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childcare bill bigger than my wage. anyone else? what have others done?

(13 Posts)
cheapFlower Fri 03-Jun-11 16:55:24

at the moment, I am on mat leave with DC2 (took DC1 out of nursery as long as I am at home, so no childcare bill atm). just started looking into nurseries/childminders + fees and my childcare bill will exceed my wage by about £50.

I checked how much help we would get through tax credits and it would help but not much. I will ne working 4 half days a week and taking tax credits into account, I would be better of by around £200 a month for going to work.

problem is, DH doesn't earn very well either (23k) and we really need every penny. also, DH's job isn't very secure...and we couldn't really afford to lose those £200 a month. on the other hand, are £200 leaving my children with strangers most days? on top, I will have to spent money on petrol to commute, work clothes.... etc

I really have no idea what to do (and I know, nobody here can make this decision for me either). but wondered what other women in the same situation did and how it worked for you.

PS: family lives 4h away and can't help with looking after the little ones.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 03-Jun-11 16:57:55

Can you change your hours? I used to work evenings and weekends, so DH looked after the DC.

EvelynBakerLang Fri 03-Jun-11 16:58:19

My wages vs work costs pretty much break even right now - but I'm thinking long term. Invest now so I'm in a better position once they're in school, if you see what I mean.

EvelynBakerLang Fri 03-Jun-11 16:59:00

Also - they're not strangers. Not for long, anyway.

stressheaderic Fri 03-Jun-11 17:03:33

yes, I agree about thinking longterm. My childcare bill exceeds my wage at the moment, we are very very very skint, but I know it's not forever, when DD is 3 childcare bill will go down, then she will be at school. She is only 15 months now but I am trying to see the light! I am happy to be setting the example of a work ethic to her, she loves nursery and thrives there and I get to go to work and be an adult for a while.

cheapFlower Fri 03-Jun-11 17:06:15

I work for a very small company. I am already p/t but company only operates 9-5.

I quite like my job and I know is does me good to get out of the house but really wonder, if it is worth all the hassle... but good point re longterm (though it is only a job, not a career. but i know how my sahm friends struggle, to find work).

CharlotteBronteSaurus Fri 03-Jun-11 17:06:46

I'm on mat leave ATM, but will be breaking even when I go back. well, i think there's about £100 profit over the month, but that will go on petrol, work clothes, and the odd lunch when I've failed to bring butties.

But when dd1 goes to school, the bill will drop a bit. and then dd2 will go (eventually), and i'll have kept my hand in and my professional registration up to date. it is a bit depressing in the short term though.

would compressed hours (doing 4 long days instead of 5) be possible in your situation?

cheapFlower Fri 03-Jun-11 17:10:58

compressing days wouldn't really work. DC1 has SN and attends special nursery and hours there dictate my working hours (not other way round).

lynehamrose Sat 04-Jun-11 09:16:41

Loads of us have been in the same position- I only broke even til my kids started school and childcare bills dropped.
Look on the bright side: at least you have been able to pull your eldest from nursery while you're on ML to save nursery fees. I have known very few people able to do this- most of us have had to keep paying for the eldest through the next ML to hold their place open. My eldest went to a fabulous childminder, but his place would have been snapped up if id removed him while home on ML with ds 2. So we has no option but to pay, even though I was home and not on full wage! So tbh I think you're incredibly lucky.
Also these days we get subsidised care when the child turns 3 which is a big help. I felt better off than my older colleagues who had never had a penny in tax credits or free nursery hours.
Look at the long term position- you'd be mad to chuck away a decent job and you could be regretting it madly in a few years time

GRW Sun 05-Jun-11 21:53:56

OP you may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance for your SN son, if he needs more care and supervision than other children of his age.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 05-Jun-11 21:57:43

How old is dc1, when he,s three you,ll get free sessions won't you.?

mom101 Sun 05-Jun-11 22:19:44

Hi I was in avery similar situation. My decision to return to work was an investment as in management is very difficult to find work if you take too much time off work!!!

Since I chose to come back to work full time with two children my wage has gone up by 30% in 14 months- simply because I kept my skills fresh.

In the early days I barely broke even it was disheartening (3 years), my husband always topped my account up. ( i never bothered opening up my bank statement...)We saw my career as an investment... Now that one of my two children are in school i save more!

mum765 Sun 05-Jun-11 22:42:45

I worked two very long days (12 hour shifts) as a carer- one on a Saturday so only paid for one day childcare. Then went back to my previous type of work once I got the funding, after age 3. Now dc at school we are significantly better off. The difficulty is trying not to run up debt whilst you're in that situation.

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