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To ask how people afford to live

(130 Posts)
Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:35:05

I know it's a cheeky thing to ask but struggling to understand how we're going to manage.
I'm 11 weeks pg with our first baby (surprise baby) and I have a 20 hour a week job although most weeks do overtime which means I work full time so earn about £800-900 a month and DP works full time his salary is £17500 per year. That works out to around £2000 a month after tax.
At the moment we live with his parents, we pay £180 a month in rent (that covers both of us, and our food) but are looking to move out. However it's all so expensive sad
We've been looking at properties in the £500 per month range but I have no idea how much bills cost, and then with the added costs of travelling to work etc, food, nappies it all seems like we won't have anything at all left over. Oh and DP has a car finance agreement which costs 200 a month as well as various other outgoings.
How do people manage it?

gordyslovesheep Thu 18-Jul-13 14:40:39

lots of people manage on less than £2900 a month!

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:41:00

I think with £2k after tax your quite well set up. You'll get child benefit and qualify for tax credits, or will it be universal credit by then as well.

You'll have to make a spreadsheet of our outgoings. How much will council tax be where you are? Etc. It's overwhelming if you'e not run a household before but you will be fine.

mrscumberbatch Thu 18-Jul-13 14:42:01

Budgeting mostly, and being aware of how much things cost.

Write down all your monthly outgoings.... phone bill, direct debits, car etc and work out how much you need to maintain the basics. Maybe downgrade to a cheaper/more economical car?

How much is your commute? Food- varies from family to family but £100 a week sounds fair.... etc etc

Whatever is left over you could put towards rent.

Having a baby doesn't need to be expensive, do you have families that would be willing to help out? (Eg: My mum gifted DD her pram)

It is tough. But people manage! When we had DD we had less income than yourself as well as DP was made redundant. (Not being competitive-just illustrating that it can be done!)

Be positive!

Methe Thu 18-Jul-13 14:42:38

Tax credits.

We've all been so screwed over by a succession of governments that if you earn a low ish wage it is impossible to survive without government subsidy of some sort.

Have a look at and see when you'll get when your baby is born.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:12

thats more than enough to manage.

you just need to know what your bills are and what day they come out and be on top of it.

have a budget and stick to it.
there are online budgets you can use.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:13

While you're on ML, you will also save money as you don't have to travel to work. Nappies aren't that expensive. I think the cheapest ones are the kiddicare ones. £20 a months. They deliver them. We've not had them but I have heard good things.

StealthPolarBear Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:28

Surely 17.5k doesnt equate to 2k a month after tax. Its only 1.5k before tax!
Or am missing something

MortifiedAdams Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:41

£17500 is NOT 2K after tax. I earn 20k and come out with 1300pcm.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 18-Jul-13 14:44:34

The way you live changes when you have a baby. You don't go out as much for a start. How do you shop? Do you look for bargains, buy own brands etc. There are ways you can save. £2000 a month is perfectly doable.

Baby stuff doesn't have to be expensive.

ChocHobNob Thu 18-Jul-13 14:44:40

Gordy I think the OP meant £2000 a month combined. Her partner wouldn't be getting £2000 take home a month on £17500 per annum.

StealthPolarBear Thu 18-Jul-13 14:44:43

Just looked again and I suppose she means the 2 together. Doesnt read like that though.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:45:19

And you can do food £50 a week for 2 people, no problem. Use the time you have now, to make strategies to reduce living costs.

ageofgrandillusion Thu 18-Jul-13 14:45:24

Depends where you live and when you bought. If you live darn sarf and bought any time in past decade or so, you are goosed. I live up north and im rolling in it.

JustPondering Thu 18-Jul-13 14:46:01

Maybe OP means that 2k is their combined monthly wage after tax.

gordyslovesheep Thu 18-Jul-13 14:46:32

yes I am on 18k and don't get 2 grand!

You will get maternity pay, cb and tax credits - you will be fine xxx

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 14:46:49

if you dont know how much bills are you have been very sheltered grin but now you are to be a parent you have to be on top of it.

ask your parents what bills there are and how much they are.

gas electric water council tax phone internet rent insurance tv licence etc etc

theres a long list but dont let that put you off . as long as you keep control of it it cant surprise you!

Dahlen Thu 18-Jul-13 14:48:37

Well don't forget you'll get child benefit and a little in tax credits. You may qualify for help with child care costs if you plan to continue working. Put your details into this site to see what you're eligible for.

It doesn't matter whether you're on a fortune or a pittance in terms of how you compare to others. Everyone's situation is different and affected by too many variables to make comparisons meaningful. Your best bet would be to go on a site like Martin Lewis's site and take a look at his budgeting advice.

You will have to accept that your standard of living is going to fall. £180 covering rent, utilities and food is exceptionally good so you will notice the difference. That will feel hard. If I were you I would use the time between then and now cutting back as much as possible so that you can save as much as possible and give yourselves a bit of a cushion.

Congratulations on your baby BTW.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 14:52:44

The OP is 18, so I'm not surprised she doesn't know about bills.

We pay:

Council Tax/Water
TV Licence
Home Insurance
Food/Household stuff

Make a list like this. Then make a list for what money comes in.

Make an appointment with the CAB. They can tell you whatother money you are entitled to.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 18-Jul-13 14:52:57

It's not easy.
I'm a single parent with no help from Ex at all.
I work full time and in a pub part time and I have a lodger to help make ends meet.
You will cope because you have to basically.
I have an excel spreadsheet showing all incomings and outgoings and what I have left to spend etc...
Works well for me.
Congrats by the way and I hope it all goes well.

Holly94 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:53:31

CheeseFondueRocks one place we had a viewing for yesterday evening said they were in council tax band A so we would pay about £100 per month
I think that's what it is.. Overwhelming. The shock of finding out I was pregnant and now having to find somewhere to live etc

Beachbum48 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:54:15

We live off 2k pm with two LO our rent is 1150 pm (in SE obviously). Basic bills take us to 1600 (no insulation) and that leaves 430 for food and petrol. We don't buy anything extra basically. If you have to do it you do. You sound like you will be at least 450 better of than us so don't fret!

StealthPolarBear Thu 18-Jul-13 14:55:48

I'm sorry sad There is no other answer then listing your income and outgoings (don't forget things like car insurance, upkeep, tax) and then seeing where you can make cuts if needed.

OhDearNigel Thu 18-Jul-13 14:56:16

We are on good salaries for our main jobs but it doesn't go far down here in Sussex. To bring in extra money:

DH does work for a hot air balloon company doing crewing
DH does gardening for 3 old dears
I work 14 hours per week at a hotel on top of my 30 hours at work
I run a cake decorating business (used to be a patissier)

We take in foreign students, grow our own veg & fruit - all from seed from poundland. Flowers for the garden are raised from seed. We are very tight on stuff that doesn't really matter to us (loo roll for example) which allows us to spend more on nicer stuff. We just moved house and got all the new furniture we needed on ebay. For the grand total of £391.99 we got a dining table/6 chairs, 2 kitchen stools, 2 floor lamps, 2 wing armchairs, a large bookcase, 5 single beds and a tumble dryer. They are all in really nice condition as well. We buy the majority of our food in the reduced counter and I don't buy anything branded unless it's cheaper. I love Poundland.

We are about to get some chickens - we're getting rescues so they hardly cost anything and will be renovating a garden shed rather than buy a coop.

Basically we have a nice life on a shoestring because we buy secondhand, trade stuff and make do with what we have as much as possible. The rest of it we work like dogs to earn.

StealthPolarBear Thu 18-Jul-13 14:56:44

Although I have to say I don't think it sounds too bad. let's say £700 pm for rent and council tax. That leave £1300 for everything else!

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