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cabbage88

How does everyone else afford this? UPDATED

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Hands Up

If you can’t afford school fees for one child you can’t afford them for four. Pull her out now.

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WaitForMe

I'm curious what religion would get a kid in trouble for sharing.

 

Or do you just mean kids made fun of her or something? Which is of course wrong, but different to the teachers (or other parents?) saying not to share her beliefs.

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cabbage88

Thanks so much for all the replies every one some great advice here.

A few replies in one-

The school is heavily discounted for other children, so when we have 4 in its $10k. Am amount I'll earn easily when they're all in school, and when the next lot start school I'd cover easily with just putting one in daycare. But yes right now it's killing us, although we've only been paying the last month! Still, an absolute ton of money for us right now.

The car would need an anchor point, or untethered booster but I'm quite worried about how unsafe an untethered booster could be in an accident. But also worried to modify the car (about $500) only to have it die. It's air con has also died, approx 1.5k to fix but we certainly won't be bothering with that.

Car is on gas really cheap to run.

Will certainly look at some older kias!

We are really far removed from schools, etc where we live. It would be very hard to make do without a car but I think we just need to run our current car to the ground, until it dies.

I have been applying for jobs and been very lucky in my industry there's high paying locum jobs available- I may for a short time be able to pick up an extra $700 A week until I get too big. Perhaps can do for 3 more months- that would make a big difference.

But my big concern was what I'm doing wrong, because like many I think I get in my head my non negotiable expenses I can't let go of the and end up in a horrible financial situation because of it. That's some brilliant realistic honest advice here everyone, I really appreciate it.

And on the religious stuff- they teach things like how bunjill (can't spell it?) The eagle made the world, and she's really great at understanding that her friends don't believe what we do. But she came home so many times really sad, because she really wanted to learn and talk about her beliefs too and Christianity is never discussed, only aboriginal and sometimes obscure beliefs (eg American Indians). She's also a really black and white kid, Christmas and Easter caused a lot of conflict for her when she was taught some things we don't do, and she got really distressed when things were said she didn't believe. She keeps saying how she wants to learn about her faith at school, and sing songs about her faith etc. But yes you're right if we're this Tight we have to either earn more or cut the school. But reality is I need a whole extra day of work to pay for it!

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EmmDasher

Edit - sorry just saw your second post.

 

If you haven’t already, you might want to borrow a copy of the Barefoot Investor. He has a sensible step by step guide that might help you work through your expenses and find some savings.

Edited by EmmDasher
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MadMarchMasterchef

We had a surprise #4. All the kids go to public schools. Private was not something I even considered with 4 kids.

 

Can your eldest travel on a non-tethered booster? Could you manage with one car? We have one car, but we are close to PT.

 

Why is your electricity bill that high? I've never had a bill that high.

 

Agree electricity stand out to me as the thing that you might be able to get down most easily.

It sounds like you have 2 cars, can you swap cars or is the other smaller? Can you reduce your car insurance if your car is old?

 

Your rent is reasonably high but given you will have 6 people to house its probably good for the size of house you have.

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amdirel

As someone with 3 kids on a low single income, ie totally understanding of your financial situation, I need to point out to you that kids get so much more expensive as they get older!!

When they were younger, finances were tight. Now that they're older, finances are ridiculously stressful! They want a lot, do a lot, eat a lot, clothes/shoes cost more, schooling expenses cost more (BYOD too!). I would really urge you to reconsider the school. If you're having trouble now, it's only going to get worse.

 

Also re. the car. I've got a sh*tty car too, but unfortunately have no choice to keep spending money getting things fixed here and there, even though I have no doubt it's going to drop dead one day soon. $500 for you is much better than $10k or whatever for a new one IMO.

Edited by amdirel
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amdirel

Re. regilion, she will quickly learn that everyone believes different things and that that is ok. You can't shelter her from that just forever. Also she can do scripture at a public school.

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Mollyksy

Any chance of having a big chat to the school and seeing if theyd loan you the fees until you start work again post baby? I can hear how important it is to you and it sounds like an extended but temporary thing that you can't afford it currently but will later.

 

Anything you can sell?

 

I agree with untethered booster right now.

 

Can DH pick up extra work at all? Even a cleaning or packing shift over the weekend could plug your food gaps.

 

Do you guys have family support? Any food hampers in your area?

 

You've already said you'll look for work until you get too big.

 

All the very best. And congrats on your pregnancy. I couldnt cope with more than one (and 5 years of IVF and 7 miscarriages to get that one) so very awed by sane parents with more than one lol!

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Amica

Private school needs to go. It will free up almost $500 a month. Teach your DD to keep her religious views to herself. It will be a skill she will use and need for life.

 

I think your bills are reasonable. My electricity bill is around $1200 per quarter. I have no idea how I could make it as low as yours. I've tried everything. We have solar too.

 

I agree with pp about third party car insurance only.

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bakesgirls

I’m going to be blunt.

 

You can’t afford to properly care for your children if you can’t afford food for them. That can be remedied by dropping the private schooling. Your daughter will just have to learn that there’s more in this word than her/your family beliefs and that’s ok. Deciding that her wanting to talk about her own religion instead of discussing ‘obscure beliefs’ trumps basic necessities has me lost for words.

 

Saying that you’ll just work more or put a child in daycare, and fees drop to 10k with four kids is in the future and may not ever happen. Kids cost more as they grow, not less. What happens if you can’t find more work? Or if your new child has special needs? Or you or your husband are unable to work due to illness or injury?

 

Don’t base your decisions now on your hypothetical future. You have other children to consider besides your eldest in the now.

Edited by bakesgirls
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IamtheMumma

If the school is Catholic, they have a fee reduction hardship option that you can apply for. They'll make you'll feel like crap for applying but do it anyway. It is worth your time.

 

As another poster said, its not just the fees. When my kids went, every week there was some other fundraising from the usually secular ones (jeans for genes, red nose day) to new grass funds, new hall funds or whatever else the school needed. School uniform was close to 1K per kid and the excursions, which wasn't to the local library but to whatever show was on at the theatre.

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EmmDasher

Would it be possible for your daughter to start at a public school and transfer in to your preferred school when her sibling starts and your finances are in a better position? You’d have more certainty about what the future holds then also.

 

It sounds like your car is approaching end of life and is also kind of critical to your family life. If you could bank that $5k a year for 2-3 years you could probably afford a fairly decent replacement.

 

I don’t mean to harp on the school fees because I can hear how important that is to you. At the same time it sounds like the only really negotiable point in your budget.

 

I’d be very worried about your financial security if you’re struggling to get together sufficient food budget at present. I saw your husband’s income is insured but there can be waiting periods before that insurance kicks in with cover. Payouts are not always instantaneous. Would you be able to cover 2, 4, 6 weeks of expenses with no income?

Edited by EmmDasher
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Magratte

“how does everyone else afford this?”

 

well, for many, they don’t. they stop at one kid - two maximum. that’s what they can afford. and they don’t send them to a private school.

 

Many of my friends would love to have a third child, but cannot afford it. I actually don’t know any family on modest income with more that two kids.

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Dianalynch

I agree with a pp that if your DH has weekends free, a second job eg stacking shelves would pay for groceries. I don't know if you were exaggerating about not being able to feed your family half the time, I hope so, but if it's true then both of you need to get real about your expenses and either earn more or spend less. Private school and new furniture are not priorities.

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José

I’m going to be blunt.

 

You can’t afford to properly care for your children if you can’t afford food for them. That can be remedied by dropping the private schooling. Your daughter will just have to learn that there’s more in this word than her/your family beliefs and that’s ok. Deciding that her wanting to talk about her own religion instead of discussing ‘obscure beliefs’ trumps basic necessities has me lost for words.

 

Saying that you’ll just work more or put a child in daycare, and fees drop to 10k with four kids is in the future and may not ever happen. Kids cost more as they grow, not less. What happens if you can’t find more work? Or if your new child has special needs? Or you or your husband are unable to work due to illness or injury?

 

Don’t base your decisions now on your hypothetical future. You have other children to consider besides your eldest in the now.

 

i really agree with this!

i wouldn't choose the religious school just because your child wants to sing religious songs at school.

they could do this in scripture in public school and in sunday school on the weekend.

even religious schools might look at aboriginal culture, surely its part of the national curriculum.

i really think you need to further investigate the public school options you have.

and i dont think you should put your family in such hardship now based on an unknowable future.

can you grantee getting day care and work on the same day? can you guarantee your new baby wont have any developmental or health concerns? can you guarantee you and your DH wont experience any physical or mental health concerns? how will you facilitate any extra curricular or after school activities.?

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overlytired

The car would need an anchor point, or untethered booster but I'm quite worried about how unsafe an untethered booster could be in an accident. But also worried to modify the car (about $500) only to have it die.

 

(...)

But my big concern was what I'm doing wrong, because like many I think I get in my head my non negotiable expenses I can't let go of the and end up in a horrible financial situation because of it.

 

Untethered boosters are designed to be used untethered. They are perfectly safe provided your child meets the height and weight requirement for one.

 

ETA: Certainly safer than modifying the car, which isn't designed for it.

 

You seem to struggle with needs vs wants, and until you are able to realistically determine what is actually a want (i.e. private school), this will be an ongoing issue.

 

You mentioned living in a location where a car is a necessity. Is there any option of moving closer to public transport or within walking distance of where you need to be at some point in the future (assuming of course that the cost of living – food & shelter) wouldn't increase? That would reduce your reliance on a car.

Edited by overlytired
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robhat

Most people I know don't have 4 kids. I know a few families who do and both parents work and earn a truckload. Like double what you earn.

 

You realise that spending 50% of your income on housing is considered to be an almost extreme level of housing stress? I know people who can't afford to rent big houses. They rent 2 bedroom apartments instead and their kids all share one room. You may actually need to rent somewhere smaller, cheaper, even dodgier because that may actually be all you can afford. In fact depending on where you live and what work you do you may need to consider moving to an entirely different place. The city is often not affordable for large families unless they have a good income for afford it.

 

You may in fact need to seriously lower your standards of what you think is necessary, even if it is only in the short term until you can return to full time work. Schooling is NOT going to get cheaper. Those fees will go up plus there are extras to pay on top. You haven't had a kid go through school yet, but I can tell you that on top of fees there are excursions and camps and then they want you to pay for swimming lessons, gymnastics class, some walk-a-thon thing... Plus you haven't considered any extra curriculars like sports or musical instruments.

 

And lets be brutally honest here. You need to afford life NOW. Your kids need food NOW. What you can manage in the future is kinda irrelevant. You haven't even had your 4th child yet. What will you do if there are complications or health issues and you can't return to work for a longer time than expected?

 

In short, the only thing you're doing 'wrong' is having way too high expectations of what is possible with the income you have.

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luke's mummu

I would seriously look at changing all your kids to a public school down the track. We are Christians but believe that our kids need to learn to share, mix and be friends with people from all religions. Because after all that’s what life is like in the real world! Yes you can still take them to church and teach them your beliefs at home.

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balletmom4

We have 6 kids. Husband and I both work full time and earn decent wages. One child will start at university this year and the others still in school. I find it a struggle financially quite often. It all comes down to careful planning. My 3 eldest were enrolled at a Catholic school. However child no 4 ended up being 4, 5 and 6- triplets. So we needed a bigger car, etc and our expenses shot up ridiculously. My point is, that you can't always plan for the future, but need to be aware that you often need a plan B. Changing the children from the Catholic system to the public system was done for the start of the new school year. The kids thrived and we never looked back. It took a few years to get back to our previous financial situation. You need to actively make changes to ensure this happens. You can't have it all at once- needs v's wants need to come into play. Don't look at how you can manage things in the future, look at the now. The hole will only get deeper the longer you are in it. I understand where you are coming from, but you can't sustain your lifestyle at the moment- think of the added expenses of a new baby, updated car, and private schooling. I have been there. Good luck OP xx

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Winterlong

.

Edited by Illiterati
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bearosauraus

By that logic, your daughter would be going to a private school with nothing in her lunch box for half of the month.

 

Sometimes wants lose out. In an ideal world everyone would be able to afford what they want, but needs come first often. I would not be able to justify private schooling if I couldn't afford basics.

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BECZ

 

 

I echo this. My DH had an injury and it was three months before insurance kicked in. We also had extreme medical costs. We were lucky as getting really sick is hard enough without worrying about money. It also affected my income as well as I had to pull back to do more.

 

He has recovered now but we lost about a year.

 

I can third this. When DF's company lost a major contract, he was made redundant. As he had only been with that company a couple of years, his redundancy was small.

It was probably partially DF's fault for being so soft and just going, "Oh, OK." every time they told him it was still being assessed. It was over three months and he finally put his foot down and the guy he spoke to that day looked into it and saw no issues, apologised profusely and processed it that day. The money was in our account 2 hours later.

Luckily we had savings to get us through these few months.

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Serenity Now

OP I can hear how much you WANT private schooling for your children, however your children NEED food. Please either talk to the school about reducing fees, or move to a public school.

 

I also hear you on your preference for a tethered seat, however as PP mentioned, untethered seats do meet the safety standards, and would save you more money.

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Cimbom

Where do you live? In addition to dropping the private school, I think you need to move somewhere cheaper. I'm presuming the income you've stated is after tax.

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just roses

OP, we are a Christian family, go to church every week and our kids have (until this year) been at a Christian primary school. And believe me, they STILL frequently come into contact with ideas and beliefs that don't align with what they're taught at home. In our case, it's because our kids have not been raised as conservatives whereas many of their classmates have been. But certainly not all. And at the other end, there are kids who are allowed to read and watch things that our kids aren't allowed to read/watch. Your theology won't align with the schools all the time, or even most of the time. And in a state school, you'll come across plenty of Christian kids and teachers. As a PP said, the term 'resilience' can be overused. But in this case, I think it does apply. Your daughter needs to know that people believe different things and that she will encounter different beliefs frequently, whether at a public school or at a Christian school. And teach her to question and think critically.

 

Ultimately, though, you can't afford it. Perhaps aim for it for high school, but you can't afford it now.

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