MUMS AND MONEY STRUGGLES

Being a mum is hard work, it's really hard work whether you're a stay at home mum or a working mum. One of the hardest things I've had to deal with since becoming a mum are my finances.

Being a mum is hard work, it’s really hard work whether you’re a stay at home mum or a working mum. One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with since becoming a mum are my finances.

I was a young mum the first time around, pregnant at 18 & giving birth a few months after my 19th birthday. I wasn’t prepared emotionally or financially and didn’t have a supportive partner. In fact he was far from it and instead of supporting his family he chose to spend his wage on drinking & gambling. I knew to give my little man any chance in life I had to support myself financially and as a single teenage mum decided to go back to college, then on to University in order to build a career and become financially independent.

Fast forward ten years and I’d climbed the corporate ladder in Marketing, had married an amazing man and was pregnant with my second little boy, but being pregnant again raised the question of finances. Any working mum knows, going from a full wage to maternity pay is a leap, then if you decide not to go back to work then you could be relying on your other half for all your finances.

Being a stay at home mum was never going to be an option for us, I needed to work to contribute to the household expenses but I also like to have my own money especially after working so hard to create a career for myself. On the flip side, childcare is just so expensive, when falling pregnant with Archie we realised he would have to be in childcare 11 hours a day four days a week to enable me to go back to work, my wage would have just been completely eaten up by the childcare costs meaning I was away from my two kids for no reason.

Being a mum is hard work, it's really hard work whether you're a stay at home mum or a working mum. One of the hardest things I've had to deal with since becoming a mum are my finances.

We needed a solution and without family available to help with childcare, we just didn’t know what we were going to do. As a lot of mums will know, you’re damned if you work & damned if you don’t, those have bills still got to be paid. Then something at work happened, they announced there was going to be a restructure with a number of redundancies. This was terrifying, I was pregnant and was possibly going to lose my job but I made a decision that changed our lives forever. I offered myself up for voluntary redundancy. Everyone thought I’d gone a little bit crazy as I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do, but I had to do something & this kind of opportunity wasn’t going to come around again.

My hubby was amazingly supportive and told me to go for it, we knew it wasn’t going to work in my current job so we had nothing to lose. Well actually we had everything to lose but I had to do it, for myself, I’d worked so hard and needed to continue a career, but more importantly, for my kids. I used my time on maternity leave to work on my business and get everything ready for the following year when I was actually going to be self employed. I’ve never been so scared in my life but so excited at the same time.

Being a self employed mum has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, it takes some serious commitment to work from home & actually get enough work done to pay the bills. The difference I have now with my finances is that I don’t have to match my previous salary. I don’t have to earn the same as I don’t have any where near the same expenses, and no childcare costs!

Being a mum is hard work, it's really hard work whether you're a stay at home mum or a working mum. One of the hardest things I've had to deal with since becoming a mum are my finances.

Money is still tight & some months we do struggle, I have to really budget to make our finances go further, especially my own. I can’t just treat myself to new clothes or expensive make-up anymore. I can’t just go to the hairdressers because I fancy a change. Plus I have to think to the future, especially now I’m having serious back problems and had my recent operation, what would happen if I couldn’t work , or worse. How would the hubby cope with just one wage when we struggle with two? I’m starting to consider life insurance and how that would fit into my monthly budget.

All my spending has to be planned & budgeted for but I have my own independence with my money as well as being able to contribute to the household expenses, which works for us as a couple and for us as a family.

Have you had similar money struggles since becoming a mum? What did you do?

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31 Comments

  1. July 6, 2015 / 11:38 am

    I couldn’t imagine going back to work for someone else now that I have children, it just didn’t make any sense given that they’d be in childcare constantly, and my wages would just about cover the fees! Working for myself has given me so much more freedom, though it sure has it’s downsides too hey? Still, this pregnancy I’ve been able to balance work with taking some time to look after myself and baby, and I’m nowhere near as stressed as I suspect I’d be if I were heavily pregnant and going in to work every day in someone else’s office! The maternity leave would be lovely though!
    Ashleigh Lawrence-Rye recently posted…37 Week UpdateMy Profile

    • July 6, 2015 / 5:07 pm

      I’m totally with you on that one, the childcare would be crippling. There’s just be no point in working. Being self employed isn’t easy but at least what we earn is ours
      gymbunnymummy recently posted…BEING A BLOGGER…My Profile

  2. July 6, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    We were lucky enough that my wage allowed Rev T to stay at home, but we had no money for extras and had to be really careful about each and every penny. There’s pros and cons to every situation and everyone’s got to work out what works best for them. #mummymondays

    • July 6, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      Yes definitely, if I had of stayed in my old job I’d be working to pay someone else to look after my kids but we couldn’t afford to live off just one wage. Thankfully we were able to come up with a solution that works for us
      gymbunnymummy recently posted…MY SUNDAY PHOTO #9My Profile

  3. July 6, 2015 / 7:52 pm

    I was made redundant during my first period of maternity leave . It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I started my own business which led to a really flexible and family friendly part-time job. We just about covered the costs of childcare with my salary but now I am on maternity leave again we are having to tighten our belts. We’ll get by knowing that it’s not forever but I do miss shopping trips for new clothes and not having to worry about the pennies #MummyMonday
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…11 things… you didn’t know about meMy Profile

    • July 7, 2015 / 1:06 pm

      It’s hard having to change your spending habits when you’ve been used to living a certain way. It’s worth it to make the change & tighten your belt when you’re able to change your whole lifestyle
      gymbunnymum recently posted…BUGGY LOVE | COSATTO SUPA BIG FISHMy Profile

  4. July 6, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    A very inspirational post. I am with you on the money worries, as in the future I will have to move away from office work to freelancing, which will be hard once you’re used to a monthly salary. I just hope I’ll get good at budgeting and stop the impulse purchases! #mummymonday
    Sabrina (The Mummy Stylist) xx
    Sabrina (The Mummy Stylist) recently posted…Teaching a toddler to cross the road safelyMy Profile

    • July 7, 2015 / 1:07 pm

      You live how you have to, it seems that the more money you have the more you spend. I’m sure you’ll be a big success, the best of luck to you x
      gymbunnymum recently posted…SUNDAY SWEETS LINKY | 5TH JULY 2015My Profile

  5. July 6, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    Toni, Amazing post. I popped by to check out your autism section and got pulled in by this post. I have recently decided not to return to work , and as the main breadwinner in our family for so long it has been a real challenge. but one I would do everyday of the week to be at home with the boys…even if they do drive me nuts on an hourly basis! I think budgeting is a real part of life these days and some months are harder than others, but we get by! we have to 🙂 xx
    Clare recently posted…To combine or not to combine…That is the question!My Profile

    • July 7, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      Budgeting is so key every month, we wouldn’t get by without planning our spending although it gets easier. It seems to be that the more money you have the more you spend. Thanks so much for such a lovely, positive comment x
      gymbunnymum recently posted…BEING A BLOGGER…My Profile

  6. July 9, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    What will I do? It’s a great question and one I’ve been avoiding. I go back to work in January so will think about it in December 🙂 Well done you for standing on your own two feet #brillblogposts
    Jemma Chambers recently posted…Summer Dressing for MumsMy Profile

  7. July 9, 2015 / 6:04 pm

    I’m so pleased you’ve been able to find a way to make things work best for you – it seems totally pointless to work for someone else only to spend it all on childcare etc. Now you have the best of both worlds, able to do something for yourself and contribute and have valuable family time. Well done! x #brilliantblogposts
    Lins @Boo & Maddie recently posted…#WalkTogether – 7/7/2005. In Memory.My Profile

  8. July 13, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    I’m just starting to look at nurseries and looking at the prices can totally see why some mums don’t go back to work as many would either be out of pocket or maybe break even and have sacrificed time with their children. Financially I had no choice but to go back to work after my first and although she gained so much confidence from being in a nursery at a young age I do feel I missed out too. God time round I’ll try and get the balance right. Great post. #brillblogposts

  9. July 14, 2016 / 9:08 am

    I loved this post – thanks for sharing. I work outside the home and with two kids much of my salary is taken up with childcare..but were still in a position where Ihave to work. I dont think I would like to stop to be honest but money is a real struggle even with two salaries coming in. I found your post really inspiring so thank you! #brillblogposts

  10. July 14, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    After I had my second I really wasn’t enjoying being at work again and like you I was working purely to pay for childcare fees for 2 kids – bonkers! Plus I just really wanted to be at home with them so I gave up my job and we learned to manage on one salary. We are very careful with money these days and even though my youngest started school in Sept (where did that time go?!) I am still a SAHM as that’s what works for our family right now. As the kids get older and a bit more independent I am sure I will want to do something for myself but am not sure what yet. Sounds like you have worked very hard to have your own business and also be with the kids. PS your site is SO pretty! #brillblogposts
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…Shove your spiralizer – I’m older and wiserMy Profile

  11. July 18, 2016 / 5:04 am

    Loved your post, I too have been on both sides working mom with a great career and now a sahm. miss the financial freedom a lot, but like you I was working too many hours and it just didn’t work out for our family. I can say now I am much happier and we have a long term plan for our family that involves me returning to the workplace in a much more flexible capacity once the kiddos get school age. Budgeting has been the key and realizing that the money will come and this time at home with the kids is priceless. Really enjoyed your post 😊 #brillblogposts
    Kim recently posted…I Love Toddler Moments Like ThisMy Profile

  12. October 11, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    Yes! I’ve worked all my life, ever since getting my degree many moons ago. I’ve had a good career and did the marriage/child thing late in life. I love being a mum to T, but it took time for me to get into terms with being a full-time mother and accept that at the moment I have to content myself with doing freelance work, at least I still get to earn my own money without having to rely on my husband which is so good.
    Dean of Little Steps recently posted…An Afternoon with Children’s Laureate Chris RiddellMy Profile

  13. October 11, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    I’m sure you made the best decision taking voluntary redunancy especially if you couldn’t have handled working there with your little ones anyway. I can’t even imagine how expensive it must be to have children x
    Rhian Westbury recently posted…Camera Equipment I Use RegularlyMy Profile

  14. October 11, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    I gave up my previous job to work 3 evenings a week in a supermarket. There was no way I was going to let someone else bring up my daughter while I worked full time AND be no better off financially for it
    Lyndsey O’Halloran recently posted…My Mum NetworkMy Profile

  15. October 11, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    What an incredibly brave choice to take redundancy and go self-employed, I think that is fantastic. Sounds like you made the right decision for you and your family. Sorry to hear about your back problems that sounds very painful x
    yvonne recently posted…We are going on a Nature HuntMy Profile

  16. October 11, 2016 / 11:16 pm

    When I first became pregnant or was really worried about money, I was the only one working as my OH was agency work and it was scary asking “what will we do” but luckily enough he got a full time contract at a company that allows me now to be stay at home.

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

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