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How do other people manage?!

(41 Posts)
KatyBeau Sun 25-Nov-12 22:57:45

I am a mother of a 2 year old. I work full time (not my choice) on a salary of £32,000 and my husband works full time and earns £44,000.

Considering that we're not on low paid jobs, I can't work out why we are still struggling financially.

We get around £3800 coming in every month. £1000 goes on nursery, £800 on mortgage. Around £800 goes on bills and £350 goes on food and household supplies. £250 goes on transport, plus the equivalent of around £100 a month goes on car tax and repairs.

Tot it all up and that leaves £500 for savings, clothing, presents etc. Which seems like a lot, but every month we struggle.

We've been lucky enough to be invited on holiday with parents recently for free but otherwise would have no holidays. We make packed lunch every day. We buy supermarket basics brands. I do constant laundry so we can get away with less clothes. I'm on the cheapest mobile phone tariff I could find. For the last 4 years one of our cars has been barely scraping through it's MOT.

I know people who work less or earn less or who have more kids who seem to manage better than we do. They have holidays and don't have to wear scruffy clothes. They get new cars when their current one is rusting. They think nothing of buying a coffee or a magazine. My husband's theory is that lots of people are getting into debt but I find that hard to believe.

Am I missing something? Do I have a skewed, spoilt middle class perception of things?

BabysPointlessPocket Sat 01-Dec-12 11:08:31

I want to move to Sweden grin

specialsubject Sun 02-Dec-12 10:55:45

As others have said, the bills seem very high: my ideas for generous figures for those are

water/sewerage £40 with a meter
electricity: £50
gas/oil £100
TV licence £12
landline/broadband £30
insurance £30

So that's under £300. Even doubling it is still less than you are paying. Am I missing something?

Sky is not an option for anyone without money to burn or a serious football interest. For your mobile, go PAYG with a supermarket one: £10 credit lasts me at least two months.

also clothes don't have to be expensive; nothing wrong with a lot of charity shop stuff and we live in a country with many cheap clothes shops.

£500 'disposable' a month does seem a lot.

do tell more, we're all nosey and love problems like this! smile

jakesmith Sun 02-Dec-12 19:08:24

I'd say you need to look at:
£800 on bills
£1000 on nursery
£800 mort
Are you on a good mortgage deal?
How about your utilities?
And is there an acceptable alternative to the £1000 you are spending a month on nursery? Seems high but not something most would scrimp on. I guess that doesn't go on forever though

suzydelarosa Tue 11-Dec-12 01:10:43


suzydelarosa Tue 11-Dec-12 01:24:31

I was on a similar salary as was dh when we had DD who was also in expensive childcare. It was hard to get through each month so I sympathise completely.

Our plan was pretty much to knuckle down until DD got to school. However I'd also recommend avoiding the shops, not buying little things, reducing days out and keeping a max Amt on your spend. Avoid cash machines at all cost!

I would also encourage you to explore council funded daycare. Only after years of private daycare did I realise that the local authority daycare was half the cost! Nuts!

Britain is expensive though and it can be hard to understand how others are managing. My feeling is that some get financial support from families or help in the form of childcare (a huge money saver). Others live in cheaper housing and spend money on clothes and cars. Some did not go into FE and by 30 have been working for half their life do are further ahead. Some live in the pocket of their parents and some live at home.

And let's face it there are those who have lived in council and subsidized housing forever if not for generations even if their income no longer warrants it. And of course there are those who get significant support from the govt in terms of child benefit, tax credits and housing benefit in excess of 1k upwards a month. Remember 10-15% of all households in the uk get housing benefit. Red arrow away but tis the case.

Keep track of all your money and try to work to a cash budget.

suzydelarosa Tue 11-Dec-12 01:42:13

Sorry before I get burned my stats were a bit unspecific. In England 2011 62% of those renting social housing and 24% of those in private renting received housing benefit.

Of the 25million homes in the uk, 1in 10 are private rental, 2 in 10 are social housing. That works out to 3.7 million households or 14.8% hhlds getting housing benefit.

Bluemarlin Tue 11-Dec-12 18:22:51

I was just looking for advice on HMRC child benefits and ended up here. I am also broke but work full time with one child. I am not profligate, but I am now tracking spend for me and partner with Has anyone else tried this as a way of monitoring spend?

goldenslumber Thu 13-Dec-12 23:57:36

Price is what you pay, value is what you get! CogitoErgoSometimes' post is good. "Your Money or Your Life" is a great book which develops these ideas further & I really recommend it to you Katy, it will provide a lot of food for thought.

TheSecondComing Fri 14-Dec-12 00:12:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Viviennemary Sat 15-Dec-12 12:37:24

Your bills are very high. But nevertheless after your mortgage and nursery fees are paid you still have £2000 a month to live on. That is a lot of money. I can't see how you are not managing on that. But I do agree with your husband that a lot of people who have new furniture home improvements, new car, nice clothes and so on are just paying for it all on credit. So I certainly wouldn't go down that path in your position.

LadyLapsang Sat 22-Dec-12 11:59:53

£800 on bills sounds really high, must be more than council tax and basic utilities; sounds like you need to break down your spending much more to get a clear idea of where your money goes. Unlike others I don't think the childcare sounds high for full time childcare for a two year old, nursery nurses don't get paid much and unless you want lower quality care with higher child to adult ratios you have to pay a reasonable amount.

Bubblenut Sun 23-Dec-12 20:15:18

I feel the same way as you OP! We are on a fairly similar income but are still skint! I just don't get it! My best friend on benefits just bought a new car!!!!

CabbageLeaves Sun 23-Dec-12 20:27:34

Income is irrelevant unless you consider all necessary outgoings. Mortgage and child care are more than many earn.
£800 on bills seems v steep

Gas/electric £140
Tv lic £11 ish
Phone and internet £40
Council £130
Insurances £50?

So less than £400

My mortgage is more than yours but I have small child are costs. I'm a single mum with just child benefit.

I have a 7 yr old car (cost £3300) and pay for mot and service under £250 a year. No bills but I have just bought 4 tyres off Internet. Good tyres for £160 so your monthly costs seem v high esp as you reckon you are paying £250 for transport as well?

Your outgoings need a major review

Bumblequeen Thu 03-Jan-13 11:26:35


Bumblequeen Thu 03-Jan-13 11:44:14

Our joint income is £10k less than yours. We also pay £880 towards debt each month.sad Without the debt we would buy take aways/ eat out/go to the theatre/buy clothes in nice shops be more than comfortable.

Childcare fees £534 (includes free 15 hours pw)
Mortgage £1k
Food £250 (includes lunch at work)
Transport £461 (inc petrol & travel card)
Bills & insurance £490

The last few years have been so challenging but we stick to our budget.

Adversecamber Thu 03-Jan-13 14:33:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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