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Tax credits cut, now I can't afford to work

(45 Posts)
NakedMum33and3rd Sat 23-Jan-16 09:20:58

I started a new job at the beginning of the month. I was working two days a week and now I work four. 
I accepted the job without thinking about the implications it would have on my tax credits (silly me I know). I now have checked and I am no longer entitled to anything. The only problem is I now cannot afford my childcare. I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old. I've moved around to try and find a cheaper option but still am left with nothing after paying tax and childcare. Luckily I can still cover my bills but I am going to have little money for food and basics. 
We already budget our shopping and can do more but it's a horrible feeling essentially working double the time to be worse off at the end of the month. I can't quit this job because it is a massive opportunity and once my boys go to school it will pay off but right now after paying our living costs we have nothing in the bank. 
Has anyone else been in this position before? Am I missing something or is this just what happens when you increase your working hours? 
It just doesn't seem right to me. Yes my salary has increased (not doubled due to tax) but my childcare costs have also doubled. 

LIZS Sat 23-Jan-16 09:23:41

What about the dc father?

BoboChic Sat 23-Jan-16 09:25:51

Unfortunately - very unfortunately - the UK government doesn't think childcare should be means tested and subsidized. Other European countries think childcare costs should be capped so that work pays. Write to your MP. There is not nearly enough pressure by parents as to the outrageous privatized childcare issues in the UK.

NakedMum33and3rd Sat 23-Jan-16 09:28:44

He works too but his wage just covers our mortgage, household bills and fuel.
My wage covers our childcare costs and food (or used to when we had the child tax credits). Now I just make enough to cover the childcare.

Abernathie Sat 23-Jan-16 09:29:34

Have you checked if you can get help with the childcare costs?

Or are you now earning over the threshold?

I am in the same position as a single parent but you do make it work as the benefits will far outlay the shortfalls you have now.

NakedMum33and3rd Sat 23-Jan-16 09:30:27

I should write to my MP! I didn't think of that. Will they listen though? I cannot think that we are the only ones in this situation can we actually do something about this?

RJnomore1 Sat 23-Jan-16 09:33:11

Have you checked your three your old using a nursery which offers the free hours?

NakedMum33and3rd Sat 23-Jan-16 09:35:11

Yes unfortunately we are now jointly just over the income threshold. We live and work near London so the childcare costs are through the roof. I pay over half my salary before tax on childcare. We use the childcare vouchers but it doesn't make a massive difference over all. I end up with £100 in my pocket per month after paying the childcare bill.

We are currently using the free hours but even with them our childcare bill is still £22000 per year.

Kennington Sat 23-Jan-16 09:35:48

Do you have childcare vouchers at work? This could make a reasonable difference.
I would say keep working - your problem is short term. The eldest will be at school in less than 2 years. And once your youngest is 3 you can get some council funding.

andsoimback Sat 23-Jan-16 09:36:55

I'm not sure if it is unusual. Certainly we worked for a few years with no profit and no benefit but it meant in the end both moving up the career ladder. We spent a few years working opposite shifts ie do worked nights. Is that possible? Also worth it if it means you're contribuying more to pensions.

Kennington Sat 23-Jan-16 09:37:08

Sorry just saw your reply - I was of no help!

Seeyounearertime Sat 23-Jan-16 09:37:40

you can do lots about it... or not much, it depends entirely on your situation, which we don't know enough about.

you could lower your outgoings, change mortgage to interest only, shop around for fuel suppliers, lower food bills (we spend £40 every 2 weeks for 3 of us with careful planning and buying) maybe change super,market to Lidl or Aldi. shop around for cheaper car insurance, maybe dump a car if you have 2, try to lower any non essential bills like mobile, sky/virgin, netflix, nowTV etc.

Check you're claiming everything you can, head to EntitledTo and run through their calculations.

Does either job have the chance of overtime? more hours? could either of you get a second job?

Childcare costs lowered maybe difficult but do you have friends who don't work? parents that can help? could either of you works from home a day a week?

BathtimeFunkster Sat 23-Jan-16 09:38:51

I would say keep working - your problem is short term.

The problem of not having enough money for food doesn't count as "short term" for more than a week or two.

What are you suggesting they eat until the eldest child goes to school?

NakedMum33and3rd Sat 23-Jan-16 09:38:54

That's what I'm thinking andsoimback.
It's really hard and demoralising to work for nothing but I know eventually things will be better. It just seems so wrong.

RJnomore1 Sat 23-Jan-16 09:39:37

Sorry, I thought you would have but it was all I could think of.

katienana Sat 23-Jan-16 09:41:05

Could your dh claim the vouchers as well? Is your new tax code definitely right?

ginmakesitallok Sat 23-Jan-16 09:41:54

£22,000 a year!!! Fuck me!

NakedMum33and3rd Sat 23-Jan-16 09:42:16

Seeyounearerthetime we have already done most of those things.

Unfortunately we have no willing family near by to help with childcare. I will have a look at the website you mentioned.


Fourormore Sat 23-Jan-16 09:44:29

I had this problem, went to 40 hours from 21, including a small hourly rate rise, and ended up worse off at the end of the month.

BoboChic Sat 23-Jan-16 09:45:40

Write to your MP and include a neat Excel spreadsheet of your household budget, explaining why it doesn't add up.

andsoimback Sat 23-Jan-16 09:46:49

I think if you have no family help and no flexibility then it must be so much harder. When we did it we were both in jobs which, as long as we worked hard etc, we would make more money as the years went by. So much to consider.

Seeyounearertime Sat 23-Jan-16 09:52:14

It sounds like you're in the awful situation we found ourselves in a few years ago, earning too much to get help, not enough to not need help. iyswim.

I honestly don't know what else you can do, i just hope that Entitledto might suggest something to help.

our situation vastly improved when i got sacked tbh. as stupid as it sounds we went from having £2000 in and £2200 out each month to having £1500 in and £1100 out every month. mind you it took some careful management and financial sacrifices (no TVlicense, No brand names, no car etc)

EdithWeston Sat 23-Jan-16 09:55:00

For a spell, if we had scored particular bills off individual incomes, I would have been classed as working for nothing' for a spell.

We tended to look at it as we, as a couple, had this much left over after essential fixed costs. And then fed and clothed ourselves as best we could.

It might help you if you look at it more as total family income, and total family expenditure (rather than what's his and yours). OK, it won't make a penny difference to what the total family budget for food is going to be, but it will break the pattern of thinking that childcare is your specific expense and that your work somehow isn't worth it.

Because you say that this is a "massive opportunity" for you. That is the aspect to concentrate on.

Whoknewitcouldbeso Sat 23-Jan-16 09:59:16

Any chance you could switch your mortgage to interest only for the time you need whilst childcare is so expensive?

tangerinesarenottheonlyfruit Sat 23-Jan-16 10:03:31

Yes, if you're near London, presumably going interest only isn't such a risk as your home is making so much money from prices rising anyway.

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