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Teddington on a budget?!/Cost of living for fam of 4(7 Posts)
Hi, everyone. We’re a family of 4 (me, DH, our then-to-be 5-year old boy and 2-year old girl) planning on moving back to the UK from abroad. Whilst deep down I think I know this is probably completely unattainable financially speaking, I just can’t seem to stop myself clutching onto a teeny glimmer of hope. You see, I have a dream, and the dream is… Teddington!
I was born there and lived there until the ripe old age of six – probably nostalgia, but I have very happy memories of the place, and from what I’ve read online it seems to still be well-loved by families…. What appeals most is the high street, the villagey feel, the sportsy vibe, the walkable nature of the place and – the absolute cruncher – Bushy Park, Hampton Ct, oh, and of course the river, too. Plus all the sentimental stuff about going back to my roots and all that (particularly as I think that’s where my Mum, who passed away last year, was probably happiest). Basically, I’d give my right arm to live there if I could, but the big question on my mind is… can Teddington on a budget be done?!
Initially we’d be aiming to rent just a two-bed flat (ideally with a garden), and the very cheapest options I’ve seen online go for about 1,300. Having lived abroad for over 14 years, I’m out of the loop on cost of living with kids, so am trying to work out how much we’d have to budget for on top of the basic monthly rental, eg for Council Tax, Gas, Elec, Water, etc? And what might I be looking at for full-time childcare for a 2-year old (assuming it makes financial sense to work full-time, once childcare costs are taken into account?).
Just writing this all down now already fills me with a sense of doom as I fear my Teddington aspirations may be just a pipedream tbh. On the additional income side, I’ve heard about child tax credit, child care vouchers with some jobs, etc, but I have no idea how much these will all come to in total. Basically, I’m trying to work out how much me and my OH would need to earn between us to cover cost of living if our rent was in the 1300-1500 region. In theory we’re two ‘professional’ people, but since we’re both in the charity sector – and I’ve also been a SAHM for the last 4 years – I’m not sure if that will cut it
Is there any way on Earth that Teddington is even remotely accessible to ordinary folks, or do you absolutely have to be on two juicy City salaries to get by there nowadays?! Sorry for the long post, and many TIA for being gentle with me…. Again, I know this is probably all very pie in the sky, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to at least ask!
I’m in a similar position, so watching with interest.
Oh, it's comforting to hear I'm not alone, ThisIsTheFirstStep! Crossing fingers someone on here might have some (positive?!) words of wisdom for us...
Anyone?! I appreciate this is a waffly post, so in case it helps, the major question is: roughly HOW MUCH MIGHT MY PARTNER AND I NEED TO EARN AS JOINT INCOME, based on the scenario that we’d be both be working, PAYING AROUND 1200/MONTH IN RENT, sending one child to nursery, with another child in primary school, and generally trying to live quite frugally?! Any insights would be much appreciated.. Huge thanks in advance!
I don’t think I can help answer your main question (how much you need as household income) but your biggest expense might very well be nursery fees. When we checked to send our 1 year old to nursery in Twickenham, so nearby but not Teddington, it would have been about £1600 a month for 4 days a week.
£1300 rent minimum, I think £1200 is unrealistic
£125 council tax (guess, based on mine which is for a very small house in the same borough and is £170 a month)
£300 food living reasonably frugally for four people but not at rock bottom expenditure
£80-£100 energy bills (again, just basing this on what's a bit less than mine in a house)
£1500 nursery fees for the smaller child minimum
£250 per month minimum for after school club for the child at school (maybe more, not sure these days) which is probably about a tenner a day so quite possibly more than that
These are minimum figures and the reality might be more.
That is £3555 per month.
There's a website where you can put in what you might earn and your outgoings and see what benefits you'd be entitled to, here: www.entitledto.co.uk/
I put in that you earned £3000 a month and your partner £2000 and the figures above, assumed no other income or savings, and it said you would get a bit less than £100 weekly in housing benefit and child benefit. You should do it yourself with the real likely figures. It also said that you might get more under Universal Credit.
Also, look here, which says you about £60,000 between you for a take home pay of £3555: www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/lifestyle.php
This leaves no leeway for emergencies etc really with just £100 a month left to play with after essentials - and I did not factor in anything like insurance for your belongings or money to buy clothes and other non-supermarket essentials. So to be comfortable if not rich, you'd need more than that.
Hampton Hill or Hampton are more affordable and still have easy access to Bushy Park/Hampton Court/Teddington and the river. They also have the villagey feel and lots of families live there.