How do I get out of the treadmill: work, commute, family?

FrugalgirlFrugalgirl Forumite
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I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post.
I am a single mum living in the suburbs of a large town with my 4 year old daughter. I work 40 hours or more a week and have a commute of 2 hours every day. I don't see my daughter very much and when I do I am too exhausted to do anything with her.
I am considering moving to a small town near the sea where we have a few friends. I want to reflect on this very carefully before I move. 
Has anyone made this leap? What sort of things did you consider before making a move? Is there something you know now that you wish you had known earlier? How do you work out the budget needed (it will mean a big cut in salary but hopefully cheaper cost of living).
Thank you!


  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    Hi, Have you got a job lined up? Seaside resorts can have limited opportunities outside of seasonal work. If you're moving to a cheaper area, bare in mind you might be outpriced should you ever want to return to your current place. There's a thread asking similar stuff on the main bit of this board, children a bit older than yours. I'll see if I can do a link as it might be helpful to readthe replies on there. 

  • FrugalgirlFrugalgirl Forumite
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    That's really helpful!
    Thank you
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I presume you've also considered either changing jobs or moving nearer work to reduce that commute? That would be the killer for me, both in terms of time and travel costs. 
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • pickledonionspaceraiderpickledonionspaceraider Forumite
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    There are a lot of things to factor.  More than I know, but some things
    1. Do you own your house, will you be selling/buying? If selling do you have some savings for solicitors/stamp duty etc
    2. What are the property prices like? renting or buying?
    3. Do you have a job / school lined up?  Why do you need to take a paycut in your field?  Are the schools good? 
    4. Do you have family there, as well as friends?
    5. Does your child want to move? 
    Your thread is entitled '

    How do I get out of the treadmill: work, commute, family?'

    and this is then gone off on a tangent in the actual post - by this I wonder if you are, in the main body of your post - trying to answer this question yourself - by considering a move to the seaside

    One thing that is concerning is you say 'hopefully' a cheaper cost of living - this is a question you need to know the answer to before even considering this. Look at the house prices and rents in comparison to the local wages.  The property prices will be the only different factor, all other utility bills will remain whatever they are now or very similar. Some coastal areas do not even have gas for example and you find the cost of oil heating etc

    Going back to the original question, moving to the seaside, in your situation is not going to get you off the treadmill, you are still going to have to work and commute and are your family even in that area.

    With love, POSR <3
  • JoxJox Forumite
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    I went back to work when my son was 6 months old and like you was working 40 hrs per week and commuting 2 hours a day, only seeing him in the evenings, weekends and holidays. I trained to be a childminder but in the end didn't do that. I was contacted by a company called Fyxer who are family friendly, they provide personal assistants who work from home 4 days a week and go to office one day a week, maybe see if there are any other companies who are flexible and enable you to work from home more? Some parents at my son's school seem to work from home a few days a week.
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  • Clouds88Clouds88 Forumite
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    You must be exhausted! I think our children are precious and they are only young once, I try to spend as much time as possible with my girls. I dont obviously know what background you are from but I would rather be poor and spend as much time with my kids than have a good job but never see them. (Whilst they are young that is). Luckily I do work only 2 nights a week. I think no matter where you live there should be Lots of care work around for shifts like that if you arent a nurse/midwife for example. 

    I hope you do what you think is best for you and your child x
  • Whiterose23Whiterose23 Forumite
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    I uprooted with my two aged 11 and 13 a few years ago to move to a small town about five miles from the coast but nearer to a family member. I commute two and a half hours each day, four days a week to continue working at the job I used to live very near to before the move. 
    Despite this it’s worked out so well - I don’t see as much of the children but they’re older and busy with after school clubs etc.
    Our quality of life has improved no end - lots of fresh air, beach/moorland visits, much more going on, and whilst I get tired of the driving from time to time, it’s now just part of my day.
    I actually know people who spend longer in their cars travelling to work in a small city 15 miles away from here than I do, purely because my commute is not traffic heavy.
    It took me a few years to build up the courage but i’m so glad I did it now. We don’t have as much money but it’s worth it for everything else we gained.
    I made a pros and cons list and although financially I would have been much better off staying put, the quality of life change won over in the end and I’m so glad we made the move.
  • SistergoldSistergold Forumite
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    I find in most cases every choice will have its disadvantages and you will only really see the reality after making the move. 
    Right now not spending time with your daughter is causing the stress but you might also find when you now have all the time to spend with your daughter and you don’t have enough money the lack of money will now become very important and cause you much stress and affect your interactions with your daughter. 
    Can you not move closer to your job? I am just asking if your current job is very well paying ?  As a single parent taking a pay cut may mean money will quickly become an issue down the line. If however you 1. don’t love your job, 2. the pay cut is not an issue and 3. you see so much improvement in quality of life after moving then well moving will be the thing to do. 
    I also find children grow up very quickly and I feel sometimes as mothers we sacrifice our future for a very short present. Once children go to school you will be happy you kept your job if it was a good one. If you are also a professional then if the pay cut also means moving out of your profession then coming back into your profession later will mean you are now out of touch and have to start retraining sometimes if the profession will give you a chance at all? Life as a single parent is extra stressful and in a way it affects how much time you can have with the children but as a single parent money tends to be a bit more important as you need to also look after you and your daughter. 
    Hope it works out for you whatever you choose
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  • How is the current situation affecting your decision-making OP? I’m guessing that you are now spending more time with your daughter than you ever imagined in your wildest dreams! 
    If you have a job that can be done from home during Covid, is there a chance that your employer would allow you to continue WFH sometimes when things go back to normal? 
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