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To ask; If you were poor in your 30's, did things improve?

(62 Posts)
moneyworries9 Thu 21-Feb-19 23:57:46

I'm feeling a little down tonight. Trying to clear debts and it's just an uphill struggle, I worry that this will be mine & my families future.

I'm 30 years old and curious to know if those of you who struggled to make ends meet at this stage managed to turn things around?

Backstory: I'm a SAHM to 2 small DC and DH works (a lot). We are not on the property ladder and have over £4,000 of debt.

moneyworries9 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:23:15


malificent7 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:24:44

I hope so op...i think as kids get older there is more opportunity to work ft and or get a better job.

malificent7 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:26:05

Are you in s position to work? I would try to get z job thdn up your jours when they are older.

malificent7 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:26:29

Sorry about the awful typos!

moneyworries9 Fri 22-Feb-19 00:32:21

I've got plans in place. I'm going to be starting a childcare qualification in summer and volunteering in a setting once DD is in nursery. My previous career is not suitable for life with kids and a husband who is overseas a lot so I've decided on this, just for those years while the kids are young. I just always hear about how kids become more expensive as they get older and it worries me. DH & I would desperately like to have another child but we can't and probably never will be able to, purely because of money.

I know I'm lucky though. A roof over our head, food on the table, 2 gorgeous children. But money is just a bit rubbish 😩

Freemind Fri 22-Feb-19 00:59:00

Had a really horribly bad time financially in my 30s. Lived with debts ( much more than yours!) for years, but I just learned to manage on very little and retrained for a professional job when the children started school (borrowed money to fund childcare before and after school. Took a long time, but I do have my own house now and am debt free. So yes, it did get very much better. While your children are so young though, you might just need to be patient until you can start earning. Good luck!

Kitsandkids Fri 22-Feb-19 01:02:22

I was pretty poor at 30. My dad had left me a bit of money about 4 years earlier which my husband used (with my agreement) for a business idea which failed miserably within a couple of years. So we lost that money and were also in a bit of debt. Then we both had trouble securing permanent work.

7 years later and things are much improved. We still privately rent but are finally able to grow some savings and have plans to buy next year. Plus we can afford (modest) holidays and days out and don’t have to watch every penny we spend.

Justagirlwholovesaboy Fri 22-Feb-19 01:04:08

Nothing will improve unless you change things, can you get a part time job? You can’t sit around hoping for a miracle

NMRJC20 Fri 22-Feb-19 01:10:36

I think it’s all about perspective. How much can you pay off each month? Even a small amount brings the total down. Shop around for 0% interests and make sure you don’t add to it. Then no matter how slowly it goes down, it’s going the right way. The only thing kids can’t go without is food and water. And there are food banks! No need for increased debts. Check money saving expert for tips- they helped me massively! I’ve paid a loan off and credit card off this year 😃 the fact you’re concerned shows you are switched on and want to do something about the debt, the debt will go down. Be happy and positive about that 😃

moneyworries9 Fri 22-Feb-19 08:23:44

Nothing will improve unless you change things, can you get a part time job? You can’t sit around hoping for a miracle

I'm not sitting around hoping for a miracle. See my previous post.

sheldonstwin Fri 22-Feb-19 08:30:18

I was where you are now OP and I eventually managed to re-train, fitting it around nursery and when my youngest started school, I went back to work FT. Took some years to clear debts but got there in the end.

Stay positive and enjoy your children while they're little - it really is a magical time.

moneyworries9 Fri 22-Feb-19 09:40:59

Thanks sheldon. It just feels relentless at times. Literally been skint for the last 8 years 😩

Caticorn Fri 22-Feb-19 09:46:42

I'm late 30s and I have nearly 10 times your debt. I am confident it will be paid off in the next 2 years. My parents were horribly skint in their 40s. Nearly went bankrupt! They are now in their 60s and those days are long behind them. Mortgage is paid, they have a fantastic lifestyle, travelling, socialising ....never worrying about money.

It will all come together if you put your mind to it.

VietnameseCrispyFish Fri 22-Feb-19 09:54:54

Not quite the same timing but I was poor in my twenties and started to feel a bit better off around 28.

Basically in my early twenties despite having a degree, I was only able to get min wage crappy jobs, accrued some debt, went bankrupt for around £7k (a DRO). Only solution was that I went back to uni to do a MA in a profession so I had a way into a career, qualified at 26, worked hard and at 28 got given more training through my work who paid my fees and paid me while I trained.

By 29 I was dual qualified, I’ve quadrupled my original salary (from £8k to now £33k and within the next 18 months I’ll be on £40k).

Just before my second masters I met my OH who was also training in a profession and very financially savvy, he had a good impact on my approach to money and encouraged me to start saving. Now we’re on £75k combined, early thirties/late twenties, no debt, in the middle of buying our first house.

But we haven’t got kids. I purposefully didn’t have them until I was in a decent financial position and wanted to ensure I was earning well, with a partner who earned well, preferably either bought a home or very close to doing so and with savings in the bank before considering TTC. I grew up in poverty on a council estate, neither parent ever went to uni despite being clever people, and I remember well the gnawing awful sense of fear and not having enough money and seeing what it did to my parents and I never ever wanted to bring a child into that situation. If I’d had a child to think about I’m not sure I could have put in the 80 hour weeks I had to (no exaggeration) for months on end during my mid twenties to qualify and succeed professionally, I simply couldn’t have afforded the childcare.

How do you think you’re gonna get out of this situation and improve your finances?

VietnameseCrispyFish Fri 22-Feb-19 09:57:24

By my last point, I know you say about the childcare qualification but is that really going to be a ticket to a decently paid career do you think? Realistically? Or will it bring in some pocket money but not enough to make much difference to your family’s financial stability?

When you were thinking about kids and knew your career wouldn’t be compatible with having them, did you have any plans or thoughts re what you were gonna do to change careers?

VietnameseCrispyFish Fri 22-Feb-19 10:00:02

I fully acknowledge I was hugely fortunate to be in the right place and right time btw to take advantage of the scheme offering funded masters to people, though I wouldn’t have got onto it without years and years of voluntary work beforehand. And again, so lucky to be in a workplace that offered paid funded training at that time. I’ve been in the right place at the right time, but it’s been my own hard work and determination that’s ensured I got accepted into those courses and succeeded at them when they were open to lots and lots of people. If that makes sense.

notacooldad Fri 22-Feb-19 10:01:11

Yes, part of our 30s were horrendous. DP was self employed and for many years things were good and we was comfortable. However a few things went wrong at the same time including a company that crashed owing us £250,000, partners health was a mess with the stress.
We had the bailiffs come round but fortunately they didn't take anything - it was a tax bill. I spoke to the tax guy and he was the most lovely man ever. That's another story but at one point there seemed no light anywhere.

Things did change. It was all a bit of good timing but DP got offered a franchise. He was fast tracked as one of the bosses was an old friend from years ago. Things changed around very quickly and we were able to pay the debts off and was soon able to relax again after a few harrowing years.

I'm 53 now and we are comfortablely off but I'm still on edge about money. I like to have a certain amount in the current account otherwise I feel a sense of panic. I have to pay bills as soon as they come in as I start to worry about them. I hate it that DP has things like the tv licence and car tax going out each quarter rather than paying it off in a lump sum. This is because I start to think , what if we haven't got that money when the payments due, which is silly because I would just transfer from one account to another. Money worries have definitely left me worrying even though I have nothing to worry about ( at the moment)

Op, things never stay the same for ever so I hope you get a positive change in your life soon, I know how difficult it is.

TrickyKid Fri 22-Feb-19 10:03:08

Yes, once I could afford to go back to work but it took about 5-6 years to catch up. We were already on the property ladder though so weren't trying to save for a deposit on a house or anything big.

VietnameseCrispyFish Fri 22-Feb-19 10:07:55

Also everyone has a different idea of what being financially okay or comfortable looks like in my experience. MN is a bit weird in that everyone seems to be on six figures. Personally having been in a position where I couldn’t even afford eight quid for antibiotics when I was really sick (and couldn’t afford any time off to recuperate), I feel that being debt free (other than a mortgage), paid enough to cover my bills, a fair bit of the stuff I enjoy, and having some left over to save so that emergencies don’t become crises, that’s comfortable. I certainly never imagined I’d be someone who could buy a house. But other people feel that they’re only financially comfortable if they’re on a certain amount or can afford a few holidays each year and pay their mortgage off fully. I feel like a millionaire on £75k household income but there are people on here who’d sniff at that and think it’s pathetic that I consider myself comfortable! I think a big part is where you’ve come from too, if you’ve grown up with parents on six figures you will probably feel skint on less but having tried to live on £8k for a fair few years it definitely makes you feel wealthy on more.

PrivacyPolicyYeahRight Fri 22-Feb-19 10:14:34

You are only just 30. We were still crawling out of our 20s at that point. Only just bought a house and it needed doing up so broke from that. Only just had our daughter so had that too. Had spent our 20s desperately saving and working towards careers.

We are 35 now and suddenly lots of things were paid off in a go, we managed to remortgage and release money to do up the house. Suddenly our daughter will be going to school so child care has reduced. My job pays more money....

This doesn’t have to be your future but you do need to hang in there and carry on making dents in any debt etc. Also some sacrifices have to be made, that’s life! Our sacrifice was not having another baby.

Asta19 Fri 22-Feb-19 10:17:01

30 is still young. At that age I was a single parent on minimum wage struggling to make ends meet. By my late 30's I'd retrained and was earning 40k a year. Ok, not 6 figures but a heck of a lot more comfortable than minimum wage! You still have plenty of time to turn things around.

FilthyforFirth Fri 22-Feb-19 10:21:50

I'm mid thirties and doing ok, though we have a fair amount of servicable debt. I am getting an inheritance this year which will pay off most of it. Our joint income is £80k but we live in the south east with a massive mortgage.

The reason I feel ok-ish about the debt is, even without the inheritance, our income will rise quite a bit in the next decade and our costs will come down. By the time I'm 40 I think I will be completely debt free, kids in school and advanced in my career.

I think you should think about a career that has long term prospects. My SIL is a nursey manager in a Zone 1 nursery and I believe is on £40kish. So a decent salary can be done, but I think the start pay is pretty dreadful.

Good luck, I spent most of my 20s skint (hence the credit card debt now!) So I know how awful it is.

reallybadidea Fri 22-Feb-19 10:24:10

We had a massive financial turnaround between 30 and 40.

At 30 I was working part time on about £6k a year and DH was on about £28k. Ten years on and lots of hard work and luck later our joint income is about £150-160k and still rising. It can be done.

moneyworries9 Fri 22-Feb-19 10:37:33

*By my last point, I know you say about the childcare qualification but is that really going to be a ticket to a decently paid career do you think? Realistically? Or will it bring in some pocket money but not enough to make much difference to your family’s financial stability?

When you were thinking about kids and knew your career wouldn’t be compatible with having them, did you have any plans or thoughts re what you were gonna do to change careers?*

I would be paid around £800 per month for working 9-3 Monday-Friday. I would have no childcare costs whatsoever. I'd have all school holidays with my DC so no childcare costs then either. The nursery I'll be volunteering in works these hours and that is the nursery I'd be hoping to work in.

My long term plan is to study accountancy once the children are a little older, giving me better earning potential for the future.

£800 per month would be an enormous boost to our finances so I do think this is q good option for the time being. DH works away such a huge amount of the time that I think working term time only would be hugely beneficial for our family.

With regards to why we chose to have kids to when we did; DH's job is very secure but he won't be in it forever. By having children sooner, we've given ourselves the best chance of me being back in a secure FT position earning decent money by the time he leaves his current career. So there was a lot of thought put into it and I still believe it will prove to be the right choice for us in the long run.

That obviously doesn't take away from the fact that it's tough just now. Our DC don't have any idea about money being tight. They have everything they need and fun doesn't cost money and they have lots of that.

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