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Pregnant, living in a one bed flat and a low combined income... How do others cope?

(41 Posts)
pandoramarie Tue 14-Jun-16 12:20:16

Having recently found out I am pregnant (unplanned) I have been having sleepless nights worrying that when the baby arrives we will not have enough money to live. I'm 22 and my partner is 31 and at present we have a combined income of just £40k per year. Although we do not live in the city, we still struggle on this income and don't have much left at the end of each month. We currently rent a small 1 bed flat and had planned to buy together in a years time when my partner is due for a large pay rise (his pay will be doubled). Until that time, we cannot afford to rent anywhere bigger and I'm worried about how we'll manage for at least a year in a tiny flat with a newborn baby while I'm only receiving maternity pay. Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Any advice would be hugely appreciated as I'm feeling totally down about the whole situation at the moment sad

Nuggy2013 Tue 14-Jun-16 12:25:49

Babies don't need much in respect of material value. They need somewhere to sleep, fed, clothed (designer totally unnecessary and will last 5 mins) and nappies. They are as expensive as you wish to make them after the essentials have been bought. Don't worry, but/accept second hand good apart from essentials like a mattress and for that first year, they won't know they don't have their own bedroom and you just make do with what you have.
My personal advice (what saved my sanity in a small environment with a baby) was get up and get out every day. That will help relieve the cabin fever and is positive for you and baby.

Good luck, you really will be absolutely fine xxx

Gazelda Tue 14-Jun-16 12:27:36

You'll work it out. It will be fine. At least you've got the pay rise to see as a 'light at the end of the tunnel'.
Buy lots second hand (most of our baby equip,e t was second hand, expect for cot). Babies don't need loads of clothes, or toys. Babygros, vests, cosy leggings and tops. They'll play with you (peek a boo), banging wooden spoons on pots etc.
Do you have family that will buy gifts for you/baby? Ask them for a play gym, building blocks, snugly bedding etc.
Your biggest challenge might be that baby arrives over winter. Try to get out in fresh air as often as possible, find baby groups, try to meet other new mums.
And try to work out how you're going to to get laundry washed and dried - a challenge in winter!
Without knowing your housing and other costs, £40k sounds a reasonable amount to live on. Just be sensible and don't buy all new and don't buy unnecessary things (nappy disposal bins, changing tables etc).

Bails2014 Tue 14-Jun-16 12:28:57

We have a flat that we rent out, it's a one bedroom flat with a small kitchen and bathroom. We rented it out to a lovely couple who only moved out when their second child was about 4 months old. It was a first floor flat with stairs and no lift. Their eldest child was probably 3 so they had done it for years.

The flat was well looked after and spotless and they were able to save up to move into something bigger.

You have an end goal in sight, research what you need for the baby, shop around for second hand bargain, sit down and write out a budget.

We found that when we had our son our food shopping bill went down, rather than popping to the supermarket after work , I plan out a week's worth of meals and shop online, so I'm not taken in by all the 'deals' and also if I have meals planned out I'm less likely to just order a takeaway.

You just need to be organised, both with money and space and you will be fine!

BeagBoo Tue 14-Jun-16 12:29:15

You will be absolutely fine! Our income is less than that in London and we manage. Babies are very cheap and you'll have them in your own room anyway for a year easily. Echo the above, get out for walks. Congrats smile

FannyFifer Tue 14-Jun-16 13:55:15

40k per year is a pretty good joint income.
I have two kids, a mortgage & we earn around £30 between us.

What are your outgoings? U earn between u around £2500 a month?

pandoramarie Tue 14-Jun-16 14:24:13

Just wanted to say thank you so much everyone. Reading all your comments has really made me feel so much more positive!

pandoramarie Tue 14-Jun-16 14:28:16

Between us we bring in £2,650 a month approx. I'm doing overtime at the moment though so it's slightly higher. To be honest both of us are not sure exactly where or how our money goes so quickly. Our flat is £550pcm and other than a credit card each neither of us have any large debts. We are both going to sit down tonight and look and our outgoings and decide what we can cut back on (Sky, gym memberships etc). I'm hopeful we can cut back on a lot of unnecessary outgoings between us and make some savings!

frikadela01 Tue 14-Jun-16 14:43:30

You really need to review your finances. £2650 is lot to live on especially since your rent is actually quite low.

Babies don't have to be expensive. Lots can be bought second hand and things like a nappies you can get on offer (own brands tend to be very popular, aldi and asda are what most people round here buy).

Kruckshany Tue 14-Jun-16 14:46:39

Me and my partner have been in the same situation with the same rent and living on £17,000 total income a year. It's absolutely more than do-able. We now have more like £19,000 coming in and it feels like heaven.

Cancel anything you don't need and budget for every month. Oh and if you can and want to breastfeed it will save you a small fortune smile

Feel free to pm me if you'd like any help with budgeting or anything.

NedStarksHead Tue 14-Jun-16 14:56:24

£40k combined?
£550pcm rent?

What the eff are you spending your money on before you could even contemplate struggling confused

wibblewobble8 Tue 14-Jun-16 15:02:29

*£40k combined?
£550pcm rent?

What the eff are you spending your money on before you could even contemplate struggling*

This. 100%. You are not struggling, unless your credit card bill is £1000 a month or something!

Floggingmolly Tue 14-Jun-16 15:07:14

Your rent is extremely low... You could afford to allocate more to your housing costs if you chose to.
On a side note; how on earth is your partner's salary about to be "doubled" by a pay rise? Surely that doesn't happen?

NedStarksHead Tue 14-Jun-16 15:13:30

I keep coming back to this thread, you and your partner must be really really terrible with money before you genuinely don't have left at the end of the month.

You both earn roughly £2,650 that's £5,300 a month - even if all your bills and expenses came to £2,000 per month (which I very much doubt they do) you should be left with a substantial amount left at the end of the month.

That's ridiculous

LumpishAndIllogical Tue 14-Jun-16 15:30:46

40k is not a low income shock . Me, Partner and DS survive on less than that in London! Genuinely surprised about this, as isn't the average salary like £26 per year?

I don't think you would struggle on this with one child, you rent is very low. I really wouldn't worry with a 40k income unless you have a big mortgage and debt etc.

Marquand Tue 14-Jun-16 15:43:53

Like everyone else said, the happiness of your baby will depend entirely on the unconditional love and loving care s/he will receive from you as parents, and not from where you are living.

You, on the other side, might go bonkers if you tend to get cabin fever. Make sure you have a few ways of coping. If the weather is even half decent, find a way to easily transport baby while you are on foot (I like slings the best, initially), and make sure you walk walk walk.

Also, try to build up a network of other mothers in similar situations. There are few things that are as scary as a first child (in my opinion), and it is very reassuring to talk to other new parents. It's a very necessary sanity check.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Tue 14-Jun-16 15:44:19

They earn £2600 between them, not each
But even so - that's a perfectly good income and very low rent. You need a financial overhaul and a plan.

BabooshkaKate Tue 14-Jun-16 16:11:44

I opened this thread expecting £20k p.a. and extortionate London rents.

Take a deep breath and look at your budget. I'm sorry but that is ridiculous. Do you go out a lot and shop with Ocado? You need to pay off the CC and start saving.

I currently support my DP and I on £25k p.a. With £900 rent before bills and a £2,500 season travel ticket.

The mind boggles. I would love to see your monthly outgoings OP.

pandoramarie Tue 14-Jun-16 16:17:15

With regards to how my partners pay will be doubling, he's currently a building surveyor and working towards becoming Chartered. His wage is low at the moment due to being a graduate surveyor. Upon becoming Chartered, his employer has already agreed his salary - which will be double.

pandoramarie Tue 14-Jun-16 16:18:57

I think there may be some confusion here.... We do not earn £5,300 a month, I don't recall stating this but if I did it must have been in error (baby brain already?!) £2,650 is our combined monthly earnings!

frikadela01 Tue 14-Jun-16 16:31:29

Even £2650 a month is an awful lot more than a lot of people have to live on.

Quodlibet Tue 14-Jun-16 17:23:56

Yep agree with the above - you have LOADS to live on if your income is £2100 after housing costs!
You definitely need to sit down and work out where your money is going.

AnotherEmma Tue 14-Jun-16 21:02:25

OP, check out Money Saving Expert - you'll find excellent advice on budgeting, reducing your outgoings and paying off debts as quickly as possible. I swear by it.

Your income isn't really "low" (you just need to manage money better, as PPs have already said) but if it was low, you would be entitled to Child Tax Credits when the baby is born.

How long do you plan to take maternity leave? Do you plan to go back full/part time or are you not sure yet?

daftbesom Tue 14-Jun-16 21:10:37

My cousin experienced similar ...

They had baby in their room, then he became a toddler, eventually they had a storage unit as room divider to give themselves a wee bit of privacy (when DC old enough not to climb on it etc, as it wasn't attached to a wall).

Eventually they gave him the room to himself and slept in the sitting room on a futon kind of thing.

It worked for them. As others have said, review your finances. You can manage! Good luck OP smile

The2Ateam Tue 14-Jun-16 21:20:58

I earn £2650 after tax. There have been many months when DH wasn't earning anything that I have looked after me, DH, 2 kids, mortgage and bills. Have a good look at your spending.

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