Who would have thought it so expensive to live? If I was to be a stay at home mummy we would have £30 free cash floating about a week to pay for everything other than food, council tax, water, TV and mortgage. So, anyhow being forced back into the workplace (thank you Labour Party) has resulted in a crash course in childcare. The options are frankly endless on what you can or cant do, the only stable variable is the cost £5.25- £6.50 per hour. That amounts to a lot of money per child. Childcare Voucher Scheme I hear you screaming, well yes, that will go towards making, ummm, lets see, one day a reasonable price.
As the debt had already built a bit, this week I have been a mummy with £25 to feed and entertain a family of four. I have mainly been using up rations stored in the cupboard. But flippin’ heck its hard. I am in awe of those people that manage it. The main meal menu is as follows;
Fish fingers and Chips
Lunches have been on a theme of leftovers and cheese and bread. There has been fruit for the kids and some yogurt for their desert. Breakfast cereals and toast have been enjoyed. I have to admit that I was hungry when I went to bed on Sunday. But this probably did me good. In the main, I think we have eaten quite well. We haven’t gone out far, saving petrol and those little treat expenses.
I would advise everyone to have a go at budgeting like this, it really focuses the mind.
Anyhow, back to childcare options, well, if you are in a similar position I suggest you get hold of a copy of the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidelines. This will enable you to gauge how well places are actually doing what it required of them. Its available from the Department for Children Families and Schools. If you live in St Albans, then I suggest you do all of this before you actually get pregnant and as soon as you do, put your name down for a good nursery. Waiting lists for the best are incredibly long.
What am I doing? Well, the childminder seems the best option for us. With me actually becoming a childminder on the days which I am off work, to cover some of the childcare fees. This will leave me with a reasonable salary. I will be exhausted, so I shan’t be able to do any shopping. Saving money all round! More on this to come.