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Coping without your own money - SAHMs

(77 Posts)
Jadems Thu 28-Mar-13 15:42:25


Just looking for a little advice from how other SAHMs have coped without having their 'own' money.

First baby due in July, and due to cost of childcare in the SE I won't be working after the birth (would literally be left with nothing after childcare and travel costs).

Really worried about how I'm going to manage without any money of my own. We won't receive any child-related benefits due to partner's salary level, so the only money I'll have is Maternity Allowance for 39 weeks. After that, I imagine I'll have to ask for money every time I need something.

I'm currently on JSA after losing my job in November, and I'm already finding it really hard to cope without having my own salary. So far I've managed to do without any maternity clothes, just so I don't have to ask my partner for money. My partner pays for everything (house, bills, food etc), and is even paying for driving lesson for me at the moment, which are extortionately expensive. So I don't feel able to ask for money. Just use my JSA to pay for my fixed costs such as contact lenses, mobile phone etc and just do without everything else. Feel guilty adding 'luxury' shampoo to our fortnightly shop even.

Just wondering how everyone else copes? I'm used to having my own money, so not even being able to afford clothes etc for myself is very depressing. It's got so bad that I've even thought about leaving my partner (and baby) after the birth, just so I could return to work and have some money. Awful I know, but miserable feeling like a teenager dependent on 'handouts'.

LittlePickleHead Fri 29-Mar-13 08:17:54

I agree this is ringing huge alarm bells for me as well. This is not sustainable at all and is all rather sounding like you are a possession or a servant in this relationship rather than an equal partner. How much does your DP have to spend on himself? Does he consult you on large purchases or doing something for himself or does he just do it? You should both have an equal amount to spend in your own personal things, and household/children's stuff SHOULD NOT come out of your allocation automatically.

Seriously, set the status quo now as you are heading down a path to being trapped financially. His attitude towards you in this regards is not right. You have chosen to have a child together, he needs to be showing you a lot more respect than you feeling you can't buy the shampoo you want!

As an aside, do you want to work? If you are no better or worse off, then think about it in terms of what you want to do and your future. If you are not sure you want to remain a sahm permanently then it might be worth going back to work (and having the conversation that both salaries are pooled, expenses come out - including childcare- and then you split disposable income, which is the fairest way). I would be wary about becoming completely financially dependent and giving up your career while you are with someone who doesn't treat you as an equal partner in the relationship, leaving you to not even have any maternity clothes. Not on.

CabbageLeaves Fri 29-Mar-13 08:20:31

I sometimes wonder if the SAHP views leaving work as a bonus. I've had thousands of days at work when leaving and being financially supported seem utter bliss.

However take away that rosy view and imagine leaving your job with no financial support.. Because that is the reality if the other parent suddenly changes their mind about supporting you. Not quite such a bonus giving up work now?

Sacrificing earnings are exactly what it says. A sacrifice. Why should you? He needs to show commitment to making sure you don't suffer from it.

If someone wished to stay at home caring for my DC whilst I 'paid' them I'd not feel that impressed at financing that tbh... (In the same way that I don't wish to be financially dependant nor do I wish to have an adult financially dependant on me) However someone has to care for a small baby so if you bring one into the world you need to discuss how and who will do this. I'd never expect someone to do it for free.

I know relationships don't work like a business arrangement but when they go wrong it can be helpful to compare to see what is fair.

bakingaddict Fri 29-Mar-13 08:22:19

You dont always have to have a joint account to have a happy marriage. I work part time but DH is the main earner and we kept our own accounts due to student and graduate loans etc. We pay bills proportional to our salaries, so he pays mortgage and all utilities while I cover childcare and food, we both have money left for some personal luxuries each month.

You just need to decide what you are responsible for paying and have that amount of money plus say 20% extra deposited to your account each month.

juneau Fri 29-Mar-13 08:26:19

If a joint account is not an option then you two should agree that he will transfer X amount of money each month into your account. You'll need to discuss what this money will pay for - clothes, toilettries, grocery shopping, DC's stuff, birthday and Christmas presents, etc, and then work out what is a reasonable amount for those outgoings based on what you spend now and how much the DC-related stuff will be. It's very easy to set up and amend a standing order if you have online banking - so it could all be done electronically.

Panzee Fri 29-Mar-13 08:26:39

As you are running the household, you should have all the money and he should have an allowance. I said this on another thread, this is how it worked in millions of households in the last century.

NotMostPeople Fri 29-Mar-13 08:32:38

Yes LittlePickleHead has a good point about working. I'm just trying to get back to work after a long time as a Sahm and its very very hard just to get an interview. That's baring in mind I'm applying for jobs that are a good few levels below what I used to do and pay a tenth. I want to work, but as I said above am supported by DH in an equal way. If I were in your situation with a partner who hadn't even thought about how you were going to survive without money I wouldn't give up my independence. Notin a million years.

tribpot Fri 29-Mar-13 08:34:06

Another one worried by the red flags. This is not okay.


amidaiwish Fri 29-Mar-13 08:41:01

I'm sorry but I think you'd be better off without him.
I am a SAHM
We have ONE account
DH salary goes in
Household bills (direct debits) go out, then we just buy everything else, whatever we need. Obviously we don't go crazy or the account would be empty, but we are both adults, we know our commitments and what is left over.
Honestly I can't believe that in 2013 people do this any other way. Otherwise bill him for carrying his child, giving birth, breastfeeding, etc.... !

CabbageLeaves Fri 29-Mar-13 09:03:44

As you are running the household, you should have all the money and he should have an allowance. I said this on another thread, this is how it worked in millions of households in the last century. Different century now... Different situations.

OP alludes to past financial difficulties and is possibly not the best person to manage the budget?

We are in 2013 when women commonly have paid work. Assuming we adopt 1950s versions is not going to work ..and plenty of households in the 1950s had one spouse squandering the 'family money'

Every family needs to consider what will work for them. What concerns me here is the OPs lack of power in this situation

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 29-Mar-13 09:18:16

OP, like others I would seriously think twice about giving up your financial independence for this man!

No one should be in the position where they have to beg for money or search down the back of the sofa for odd coins. The decision to be a sahm should be a joint one with the implication being that family finances are then totally shared, no questions asked.

DH and I have always had a joint account, it works for us. He supported me when I earned very little as a nursing student and when I worked very reduced hours after Ds1 then Ds2 arrived because we are a family, and the choices we have made have been joint decisions for the benefit of all of us.

It really doesn't sound like this is the case in your relationship and I think you need a serious talk about things. It is as much your dh's responsibility to meet childcare costs as yours and if you earn less, why the hell should you pay the same percentage of all the billsconfused

expatinscotland Fri 29-Mar-13 12:10:15

'Did bring up the topic of my returning to work after birth, and him paying 50% of child care, but he then countered with in that case I should be willing be pay 50% of everything else in that instance. Which I don't know if I'd even be able to do, given my earning capacity in relation to his. Don't think he's super keen on the idea of my working tbh. '

Of course he isn't. This is ringing major alarm bells to me! There is no way I would become a SAHM with this person. I'd have dumped him long ago due to his attitude, not had a baby with him, but that is by the by now.

Best you can do is get away from someone who doesn't seem to see you as a human being.

MariahHairy Fri 29-Mar-13 12:19:31

i would really try to return to work.

and childcare is not your sole financial responsibility but should be a household bill just was food or the mortgage. i never got the argument that women stay at home as childcare would swallow up all of their salary.

abbyfromoz Fri 29-Mar-13 12:25:28

Mariah- because even if you do pool your money you would be working for no financial gain. You would essentially be working to only pay someone else to take care of your child.

cakeandcustard Fri 29-Mar-13 12:39:19

He is trapping you at home by refusing to pay his fair share of childcare costs. By staying at home you not only lose income, you'll lose earning potential for the future, pension contributions and if you have a student loan this will increase while his decreases. I've been a SAHM for four years and although by choice, I'm not sure I fully understood all the financial implications at the time. If you want to go back to work then you need to make it happen for the sake of your independence from this man.

OrangePetals Fri 29-Mar-13 12:40:43

You live together and have a child together, you need to be in it together to make it work.

I don't like the percentage of earnings way of contributing to finances as it leaves the higher earner living a more lavish lifestyle than their 'partner'. Would the partner stay at home whilst the high earner went on expensive holidays?

How can you live together but have different financial lifestyles.

I think you need to sit down together to do a budget and make sure you each have an equal amount of cash to spend as you choose.

It is not just his money anymore than the baby will be just yours.

expatinscotland Fri 29-Mar-13 12:44:06

'Mariah- because even if you do pool your money you would be working for no financial gain. You would essentially be working to only pay someone else to take care of your child.'

Loss of earnings, loss of earning potential, pension contributions, these all have value, too, especially when you have a so-called partner like the OP.

MariahHairy Fri 29-Mar-13 12:58:23

yes - there would be no financial gain for the family. but the argument is mostly that the mother would work for nothing - as if the father has nothing to do with it. hmm

plus as expat said - you lose out on pension, you might kill off your career, the future earning potential is affected... and getting back to work after x years at home can be more than tricky.

and if you happen to split up you are titally screwed.

MariahHairy Fri 29-Mar-13 12:58:56

*totally (not titally blush)

mercibucket Fri 29-Mar-13 13:34:35

Are you married? Then you are linked financially!

If you are not married, he will screw you over financially on this as you will not even be entitled to anything if you split up

Sorry, op, he sounds a knob and it's not funny at all. Put your foot down now before it gets worse. If he were my dh, I'd make sure I kept my options open and would return to full time work so I kept my financial freedom.

pizzaqueen Fri 29-Mar-13 14:03:58

This sounds like abuse to me - withholding or being overly controlling about money is abuse.

You need to keep your financial independence or you (and your child) will be trapped with this man with no money to get out if you needed to.

Would working part time be an option, that might cover your childcare and leave a bit if spending money?

My partner and I both contribute exactly the same amount into a joint account monthly to cover household bills, DS clothes, food etc. then we pay for our own phones, cars, clothes, socialising etc. but we both earn the same amount. If one of us earnt more then we'd pay more into the joint pot - only fair?

You need to sit down with him and do a monthly family budget and budget 'spending money' for both of you into that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 29-Mar-13 15:16:45

"would literally be left with nothing after childcare and travel costs"

Easy.... take the childcare and travel costs out of your partner's wage. I wouldn't give up my financial independence for all the tea in China.

expatinscotland Fri 29-Mar-13 16:24:48

She isn't married. Jadems, you need to seriously consider your financial situation here, because from where most of us who posted on this thread are sitting, it does not look good for you.

Viviennemary Fri 29-Mar-13 16:30:35

I can't see how it can possibly work if people don't have a joint account when they aren't earning anything. This constantly having to ask for money isn't really acceptable. I suppose it could work for some people if a regular sum of money was transferred from the salaried person's account into the SaHP's account. But why not joint accounts?

scottishmummy Fri 29-Mar-13 16:34:20

Jade you and partner are having baby,it's a shared and joint cost that he needs to incur
Re childcare I'd say pay Proportionate to income,it's both of you baby
If you feel vulnerable or low confide in gp or mw.

DontmindifIdo Fri 29-Mar-13 16:37:37

right OP - this is what you do if you don't want a joint account, sit him down, say our bills are X amount each month, what do you have left over each month? Then can you pay a third of that into my account as 'allowance' (leaving him with a 3rd for himself and a 3rd for savings).

If he's not happy with that, then you go back to work after having DC but your DP pays half the childcare costs, therefore you having money for yourself. You can do the maths between you and work out what is the better deal. Personally, I'd work if he's not seeing you as a unit.

However, it could well be he's genuninely not thought about it, he's thought in terms of covering your current share of the bills, not that as well as that he'll have to give you 'fun' money each month - when he thinks about it, he might offer you a decent sum.

I would say if he is a higher earn so you won't get any CB or anything, then it would be reasonable to expect £300 at least a month.

Again, do not resign until you've had this conversation.

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