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Money worries

(14 Posts)
AuntyDiluvian Tue 19-Mar-13 10:06:44

I'm 33 weeks pregnant with our first baby, and am SO LUCKY. Everything important has been going well - conceiving was easy, health has been great, baby appears to be a perfectly average healthy model, and I have a loving, supportive partner with a steady job who is much better at housework than me, is excited about the baby, and we're communicating well whenever something is not perfect. I promise I know how lucky I am.
I'm also feeling totally feckless and panicky about money. We both want (and planned) this baby, but what we DIDN'T do is plan for it financially. I'm self-employed and have had hardly any work for the last couple of months - before I got pregnant, I was earning about the same as my partner, and we got by. Obviously now I'm earning much less and we have more expenses (including all the rising bills, food & rent everyone's struggling with). We are already getting to crisis point and the baby's not even here yet - and soon there will be childcare to worry about! We are both struggling with the guilt of having thought 'oh it'll all be OK, people work this stuff out' beforehand, and now suddenly feeling like we're bringing a baby into the world that we can't provide for.
Don't know what I'm asking for here really - just support on the emotional side I think. We're working on the practical side and I know there are so many people who are worse off and coping. But I can't stop feeling guilty about what an irresponsible idiot I've been and it's making me tearful and even more useless. Anyone felt the same? Everyone? x

Guntie Tue 19-Mar-13 10:20:47

I am in the same situation.... Its tough, I know.

My DH wanted to wait to try until we were in a better situation but I wanted to try right away and lo and beyond I fell pregnant on the first time. I am of course thrilled but the financial difficulties are real and very worrying.

I don't think I will easily find work again after baby is born, so it looks like I will stay home for a while with baby. Now the pressure is really on my DH to be able to meet our outgoings. He has just started in his career so its a lot of pressure.

There is some stress and resentment as we have very different attitudes to money. I am being very frugal due to our current situation and I feel like my DH still goes out etc despite the very real squeeze we are in.

It all came to a head a week ago and we had a frank and open discussion about it . Everything is a lot better now. If you can keep the communication open with your DP without it decending into a fight then that's great.

Over the last few months I have been selling stuff we no longer have space for (clothes etc) on ebay and this has generated a fair bit of money. We have desperately needed it for bills etc and I hope that soon we might be able to use some of the money for baby purchases (we haven't made any yet and I am due in June).

Feel free to PM me anytime. I know how hard it can be thanks

Hopingforno2 Tue 19-Mar-13 10:21:35

Hi, im having my 2nd and am also worried about the drop in income thats about to come sad smp is about £50 less a week than my pay and we are still paying off debts for the next 6 months or so. So i totally understand how you feel having to stick to a budget is so hard each month never mind depressing but like you i realise that while its a constant worry there are people managing on less money

gertrudestein Tue 19-Mar-13 10:25:40

You and your partner sound like you'll be wonderful parents.

Ok, in retrospect you should have planned, but there's lots of practical stuff you can do (if you haven't done it already, check out Freecycle for free baby stuff, borrow things from friends, make sure you get Maternity Allowance, and look at this site for a bit www.workingfamilies.org.uk/)

I am also worried about money, but when I think about it rationally I realise that it's just that we don't have as much money as our friends. (But hey, who really needs a designer buggy anyway?) We're both self employed and my income has taken a dip because of pregnancy tiredness, etc. I'm sure all this worry is a normal part of preparing for the baby. There's absolutely no point beating yourself up about it - you're having this baby now, so just make sure from this point on things are a bit more organised.

I do think it's a good idea to talk about it and plan though ... Have you ever been truly skint? It's not nice, and can put a lot of strain on things.

I found this website very useful
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/baby-costs-calculator

I've written a list of everything we need, and have started asking around for what we can get for free. For the rest (unsurprisingly, people are happy to lend/ buy us clothes but not sudocrem, etc!) I am buying it all month by month -still 3 months to go so plenty of time to work it into the budget.

When my DH was a kid he belonged to a 'baby sitting circle' - a network of local mums who looked after each other's kids while some of them worked. Am hoping to find something similar to help with childcare.

SoHHKB Tue 19-Mar-13 10:25:48

I am self-employed and currently on 'maternity leave' - well, I'm claiming Maternity Allowance as I've always paid my Class 2 NI contributions...
Hope the links below help smile
https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/overview
www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/ni17a-a-guide-to-maternity/maternity-allowance-ma/
And try not to beat yourself up - worrying during pregnancy about all sorts of random things is totally par for the course wink

CareerGirl01 Tue 19-Mar-13 10:29:01

AuntyDiluvian sit down and have a brew. When I got pg with DD1 five years ago now I was a really successful freelancer earning £60k a year and I had it all planned. Had DD1 in January 2009 and slowly a lot of the clients I'd been working for either folded or stopped using freelancers. I ended up with unpaid tax bill (whcih am still paying back) because I made loads one year and nothing the next. When DD1 was 18 months old I went back to work (as staff) and spent the next 18 months working in the city. Ended up getting made redundant and DH got made redundnat too. Have struggled with getting back into freelancing ever since (and the freelancers I know out there - who have worked for me are not all that) BUT we have managed and I'm now about to re-train in a different/slightly related career and I'm 33 weeks pregnant with DD2. We are still struggling but it's because bills are so high, both of us earn good money. You are not alone!
The lesson here is - you can stress or you can try and chill out and deal with one thing at a time; I probably should have saved a bit more before getting pg with DC2 but the thing is I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
As for managing finances before baby - try Freecycle to get as much as you can for free. Make sure you get your Maternity Allowance application in (you can claim from 29 weeks if you give up work then). Don't start worrying about childcare yet!

gertrudestein Tue 19-Mar-13 10:34:34

Also, just to say - sometimes what you don't know is the scariest. I found out I was pregnant (after ttc for 2 years) 3 days after I left a job with excellent maternity benefits, then my DH lost 3 clients in one week, then his parents' health declined and we had to start paying for full time care! (god knows carers don't get paid enough but it's eye wateringly expensive to pay agency fees)

Even before all that we had actually decided to stop ttc because we didn't think we could cope financially ..... I spent about 3 months terrified, but now we have got used to the situation and are welcoming all the help we can get, and trying to stay calm about the future.

There is help out there if you need it, but try not to worry too much - it sounds like you're in a perfect position to bring up a child in all other ways.

AuntyDiluvian Tue 19-Mar-13 10:36:39

Thank you so much Guntie and Hoping and I'm sorry to hear you're in similar places - but it's so nice to hear from understanding people. Debts are a problem for us too. And like you Guntie, we decided to start trying for a baby before we felt practically 'ready'. After all it's a first pregnancy for either of us and we're in our 30s so who knows how long it could have taken and if there were going to be problems, I wanted time to deal with them. So, I guess these money problems are really the 'best' sort we could be facing in a way.

Ebay selling is a great idea and not something I've worked out how to do before - will have a try at the weekend when I'm dejunking. I'm sure there are handy threads on here with advice on getting started...

We've been really lucky with being given secondhand baby stuff and finding bargains for some things from preloved.com - but it's not even the baby expenses that are the issue, it's the rent and food!

Glad to hear you were able to talk about it with your DH, Guntie. We've had a lot of tension and upset over this too, but are trying so hard to keep talking it all over so that we know we're dealing with it and resentments don't build up. Just feels rough when I want to be feeling excited and enjoying this time instead.

AuntyDiluvian Tue 19-Mar-13 10:47:10

Oh thank you EVERYONE, thanks all round. I feel like I've just had a sit down and a cup of tea with a bunch of unusually sensible and understanding mates.
I didn't mention Maternity Allowance in my OP but yes I have done the first stage of applying and will start claiming it this week I think. Have also been watching Freecycle like a hawk and gratefully accepting free stuff from far and wide.
It's just so nice to be told 'you're going to be OK' by people who really get it - these things are difficult but like you say SoHHKB, this is a time for worrying!

rosiedays Tue 19-Mar-13 11:04:48

Hi OP,
your very much not alone, I was the main earner before being let go at 12 weeks pregnant. we have lost so much money it's just not funny. i used to earn more in a day than i get in 2 weeks unemploynent!! I've had to give upp my car and we have to move. There is an up side, I've been able to focus just on my pregnancy and do whatever my body has needed when it needed it. i have NO work stress. I'm sure this is a key factor in my little bean sticking .
I beat myself up over and over about money and how we would cope, but i know we will..... there may not be coffee in Costa every sunday and yes my baby will be in second hand colthes But she will be loved.
Life is full of up's and downs, I've been here before (skint) i know it will change in time and we will go back to having nice things again.
there is so much to worry about when pregnant, try to focus on the possitive. I've also realised how much money i would have wasted had i had it.... baby's really don't need much.
hope you feel better soon thanks

Saundy Tue 19-Mar-13 11:04:54

Yep another one here. DP & I were FINALLY in a position to start paying off our debts, plan complete with wall chart & knowledge that it'd take a year.

As I'd been on one form of contraception or another for pretty much as long as I've had my periods & we're both in our thirties we anticipated it'd take a bit of time for my body to adjust & it to happen. Plus getting pregnant takes a lot of people time.

I got my implant out 12 months before I hoped to get pregnant (Nov) & got a nifty little app on my phone that charted my cycle so I knew what days to avoid. Valentines day was an avoid day but we figured what the hell it's just the once & now I'll be due in Nov!!

I have no wisdom at all (clearly) but can totally relate. There's no point in stressing about it, we can only do what we can do. I'm pretty sure babies don't need half the crap you're told to buy for them, hell scullery maids used to keep theirs in a drawer!

It really will be fine, because it has to be & we can all make do with our lot & then watch a bit of Jeremy Kyle to remind us it could be A LOT worse!

AuntyDiluvian Tue 19-Mar-13 11:30:15

Definitely, Saundy. I have been quite enjoying looking at all the baby kit which we could be buying new, and really don't need or can get for free. Like Rosie says, it's comforting to think how much cash I could be wasting if I had it!
here's to healthy babies who do not care about hand-me-downs and are oblivious as we work out the bigger money stuff somehow.

PeachActiviaMinge Tue 19-Mar-13 11:32:39

Yes, 35 weeks now but we have everything and we've done it on less than £130 smile I posted on here about it and got some excellent advice.

Pram - Ebay second hand local pick up cost £30
Cot - Travel cot from Amazon with the Amazon Family spend £50 get £10 off deal also ordered bottles to get the discount and will buy a second mattress when baby is bigger so its not uncomfortable
Clothing - Charity shops and Ebay again
Muslins - We've brought cheap 31p flannels from Wilkos instead
Nappies - Aldi have been the most recommended and they are amazingly cheap.
Changing bag - Boots parenting club gives you one free when you buy a pack of nappies just waiting for the voucher to actually arrive!
Nappy bags, wipes, baby bath, shampoo etc - All value brand from Tesco.

Baby needs something to sleep in, Something to wear, Something to wee in, Something to eat and love anything apart from that isn't an essential and can be brought later down the line smile

Saundy Tue 19-Mar-13 11:47:07

Yes I'll drink to that AD wine come Christmas anyway! Though we now know what happened last time... wink

Whoa Peach that's amazing!! Big respect. I'm hoping my Makro membership will also come into play.

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