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Financially worried about the future, how do other families manage?

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  • ibizafan_2ibizafan_2 Forumite
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    When my sons were very young I got a job in a restaurant in the evenings, so my husband took over when he got home and I went to work (3 or 4 evenings) It worked really well for us, as I got a break from the house and was doing a sociable job, and he had quality time with the boys. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I am still doing it
    33 years later, having retired from my professional job six years ago. For many years I did both jobs so around 50 plus hours.
  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    I agree that childcare does have to be taken into consideration but it is manageable. It seems to me is that the problem is that your wife is enjoying being a SAHM and reluctant to give it up.


    Although some would say that £24 000 is a good wage, it's not that high for a family of 4 with a mortgage and other outgoings.


    I'm confused that you've had help with school dinners. If your 4 year old is at school, I thought dinners were free up to age 7? Not sure when your youngest turns 3 but free hours should be available then. I'm assuming you live in England.


    Of course, term time jobs are not that easy to get but they do exist and if she doesn't try then it won't happen. It's hard to advise without knowing what skills your wife has but she should be prepared to take any job to help the family finances. It's not fair IMO to leave it all to you especially as it's causing you stress.
  • kazwookiekazwookie Forumite
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    Part time evening work
    Pubs
    Restaurants
    Supermarkets
    Tele sales
    Work at the school, same hours as the children, same holidays, lunch time cover, class room help, admin office work etc.

    She works when you are at home in the evenings, your job then is to look after the children, housework, ironing, cooking , cleaning

    Keep a weekedn day free to go out to the park, river, beach , what ever
    :) Sun, Sea :)

  • edited 25 May 2019 at 4:22PM
    svainsvain Forumite
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    edited 25 May 2019 at 4:22PM
    ska_lover wrote: »
    In my mind, financial life seems to work like this:-

    Stage one - Full of energy and lust for life, but hard work to get any money together to do anything like travel etc

    Stage two - Have own family, try and work up the career ladder whilst juggling children, mortgage - be skint for the next 20 years at least. Especially hard in early days with both parents possibly not working. You realise that your younger self was just a dreamer

    Stage three - Kids start flying the nest, and parents possibly moved up the career ladder now and about paid of their mortgage. find you Have more money than you have ever had spare, and if you still have the energy and lust for life after the last 30 plus years of slogging it, then go on a world cruise

    Every one in your stage is doing the same as you, it is called the slog. But you are very lucky you are sitting on a decent amount of savings, which is much more than many have - YOU ARE NOT LIVING ON THE EDGE. You really are not. This is your anxious brain telling you this. YOU. ARE. NOT. LIVING. ON. THE. EDGE. **Shakes OP

    I think you need to chill out, relax, whilst your kids are still young, enjoy them. Stop feeding this anxiety and circular thinking that something is going to happen. You have got this far without a disaster

    AND SO WHAT if a car breaks down. Do you really need two. Really?


    I have to also pick up on the point of you saying that your wife is putting obstacles or barriers in the way of getting a job when the children are at school........You really should not be arguing about this. She is right, WHO WILL look after the kids? Someone needs to, are you prepared to change your hours to pick kids up from school? What are you offering in terms of ideas to this very real problem
    BUT THEN
    Someone earlier suggested your wife getting a part time job whilst you are at home to look after the kids. Plenty of evening and weekend work available - but you veto'd this idea as you have little time to do everything the four of you. SEE what you are doing here - you are YOURSELF throwing barriers in the way of a very valid (and the only) solution to this situation. Lots of couples work like this, one will go out to work of an evening.

    You are not living on the edge - RELAX

    Very difficult to function as family logistically or financially without 2 cars nowadays. Public transport in all but the larger towns/cities is a joke and not cheap. 2 cars nowadays is more a necessity than a luxury .... and buy the right car the expense and runnning costs can be reasonably modest
  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    kazwookie wrote: »
    Part time evening work
    Pubs
    Restaurants
    Supermarkets
    Tele sales
    Work at the school, same hours as the children, same holidays, lunch time cover, class room help, admin office work etc.

    She works when you are at home in the evenings, your job then is to look after the children, housework, ironing, cooking , cleaning

    Keep a weekedn day free to go out to the park, river, beach , what ever


    I'm all for sharing household tasks but surely if OP's wife is at home all day, children at school and (soon to be) nursery how much of that needs to be done in the evening?? Yes to cooking a meal and caring for the children (baths, homework, reading stories etc.) but not leave all that list to him.


    Whether 2 cars are needed depends on whether it's possible to walk the children to school. Hopefully it is as it's healthier for everyone. Then it depends on what sort of job OP's wife takes. If it's in the evenings maybe they can share a car.
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    Your title asks how other families manage.

    Don't be fooled by fancy cars on the drive and exotic foreign holidays.
    A lot of those families have credit cards maxed out.
    And no five figure savings.
  • HampshireHHampshireH Forumite
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    To be honest. Most people would love to have 5 figures in the bank, a 4 bed house, 2 cars and a small mortgage.

    The financial worries probably should have been address last year when you bought the 4 bed house.

    I can only assume you live in a comparably cheaper area more north than south. Either than or you had a fair sum behind you last year for the house purchase :)

    We couldn't run our 2 bed on 24k a year, our household basic bills alone come to the best part of 16k annually. Thats with dog expenses but no kids yet.

    I fear your anxiety is less about the reality of your current circumstances (as you seem to be doing well) and more about the what ifs.

    Why not do an Statement of Affairs so you can see where you could save money and more so where it all goes which may alleviate the worry?
  • GrumpelstiltskinGrumpelstiltskin Forumite
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    OP Does your wife read these forum posts?

    Point her in the direction of this board.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=145

    Also the Old Style board to see how she can save money.

    It is possible to live on one full time wage plus small amounts brought in by the other partner but you have to forget the Joneses you are the Brindles and you live your life your way.
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • peachypricepeachyprice Forumite
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    How do other families manage?

    Well in this house we've both always worked. I took 6 months maternity leave with both pregnancies, went back to work, even worked 2 jobs while my twins were small. Being a SAHM would have been a luxury, one we couldn't afford.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    MrBrindle wrote: »
    I'm the only earner in the household, on 24k a year, while my partner claims child tax credits + child benefits. She says she will go back to work when the youngest starts school, but she's already putting barriers in the way as to what jobs she can do when she does the school runs / who will look after the kids during half terms and holidays etc.
    I posted earlier on my phone but I've since had chance to re-read the initial post.

    Who will do the school runs and who will look after the kids during holidays if/when your wife goes back to work?
    It's a valid question and they certainly won't look after themselves.
    Jobs that fit around school times and holidays are rare.
    Does your wife have skills that might get her a job with hours to suit the family?
    If not, could she consider some sort of training, maybe evening time?

    You say your parents' have helped financially - would they be able to help with childcare?

    As an aside - I'm not sure I think it fair to "rely on handouts" from parents when you have a 5 figure sum sat in savings.
    Unless of course, both parents have enough money to give handouts.
    But that's just my opinion.
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