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This is such a nosy question but if you are a sahp, how much does your partner earn to make it viable?

352 replies

WideWebWitch · 08/09/2005 20:53

I fully expect people to change names for this but I have long wondered: if you're a sahm/d, how much does your partner earn? In other words, how high does one salary have to be in order for 2 people and child/ren to survive? And what does your partner do to earn this? I'm not asking out of anything other than total nosiness so do tell me to bog off if you like! Name changers extremely welcome!

OP posts:
tigermoth · 11/09/2005 09:05

What a huge range of salaries, debts and outgoings on this thread. Have just skimmed through it, but my eyes keep getting fixed on the many 0000's after the £ signs.

mumtosomeone, your views are very similar to an old childminer of ours. She often told me a mother's place was with her child. The wages we paid her helped her stay an SAHM, too, what irony!

tigermoth · 11/09/2005 09:06

is benefits a vadid choice? - oh no, let's not start that conversation again

ggglimpopo · 11/09/2005 09:06

Message withdrawn

Enid · 11/09/2005 09:08

yes its quite a mean thing to say (working mums should be at home with their kids)

and bizarre that we live in a society where people feel that they can be that mean about a mum and her children

tigermoth · 11/09/2005 09:16

I am a working mother through obligation - asdh is not the main breadwinner and his salary could not pay the mortgage and basic bills (or rent) if we moved. Unless we threw ourselves on the mercy of the state, we have no choice.

Anyway with my sons both of school age now, imo there is much less reason for me to be a full time SAHM.

Mind you, my old childminder was still guarding her SAHM status, with the same justification that a mother's place was in the home, when her only child was 9 years old and in full time education. So opinions differ!

auntymandy · 11/09/2005 10:50

what benefits can a sahm claim?
Think its all about choice really. If you are happy working fine if you are happy at home fine.

Nightynight · 11/09/2005 11:00

auntymandy
surely you aren't assuming that everyone has a husband or partner who is prepared to take total responsibility for the family finances so that their wife can stay at home?

BunnyBoo · 11/09/2005 11:00

Dh earns about 25-26k plus bonuses through out the year and he also does private jobs at weekends and evenings sometimes,he is in the engineering industry. I have been a sahm for 4 yrs.

colditz · 11/09/2005 11:07

Auntymandy, if i didn't go to work there would be no cloth.

Why should my dp work longer for me to stay at home if he doesn't want to? I wouldn't do it for him!

Tortington · 11/09/2005 13:12

if finances dictate that you must work - then you must work. there is no choice auntymandy

Tortington · 11/09/2005 13:12

if finances dictate that you must work - then you must work. there is no choice auntymandy

auntymandy · 12/09/2005 08:19

but looking after the children is also a valued job. Why are you worried about your husband supporting you whilst you stey home to look aftr his children? ok when thet grow up work.
also many talk of benefits or hand outs...what are they? if there are benefits isnt it more fitting that if a mum wants to stay home and bring up her children she can.

Fio2 · 12/09/2005 08:41

i think alot of people get quite heavily into debt when only one person is working, from mine and others experiences as far as I know. We have no debt, high mortgage, dh earns 'average', I get dla and carers allowance, we get no working families tax credit although i must check this and I work 15 hr a week minimum wage whilst dh watches the children. Think this is quite typical of many woprking class families

Fio2 · 12/09/2005 08:48

and dont think i am being rude because I am not and I dont judge people on earnings/money at all, but getting by for alot of people is agonising over whether to have wine or poudding with their dinner as a 'reat' , usually on a saturday or sunday. it is usually wine but never usually cost more than 3 - 4 pound a bottle

Fio2 · 12/09/2005 08:48

pudding and treat, urgh i am so tired

Skate · 12/09/2005 08:55

I think there are definitely many women who 'have no choice' - particularly single mothers - and that must be very hard.

On the other hand, I think there are just as many women who say they don't have a choice, but what they really mean is they don't want to stay at home, at least not at the expense of the lifestyle they've become accustomed to. Since there is nothing wrong with this if that's their choice, I don't understand why they can't just say 'we could do it, but we'd have to move house and give up a car and I'm not prepared to do it' or 'we could do it but I really want to go out to work so I'm not prepared to give it up'.

The fact that there are posters on here with really quite low household incomes with one parent at home makes it pretty obvious it can often be done if you really want to.

I'm just as guilty myself although I work from home so my circumstances are slightly different (don't really use any childcare) - I'm permanently exhausted and often find myself asking dh 'but what choice do I have?' - well actually I do have a choice as I could stop working and we could move back to our old house and have a much smaller mortgage but frankly I don't want to do that and anyway I quite enjoy having work of my own to do. I'm sure this must be the same for lots of WOHM too. I know a lot of people do say this but so many harp on 'oh, we couldn't afford for me to be at home' and sometimes that's just not true.

ssd · 12/09/2005 09:41

Good post skate, I completly agree with you.

ScummyMummy · 12/09/2005 09:51

I agree Skate and think the converse is also true. I have heard women claim that they cannot afford to return to work because of childcare costs and, while I'm certain some of them were speaking the truth, I'm equally certain that others were not. It seems to me that many women are so scared of being judged for their choices that they disguise their decisions as rigid no-brainer "facts". Very sad, really.

Toothache · 12/09/2005 09:56

Sorry to butt in... but QueenofQuotes: HOW did you get a £110k mortgage with a salary of £16,500????? Just curious.... and nosy.

AND... a salary of 12k must only be about £800 per month???? Your monthly payments on that mortgage must by about £550-£600! How do manage all that on £250 per month?????????????

See... I'm really nosy!

Fio2 · 12/09/2005 10:23

it all depends how much equity you have toothache and what kind of repayment options yoiu choose

Toothache · 12/09/2005 10:27

Fio2 - Yeah but she said she has £110k mortgage...rather than a £110k property.... The most I've been offered is 4.5 times my salary!

Windermere · 12/09/2005 10:44

I had a choice but I don't think it was much of one. After childcare costs I was going to be left with less than £300 per month, dh now has new job further away from home which means that he would not be able to do the nursery drop off meaning my hours would have to be further reduced leaving me with less than £200 per month, petrol would cost me £100 per month, because I am not working I have decided my car is a luxury rather than a necessity and have worked out that selling it will save me £100 per month, which means that I would have been working for nothing! However, I am actually glad that I had no choice because I think for my family being a SAHM is the best option. We have had to cut down on all non essentials but I am 100% happy with my decision.

I would never say that a SAHM is better than being a working mum (I did always think I would work), I think you just need to get the balance right and if you are happy with your decision then it is the right one. However what really makes my blood boil is when people tell me that I am lucky to be able to stay at home. When I resigned my boss told me that I was fortunate because other people don't have that luxury, I was mad because the person he was referring to drives a top of the range Audi and had just returned from 4 weeks in Australia. Other people I know with babies also say to me that I am lucky as they have no choice but to work and yet they have 5 bedroom houses, flash cars and have already taken about 5 holidays this year! I don't begrudge them, good luck to them just please don't assume that because someone is a SAHM that they are loaded because they have made that choice.

puddle · 12/09/2005 10:52

I don't think the choice is as simple as balancing the household budgets is it?

For me to choose to be at home would mean relocating to another part of the country, my partner getting a new job, moving ds from his school and friends he is happy with, ditto for dd's friends and losing my support network of friends (we have no family support near us and would be unable to relocate nearer to them if we were doing a cost cutting exercise - they too live in a expensive parts of the country).

For most people it's not simply deciding whether you want to live in a smaller house, without a holiday or a new car or even economising on groceries - it's much more complex.

Windermere · 12/09/2005 12:10

Puddle, you do not have much of a choice by the sounds of it. But that's my point a lot of people have no real choice but to stay at home and a lot of people have no choice but to work.

QueenOfQuotes · 13/09/2005 13:30

oh - was sure I answered this quesiton!

anyhow, they included tax credits in the total income, and we went direct to DH's bank (not over the phone - they'd only offer us 4k more than the other lenders would). They sat down with him and all his bank statements, pay slips, tax credit information etc etc and agreed a 110k mortgage for us

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