come and talk to me about room sharing, cars, finances, space...(13 Posts)
Am expecting DC3, also had a DSS, so will be 4 here every other weekend.
We have a 3 bed semi, one room okay to fit two in, other room - tiny. We have a dining room with storage cupboards built in which we are thinking of making into a playroom so the bedrooms can be for bed, clothes, books only.
We will need to get a new car for when DSS here, unless we go out in two cars??!!
Finances are worrying me to death. We earn about £33000 between us, I work from home, only earn about £3000 a year, that will carry on the same. No childcare fees therefore. Mortgage of £86k, lived here for 10 years. No loans, credit card with £1000 on.
Please tell me we'll be okay and won't all be living on top of each other!
You have similar situation to us in 4 children, small 3 bed open plan mid terrace, similar gross income but dd1 goes stay with her Dad sometimes but with us most of the time.
We have had 2-3 sharing the largest bedroom, we have the middle bedroom and have always had the baby in the small bedroom until they were about a year old. Once the youngest 3 were sharing I used to let the baby sleep in the travel cot in the small bedroom as this was now dd1's room. Meant the others could still play in the large room during the day (I had 3 in 3 years 6 weeks) when baby was napping and also that baby would sleep in the travel cot when we went away etc.
We got a 6 seater van and then a 7 seater ancient espace.
After saving very hard we've made a loft room (not enough head height for proper conversion) and this is now dd1's room as she is 11 and starting secondary school so needs somewhere for homework and to have friends hang around etc.
We do not keep toys that the dc do not play with and declutter regularly, have a small patio garden but still got a wooden playhouse in it so they use the garden year around which helps.
Thanks for that, would love a loft conversion and lots of people with houses the same as mine are having them, about £13k though - would take forever to save that!
My kids are 9 and 4.5, DSS also 9, all boys so far! DS1 does go and stay at his dads once a week.
Could you not fit the 3 boys in the larger of the bedrooms? Triple bunks? Baby in with you for a while? Could you fit bunk beds in the small room?
Do you have one car now or two cars?
We had 2 cars for a while as there were too many of us for less than a minibus which we couldn't afford the tax on. So we had 2 smaller cars. Unfortunately we are now down to one car.
If you are managing financially at the moment then unless you go for bigger car/extra car/home extension I should imagine you will manage just the same.
You will be living on top of each other a bit but they are only small/ish at the moment and who knows what might change as they get older and bigger. So I think you would be fine for now.
What about underbed storage or do you have that already?
you may find that your childrens tax credit goes up, I noticeable chunk of our income is maintenance received which doesn't count as salary for CTC purposes.
We lived very frugally to save and it has taken us about 5 years to afford it!
How about trying to fit bunks into the little room as well as the bigger one, for when dss stays. Good idea to turn dining room into a play room, but will you have room to eat together somewhere else? Family meals may not always be plain sailing but are so important.
Car - yes, bigger one would be ideal but you may be able to cope quite well with the sort of smaller mpv where the seats pop up in the boot as you don't intend to be 6 everyday. There are lots on the secondhand market.
Apart from nappies, as you know by now, babies don't cost a lot and you will probably get more CTC which may help a bit. Expense sort of creeps upwards as they grow up, I think. If you can manage now you'll be fine.
Roof extension...lovely idea but think of all those stairs! You probably want to be on the same level as the dcs when they are little anyway. May be you'll be able to do it in the future.
Hi - thanks everyone! Struwellpeter, I especially appreciate the 'how exciting' as I am finding it all a bit daunting at the moment!
At the moment DS1 has a high-up bed with lots of storage underneath. Then we have a sofa bed in there which DSS stays on when he is here, rest of time it is a sofa. I am thinking of putting bunk beds in that room, underbed storage will be lost, but we will have playroom for that. So, DS1 and DS2 will be in there in bunks, when DSS stays, he can carry on on the sofa bed in there as usual.
New baby can have tiny room. But nothing needs to change for about a year as baby isn't due until April and he/she will be in with us for a while anyway.
If we turn dining room into playroom I can still keep the table down the one end, as I agree, eating together every night is very important to us.
I just worry as DS1 is 9 and in a few years he won't want to be sharing with his brother who is 4.5 years younger (although at the moment he can't wait!!). If the new baby is a boy then the two youngest could share but if it's a girl....?
We do have two cars at the moment. I think we will probably leave it that way for the moment.
I do hope my tax credits will go up, that would be nice!
Surpriseno3 - My eldest ds shared with his 2 brothers until he was 18 and went to uni. They were 13 and 15. Small room. Now 21 he still shares with his now 16yo brother during the hols. They irritate each other sometimes but they seem okay most of the time. 13yo dd shares with her younger sisters. Again, sometimes she finds it irritating but most times it's more like sleepover club.
Things change as time goes by. You might find that you can manage that loft conversion or you might move. But that's years off so I wouldn't fret too much over that now.
You seem to have most things worked out fine. Try to enjoy your pregnancy. A bit of a shuffle around and your new baby will fit in as if s/he has always been there.
If you are working from home, and therefore don't have much mat leave and no childcare, you'll hardly notice the cost of the third child. With your house being crowded, you will not be inclined to buy more stuff, and will be happy to reuse old clothes and toys.
The car is the big issue. If you want to go out as a six, you will need a larger car. For every other weekend, I'd be inclined to use two cars - at least at the beginning so you will know whether it works for you or not.
We had a surprise number 5 (Luckily number one has moved out). We'd planned to move her into DS1's room eventually as he was at uni but he's dropped out and come home, so she'll be in my bed for the forseeable future.
Carwise we have 2. If we want to go anywhere all together (long distance) we hire a people carrier. It's not cheap and they aren't always easy to get hold off but it works out less than having to buy one. For local/ short trips we use 2 cars if necessary.
Don't worry about the room issue. Cross those bridges when you come to them. You absolutely don't have to have a room for each child and for what it's worth my dcs 3 and 4 often chose to sleep in with each other despite having their own spaces.
it will be fine.
it will all work out, far better than you can invision, and you will suddenly look back and realise it all worked for the best and wonder how on earth you ever panicked.
car-wise..would you be able to afford to get a vauxhal safira??? it converts so easily from 5 seats to 7 for the weekends you need it to that it may be a better and cheaper answer than running 2 cars.
Thanks so much everyone - I do feel a little better now!
We do have two cars at the moment and we do need two cars - DH works 25 miles from home in a very rural area and would have no way of getting there. I ferry DS1 around to various after school activities, he would have to stop them if I didn't have a car. Also, I work from home but have to pick my work up 15 miles away once a week, and have to be there at 9.30 so would be impossible to get there for that time after dropping kids off at school.
I think we will stick to the cars we have got for the meantime though
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