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To choose a cleaner over a pension

(126 Posts)
OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 30-Mar-19 18:57:39

So by way of background I’ve recently gone back to work full time, I’m out of the house from 8am-6.15pm every day- my LO 20months goes to nursery 2.5 days a week. I would say we aren’t doing badly financially but the cost of nursery, an increase in council tax and now the bastard increase in pension contributions is taking a huge chunk out of our income.
This weekend it’s really struck me how hard it is working full time with a toddler, there’s no time to do anything, every room in my house is a shit heap (despite cleaning constantly), my ironing has now engulfed our third bedroom and I feel so guilty not spending enough time with my LO at weekends.
So I’m thinking of opting out of my pension with work (you can only opt out, you can’t reduce the % contribution)- just until my LO is 3 and some free hours kick in. I’d use the money towards a cleaner/ ironing lady. I’d obviously lose out on the contributions from my company over that time but I think it would be a life saver- am I looking at this wrongly?

SciFiScream Sat 30-Mar-19 21:45:55

I'm so glad it seems you've decided to keep paying into your pension. It's so important and the employers contribution is valuable. Lost if you didn't pay in. Free money!

If your ironing has piled up could you pay for a one-off catch up and then keep on top of it afterwards?

redexpat Sat 30-Mar-19 21:49:00

You say opting out will only be until your now 2yo turns 3. Why not stick out until that happens?

randomchap Sat 30-Mar-19 22:01:47

Don't give up your pension to get a cleaner now, unless you want to be a cleaner when you're a pensioner.

Alsohuman Sat 30-Mar-19 22:04:05

Don’t do it. Seriously, just don’t or you’ll be ironing to supplement your pension one day.

willwinlottery Sat 30-Mar-19 22:22:19

Please don't opt out of your pension.
Play tidy up games with your toddler, iron in the evenings while watching TV, and maybe lower cleaning standards a bit, we have six people in the house and the two bathrooms get cleaned once a week and definitely no more frequently.

nutellanom Sat 30-Mar-19 23:03:38

Yes my bath looks a bit dusty as it's cleaned weekly (by my cleaner) but I ignore it unless I can be bothered to give it a wipe around. My bathroom used by us and toddler, cleaned weekly. Sometimes a wipe around mid-week of toilet and sink.

Pepperwand Sun 31-Mar-19 09:03:03

Also if you're getting childcare vouchers through work I'd check whether you'd be better off using the tax free childcare scheme instead. I'm assuming your husband doesn't get the vouchers as he's self employed so you may well be better off using tax free childcare as you can both pay in. There are lots of comparisons online, Money Saving Expert had a good one and that's what we used to work out that tax free childcare was better financially for us because of our family circumstances.

cocomelon23 Sun 31-Mar-19 09:13:44

I've got 3 people here and only wash my bathroom once a week, sometimes less often.

whiteroseredrose Sun 31-Mar-19 09:15:14

Pension first!

Stop ironing. I've not ironed in years. DH does his 5 shirts on a Sunday. The rest is hung carefully. I wear t shirts or tops under a suit not a cotton shirt. Much easier.

DisplayPurposesOnly Sun 31-Mar-19 09:16:19

This all seems to be about you - why can't your husband do more? He could chip in for a cleaner, he could (learn to) dust, change beds, etc.

Also you don't have to have a weekly cleaner. Could you afford one fortnightly?

Agree with everyone else you can relax your standards a bit. Who worries that the bath might get dusty in between cleaning?? Just run the shower over it if it bothers you. And of course unironed clothes don't take up more space than ironed ones.

Weebitawks Sun 31-Mar-19 09:24:17

I don't really see what the major issue with stopping it for a couple years to stop yourself being misereble now.

A person can't just "lower their standards". If you like a clean house, there is nothing more misereble than coming home to a shit tip after working your arse off.

Also, the state of the world as it is, pension or not, we're all probably going to be working till we drop dead anyway.

longearedbat Sun 31-Mar-19 09:39:05

Re the bathroom - I used to leave some cleaner and a cloth in there. Whoever used the facilities gave them a wipe down straight after use. Takes seconds and bath rings are easier to get off when they are fresh.
I am retired via occupational pensions. If I had opted out of these I would have had to worked until 66 (although at the time, I thought I was going to receive my state pension at 60, but that's a whole other story...). Yes, times were very hard when I was in my 20's and 30's, and I would have loved to have had that extra money, but I am very glad of my pensions now.
I virtually never iron. I make use of time when other things are happening, e.g. wipe down kitchen surfaces while waiting for the kettle to boil. It's a habit I got into years ago - although time isn't an issue any more.
One thing though - we had a major declutter some years ago and were really ruthless (even down to furniture and clothes). I can't tell you how much easier it makes our lives. If you are buying new clothes regularly I hope you are getting rid of some at the same time. Having less stuff in your drawers/wardrobe makes storing them without creasing much easier.

womandear Sun 31-Mar-19 09:54:51

Do NOT opt out of your pension - that’s a huge financial
Mistake! What are you ironing anyway?? My work clothes are all tumble drier safe or I hang when damp - can’t remember the last time I did the ‘ironing’ ! DP does own ironing obvs but even then very little.

Lifecraft Sun 31-Mar-19 09:56:25

I don't really see what the major issue with stopping it for a couple years to stop yourself being misereble now.

Because if her employer is matching and she's a 20% tax payer, then if she pays her cleaner £30, it's actually costing her £75. Today! It's costing her £75 to pay the cleaner £30 now.

Plus, in 30 years time, that £75 that didn't get put into her pension will probably equate to around £600 lost.

That's a fucking expensive cleaner. .

womandear Sun 31-Mar-19 09:56:34

We have a cleaner - great. But still means we’re constantly tidying, cooking, running around after kids, endless laundry etc. Just the way it is. DP does 50% though. Are you doing everything equally cos sounds like you’re not...

NoSquirrels Sun 31-Mar-19 09:58:38

Don’t do it. I stopped paying into a pension for 6+ years after maternity leave with first DC - I was made redundant, then self-employed, then on temp contracts and various other considerations. And we lived in London with my DH also being made redundant/temp working - we genuinely couldn’t afford it.

Now we have to play catch-up, and we still can’t afford a cleaner!

The thing about DC is that the huge childcare bills get replaced by other stuff - more babies and maternity leave, older children’s activities and generally costing more as they get bigger, house repairs and stuff like new kitchens.

It’s too easy to deprioritise it for what’s happening in life now. Bit one day, hopefully, you’ll be older and need that money more.

Unless you’ve been making huge contributions throughout your twenties, which it doesn’t sound like, then don’t stop. Pay what you need to get the matching from your employer and make sure your self-employed DP has a plan too.

leafy22 Sun 31-Mar-19 09:59:14

Oh my god do not do that!!!

Just do what everyone else does and to the cleaning & ironing after your kid goes to bed (while drinking wine).

leafy22 Sun 31-Mar-19 09:59:15

Oh my god do not do that!!!

Just do what everyone else does and to the cleaning & ironing after your kid goes to bed (while drinking wine).

TooTrueToBeGood Sun 31-Mar-19 09:59:46

Go for it. Just be prepared for your older self to have to work as a cleaner to survive during retirement.

Ragwort Sun 31-Mar-19 10:07:27

You still have to tidy when you have a cleaner so really you are not saving that much time. And if it ‘takes ages’ to tidy up your toddler’s toys then clearly she had far too many, be ruthless, de-clutter.

And just don’t opt out of your pension.

Unfinishedkitchen Sun 31-Mar-19 10:08:44

Sorry but unless your child has significant special needs, you’re a single parent and you live in an actual show home, I can’t see why you would even contemplate temporarily stopping a pension for a cleaner??

I worked FT from when DC was one. I do a thorough clean once a week and tidy as I go throughout the week. So if the bath is a bit dusty, I quickly run shower over it. I loo looks a bit mucky, I throw some bleach down it. Clean kitchen worktops after every use. I do a quick sweep of kitchen every other day. Run dishwasher once a day. We hang up shirts damp to limit requirement for ironing. Many things don’t really need ironing anyway. Maybe to get in top of it, you can send ironing out occasionally?

With the hours you do and only having one child, I can’t see why you can’t fit in tidying as you go and a quick 15 min daily spritz and one proper weekly clean. I think a lot of people think you need a cleaner because lots of other people have one but it’s a luxury you can’t afford. Besides I’ve had a cleaner and found that I spent lots of time tidying house before she came (e.g sorting kids toys so she actually had space to clean) and then the house would stay nice for less than 48hrs so it wasn’t really value for money for me. I also wasn’t going to pay for her to come every other day which is what I would’ve needed in order to not have to do much.

Pinkprincess1978 Sun 31-Mar-19 10:15:43

Do not do this. It's a terrible idea and your older self will kick you if you do it.

Lower your standards for a few years. I did and life does get easier.

madeyemoodysmum Sun 31-Mar-19 10:19:06

I’d give up the beauty till kids 3 and keep pension Do your own nails get a decent brow pencil instead

DontTouchTheMoustache Sun 31-Mar-19 10:23:04

Op i understand the frustration, until recently i was living alone as a single working parent to a toddler and it really bloody hard to have the energy to keep on top of everything.
I think as it builds up you feel overwhelmed by the mammoth task of sorting it but i started doing one job every time.i went into a room e.g. wipe the sink if i went to the loo, next time wipe the mirror. Wash a few plates if i went to the kitchen to get a drink etc. It really helped as it didnt seem so much anymore.
With toys...ignore them until your DC is in bed and then make it the very first thing you do when you come downstairs.
As pp said if you are set on ironing do it in the eve with your fave tv show on while you do it. One 30 min episode per day should be enough.
If its still not working try thinking about how you could reduce childcare costs e.g. can you change childcare providers? Or would you be able to condense your hours to save a days childcare cost per week?

Splodgetastic Sun 31-Mar-19 10:44:24

Everyone should clean the bath after use (no need to use chemicals) and toilet after a number two. I sense your problem may be clutter. When you buy new clothes do you have a one in, one out policy? If you now have enough clothes, get rid of any you don’t need and stop buying new ones for you and DH until you have to (holes or saggy elastic in pants) so you are saving money and not cluttering. Don’t stop your pension, as the contributions now are the most important. I would U.N. do you expect other women to save for their own pensions while you get pension credit because you spent money on a cleaner, but I suspect state pension and pension credit won’t exist for those who could have but didn’t save, if they exist at all, when you come to retire.

mirime Sun 31-Mar-19 10:49:27

OhTheRoses I'd have loved it if my small house only took 20 minutes to hoover! Pale carpets and black cats meant I spent 20 minutes just in the living room brushing the carpets with a clothes brush before even getting the hoover out.

To be honest when we first bought the house we used to do a proper clean once a fortnight. Took three hours with both of us doing it and I never bothered much with the wiping round inbetween. DH wasn't working weekends then.

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