In my earlier post 12 essential steps to plan your return to paid work with confidence, Step 7 is all about the maths. Does going back to work add up? Does it matter?
You need to think about the costs of childcare plus the cost of commuter travel vs projected income. If you have taken time to understand your values and what’s most important to you, it may well be that even if the outgoings outweigh the income, that going back to work makes sense from a social and intellectual standpoint.
I have discussed previously that the costs of childcare prevent many mums from returning to work on a part-time or full-time basis. In February, the Family and Childcare Trust published research which showed that the cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under two had increased by an incredible 33% over the course of the last Parliament. For the first time, the same nursery place broke through the £6,000-a-year barrier, averaging at £115.45 a week across Britain, representing a rise of 5.1% in just one year. The average cost of part-time care from a childminder has risen by 4.3 per cent in one year, and now costs £104.06 per week or £5,411 a year.
When we have children, yes of course we accept that take on the cost of childcare, however for many families, childcare is cripplingly expensive. One of the reasons that many mums don’t even consider going back to work until their last child starts primary school. Even then, you still have to take into account childcare costs, see my post last week, to manage full-time hours, Inset days, strike days, sickness days etc.
The next big sum that you need to include in your calculations, is the cost of travelling to/from your place of work.
- How much will it cost you to travel to/from your workplace?
- If you are working part-time, and take the train or bus, will you benefit from a season ticket, or are you better off to buy tickets on a daily basis?
- Will you be based at one fixed location?
- How reliable are your transport options?
- Are you using your own car? If yes, what mileage and what petrol allowance (if any) are you entitled to? What’s the cost of wear and tear on your car?
It’s worth checking if you are entitled to any additional tax benefits. More information at the nidirect website.
Will you need new work clothes? What about the cost of dry cleaning? Do you take in a packed lunch or will you be buying lunch out? Coffees, snacks etc.
The priceless benefits
Then even when you have looked at the figures and done the maths, there are all the benefits that are absolutely priceless. And this is different for every mum, for every dad.
We know from research that many mums have mixed feelings about going back to work. Mums tell me that they really look forward to re-joining adult conversation. They love the thought of having more structure and a routine in their day. For others, it’s the intellectual stimulation that they get from their work. For others, they are aware that the clock is ticking and that the longer they spend away from their career, the harder it will be to get back up that career ladder.
It is different for every mum.
What does this mean for you?
I hope that this post has been helpful. It is essential to weigh up the financial costs of going back to work vs staying at home or setting up your own business. But sometimes it’s not as simple as that, and it comes down to the priceless, the intangible benefits. If you are struggling to make this decision, I can help. I specialise in helping women make those life-changing decisions such as going back to work, setting up your own business, or even relocating to another country. Email me today to find out how I can help you or book a 20 minute discovery session in my online diary.
The other steps to go back to work with confidence
Catch up on the other posts in this Returning to Work series.
- Understand your values – read post
- Identify your skills and strengths – read post
- The all-important LinkedIn profile – read post
- Seven tips for your CV – read post
- Childcare options when you go back to work – read post
- Make the most of your KIT days (if you’re on maternity leave) – read post
Never too soon to start planning
If you are a mum who’s taken a career break, and now you want to go back to paid work, these 12 essentials will get you started on the journey to go back to work with confidence. It’s never too soon to start planning.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? Lack confidence? Need help?
If you know you WANT to go back to work, but you also know that you NEED SOME HELP, book a call to find out how I can help you. If you’ve reached that stage of trying to work it out on your own – go back to your previous career, change career or start a new business – and you’re just feeling completely overwhelmed or driving yourself nuts going round and round in circles AND you’re also smart enough to know that the best plan is to get some help, let’s talk.
Click here to find a time that works for you.
I designed The Confident Mother Experience to help you identify the exact steps you need to take, when AND in which order. You will update your LinkedIn profile, refresh your CV, start networking, get clarity on what’s most important to you, and create a realistic and positive action plan to go back to work with confidence.
I am here to support you every step of the way. Most months I run free online training on this and similar topics – don’t miss out – leave me your details, and I’ll send you a reminder in advance.