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How on earth do you afford childcare?

6 replies

LaurG · 06/03/2018 14:36

Hi Ladies,

I am expecting my first child in July. I live in SW London and am really panicking about how on earth we can afford childcare. We have joint salty of about 75-80k and a large mortgage. But will nursery coming in at £1500 a month the numbers just don't add up. I have to save at the moment to cover the shortfall in statutory maternity leave. I am just managing this. But only putting away £1100 a month. Im not spending money on ANYTHING.

How on earth do you manage? Its really stressing me out!

OP posts:
afrikat · 06/03/2018 14:46

You should be entitled to tax free childcare so both of you should be able to pay into that. I think if you pay in £800 you get £200 topped up (someone correct me if I got that wrong).
My husband and I both moved to flexible working with condensed hours so we both do 4 day weeks but don't lose any pay. Means the kids only need childcare for 3 days (still costs us £1100 though!) - is that an option for either of you?
Otherwise you just have to accept you will have much less disposable income than you're used to!

Bakedappleflavour · 06/03/2018 14:49

We pay £57 a day for nursery in SE London. There will be cheaper options. Childminder etc.

suckonthatmaureen · 06/03/2018 15:29

I think as long as you can break even then it's short term pain for long term gain. Until recently childcare for two DC's ate the equivalent of my net salary. Although it was paid jointly, we were essentially down to one salary.

Look at childminders, working from home, compressed hours etc. I switched jobs to work for my local authority as I was able to do 5days over 4. It saved thousands.

For most people it is just a case of sucking it up and understanding you won't have any spare cash for a few (10) years.
The figures are mind boggling when you look at them, but you do find a way! You have to think strategically and look long term at pensions, future security/lifestyle etc.

JoJoSM2 · 11/03/2018 23:50

You could move to a more affordable property or stretch out your mortgage to have lower monthly repayments.

You're also allowed to be self employed on maternity leave so you could look into supplementing your income while your partner is looking after the baby.

As mentioned above, you could try a childminder as they're often cheaper than a nursery and get back to work after, say, 6 months to start earning a proper salary again. If you're not likely to have much left after childcare costs, then you might be better off going part time or working around your partner's schedule so that you can take turns with childcare.

LaurG · 12/03/2018 08:11

Thanks everyone for the replies. There are no easy solutions. We can’t afford to move and we already have the cheapest 2 bed property around!! ( ex local). I’m trying not to worry about it. It just seems so pointless going back to work. If our living cost weren’t so high I don’t think I’d bother but I need to bring home some money. My parents have said they will help out financially but I won’t believe that till I see it. Failing that think I’m going to try and get a job son with flexitime and juggle. It’s not the money that’s stressitnevout it’s the stress.

OP posts:
JoJoSM2 · 12/03/2018 10:10

Yes, it can be tricky. Some friends literally just spend money on bills, childcare and food till children went to school. It was only at that point that they could afford to start doing repairs on their home or have a cheap holiday.

If your flat is a 2 bed, you could also rent a room out for a year as a little baby is likely to sleep with you anyway. Not ideal but could general a few k if you get desperate.

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