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Question for SAHMs

(25 Posts)
YouDoTheMath Wed 10-Aug-11 13:13:33

I have a 15 month old DD and will be going on maternity leave again in November before the arrival of DC2.

I won't be returning to work, as childcare for two children only 18 months apart in age will be akin to taking on another mortgage.

Anyway, we aren't minted by any means but we can afford for me to not work if we tighthen the purse strings and don't spend without thinking.

But every now and then my mind starts wandering and I freak out about not having my own money. It sort of feels like I'll be out of control, having to rely on DH for whatever handouts he can afford to give me.

Can you tell me how you cope, and if there's anything you have done to make a few pennies from home?

mamasunshine Wed 10-Aug-11 13:18:54

Watching as I'm just trying to make a decision to give up work to be SAHM. Have ds 3, ds2 2 and dd 6mo. So small gaps too! Very scary to not be 'earning' as such.

InTheZenGarden Wed 10-Aug-11 13:20:29

I think it's a very personal thing, and dependent on your relationship with your DH. I have been with DH for 15 years, in the early days he was kind of financially dependent on me as he was studying. Ever since then, I have earned far more than he has. So when I/we decided I would be a SAHM, I already felt like I'd paid more into the pot for a few years, so could "afford" to let him be the breadwinner.

We have a joint account, any "spare" cash he has when he's paid he puts in there. I take what I need from there to pay my credit card bill (I do all the shopping), then put the rest in savings. So I never have to "ask" for money.

It does seem a little odd at birthdays, christmas etc, when I give him a present, knowing he has paid for it himself. But it is the thought behind the present that is more important. and I guess that unless you both earn exactly the same amount, you would always feel that...

Sorry, bit of a ramble, but honestly, I don't find it odd at all. And I do intend on going back to work when the kids are at school, so don't see this as permanent.

Oh, and a BIG plus - DH really appreciates me staying at home with the kids smile

Graciescotland Wed 10-Aug-11 13:21:50

We have a joint account, it's our money not his IYSWIM

NasalCoffeeEnema Wed 10-Aug-11 13:23:09

Well my dh doesn't give me handouts. We have no money but we have no money as a family. The money in our account is as much mine and his and if anything I have more control over it as he is crap with money management.

blibblibs Wed 10-Aug-11 13:27:04

You could be me OP, exactly the same thing happend after our second DC (15m gap).

I managed by having DH wages go into a joint account for household stuff and my own account which had a standing order set up every month so I had my own money, without having to ask for it all the time. Its not alot (£100) but means I don't have to ask for bus fares, coffee, playgroup money etc.

Never made any money from home but now that the youngest is two I do have a weekend job, which avoids any childcare costs, but we still have the same set up and my wages go into the joint account too

YouDoTheMath Wed 10-Aug-11 13:29:50

Thanks InTheZenGarden, I know he will appreciate me staying at home which is a big plus - it's not as if he's doing it grudgingly.

And Graciescotland my DH also refers to the money as "ours not his", so that's another plus.

I'm just not used to it, I suppose... Still feels a bit odd.

camdancer Wed 10-Aug-11 13:29:52

I'm in the same situation as you - going back to work would cost us money. So me being a sahm is the best thing for our family finances. DH and I just have one joint account. I am not taking DH's money or relying on handouts. It is family money.

Tillyscoutsmum Wed 10-Aug-11 13:36:30

It does feel a bit odd at first tbh. DH transfers an amount into my account each month. It covers food, clothes and some spending money. I also have a credit card which I can use if I need (for presents, household items, christmas etc) and I just have to let DH know how much extra I need at the end of the month to pay off the credit card

I sometimes sell a few bits on ebay (baby things, clothes etc.) and that money is my extra. Also, I get the benefit of any savings I can make on food shopping. I'm much more careful with meal planning, shopping around etc than I used to be

YouDoTheMath Wed 10-Aug-11 15:20:33

Agree Tillyscoutsmum, we've got into that awful habit of popping into the supermarket most evenings after work, just to get dinner for that evening. And then of course you end up buying other things you just happen to see or fancy. Will definitely have to be a better meal-planner.

aquos Wed 10-Aug-11 15:27:25

We have a joint account. Prior to having children I'd always worked full time and continued to do so until my two were 4 and 5. I then went part time and finally became a SAHM when they were 6 and 7.

For the first few months I remember feeling as though I couldn't spend any money on me because I wasn't earning. Then I realised that me being a SAHM was what was enabling dh to do the job he wants, with all of it's erratic hours and over nighters.

gailpottertilsleyplatt Wed 10-Aug-11 15:38:54

Joint account is the only way, couldn't have the kind of relationship that some on this thread have where they have to ask DH for money!

jojane Wed 10-Aug-11 15:41:10

Since we went travelling/worked abroad for 3 years our money has always been 'joint', with joint accoiunt. I control finances mainly and DH never spends anything without asking unless just a couple of quid. We just see it as family money but he does have the attitude that providing for the family isn't just about money - I contribute by cooking/cleaning/looking after the kids etc which is just as important as earning money.

Taffeta Wed 10-Aug-11 15:48:21

A massive amount depends on your DH's attitude to you being a SAHM. My DH was keen for me to look after the DC, so if there was ever a snipe about spending (not very often), then I'd remind him that we could swap if he preferred.

I was a SAHM for 7 years, went back 3 months ago. Now I am earning again it doesn't feel any different. I guess this is because we have a joint account and any feelings of guilt about spending on myself or whatever are to do with the fairness of the split income, and who gets most out of it, rather than who actually earns it, iyswim.

Who actually earns it is largely irrelevant in our house. I earn some now and expect DH to do a bit more with the DC and around the house, where before I expected to do the lion's share.

But as others have said, a joint account is vital.

Sleepglorioussleep Wed 10-Aug-11 16:09:47

We're a partnership that works best with completely joint finances and that has been the case long before dc arrived. I am now largely sahm doing some casual work. Dh earns more than I could, but couldn't do his job without my support in lots of practical ways and also just in understanding its demands and accepting. Also, we have both contributed in some ways to his progress up the career ladder. He's kept me sane as a sahm. He had a house which he sold to buy our current house, but we couldn't have bought it with just his salary at the time. He couldn't have been pregnant or given birth so having the family how we did would have been impossible. So we are happy to see contributions as more than financial and difficult to value and therefore for us talking about his or my money not relevant. And helps us keep finances in check not to have separate accounts-I would def handle money poorly. Not the same as dh checking my spending because I'm spending his money wisely or otherwise-I am responsible and accountable for spending our money wisely (give or take the odd little naughty treat bought with cash wink). I don't account for every penny and it us dh who keeps best track of finances and will let me know when things are tighter (I usually roughly know anyway) I buy his birthday and Christmas gifts with cash just so he doesn't guess from statements what he's getting! People manage finances successfully in many different ways, independent finances work brilliantly for friends of ours with very different spending patterns and philosophies. Just make sure you are both on the same page-whatever happens to be written on it. Sometimes neither of us understands completely some of the things we both buy or want, so then we either accept that the other needs to do what the other sees as madness (coffees for me, gadgets for him) occasionally.

Sleepglorioussleep Wed 10-Aug-11 16:10:56

Should have added... Or we discuss the spending and either compromise or change.

PussInConverse Wed 10-Aug-11 16:18:29

Dh pays into joint account which should cover mortgage, bills, food shopping. He also puts some into a savings account (some months!).
The rest is divided between us for us to do what we want with, so no need to ask for money.

I don't have extra income, but will be going back freelance soon. I think these earnings will be for holidays/emergencies, but we haven't discussed it yet.

MilkyChopsKid Wed 10-Aug-11 21:35:59

Try and have some savings and keep them in your name if you are not working, this makes sense as you can get interest without the tax deducted whereas your DH will pay tax. Savings are important just in case of sudden illness/demise/running off with somebody else...

Loopymumsy Wed 10-Aug-11 21:46:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AngelDog Thu 11-Aug-11 23:04:34

Doesn't bother me, but we've always shared everything - we've never had 'his' money and 'my' money: it's all always been joint, except for what we've each been given as family for birthday/Christmas presents.

DH funded my PGCE. I stayed working full time for longer than either of us would have ideally liked so we could save up for his theological training. He's been working alongside studying so I can stay being a SAHM for longer without having to re-start work to supplement his income in the future.

We have a strict virtually-no-spending without the other's approval though, which helps given that we are a no-regular-income household at the moment.

EssexGurl Fri 12-Aug-11 11:49:55

When we were both working we had a joint account that we paid a certain amount of our wages into for house stuff (bills, mortgage, supermarket shop etc). We also had our personal acounts to spend as we saw fit.

I became a SAHM a year ago. I was taking money out of the joint account as most of my money is spent on kids. But earlier this year DH started paying an allowance into my personal account as he knows I am terrible at buying things for myself.

TBH whilst I appreciate the thought, I was happier taking money out of the joint account. In the first month of my "allowance" I overspent as I needed to buy new glasses unexpectedly, so ended up being extra cautious the next month. I think I am going to suggest taking all my spending out of the joint account as it always feels like "our" money and I don't like being given my pocket money!

I think you need to do what you feel comfortable with - and be honest with your partner on this one. Being a SAHM is a big job and you need to feel comfortable with it.

Unrulysun Fri 12-Aug-11 12:17:49

Agree totally with all the other comments re 'our money not his'. And it does make more sense to manage money if you're at home for all sorts of reasons (e.g. if I order something we need online itsaves him doing it during his busy day and I can arrange for delivery when I'm in)

If it helps remember that you're doing something which otherwise would need to be done and paid for. If you were at work dc's wouldn't just make their own sandwiches and take it in turns on the slide would they?

Octaviapink Fri 12-Aug-11 12:22:21

I am on my second maternity leave at the moment, and have just told work I am not going back... Like you, we have two under three and the childcare costs would have eaten my entire salary. We can't quite manage it on just DH's salary so I have qualified as a childminder and am currently awaiting my Ofsted inspection. Also, I was too scared by the prospect of not earning anything at all! I do like to have my own money - I knit quite a lot and don't want to have to ask him for money to spend on yarn (which is NOT cheap, for those of you who don't knit). Likewise he doesn't want to have to feel like he's doing me out of a new pair of jeans when he buys a record.

Tantana Fri 12-Aug-11 13:58:58

Hi everybody im a sahm to 6 kids,they are 16,11,10,7,4 and 19 months old,my hubby works full time but we still have very little money and cant afford any luxuries (we havnt had a holiday for 5 years)and we dont have a car big enough for us all to fit in but we are both big believers that the children should have a parent at home therefore we just accept we are going to be skint for a long time but i love being at home with them i couldnt bear to leave them.

naturalbaby Fri 12-Aug-11 14:36:11

i ran out of 'my' money a few months ago and dh had to sit down and go through all his accounts and monthly bills working everything out and planning. we have a joint account and he transfers a bit every month or when i need it to my personal account (very little!)

as much as i'd love to have my own money again from work i'd much rather spend a few more months at home while my kids are tiny to save the money, stress and hassle of childcare. we both know and hope it's temporary and i'm living in dreamland planning my next career for when all the kids are at school/nursery! i have thought about childminding a lot - the house is fully babyproofed and full of small kids anyway, it's just all the paperwork that puts me off!

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