Financially cope?(6 Posts)
I have decided that I am going to try IUI. I would be a 39 year old single mum by choice. I am just panicking about the financial side of things.
I have always had a full time job.
I rent privately but how am I going to cope with having 6 months maternity leave & still afford a roof over our heads when baby arrives?
How do single mothers cope financially?
I think you need to work out all your finances, how much are your outgoinggs. How much childcare will cost. How you can afford maternity. Do you not have any savings?
If the figures don't add up, I'm not sure what to say to you. I guess with a child you could go on benefits instead of working if you couldn't afford to work. I'm not sure how that works to be honest or if you would want that.
You need either a big enough income to cover really good childcare and all living expenses plus a bit for contingency (if you're literally the only parent, then clearly CM will make no part of that, but 70% of single parents don't get child support, so it's not unusual). I wouldn't factor tax credits in to your plans, as they're shrinking fast and they might not be around along. So you need to earn it all.
You might be able to set that income need off a bit by having the kind of dream support network who offer whole days of regular weekly childcare. That's probably also a minority of single parents.
It's not easy at all. Do your sums really carefully. I hope you can make it work.
If you can't make it work financially where you are, but you really want it badly enough, a careful relocation might be worth considering.
Housing costs vary ludicrously.
Good for you! I made this choice a couple of years ago and I'm now enjoying being mum to my baby.
Regarding making it work financially, I own my house with a mortgage with relatively low repayments (under £500 pcm). To be honest, this played a big part in giving me the confidence that I could afford it because SMP covers my mortgage, council tax, gas, electricity and water.
You'll receive at least SMP (£640pcm) and possibly more maternity pay than that if your employer offers an enhanced maternity pay package. Then child benefit = £80pcm, and possibly child tax credits depending on what your income will be for the tax years that encompass your maternity leave.
Maternity leave is probably the more affordable phase of doing this as you will be in receipt of maternity pay etc. but with no childcare costs. Once you return to work, unless you have willing grandparents on hand to offer free childcare you'll find that this eats up lots of your earnings.
If I were to return to my job when my maternity leave ends, by the time I pay for childcare (£70 for 12 hours due to a long commute), plus my train fare (£32) I would end up coming away with £14 per day... not viable! So I'm making arrangements to be self employed, but that comes with huge risks attached (no sick pay, no employer contributions to pension etc.)
Babies are fairly cheap to run especially if you can breastfeed, so it really is just a case of managing to pay the bills you pay now.
Of course, a huge consideration is how much you're going to spend on fertility treatment. Your finances may already be hugely dented by the time a baby arrives!
I wouldn't let this put you off but you have to plan for it all.
My failsafe option is that if I get into financial dire straits I can sell my house and move to a cheaper part of the country...
I would definitely recommend getting in touch with Gingerbread and ringing their helpline as they can help work out what your benefit entitlements and costs might be. You do have to hang on for ages for someone to answer, but they are all experts in single parent finances, so it is worth it.
DC Network has a large community of single women who you could network with to find out how they have managed? Best of luck x
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