Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

What income and other features of life create the perfect work life balance?

(21 Posts)
ChocolateWombat Fri 14-Oct-16 10:46:53

Was pondering this, after reading the thread about 'minted earners'

I know a lot of this might be determined by where you live and your age, because this probably determines your housing costs, but given those factors, what would make it perfect for you,min your area?

So, I'm in the south east and around 40. Housing is expensive, but as we bought years ago, we have a reasonable house without a massive mortgage. For me, having a household income of £70k+ would give us a pretty comfortable life enabling us to have holidays (not expensive ones) and probably to privately educate one child. Personally I wouldn't be bothered about flash new cars, but I would want to run 2 and be able to go out for occasional meals and other treats without giving too much thought to it. In terms of work, I would expect that DH works hard and sometimes does long hours, but for me, him never being around in the week and constantly at the beck and call of work at the weekend wouldn't be acceptable to me. I'd be happy to work, but would feel that for work life balance I'd need at least 1 day a week off.

Given your context, how much money and what other features would make your work life balance perfect?

greenfolder Fri 14-Oct-16 10:49:31

love the fact that you expect dh to work hard but you would need a day a week!

my ideal is us both working part-time. no mortgage. enough money in the bank for emergencies. holidays every few months. enough to help kids where necessary

SheldonsSpot Fri 14-Oct-16 10:55:36

Really, you expect your DH to work hard and do long hours but you need at least one day off a week for your work life balance shockgrin?

As above, ideally us both working part time with enough money for holidays and meals out.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Fri 14-Oct-16 11:00:51

love the fact that you expect dh to work hard but you would need a day a week!

^ this

ChocolateWombat Fri 14-Oct-16 11:01:08

Yes....can see that didn't come across well about expecting DH to work hard etc, whilst I want a day off.

Can I put it better? When I said 'expect' I guess I meant that in our family, it is how I would imagine my DH would work through HE want to work hard and wouldn't mind long hours sometimes, but also wouldn't want to never be at home or on call all of the time. So this is my expectation about what he would want to do and also what would work well for all our family. It isn't that I would want to send him out to work whilst I lay around doing nothing.

For us, at the moment, I think he would want to work full time and enjoy it...but I can see that for others, both being part time would be a great scenario, if that delivered enough money.

Fourormore Fri 14-Oct-16 11:19:13

Just worked out how much we'd need to live what I consider to be a comfortable life and it comes out as £67k and that doesn't include the increase in maintenance we'd pay out to DH's ex wife if he had an increased wage. I'm a bit shocked by that but we have six children.

I'd like us to both only have to work 3 days a week, or to be able to work from home. Currently DH works 5 days a week and I'm a SAHM. I don't have anywhere near the earning potential of DH but our work/life balance is so out of whack that we're now looking at other options.

ChocolateWombat Fri 14-Oct-16 15:58:09

Anyone else want to share their context and what they think they would need to earn and how they would need to live for a good work life balance?

HyacinthFuckit Sat 15-Oct-16 08:16:14

North, cheap area. Current household income is about 46k, working 21 hours and 30 hours, young children. Longish and expensive commutes for the area though, so that means we're out of the house nearly as much as people working a day more a week than us round the corner from home, iyswim. Although DH does see his commute as a chance to watch crap films.

We do have a decent work life balance, and are fortunate not to really have to worry about money. We also tend not to be ok with working more than about 55-60 hours a week between us, tops, and prioritise that above earning. Bit more money would obviously be useful, maybe 50-55k. Possibly slightly fewer hours as we're always tired, although that may be because of the young DC rather than the jobs. We would probably have to increase hours for that though, which I wouldn't do just yet. Unfortunately, wanting to work part time can limit your options. DHs more so than mine.

In terms of spending, we do live fairly cheaply but not colossally. As in, shop at Aldi but £80 a week not £50, that type of bracket. Cable package and Netflix, not going out much but being ok with spending £60 on a meal rather than specifically going when an offer's on. That sort of level. Having young DC helps here I think, so eg we wouldn't be going anywhere expensive on holiday even if we were wadded because toddlers fuck it up so you might as well get a caravan. I've never been that fussed for posh holidays. I haven't thought much about private education. 70k probably would enable us to privately educate at least one, and we could earn that easily enough if both full time. We have more than one though!

Leatherboundanddown Sat 15-Oct-16 13:03:28

Currently I don't have much of a work life balance as I am a PhD student and also have to work an additional part time job to make ends meet.

This will be the situation for the next three years and after my PhD I aim to be earning a min of 35k straight away. This will enable me to get a mortgage on a small 2 bedroom house that will be our '3 year home' and first step on ladder. After 3 years I aim to sell and move in time for my dd starting secondary school.

I am a single parent so my income is the full household income. I would like to earn enough to do the following things:

Pay a mortgage not rent.

Do my house up to a nice standard which means nice decor throughout, a decent heating system, new kitchen and bathroom.

Take my daughter on holiday at least once a year.

Run a small car.

Have a cleaner once a week to enable more of this 'work life balance' I have heard of.

After dd is at secondary school I want to start saving for her uni and future (ideally before though) things like private schooling are not really an option.

11 year plan is to be earning 80k by 2027 (this takes me to my 40th birthday) Hopefully by this point I will be able to support dd monthly with a decent amount if she chooses to go to uni the following year.

HyacinthFuckit Sat 15-Oct-16 14:05:38

Can I be very nosey and ask what your doctorate is in?

JoJoSM2 Sat 15-Oct-16 20:43:20

I don't think I ever have enough - the more you have, the more you notice more lovely things you could buy. For work life balance, I work part time so that I have time for learning new things, hobbies and travel. My husband is very career minded and works long hours - but it's his choice... We're both happy as it is and have no plans of changing it.

Leatherboundanddown Sun 16-Oct-16 01:52:07

Hyacinth - sure, business. But it's not that straightforward, I've changed discipline. Will be working back up within industry afterwards.

HyacinthFuckit Sun 16-Oct-16 09:09:27

Ah ok. Was just wondering which area a doctorate could potentially increase income so much. I thought you had to do an MBA for that type of uplift.

maggiethemagpie Sun 16-Oct-16 10:40:16

I think I have quite a sweet deal. 40, married, 2 kids (5 and 3). I have a full time job working from home with occasional travel, DH is a full time SAHD but with income from property. Our combined income is 70k but no childcare or commuting costs. Mortgage 500 per month.

I'm lucky enough to be able to see quite a lot of the children despite working part time, I take my son to school and have lunch with my daughter. She has both parents at home all day (albeit I'm working).

We don't have to rush around in the morning getting everyone out of the house (only DS to school, but it can feel quite leisurely)

When DD goes to school in a couple of years DH will go back to work as we could really do with the extra income, but for now it works that he's the SAHD and in terms of work life balance I couldn't want better, really.

maggiethemagpie Sun 16-Oct-16 10:40:54

meant despite working full time, not part time!

mamafurfur Tue 18-Oct-16 17:33:44

This is a great topic of conversation and one that I have been thinking recently more about as I'm currently on maternity leave with my second child, and thinking about work/life balance.

I work in the IT industry which is heavily male orientated and find this can influence the view on women taking time out for family sometimes, depending on where you work.

I recently uploaded a Vlog on my Blog channel at:
showing how we started right at the beginning with a budget along with how to get some "fun" items into how you spend your money each month.

Please feel free to check it out and give me feedback :O)

Thanks xx

mamafurfur Tue 18-Oct-16 17:36:11

I should also add that currently I work full time but in a business that supports working from home days (3 usually a week, 2 in office) and flexible with those hours to some degree.

We are working on a 5 year goal to pay off our house completely and all debts (Roughly £150k totol) plus we also have to balance having children from previous relationships for CMS and travel costs etc to see them. About a third of our monthly income goes directly to those costs, leaving the rest for our home and lifestyle.

Life isn't about how much you earn ultimately as long as you have things that fill you with joy in them - well I like to hope so anyway :O)

onecurrantbun1 Wed 19-Oct-16 00:04:33

We have a good work / life balance o think. DH works FT in a job he is good at and enjoys, a 20-minute walk from home. He earns about £34,000 i think. He has flexitime and about 30 days holiday per year. I'm a SAHM to 3 kids under 5.

We are able to afford 3 UK holidays a ear, short breaks if wanted and run one car, albeit an old one! We have a few nights out between us each month and a National Trust membership. We tend to eat out as a family once a month and have a takeaway each fortnight.

We are mortgage free which is obviously a huge burden off our shoulders, both financial and from a stress point of view. We are fairly frugal but very rarely have to miss out on something we want to do on account of cost.

DH could probably be promoted quicker if he moved department but he would lose the flexitime and need a second car to get to that office so he hasnt gone down thst track atm.

mamafurfur Wed 19-Oct-16 07:07:52

@onecurrantbun1 it is wonderful you are mortgage free? Could you share how you did this?

Was it purely overpayments or did you invest/save till you have enough to pay it off?


redskytonight Wed 19-Oct-16 12:21:36

I work 32 hours a week and DH works 35. We both work in jobs close to home (location of home deliberately chosen for job proximity, hence we've sacrificed area for convenience). Total income about £70K. The mortgage is mostly paid off due to overpayments and redundancy money.

One of us is always home before the DC, and we are both generally home by soon after 5pm. So we have relaxed evenings. Jobs are not stressful either.
We're able to afford holidays, occasional meals out etc. DC are able to do activities pretty much as they like.

For us, it's the fact that the two of us have roughly equal work/leisure time, are not stressed out by jobs, have lots of family time, plus enough money to enjoy the time!!

Another thing I guess to note is that we are in quite a "mixed" area - so comparing ourselves to the "Jones" we actually feel very well off - which would not be the case if we lived in a different area.

onecurrantbun1 Wed 19-Oct-16 13:35:22

mama my DH sadly lost his parents in his teens and inherited then. We don't live in their old house - too many memories! - but sold it at auction. The silver lining in a fucking enormous cloud wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now