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Financial mess impacting TTC

(81 Posts)
Thursday37 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:28:29

Please bear with this – it is quite complicated but I’d really appreciate other people’s views.

My OH now earns less than half of my salary and he was made bankrupt 2 years ago due to a failed business (he did nothing reckless, it just failed and he spent too long trying to prop it up personally). He is generally poor at managing money although has made big efforts to rein things in. I manage all of the money so that a) it all gets paid and b) I can sleep at night

At the moment we each have our own bank accounts and I have another account that is dedicated only to all of our household bills. We cannot have a joint account due to his bankruptcy – I have an excellent, unblemished record whereas his is as bad as it can be so we can have no financial associations.
He pays all of his salary into this “bill” account (it is like a joint account but not) and uses one of my credit cards (as an additional account holder) for his spending and joint things like grocery bills which I then pay in full out of the money he pays into the account. It means he has no cash, but also means he can have no debt.

I also have a horse which is expensive so although on paper I earn a lot more, I have an expensive commitment that costs as much as another mortgage, so my disposable income after I pay 50% of the household bills is negligible (usually less than £50).
I also have all of the liability because he can have no credit, so the mortgage etc is based only on my salary and we have a small amount on a 0% credit card from our new bathroom (circa £3k left to pay off).

The non-horsey might say “get rid of the horse” but that is not an option, she is an older horse, had lots of injuries and aside from OH she is my best friend. She is with me for life. Getting another after she is no longer with us will be a different decision but that is hopefully years away.

Currently we pay house bills and groceries inc. mortgage (which is in my name only) 50/50. Arguing about money (lack of) has become a huge issue in our relationship – much worse than the bankruptcy itself oddly.

Currently we can’t TTC as I just don’t see how on earth we can find the money. He can’t contribute more, I can’t afford to earn a penny less. It is not like we are on dreadful pay either (I earn around £48k, he earns £22k) but we have a large mortgage and no savings now.

On almost every post about money I see people pay a proportion towards the bills that is based on their salary (although more often than not the wife earns less and does the childcare)– but there is just no way we can do this as the sums don’t add up. So do you think it is “fair” that we split bills 50/50 or should I be paying more? At the moment I can’t see any way forward. If we had a child there is no way by OH would become a stay at home Dad, so I’d be the one working full time still to earn the money to keep the mortgage etc. But that would mean full-time childcare, so another £800pm to find. We qualify for absolutely diddly squat (no tax credits, no child benefit etc).

Feels such a mess. And I am approaching 40 so not as though we can afford to wait.

Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom or been in a similar state?

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Fri 03-Nov-17 17:35:18

The large mortgage jumps out at me. Would it be possible to sell the house and downsize, move further out from work?

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 03-Nov-17 17:38:37

What happens at the moment? It sounds as though each of you puts everything in and has the same small amount out.

How come you've no money? £48K is a good salary and you should be able to fund the horse as well with that (unless you're in London.) Are you saying he has spending money and you don't?

Viviennemary Fri 03-Nov-17 17:45:16

If nothing is going to give then the situation won't change. It doesn't matter who pays for what if your outgoings nearly exceed your income things will be tight. You either have to increase your income or decrease your outgoings. There really isn't any other way that I can think of.

If you have a combined income of around £70K and no children to support I can't see that even with a horse and a big mortgage money is so tight. what about a lodger? Or downsize as somebody else suggests That's the only thing I can think of.

smu06set Fri 03-Nov-17 17:45:22

Large mortgage is definitely the stumbling block. Can you look at changing deals? Less upheaval than moving!
Horse - is she on DIY livery? If not can you move to that? Cheaper each month.
Then it's other big costs, do you have cars? If so get cheaper ones. Utilities - switch to cheaper deals. Cut out meals out, takeaway coffees, other random spends. I bet you can shave enough off that you could just about afford to have a baby and go part time.

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 03-Nov-17 17:48:20

Does he live rent-free then? You pay the whole mortgage? Does he think he owns any of the house?

NapQueen Fri 03-Nov-17 17:48:38

Can you downsize? Assuming thw horse is stabled elsewhere a two bed flat would be totally fine to raise a child in if that would reduce your outgoings.

If you have 50 a month to spend on yourself, does he? Or does he spend more on personal things?

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 03-Nov-17 17:50:28

Sorry, I keep getting confused with this. You pay everything 50-50 but you also have the horse on top of that? So if he can pay 50% on his lower wage, why can you not manage on yours?

Thursday37 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:52:11

We already live an hour away from where I work, there is nothing cheaper (we bought the cheapest thing we coudl afford that is near to my OH's elderly father) and house is a modest size (3 bed semi). The mortgage is large because we had a small deposit. There are a few things we would get rid of (Sky TV and Cleaner) if we had a child but that doesn't add up to a huge sum. I have a cheap lease car so it is reliable but cost effective to commute (I do at least 15k miles a year) as I don't have to service or MOT it. Other than that, no luxuries (although horse is a good £600 a month).

At the moment we both have less than £50 each most months so it is not like either of us is winning!

I do have a second house which is BTL - the home I lived in before I met my OH. The rental income covers the mortgage, wear and tear and whopping big tax bill. I want to keep it if I can though as OH will have next to no pension so it will keep is going in retirement. It is why our mortgage is so large though as all my equity is in this (around £180k). But my tax adviser has advised it remains separate as it is currently "not a matrimonial asset" and as such if the worst was to happen my OH can have no claim on it. If I remortgage it to put the equity into our home we would have reduced outgoings but he would have equal claim on it.

I know it might sound daft to worry about that as we aren't in that much difficulty in our relationship - but my parents had a horrible divorce and having seen my OH go bankrupt I don't want to risk the asset. I know it is not nice to think of "mine" and "yours" but in this case my old house feels very much "mine" and I am scared to lose it. Is that horribly selfish?

Bombardier25966 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:54:08

Does he live rent-free then? You pay the whole mortgage? Does he think he owns any of the house?

OP clearly states they pay the mortgage 50/50.

OP how much does the horse cost, and is the mortgage reasonable for your area? I understand your attachment to your horse, but if that's the difference between being able to afford a baby or not, then you'll need to choose between the two.

Thursday37 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:55:51

We live rurally so no flats around here, plus we have 4 cats and chickens so need a garden. I need to live somewhere where my horse can be stabled and have good riding that fits around my commute.
OH needs to be within 20 miles of his work as his job involves driving.

I do appreciate everyone's answers - it is hard to get everything across online without giving too much away (OH would go mad if anyone knew about the bankruptcy - literally no-one knows).

Viviennemary Fri 03-Nov-17 17:56:20

Is the expensive commitment which costs as much as the mortgage the horse. Or is it something else. I take it that it's the horse. I know they're expensive to keep but didn't think it was as much as a large mortgage. You need to be a bit clearer as it is mystifying as to why two people can't manage on a combined income of £70K per year.

Bombardier25966 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:58:39

(although horse is a good £600 a month).

That's a ridiculous amount. Keep the horse or have a child, the choice is yours (and it's quite reasonable if you choose the horse!).

But my tax adviser has advised it remains separate as it is currently "not a matrimonial asset" and as such if the worst was to happen my OH can have no claim on it

Rubbish. Unless your marriage ended after a short time then all of your assets would go into the pot. You may be allocated a higher proportion but that's not guaranteed, especially if no children were involved.

Bombardier25966 Fri 03-Nov-17 18:00:17

4 cats and chickens so need a garden

You don't need a garden, and you don't need all these pets. You want them. That's fine, but you must see why you've no spare cash!

2014newme Fri 03-Nov-17 18:01:50

You say you have no disposable income, what's actually the case is that you choose to Spend the disposable income on the horse. You say the horse costs as much as another mortgage.

So your options are :
-downsize on mortgage (but remember moving is expensive)
-get rid of the horse
-find a way to earn more eg providing livery to another horse or renting out a room
-or choose not to ttc

I'd rather have a child than a horse but we all make different choices
Good luck!

2014newme Fri 03-Nov-17 18:04:00

I have to say that someo with a second property and an expensive pet saying g they can't afford a child is actually them Saying they don't want to make sacrifices to have the child. But you do have options

OliviaBenson Fri 03-Nov-17 18:04:08

Well yes, based on all that you can't afford to TTC.

It all depends on where your priorities are....

NewtsSuitcase Fri 03-Nov-17 18:06:00

Erm sorry but you have a horse, a decent sized house and a second property plus sky TV a lease car and a cleaner. I'm not sure what the issue is.

2014newme Fri 03-Nov-17 18:07:07

What you really need to think of it as is 'I can't afford a child because I'd rather spend the money on other things'. Nothing wrong with that.

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 03-Nov-17 18:08:16

You earn £26K more than he does. You pay £600 for the house and presumably you pay for your car as well out of your own money. Do you pay for the cleaner, Sky etc as well? I'm trying to work out where it's all going to if he has the same left as you each month on less than half the salary.

I think a PP had it - you will have to choose whether to have your horse and other animals or a baby. You simply can't afford both.

LetsSplashMummy Fri 03-Nov-17 18:15:58

Could you offer a "horse share" where a local child helps care for and pay towards the horse in return for being able to ride it?

Some mortgages allow a reduction during maternity leave, or could you change to interest only for the brief period you have childcare to pay?

The nearby elderly father- horrible to ask this but it would be really sad to inherit money after you are too old to TTC having put it off for financial reasons. Could he lend you money, if you are likely to be a beneficiary in a few years? Sure he would rather meet a grandchild than die with a pot of cash. If not that elderly, could he help with looking after DCs?

Personally I would juggle the debt of 2-3yrs childcare (taking maternity and free hours into account) rather than never have children. If you have about 3yrs of horse care left you know you can repay it after the horse has died.

Thursday37 Fri 03-Nov-17 18:17:20

He gets roughly £1500 net, I get roughly £2700 net. Bills and groceries and "joint" credit commitments are roughly £2900. My horse, car (inc fuel etc), phone, life insurance and card repayments are roughly £1200. So we both end up with around £50.

It's just not going to work is it. Ho hum. In 10 years or so OH should be up to a better income and I might be horseless. But he'll be mid 50's and I'll be almost 50. This is the downside of meeting your partner far too late.

Horse is going nowhere - I cannot pts a happy healthy animal (she had injuries but is better). She is almost 20, worth less than her saddle now and is my world, for me it would be like killing off a relative in a care home to save a few quid. Just not going to happen. My livery is cheap but she needs specialist feeding and can't live out, so nothing that can be cut there apart from £80 a month on lessons . So with that the cleaner and Sky I could save about £230 a month - but that won't get us much childcare.

I can't work part-time, if I did that we wouldn't qualify for the mortgage as my OH's income cannot be factored in. The affordability check can only be based on me even though he pays half. So I will always have to work full-time. I'm all for equality but it is blooming frustrating to be the main breadwinner and the one that would have to take mat leave!

Adviceplease360 Fri 03-Nov-17 18:17:27

Two homes, a horse, cleaner,sky tv and other pets but you can't afford to have a baby. Okay then.

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Fri 03-Nov-17 18:17:50

This is more a case of “I don’t want to make any changes to free up some cash for a child” than “I can’t afford a child”. Which is fine, but it’s entirely your own choice.

BarbaraOcumbungles Fri 03-Nov-17 18:20:07

So it’s horse or baby, basically.

You have to make your decision what you want more.

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