:58:18

meant to say I now work from home - would that be worth looking into?

Fram Wed 18-Jun-14 23:02:35

Could your son change nursery to one in the new area?
Could you apply for DLA to support the travel is he has SEN (obviously depends entirely on what his needs are).
If your partner works shifts, then yes it would be very difficult to work around that unless you just worked normal 9-5 and had childminder/nursery.

Fram Wed 18-Jun-14 23:04:22

PLus, you need to consider your son's needs. If this area is rural without many facilities, what is he going to do for school? Is there actually going to be one that meets his needs?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 18-Jun-14 23:13:54

Hello OP

I have been a sahm for soooooo many years and just learned the difference between wants and needs.
I don't mean that in a sarcy or condescending way, it was what we had to do. Then if you still can't manage you need to get your outgoings down which in our case meant no second car, even coming off the Nat grid for a while. No telephone (mobiles weren't around then), when they were, we had payg as contracts too expensive.
Not keeping up with technology, unless you need to, why pay for it.
No nursery fees as you don't need them if you are a sahm.
So, its even possible if you have a low income if you choose this lifestyle.
Just another experience of how its done.
Good luck, whatever you decide.

melissa83 Thu 19-Jun-14 06:16:43

I never understand these threads you have a really decent income after mortgage and say you have no money and no holidays etc. Why? What on earth do you buy in a month? We have a couple more children and about 200 more coming in and we are always away abroad and uk, decent car etc. Do you keep a spending diary and shop around?

melissa83 Thu 19-Jun-14 06:25:25

I have just worked out this month with overtime and tax credits we have made £1981 but we have £750 left and we are getting paid next week. We have still had decent food, all dds extracurriculur activities and we have more children. We havent been away this month but had lots of trips locally. Our mortgage is only 60 cheaper than yours

chocgalore Thu 19-Jun-14 06:41:35

We both work (DC1 is severely disabled). We get help with tax credits towards childcare and are much better off that way. surely you would get help with TC if you paid for childcare and you were probably better of working...

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