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to think that if you work full time you should be able live comfortably

43 replies

cuteboots · 13/04/2011 12:53

Is this just a really silly idea? Would I be better off going part time?

OP posts:

dearyme · 13/04/2011 12:54

half past three


cuteboots · 13/04/2011 12:55

So there is no real answer to this question?

OP posts:

Hammy02 · 13/04/2011 12:55

Eh? Why would you be better off working less hours? Or has this country's benefit system gone utterly insane?


cuteboots · 13/04/2011 12:58

I have never claimed any benefits but you tend to think that people that do have the right idea? I was brought up to work and at one point had three jobs on the go. The scarey thing is I probably would get more money working less hours??

OP posts:

Hammy02 · 13/04/2011 12:59

I don't understand how working less hours = more/the same money. No-one would work full-time if that was the case surely?


compo · 13/04/2011 13:00

No I don't think you would
but if you're finding it hard could you afford to reduce your hours?
Do you have kids ? A partner who works?


myalias · 13/04/2011 13:01

Depends if you are paying nursery fees, if you have pre school children you will be worse of working full time. I would say the wait is worth it once children start school. Speaking from experience I reduced my hours from full time to part time over 3 days when my first child was in nursery and was better off financially. You will have to go into more detail to be able to give you further advice.


MollysChambers · 13/04/2011 13:09

Depends on your definition of living comfortably.

I think we live comfortably but we can very rarely afford, for example, a foreign holiday. Doesn't bother me but some (on mn anyway) seems to regards this as a necessity rather than a luxury.

Also depends on how much you're spending on housing and childcare for example.


LaWeasel · 13/04/2011 13:14

Depends on your situation. Do you have a partner? What will your joint income end up being if you work fulltime vs parttime?

To people who q, it's not a question of toping up with benefits necessarily, but that a parent at home is often cheaper over all than childcare.

Minimum wage fulltime only pays around 10k a year, and that won't cover fulltime nursery and possibly not even a childminder depending on where you live.


LaWeasel · 13/04/2011 13:15

It is probably not wise to rely on tax credits if you are going to be near the threshold, as those rates seem likely to change.


cuteboots · 13/04/2011 13:27

Im a single mum with a seven year old! Im probably just having a bad day. I find its the childcare that tips the balance each month as even though hes at school its still £400 a month. I should probably stop whinging as having been in my job for thirteeen years my salary is good.

OP posts:

kickassangel · 13/04/2011 13:42

tbh, it is a relatively modern idea that we are entitled to be 'comfortable'. back in 'the good old days' it was thought necessary to work just to survive.
i'm not saying that you should be happy if you're struggling, but i think we all (including me) tend to expect quite a high standard of living, and forget how much we actually have.

dh & I were discussing the cost of food last night, and how that used to be 1/3 of a family's budget, with housing being the other 1/3, and everything else coming out of the last 1/3. nowadays we've got used to having more left for other things & we 'need' more other things - phones, computers, clothing etc.

so, if you work ft you should be able to live, but 'comfort' is a relative term.

btw, your childcare sounds vv expensive - dd's used to be 400 quid a month for full time nursery.


cuteboots · 13/04/2011 13:48

I did try and drop him off at school as this would save a bit each week but then my job isnt very child freindly so this didnt last long. I know that when I compare my life to alot of other people Im not doing that bad. I will deffo look into the childcare as hes only with her for about 4 and a half hours per day and this is the bit that tips the balance each month. You are correct in that it doenst matter how much you earn you always want more.

OP posts:

LaWeasel · 13/04/2011 13:54

It sounds quite a lot to me too, and I used to do that kind of childcare.

On the plus side, if he is seven it's not that many years until he will be able to be alone more. Maybe in the next few years he could walk to school in the morning?


WhoWhoWhoWho · 13/04/2011 13:55

I think it depends what you class as living comfortably.

Some people are happy going without things like sky tv, housephone, car, hols abroad, nights out, etc. Others have all these and moan they are skint (not implying you do this OP, just thinking of people I know in RL).


WhoWhoWhoWho · 13/04/2011 13:57

£400 a month for a child in school is a lot! Do you work unsociable hours is that why it's high??? If not and you work a 'day' job, I would consider other childcare!


cuteboots · 13/04/2011 13:57

just of of interest what did you charge per hour for childcare? If you look at it like that it doesnt sound alot bit it adds up over the month and this week goes up to the dizzy sum of £35 per day! ; 0 (

OP posts:

Itsjustafleshwound · 13/04/2011 14:00

I think it would be great (and pie in the sky) if the govt kept their beaks out and stopped trying to incentivise/penalise the way families decided to operate. Calculating benefits on a estimated household income is really unfair ....


K999 · 13/04/2011 14:01

Me and DP work full time. Our childcare for 2 DDs (one at school and one at state nursery) is £900 per month! But I think we are comfortable...whatever that really means.


violethill · 13/04/2011 14:04

Probably in this country, in the state it is right now!

But things are changing, so I wouldn't count on it for long!


LaWeasel · 13/04/2011 14:04

I'm just trying to think. It was an out of hours club type thing. But I think it came to around £300 a month. £13/14 a day-ish? for before school from half seven, to six in the evening, plus breakfast and snacks. And they took childcare vouchers - they can save you up to £75 per month. (some of your pay is converted into vouchers before tax, so you save the money in less tax iyswim)


cuteboots · 13/04/2011 14:15

la weasel I will investigate this further

OP posts:

mypandasgotcrabs · 13/04/2011 14:18

YANBU. But you'll probably get roughly the same amount of money coming into the house regardless of your actual wages. (Up to a certain point)

DP is on shitty old minimum wage (take home of £11K a year) but with benefits we are topped up to take home of just over £30K. In a couple of months he gets a £1000 a year pay rise. We will be £46 a year better off after that.

His old job had a take home pay of approx £19K. We are now only approx £300 a year worse off than we were then.

We are 'lucky' atm that we both sold our houses when we split up with our exes as we get housing benefit that we obviously wouldn't get if we had a mortgage, but we both hate renting with a passion and would rather be able to earn more without it being topped up by benefits so that we could buy a house. Unfortunately wages are so low now that this will be impossible if we stay living where we do. DP is earning £10K less now than he was 2 years ago for the same job for the same company but now working more hours each week! He was earning a lot more at 20 than he is now at 30 something and didn't need benefits to survive then.

As a single parent I was £20 a week better off not working than working so my redundancy came as quite a blessing a couple of years ago.


Innishvickillaune · 13/04/2011 14:24

That's lunacy, mypanda

I am absolutely not one to benefit bash but reading that an 11K PA salary gets topped up to 30K a year makes the mind boggle a little.


LaWeasel · 13/04/2011 14:26

It is almost solely topped up so high because of the housing benefit!

Yet another if house prices/rents weren't so astronomical compared to wages there would be no need for this situation.

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