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Can't afford a baby. Nearly crying as I type this.

(266 Posts)
arimelda Thu 13-Feb-20 15:29:45

Honestly, HOW do people afford childcare costs?

I have an awesome job that I worked very, very hard to get. I have guaranteed potential to move up once I've completed my degree. I don't want to sacrifice my job. I'm also the breadwinner.

We only have £700 a month leftover between us after all bills have gone out. We only have one car that we share. We can't cut anymore costs unless we started eating air.

We wouldn't be able to afford the £1000 per month for daycare. If one of us stayed at home, we wouldn't be able to afford to eat.

No grandparents who can look after the baby because they can't afford to retire.

I know people talk about tax credits for childcare, but what do these actually do?

I'm nearly 30 and beginning to wonder if my financial position will improve in time to beat the biological clock...

Thank so much....

Feltywelty Thu 13-Feb-20 15:32:38

£700 leftover after bills and (presumably) rent.
Are you eating lobster for every meal?!

ClappyFlappy Thu 13-Feb-20 15:33:25

You’re not in any different a position to most other people. If you have an awesome job and not much spare is there capacity to cut any other bills and expenses? You’ll get child benefit as well although that’s not much admittedly.

Could you both work 4 days a week which would cut the need for as much childcare?

You’re still only young, can you try and put a bit aside every month as a savings buffer for a couple of years?

Selfsettling3 Thu 13-Feb-20 15:34:02

Where do you live? A child minder is often cheaper. Have you factored in child benefit, , tax free childcare, are you entitled to 15 free hours at 2, will you get 15 or 30 free hours?

Horehound Thu 13-Feb-20 15:34:17

Remember you should get around 80 a month in child benefit too if you aren't earning over 49000k each.

I'm interested about the tax credits because I also don't know.
What about try for a baby and save maybe 500 per month so by the time baby is born you'll have a few thousand saved and then you'll be off on maternity...do you get an enhanced package?
People make it work but it is expensive, you're right! Also, it's amazing how much you can spend on stuff for a baby bit reality is they need a cot, some baby grows, nappies and probably a car seat and pram
You can even get some of those things second hand
My advice is to not believe all the marketing for baby products and also second hand is absolutely fine especially for clothes as they zip through them at an alarming rate! Although I think we got most of my boys wardrobe as gifts from people and we really didn't buy much at all.

BendingSpoons Thu 13-Feb-20 15:36:02

I don't understand tax credits so can't help you there. A few thoughts: could either of you change your working hours, say do 4 long days, to save childcare costs? Is that price for nursery? Have you considered a childminder which can be cheaper? Can you save hard and wait a bit until you move up at work? I know this doesn't help much, but you get around £80 child benefit. It's tough but you do have time still.

arimelda Thu 13-Feb-20 15:37:48

£700 does not go far

£100 Petrol
£100 food shop
£80 partners travel to work on public transport
£50 for our dog's food
£200 savings towards getting a mortgage

Leaves £170 leftover for birthdays, outings, emergencies etc.

ToTravelIsToLive Thu 13-Feb-20 15:37:54

tax credits have been replaced by universal credit. If your on a low income you might be entitled and they can help cover some of the cost a of child care otherwise it's tax free childcare. I worked out when our car finance and a few other payment plans ended and we chose to have a baby after that date. It will still be tight but we want to move so knew it was now or never as we won't get a house round here as low as what we paid for ours. It's not a surprise people have less babies and when they are older when you factor in the cost.

NeptuneNessa Thu 13-Feb-20 15:39:13

I'm in my 50's now, my kids are grown. I was an equal breadwinner when I had my first and we decided I'd be a SAHM - once I did, we were skint, but I don't regret it for a single moment. We managed, we got by.

I know times are different now, but reading of you crying about not being a mum prompted me to want to write, if it's your desire, do it. You will regret it for the rest of your life if you don't.

I don't know anything about the benefits system, tax credits etc. The time from being a baby to being in school, goes so so fast, that will free up a lot of childcare costs.

toast1123 Thu 13-Feb-20 15:39:40

Hard to advise without your income and outgoings, but I know plenty of families who survive on one parents' salary, even if it's minimum wage. If you're taking home say £16k, that's £1,200 a month after tax plus you'd get £280 tax credits. Rent on a flat £500, bills £300 max, which leaves you £480 for food, car and other stuff.

JuanSheetIsPlenty Thu 13-Feb-20 15:41:06

So if you’re saving towards a house deposit that means you’re renting? When you buy- is it likely your mortgage will be lower than your current rent? Could you move to a cheaper place now and save more towards deposit for a year or two? When are you likely to be able to buy?

otterses Thu 13-Feb-20 15:41:36

You'll get 20% of your childcare costs paid by the government if you opt to use tax free childcare. If you and your partner work full time for above minimum wage I really don't think you'll qualify for child or working tax credits, or universal credit. You should get £82 a month in child benefit which helps.

You really have my sympathy, we pay £1150-1250 for DS not including the top up. It's what prompted me to work a second job.

arimelda Thu 13-Feb-20 15:41:45

Unfortunately cannot cut any of our expenses. I work as a financial controller so keep all our finances logged each month to make sure we are never spending on random things, and also have a projected timeline for when our debts and bills will begin to wain off. Doesn't look like this will happen until we are in our mid-thirties

Will look into childminders - do you take the baby to their house? We have large guardian breed dogs who would definitely make childminding at our own house difficult.

We could both go part time but I'm worried about losing money there and if we could afford it. We would have to speak to our employers and get an estimate of what our income would be in that situation, and if we could afford the childcare on our working days with the wage decrease

We live in the north west so thinking we probably have childcare on the cheaper side anyway.

Thank you all for your help

Pilot12 Thu 13-Feb-20 15:43:18

When your child turns three you will get 30 hours at nursery free, could you put saving for a mortgage on hold for three years.

Could both you and your OH move to a four day week so you both have one day at home with baby each? Then you'd only need three days at nursery.

JuanSheetIsPlenty Thu 13-Feb-20 15:43:27

One option is to work opposite shifts to your partner.

Also- and I know it’s so unfashionable to say this in 2020- but if there is even the slightest chance that you will either go part time or become a SAHM when you have a baby then do not even think of conceiving before you are married to your partner.

Firstimer703 Thu 13-Feb-20 15:44:11

It is really hard. I'd like a second but don't see how we can afford it. DH & I we're both doing 4 days so only had to pay 3 days nursery so that could help you. Also agree that childminders are cheaper so that could work. Somehow people just manage I think! Once the baby is here there is nothing else to do but take care of it somehow! Hope you work it out OP xx

arimelda Thu 13-Feb-20 15:45:35

Thank you for all your kind words - maybe the best thing to do is just go for it and hope everything else falls into place!

Selfsettling3 Thu 13-Feb-20 15:45:40

You have debts to pay off so that is part of the problem and unless your on a very good wage then it’s difficult to save money while you have young children.

Originalusernameunavailable Thu 13-Feb-20 15:46:22

Are you ready pregnant?

PrincessHoneysuckle Thu 13-Feb-20 15:46:37

£170 a month for treats is a reasonable amount, sometimes you have to cut back.

ColumbaPalumbus Thu 13-Feb-20 15:47:42

Don't go for it and hope! You're a financial controller for heaven's sake! You need a plan! I'd be moving into a cheaper rental for a start. The guarding breed might not be so great with a baby anyway if you think it wouldn't let a nanny in!

Muddytoes1 Thu 13-Feb-20 15:48:03

Have you checked out www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare. This is a significant help. It is crazy crazy expensive and we do not earn much but somehow we make it work. when they are three and get the 30free hours that helps a lot. Going part time is a good option If that would be possible? We do not spend anything at all that isn’t essential, so no packet sandwiches if we are out and forget a packed lunch, no coffees out, cycle rather than drive where poss to avoid parking charges and fuel, very basic food, thermostat low, short showers etc and kids stuff all hand me downs but we do manage to get by and they are so worth it, love them to bits!

JuanSheetIsPlenty Thu 13-Feb-20 15:50:33

Personally I wouldn’t have a baby before clearing debts and getting a mortgage.

You are a financially minded person- that much is clear. having a baby will put a torpedo into your finances. Honestly- clear all your debts and get rid of pricey renting. You will find you have quite a bit more spare cash with no debt and a mortgage that is likely to be cheaper than renting. Example- my home costs £600/m rent but would cost £350/m if I was paying a mortgage over 25 years on it with a 5% deposit.

JuanSheetIsPlenty Thu 13-Feb-20 15:52:05

How much are your debts- how much aren’t you paying off and how long left to clear them?

Aureum Thu 13-Feb-20 15:52:43

You’ll get about £1k child benefit per year plus tax credits to reduce your childcare bill by £2k per year. So immediately your £12k annual childcare bill is reduced to £9k. If you can find childcare that doesn’t continue to charge you when you’re on holiday and looking after your own child, that could shave off another £1k. And you only have to pay full childcare for three years, after that you get 30 hours free childcare. You could save up in advance and/or borrow to make it through those first three years.

You’ll have other expenses like food and baby clothes but you can cover those by never going out and not buying yourself anything. I’ve stopped wearing makeup and getting my hair done, I’ve quit my hobbies and I’m still wearing maternity clothes because I can’t afford new ones. That saves enough money to pay for a toddler.

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