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To think im being held back because DH earns average wage?

(57 Posts)
bonkerz Thu 02-Aug-07 14:03:20

I really want to go back to college and study social work. I have all the necessary qualifications to get on the course i want and i have the motivation to do. UNFORTUNATLEY Dh earns £25k a year which means i would not be eligable for any help with fees etc and we cannot afford for me to do it on this wage.
Im giving up work in 3 weeks and thought it would be a great time to go to college but i cant afford it!

My mate whos DH earns £15k (but they get alot of tax credits which in camparison leaves us preatty equal income wise) is doing a degree and its all paid for and she gets grants etc for books and a free lap top!

I suppose the bit that makes me cross is that by the time my DH tax is taken from his salary and also the cost of travelling he brings home just over £16k which means technically we have less disposable income tan freind.

I am jealous of friend although its not her fault.

Dh now considering giving up his managerial highly stressed long hours job and working in a factory with income of £15k so i can go to college!

mosschops30 Thu 02-Aug-07 14:05:51

Welcome to the world of working adults who get less than those claiming benefits.

I am currently struggling through my nursing degree, earning small bursary from the government. I dont qualify for help with childcare because I dont offiallly 'work' evenb though we do 37 hrs a week on placements.
We pay our childminder £500pm on top of all our other outgoings.

Quattrocento Thu 02-Aug-07 14:06:06

Oh the whole situation is bloody ridiculous. I am sorry. Could you work part-time and fit your degree in?

LowFatPumpkinJuice Thu 02-Aug-07 14:09:31

Difficult one

But look at the postie thread it's not all roses and tax credits for the low earners!

You've got to do what's right for you, but when you've been to college how will it look on DH's CV if he says he quite a responsible roll to get more benefits so his wife could go to school?

When you're talking about fees does it include the governemtn funding?? There are adverts all over our local transport for this.

bonkerz Thu 02-Aug-07 14:09:37

i have a dd who is 1 so cost of childcare wouldnt allow me to study TBH. Friend who also has a child same age is getting FREE nursery place on campus!!!

Looks like i will have to leave DH and be a single parent to get my degree or DH will have to leve his job and we will have to earn less!

bonkerz Thu 02-Aug-07 14:12:59

i went in to see an advisor at our local college and she said i was not entitled to anything finance wise!

Really annoys me too because DH and i need marriage counselling but cant afford it. It costs £40 a session but we dont have that spare every week even with me working full time!

bonkerz Thu 02-Aug-07 14:13:56

just dont understand why my friend is more important and special than me when my DH works twice as many hours as her dh and we claim less from the government!

LowFatPumpkinJuice Thu 02-Aug-07 14:14:48

Cant help with marriage counselling, but would suggest you write to your local MP about the inequalities of the learning funding system!

mosschops30 Thu 02-Aug-07 14:14:54

bonkerz I dont mean to be rude but if you need marriage counselling are you sure that embarking on a degree course whilst your dh reduces his career options is the best way forward.
Would this not put strain on an already struggling relationship (I take it you are struggling if you need counselling please correct me if not )

CountessDracula Thu 02-Aug-07 14:15:35

could you get a student loan or career development loan?

If this degree will give you greater earning potential then maybe it would be worth it

NKF Thu 02-Aug-07 14:16:06

It's not about being important or special though is it? It's how the levels of entitlement are decided. It throws up anomalies. Good luck with finding a solution.

madamez Thu 02-Aug-07 14:17:09

Have you checked that you are getting everything you are entitled to? What about working tax credit? Child tax credit?

expatinscotland Thu 02-Aug-07 14:17:51

'My mate whos DH earns £15k (but they get alot of tax credits which in camparison leaves us preatty equal income wise) is doing a degree and its all paid for and she gets grants etc for books and a free lap top! '

She does? I make that amount and don't get jack shit for 'college'.

bagsundereyes Thu 02-Aug-07 14:17:55

Hi Bonkerz,

Just a thought - have you made any enquiries at your local council? Lots of them take on trainee social workers. they'll give you a reasonable job, pay you through college (often paying you a wage even when you're studying), and then find you a SW position once you're qualified. Worth a look?

tiredemma Thu 02-Aug-07 14:18:16

my friend started a midwifery degree and had the same problem- her hubby earnt not a massive amount, but enough to apparently 'fund' her through uni ( and pay for childcare of course!)
so he decided to jack his job in and go to uni himself to train to be a teacher! works out well- they manage fine and are both doing something that they love.



My Bursary is not worth the paper it is written on- we are broke and on top of my uni- im also working 25 hours a week- im stressed, knackered and hardly see my family.

I hope its all worth it.

mosschops30 Thu 02-Aug-07 14:18:25

madamez if its anything like mine you cant claim working tax credit because you are not 'working' anf child tax credit amounts to about £40pm

CountessDracula Thu 02-Aug-07 14:18:54

funding options

expatinscotland Thu 02-Aug-07 14:19:31

Oh, yes, it's really a priviledged life on £15,000/pa, too. Seeing as that rents are so cheap.

bonkerz Thu 02-Aug-07 14:21:06

yes we are struggling relationship wise. Mainly because we never see each other! he works 12 hours a day and im currently childminding. Im giving up childminding BUT had found the course i wanted and it fitted in with school time 3 days a week so meant i could still be around to spend 2 days with DH on his days off etc. Dh just started this new job that in total brings in what we were earning with both working so me giving up work is a postitive step. Im just worried now i cant go to college.

mosschops30 Thu 02-Aug-07 14:23:43

bonkerz dont social workers have to do placements too? Is that still 3 days a week? (If so I'm very )

bonkerz Thu 02-Aug-07 14:23:51

im not blaming anyone or saying living on £15k a year is easy. I know it isnt. BUT by the time we have paid tax etc we bring in about £16k but get tax credits as if we bring in £25k so are not entitled to free prescriptions, free dentist, or free education for me! Its the system and its all wrong!

3madboys Thu 02-Aug-07 14:23:58

if you want counselling Relate counsellors will reduce their fees if you cant afford the full amount, we ended ep paying £20 a session when we went last year.

also have you looked at studying through the open university, they will often do reduced fees etc and you may not need as much childcare?

bonkerz Thu 02-Aug-07 14:28:07

It was the relate people i asked about counselling and they sadi because we earn over £17,500 we dont qualify for reduced fees. Its £15 to register with them and then £40 per session for a minimum of 6 weeks! Thats £200 we dont have even if we thought it would save our marriage! £200 a month is our mortgage not getting paid! We cant cut back anymore than we have already!

just dont know how i will ever study!

zippit Thu 02-Aug-07 14:34:07

you have to get council benefit to get free dentists and prescriptions or a similar benefit not working tax credit

I think you have to make the best with what you have and be a bit more optimistic..look at what you can do rather than what you can't

let your dh decide if he is wanting to build on his career or make changes too

you sound as though you are discontented but uncertain where to go next perhaps you need to try and talk as much as you can to your dh and write your goals wants and aspirations down and share them with each other

try looking at stuff on the internet which might help ypu get a positive outlook

in the end everything is down to what you make of it and looking at other people doesn't help you

good luck

3madboys Thu 02-Aug-07 14:36:51

actually we are on child tax credits, my dp earns about £17,500 per year, before tax, and we are entitled to free prescriptions and dentist treatment, we didnt apply for it they just send us the free entitlement card with our tax credits renewal pack each year.

we are not eligible for council tax benefit or anything like that tho. we must have been just under the limit with relate then, they also asked us how much our mortgage payments were each month etc, and then calculated how much we could afford.

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