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How does everyone afford to have kids?!

(53 Posts)
ParenthoodVSCareer Sat 09-Jul-16 12:16:38

Hi, I'm new here - wasn't really sure what area to put this in!

Ok, so my partner and I have been talking a lot lately about the fact that we need to start the ball rolling on having children. I'm almost 28 and I've been on the pill for over 10 years now and I'm worried that the longer we leave it we won't be able to conceive. So we have to get started now to minimise the risk of "being too late".

The issue I have, is that I have a pretty well paid job that I commute 1.5 hours to each way every day, if we were to start a family I wouldn't be able to continue to commute all that way and my partners wage wouldn't cover the cost of all of our bills now, let alone if we were to add children in to the mix.

How do others manage to have children and still afford to live a semi-decent lifestyle? confused

NoCapes Sat 09-Jul-16 12:20:07

We don't, I'm skint

AcornToOak Sat 09-Jul-16 12:22:26

What nocaps said

AcornToOak Sat 09-Jul-16 12:22:40

Nocapes sorry

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-16 12:24:04

Could you move to be closer? Or get a slightly lower paid but more local job?
Have you been saving?

milpool Sat 09-Jul-16 12:24:33

We just have to cope.

I guess in your case the sensible thing would be to look for work closer to home?

And consider whether you'd be entitled to tax credits or anything on just one wage.

ParenthoodVSCareer Sat 09-Jul-16 12:24:35

Do you have children? We don't live a lavish lifestyle now, but we've not had to resort to the basic ranges just yet. We don't live in an area that has many jobs suitable for my skillset and we wouldn't want to move away from our families. I just don't understand how people manage to get by?

Two4601 Sat 09-Jul-16 12:25:47

You cut your cloth and soon get used to it. I used to spend money on lunch every day, drinks after work, long haul holidays, latest clothes and gadgets. Don't do any of that now and don't feel any worse off. It's the nursery years that are a killer when they are in school it's so much easier.

mypropertea Sat 09-Jul-16 12:26:22

Honestly we haven't maintained our life stile. We eat well and have a new ish car witch we share and our own home (though the mortgage is the same as rental so loosing that would be pointless unless we had debts to pay off) but...We never go out/get take away/drink/holiday. And our cloths are all from charity shops.

My entire salary is not enough to cover 2 dc's child care (both under 3) so £400 of my dh's sallery is effectively lost to allow me to work full time. I know this is my choosing and I am lucky that DH supports me in wanting to keep on it with work in the hope of a promotion.

The stupid thing is we are not low earners. We defo are not high earners either. Before dc I would have thought £60k a year between us should mean we live like kings.

ohidoliketobe Sat 09-Jul-16 12:26:36

It is a big factor. We did a big sort of our finances before we stared ttc. Paid off odd little bits still outstanding on credit cards, cancelled any unnecessary direct debits/ subscriptions, started an ISA for when I would be on maternity leave. We made cut backs to grocery shopping (switched to aldi.
We obviously now don't eat out once/twice a week and visits to the pub as and when we feel like it have vanished! I don't buy new clothes as often as I used to, and actually find I'm buying better quality longer lasting items compared to the one wear for a night out type of stuff I used to buy weekly.

Would you need to give up your job? Would part time, working from home, job share be an option? It's childcare that's the biggest expense really. We've found it manageable.

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-16 12:26:48

I'm afraid I don't think there is one answer. Different people make different choices in different circumstances.
For example, presumably you could continue to commute of your dh was a sad?

Athrawes Sat 09-Jul-16 12:27:27

You can't have children and continue the exact same life you had before. Sure, you can have a full time career but if this is what you want you need to pay for full time Childcare. You afford to have them by giving up other stuff. Life changes.

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-16 12:27:32

Sahd sorry

SpeakNoWords Sat 09-Jul-16 12:27:44

What about sharing the parental leave? So you would take a shorter time off work, and then your partner would take the rest of the time off meaning you could go back to your job as the higher wage earner.

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-16 12:28:35

" you can have a full time career but if this is what you want you need to pay for full time Childcare."
Or have an other half who does childcare

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-16 12:29:53

Btw lots of people, us included have family childcare help which is incredibly helpful. Could that be an option

ParenthoodVSCareer Sat 09-Jul-16 12:32:06

My partner has said several times he would happily be a stay at home dad, which is fine by me. But I feel like I'd never get to spend any time with my children. I don't have a great relationship with my mother and I'd for that to be the case with me and my children because I've not spent much time at home with them and not been able to nurture them.

ParenthoodVSCareer Sat 09-Jul-16 12:33:49

hate for that that to be the case

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-16 12:34:04

Could you drop to part time? Compress hours?

ParenthoodVSCareer Sat 09-Jul-16 12:36:08

We have family around that could help, but I feel like we should be able to handle it without their input if needs be?

I could get a job closer to home but I'm not sure it would be one that would motivate me, if I'm not spending all the time I want to with my children I should at least be slightly tolerant of the job?

SpeakNoWords Sat 09-Jul-16 12:36:50

Have you worked out your finances for different scenarios? By which I mean do you know for certain that it's financially impossible? Don't forget about things like child benefit, workplace childcare vouchers that give you a tax saving and so on. Can you save as much as you can for a year or two? Look at reducing your outgoings as much as possible to save money now. Also, if spending time with your child(ren) is really important to you, you might need to consider changing your lifestyle completely to accommodate this. So, moving to a cheaper area, changing jobs etc.

ParenthoodVSCareer Sat 09-Jul-16 12:37:38

I probably wouldn't be able to go down to a part time job. My job is very numbers heavy and requires me to constantly be looking at ways to bump them up, I'm not sure they would let me do part time as it just wouldn't work for them?

ParenthoodVSCareer Sat 09-Jul-16 12:41:38

I'm not really sure how child benefit etc. work, sorry hmm.

We've not looked at finances in deep detail yet, but I don't know if we have a couple of years to work it out? I know you'll all probably think I'm crazy being worried about fertility at almost 28, but I remember my science teacher telling us there's not much hope after 30!?

OhTheRoses Sat 09-Jul-16 12:48:20

I had first baby at 34 and gave up work because we had saved up enough for me to do so, so I'd say you've plenty of time to get a bit more stability behind you

Rainshowers Sat 09-Jul-16 12:59:57

Also there's a thread knocking around at the moment about people who fell pregnant as soon as they come off the pill (me included) so don't think that necessarily it's now or too late. I had DD at 29 and was the youngest person in my NCT group, there's definitely length of hope after 30!

I took a new job after mat leave and went down to three days. Previously I had a 90 minute commute, the new job cut it down to an hour which just about works (mainly because my new work are really flexible). I don't love my job and I'm not particularly motivated by it, but actually working is beneficial for us because DD loves nursery and I appreciate our time together a lot more than when I was with her 7-days a week.

It does help that my DH is the higher earner. We aren't entitled to any child benefit, but found our spending is different now. E.g previously we'd go for dinner two nights and week, whereas now it's a picnic in the park or wagamamas for lunch on a Saturday and a bottle of wine at home in the evening! Holidays are our priority still.

I daresay this will all be different if we have another one, but as DD is already two it's likely we won't have two in nursery for long so that'll help on the childcare front.

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