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To forget waiting and start ttc?

21 replies

POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 10:31

Until recently I had a plan. That plan has gone to shit.

I’m technically being made redundant, but I’ve not been there long enough to get a decent pay out. The job wasn’t ideal, but I did manage to get progression plan in place with my employer, which was supposed to take off next year.

Alongside this, we had 2 year plan to complete all the major renovations needed in the house and then remortgage to a shorter term. Then TTC was next on the list (we wanted to atleast get the kitchen and bathroom out of the way before even considering to bring a baby into it). During this time, we’ll have also been able to clear off some debts.

Now that I’m going to be without a job, I’ve had to apply for anything going, to not be left short over the next few months and I’ve been offered one. The job is less pay, very unsociable hours, and there is very very little chance of progression (know a few people there to know this). It’s also not a job that will give me any additional skill to increase my earning chances elsewhere. The longer I am there, the more steps back my CV will take. But, the company seem to be a decent employer in other ways, full mat/sick, company bonus for example. I realise this may sound ungrateful, and I’m lucky to be offered one quickly but in the grand scheme of things it’s a major spanner.

Anyway, due to lower earnings, the ‘plan’ will take longer than expected. Another year at best. The debts are loans so they’ll still be paid off when expected anyway.

Now I’m thinking, I really don’t want to keep waiting and waiting to ttc. We had planned to a couple of years ago, but put it off until we bought a house. So starting a family has always been what we wanted. Now I keep thinking, what’s the point. Knowing life, I’ll just keep having to wait and wait until the right time and there will never be one.

Despite debts, and the lower paid job we will still have about £900 after bills, to cover food, cats and bits. So around £500 of that is disposable. We haven’t got any current savings as anything we did save this year has gone on repairs, furniture etc. But we do build it back up again every few months.

There will also be a few bills dropping off early next year (like Virgin, phone contracts etc which we won’t replace like for like) so the disposable income will increase slightly.

Shall we just do it? Have we got anything to lose? Will we be mad to do renovations with a potential baby in the mix? I just know if we say ‘lets wait until atleast the kitchen is done’ again, life will say ‘that’s what you think’.

Oh, and if it comes up, me and OH do plan to marry. It will be a quick elopement as we don’t want the party, so I’m sure we can slot that in somewhere in the next year still.

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MrBull · 24/10/2018 10:35

You can always find a reason not to have a baby, but actually things do sound stressful for you right now. How old are you? I only ask because if you're early-mid 20s I think you have time to wait.

DontCallMeCharlotte · 24/10/2018 10:37

How old are you?

I worked with someone who desperately wanted to start trying for a baby but her DH wanted to be debt-free. She came in elated one day because they'd got to that stage and then came in a few days devastated because her dick of a husband had been out and bought a new motor bike. On HP.

I wasn't there much longer after that but I do hope she LTB.

POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 10:43

I’m 29.

I know what you mean about it being stressful but it always seems to be stressful. It’s not the only time we decided to wait. We planned to ttc before the last time, then my grandad passed away and my nan asked us to move in with her. We did without question, but had to still pay for the private rent until the end of contract and obvs share costs with nan.

The we were going to again, (nan was fine with it, plenty of space) then my OH became ill. So we waited. Then he became better and we thought, lets wait until we buy.

It seems to be a never ending cycle and I feel, especially now with this job on the horizon, I might end up waiting until it’s too late.

On the plus side, the new job itself is pretty easy, so maybe I’ll be able to relax at work? 🤞

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POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 10:45

Oh dear dontcall! I don’t think my OH is that stupid!Wink But there’s just always something, isn’t there?

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Aquamarine1029 · 24/10/2018 10:46

Given that you're 29, I would definitely start ttc. Of course you're not "old", at all, but in terms of your reproductive age, time is ticking. That's just a fact. It would also be advantageous to find out sooner rather than later if you have any fertility issues that will need to be dealt with.

POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 10:51

Yes that’s a good point aquamarine God, I know I shouldn’t but I will be kicking myself if I find out I ‘left it too late’

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bellil · 24/10/2018 10:52

I'm in a similar predicament currently and same age as you. A few years ago we were comfortable financially and already had our house which we'd renovated but I wouldn't ttc as we weren't engaged/married. Now we have been for almost 2 years but we've hit hard times with money due to my husband receiving lower wages just to have a secure job. He is earning decent money now but where he wasn't for so long we are still covering debts from before. I feel like all my friends have caught up to us now, but are in a position to ttc and its making me feel really down. I feel we are always too sensible with any money we do have, ad realistically we wouldn't be able to comfortably afford a baby for a good few year. Who knows how long it will take us to fall pregnant and I'm scared of putting it off too long. If I was in your position with that disposable income and a secure job I would go for it! I wish you well x

mindutopia · 24/10/2018 11:05

The only thing I’d think about is how you plan to pay for childcare for you to go back to work, or how you’d survive if you were a sahm if you didn’t. Nursery cost us £900 a month full time. Initially, that pretty much ate all the extra money earned by me going back to work, but in a few years time, I’d progressed enough that I was earning significantly more and we got 3 year funding. Will you earn enough when you go back to afford that and will there be enough job progression to support ongoing childcare costs and then wraparound care, etc when school starts?

If not, I’d hold out for a better job now to lessen the blow of those expenses even if it means waiting an extra year or so. I had my first at 32 and second at 37, so you really do still have plenty of time.

POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 11:30

Thanks bellil Life is just so unpredictable, no matter how much planning you put in, there’s just always something. Best of luck to you, too! x

mindutopia the issue with this job is there just isn’t any progression. There’s just a massive team that does the same job (customer service), and the team managers. But the team managers have been so for nearly a decade. There isn’t much sideways movement either. For eg, my current and previous roles, I’ve been able to take on side projects to really beef up my skills. Looking at the job market (I’ve been browsing daily for a long time, just out of curiosity), the experience the new job offers aren’t going to set me apart, as there’s essentially one thing I’ll be doing. So the longer I’m there, I think the less ‘desirable’ criteria I’ll have for better paid jobs, particularly based on the job market where I live.

The only way would be to do a course of some sort and apply else where later, but that means taking away finances which I could invest into the house or savings, not to mention even more time needed.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t probably start ttc until my probation is passed anyway, and so that’s early next year. Lets say that takes 6 months (I know it’s not an exact science but for arguments sake), and by the time I get through maternity and due to go back to work etc, the loans we have will be paid off, or atleast close to. That’s an extra £300 on top (we have a loan each)

On current salaries, we’d have 1200 after bills, to buy food, fuel, non essentials. OH is up for a promotion next year and gets an annual payrise. I may be ok going back part time. Or even being a SAHM for a while (is 1200 a realistic amount to consider that, do you think?)

Sorry, I know that was really long winded, but just wanted to give a fuller picture!

Returning to work is probably the biggest question, at the moment though.

I’m kind of going through the mindframe of ‘getting everything out of the way at once’ at the minute.

OP posts:
florafawna · 24/10/2018 11:36

The time is now!

POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 11:38

The time is now!

Grin I think that’ll be my line in seducing OH!

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nowifi · 24/10/2018 11:47

I'd go for it, your finances sound good to me and renovating with a small baby won't be as bad as renovating with a manic toddler. There will always be something to stop you as it's never the 'perfect' time.

HidingFromMyKids · 24/10/2018 12:19

Just as a side note that you may not know..
As you have made it clear this isn't your dream job and have mentioned the idea of a SAHM...
If you take maternity pay in full and don't return you will have to pay it back. Anything above statutory maternity pay will be owed to the company if you don't return.
For me it wasn't cost effective to return but I only ever got the statutory maternity pay.

Fwiw there is never a right time and you have no idea if you may come up against any fertility issues until you start trying. Hopefully not! Good luck.

JessieLemon · 24/10/2018 13:01

Despite debts, and the lower paid job we will still have about £900 after bills, to cover food, cats and bits. So around £500 of that is disposable. We haven’t got any current savings as anything we did save this year has gone on repairs, furniture etc. But we do build it back up again every few months.

You said later on you have £1200 after bills, is that what you’re on currently and the £900 what you’ll be on with the new job? If you didn’t have debt I’d say go for it: £1200 after bills is an incredible amount, more than many families actually earn per month to begin with. But then you mention debt, and I’m concerned what kind of debt you have that you can’t pay off with so much disposable income each month?

I wouldn’t put off TTC because of renovations, even once you start trying it could take months, you could miscarriage repeatedly, you could have fertility problems, even if you do get pregnant and it all goes well that’s still almost a year to knuckle down during pregnancy and save.

But I’m concerned that you have no savings, and debt, despite what seem on the surface to be good incomes. It makes me wonder how your money management is. At 29, you have time. I wouldn’t want to TTC before being debt free and having a good amount of savings. I’m your age, we agreed last year to TTC mid-2019 and have been saving furiously for that aim, so when/if we’re fortunate enough to be blessed with a child we know we’ve done everything we can to give them the best most secure start in life possible and avoided the stress of financial difficulties that can break a relationship/cause huge stress.

So on balance in your shoes, I’d wait another two years or so and make sure throughout that timeframe you and your partner are discussing it regularly, have a set amount you both agree to save monthly, forecast where you want to be financially by the time you TTC and actively work towards that. I think you’ll enjoy the experience of becoming a mum a hell of a lot more without the feeling of flying by the seat of your pants financially.

Why do you have so much disposable income but debt and no savings? I’m not judging, I’m just really wondering. Surely if s baby was that important to you you’d have held off on some of the discretionary spending and renovations to keep a pot of money aside for that instead of emptying your accounts on the house?

What’s your partner’s view on whether to start right away or wait?

JessieLemon · 24/10/2018 13:04

The only way would be to do a course of some sort and apply else where later, but that means taking away finances which I could invest into the house or savings, not to mention even more time needed.

If it’s education that will genuinely benefit your career (for example something that’ll give you a qualification that is proven to advance you in your field), that in my opinion is way more worth the money than house renovations, as long as your home is habitable and decent (not sure if these are necessary renovations to make it liveable or just to make it nicer/your ‘dream home’).

You and your partner could split up and you sell the house, but investing in your own education is something nobody can ever take from you and should increase your earning power in the future and your ability to support yourself/children should you find yourself single.

JessieLemon · 24/10/2018 13:08

We haven’t got any current savings as anything we did save this year has gone on repairs, furniture etc. But we do build it back up again every few months.

I reckon you should aim for a solid year of saving in an untouchable baby only account that you don’t empty for any reason before TTC, so you and OH know you’re capable of doing so and have a cushion put aside for whatever the baby needs when they arrive. I wouldn’t be comfortable TTC if I had spent every bit of savings on stuff like furniture, but that’s just me!

Then you’ll have a financial cushion to fall back on but more importantly you’ll know you’re both able to manage financially before bringing a child into the family. I don’t think you can have it both ways: you obviously prioritise the house and getting it how you like it over saving a cushion up for a baby, so I’d shelve TTC for a while to make sure you’re both saving. If you don’t/can’t save and clear the debt you’ll be glad you didn’t TTC, and if you do that one or two years of waiting and preparing will bring a far smoother ride when you do have a family.

MrBull · 24/10/2018 13:21

I'd go for it then too. Things do go downhill after 25 for women, biologically speaking. I had my first at 31 (conceived second month trying) but I have encountered a myriad of issues since with my other children as I've approached and entered my mid 30s. There's just little way of knowing what's going on in there with your eggs and all their associated equipment! And if something is up, you need to allow a lot of time to get to the bottom of it, get treatment etc. Of course, the odds are still very much stacked in your favour at your age so I'm sure it will all be ok. But, you never know.

POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 14:48


Sorry, I ended up in a ramble earlier. This is going to be another ramble, so apologies!

The 1200 would be once the debts are paid off (in two years). It’d probably be more, as I say we’re coming out of phone and tv contracts next year. That’s around 150 extra in total. My thinking is even if I conceived almost immediately (if ttcing after completing probation), by the time I reach maternity, have maternity leave and its time to go back to work, the debts will be cleared. As they’re loans, the final payment dates will never change, than say if it was credit card.

My partner had the loan pre us being together, and my loan was needed for the basic house stuff (rewire, replaster stuff like that). We had the savings, initially we were given an AIP based on 5% deposit. That expired and then when we came to buy this one, on the new application we had to go with 10% deposit, so our portion of the repair savings went on that. We had to also move in sooner than expected.

We also ended up paying for some private consultations for DP, that’s a completely different thread but he was ill for a while and getting nowhere with the nhs. He had been terrible for 4 years with not an inkling of a diagnoses, so it wasn’t an on the spot decision to go private. That’s sorted and managed well now, though.

In terms of spending on furniture, I meant we had to kit out a completely empty house. When my nan asked us to stay with her, we got rid of most of our stuff as there was nowhere to put it (at the time we still had to pay for the rest of the rent contract so couldn’t pay for additional storage, and we lived in a top floor flat so she couldn’t live with us)

So literally started with a blank slate with this house - and still not kitted out fully.

In terms of the renovations, they are somewhat essential in that we didn’t need a new bathroom/kitchen straight away. It’s usable, but due to the age of it all, we’ve had to have several repairs this year. For example, we’ve probably spent around £500 in total on bathroom repairs due to leaks. I don’t want to end up paying out more for patching up an old bathroom than we would for a new one, if that makes sense.

Similar issues with kitchen, front porch etc. Usable, but last legs creeping in. One thing we discussed last night is just remove the porch, as it can’t leak then. That’s around 4-5k of future earnings we had earmarked. So we are looking at ways to balance the priorities equally, so to speak.

The savings, we build up, then something else happens (we do have a few hundred now, but insignificant in the grand scheme). For example our fence collapsed, around 13 panels so that was unplanned spending too. The disposable hasn’t really been spent on ‘luxuries’, admittedly not all on essentials either but in the last year/2 ttc had been put on hold anyway. It’s just now that the redundancy/new job situation has happened that I’m really worrying about continually delaying.

I suppose, originally we had planned to ttc within 2 years anyway but now I do sometimes wish we’d followed through the first time around. It would have been even more stressful, but I’m wouldn’t have been the first nor last in the situation!

OP posts:
POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 14:50

Oh, and OH has said he’s happy whichever way. Ultimately he’d like to sooner than later, but if later it’s my decision as it’s me being pregnant, taking time off work etc.

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coles85 · 24/10/2018 16:48

We were in a bit of a similar situation - new home, some renovations to do that would be nice to have, not need to have (i.e dated kitchen), and not a lot of savings left having purchased said dream house. Decided that we might as well TTC as 1) was there ever really going to be a 'right' time? and 2) it might take us a while (mid 30s) so best get the ball rolling...

I had hoped to have 6 months worth of my wage saved before the baby...

And, you guessed it, I'm now pregnant on our first try. Part of me thinks shit, I had planned a good 6 months of saving prior to us successfully making a baby, giving us over a year to save. But the other part of me is like, well hell I'm sure it'll all work out in the end! No new kitchen for me, and some frugal saving for the next 9 months is going to have to be enough.

Anyway - in short I think, if it isn't going to cripple you, then go for it. It might take you a year, it might not. As long as you have a bit of a plan then you'll figure it out. And with your current employment issue, this might be the best time to take some time off.

Sadly it's looking like I'll be back to work fairly quickly, but hey ho it'll just have to work!

Good luck! The fact you're even thinking about it with so much consideration shows that you've got your priorities right :)

POPholditdown · 24/10/2018 17:23

HidingFromMyKids I’d thought of that before, but I seem to have forgot this time around amongst all the other stuff! I think realistically I would need to go part time atleast anyway. I do have great support from family, who have always said they would help with childcare. I don’t want to rely on that as a possibility though, I’d rather anticipate the costs but it’s a nice potential in the back of my kind.

Congratulations coles85, I think sometimes you have to take a chance. As evidenced in my previous post, almost nothing had gone to plan in the last few years anyway! But all of the other stuff has been manageable, I really don’t want to take a chance with planning and planning for a baby and then realising one day I was too busy planning to actually get round to it.

I think I’ll have another talk with OH and see how he feels about waiting for my probation to be completed, which will only be January anyway. If we knuckle down (and the bathroom doesn’t decide to leak) we can get a headstart on saving again

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