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to ask if its a really bad idea to TTC when we are in debt?

(114 Posts)
neonrainbow Fri 26-Feb-16 21:09:26

DH and I have agreed to start TTC later this year. We are have our own house (with a mortgage) and are both in full time (hopefully secure) reasonably paid jobs. We also have about £15-£18k debt. (Some is from the wedding and a consolidation loan but the bulk is from where DH struggled when on his own with paying mortgage and bills and therefore racked up credit card debt and debt to family to avoid losing his house) We have already moved as much as we can to interest free and low interest arrangements.

We are keeping up with minimum payments on the debts with no problem, and paying off as much as we can but still its going down extremely slowly. Would it be a really bad idea to TTC this year with this hanging over us? If we did have a baby I think I would want at least 9 months off on maternity leave if not a year and then go part time, and I think we would struggle.

DH thinks we would find a way to manage. Im 31 and had always had this sort of age in my head as a good age to start having children and DH would have one yesterday if he could. I would be happy to get most baby stuff second hand so its the drop in wages and potential childcare costs Id be most worried about. I think it would take 2-3 years at least to completely clear the debt and not sure whether we should wait that long.

Is DH right? Do people just find a way to cope? Or would we be really foolish to take the risk?

RubbleBubble00 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:12:39

I would ttc but I would also sit down and do some sums to see if you can afford a year off and go part time, might not perhaps be realistic with large debt repayments

SquidgeyMidgey Fri 26-Feb-16 21:12:49

People always find a way to manage but can you honour your debts while you're on maternity pay? If you're thinking of one of those voluntary arrangement things then yes YABU but if you can make all your payments on the reduced income (and with higher outgoings- nappies etc) then no YANBU.

Vintage45 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:13:03

You do seem to be just about managing. I'd clear all debts first, you will only be early mid thirties then. I didn't have my first child until I was 34.

RubbleBubble00 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:14:02

Or if it will take u 2/3 years to pay off in current situation, could you allow 5/6 years with lower repayments

Bearbehind Fri 26-Feb-16 21:14:39

It depends massively on what you earn.

If you're on NMW then £15-£18k debt is huge- if you earn £100k then it's less so.

SquidgeyMidgey Fri 26-Feb-16 21:14:42

Sit down and do a proper, real monthly budget. Not what you think you might spend but what you actually do spend. Factor in your reduced wage and you'll soon see if you will manage.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 26-Feb-16 21:16:38

I wouldn't tbh. I'd clear debt first.

NickyEds Fri 26-Feb-16 21:17:40

We have two dc and had them both whilst having some debt. We have a bit less than you though and it doesn't represent a large proportion of dp's salary (I'm a SAHM now). We can comfortably manage repayments that are actually repaying not maintaining it. If you're making minimum repayments and very little else can you really afford a period of mat leave? It might be better to pay off that absolute maximum you possibly can, clear it in 2 years then save whilst you tty. Kids are expensive.

AppleSetsSail Fri 26-Feb-16 21:19:13

I wouldn't consider it, you want to have a comfortable maternity leave - right? I'd get the debts cleared and have some money in savings.

chanie44 Fri 26-Feb-16 21:19:46

I do agree that people do find a way to manage.

In addition to the costs of being on maternity leave, you have to factor in what you will do once that time is up. For example, full time childcare can be £1000+ a month.

There are ways around this eg willing grandparents, reducing hours, working around each other.

neonrainbow Fri 26-Feb-16 21:21:42

we bring in about £50k between us in the south east but Id estimate roughly 20% of our joint income goes towards maintenance and other expenses related to my DSC, so for us the debt is quite a lot.

We have done budget spreadsheets but not on what I would be on mat pay - good suggestion thank you.

SquidgeyMidgey Fri 26-Feb-16 21:22:49

How would you be financially if mortgage interest rates suddenly jumped, possibly after the EU referendum?

VoldysGoneMouldy Fri 26-Feb-16 21:23:34

I would. You don't know how long it could take you to conceive. If you wait three years to clean your debt, and it then takes three years to conceive, it could make things more complicated for you.

You'll manage, because everyone does. It might be tight, but better a few tight years than not being able to conceive.

SquidgeyMidgey Fri 26-Feb-16 21:24:55

Sorry, I sound really negative, not my intention. When my 2 were tiny I was a sahm and then the recession came along and almost wiped us off the face of the earth. You need to be able to cope with potential change of circumstance, I'd hate for you to not enjoy your maternity leave because of money worries.

scaredofthecity Fri 26-Feb-16 21:25:07

I'd clear the debt first. You just can't imagine how much harder it is once you have a baby and mat leave ect. There's always new expenses even though most of ours is second hand. It will take you literally years to clear otherwise. Mat leave ect can also be very challenging with no money. You want to enjoy it not worry about the cost of coffee or a class you want to do

neonrainbow Fri 26-Feb-16 21:27:29

squidgey we would cope by cutting out all hobbies and things that cost money - when we got our mortgage we had to show we could do a stress test if interest rates rocketed to satisfy the bank. We would then probably not be able to cope with me on mat leave but if interest rates jumped massively our finances might never balance out meaning we would never be in a good financial position to TTC in that instance.

neonrainbow Fri 26-Feb-16 21:28:36

no squidgey thats a good point and one that hadnt occurred to me - thats one of the reasons I started this thread to help me see what other issues could arise that might scupper us.

cornishglos Fri 26-Feb-16 21:35:36

I'm a great believer in getting on with life. You'd find a way. It's true that babies are cheap (2nd hand everything, lots of friends will want to offload bulky baby bumpf onto you, reusable nappies, breastfeeding etc.) but it's the drop in earnings due to childcare and going part time that costs. Start living frugally now. Open a new bank account and put aside the difference to see how and where you can save. Remember how you lived as a student. Learn to cook with lentils. The last thing you want is to leave it a few years then have trouble conceiving and regret it.

BikeRunSki Fri 26-Feb-16 21:48:26

At 31, I'd clear the debt first. Even if you can cope on mat leave, childcare costs and working p/t absolutely killed our disposable income. I'd be very uncomfortable about my financial vulnerability.

PennyHasNoSurname Fri 26-Feb-16 21:52:02

Id ttc and stop hobbies (no time for that with a baby really) and use hobbies money to pay off debt.

You may well have to return to work earlier than is ideal but do you want to get 3/4 years down the line and your fertility.be against you?

MogLikesEggs Fri 26-Feb-16 21:59:41

I don't think you should do it with plans to work PT and take 9 mos ML. If you wanted to bring it forward & have a shorter maternity leave and DON'T go PT, try and alter your working hours to do 5 in 4, or start an hour earlier and finish an hour earlier - maybe talk to your boss right now to see if they're open to ANY of these ideas. It's tough but older children can need you even more than babies as they can miss you so I'm not sure that repaying that debt will get easier quickly. I work FT and have 2 DC, it's not ideal but it's do-able, especially if you can call on ANY family support.

seven201 Fri 26-Feb-16 22:00:11

I think if I were you I'd do a year of cutting out all hobbies, not going on holiday, getting extra work, not eating out etc. To clear the bulk of the debt. Well actually if I were you I'd wait and clear it all as I hate being stressed by money.

I'm pregnant with my first and will be 34 when the baby arrives. Doing the proper spreadsheet of what we can afford is really depressing. I had hoped I could go back to work 3 days, but even with factoring in spending our savings I've worked out that we can just manage if I return to work at 4 days (if my work allows). Child care is soooo expensive!

notquitehuman Fri 26-Feb-16 22:01:26

I'd start TTCing, but maybe I'm biased because I've had a couple of friends who've had a few years of trying before success. Certain tests and treatments can only be done after you've tried for a certain amount of time, and things will start to get more difficult in a few years.

How tight is your budget? Are you only paying the minimum back? If you took maternity leave then you could temporarily just pay off the minimum amounts, then start increasing this again once you're back at work.

Obviously it's not ideal to have a baby when you're skint. My DS was unexpected so it was stressful at times, but we found a way to work through it.

AyeAmarok Fri 26-Feb-16 22:09:17

I know what's done is done, but why on earth did you have a wedding that involved getting further into debt if you wanted to have a baby?

You need to have a much more sensible attitude to money if you want to have a family. Children are expensive (either in childcare or lost wages) and you can't have everything you want, so you need to prioritise and make choices.

Can you both get an extra part time job and graft for a year or two and get it paid off?

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