My daughter is now in her first year of college. I’m working part time, because as I’ve said in an earlier post, it makes more sense both financially and for my little family’s happiness. However things are going to change. From September 2018 my girl will have left college, and all of the benefits I receive will stop. Everything. Child Benefit. Tax Credits. Housing Benefit. And the Child Maintenance her dad is currently paying.
With this in mind, I’ve started to think about what I’m going to do. At this moment in time if I live very frugally I should only have £168.54 left each month, after paying all of our bills and direct debits. In reality it’s less than this, because there’s always little things like college trips, unexpected repairs, or vet bills, but that’s the general idea.
Once my girl leaves college, assuming all outgoings are the same and my wage remains the same, I would find myself £580.70 short every month.
I can save some money by getting rid of the non-essential things, such as Sky, a phone line, Netflix etc, but while this helps a little, I would still be £424.19 short each month.
So….. something has to change.
I really enjoy my current job, but it could never give me enough hours to make the money I would need to get by, so I’ve had a little look around to see what other jobs are out there, and I’ve found one in particular that interests me. The key responsibilities match my experience almost exactly, so it seems good. And it pays from £19-22,000.
So I decided to work out the all-important figures:
If they were to employ me I would be working almost twice as many hours as I do now. I would lose all benefits immediately except Child Benefit, and of course I would still be receiving Child Maintenance. Keeping the rest of the figures the same again for the sake of a fair comparison, I would be working almost twice as many hours, and yet would only be better off than I am now by £1.14 per month if they took me on on the lowest salary. Yes, I would get by, but it would still be a struggle.
If I could wangle getting taken on at the higher rate of 22k I would have £359.68 left over every month which is fantastic, but as soon as my daughter left college I would be straight down to only having £89.25 left over every month.
As I said earlier, this figure doesn’t include any extras. No nights out. No coffees with friends. No birthdays, Christmas, holidays. No vet costs. No unexpected car costs. No long drives to see friends or family (because they would be un-budgeted petrol usage). No fun. No life.
Whatever I do, I will never have more money. And that makes me sadder than you could possibly imagine.