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Can we even afford to have a child?

(16 Posts)
emilyjaynetbh Wed 29-Apr-15 09:51:36

Hi All.

Myself and my OH are currently looking into having a baby which feels ridiculous because we shouldn’t have to “look into” having a child!
I currently work 40 hours a week 9-5 in an office picking up £856 a month after tax and the OH works 36 hours a week picking up roughly £950 after tax a month.
Our total income is around the £1800 p/month mark and our monthly bills (including rent) total about £1100 a month. Leaving us with about £700 expendable ALTHOUGH I have no idea where that goes.
I would like to give up work to care for our child rather than rely on childcare and the OH said extra work hours can be picked up so her income would be about £1050. Ive used a “benefits calculator” for around about figures of what I could get if I gave up work which was £179 p/week.
This would put our monthly income in at about £1765 a month deducting the bills leaving £665 for extra costs (more electric/gas/baby food/clothing/etc).
Is this even do-able?
We would of course apply for council housing and hopefully over time be able to move into more affordable accommodation but does this sound pheasible? I’ve wanted a family of my own for as long as I can remember.

Thanking you.

PeppermintCrayon Wed 29-Apr-15 09:57:27

£179 sounds low. I would expect that if your household income is 12 x £1,050, you'd qualify for various tax credits and local housing allowance as well as child benefit. I would double check that.

Moving into council housing is unrealistic if you are in a private rental and haven't been evicted. I believe you'd be viewed as making yourselves homeless and would be very far down the priority list. But local housing allowance should help you pay your rent.

I strongly recommend you go through bank statements, start writing things down and work out where the £700 is going.

Jackieharris Wed 29-Apr-15 09:59:52

So you're private renting now?

Lots of families are stuck in that trap but it's not ideal. Having to move every 6 months with a child esp once school age is a nightmare. Try to avoid getting stuck in the private rental spiral.

Is there any way you can get a mortgage now while you have 2 incomes?

Forget about council housing. The only way that'll happen is if your landlord evicts you and you get forced into temp homeless accommodation, possibly a B&B, with a long wait before getting a council flat. Would you want to live through that with a baby/small child?

As for your income, you'll get child & working tax credits and child benefit. Yes you'll be broke but welcome to having a family in 21st c UK!

SorryToDisturbYou Wed 29-Apr-15 10:22:47

If you're working 40 hours a week, aren't you on less than the minimum wage? Are you over 21 and in the UK?

SoonToBeSix Wed 29-Apr-15 10:58:56

Peppermint how is £179 a week in benefits when one partner works low?
Op yes it is perfectly doable, your income is plenty for one child.

SoonToBeSix Wed 29-Apr-15 11:00:46

Jackie and op council housing is a pipe dream in ten south. In the north it is possible to be allocated a council/HA property fairly easily.

PeppermintCrayon Wed 29-Apr-15 23:23:19

£179 IS low when they should be getting LHA and tax credits and CB.

specialsubject Thu 30-Apr-15 08:45:15

no need to move every six months, anti-landlord myth. You can negotiate a tenancy for as long as you want, subject to landlord agreement (and sometimes what his mortgage/insurers say - now THAT is what needs changing). You don't have to wait for Milliband to introduce longer tenancies, they have been possible for years.

Anomaly Fri 01-May-15 00:21:23

I think it sounds very low. Even more worrying that you don't know exactly where the £700 goes. Money will be very tight so it will be really important to get a good idea where your money does go beforehand.

Why do you need to give up work I would suggest you do something. Even if its working a couple of evening shifts somewhere. Relationships are not guaranteed and if you're out of the workplace you are making yourself less employable in the future.

Is there a need for you to rush into having children? At the moment I certainly wouldn't be planning a family based on current benefit entitlements as they may well change following the election.

Rtfairy Sat 02-May-15 19:02:16

Yes you can afford it definitely I would say. We have less than that after bills and with one child manage fine, we are also ttc and feel we'll also manage fine with 2.

Bearbehind Sat 02-May-15 19:58:40

Is it only me that is shock at We would of course apply for council housing

WTF is the 'of course' all about hmm

WhywouldIdothat Sat 02-May-15 21:16:26

I looked back and your projected income is just about exactly what I had coming in when I had my first a few years ago as single parent (no income from father). It was definitely do-able but you will need to become good at budgeting. Also, if you currently work 40 hours per week how will you feel about not working - is that just for a year for maternity, then what? Its hard to know in advance if you will miss work or want to work after that. If you do you will have to factor in nursery costs which are the biggest outlay by far. I am still in private rented with 2 DCs and it is far from ideal as I have had to move every year or two and that costs a lot each time but I have managed, with some short-term loans of a few hundred from friends here and then as a necessity to get by. I have continued to work 21 hours per week since DCs born, now up to 30 hours per week.

WhywouldIdothat Sat 02-May-15 21:16:56

I looked back and your projected income is just about exactly what I had coming in when I had my first a few years ago as single parent (no income from father). It was definitely do-able but you will need to become good at budgeting. Also, if you currently work 40 hours per week how will you feel about not working - is that just for a year for maternity, then what? Its hard to know in advance if you will miss work or want to work after that. If you do you will have to factor in nursery costs which are the biggest outlay by far. I am still in private rented with 2 DCs and it is far from ideal as I have had to move every year or two and that costs a lot each time but I have managed, with some short-term loans of a few hundred from friends here and then as a necessity to get by. I have continued to work 21 hours per week since DCs born, now up to 30 hours per week.

WhywouldIdothat Sat 02-May-15 21:16:56

I looked back and your projected income is just about exactly what I had coming in when I had my first a few years ago as single parent (no income from father). It was definitely do-able but you will need to become good at budgeting. Also, if you currently work 40 hours per week how will you feel about not working - is that just for a year for maternity, then what? Its hard to know in advance if you will miss work or want to work after that. If you do you will have to factor in nursery costs which are the biggest outlay by far. I am still in private rented with 2 DCs and it is far from ideal as I have had to move every year or two and that costs a lot each time but I have managed, with some short-term loans of a few hundred from friends here and then as a necessity to get by. I have continued to work 21 hours per week since DCs born, now up to 30 hours per week.

WhywouldIdothat Sat 02-May-15 21:20:26

Also will you get maternity pay - if in UK presume you will. You may actually be able to save some money whilst on maternity and put it aside because your outlay will be less, no travel to work, no work clothes etc.! £700 pcm as a disposable amount seems quite high to me and i think you would do well to focus on exactly where it's going. With food at maybe £200 for a couple, bills around £200 or so, you should be saving about £300 per month?

Slithytove Sun 03-May-15 21:01:46

Why not try living on a reduce budget for the next 6 months?
Put 300 away by so on payday, then you will know if you can afford it, and you'll build up some savings.

We do it with 2 kids on that amount. And less disposable then you say you have.

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