Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

You'll find a way to manage .... how?

(43 Posts)
PinkPerks Sun 02-Dec-12 20:11:52

Hi all

I am a newbie and joined the site on recommedation from a friend to get some independant advice smile

A little bit about us. My OH (39 and I (32) have been together 16.5yrs, married for 3.5yrs. We own our own home and have 1 rescue cat called scampi x

I suffer from endrometriosis as well as PCSO. Both my mum, both grans, 3 aunts and my cousin have all had hystorectomys by the time they were 30. My mum and 2 aunts had cervical cancer and my gran had overian cancer. As you can see there is a history of cancer in both sides.

I have had abnormal smears since the age of 23. I have laser treatment once a year and need to have it again soon as again I have had 3 positive results again. My doctor is really now putting on the pressure about having children sooner rather than later as he feels that the way I am going, I will have a hystrectomy before I am 35.

Now if I could, i would have a child now but I am £13.5k in debt and I have about 29 months left before this is all paid off. My wages cover all bills excluding petrol and food. This is covered by my OH wages, when he has a job. Working for an agency, work is never gauranteed and he could work one week and be out of work for 3 :-(

My work only offer normal SMP which means I would loose approx £800 a month. We could not cover this. I am lucky if I have £5 left a month and this could not save enough to cover maternity pay.

What I am fustrated about is when people say "oh no kids yet? Do you think that's fair on your OH?" !!!

I have read lots of threads and people who say you just manage but what I would like to ask you all is how do you just manage? How can you cover £800 a month drop and keep a roof over your head?

I feel like a let down as a woman and desperately would love to have a child but I feel this weight of debt will rob me of our chance.

Thank you for reading this and whilst I know I wont get an instant solution, it would make me feel better getting some advice and support from people who have been in my situation xx

Cheers PinkPerks xx

Signet2012 Sun 02-Dec-12 20:20:43

Our household income has gone from 2400 to 1400 Amd our bills including debt come to 1380.

I have no idea how I'm managing truth be told.

I made a decision to have a baby now as I was worried time may run out. Not the most sensible but as long as I can put a roof over her head, food in her tummy and keep her warm I'll worry about the rest later. Not my usual style but sod it.

Signet2012 Sun 02-Dec-12 20:57:23

Thinking about it I'm much more clever with food bill, knocked literally anything other than bills on the head including all social activities, haut cuts, clothes.

Bought everything second hand and had hand me downs for baby. Plan to sell on as finished with.

I'm skint. But I look at 12 week old dd and I don't regret my decision for a minute. Itd not forever its 8 pays until I go back to work and even though I'm going back part time I don't think I'll suffer.

It sounds corny but I'm literally the happiest I have ever been. Ask md again in six months smile

Signet2012 Sun 02-Dec-12 21:14:00

Sorry I keep thinking of things

Write all your bills down
1) can you take mortgage holiday or extend term of mortgage? I couldn't take a holiday but have extended my mortgage another 8 years. This has bought my payments down by 60 pound per month (on a 400 pound a month mortgage) I intend to shorten it again when things pick up and make some over payments.

2) anything you can get rid of? Sky? Internet? Contract mobiles? Subscriptions?

3) car - do you need it? If so remember not commuting cuts petrol costs I use my car for Non walk able distances only (petrol budget 40 a month) once its on the 2nd bar then that's it unless emergency.

4) shop in Aldi. Don't buy to fill cupboards buy what goes further. One chicken - chicken dinner, chicken curry, chicken omelette, cheap cuts of meat in slow cooker, toast for Brekkie left overs for lunch. Down a brand on anything not already lowest brand. Especially cleaning products.

5) sell anything you don't want

6) look at debt - can you move it to somewhere with lesser payment or better deals? I would of remortgaged if I could but not enough equity in my house. Not the best option but it would have made life easier in the short term.

Er I think that's all I have. I found that decreased my bills a little bit and every little bit helps.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 03-Dec-12 12:47:24

Prior to having DS I managed to build up a savings balance which compensated for the income-loss for the time I was on maternity leave and also supplemented child-care costs later. I've been a single parent from Day 1.

Obviously, servicing the extremely large debt eats up your disposable income and prevents you from saving. When you say '29 months' does that mean you're on a payment plan? Are you in contact with CAB, CCCS, National Debtline or other free debt advice service?

Another suggestion is to run your details through the Turn2Us Benefits Checker Run it with your details as they are now and then run a 'what if' for the scenario of you plus DC and maternity payments. You may find that you'd be entitled to some Tax Credits or other help

Getting shot of the debt is the most urgent matter, however. If you can't reschedule go in for some extreme budget cutting so that 29 months turns into 12....

paddedslippers Mon 03-Dec-12 14:35:15

Your debt is a major issue here as it's eating into your expenses. Are they non-priority debts like credit cards or personal loans? I don't know what sort of payment plan you're on, but it's possible to arrange one where interest is frozen or even have it written off entirely. Often this will affect your home if you are a homeowner, but in some cases people have been allowed to keep their home, especially if it's in negative equity. I had a total of £70k written off, which did affect my credit rating, but that was fine as DH could still get a mortgage in his name, and I didn't have to make any repayments as I was on mat leave so my income was too low.

It's also very problematic that your OH doesn't have a reliable wage - that's one of the things most women would expect when looking for a partner they'd want to start a family with. If you are the one with a secure job, you may have to accept that he'd be caring for the dc and you have to return to work quite quickly. You might get some tax credits once you have a child.

Those comments about not having kids yet are really horrible, I hope you can ignore them. It smacks of being used as an incubator for your OH's offspring and is quite a nasty assumption that your OH would only value you for that role.

PinkPerks Mon 03-Dec-12 20:40:38

Hi all and thanks for your replies x

I am not on a payment plan. As I can cover the minimum plus £5 on all debts, I would not be considered for a payment plan. I have spoken to CCCS.

The 29 payments is the last payment on our car loan. We have 2 CC on 0% so I have covered all my basis. We are on reduced payments for 1 year on our mortgage, which ends in Sept. This was so I can pay for food etc.

The hurtful words by people normally wash over me but lately they have been pushing a button and especially as I seem to be broody all the time.

The worse person to say hurtful things are my sil. She knows the pain I have suffered, especially as I have suffered 2 miscarriages (one being twins at 14 weeks). I had a hole in the right side of my tube, which caused the lining of my womb to leak, causing the miscarraiges.

My coil is due to be removed in Sept next year so I have 9 months to try and make as much dent in our debts as possible. I am also considering taking out £3k which would cover our outgoings for 6 months if I was to fall pregnant. Whilst this means I would have another debt, I would happy pay £100 a month for 36 months to have a beautiful baby ....

What are your opinions on this?

Pinky x

NatashaBee Mon 03-Dec-12 20:49:59

It sounds like you don't have a lot of options open to you, and that you're the main wage earner. I can see why you want to get on with TTC as quickly as possible. Can you take a minimal amount of time off work and your partner be a stay at home parent? Maybe the minimum 6 weeks that you get 90% of your salary paid for on maternity leave, and then go back to work? sounds horrible, i know. Can your DH sign on/claim any benefits for the weeks he doesn't get work? what are the chances that he can get a permanent job?

Have you factored in tax credits and child benefits to your calculations when working out how much money you'll have left once you have a baby?

PinkPerks Mon 03-Dec-12 22:18:49

Hi NatashaBee :-D

I could not go back to work after 6 weeks. I havn't even had our little one and it makes me sick to the stomach so how I could cope once they are here would be worse :-( Our overall plan is for OH to stay at home and I go back to work after 6 months or so. This I can get used to as the main earner

I know its strange but I am not worrying about the after the baby is here i.e. clothes etc just the maternity pay. We could not afford the £800 drop.

We would only be entitled to £20 a week in child benefit.

OH is not entitled to any benefits as I earn "enough" to keep us. He is applying for at least 15/20 jobs a week. He had a good idea to go round to all the warehouses local with a xmas card and a quality street in it with his cv, so they remember him :-)

I am really tempted to get a loan but I know this is not a good way to manage money but surely it would be the best investment ever ...

paddedslippers Mon 03-Dec-12 23:17:20

Don't get another loan, you really are far too much into debt already. Having a baby introduces all sorts of uncertainties, and while you think you could afford £100 a month now - would it still be fine if you ended up with twins? Or if the child had additional health needs and needed you to stay home longer than expected? Or if you had health issues during pg/after childbirth and couldn't return to work as expected? It's a big gamble, and you can never count on children being predictable and fitting in tidily with your plans!

You need to use the turn2us calculator with your household income/circumstances as it would be when a child is born. Of course your income at the moment is enough, but it would drop after mat leave and you need to use those figures. You could also go back to CCCS and ask about reduced debt repayments once you're on a lower income. I was also initially considered to be on a high enough income to manage to pay my debts, but when I went on mat leave, my income dropped of course and then my new income was taken into account.

I think you also need to be more realistic about the time you can afford to take off as a new parent. It would be hard to go back after six weeks, but many parents have to do it, and the baby would be with the father so I am sure they would be fine.

Loveweekends10 Tue 04-Dec-12 20:40:22

Have the baby. There is never a great time.

MummytoKatie Wed 05-Dec-12 10:30:26

Don't get a loan. You are already in lots of debt. You said you were planning on having you coil removed in September. That means that even if you got pregnant straight away it would be 18 months until the baby appeared. So you have 18 months to save £3000.

You said you could afford £100 a month for the debt repayment. So start putting that £100 a month aside now. That's £1800. Now you just need £1200. £1200 in £18 months is about £70 a month. It sounds like your budget is already pretty tight so you need to find a way of earning more money. Obviously if your dh gets a full time job that will solve the problem but if not he will have lots of time. There is a site on MSE called "Up your income" which gives lots of things you can do to increase your income such as online surveys so it may be worth having a look. I think a lot of them are not very well paid and only pay in vouchers but you can still buy things with vouchers that otherwise would need cash.

narmada Wed 05-Dec-12 23:32:25

People have babies while subsisting entirely on benefit. In your position I would go for the baby BUT I would put some serious plans in place to upskill (either you or your DP, or both) so you can eventually get better, more secure, more lucrative jobs in the long run.

You can escape poverty - theoretically - but not so easy to escape infertility.

timeforachangebaby Wed 05-Dec-12 23:40:59

you just do manage, you really do, I dont know how though, me I am getting into debt but I simply dont care, the DCs mean everything to me

PinkPerks Thu 06-Dec-12 18:40:46

Hi all thanks for all your comments x

Having looked at our position again, we just cannot afford to have a child yet. To those who say just have a baby .. I am not going to bring a child to the world for us to then lose our home and not be able to feed and cloth them.

I am just going to have to keep plugging along with the debt and once I can get to a point where I can start saving some money, then we can make stronger plans. Whilst I know I am taking a risk, I cannot see another way.

Thank you all once again :-)

NotAChocolateRaisin Mon 10-Dec-12 19:34:30

Not in the know enough to offer any advice I'm afraid just wanted to offer support thanks

ssd Mon 10-Dec-12 19:38:38

sorry you're facing all this pinky

I can remember someone saying to me "how can you afford another baby", when I had ds2

I stuck my head in the sand and still do, to some degree

can you move to a smaller house?

PinkPerks Wed 12-Dec-12 21:20:09

thank you for your kind words xx

Moving is not an option im afraid. We pay £350 a month for a 4 bedroom house. Whist we might not need 4 beds a 1 bed flat goes for £500 a month, and at least we own this one. We might be just in negative equity, we would be in a worse position if we were to sell ...

I am, to be honest, heartbroken sad everywhere I look there are beautiful babies and pregnant bellies

googlenut Wed 12-Dec-12 21:30:37

If you really want a baby you are going to have to think about going back to work soon after birth. Perhaps you could look at going back part time at first- what do you do?

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Wed 12-Dec-12 21:39:47

Could you not consider a lodger, or more than one, if you have 4 bedrooms?

suburbophobe Wed 12-Dec-12 21:42:48

I'm so sorry to hear of your endo. I've had it (and now have a DS, took about 5+ years after treatment tho).

Are you getting good treatment for it? (I presume you are). I took hormones for about 9 months that mimicked pregnancy.

Do you know about the Endometriosis Society? I think you'll find lots of info and support on there.

www.endometriosis-uk.org/

You've had lots of good advice on the finance aspect so I won't add to it as I don't live in UK.

NewFerry Wed 12-Dec-12 21:46:22

A lodger is an excellent idea. You can earn up to £4250 from a lodger without paying any extra tax, I understand. So if you had a lodger before/while you were pregnant, this would cover your lost income for 5 months while you are at home with a baby.

Phineyj Wed 12-Dec-12 21:49:03

I second the idea of a lodger - you can earn just under £5k tax free that way. If you're in a city (London especially) you could try one of those Monday to Friday room arrangements for people commuting in for work, so they're not around at the weekends.

PinkPerks Wed 12-Dec-12 22:08:00

RE The lodger ..
Whilst this is a normally good idea, it would not work. one of the bedrooms is acutally an attic which has been converted. You could not get a bed in there but an airbed is ok. It is not classed as a bedroom but OH brother likes to sleep there when he is over and had too much to drink.
One of the other rooms is soo small it would be classed as a box room. We could get a small kids bed or cot in there but not a single bed.
The other room has a double but I use this most nights due to OH snoring. Until he has his op for this ..... (tried a peg on his nose and it didnt work lol)

We dont live in London (luckly) but in a small town in the midlands.

Sub thanks hunni for your support. I am already a member of this club and under the care of a gyno specialist called Prof. Gary Barlow ha ha ha

OH has been desperately looking for work but it is so hard at the moment. We are just survivig on 2 shops a month and batch cooking/mums cooking lol

I cant even get a second job as my main work does not permit it ... I work as an administrator which is not high paying but it is something I am good at and the get free holiday to italy once a year smile Work dont do part time so OH would stay at home once little on was born.

I have worked out that with MP and CB we would have £580 a month after the 90% for 6 weeks. Also we would lose £400 for those 6 weeks. This would lose us £800 a month short and we could not cover this .... even for 1 month

1st loan finishes in March 2014. This would free up £150 a month so could start putting this aside but this is obviously eating into the ticking timebomb my doc has stressed to me is almost up ....

Lets hope for a lotto win ... 5 numbers would do ... I am not greedy lol

lalalonglegs Wed 12-Dec-12 22:21:52

I'd think about a lodger again, at least until you have your baby (I'm not sure too many lodgers want to share a house with a new-born grin). Give the lodger the spare double and sleep in the single room yourself as you only need it for actual sleep - all your clothes etc are presumably stored in your other double room. I don't know where you live but if it's anywhere that you could charge a few hundred a month for, you'd make a good-sized hole in your debt.

Good luck with everything smile

yousmell Sun 30-Dec-12 20:43:32

remortgage? cover the debts and start a fresh. Don't delay trying to conceive.

yousmell Sun 30-Dec-12 20:46:04

Share the house and split the bills equally. Get three lodgers in

fakeblondie Sun 30-Dec-12 22:04:13

Sorry to be blunt but why are you 13 grand in debt esp if you have no children ?
Sell your house and pay off the debts ??
You must be living way beyond your means and i`m sorry but 13 thousand pounds !
Do cash and if you dont have it you go without.
There is no price on a baby btw you will manage and never look back because of the absolute completeness and joy you will have-you need to make life long changes tho not just for 9 months . I`d rather live in a tent with my family than a mansion with none if that makes sense-but then i would choose to own my tent .

Loveweekends10 Mon 31-Dec-12 08:09:43

I think you should have your children. You will regret it if you don't then aren't able to.

we found when we had the kids we spent a lot less money on things, I was made redundant and became a sahm which we would never have thought we could manage. You say you are with CCCS, I presume someone did a proper budget with you. You need to look at that budget or make a new one and you will be amazed what you could probably sahve of it. Could you sell the car and buy a cheaper one? or even live without a car, cars take up such a lot of money.

peggyblackett Mon 31-Dec-12 08:24:31

The lodger idea is a no brainer. You could get a couple of them in, and as someone else said your DH could take the attic room if he is snoring. Don't delay trying to conceive over this. Small Midland town or not, you could be getting £600 a month (most of that tax free) and help with paying the bills.
Good luck.

nextphase Mon 31-Dec-12 08:40:06

I'd go with the lodger, or a second job. You've mentioned work won't allow it. Have you spoken to anyone re a bar job or stacking shelves a weekends and evenings to try and clear debt? Usually second job clauses relate to similar fields? Or can your DH get a job like that to supplement his income til he finds a permanent job? I know new jobs are like hens teeth at the moment, but a friend in the midlands has just got her second administrator job this year, having been a SAHM for years, so there are some about. Have you been trying for a new job?

Other things to look at: have you checked your on the cheapest deal for gas, elec, phone etc?

Have you been through your bank statements and checked you need everything going out? No old gym memberships etc?

And then write down EVERYTHING you spend for a month, and see where the money is going. If your prepared to list it all on a thread in the credit crunch topic, there are usually people who will suggest where cutbacks might be possible.

Sorry if the above has been done before.

porthcurnick Mon 31-Dec-12 09:12:57

I agree with nextphase write down everything you spend on here or another thread.

You mention a car loan, so is there a decent car that could be sold? Any contract phones, sky tv, gym?

Would it be worth getting a different loan over a longer period of time? I would suggest putting it on mortgage but you mentioned negative equity.

We manage by having one very old car, PAYG mobiles not used very often, very, very rare new clothes for adults, children's clothes are all asda/tesco, hand-me downs etc - a lot of people on here seem to use ebay or charity shops for clothes, I never find ours very good.

I accept any second-hand things people offer me gratefully, you can always sort through after.

We are currently on a £250 a month shopping budget for 2 adults, 3 children, that just about leaves £150 a month for anything else that isn't a bill, ie clothes, haircuts, car repairs/tax, household repairs/replacements, birthdays, christmas, school trips, days out, anything spent in town etc etc etc.

Although I think you are right that until your DH has a permanant job you are going to struggle.

PinkPerks Mon 31-Dec-12 12:58:20

Thank you for all your comments. I will address them below:
Our house is in negative equity so selling is not an option. Also whilst your in negative equity you are not able to remortgage. We don't have sky, just freeview. Our mobiles totals £15 a month on a 30 day rolling contract (really good deal with Virgin - who we have been with for 10+ yrs)

The lodger is a great idea but OH has put his foot down and said no.

The car is not a new one and we had it valued at £2k the loan is £3,450 so cant do that ether.

Fakeblondie your not being blunt but it is easy to get into debt. This debt has built up over 15 years, from stupid decisions when I was not as wise as I am now and also whilst my OH was off injured and not entitled to help, I had to cover everything on a lower wage than I am on now.

I am not on CCCS and the 29 payments are the longest it will take to pay my longest loan (Aug 15) CCCS was not able to help as we can cover the minimum amounts.

It feels like I am putting up blocks but these are blocks I cannot move.

I cannot work in a pub for obvious reasons :-D

Thank you for your comments but it will have to wait until the debt has gone x Happy new year to you all x

lizzywig Tue 01-Jan-13 15:38:40

It's really hard to see through these things sometimes but try to imagine those blocks weren't there and read what people have said again.

Why doesn't DH want a lodger? That could be the difference between you having a family or not. Would you end up resenting him if that were the case? How about renting a parking space to commuters - look it up its a real thing! Or advertising on your car.

What if you did go on mat leave and have that cut in salary,.would the debt management people take you then?

Could an option to pay smaller repayments on your debt? Eg my cc bill is £1.2k. My minimum payment is £30/month but i'll pay £350/month. Its 0% so this month I'll pay £100 & save 250 because I'm being made redundant in a few months and want to save a buffer. Could u do that?

Good luck.

whattodoo Tue 01-Jan-13 16:00:07

I'd really try to get your DH to reconsider the lodger option. It is such a simple solution.

What suggestions does your DH have? Does he want to start a family as much as you do?

If you have several debts, the last of which finishes in 29 months, can't you overpay that debt with the money you'll free up when some of the earlier debts are finished?

Could you do yourself a spreadsheet budget for the next 36 months, so that you can see when debts are paid off and how much cash will be 'free'?

With endo and pcso, you might find it takes a while to conceive, you can't plan to the exact month!

Adversecamber Thu 03-Jan-13 15:08:48

There have been quite a few threads about affording dc and I am very much try and pay off debts and be sensible first. I really think with the medical conditions you have that you don't really have much of a choice and your DH needs to understand fully the implications.

Looking through the advice you have had you do need a lodger and your BIL can sleep his hangovers off elsewhere. Get earplugs to help with DH snoring and unless he can get a better paid job he will need to be the SAHP. I can see why you don't want to return to work so quickly. My niece in the States got 12 weeks paid maternity, apparently that is generous much to my shock. Better a small period of ML than the alternative.

Good luck

PinkPerks Mon 04-Mar-13 20:11:16

Hi all x

Since starting this thread, things have changed for us for the good :-D

My boss has agreed to pay off my high costing debt and written a contract so I pay him interest free!! OMG!! This means that we will be debt free in Jan next year. It also means that we have worked out that to cover us for the 9 months maternity drop, what we were paying in debt from Jan till month due will cover us!!!

To say I am happy is an understatement :-D I will now move over to the planning on TTC board.

Thank you so so so so much for listening (or reading lol) to me. It helped and I really appreciate your words of advice xxx

DontmindifIdo Mon 04-Mar-13 20:19:00

Great you've found a way through! Has your DH found a new job or is he still looking?

charlearose Tue 05-Mar-13 09:28:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PrincessOfThemyscira Tue 05-Mar-13 09:39:41

What a lovely boss you have!

thesnootyfox Thu 07-Mar-13 11:46:05

Lots of people said to us that we would find a way to manage. If sleepless nights worrying about lack of money and never having a penny to do anything is managing then I guess we are. Usually the people who come out with this line are fairly comfortable.

If I had my time again I would have had good financial plans in place before having a family.

Adversecamber Thu 07-Mar-13 22:29:00

Not many bosses like yours, really glad you updated op with such good news.

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