Financial Costs of going to work...:(

Hi All,

I am trying to work a solution for my working hours, childcare and how to afford it all. I thought I was quite lucky that I have access to a nursery that doesnt charge a fortune for its services and have managed to secure a place for both of my children, they also seem to love going.
Now as far as my job is concerned I get paid relatively well for the role I do, its certainly best paying in comparison to other companies. Problem I have it that even with all of that I have to commit to working the weekends just so that I can afford to go to work and send the children to nursery for a couple of days a week, I cannot afford to work mon-fri and send them to nursery. :(

This I am finding hard as I am missing out on being with my husband and the kids at the weekend when he is off and it means that when one of us are at work the other is with the kids and at same time we are passing each other so dont get to spend much time with each other. Our relationship is suffering.

How do you all balance this? Its not possible for me not to work as we cant afford this with our outgoings. I need balance and dont know how to get this......Help!


  • Kayalana99
    Kayalana99 Posts: 3,626 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Start up a business from home - I know its not much help but what else really can you do but keep plodding along?

    Although one idea thats been nagging at me for a while is teaming up with another Mum.

    I.e They look after your two kids for two days and you look after their kids for two days = free childcare for you both.

    Thing is because of people needing to be CRB checked and its not that easy to find someone compatible it will probally never be more then an idea.
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
  • It sounds like you're aware of your income and outgoings based on you working 5 days vs 7 days. Working Mon-Fri does not bring in enough extra cash to cover the childcare this requires. How do your finances look if you're not working - i.e. removing the cost of childcare, commuting, work clothes / dry cleaning, lunches, etc. and also the income from working?

    When DH and I planned for children we did this comparison and worked out that me returning to work would actually only give us an extra £200 a month, after factoring in the costs associated with work plus childcare. I didn't think that was enough overall compensation for doing 45 hours a week (as well as the time away and extra stress) and we had room in our budget to cut back, so that's what we agreed to do.
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  • I would love to be able to stay at home but financially its just not possible. Our outgoings are pretty much ridiculously high and there is no way of changing them without moving as my rent is the biggest chunk of it. We have cut down where we can and are trying to save for a deposit to buy our own place so its all go.

    Starting my own business is not really something I want to do, I need to know how much money I have coming in.

    I like the idea of the mummy sitting and have a sister who has lil ones I could swap with. might have to look into this one.
  • It's tough, currently my childcare is £200 per month more than I earn so I pay the £200 with my child benefit and I live on my tax credits. It's crap and I sometimes hate it but actually I can hold my head high and know that I work hard for my family and so do u by the sound of it.
    U have a decision to make Hun, u can either carry on as u are a suck it up! ( I mean this in the nicest possible way) or you can cut back, move house, not get a mortgage and go p-time or be a stay at home mummy!
    Only u and ur family can make that choice Hun.
    I wish you the best, I'll be watching with interest and her to offer a virtual shoulder, as a mother too I fully understand the strain u are under.
    Much love
    lA x
    :o:pGetting debt free and moving on from separation one day at a time.:p:o
  • Hi,

    Are you and/or your husband able to get childcare vouchers through work? Up to £243 each tax free per month if you are basic rate tax payers. (i.e. you don't pay tax on £243 of income - about £50 per month saving at 20% rate). Worth asking your employer to set up the scheme if they don't already do it - it doesn't cost them anything.

    From 3yrs old your children should get 15 hours free nursery care each week which should help.

    It gets easier as they get older - may be worth sticking with the job in the short term if you know you'll be better off in 6 months as they get older / go to school etc.

    Good luck - it is a real balancing act!
  • Would u not be eligible for tax credits for help with childcare? I was under the impression they helped with so much towards childcare... may be worth looking at the tables on hmrc website x
  • Gillby1
    Gillby1 Posts: 659 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    What ages are your children? The childcare costs for my two were £90 per day (South East) and it actually cost us more than i earn to pay for it, once i factored in travel costs etc... However, it was worth struggling for a couple of years as my 3 yr old is now eligible for 15 hrs free per week childcare (this is available for all 3 year olds), and in September my youngest will be eligible for the 15 hours and my eldest will have started school. At that point we'll be much better off, and I will still have my job! Depending on the age of your children, presumably you'll be in the same position in the not-too-distant future? Once you're in that position, perhaps you could look at reducing your hours/days?

    It is hard balancing childcare and work, however, and if we had the guarantee of plenty of money for the rest of our lives i would become a sahm in a shot!!
    Debt free date: October 2006 :money:
  • I gave up work because the cost of childcare was more than I earned (and I had a really good job) it wasn't the term time childcare (150 per week) but during the holidays I was paying 450 per week. If you then add 50 a week fuel, and then all the other assorted costs of working I was paying to work 20 weeks a year.

    A girl I worked with got help with her childcare and it made such a difference. You should really see if you are entitled to help. Hopefully you will be.

    Also I remember a while back that two mums who shared childcare with each other got in to trouble because they hadn't been approved by the council (or something similar) as they were essentially being employed as childminders although paid in kind.
  • lobey
    lobey Posts: 277 Forumite
    I'm struggling with this too. Where I live in SW London is insanely expensive, the cheaper option is a Montessori, still £1300 full time but u didn't get a good feel for the place. The one I love is £1690 which is exactly my take home pay, though my company does do child care vouchers. Don't know what to do... Had planned to go back to work until we have number 2 in potentially 2 years then not go back but not bringing any money in seems crazy!
  • penguin83
    penguin83 Posts: 4,817 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Honestly, you just manage. It becomes second nature. I work full time days and OH full time nights. He works weekends too so we have Monday and Tuesday evening as family time. It works for us. You don't see much of each other or as a complete family but it makes the time that you do have so precious that you don't tend to waste it.

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