to be a sham even though I can't afford it?

(502 Posts)
Picoo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:11:57

I would really like to stay at home with my DS I don't really enjoy my job and I would like to be a full time mummy. The thing is we could only just about afford it. We would have to pay interest only on our mortgage, give up insurance such as health and maybe house insuranc my husband would have to work longer hours, etc. We would be pretty poor, and we have zero savings, but at least I would be with DS.

Is it crazy to live a poor existence but be there for DS, or should I go back to work and be more financially secure?

MacaYoniandCheese Fri 21-Jun-13 21:12:44

I'm absolutely a cheerleader for shamming..but not if you have to live like that sad. It would create so much stress and if you're going to do it, you need to be insured up the wazoo; insurance on your insurance etc. Why not keep plugging away for now until you have another DC? In the meantime, could you try and put a bit of a fire under your DH to look for a higher-paid position or add some qualifications so he can increase his earning potential (if you are both agreed). Hang in there smile.

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 21:50:11

I don't think OP has given enough information really. I guess going interest only isn't ideal, but it is just for such a short time, maybe 2 more years til they're at preschool? I read it that she is nearing the end of mat leave.

Being a SAHM, if it's what you boh want as a couple, doesn't have to cost money. I don't have expensive coffee and wouldn't 'nip to the shop for a £5 toy' shock I enjoy cooking frugally and living simply, I was a high earner previously but this is a better lifestyle.

WidowWadman Fri 21-Jun-13 21:55:25

How does your husband feel about working longer hours (and therefore seeing his child even less) to enable you to stay at home?

RazzleDazzleEm Fri 21-Jun-13 21:57:16

Never Ever Ever give up household insurance.

Ever.

You cannot imagine all the strange ways your house could burn down, or be flooded...

nethunsreject Fri 21-Jun-13 21:58:26

It does sound rather unrealistic. I think you need the 2 incomes.

Fairylea Fri 21-Jun-13 22:03:21

I am a sahm with 2 dc and dh earning 16k. We manage. Just.

However, I consider insurance to be a top priority (contents and buildings) and also mortgage protection. I couldn't do without these.

I also think it's important to have equal spending money and equal access to money especially if you are a sahm. Otherwise it's just not fair. You should remain equal in every sense. I know that is a little off topic.

Mumsyblouse Fri 21-Jun-13 22:03:56

I had to unexpectedly return to work when my husband was made redundant just after child 2. I was very glad I had an up-to-date CV- it's still been a struggle money-wise. I wouldn't take the hit to your career unless you are very very sure your husband will be able to support you for many years ahead. I just don't think from what you've said, that is the case. Could you go back after one year? Could you work part-time? From home? There may be a middle way. Plus I have to say for me, returning to work, even though it wasn't what I wanted at the time, has been brilliant and I love the interaction/having a career now the children are a bit older, so that's also something to bear in mind.

Being a SAHM is a wonderful thing, but only really if you are somewhat cushioned by at least a bit of money. There's going down to one car, going camping instead of expensive holidays and then there's really living i poverty and it sounds like this may be where you would be heading.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Fri 21-Jun-13 22:05:00

If you need to pay interest only on your home and can't afford insurance you really can't afford to be a sahm.

The first unexpected bill will knock you on your arse.

PearlyWhites Fri 21-Jun-13 23:06:35

Yes just contents

abitlikemollflanders Fri 21-Jun-13 23:07:46

I think that, unfortunately these days, being a sahm is a luxury really;if you have bills to pay (ins. Being a top priority) then it seems you can't afford to be a sahm. I am in the same boat, it's hard I know but I feel I am doing the best for my family.

looking around for a more flexible, part-time job is easier when you're in a job.

Good luck with it all

AuntieStella Fri 21-Jun-13 23:14:55

I don't think it's terribly fair on DH to expect him to work longer hours, seeing less of DS.

I think that if you have no savings at all and are having to think about cutting things like insurance then you are taking things too close to the wire.

I think that unless your DH has unusually good job security, it's a risk to put everything onto one earner in one job.

Fakebook Fri 21-Jun-13 23:18:43

I'm a sahm, but we own our house outright and I have savings we can dip into if need be. Leaving a job with no savings is a bit stupid IMO.

lucamom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:24:56

As a SAHM I would urge everyone to at least look into how feasible it is (if you want to do it). It's amazing how much you probably spend on crap, having a hard look at all your finances is really useful (packed lunches vs paid for dinners/sandwiches, groceries etc).

Why not have a 6 month trial-work out what the household income will be (don't forget that if you leave work it may mean the household is eligible for assistance via tax credits etc), and live on that for 6 months. Save your salary each month, and if you can manage you will be better placed to decide (and you'll have a nice lump sum of 6 months salary as an emergency fund for unexpected emergencies).

Like another poster said, I don't know of any SAHM's who've regretted it, but plenty of working moms who wish they'd done it whilst their kids were still little)

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 23:25:33

Am shocked that people don't think being skint for a few years is worth it to have a full time parent caring for children in pre school years sad

Only the rich should do it, apparently... I'm clearly irresponsible for putting my DS before me for a bit. I don't think he cares whether he goes to soft play at £7 or the local children's centre for free. I know that having mummy right here looking after him is worth all the foreign holidays and zoo trips money could buy.

I don't count myself as some kind of SAH militant or martyr, but I'm genuinely saddened by how it's seen as such a bad idea. We would have moved house if necessary.

abitlikemollflanders Fri 21-Jun-13 23:32:11

I don't think people on this thread are talking about sacrificing foreign holidays! The OP can't afford house insurance.
There are different ways of providing for your children but. A secure roof over their head is surely near the top.

it does sadden me that people think that parents who work instead of staying at home are all doing it for foreign holidays -arghh!

lucamom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:33:04

Agree with Amazinggg-I truly believe when most people (barring a few exceptions) say they have to work, what they really mean is they have to work to maintain the current lifestyle.

Our house is looking a bit shabby these days because of overdue decorating, our main holiday is camping in Cornwall, and I trot around in £10 fake uggs whilst others have the real deal, but I can honestly say that I am the happiest and least stressed of all my friends. I'm constantly amazed at what I used to waste money on.

abitlikemollflanders Fri 21-Jun-13 23:33:37

Is 'having mummy right here looking after him...' Worth more than food on the table, heating, shelter or a electricity. That is why many people have to work.

lucamom Fri 21-Jun-13 23:35:52

Maybe I'm generalising too much-certainly amongst my friends it's the case that they work to fund a lifestyle rather than to feed a family.

Apologies if I offended anyone.

Amazinggg Fri 21-Jun-13 23:38:53

I get that mollflanders, but in honesty out of all the people I made friends with on mat leave, nearly all of them returned to work. They're all much better off than we were with both of us working, and have foreign hols and so on, yet complain they would rather be at home.

It takes sacrifices. Of course if OP can't afford house insurance then she shouldn't , but what she should do is as I advised upthread - make a spreadsheet of essential costs and work out if you can really afford it. Even going interest only - god, it's not forever!

When we decided I would SAH, I said we should look at it on a 6mo basis, as I so strongly believe it's by far the best thing for DS, but if I'm going mad at home or if we really can't make the finances work then I would go back. But each 6 months I manage - DS is only 2 - I am so grateful and glad for! Why wouldn't you want to? My god. I will start to sound like a bit of a militant.

xTillyx Fri 21-Jun-13 23:40:28

I think the dodgy factor is your mortgage must be fairly high. If you were renting it wouldn't be a huge problem to lower your family income and if anything did go wrong with your DH's job you'd get help while he found a new job. If you really want to do it sit down and look at the numbers really seriously. It's not impossible but IMO you shouldn't cut back on the things like insurance.

jellybeans Fri 21-Jun-13 23:45:58

YANBU. Go for it. Doubt you will regret it.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 21-Jun-13 23:48:58

This isn't about whether it's generally a good idea to be a SAHM, it's about someone deliberately putting themselves into a very risky position financially. There's a big difference between not having coffee out and not insuring your house.

DuelingFanjo Fri 21-Jun-13 23:49:23

What does your DH think?

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 21-Jun-13 23:51:43

You would need to check what is required by your mortgage company. Buildings and life assurance is usually compulsory. I'm not sure what you mean by health insurance. If you're UK based, do you mean BUPA/PPP type insurance or earnings protection?

babyhmummy01 Fri 21-Jun-13 23:59:01

Being a sahp is a lovely option if you can afford it. There is a big difference between making sacrifices on soft play center v council run children's centre and not being able to afford basic insurances that are a required guarantee on all mortgages.

If you cannot afford house and life insurance you are in breech of your mortgage agreement with most suplliers so check the small print carefully.

If things are going to be as tight as you suggest and you still wanna pay for IVF then I think that you need to seriously consider if it is a practical option. As others suggest can you not work p/t or change jobs to something you enjoy in the short term and reassess when you are more secure financially and being a sahp doesn't mean forgoing necessary evils like insurance?

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