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NOW CLOSED: Could you and your family live off £85 a week? Take part in the Unum challenge and find out. There are 10 lots of £100 Amazon vouchers to be won.

(103 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 04-Jul-12 11:44:39

Unum, the Income Protection providers, are looking for 50 Mumsnetters and their families to take part in the Unum Challenge. You may remember we recently conducted a survey for Unum with regards to managing your finances. The results to one question revealed that only 28% of Mumsnetters think their family would be able to live off £85 per week - so Unum now want to put this to the test! Last year they ran a project with a blogger and you can read how she got on here and here.

How would you cope if your salary (or your partners salary) was reduced to £85 a week? Why £85 a week? - because this is all that you'd be entitled to if you were unable to work through illness or injury and you were receiving Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). (Of course you may also be entitled to sick pay from your employer or via an income protection scheme).

The aim of the challenge is to show how families cope with living on this amount - the challenges faced and to explore what families see a priority expenditure and what can be dropped. Please note quotes from the challengers may be used on the Unum pages on Mumsnet.

For this challenge Unum are looking for families who have at lease one income earner in the household - and we are looking for those with a range of incomes, a range of family sizes and both those for whom this challenge sounds ok and those who think it's impossible.

If you are selected to take part then Unum say "we would like you and your family to see how you'd cope if one of the wages in your household was reduced to £85 for one week and to tell us about your experiences on a feedback thread. If you live in a household with just one wage, this represents a stiff challenge, but even in households with two wage earners it may well make you think more about what you're spending".

Challengers will need to give diary-style feedback on a thread of what they spent and on what - and how they managed to cut down on spending and what areas where impossible to cut down on. We'd like challengers to behave as normally as possible but to really think about what is being spent and what could be reduced/ removed from the weekly budget. You'd also need to consider other resources you may have access to including savings, benefits, loans and family support.

The challenge will start next Monday 9th July and last a week. Challengers will need to add feedback ideally three times a week across the week along with a final summary of their thoughts and a conclusion as to whether they passed the challenge or not. You don't have to reveal personal spending habits/ income on the thread if you don't want to - and you are welcome to name change.

Please only apply if you are around w/c 9 July to add feedback.

Research conducted by Unum shows 64% of UK private companies only offer their employers SSP if they are off work for longer than four consecutive days. This is the legal minimum they are required to offer by law, entitling employees to only £85.85 a week (in this current tax year), rather than their usual salary.

As a thank you for taking part, as well as hopefully saving some money, Unum can offer £100 of Amazon vouchers to 10 lucky challengers who add feedback as required. You will need to give feedback three times during the week plus a final round up of your thoughts.

So if you'd like to take part in the challenge, please sign up here. It's open to all UK Mumsnetters.

Thanks and good luck!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Jul-12 16:45:31

Thanks to everyone who signed up - I will send you the info over a bit later on today or tomorrow. Owl - I've taken you off the list.

Thanks for all the comments about this challenge - certainly food for thought.

Unum's challenge is designed to get folks thinking about income protection generally - by thinking about expenditure in their family and also about what plans they have in place should the unexpected happen. It's not trying to generate stats or to replicate exactly what it would actually be like - more to capture reactions across a short space of time (to get a snapshot). That said, we at MNHQ, do acknowledge that the challenge could be seen as perhaps insensitive to and by some.

We know money, benefits and the like can be tricky - and touchy - issues on MN and that folks' circumstances vary wildly within our community. However, we also recognise that companies such as Unum can provide a product that may help families in certain circumstances. We know it's not for everybody though and we wouldn't dream of suggesting that it is - something that holds true for all products we run product tests and surveys on or carry ads for.

Best, MNHQ

CouthyMow Sat 07-Jul-12 21:23:56

Unless they deem your health issue to be one that was pre-existing but undiagnosed, in which case their 'income protection' products wouldn't be paid out to you anyway.

And there's many ways existing insurers use that as a get-out clause already - which I have personal experience of - that they claim symptoms of my epilepsy had been misdiagnosed as depression, and therefore my income protection didn't pay out...

And Unum are even worse, my insurer was one that used to have the Name of a county, but now has changed names...

121 Wed 11-Jul-12 23:36:45

Oh dear, have they reopened this under another name??? bollocks

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