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How do you manage?

6 replies

onelastchance · 04/08/2010 17:13

Well that's what i'm wondering really. How you you manage if you split up with dh in term sof childcare, money, etc. I've been sahm since ds was born , he's now 4, starting reception in sept.

Dh earns good salary and we're comfortably off. never really worry about money. If we split up would have to sell house and alot of equity in it and assume i'd have to go back to work.

How on earth will i manage, won't earn much havng not worked for 4 years, what about childcare in school holidays (no family to help out). Have some savings so won't get ant benefits

OP posts:
Chil1234 · 04/08/2010 17:42

It helps if you can reach a good financial arrangement with your ex as a starting point. Then you have to be realistic about supporting yourself and keeping your costs down. Working is on the cards for most singles unless you're happy to exist 100% on what the state will let you have. Tax credits still apply if you work and they're very handy. Plus, working can offer more than just funds - sets a good example to your child, gives you adult company and a structure to your day. You have to be a lot more resourceful about cash... keep track of every penny until you're back into 'comfortably off' territory.

You have to be a lot more resourceful about childcare. Many schools offer holiday clubs (mine does at any rate) also breakfast and after school clubs. If not, ask around among other mums. They may be happy to drop off or collect DS from school on a rota basis.

There are a lot of positives as well, of course. So it's very doable. Better than being trapped in an unhappy relationship at any rate.

gillybean2 · 05/08/2010 14:47

I was a sahm till my son first started school.

At the moment you can remain a sahm, but the rules are changing soon, and the new government is in the process of changing the rules again on the age your child is when you have to change from income support to JSA to make it as low as 5yrs old. So this will beome an issue for you in a couple of years time, possibly sooner.

As it had been a long time since I had worked I started off with a job at our local play group. The hours fitted in with school, it lead me back into work gently, I worked 16 hours a week so qualified for CTC & WTC, and I didn't have to worry about holiday cover as play group was closed in holidays too.
Maybe you could look for something similar to get you started back into working? Lots of schools need class room assistants too, and to be honest the conditions and benefits are better if you can work at a school rather than a play group.

After a year I was then ready to move on to an office based job, more in line with my qualifications and what I had done before. I was very lucky to find a job which offers flexible hours, though empolyers do have to try and offer these if you ask for them now.

Child care is a big issues, there simply is none where I live. No after school club and no holiday clubs near to home. You may wish to consider this in your choice of primary school.
I used to have a child minder, but she quit after a few months. No family help snd no ex so I have to sort it all myself. I decided my best option was not to rely on others and to work school hours in term time so I swapped to this. I haven't had to swap again luckily.

I now work school hours in term, longer in holidays but get time off in lieu plus my usual holidays. I use a holiday club near to work - but it's only open in Summer and Easter. Used to have another really good one available near work, but that had to close because the school they used put their rent up so much. It is expensive but I get help to pay for it as I qualify as a lone parent. So bear that in mind when thinking about your options.

Never been married so can't advise you on housing stuff sorry, others will be along who can though I'm sure.

A really good source of info for me was the lone parent advisor at the job centre. You can make an appointment to see them and they will work through your options and tell you how much better off (or not) you will be once you find a job (or are looking).

Try and sort out the situation you're in re house, maintenance, contact arrangements etc first.

Look at this website for some advice on parenting plans etc, you may find it useful.

Good luck. It can be tough but you'll be fine. Come here for support and advice when you need it. Best wishes

onelastchance · 05/08/2010 18:28

Thanks for your help How many hrs do you have to work for ctc/wtc? how much would i get and is it just dependant on how much you earn or how much savings/maintenance you get too?

OP posts:
Meglet · 05/08/2010 22:26

I think you have to work 16 hours to get ctc / wtc. I've always worked just over so not had to think about it.

And they don't count maintenance when calculating tax credits as maintenance isn't taxable.

gillybean2 · 06/08/2010 06:20

Yes it's 16 hours a week. But when I was only working school terms then 16 hours applied, even though my average was slightly under. They said if it was 16 the weeks I worked that was fine...

Chil1234 · 06/08/2010 07:00

Run a few 'what ifs' through the website - it's very good. CTC doesn't count savings or maintenance unless the savings are so big that you're getting a decent income from the interest. That site also tells you if you can claim any help with council tax or housing costs.

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