Costs of going back to work…

My hubby and I had a little chat about the future yesterday, discussing how our finances will change when I begin working full-time. Granted, that’s not due to happen until just less than a year’s time (49 weeks but who’s counting?!?) but it may have implications long before that.

My starting salary is about $55,000 in Australian dollars, plus overtime. This will be like pennies from heaven for our family, which has existed on 1.2 incomes for some time!

But during our discussion, when my husband said `remember, well be more than $50,000 better off next year’, I was quick to remind him that it actually wasn’t that simple.

For a start, I currently work a part-time job, at which I earned $12,000 last year. I’m currently on track to do the same this year, meaning the coming increase in funds is more like $43,000. Still great, of course.

But then we need to consider the financial help we will no longer be eligible for (and rightly so):

– Family allowance: we currently get $85/fortnight but this will drop to around $25. This cuts just over $3100 a year from our income.

– Child care – we currently get a subsidy to pay for child care but will have to pay full fees when I start earning money. The difference is about $65/week, adding up to an extra $3400 a year! Again, it is not so simple because all people who pay for childcare get a 30% rebate on childcare costs from the government. However, this is paid once the year is over and can’t be factored into a regular weekly budget.

Those are just the things I can think of right now. 

The other thing is, because the financial year extends from July to June, we may have to reject receiving family payment in the second half of this year (when we aren’t yet earning any extra) because the amount I earn in the second part of the year might make us ineligible over the year as a whole. That would mean we would have to repay money, which of course I am not keen on. So our finances will be a bit rocky in the coming year or so. After that, however, I expect things to even out and for life to be a little easier. We will remain frugal but at least our finances might not keep me awake at night!


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