I feel pretty comfortable talking about my finances, and I’m quite open when it comes to things like this – probably because I come from a working-class family. I come from a place that’s made me appreciate what I’ve got and what I can’t have.
That said, I’ve definitely found myself talking about it more recently with prices going up. I think for younger people wanting to start a life and save, it can feel almost impossible. It feels like going around in one big circle.
The rising cost of childcare
I’ll be returning to work soon – currently I’m on maternity leave and my partner and I are going to have to put a plan in place for child care. Just the thought of it scares me – I hear some people say they’re paying over £1,000 a month just for child care. On top of that you’re supposed to pay for bills. I think once all of that is paid, most people find themselves scrimping and scraping to be able to have some sort of normality by going out and enjoying their lives, as they should do.
Our lifestyle has changed now that we have our daughter, she’s the priority and her childcare and necessities come before anything. I know that that means we sometimes may not be able to do other things, and that we will definitely have to think about budgeting more.
We’re just about in a stable situation where everything is okay, but I worry for other people with lots of kids. I think that must be terrifying. I know people close to me that work a 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, and once they’ve paid all their bills on payday have barely anything to show for it after. It’s sad really.
Saving for a while feels impossible
The cost of renting a house these days is ridiculous. If you’re wanting to save for a mortgage while renting, that feels impossible. And I’m worried that it’s going to take a long time to save up for a deposit but that it also feels like I’m just throwing money away every month in a rental.
On top of that the cost of food has gone up as well. There was a time where you could go to Aldi because it was cheaper, but all supermarkets are becoming the same.
In the past we have felt like it’s a good idea to keep our money in a savings account held by a close family member so that we’re not easily tempted to dip into our savings. If someone else has our money it makes us think every time – do we really need to buy this? Because we have to ask for the money to be sent to us.
Budgeting is the way forward
Going forward I think there’s definitely going to be a lot of budgeting and planning as well as organising for childcare. That feels strange, because my partner and I will both be going to work and yet be paying for someone else to spend time with and look after our daughter. It could even get to a point where one of us isn’t seeing her as much because we’re always working – I can totally see why some parents choose not to go back to work and become stay-at-home parents instead.
I haven’t actually even thought of using a comparison website to find better deals because I wouldn’t know where to start. When I’ve sorted my bills in the past, they’ve always said “this will be this price” and then before you know it, in a few months, the price rises. I’m definitely keen to look at comparison websites in the future, especially if it will help us as a family.
Sometimes it feels like this is just the way it is, and we have to put up with it. But there’s nothing shameful about being worried about finances, and I think there needs to be a clearer way people can access help if they’re struggling. Budgeting apps are a good place to start, and it’s good to talk about money issues. While it can feel taboo or like a very private thing, speaking to a close family member or friend about any concerns can help determine what steps can be taken next. It’s okay to seek help, always.
If you’re looking for ways to make your money go further, MoneySuperMarket has got you covered. From insurance to phone deals, broadband and money, there are always more ways to save.