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Baby and money

(27 Posts)
JillyCooper2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 19:39:56

Hey smile

Asking for a bit of advice and benchmarking here.

4+6. Very happy and nervous as are we all I guess! First baby.

I am having real challenges with my partner around supporting and finding the funds to support the baby when he / she arrives.

We've spent the best part of a week arguing continually about it and haven't progressed to a resolution.

He feels 'it will all be ok' and I should trust him.

He is not financially sensible and I don't trust him to provide for us or even support half way.

I am financially sensible, but my funds are tied into making our flat habitable and a safe space for a baby.

We both have good jobs, but my income will naturally dry up and limited savings will be spent.

The majority of his income goes in maintenance to his ex wife and children (17 and 22)

I'm scared he's going to leave me high and dry and he doesn't have a vision of how we are going to be prepared - loose talk of a second job if we can't afford to eat but no willingness to save now.

How have you guys sorted the money question out? Was it this difficult and painful (edited highlights ofc above as it has been fairly full throttle)

sad

JillyCooper2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 19:42:45

Friends and family support limited -
My father on my side, lives far away. Zero on his side. Don't know anyone where we live as moved last year to be nearer his children and to provide a 2nd bedroom - for his daughter when she stays (rarely) and nursery

I bought this flat. He started paying half the running costs in Jan but for 3 years previous hasn't given me much and zero for capital expenditures - renovation / furniture.

Bertieboo1 Mon 18-Apr-16 19:53:09

We are onto DC number 2 within 2 years. We managed to save a decent amount before number 1 and we were careful with money. Depends partly on how long you want to have off for maternity leave, as obviously the money decreases/dries up. Most people I know saved up as much as possible before going off. We'll be on beans on toast by the end of this mat leave!

JillyCooper2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:11:03

Thanks Bertie re info about saving - that was always my thoughts but partner doesn't want to compromise on our lifestyle now.

The point is that whilst he earns well, he has nothing so we are totally reliant on me for everything and without my income I feel we're screwed within a matter of months especially with no nest egg.

(Although he doesn't want to be a house husband I think it would actually make good financial sense and I could go back full time)

I don't know how to get him to step up. My dad has called him a couple of times but he's so unwilling to see my point of view on this.

RudeElf Mon 18-Apr-16 20:13:35

Why wasnt this all sorted before conceiving? confused you've left yourself really vulnerable tbh.

JillyCooper2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:25:06

He told me it would be and was very forthright about it so I stupidly believed him as had faith in him and seeing how committed he is financially and emotionally to his other children believed he would come good.

We were due to marry this September, I cancelled the wedding (finally) after much anguish and pain because it became clear he wasn't going to sort it out and found out I was pregnant the day after.

Luckily for me the wedding was low key and low cost so not a lot lost and more I can save for the little one.

Because of our circumstances (vasectomy reversal in August) I didn't think we would fall pregnant this quickly and I believed he would always step up for our child.

I've really lost this confidence over the last week and am now in somewhat of a tizz about it all.

Thanks for listening MN.

I've asked him to write me a promise of what he will contribute, but this has gone down badly sad

Beansprout30 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:27:01

Sounds like he needs to step up and accept his responsibilities now. We've saved up as much as we can, and I'm going to try hard not to touch the savings unless absolutely neccessary while on maternity leave, but have had to find 2k in the last month for various things breaking un expectedly which has thrown a spanner in the works. Was the baby planned?? I think you need to have a serious chat and do some planning

RudeElf Mon 18-Apr-16 20:32:09

I've asked him to write me a promise of what he will contribute, but this has gone down badly sad

I cant tell you how heartwrenching i find that! That you have felt the beed to ask the father of your child, one he willingly conceived, to promise to support it. sad does that not scream volumes to you? As an outsider it is totally abnormal to have to ask for that. Can you see that?

Btw, you realise his written promise is worth diddly squat?

RudeElf Mon 18-Apr-16 20:33:58

My advice to you would be to plan to be a single parent raising this child with minimal support. Get your ducks in a row now financially. Protect yourself. Stop being liable for any thing he can benefit from. Detangle your finances from his. You and your baby are going to need every penny.

JillyCooper2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:38:49

Totally rude elf, I felt that it would either give me some comfort (however false), really make him look at what he's doing / putting me through or give me something tangible if it all goes really wrong.

A very much wanted pregnancy, probably more so by me as he has 2 children - to whom he's an amazing father, very committed emotionally and financially and I believed he would step up - because that's what he let me believe.

My faith and trust are very low and a tiger force to protect myself and the baby have started to take effect and promises seem meaningless and aren't tangible or believable.

I hope I'm paranoid or wrong.

I feel the only thing I can really do now (and cope with) is starting to really save every penny I have and try and get as much of a nest egg together in time.

How much (if not too personal) have most people managed to put by for their first babies by the time they arrive?

He keeps telling me babies only need love and nappies. I'm fairly resourceful - sewing / knitting etc and good on eBay, but that can get me so far as mortgage etc is on me.

JillyCooper2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:42:11

Yes, luckily he has no involvement in the finances - gives me a fixed amount per month as 'rent/housekeeping'.

No joint bank account, no bills in his name, my property and name on the deeds etc and as I didn't go ahead with the marriage I'm not stuck in a marriage with no financial support and the legal expectation that as his wife and moc he will support me.

Am starting to slowly open my eyes to the very scary (to me) prospect of doing this on my own without him emotionally or financially as well as without family / friends.

I really hope this is mad pregnancy hormones and he does sort it out and start saving and find a way to give me money towards the baby

eurochick Mon 18-Apr-16 20:47:49

Well you're about three weeks late to have this chat so it sounds like you should plan for the scenario of doing it alone.

RudeElf Mon 18-Apr-16 20:51:58

It is a scary prospect but absolutely doable. I am a lone a parent of two children and was from before birth. Scary yes but very doable.

Savings wise i was living at home when pregnant with my first baby (teen mum) and so was able to save most of my wages (good wage full time more than minimum wage) however i was saving for a deposit on a house as well so had to put away quite a bit. The only new baby things i bought were the car seat and the pram totalling £130. Everything else was borrowed from friends and family and people bought clothes as gifts when he was born. It was really when he started on solid foods and outgrew all the clothing gifts that i had to start spending any money on him. Nappies, formula and day care fees (from 5 months old) you can use (reuseable) nappy and sling libraries to save money too.

Flowerbunty Mon 18-Apr-16 20:56:57

Why is he still paying maintenance to the children aged 17+22? Well, mainly the one aged 22. Surely that stops at 18?!

And if he stepped up for those kids, there's absolutely no reason to think that he won't do the same for this one. I understand the fear and would plan as though he wasn't there, but I also wouldn't write him off completely X

RudeElf Mon 18-Apr-16 21:05:02

I agree, dont write him off but do prepare yourself a safety net just incase. It is entirely possible he is just a "cross that bridge when we get there" type rather than a prepper. I am a prepper and anxious in pregnancy (understandably) so i would struggle with his attitude too.

JillyCooper2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 21:11:19

Thanks all. Yes, I plan and he doesn't and I guess that's why I look after the money and run the home etc.

His consent order doesn't finish until 2020 and it's fairly punitive.

I want him to come good and always thought he would which is why I agreed to marry him and go through the VR with him and try for a much wanted family.

My trust and faith has fallen away in the last few months coming to a head when we cancelled the wedding, didn't expect my BFP the day after!

It's a huge change to our future to not look forward as husband and wife to raising a little one - I'm not sure if I feel more or less secure or just all over the shop (mostly feel all over the shop)

Thanks for listening and ideas / info about ££. I like tangibles as I can then work over the next few months to try and get there

X

Sophia1984 Mon 18-Apr-16 21:54:40

Can you look into getting yourself some insurance against job loss - then you would feel more reassured about paying the mortgage should you lose your job. I think you are right that it makes sense for him to be a stay at home dad if your job brings in the most income and if you are both happy for him to do this. It seems like childcare is the main cost people face, so the more you can reduce this the better. Sit down and work out how long you can afford to take off as maternity leave and save up your annual leave so you can use that too. I think it's maybe less the money you have to worry about (as it sounds like you would be able to support you and baby) and more his attitude?

1frenchfoodie Mon 18-Apr-16 22:17:20

Congratulations. That he is not considering how he can contribute is worrying but if you buy from nearly new sales or get from friends/family a baby needn't be too expensive. My DH is on a zero hours cobtract which is very much living up to its name so we only spent approx £200 on pram/carseat, babygrows and other bits and bobs (inc breast pads, maternity towels etc). Family anf friends have tended to gift clothes and the washing machine is on so much we don't need all that many outfits. Some people are just financially laissez faire but if he has set aside money for other children perhaps he will do so here too?

1frenchfoodie Mon 18-Apr-16 22:19:15

Forgot to say, DH will be stay at home dad from about 9 months - agree childcare is the major expense and something you definately need to discuss.

quitecrunchy Mon 18-Apr-16 22:33:28

Have you worked out what the shortfall will be? If not, maybe being faced with the facts might help him to realise he needs to either start earning more now or commit to staying at home while you return to work full time when baby arrives. Remember too that whilst you're already in mother mode, it's likely this pregnancy doesn't feel real at all to him yet so maybe some processing time will help.

That being said though it does sound like he's been taking the piss financially for a while.

user1459122857 Mon 18-Apr-16 22:37:25

Poor you, I feel for you. I'm in a similar boat but married and have since put DH on the mortgage of my house. I don't qualify for SMP as I've just started a new job.
We've been rowing too - his attitude is very much 'it'll be ok' (er, exactly how if you / we don't make it so or do you have a magic wand?!), 'things will change' (er, how and when?!) and 'people manage'!
He has good salary but fritters it and always feels skint. He has a credit card debt and no savings, I've have some saving (he only knows I have a little bit tho) and it hadn't even crossed his mind until I pointed it out that he'll need to face his responsibilities and support me and DC at least for a few months. I've told him I'm sick of feeling like his mother rather than his partner and feel like I might as well be a single parent but still not sure he's woken up and smelt the coffee properly yet, sigh. He's on his best behaviour at present after the latest row and bought a few bits but will prob revert to being an irresponsible lazy when he thinks it's calmed down a bit - that's generally how it works here. Still no effort to sit down and work out a maternity budget together as I've suggested a hundred times either :-(
My best advice is to save like mad as if you are facing it alone then if he doesn't come through at least you'll have a little safety net.
Good luck X

Shortninbread Tue 19-Apr-16 06:52:55

Sorry to hear this JillyC. You must feel terribly worried.

This may be naive but hopefully he will fall in love with your little baby too and want to care for it once he sees it and spends time with it.

Babies, I found, are not costly things, especially if you learn how to breastfeed. It takes a lot of support, patience and persistence when you're learning, but becomes easy once you get the hang of it and the pain stops. This means you can avoid the expense of formula and bottles to start with. It's not until school that they start to cost a bit more.

Get your name down on good, cheaper childcare centres while you're pregnant if you need to go back to work sooner.

His track record of providing for the other two offers some promise, but might be pertinent to have a plan B as others have suggested.

Good luck hon! I hope you can enjoy and receive comfort from having a gorgeous baby in your life.

JillyCooper2015 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:21:10

Thanks all. Have taken a look at some sites today to try and understand how much a bub can cost in the first year - anywhere from 0 - £10k not including childcare seems to be what they are quoting.

We are still battling about it and my Dad is speaking with him tonight to get him to take this seriously.

I hope it works out in the end, but, I am starting to think more about how 'I' can finance this rather than 'we'.

So that will mean me working more and harder and the fall out from that will be what it is I guess. He's agreed to look at reducing his working days as well as mine.

There's no tangible reason for me to feel a little more positive today, but, I do - registered with the docs and picked my hospital and so it feels more real re positive and baby rather than battles at home with oh.

Sophia1984 Tue 19-Apr-16 18:13:12

I know how worrying it can be, especially with your first as we have no idea what we're going to need. But I can't imagine how it could possibly cost £10k unless you bought brand-new designer everything. It's five years old but I found this article reassuring:

www.theguardian.com/money/2011/jul/15/cost-baby-first-year This journalist reckons she spent £1000 including formula

Do you have anyone you can get hand-me-downs from? Even friends of family and work colleagues have been offering me stuff. I'm not going to refuse anything :-) And then I can always hand it on to someone else who needs it.

Even if not, I have found some lovely baby clothes in charity shops (jumpers from John Rocha, Next, Gap) for about £1 each) and got a Silvercross pram for £90 on a local selling page.

In my opinion, the only things you need new are a car seat (I got the Joie Stages, which takes baby up to 7 years old, has won Mother&Baby awards and cost about £135) and mattresses for Moses basket/cots. I've also been looking at nappies, and have read so many positive reviews of Aldi nappies, which are ridiculously cheap. They also do cotton babygros (you can buy them online at the minute). You've got absolutely loads of time to stock up on bargains :-)

Emeralda Tue 19-Apr-16 18:59:10

Congratulations!
You have a bit of time to sort financial stuff out so when you're feeling up to it, you can get number-crunching and get a plan together.
DP's contract finished unexpectedly a couple of weeks before DS was born so I had to do a lot of number-crunching in the first year.
In my experience, the costs are not particularly high in the 1st year, excluding childcare. You will need some equipment, nappies, clothes and food or milk. I was overwhelmed with stuff from early on - there is always lots of baby stuff in circulation and you will find some of it heading your way, so don't buy anything yet, apart from a car seat. Have a list in case anyone asks what they can buy or give to you. I found that the "running costs" of DS in the 1st year were offset by changes in my lifestyle - I wasn't spending the same on going out, clothes or commuting costs.
The part that needs a bit more planning for is how do you fund your usual life running costs while you're not earning? The most useful thing I did was to track every penny I spent for a month and then divided it into categories - essential (mortgage, council tax, bills, car, groceries etc) and discretionary (insurances, gym membership, gifts, any food out etc) so I knew what I had to cover. I froze my pension and my gym membership, and used previous overpayments on the mortgage to take a payment holiday. If I could do anything differently, I would make bigger over-payments on the mortgage sooner but that wouldn't suit everyone. I also worked out how much I'd be paid each month while on maternity leave. I wish I'd known SMP was paid weekly so some months would be 4 weeks andsome wwould be 5 weeks.
If you're a prepper, use that as strength and get your head round how to make it work. Keep things in your name, especially the house. Expect support from DP but don't fall out over it if poss and try not to let it get in the way of enjoying pregnancy and having a wee baby.
You haven't mentioned benefits and it is worth checking just in case.
All the nimber-crunching stood me in good stead and I wish I'd done it years ago.
I can't comment on childcare costs as DP is full- time SAHD which brings its own financial pressures as I am sole earner.
Good luck! You can definitely do this.

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