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  • FIRST POST
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 13th May 18, 7:45 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 3Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    SOA help please
    • #1
    • 13th May 18, 7:45 PM
    SOA help please 13th May 18 at 7:45 PM
    Hi All, I hope this is ok to post, let me know if I should move it. We are lucky enough to have cleared the loans/unsecured debt and Iím keen to keep it that way.

    DH & I are currently trying for our second baby. If we are lucky enough to conceive, I am hoping to take 9 months maternity leave and my employer only pays full pay for 6 weeks, 12 weeks at half pay then SMP only so I will need around £5-6k in savings to see us through. I have set up a standing order for £200 per month into savings but we are finding this leaves us tight each month so I was hoping some of you lovely people would comment on our SOA (below) to see if we can save anything off our outgoings to make this savings target more comfortable. Also my husband is very unhappy in his current job and hopes to change careers to help his mental health which will involve a drop in income by £400 pm so we need to see if this is affordable.

    Household Information:
    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 1 (plus I have a stepdaughter - see child maintenance below)
    Number of cars owned.................... 2

    Monthly Income Details:
    Monthly income after tax................ 1913.77
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 1804.33 (this is 4 weekly)
    Benefits................................ 82.8 (child benefit)
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3800.9


    Monthly Expense Details
    Mortgage................................ 849.5
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 12.04
    Council tax............................. 146 (over 12 months)
    Electricity............................. 82 (includes gas)
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 35.11 (metered and over 12 months)
    Telephone (land line)................... 37.01 (includes internet)
    Mobile phone............................ 87.81 (2 phones)
    TV Licence.............................. 12.54
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 29.56
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 550 (includes pet food)
    Clothing................................ 0
    Petrol/diesel........................... 450 (2 x long commutes)
    Road tax................................ 38.33
    Car Insurance........................... 44.78
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 128
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0 (covered by childcare vouchers)
    Other child related expenses............ 60.67 (swimming lessons)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 10
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 25
    Buildings insurance..................... 10.08 (includes contents)
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 89.42
    Other insurance......................... 74.8
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 125
    Haircuts................................ 56.7
    Entertainment........................... 0
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 18
    Gym..................................... 15.99
    Course Fees............................. 73.6
    Bank Account Fee........................ 25
    Savings................................. 260 (includes child savings accounts x 2)
    Child Maintenance....................... 250
    Total monthly expenses.................. 3596.94

    Total monthly income.................... 3,800.9
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 3,596.94
    Available for debt repayments........... 203.96
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 0
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 203.96 (doing spending diary as this is never left over)

    Total assets (things you own)........... 258,140
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -201,039
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -123.61 (this is a Lloydís cc which will be cleared when I get paid on 21st)
    Net Assets.............................. 56,977.39


    Happy to answer any questions. Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 13th May 18, 8:16 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 6,878 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 8:16 PM
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 8:16 PM
    Hi All, I hope this is ok to post, let me know if I should move it. We are lucky enough to have cleared the loans/unsecured debt and Iím keen to keep it that way.

    DH & I are currently trying for our second baby. If we are lucky enough to conceive, I am hoping to take 9 months maternity leave and my employer only pays full pay for 6 weeks, 12 weeks at half pay then SMP only so I will need around £5-6k in savings to see us through. I have set up a standing order for £200 per month into savings but we are finding this leaves us tight each month so I was hoping some of you lovely people would comment on our SOA (below) to see if we can save anything off our outgoings to make this savings target more comfortable. Also my husband is very unhappy in his current job and hopes to change careers to help his mental health which will involve a drop in income by £400 pm so we need to see if this is affordable.

    Household Information:
    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 1 (plus I have a stepdaughter - see child maintenance below)
    Number of cars owned.................... 2

    Monthly Income Details:
    Monthly income after tax................ 1913.77
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 1804.33 (this is 4 weekly)
    Benefits................................ 82.8 (child benefit)
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3800.9


    Monthly Expense Details
    Mortgage................................ 849.5
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 12.04
    Council tax............................. 146 (over 12 months)
    Electricity............................. 82 (includes gas)
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 35.11 (metered and over 12 months)this is quite high
    Telephone (land line)................... 37.01 (includes internet)this is also high
    Mobile phone............................ 87.81 (2 phones)this is also very high
    TV Licence.............................. 12.54
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 29.56combined with separate internet package is high
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 550 (includes pet food)at least double what it could be
    Clothing................................ 0 you never buy clothes?
    Petrol/diesel........................... 450 (2 x long commutes)
    Road tax................................ 38.33
    Car Insurance........................... 44.78
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 128 where are you saving this? You show no cash assets
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0 (covered by childcare vouchers)
    Other child related expenses............ 60.67 (swimming lessons)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 10
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 25
    Buildings insurance..................... 10.08 (includes contents)
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 89.42 this is incredibly high, can you shop around for a better deal?
    Other insurance......................... 74.8 again very high, what is it for? Is it really needed?
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 125 where is this being saved? could be cut down a fair bit
    Haircuts................................ 56.7incredibly high
    Entertainment........................... 0
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 18 as a home owner you need more and where is the £18 being saved?
    Gym..................................... 15.99
    Course Fees............................. 73.6 how long is this for?
    Bank Account Fee........................ 25 can you shop around?
    Savings................................. 260 (includes child savings accounts x 2) again where are these savings as you show no cash assets
    Child Maintenance....................... 250
    Total monthly expenses.................. 3596.94

    Total monthly income.................... 3,800.9
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 3,596.94
    Available for debt repayments........... 203.96
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 0
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 203.96 (doing spending diary as this is never left over)

    Total assets (things you own)........... 258,140
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -201,039
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -123.61 (this is a Lloydís cc which will be cleared when I get paid on 21st)
    Net Assets.............................. 56,977.39


    Happy to answer any questions. Thanks in advance
    Originally posted by rainbow_wishes
    I'll elaborate on my comments in red above here. The good thing with pay every four weeks is a bonus 13th payment each year.

    Your water rates could be lower, take shorter showers, less water in the bath, don't leave taps running, put a brick (or water hippo) in the cistern/s so flushing uses less water, only boil what you need, only use the minimum needed when cooking not filling a whole pan with water if half would do. It all adds up.

    Shop around for a deal on your phone and TV, you shouldn't need a call package with a mobile too so drop to line rental and internet only, Sky were offering 12 month contracts for a basic tv package, line rental and unlimited internet for £27.99 a month, see if that is still running.

    Your mobile bills are extortionate, shop around for sim only if out of contract and keep the same handset instead of upgrading, if still in contract see if you can lower your tariff down a level or two.

    Groceries are very very high for such a small family, two adults can be well fed on £150-£200 a month, add a bit on top for pet food and for children and it still wouldn't be anywhere near £550. Drop down a level with brands, shop in Aldi and Lidl (home bargains for toiletries and cleaning supplies), cook from scratch and use meal plans so you only buy what you need.

    You are spending an awful lot on insurance, there must be some better deals out there.

    Haircuts, go less often, change salons or use a local college for cheaper cuts, £20 a month should be plenty for this.

    Presents again are high, set a limit to how much you will spend and don't go overboard especially while the kids are young.

    You bank account fee I'm assuming is for a premium account, shop around because you can currently get cashback if you switch to Nationwide, more if referred by someone and their premium account is only £15 a month.

    Then it's onto the savings, are you actually putting the money aside meaning you do have cash assets or is this what you want to put aside meaning you are actually spending even more than you realise?

    Well done on the spending diary, it certainly sounds like it's needed.

    The good thing though is that you are so close to being debt free and with some small changes you could be saving closer to £500 a month while still living to a good standard, even more if you wanted to really scrimp and save (although you have enough income to allow certain luxuries )
    • JayRitchie
    • By JayRitchie 13th May 18, 8:17 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    JayRitchie
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 8:17 PM
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 8:17 PM
    Do you have two cars? There is not balance for car finance - do you own outright and if so when will the cars need replacing?
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 13th May 18, 8:34 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    • #4
    • 13th May 18, 8:34 PM
    • #4
    • 13th May 18, 8:34 PM
    Thanks for your comments. I couldnít believe what the spending diary told me we spend on groceries. I do my main shop at Aldi for £50-65 per week but get other bits from Tesco as needed and this is where I fall down as I donít stick to a list!

    I did miss clothes but mainly buy clothes for my son second hand in bundles and occasional bits from supermarkets. Should be around £80 per year.

    I donít think the assets copied across properly as I have £3640 already in the Ďbaby fundí which £200 per month goes into. The kids have around £1k each in their own accounts which I donít count as my asset as I canít access it. I have an account for a lot of our bills (tv license, car & home insurance,car tax & maintenance, swimming lessons, vet bills and house maintenance) which £330 per month goes in. There is only £178 in
    there currently as our home ins and 2x car ins and 1x car tax was all paid over the last 3 months and Iíve just paid for swimming. Tv license due out but enough to cover this in there. Iíve today totalled all these bills and £330 isnít quite enough to cover our boiler service or sink breaking last year so Iíll up this to £380

    I will look into the other suggestions you made
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 13th May 18, 8:42 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 8:42 PM
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 8:42 PM
    Yes we have two cars owned outright but need to replace one in the near future but baby plans are the priority. Itís just had a £500 repair so Iím not keen to get rid just yet. Itís worth around £800
    • JayRitchie
    • By JayRitchie 13th May 18, 8:54 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    JayRitchie
    • #6
    • 13th May 18, 8:54 PM
    • #6
    • 13th May 18, 8:54 PM
    At the moment you have a surplus of £200 a month. Add back £200 saving on groceries, child savings of £260 and £40 on phones/ internet gives a surplus of £700, Not too bad but I'm a bit concerned that you will get a sudden car cost or house repair, and your other spending is not high (no holidays or entertainment that could be cancelled for a period to cover a major bill).

    Have you budgeted how your costs would change with a child? Child care costs? Additional benefits?
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 13th May 18, 9:05 PM
    • 1,824 Posts
    • 64,979 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #7
    • 13th May 18, 9:05 PM
    • #7
    • 13th May 18, 9:05 PM
    What do you do at the gym? - Why pay for torture when y6ou can do it yourself for free?

    A few suggestions which may help you cancel the gym membership - don't forget to read closely their cancellation policy and make sure both you and they stick to it should you decide to cancel:

    Try running and/or brisk walking - both for free.

    Weightlifting - fill a couple of 2 liter bottles with water and use those, one in each hand, for weightlifting practice.

    Cycling - if you have a bike with gears, try using it with the gears set for hill climbing.

    Try taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.

    If you live in a mhilly area, try running or walking up and down a few of them - the steeper the better.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 13th May 18, 9:14 PM
    • 5,336 Posts
    • 6,654 Thanks
    theoretica
    • #8
    • 13th May 18, 9:14 PM
    • #8
    • 13th May 18, 9:14 PM
    You have two long commutes at the moment. One of those you won't have to pay during maternity leave. But have you considered moving to reduce this, perhaps depending on where your OH's new job is?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 13th May 18, 9:37 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    • #9
    • 13th May 18, 9:37 PM
    • #9
    • 13th May 18, 9:37 PM
    Thanks for the comments. In terms of a significant car or house repair we would have to use baby fund savings. The house is 6 years old and well maintained so feel secure here. My OHís car is a worry though

    Moving is not an option. My son is well settled with his childminder and is looked after by my parents one day a week and they are local. Moving would increase this childcare cost and remove our support network. I wonít move jobs until Iíve had another baby due to maternity rights.
    Plus it would cost £5-8k in moving costs we canít afford.

    Second baby is affordable as childcare will reduce dramatically for our son when he goes to school and the £200 pm we are saving now used to go on his childcare before his 30 hour funding started in April.

    I think it will be tight until baby no.2 gets funding at age 3 but I think thatís normal for young families starting out. We are happy to have no holidays for a few years but if my oh gets a bonus we may go somewhere in the UK
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 13th May 18, 9:40 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    The gym membership is my ohís and he lifts heavy weights that we couldnít replicate at home. He needs this outlet with a stressful job and itís the cheapest one around thatís open 24 hours

    I might look at your suggestions for myself though
    • Deep In Debt
    • By Deep In Debt 13th May 18, 10:11 PM
    • 8,204 Posts
    • 12,931 Thanks
    Deep In Debt
    Nothing much further to add to the other comments.

    Haircuts - can you get someone to come to your house to do cuts and what you need? I recently found a mobile hair dresser who came to my house and did a wet cut for £18 - I washed my hair before she came and she did the cut and a nice cut too.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 13th May 18, 10:18 PM
    • 5,336 Posts
    • 6,654 Thanks
    theoretica

    Moving is not an option. My son is well settled with his childminder and is looked after by my parents one day a week and they are local. Moving would increase this childcare cost and remove our support network. I wonít move jobs until Iíve had another baby due to maternity rights.
    Originally posted by rainbow_wishes
    Fair enough on not moving, but something to think about for your OH as he jobhunts, a closer job and less commuting would partially offset a wage drop.

    What are your OH's conditions for parental leave like? Have you taken these into account?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • cms-help
    • By cms-help 14th May 18, 7:04 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 164 Thanks
    cms-help
    Your gas and electricity are a little on the high side but that would only save a few pounds. Still worth shopping around.

    Your phone and internet are high. We pay £19 a month for ours.

    Mobile phone is extortionate. We have 2 phones on contract, unlimited calls, unlimited minutes and one has unlimited data (my husband works away from home so his phone is his internet) and pay £40 a month.

    I don't mean to be rude but £550 on groceries is ridiculous. We are a family of 4 and spend £300 a month with Tesco (that includes all toiletries and cleaning stuff etc).

    Your insurances are very high. Are they required?

    What does your bank account £25 fee provide?

    Swimming lessons - is this for one child or both of them? We pay £23 a month for one child to have swimming lessons.

    When does your child start school and will you need wrap-around care for them when they do? My youngest gets 30 "free" hours at the moment; we pay £6 a day to cover food and entertainment (they have a Yoga teacher come in and musicians etc). However, when he starts school then the wrap around care shoots up to £16 a day for before and after school club.
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 14th May 18, 9:06 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    Fair enough on not moving, but something to think about for your OH as he jobhunts, a closer job and less commuting would partially offset a wage drop.

    What are your OH's conditions for parental leave like? Have you taken these into account?
    Originally posted by theoretica

    What do you mean by his conditions for parental leave? In terms of paternity leave he is entitled to 2 weeks at statutory pay which would be the same time I am on full pay so not a concern. We would be eligible for shared parental leave but have decided that I will take my maternity as before as this suits our family better.


    I agree a closer job would help offset the wage drop and this would be the ideal outcome. The challenge is that we live in a rural market town so most jobs are 30-40 minutes drive away! A sacrifice for living in the countryside!
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 14th May 18, 9:32 PM
    • 5,336 Posts
    • 6,654 Thanks
    theoretica
    What do you mean by his conditions for parental leave? In terms of paternity leave he is entitled to 2 weeks at statutory pay which would be the same time I am on full pay so not a concern. We would be eligible for shared parental leave but have decided that I will take my maternity as before as this suits our family better.


    I agree a closer job would help offset the wage drop and this would be the ideal outcome. The challenge is that we live in a rural market town so most jobs are 30-40 minutes drive away! A sacrifice for living in the countryside!
    Originally posted by rainbow_wishes
    As you said you are planning on 9 months leave he could take 3 months shared parental leave either at the same time or afterwards. It is worth checking what his pay would be as if he could get any of it on full pay it would be worth taking advantage.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 14th May 18, 9:43 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    Your gas and electricity are a little on the high side but that would only save a few pounds. Still worth shopping around. We have just use the MSE Energy Club to change supplier (reduced from £99 to £82 so now need to focus on usage)

    Your phone and internet are high. We pay £19 a month for ours. We are in a rural town with limited options, used to have Sky with unreliable internet, now have BT which is more reliable but more expensive. I work from home a couple of times per month so need reliable Wi-Fi. I will look into Sky again to see if the service has improved locally as there is a deal with our TV package that would save us money

    Mobile phone is extortionate. We have 2 phones on contract, unlimited calls, unlimited minutes and one has unlimited data (my husband works away from home so his phone is his internet) and pay £40 a month. This cost really annoys me as I had bought an expensive iPhone outright so I had a £15 pm contract that I intended to keep long term but the iPhone broke and it was cheaper to replace it on a contract than to repair it. One contract is up for renewal in Feb 19 so I will switch to sim only option which should coincide with start of mat leave all being well

    I don't mean to be rude but £550 on groceries is ridiculous. We are a family of 4 and spend £300 a month with Tesco (that includes all toiletries and cleaning stuff etc). In a previous post on this thread I have said I identified the problem with 'extra shops' from local Coop and Tesco shops for pet food becoming £30-40 as I am not disciplined with a list. In April this was around £100 just in Coop or buying lunch when I've been unmotivated to make it. This is wasteful I know but I am just being honest with you all (and myself) as this is the biggest area we can make savings. DH and I are guilty of making a healthy meal plan and buying just what we need with no 'naughty' food with the best intentions but then the weekend comes and we want 'a treat' but only have expensive Coop in our town so we can easily spend more on just treats. It is an extortionate amount on treats I know! The stupid thing is when I have bought treats from Aldi so we have some in the house we eat them in the first few days so nothing left for the weekend

    Your insurances are very high. Are they required? I'd be interested in others' views on this. We have a policy for life & critical illness that is £89pm which covers our mortgage of £201k if one of us dies or gets critically ill. As we are so dependent on both incomes we have a further policy for my husband at £12.30 which gives equivalent to my death in service benefits from my employer. If he gets a job with better benefits we can cancel this policy. The other c£60pm is 'unemployment and sickness (not critical) cover'. I have been made redundant twice in 14 years of working and luckily found a job straight away both times and working in HR I am concerned about how easily this can happen to a family. My husband only receives SSP if off sick which would seriously impact our household if he was off more than 1 week as we don't have any emergency savings. I do think that my job makes me more pessimistic as I see people struggle when their sick pay runs out and I don't want to run the risk. In my job I only qualify for 2 months full pay and 2 months half pay sickness benefits and it isn't as rare as people think having 2 months off work! I have been thinking for a while that these two policies should probably go but I worry about 'just in case'

    What does your bank account £25 fee provide? AA cover which alone would be more than £25 per month for two cars. We also get worldwide travel insurance which has saved us last year when we went abroad. Also mobile phone insurance and home emergency cover so we don't need to add these to our home insurance

    Swimming lessons - is this for one child or both of them? We pay £23 a month for one child to have swimming lessons. It is one child, he is 3 and we go to Puddleducks pre-school classes that are £112 every 8 weeks. He has been with the same teacher since 9 weeks and is very good at swimming so I am happy to keep this as a luxury. When he is 4 he will be able to go 'leisure centre' lessons which I expect will be much cheaper

    When does your child start school and will you need wrap-around care for them when they do? My youngest gets 30 "free" hours at the moment; we pay £6 a day to cover food and entertainment (they have a Yoga teacher come in and musicians etc). However, when he starts school then the wrap around care shoots up to £16 a day for before and after school club.
    Originally posted by cms-help
    He starts school in 2019. We have just got our 30 hours funding but we are spreading it throughout the 48 weeks he goes to childminder so we have to pay a top up. It is £8.75 per day for all meals including dinner and I pay extra for trips but usually around £1-3 per trip so not a lot of money. Before school childminder charges £3 for the hour and then it will be 3 hours on 2-3 days per week for after school at £3.90 per hour so it will be £14.70 per day we use childminder plus £2.50 for dinner so not much different to your costs. My thinking is we have afforded a 10 hour day/3 days per week place with my son before April using childcare vouchers and topping up by £40 as and when needed so this would be the same for baby no.2. I think the wrap around care for my son when he starts school will be around £200 per month and this is the amount we put into the 'baby fund' at the moment so if we can make this savings amount more comfortable using the advice from you all then this will be fine
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 14th May 18, 9:46 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    As you said you are planning on 9 months leave he could take 3 months shared parental leave either at the same time or afterwards. It is worth checking what his pay would be as if he could get any of it on full pay it would be worth taking advantage.
    Originally posted by theoretica

    Thanks for the suggestion. To get shared parental leave one parent has to return to work. Both of us would be on zero pay for the period 9-12 months after baby is born as I will have used the entitlement for statutory pay as SMP and to afford this we would need £3k more in savings on top of the £5-6k we need just to supplement my half pay and SMP. I would love one of us to be off all year but saving another £5k in 8 months feels unachievable. My employer pays enhanced maternity pay, his is statutory only so it is better for me to take the leave.
    • retepetsir
    • By retepetsir 15th May 18, 10:40 AM
    • 1,108 Posts
    • 939 Thanks
    retepetsir
    Your income is pretty good compared to your outgoings.

    Why not change the other income to the equivalent monthly, which is around £1954.69?

    The Great Declutter Challenge - £876
    ------------------------
    • cms-help
    • By cms-help 15th May 18, 2:01 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 164 Thanks
    cms-help
    He starts school in 2019. We have just got our 30 hours funding but we are spreading it throughout the 48 weeks he goes to childminder so we have to pay a top up. It is £8.75 per day for all meals including dinner and I pay extra for trips but usually around £1-3 per trip so not a lot of money. Before school childminder charges £3 for the hour and then it will be 3 hours on 2-3 days per week for after school at £3.90 per hour so it will be £14.70 per day we use childminder plus £2.50 for dinner so not much different to your costs. My thinking is we have afforded a 10 hour day/3 days per week place with my son before April using childcare vouchers and topping up by £40 as and when needed so this would be the same for baby no.2. I think the wrap around care for my son when he starts school will be around £200 per month and this is the amount we put into the 'baby fund' at the moment so if we can make this savings amount more comfortable using the advice from you all then this will be fine
    Originally posted by rainbow_wishes
    Re phone etc: we live in a rural area (village) and are with BT. We very rarely lose WIFI (perhaps if there is a storm in the area but that's about it).

    Have you considered supermarket deliveries if you struggle to stick to a list? I use it just for convenience and it costs less than a weekly drive to the supermarket with us being rural. Know what you mean about local shops being more expensive. 2 pints of milk from our local shop is more expensive than 4 pints from Tesco! I think your spend here is a "quick" fix if you change your mindset and then keep going.

    I guess with your insurances it all boils down to how risk adverse you are. If it makes you uncomfortable not having them then you'll have to spend your income accordingly so to speak. Some of your expensive costs do make it look like a considerable income isn't going very far.

    My child in swimming lessons is also 3 years old - that's why your lessons seem very expensive to me!

    I have to say the childcare costs would be a worry. You are currently putting £200 into savings every month (to cover maternity leave) which you would then re-attribute to childcare once back at work. So as at Sept 2019 then you will have 3 days a week for your eldest and 3 days a week for your youngest. Eldest would cost about £51.60 a week (3 days) in wraparound care, 38 weeks of the school year is £1960.80 or £163 a month. You then need to factor in more expensive childcare for the school holidays (unless you have help with this and don't need it). And then the full costs for the youngest. However, if you can reduce some of the other monthly bills then you would be in a better position.

    You also have zero in the "Entertainment" budget - is this accurate with a young child? We're not DFW and I know this is a big spend for us (cinema trips, lunches out, park, birthday parties etc).
    • rainbow_wishes
    • By rainbow_wishes 15th May 18, 8:32 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    rainbow_wishes
    We have found BT really reliable but itís arounf £37 per month for phone and internet and other providers are charging £18 so it is tempting to change but working from home needs to be possible at least once a fortnight

    You are right about grocery spend being a quick fix and I just need to be more disciplined with the trips to Tesco and coop and my OH needs to watch his spending at work. It all adds up so quickly. We used to have home delivery but it was about £100 per week. Aldi is £50-60, I even fed the family for £20 one week!!

    I find we donít spend that much on entertainment. For example, this month we went to a farm park on BH Monday for £20 for all of us and took a picnic. Spent £4 on ice cream while there. I had been on a hen do and had budgeted spend left over so treated the family. This weekend our spend on entertainment was £1.09 on a box of ice creams to eat on a walk around the local park. This coming weekend will be park and swimming so no spend then the last weekend we will spend £10 meeting a friend for tea and cake, have swimming and a birthday party on BH Monday. The gift for the party is coming from the Christmas/birthday account which I have budgeted all friends and family for 12 months (this is why itís £125 pm). It has a little left over for unexpected invites. I keep a look out for offers on gifts in the weeks leading up to party.

    The childcare costs are high everywhere but itís not forever!!
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