Hi, I am currently pregnant and worried sick about what happens after mat leave. I will have no support from either side of family with childcare and I am stressing about going back to work! I have done some sums and it looks like I would have around £5 per week after paying childcare/travel and that's before any bills or food! My husband works full time but his wage barely covers the bills alone! I want to work but I don't see the sense in paying to work?? So my question is would I get any financial help from the government or not as I will be choosing to leave my job??? I have also considered getting an evening job but that would be really tight to manage between due to his working hours. Thanks for any advice.
Out of work, presumably you could do the thing where you somehow benefit from your tax free allowance on hubby’s wages. I’m not sure how it works though.
In work, you might be eligible for the childcare element of tax credits. My childcare costs are actually more than my take-home pay (£157 a day) and my commute is horribly expensive (£14 a day). I’m eligible for the childcare element of tax credits which reduces my childcare costs such that it is in my interests to remain in work.
When they’re all at school i won’t be eligible for anything, but my childcare costs will reduce massively and I’ll be better off than I am now.
You can get help from child tax credits if your income is low enough and you can also get help with childcare costs but it is all dependent on your joint household income. If you choose to stay at home then if your husband's wage is less than around £26k you would be eligible for some child tax credits. If you are in a universal credit area then I'm not sure of the thresholds but there are various calculaters online you can use.
Will you struggle to get back into work later on? Are you likely to have a pay rise in the next couple of years? I don't have any advice about the tax credits / benefits side but I'm facing a similar ish situation in that I'll almost be paying to work for a couple of years in between our twins (due in Jan) starting nursery in Jan 2019 and then getting their free childcare hours in April 2021.
For me though we will struggle to remortgage which is due Sep 2019, if I don't have a salary coming in so I need to be in work then, really. When the twins get their free hours things will loosen up a lot and we will have more spare money and be able to recoup the debts i know we will incur in the next 2 years. I would struggle to get a similar job again after being out of the workplace for a few years and plus my job is flexible so works well for me to still take the lions share of drop off / pick ups etc. Plus I do like the adult interaction at work :-D
So for us it is worth me working for almost nothing for a couple of years. The first 3 years of my DD's life has flown by so I know the next few years will too. Before I know it they will all be at school and I will be wondering where my babies went!
I did go part time after DD was born, is this an option for you? It can potentially make the sums slightly better as you are taxed less in total £, although if you commute by public transport that can make it worse as season tickets are designed for people travelling 5 days a week.
I know your situation and job may be very different but just wanted to throw a few thoughts in as you are making your decision.
Thanks for the replies! My current job has no flexibility, they will not give set days so I will be paying for a full week in nursery and essentially not be needing most of them days! I didn't realise that nurseries won't let you swap days too! I am thinking of a night job but the problem with that is that my hubby gets home from work around 18:30 and most evening jobs start at 5!
That's really rubbish of them. No set days or shift work is so difficult / impossible with kids. Hopefully you can find something to bring a bit of money in when you really need it. Even babysitting, ironing, etc. Such a pain though. Why is it so hard :-(
Ie, in the short term it makes sense to say at home (the first 5-6 years), but long term it makes more sense to keep your job, as going back to work after being a SAHM for years is really hard (almost impossible for me, I only managed to find a low paid part time job after 10 years not working)
I would look at childminders personally. This way the only way it was affordable for me to go back to work. You may still have the issue of swapping days but they are approx half the price of a nursery