New mum-to-be need advice about how on earth I afford this!!!

(140 Posts)
MOGMOGMOG85 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:18:50

Hi there,

I'm 17 weeks pregnant and recently spoke to a friend about childcare costs and was horrified at how expensive it is! I currently am a relatively low wage of £21000 and after my travel expenses and taxes and when I worked out childcare costs I would be working full time and bringing home £200 a month which I'm sorry there is no way I'm doing that!

My friend said I might qualify for universal credit for childcare costs - I wondered if anyone might know whether I would or not? My partner earns £27000 but again after travel and taxes etc brings home about £1350 a month. He might just be able to pay our mortgage and bills but I will need to earn enough for food at the very least and preferably a little extra to give us some breathing room - what if the fridge breaks down or something like that??

I'm currently weighing up self-employed options that would allow me to work from home with my baby. One idea I've had is buying and selling stuff on an online shop, as I will have time to go to auctions and jumble sales etc (when normal life resumes). Another is a vegan food delivery service from home for which you need minimal qualifications to start up. I think in reality I'm going to need to find a variety of ways to make little bits here and there. I've done it before (I once had 7 different jobs) and am quite adaptable and stealthy at finding unusual ways to make money (not loads, I wish, but enough to get by anyway), but obviously we're heading into a complete unknown with the economy right now and I've also never done it with a baby in tow! I'm also going to be trying to live on a shoestring at the same time which makes things harder - re-usable nappies and everything cooked from scratch etc.

Anyway I guess I'm asking for advice on any government benefits I might be entitled to - my suspicion is that my partners wage means we won't qualify for anything except child benefit...

And also asking for experiences and ideas from those of you who went self employed to make your family work? I know a lot of women do it, and it's really amazing how adaptable we are to make sure our families get by. I am currently a gardener but employed gardening work is so low paid. My current job at £21000 is basically the top end of what you could earn and I've usually been on a lot less! I could do some private work on the weekends but I'm hoping to find weekday or evening work as my partner works late and we only really spend quality time on the weekends! I have half an eye on making sure our relationship stays healthy too and that we get to spend time all together as a family! A lot to think about and balance up, and it seems its me who's having to do the working out - partner, as the main earner, doesn't have to worry about changing a thing :-/

Big wave hello to any mums-to-be out there in a similar position or mums who have already gone through this!


OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:23:26

I currently am a relatively low wage of £21000

My friend said I might qualify for universal credit for childcare costs - I wondered if anyone might know whether I would or not? My partner earns £27000

On a joint income of £48,000? Are you serious? You expect to get universal credits to pay for your baby on that household income?

Childcare is a joint expense. Not just yours. You and your partner need to work together to arrange your work and childcare pattern. You could both work 4 days a week and pay for just 3 days of childcare. Or one work evenings and weekends so no childcare costs.

MOGMOGMOG85 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:25:23

Lol thanks for your rude message @Smallsteps88 - if you read my message I am asking for advice for ways to make money evenings/weekends :D

OP’s posts: |
Pippinsqueak Tue 30-Jun-20 12:25:49

My husband and I earn lower than you and we can still afford four day a week childcare with the government scheme and love. Yes you won't be going on holidays or doing your house up etc but you can live and have a baby on that wage

Smallsteps88 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:26:12

partner, as the main earner, doesn't have to worry about changing a thing

Nip that in the bud right now. Yes he does. Make this very clear to him. I’d be making this non negotiable before I agreed to continue the pregnancy tbh.

Smallsteps88 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:27:19

if you read my message I am asking for advice for ways to make money evenings/weekends :D

Anyway I guess I'm asking for advice on any government benefits I might be entitled to


Pippinsqueak Tue 30-Jun-20 12:27:59

and in regards to getting evening work/weekend work just be mindful how busy and tired you will be with a baby. Especially if you have a bad sleeper like mine, 17 months in and there is no way I could even do online work on top of my four days a week to make extra money


Pippinsqueak Tue 30-Jun-20 12:28:37

And yes your partner has to contribute equally

MOGMOGMOG85 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:29:42

My partner can't work part time. So it falls to me to make up the shortfall somehow. As I said I would be bringing home £200 a month post childcare costs which wouldn't even be enough for food. So I am thinking outside the box for other ways to make money smile I thought it might be the case we wouldn't qualify for anything but since my friend mentioned it to me I thought I'd ask! I was also asking for experiences from women who have had a career change and gone self employed. At the moment (as i said lol) my partner could cover the mortgage and bills just about but I would need to earn enough for food at least as well as a buffer so that we don't get into trouble when inevitable other expenses arise. I'm nervous/excited about stepping into the unknown and acknowledging how hard it is going to be. Try reading the whole message maybe before being so rude, that would be much appreciated! smile

OP’s posts: |
MOGMOGMOG85 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:30:53

@Pippinsqueak what is the government scheme? Thanks

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:32:07

My partner can't work part time. So it falls to me to make up the shortfall somehow.

So maybe instead of reducing his hours he can increase his income. He doesn’t get to just do nothing and expect you to pull your hair out trying to make ends meet. That’s not a partnership.

JudgeRindersMinder Tue 30-Jun-20 12:32:23

Why oh why don’t people look into this as part of planning to have kids?

pinkcarpet Tue 30-Jun-20 12:32:38

You need a mindset shift. Your income and your partner's income needs to be seen as household income, and childcare is a household expense. Sit down and work out a budget between you.

Also remember that childcare costs change with the childs age. From age 0-3 there is minimal support but from age 3 oneards you will likely get a funded place at a local nursery and once your child starts school then you may only be looking for childcare outside of school hours.

If you are self employed you can work whatever hours you want and fit it in around your child. If one of you works 9-5 office hours the other could work night shifts or weekends so you wouldn't need as much childcare. Whatever you do it has to be decided as a family and has to work for both partners. This is not about you finding a solution on your own

Fatted Tue 30-Jun-20 12:32:42

Welcome to life with kids OP!

What is your take home pay and what are your outgoings each month? How much has your friend told you childcare costs? Where do you live? I earn £22500 and DH earns £25000. We currently pay £600 per month for wrap around child care for two kids. We didn't pay for full time childcare when both were little. When DS1 was a baby, we were spending around £500 on childcare.

You can afford it. You do need to make sacrifices and changes now before you have the baby. You won't qualify for any tax credits or universal credit for child care costs. You earn too much. You will qualify for tax free childcare which will save you a bit. Look at things like condensed hours to save a day or two in childcare costs. DH works compressed hours so we paid for 4 days a week when DS1 was a baby. You can also look at part time working. When my DS2 was born, it would have cost us £1k per month in childcare. I went part time working evenings so we didn't pay for child care for three years until he got his funded hours. Also shop around for nurseries and childminders.

MOGMOGMOG85 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:33:24

Also I'm not expecting to go on holidays or do the house up! What I want is to be able to pay for a roof over our heads, bills and food, and a tiny bit extra to save in case the hits the fan. I didn't say I want to go on holidays. At the moment genuinely the figures aren't adding up and I'm worried/in planning mode smile

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:33:33

Did you not discuss/work out the finances before deciding to have a child?

Elllicam Tue 30-Jun-20 12:34:16

Try the earn £10 a day thread, they have a lot of good ideas. I do Appen and crisp and am earning about £900 - £1200 a month between them. They do risk analysis/data analysis/transcription type work.
(You need a CV but I just did an online CV builder thing and it only took 5 minutes)

(There’s a waiting list but they seem to be hiring on at the moment)

Placesrobe7099292 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:34:29

Can you look for a job for the weekends of evenings?
So you go to work when your other half gets home?
Or you work Saturday and Sunday’s each week?

Childcare is expensive, DH and I both work full time. Dd nursery bill is just under 1k, DS childcare bill for breakfast & after school is 180 a month. But it’s not forever.

That’s what you need to remember, if you both earn over 100 a week you get 30 free hours of nursery the term after their 3rd birthday.

Smallsteps88 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:36:09

And I’m sure it goes without saying but both of you need to be saving as much as possible now And through your maternity leave towards childcare costs.

lockdownbreakdown Tue 30-Jun-20 12:36:35

You would be better off working evenings and weekends while your partner works 9-5 until the child is 3. You would take home more money. My friend got a job working 5-9 in the evenings instead of going back to her old job, because she had twins and couldnt afford the childcare.

Smallsteps88 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:37:14

You could both take on more work now to add to your savings.

WearyandBleary Tue 30-Jun-20 12:37:20

If your partner’s 27k only covers housing and bills, you need to downsize and quickly. We moved to a small (shite) commuter town before we had a family for this reason.

And what everyone else has said.

pinkcarpet Tue 30-Jun-20 12:37:23

Also I should have added that my partner went self employed and he works 7am to 9am and 6pm to 10pm and he looks after our children in the daytime while I work. I also work flexibly and if he needs to work during my normal working hours then I book time off. We're a team.

Georgielovespie Tue 30-Jun-20 12:37:50

Maybe you should have looked into the cost of childcare before getting pregnant. I think a lot of people get swept away looking at cute prams and nursery decor and forget to look into the cost of childcare.

Firstly you could use a childminder rather than a nursery. This isn't forever just for a few years before your child goes to school. Then you would just need to cover the 13 weeks of school holidays that they get rather than 5 days a week. grin

Secondly, what could you cut back on now that would mean your £200 take home pay could be increased by?

I hate to tell you this but the you will probably be exhausted from having a baby, if you are really lucky then you might be a rare type who doesn't but for the vast majority of parents it feels like you have hit a brick wall running. Keeping your career going might be the better option than finding another job, but you will need to look into that.

Bionical89 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:38:38

Me and my husband both worked full time before we had our son. I went on maternity leave then returned part time as it made no sense to go back full time and pay full time nursery fee's.

Since then (my son is 3), I've always worked part time. We make it work. My husband changes his hours where possible to do pick ups from the nursery. Everytime there's a new set of circumstances (nursery hours change, family can't help etc) we make it work by working around each other. You both need to be on board to make it work as you'll both need to be prepared to take annual leave and adjust things to make it work.

When you put your mind to it, it can usually always work. If your household is only going to be £200 a month better off with you working full time, there really is no point in that unless you have a great career and gaps would hinder your career. So you start looking at the possibility that you could perhaps work 3 evenings maybe, 15 hours a week or something then you need no childcare and could come out with £600 a month. There's various options. Speaking to family members and seeing if they can help etc.

One thing for sure is, your husband can't sit back and let you take care of it all! If you had both decided that you would be a stay at home mum then ok, he could focus on being the bread winner and you doing the childcare but you both need to work so you both need to work this out

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