This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
How does this even make sense?(16 Posts)
I'm currently on mat leave and due back in July, but... I actually CANNOT afford to go back to work full time.
Going back to my current job would mean I would have to put DS in childcare at least 4 days a week (£50+ a day) and I would only have £200 left at the end of the month. I need at least £600 to cover my bills (which is only just being covered at the moment by my SMP). I would need a 5 grand payrise to make it possible to go back full time!
The other option is to work 20 hours in the evenings/weekends which would mean no childcare costs, and even at minimum wage would be enough to cover my bills and then some. It would also mean I have quality time with DS and I won't have to 'dump' him with someone else all day. (Though I'd barely see DP)
I'd have to work evenings and weekends. I've been there done that, bought the t-shirt. It took me 10 years to work my way into a typical 9-5 job, and this just feels as if it would be a massive step backwards.
Hoping we'll win the lottery in the next couple of months, then I won't have to worry about it.
One of the joys of having kids unfortunately. Do u not have anyone like grandparents that could take them for a day or so a week and just cut ur days?
It looks like you are not factoring in any financial contribution from the baby's father / your DP.
Are they not contributing at all to the shared costs of eg childcare or rent (either directly if you are together or via Child maintenance if you have split)?
Not really no. My mum would love to look after him so I could go to work, but she needs to work too, she could only have him in the evenings, which we don't need. MIL could do a day every so often, but works shifts so would be different days each week which is no help.
It know it makes a hell of a lot more sense for me to work evenings... I just don't really want to XD
That is factoring in DPs wages. He pays all the bills, buys the food shopping, council tax etc. I pay the rent (plus my phone bill, credit card that sort of thing).
In terms of combined household expenditure, I'd still need to contribute more than £200/month of post childcare earnings. We cut back on quite a few things already because I knew my SMP would only go so far.
But hang on - if you go back to work you will cover £200 of £600, but staying home you will get £0 of £600, so you are still better off working, just not much? (Btw no matter what, this situation is ridiculous and can't believe there isn't more support to get mums back to work).
Have you looked into tax benefits etc that you would be able to access as a working parent? And whether you might be eligible for some free nursery at 2 years?
Also is there a half way house where you go back 3 days to keep your hand in and hold on to the nicer daytime job, and then maybe do just one evening or weekend day a week (with your mum for cover perhaps, cheaper and nice for their relationship too)?
You have to make it work as a couple.
I know it's very hard, but factor in your long term finances. There's a thread at the moment about people regretting giving up a career to be a SAHP. It is very difficult to get back into the same level position once you take a few years out.
Do your sums - your employer and your DP's employer may offer the childcare voucher scheme (you can both use them) which could save you about £70 each I think in childcare costs - the new scheme might be slightly different But worth investigating.
You need to maybe do calculations for say a 3 day week, a 4 day week and then full time to see if you're better off in any scenario.
And then it's about cutting bills, looking to save money wherever you can.
The little blighters are expensive
This is exactly the reason I became a SAHM.
With 2 children in full time nursery it would have cost over £1,000pcm, in fact it may have been as much as £1400pcm (it was almost 20 years ago). I only took home £750 give or take the odd overtime payment.
Back then we didn't have the free childcare hours either so it would have been 4/5 years worth before any reduction with them going to school. DH is emergency services so overtime has been frozen for years plus he couldnt take another job. It really was better for me to leave work than try and cover the huge shortfall we would have faced. Plus DH was paying CSA at the very old original rate of 33% of his salary. Any overtime he got would have gone straight to his ex anyway
I'm not saying I won't work. I can't afford to do that either (and I wouldn't want to - I'd go insane).
The job I have at the moment, it wouldn't be possible to swap to working weekends, as it's office monday-friday. If I went down to 3 days (which is what I was planning on doing originally) I'd still be out of pocket, because I'd be earning less and still paying out for childcare. I'd be getting £10/day after CC costs, so working 3 days would only give me £120/months.
Not sure what we'd qualify for tax credit wise. Up until now we've had 'too much' earnings to qualify. Soon as April hits, I'll have been on SMP for long enough it should bring us under the threshold to actually qualify for something. And it's all well and good getting vouchers when DS turns 2, but that's he's only 3 months old... That's a long wait and it doesn't help my in the mean time.
OP - the vouchers are effectively a tax saving scheme which you and your DP (depending on your employers) can join as soon as you're parents I think and pay for childcare directly out of your gross salary (So you save tax and NI). I'll try to find a link.
It's completely different to "free" hours
which are never actually free once your child hits 2 (I thought it was 3 in most areas?).
I think you should go on entitled to and see if you will be able to claim anything like tax credits etc. There are family benefits designed to cover the shortfall. Have you factored in child benefit as well?
Read this too (apologies if this posts twice)
I agree with Upsidedown that bringing in £200 a month surely has to make your family better off than bringing in £0 a month?
Plus you have to think about longer term earning ability. This is a very short amount of time, from your working life.
Yes, it is expensive, but if your income is low then you can often get help. Your income doesn't even have to be low for the 30 hours childcare hours, from what I've read. Then there is the childcare voucher scheme so you can both get vouchers before you have been taxed. It all helps.
The vouchers are applicable as soon as you go back to work if your employer offers them HOWEVER the scheme is literally closing now so investigate asap! What I meant with three days is that if you went to 3 days in your office job, could you pick up any other work once a week in an evening or weekend, as that would be much more profitable as you wouldn't have to pay for childcare. Also do search for entitledto, you are likely eligible for tax credits or similar
Please login first.