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Larger families [6 or more] Can you help with finance questions?? Lock Rss

Hi, Havent been on here for awhile but knew I could get some help here.
DH & I have 4 children, 3 older boys who are early teens and a daughter just started prep. DH is a tradie and we have our own business however of late we are really struggling financially as work has taken a massive down turn. We are both sick of living just by scraping by. We have not had a holiday in 4 years, not even a camping trip away sad

We are both ready for a change & have been looking into Tafe courses. DH has wanted to do something with underprivileged youths, as in a Youth Worker, for a long time [he had a rough upbringing, another story] & I'm looking at expanding my skills in Business Admin. Trouble is is that when we've looked into the Youth Worker type of positions the pay is around $850-$1000 [higher end] p/w. DH is freaking out & says theres no way we can live on that. I'm trying to explain to him that I'll also be working and also we'll still be eligible for FTB. Admittedly, I'll only be working for around 15hrs a week hence would be looking at around $280-$300 p/w.

With the business when its consistent work we bring in around $1700-$2000 p/w HOWEVER out of that we need to take GST, tax & materials for the job. We also have insurances & licenses we need to pay for.

Since we have not been on a 'regular' wage since 2005, I'm really unsure how much annually we would need to be able to live comfortably. We're not after o/s holidays, just a week at least per year. We have a mortgage too. All of my close friends have only 1-2 children so its hard to gauge from them. They just dont understand that having a larger family just dosnt mean an extra 2 kids, its a bigger car, 3 bedroom holiday units [very hard to get 'specials' on] & with 3 at highschool, it adds up to a major difference.

So, without getting too personal, what do you feel is a comfortable amount per year to live on? What should we aim for?

hi there
I don't have 4 kids yet, but just wanted to say I think that it would be different for everyone.
you need to write down all the things that are important to you as a family and budget for it. eg. Something like swimming lessons might be non negotiable for one family, but not for another or someone else might have all their kids in sport.
Basically, write down every single expense you have (not your business expenses if you are closing your business)
so everything from insurance, hobbies, food, pets to christmas and birthdays. Once you know how much you realistically want to spend on everything, then you will have an idea of what your comfortable income should be. Its just so different with each family!
Hey Hun we have 6 members in our family, dh, me dd1 (just about 9) twin dd's (7 1/2) and ds (2 yrs)
As OC said every family is different so it's really about writing down all your living costs costs atm and deciding how you want to live. Also when do your budget if you add an amount to be saved each week for unexpected expenses that come up like kids birthday party's, unexpected illness's etc
For us we deliberately pay over 1/2 our income to our mortgage as we have a plan to have that paid of in the next few years. So we have forgone holidays as we wanted our house to be paid off before the girls were teenagers and our expenses would rise considerably. For us we bought a bus as our main vehicle last year and have converted it into a camper bus so we can still give the kids little breaks away without it costing a fortune lol

Good Luck I hope you are able to figure out a plan for your family to live the way you want to. I hope all works out well for your dh and also that your family get to go on a holiday smile

Mummy of 5 Gorgeous Babes smile
My newest Gorgeous Baby Boy arrived 1st January 2014 smile xxx

Thanks everyone. Yes, I know that every family is different with different expenses and what one family considers a 'necessity' another may not. We have private health insurance and wouldnt be without it but others dont and feel they can live without it.

I have done a 'rough' budget and would need around $1400-$1500 p/w for the basics & for a bit of saving money.

I really would just like a 'regular' income. Can not remember what that was like!! lol.

I was always a 'budgeter' but having this business and the income being so up & down I've not been able to do that & it itches at my skin.

If we were able to bring in around $65K+ per year I think we would be doing well.
I agree with OC, everone has different requirements, different size mortgages etc. I started a thread a while ago about this, asking what was a good income. There were huge variations, some on under $80k with enough left for saving and others finding things tight on $100k.+
For us (family of 6) dh only looks for jobs offering $160k. Apart from the usual family expenses and household items, we live in a not quite finished house, if we ever hope to complete it as well as paying the mortgage and putting money aside for savings, and planning to upgrade an older and very thirsty vehicle, that is our minimum requirement. We live well on that but not extravagantly, no big holidays, if anything then maybe a week down the coast smile
Mel+2, yes he would study and work at the same time. He only needs to do a tafe course & its open learning however he will need to do X amount of hours of prac work. Our thoughts are are that once he's in that field of work he will still do weekend jobs of roofs etc. They are quick and easy & high turnover, one a month will give us that little bit extra.

I think to it depends on your DH's age as to when the best time to make the change [loss or no loss of income] DH has lost all job satisfaction with his painting now & we've gone from making quite a decent income when he started and having 2-3 guys working for us to now being just him. He enjoys working by himself though but the joy in the job has gone now.

DH is 42 so he's not a 'spring chicken' with years still to go in the workforce like someone who might be in their early 30's. He'll be happy to also go & work for another paint company, just get in & do his job but not have all the other pressures that go along with it however the work consistency is just no longer there. The whole industry has taken a massive downturn, people just are not spending the money on home renovations that they can do themselves [albeit not as good as a job]. Everyone is struggling & we're all spending more wisely.

We are looking to the future hence why we are wanting to make some career changes now. We want to be in a better place in 4/5 years time, we're not looking for an instant fix.

Mel+2 wrote:
Well you have to have a plan which it looks like you guys do. I think its a real shame that field doesn't pay well with what is required. It takes a special person to be able to do that work so you should be proud of him. The girl I worked with had to volunteer on kids helpline & she said at times it was so hard listening to the troubles some poor kids had to go through. Please don't take offense to anything I said in my reply, I was probably referring more to our situation, but in the end he won't be happy unless he's doing something that means a lot to him. My hubby is also 42 next week & he has said that unless he gets set up in the next few years he'll be concreting until he's 70. So he has a plan that we are working towards too. Hope it all works out for you all smile


No offense taken at all! Never took it like that at all. Yes DH said if he doesnt do something soon then he'll be painting to until retirement. lol.

I dont know how he can work in that field either, I'd want to take all the kids home but he's wanting to get more into the 12 years + age bracket so not so much the childrens department but more the troubled teens. He had a rougher teenagehood & 'back then' they didnt have as much available as they do now however the little help that was afforded to him he's never forgotten. He also has a multicultural background [maori & chinese] hence is able to relate a little more to other races. I'm quite proud of him wanting to do it as he had a very limited education & was unable to read until he was in year 7, left school in year 9 when they moved to Australia as he didnt 'fit in' & was picked on constantly for talking funny!
His brother is the brains of the family but is a no hoper. Had the potential to do anything & the support of his parents but threw it all away for alcohol & a dole bludging lifestyle. DH was always told not to strive cause he'd never make anything of himself with his learning disabilities. Guess which one had built up the successful business despite it all? [With the help of a good women of course!]
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