Please could I have some advice on what is the normal household income?

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Hello,
Hoping I could maybe please have some opinions and advice. My partner and I have been in a relatively good financial position, with me earning 55k and my partner earning 40k. But the stress of my job has been really impacting my mental health and resulted in me actually attempting suicide a few times. I’ve discussed with my therapist and think it would be beneficial for me to take some time off to focus on myself. But I know my company and if I go on sick leave due to stress, they will find a way to get rid of me. I’ve tried looking for other jobs but have not been successful with anything. I think it’s because I’m really just not in the right mindset and am just really struggling.
My question is, if I’m to take a break and risk being fired, do you think in this climate we could survive as a couple with dog and cat on 40k? Our mortgage is £1400 a month so we would probably need to move but then that might not save us much if we have to pay the new high interest rates?

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  • j02022
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    I should add that my partner has been really supportive and is happy to help me financially but it’s me who’s worrying more about how we would make it work and being a burden 
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,348 Forumite
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    Couples do survive on that and less - but you would really need to look at your own finances, and at what is non-negotiable for you.  If you were not working, could you use your time to keep household costs as a minimum.  Would you need to be a two car household, or could you find a way to manage with one, or none?  Could you take in a lodger or would that not work for your family?  Have you been saving/overpaying with your current income? 
    Probably worthwhile working out several budgets -
    -where your money has currently been going
    -what you feel would be acceptable spending cuts to make to stay in your present home
    -a hypothetical move



    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Andy_L
    Andy_L Posts: 12,823 Forumite
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    edited 6 October 2022 at 3:27PM
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    "Median household disposable* income in the UK was £31,400 in financial year ending (FYE) 2021, which covered the first year of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; this was an annual increase of 2%, based on estimates from the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) Household Finances Survey. "

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/bulletins/householddisposableincomeandinequality/financialyearending2021#:~:text=Median household disposable income in,(ONS) Household Finances Survey.


    *"Disposable income is the amount of money that households have available for spending and saving after direct taxes, such as Income Tax, National Insurance and Council Tax, have been accounted for"
  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 16,983 Forumite
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    You'll have to calculate your outgoings, see if there's anything you're prepared to give up, add some for savings to cover expected and unexpected bills / emergencies. That's the lowest amount you and your wife need to bring in. The hard part is how will you cope financially if your wife loses her job?

    It's not to say you can't make it work, just needs careful planning and consideration for all possible events.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • custardy
    custardy Posts: 38,365 Forumite
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    edited 6 October 2022 at 8:45PM
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    others will cover the outgoings side etc.
    Reality is many survive on less than your wifes income with kids. so of course doable.

    To take a different slant.
    does your employer have decent sick pay/policy?
    Being dismissed can be 6 months+ down the line. That's an extra £20k in wages/time to sort a path
    also keep in mind you could be doing any other job after you leave, and adding £10-20k to the household income
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,914 Forumite
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    j02022 said:
    Hello,
    Hoping I could maybe please have some opinions and advice. My partner and I have been in a relatively good financial position, with me earning 55k and my partner earning 40k. But the stress of my job has been really impacting my mental health and resulted in me actually attempting suicide a few times. I’ve discussed with my therapist and think it would be beneficial for me to take some time off to focus on myself. But I know my company and if I go on sick leave due to stress, they will find a way to get rid of me. I’ve tried looking for other jobs but have not been successful with anything. I think it’s because I’m really just not in the right mindset and am just really struggling.
    My question is, if I’m to take a break and risk being fired, do you think in this climate we could survive as a couple with dog and cat on 40k? Our mortgage is £1400 a month so we would probably need to move but then that might not save us much if we have to pay the new high interest rates?
    The normal household income isn't going to help you much - you need to look at your own situation and work out not whether you can survive on £40K, but how you'll do so. Surely the priority here is your health and wellbeing, given your comment  But the stress of my job has been really impacting my mental health and resulted in me actually attempting suicide a few times.  

    Surely your company is aware that there is a serious mental health issue here and unless they've got their heads firmly in the sand, recognise their own potential exposure to a claim against them (whether or not such a claim would be valid isn't the point I'm making - it is the fact that you could make one that should be registering with them). I'd check two things: the terms of any sick pay policy (as already suggested above); and whether the company might entertain the idea of a sabbatical, either paid or unpaid, if that might be a viable option?
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Wyndham
    Wyndham Posts: 2,459 Forumite
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    With that sort of income, and that sort of mortgage, I'm going to guess that your outgoings have been above 'normal' or 'average' for quite some time.

    So, if you have a larger house than most people, your mortgage is bigger. But so are your energy bills, your council tax, the number of repairs you are likely to have to deal with etc. You possibly also have a larger car, and not a 'budget' runner? You'll be used to 'just buying things'. And if they are a bit more expensive, you'll probably go with it. Your leisure life may also be more expensive than average.

    None of the above is judgement at all, and I am only guessing and could well be wrong!

    But my advice would be that you shouldn't think about 'normal', but about you. Can you see places where you could cut costs relatively easily? There is plenty of advice on this site for how to do that. There will be some things which are easy, others which are more painful, and only you can decide where that line is, and how far you want to go into 'painful' territory.

    Do you have savings you could draw on for a bit, to help? And if you're saving them for a rainy day, well, it sounds like it's currently pouring down!

    Finally - your mental health is far more important than anything else. The job doesn't sound like it's right for you, but you're hardly on the scrapheap because of that (and I'm so sorry that maybe you think you are). If you do leave that job, there are others out there. By cutting back a bit, maybe using some savings, you can give yourself the gift of time, and you will get a different perspective, and see things that you can't see at the moment.

    For context: I took time out when I was 30, after a few years in a job which wasn't right for me. I did a Master's degree in a subject that is no use to anyone, but was really fun and challenging. But, it also gave me time to work out what I want to do when I grow up (!!) To be honest, now in my 50s, I think I'm still working on that, but I'm a lot closer to it than I used to be.

    Good luck, and please do take care of yourself, and your mental health.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,580 Forumite
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    Nobody on this board can tell you if you could get by on £40k.  You need to sit down and list all your outgoings and see what you can do without, and what contracts can be terminated without penalty.
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