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I don’t know if I can afford this baby

(168 Posts)
user1494157537 Sat 11-Jul-20 12:32:53

Hi all, I’ve fairly recently discovered I’m pregnant. The baby’s father has made it clear he wants nothing to do with it or me. He is due to move abroad for work very soon.

I don’t know how I’m going to be able to afford it. At first I thought we’d be ok as I am on what I thought was a pretty good wage (£60k) and own my own (very small) 2 bedroom flat.

I live in central London and my mortgage is currently £700pcm but I used help to buy so that will go up to c.£1200-1300pcm in a year. I’m in negative equity as the value has dropped and so I can’t afford to sell and buy somewhere cheaper.

I’ve just started to find out about nursery fees though. They are extortionate. I only get SMP with my job and the nursery’s which have fees online are as much as £90-100 a day. Most don’t have fees up. (If anyone knows Canary Wharf baby feed please let me know!)

I have some savings but only a couple of months worth and just can’t see how I can afford to work and pay for childcare. It seems very unfair that a couple on £49K each would get help but I’m not able to get anything.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and how have you managed? Please help, I’m getting a bit desperate. I’ve always wanted to be a mum but can’t see how on earth I can afford it. sad

OP’s posts: |
formerbabe Sat 11-Jul-20 12:35:59

The father might not want anything to do with you or the baby, but he will have to pay child maintenance regardless.

1990shopefulftm Sat 11-Jul-20 12:37:28

Go through every single one of your outgoings and cut out anything you don't actually need, start with subscriptions and looking at it if you can cut your food bill down so you can build up your savings.
When you re on SMP only you might be entitled to something still so double check.

Smallsteps88 Sat 11-Jul-20 12:39:32

WRT your flat would your mortgage company permit you to let it out and you could rent somewhere cheaper?

And agree the father will have to pay child support. Although him moving abroad might make it trickier to enforce.

Would a childminder or nanny work out cheaper than day care?

HollyBollyBooBoo Sat 11-Jul-20 12:40:05

The father needs to get a grip, his choice if he wants to see the baby but not his choice if he wants to pay maintenance for it!

Honestly we all think what you're thinking and somehow we get by. Start saving hard now, buy very little baby stuff brand new - you can get absolute bargains on eBay and local facebook buying and selling pages.

Smallsteps88 Sat 11-Jul-20 12:40:49

Or could you take in a lodger for the next few months until the baby is born and save all the money?

Soubriquet Sat 11-Jul-20 12:42:29

What about an au pair?

Camomila Sat 11-Jul-20 12:43:57

Congratulations flowers

That's an expensive nursery! DS1s old nursery was £63 a day IIRC, but it was in Croydon. You could try looking at child minders, they tend to be a lot cheaper.
Or maybe a nanny share with another family?

AnotherEmma Sat 11-Jul-20 12:48:20

You will probably be entitled to Universal Credit which pays up to 85% of childcare costs (it's capped though, so an extortionate London nursery might be more than UC covers in full). Have a play around with some benefit calculators, there's entitledto and Turn2Us.

A childminder can be cheaper than nursery, worth considering if you can find a good one.

As PPs have said, the father should pay child maintenance but unfortunately if he's moving abroad it will be difficult to enforce. It might be an idea to get legal advice on it. Your local citizens advice should be able to tell you about any local family law solicitors that offer a free initial consultation.

Lots of helpful tips here

SoloMummy Sat 11-Jul-20 12:53:17

I'd suggest that you maximise income and reduce outgoings.
Given you've 2 bedrooms, you could have a lodger really between now and lo being 2 or 3. Not ideal, but could help with someone else contributing. Or look at an au pair! Cheaper way to solve childcare issue.
Reduce any subscriptions, only use free view, look at utility providers for cheaper ones.
Meal plan and cut costs by using shop branded foods.
Look at ways to get an additional income.

omg35 Sat 11-Jul-20 12:53:17

I doubt she'll be entitled to UC on that salary...

You will find a way to afford it OP, everyone does. I earnt 19k and my rent was £600 when DD was small. Nursery was £60 a day and I got a small amount of tax credits and managed to get by. You will need to cut back on a lot of things you currently think are essential and there will be months where you struggle for cash but it's definitely doable

SoloMummy Sat 11-Jul-20 12:54:53

If under 6k in savings you'd get uc when on ssp.

AnotherEmma Sat 11-Jul-20 12:55:07

"I doubt she'll be entitled to UC on that salary"

On SMP she will be entitled to UC.

When she returns to work and has high childcare costs she might be entitled to some UC to help with the childcare costs.

inglory Sat 11-Jul-20 12:55:58

I used a childminder for £65 a day which I preferred to the £90 nursery.

inglory Sat 11-Jul-20 12:57:23

you may get help with childcare, maybe free hours from age 2 & definitely some free hours from 3

memememe Sat 11-Jul-20 13:02:09

you cant use an au pair for a baby. they are only for older children. a childminder will possibly be cheaper than a nursery.

patas Sat 11-Jul-20 13:05:01

Do you want to keep the baby?

If you do want to keep it you will manage. Your salary is very good and presumably will only increase. You have a stable home, or course it's not ideal to be in negative equity, but as long as you can afford the mortgage/rent it is secure.

You will have to cut back for a few years until the LO goes to school - that's only 4 years.
Keep working and going for promotions.
Get an au-pair or a lodger (or maybe find someone who could help with childcare a few days a week in exchange for free rent).

You will manage.

MidnightCitrus Sat 11-Jul-20 13:06:38

you won't need nursery while you are on sml?

MidnightCitrus Sat 11-Jul-20 13:06:59


AnotherEmma Sat 11-Jul-20 13:13:45

Actually you're right omg35. I've done the calculation and on £60k there would be no entitlement to UC for help with childcare costs.
However, OP, you will be able to claim UC while you're on SMP, and when you return to work, you will be able to get help with childcare costs via Tax Free Childcare (which covers 20%).

The lodger suggestion is a good one. It seems that mortgage will be a big outgoing so rent from a lodger would help with that. Even if you just get a lodger until the baby is born.

CaffeineInfusion Sat 11-Jul-20 13:15:01

Suggest you start putting away the difference between your mortgage payments now, and what they will be. You'll have to get used to the higher payment at some point.

You'll manage. With tax payments my min wage income was 18k. I had 2 kids but no childcare costs and 700/month mortgage. You'll find a way to cut back. We all do.

MrsL2016 Sat 11-Jul-20 13:15:21

There is also Tax Free Childcare as an option to help towards childcare fees if you don't qualify for UC contributions. It means you pay 80% and the government pay the other 20%

RandomMess Sat 11-Jul-20 13:16:20

Yes to the lodger, if cheap enough you may manage to keep one after the baby is born.

Look at nurseries/CM now as there is often a waiting list. Also consider a nanny share - you could have a live in nanny and if you could find someone to share the costs with could that work?

user1494157537 Sat 11-Jul-20 13:16:36

I can’t get a lodger in - my flat is only about 550sq feet and neither bedroom would fit a double bed and cot in it. The second won’t even fit a double bed in. As I used help to buy I can’t rent the flat out.

I can check out a childminder - how much per day are they likely to be? I can’t go part time due to my role at work and I definitely can’t compress my hours.

I checked the entitled to website and it says I’d get child benefit of £21pw but would then have to pay it back?

OP’s posts: |
AskingforaBaskin Sat 11-Jul-20 13:17:00

* The father might not want anything to do with you or the baby, but he will have to pay child maintenance regardless.*

Not necessarily. Depends on where he moves to. OP is better off banking on 0 input from him.

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