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    • MrBrindle
    • By MrBrindle 25th May 19, 10:51 AM
    • 171Posts
    • 75Thanks
    MrBrindle
    Financially worried about the future, how do other families manage?
    • #1
    • 25th May 19, 10:51 AM
    Financially worried about the future, how do other families manage? 25th May 19 at 10:51 AM
    A venting post coming up. Does anyone else just wonder how other families can afford it all?

    We're a family of four, two daughters, 4 + 2 years old. We have a small-ish four bed house - the new build type. Tax is expensive on it, but running costs are ok on gas and electric. We are lucky to only have a small mortgage.

    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'm constantly worried about the future financially. Both of our cars are 8+ years old, we have a dodgy leak in the living room window that's left a few builders baffled, we have old laptops, old phones etc. My parents and my mother in law have helped with things like paying for school dinners and swimming lessons, but I hate relying on handouts when I'm in my 30's. We do have a 5 figure saving between us, but that could easily be wiped if we need a new car etc!

    I just hate living on edge like this, and I've been suffering from depression and anxiety because of it, which in turn has affected my work and home life.

    I worry about money daily, and don't know what to do about our situation. I'm thinking of re-training as something else because I've pretty much reached the ceiling in terms of wage for what I do in this area.

    There are options like moving house, but we only moved last year and that nearly gave me a breakdown, let alone the costs of actually moving.

    Does anyone else feel like this about life? I'm guessing a lot do worry about money, but my partner thinks that I'm an extreme case!

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    Last edited by MSE Tine; 18-06-2019 at 8:54 AM.
Page 1
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 25th May 19, 11:04 AM
    • 2,596 Posts
    • 3,521 Thanks
    comeandgo
    • #2
    • 25th May 19, 11:04 AM
    • #2
    • 25th May 19, 11:04 AM
    I think you have to give yourself a break. You are doing wonderfully well to have your house and a decent bank balance.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 25th May 19, 11:13 AM
    • 30,986 Posts
    • 79,422 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 25th May 19, 11:13 AM
    • #3
    • 25th May 19, 11:13 AM
    We're a family of four, two daughters, 4 + 2 years old. We have a small-ish four bed house - the new build type. Tax is expensive on it, but running costs are ok on gas and electric. We are lucky to only have a small mortgage.

    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'm constantly worried about the future financially.

    Does anyone else feel like this about life? I'm guessing a lot do worry about money, but my partner thinks that I'm an extreme case!
    Originally posted by MrBrindle
    I think you're doing very well but I can understand your worries - being the only earner in a family can be a heavy responsibility.

    Talk to your wife - if she wants you to stay well and in work, she needs to take your anxieties more seriously.

    Can't she find some part-time work while you're at home to care for the children? The longer she stays out of work, the harder it will be for her to get back into it, both in terms of being offered a job but also psychologically.

    Even if it was occasional or short-term jobs, you could save everything she earns to build up your rainy day fund.

    Talk to other parents who both work about how they manage child care - many other families cope so there's no reason why yours can't.
    • PrettyKittyKat
    • By PrettyKittyKat 25th May 19, 11:26 AM
    • 1,163 Posts
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    PrettyKittyKat
    • #4
    • 25th May 19, 11:26 AM
    • #4
    • 25th May 19, 11:26 AM
    It's understandable to feel pressured, especially when your partner does not work. However I think when you have young children that is a time that can be a financial struggle. You are very lucky to have 5 figures saved up! Although it could be wiped if you needed a new car, it also could not be as there are lots of options for buying a car (pcp, HP, second hand etc). I feel like your comment about your wife not being very positive about returning to work may be something you need to discuss with her. She can look for parttime work now, maybe for when you are home, which will help her get more hours when your youngest starts school. Won't you get the free childcare hours soon too? So she could start working more hour part time then as there will be no childcare costs to offset her income.

    Don't compare yourself to others (easier said than done I know!) as you don't know what is happening financially behind closed doors - releasing equity, living off credit, inheritances following a painful bereavement. etc.
    • MrBrindle
    • By MrBrindle 25th May 19, 11:39 AM
    • 171 Posts
    • 75 Thanks
    MrBrindle
    • #5
    • 25th May 19, 11:39 AM
    • #5
    • 25th May 19, 11:39 AM
    Thanks for the replies. I don't feel like I've doing well, I've been a miserable **** for a while now since my worries began.

    The job thing with my partner is a sticking point, and it's been the cause of quite a few arguments recently. In her view, being a stay at home mum is her 'job' at the moment. I guess that's what the plan was when we decided to have children, but we were naive to not realise the financial impact of going down to one wage in the years to come.

    She is coming up with ideas, but more to do with saving money - like getting solar panels, buying an electric car etc - all of which we can't really afford anyway!! We are not seeing eye to eye on the issues at the moment, because the real issue is bringing money in rather than making savings when we're already trying hard at that.

    The only snag with her finding work when I'm at home is that we'd hardly have any free days to do things with all 4 of us, but I understand a lot have to do that.

    Yes we will hopefully get the free childcare hours - children between 3-4 I think if I'm right.

    Then there's also the issue of Universal credit, and we'll be hard hit by that given our savings and my wage. We won't be getting a penny when that replaces child tax credits.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 25th May 19, 11:44 AM
    • 485 Posts
    • 863 Thanks
    onwards&upwards
    • #6
    • 25th May 19, 11:44 AM
    • #6
    • 25th May 19, 11:44 AM

    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.
    Originally posted by MrBrindle

    Those aren’t ‘barriers’ those are important things that will need to be considered and planned, have you come up with any ideas/suggestions about childcare when your wife goes back to work?
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 25th May 19, 12:58 PM
    • 3,082 Posts
    • 7,465 Thanks
    ska lover
    • #7
    • 25th May 19, 12:58 PM
    • #7
    • 25th May 19, 12:58 PM
    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
    Last edited by ska lover; 25-05-2019 at 1:08 PM.
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 25th May 19, 1:01 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Retireby40
    • #8
    • 25th May 19, 1:01 PM
    • #8
    • 25th May 19, 1:01 PM
    A friend of mine is in a similar situation to you but doesn't have a mortgage as they rent nor has the savings.

    They have 2 kids and and another on the way and while he works full time earning a similar salary to yours she works part time in the evenings when he comes home.

    They still have a day a weekend to do something as a family but when you decide to have children you need to realise that sacrifices have to be made.

    And you can always find an hour or two to do something together like go to the park or get an ice cream.

    Don't beat yourself up. You can only do your best and by the looks of things your doing a good job. While your situation may not be perfect in your eyes is a hell of a lot better than a lot of families.
    • Mrs Soup
    • By Mrs Soup 25th May 19, 1:03 PM
    • 593 Posts
    • 1,112 Thanks
    Mrs Soup
    • #9
    • 25th May 19, 1:03 PM
    • #9
    • 25th May 19, 1:03 PM
    Other families manage by both adults working even if one is part time. Or by having one very high earner. If you and your wife have agreed that the children are her job for now that is fine but when they are both at school in 2-3 years time she will have a lot more time albeit very tied in to school hours which can be harder to work round than you think. If your eldest is 4 presumably they are going to school in September and the younger could go to pre school soon on the free hours. What work did your wife do before the children - is it something she could pick up again part time? If she does go back to work you may both have to look at how best to do your hours to manage the children- eg does your job allow a slightly later start so you can drop the children off while she goes to work early then leaves in time to pick them up- does the childrens school have after school care and/or breakfast club as using those even once or twice a week can make for more flexibility of working hours for your wife.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 25th May 19, 1:07 PM
    • 1,941 Posts
    • 3,318 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    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
    Originally posted by ska lover
    I'd heard something similar...

    Stage 1 - Teenager - Energy, Time but no money.
    Stage 2 - Career - Energy, Money but no time.
    Stage 3 - Retirement - Money, Time but no energy!!

    (I think that's how it went)
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow " JOB DONE!!
    This should now read "It's time to start digging up those Squirrelled Nuts"!!!
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 25th May 19, 1:13 PM
    • 3,082 Posts
    • 7,465 Thanks
    ska lover
    I'd heard something similar...

    Stage 1 - Teenager - Energy, Time but no money.
    Stage 2 - Career - Energy, Money but no time.
    Stage 3 - Retirement - Money, Time but no energy!!

    (I think that's how it went)
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    It is about right. Looking back now mine have flown the nest, I wish I had the money I have now, back then. Even now I don't have a five figure sum of savings

    Things were very hard, I was a working single parent and my weekly food budget was £7 a week. Odd times, I would steal my neighbours milk off their doorsteps

    I had no savings and no family help

    I nearly spat my champagne when I read the words 'living on the edge'

    PS Coffee
    Last edited by ska lover; 25-05-2019 at 1:15 PM.
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • ibizafan
    • By ibizafan 25th May 19, 2:11 PM
    • 842 Posts
    • 1,038 Thanks
    ibizafan
    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.
    • maman
    • By maman 25th May 19, 2:38 PM
    • 19,898 Posts
    • 118,929 Thanks
    maman
    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.
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 25th May 19, 2:41 PM
    • 10,630 Posts
    • 128,658 Thanks
    kazwookie
    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
    Slinky is back on! - 23 and counting
    I can do this, I will do this...
    • svain
    • By svain 25th May 19, 3:11 PM
    • 431 Posts
    • 819 Thanks
    svain
    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
    Originally posted by ska lover
    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
    Last edited by svain; 25-05-2019 at 3:22 PM.
    • maman
    • By maman 25th May 19, 3:17 PM
    • 19,898 Posts
    • 118,929 Thanks
    maman
    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
    Originally posted by kazwookie

    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.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 25th May 19, 3:25 PM
    • 22,622 Posts
    • 61,200 Thanks
    Pollycat
    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.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 25th May 19, 3:46 PM
    • 1,649 Posts
    • 2,113 Thanks
    HampshireH
    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?
    • Grumpelstiltskin
    • By Grumpelstiltskin 25th May 19, 3:54 PM
    • 2,451 Posts
    • 2,748 Thanks
    Grumpelstiltskin
    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.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 25th May 19, 4:18 PM
    • 20,166 Posts
    • 46,718 Thanks
    peachyprice
    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
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