The BBC ran a very telling story today. During April/May with bank holidays, a royal wedding and inset days, in some areas there are only 6 school days over a 30 day period.
I have been working with clients who, as working mums, are finding it really hard to evaluate the benefits of going out to work in order to try and balance the books.
As a hypothetical example, let’s say you’re paying £550 a month to a childminder and earning £1000. The relative rewards from working as a mum as opposed to staying at home need to be worked through. So, what is the value in going to work? Is £450 gross per month worth the ‘grunt’?
Perhaps ask yourself if you’re going to work to earn money only to make a contribution to funds, or actually does this serve a purpose to mix with adults as a kind of therapy? The other considerations for working are:
• How ‘mums-friendly’ is your boss?
• Will he/she give you time off at short notice for the child’s sickness or for doctor’s appointments?
• What about school & bank holidays and Inset days?
• Can you sustain the work commitment? Are you ‘customer facing’? Are others - team members or customers - depending on you to respond within a fixed time period?
• The household basics still have to be done (between you) when you get home.
• How and where is break point (or break-even point)?
• Is going to work the right thing for you, your family, your finances and your sanity?
One client told me last week, ‘I need to go to work for the intellectual stimulus. Conversations with other mums waiting in the playground really do not do it for me.'
At One Stop Financial Security, I work through a financial tool box and between us we produce a balanced scorecard and a cost benefit analysis.
Setting up your own business, for example, can give you greater flexibility and you’ll be your own boss.
You will need to network and your partner may need to help with timetables.
So what can you do? What are you trained in? Or, what could you be trained in?
How do you go about setting up a business? What are the advantages and the perils? Could you buy into a franchise?
Councils are saying that the Easter holidays make things easier for parents, but for full-time working mums childcare is going to be an absolute nightmare. 'The month of April will be a write-off.'
Similarly the Federation of Small Businesses fear the abnormal amount of school holidays and bank holidays will leave many firms short staffed. FSB spokesperson, Prue Watson, said: 'With the large number of bank holidays in quick succession the big worry for companies is that staff will take the days in between off as well.
'It is going to wreck the earning potential and cashflow for a lot of business and will have a significant impact on small companies.'
Please check out my series of blogs where we look at these options. Or call me - 0800 860 0312 or 07768 197507.
If you're a working mum, your perspective would be appreciated.
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