Stretching the pennies

Hello all, I would love some advice/opinions on the following situation.

We currently have one child but are considering having a second. I currently work part time and our daughter attends nursery for three days a week. If we had a 2nd I would have to give up work and become a sahm. There is no way we could afford childcare for 2 kids (we don't have any family who are willing/able to help us out with childcare) so my daughter would probably reduce her hours at nursery slightly but would still be able to attend for the 15 free hrs a week that she will soon be eligible for.

In the past I have had serious doubts about whether I could cope with being a sahm (I have the greatest respect for those who are but I like to go out to work) but recently have been feeling a lot more positive about the idea. I know it won't be easy but I feel that I could do it until the 2nd starts school. Also my mil retires soon so I might be able to get a job for a couple of mornings a week or something and ask her to babysit.

Anyway, my point is that while I know it will be a big struggle for us financially (I have had a look at what tax credits we would be entitled to etc and after all our outgoings we would have about £100 left per month for christmas/birthdays/car payments) I am quite optimistic about it. The problem is that my husband is not. He would also love another child but he is a born worrier when it comes to money and while I think that we just have to roll up our sleeves and get on with it and that we will manage, he is terrified of being in debt, getting behind on the mortgage etc etc. It was only recently I realised just how much he is worried about it.

So has anyone who is in the same boat got any advice for how you do manage. I obviously can't (and don't want to) force my husband into having another child but I do want him to make an informed decision which means showing him how we could get by. Any tips for stretching the pennies and making ends meet would be massively appreciated.


  • zcrat41
    zcrat41 Posts: 1,728 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    How old are you?
  • MrsSippi
    MrsSippi Posts: 287 Forumite
    zcrat41 wrote: »
    How old are you?

    Why does that matter? Not offended or annoyed, just wondering why you asked.
  • I hope you get some useful advice on here to let your family grow...we were in the same boat. We didn't earn enough for us to have 2 children in full time childcare after I returned to work so we ended up waiting until our 1st would be in school when I returned to work after my next maternity leave to avoid having this massive outgoing doubled (we paid about £740 a month on childcare between him being 1 - when I returned to work - and him starting to school. The only thing that brought this cost down slightly was the 15 hours free once he was entitled to it).
    We're expecting number 2 now and when I take my year off we'll be saving the £250 a month we pay for before and after school care for him as I'll be at home to do it and that much reduced amount is financially do-able when I return to work alongside the £700+ that we'll be committing to for the next little one.

    I def. couldn't be a SAHM but hands up to you considering it! I also couldn't get back into my career (which I truly love) if I took a break over a year, so for us it was a case of figuring out how we could logistically absorb the cost of childcare...and that meant our 1st being at least Reception age after my 2nd mat. leave (so being 3 ish years old when we aimed to get pregnant with the next baby).

    :) Good luck! :)
  • Na1play
    Na1play Posts: 56 Forumite
    Hi MrsSippi, I've been reading the Old Style Moneysaving board on here, go and have a gander. It's chockablock with great advice, tips and help.
    Make sure you're getting the best deals for your outgoings such as car insurance, gas and electric etc. Keep track of what you're spending on food, make a menu plan for the week ahead, it really helps me to not waste food. I like to buy what's on offer and plan from there. I like to get out my food budget in cash so I don't overspend.

    Our direct debits comes out of one account. The rest of our pay is in another, this way we know where we are with money all month long.

    I cook what I can from scratch, bulk meals out with veg, lentils and/or oats. I can make more than required and freeze the rest for another meal. Most things can be frozen!

    I don't need shaving foam, as long as my body is warm from bath or shower, I can just shave with a razor. I moisturise with oil afterwards. Porridge oats in an old tights leg really softens your skin in the bath.

    I mop my floors with just a squiggle of bleach. Soda crystals are my friend. I put a couple of tbsp in the wash which reduces the amount of washing liquid I've used. I changed from Persil non bio to Aldi's own non bio and it's fab. I can jam pack my boot with an £80 Aldi shop!

    Anyway, as I said, pop along to the Old Style thread further down the forum, it marvelous and full of lovely, helpful people.

  • karren
    karren Posts: 1,260 Forumite
    edited 22 January 2014 at 3:14PM
    It can be done, I've a 14 and 10 year old and until v recently was part time, we had months were we literally had no money after bills but old style board is a life saver as it has common sense ideas,
    Look realistically at budget
    Make severe cutbacks on say sky
    Do you need that extra mobile pay as you go is best as can budget
    Think twice before you buy anything
    Budget for everything, we have main account then splinter accounts all the things like car expenses go in, school expenses, him fund, Xmas fund, emergency fund
    I literally put an account for everything
    Camping is our hols as affordable and relaxed (once the tents up!!!)
    Star drops is wonderful cleaner and cheap
    Scratch cook and bulk cook so they eat well and less junk in diet
    Takeaways can be made at home honestly, green Dragon sauces in home bargains are fab as so cheap I just marinate them in morning and cook in oven and my 2 love choosing their Chinese Tec themselves and cooking

    Those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind, so if your friends scorn you for wanting to be home and live simply they aren't real friends

    They don't need everything brand new as clothes are outgrown so quickly
    The park and beach are free and look on net mums Tec for free activities, there's s good site on Facebook called family days and she's wonderful as inspires for free fun

    Their childhood is precious be there as much as you can as it really does whizz by!!!!
    :A :j
  • i can understand were you are coming from but I would say try not to worry. I know it sounds daft but each child always brings blessings and we all find a way to do without the extra cash. you may be entitled to some child tax credit or similar.
    also you could start planning your meals and buying just what you need to save money. if there is anything on offer that you know you'll need for baby stock up and eBay, charity shops and car boot sales are great places to look for clothes and toys.
    go through your monthly outgoings and see if any can be got rid of or swapped to get cheaper deals too.
    also on the benefit side when you look online its often not a true reflection of what you would get.
    put it this way if we all waited until we could afford a child we would probably never have any!!!
    £1000 Emergency fund challenge #225 - £1000.00.00/£1000- End of Baby Step 3 (A work in progress)
  • themull1
    themull1 Posts: 4,299 Forumite
    £100 isnt much left at the end of the month, if in doubt, stick with one child!
  • Money_maker
    Money_maker Posts: 5,471 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    If in doubt, go for it. You will never regret having to live frugally for a couple of years but will regret not having another child.
    Please do not quote spam as this enables it to 'live on' once the spam post is removed. ;)

    If you quote me, don't forget the capital 'M'

    Declutterers of the world - unite! :rotfl::rotfl:
  • aimeemum
    aimeemum Posts: 687 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Xmas Saver!
    We now have 3 and strictly we can't afford it lol :o

    You make it work - that's the only way I can say it. We have about £2.50 at the end of each month due to bills, food, fuel for hubby to get to and from uni, etc and just the cost of life (classes for the kids, clothes, extra bottles of milk, formula and nappies). It's hard work. I wont lie I lie awake at night thinking 'OH MY GOD!!!!' some weeks as it can get too much. They aren't that frequent and I'm sure even the richest person in the world has the odd moment like that lol.

    I do however love being at home with my minions! They are such a force to be reckoned with and I would not change it for the world. I live by the adage of 'you can only regret things you DON'T try!' and I've never met a single person who regrets having a child.

    On the other hand, is there a way you could cut childcare costs. Vouchers? Changing hours to match pre-school hours? using a childminder? Don't give up the idea of working just yet. And, you'll get maternity pay/allowance which could be the stop-gap you need.
    Changing my Family's Future!! - Starting again!!!!
    Current Progress -
    Debt - Start date 31/8/22 = £7,252.78
    Savings 31/8/22 - £0
    plus £1000 EF - £0/£1000 = 0%
  • flikkerty
    flikkerty Posts: 145 Forumite
    yes I had another, it is hard but I always remember Vanessa Feltz saying she wished she had more children but didn't because of the cost of school fees and this and that but she realised non of that was important and she missed out. You will manage because we always do and you are on here which is half the battle. Anyway I waffle.. you can get an evening job so husband can babysit at night, call centres, waitressing etc.. good luck with your decision.
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