Is it possible to improve financial situation and work: life balance?


Registered User
On the face of it you're not in too bad a situation.
- Certainly eliminate the credit card (or switch to interest-free balance transfer for new business, plenty periodically on the market - but ultimately eliminate credit card long-term debt)
- If very uneasy about mortgage payments, then perhaps look to split-out into different types when fixed term ends, eg half switched to fixed, half to variable. Where possible accelerate the variable mortgage payments (even an extra 100 euro per month makes a difference)
- Seems like you have a perception that you have no money. You may be straining yourself to maintain the regular monthly savings. Perhaps move a portion of this to a "fun" fund, where you spend a little on frivolous items, and enjoy life a little. Perhaps reduce down your regular savings for a short period, so that you feel you have more cash.

Other suggestions:
- Explore other savings / investment options with the 30k (deposit a/c returns are poor)
- Set yourself some goals / targets as to what you want to achieve. If you're saving for something specific, it helps. Having open ended goals will never be achieved.

Good luck.


Registered User

so sounds like after you pay the bills (gas, telephone, car maintenance, petrol etc) of 300 month you would have a balance of 2,260. Plus as you mentioned in your original post you are spending child benefit on monthly expenses too (assuming this is 320 for 2 children) - that really means you have 2,580 left over each month to spend on Food / Clothes / Holidays. Unless i'm missing something here, you should have more than enough cash each month (And you also have the early childcare supplement of 1K per year for each child, are you saving this?)
As other posters recommended, you really need to start tracking where that 2,580 is being spent - which will mean writing down everything you spend according as you spend it, so maybe being a little notebook with you so you don't forget to jot anything down. You should soon be able to see where the money is going, and will probably realise you are spending a lot more on certain things than you would have realised, and this will hopefully help you decide where cutbacks can be made to free up cash to allow you achieve a better work life balance, it sounds like it should be possible.

Best of luck.


Registered User
I'm surprised on the money you guys earn you've asked this question. I'm a single parent earning about half what one of you earns my morgtgage payment will be about 700 per month and creche fees 870 per month and i still have enough left over to do the things i want.


Registered User
Hi Kruger,
No other credit card.

Thanks for everyones comments - we definitely need to keep track of daily expenditure. PC7 your right about the lunches, a sandwich and a drink and you've just about spent a tenner a daily. So for both of us thats Eur400 a month gone! We probably spend more on food than we think, we like to eat healthily and dont go out much - however we shop in Lidl/ Dunnes - great shops for value! Also more goes on the house than we probably realise - it needs a lot of work doing and even a tin of paint etc adds up to the expenses.


Registered User
We had similiar prob regarding where did all the cash go! For one month we got receipts for absolutely every purchase we made...which was a tough task itself as most of the small buys you never get one! We had to constantly ask for receipts and when we forgot would write purchase into notebook.
Most receipts detail what they are for so at end of month we were able to itemise exactly where the money was spent. We were amazed at the amount spent on hubbies lunches...usually dodgy sandwiches etc and also the amount spent at garages when filling up with diesel, we always spent 5+ euro on luxury items. It all adds up. It gave us a real wake up call.

That's about a year ago and we will do again as now have number 3 baby and that will affect our spending patterns. Be ruthless and get a receipt for everything, it's your money and you work hard for it.


Registered User
I have been budgeting rigorously for a couple of years now and it's the miscellaneous cash purchases on lunch and coffees which amount to significant sums. Hate that! but don't have time / focus to always make packed lunches.


Registered User
The easiest thing to do is sell up and downside or move elsewhere. It's a choice between earning money to pay a big mortgage or looking after your kids.

In relation to downsizing.

With your joint income you’ve probably worked hard to live in a house worth 700k.
I think you are better off by €280 a week and live in a nicer house than the couple with one income of 42k and one person in the home.

I've pasted this in from excel so apologises for the formatting.See this link for proper Excel file (right click and save as) [broken link removed]

Description 2 income 1 income
2 kids 2 kids
mortgage 475k mortgage 200k
PPR Value 720k 325k

Gross Income
Parent 1 60000 42000
Parent 2 67000
TOTAL 127000 42000

tax and prsi
tax 39000 8400
prsi @5% 6350 2100
TOTAL 81650 31500

Tax Credits
Credit 1 spouse 1760 1760
Credit 1 spouse 1760 1760
PAYE 1 spouse 1760 1760
PAYE 1 spouse 1760 0
Home Carers Credit 770
TOTAL 88690 37550

Extra Income
Childrens Allowance 3840 3840
Early Childcare payment 2000 2000
TOTAL 94530 43390

Main Outgoings pa
mortgage 30000 12000
child care 16080 0
those sandwiches and bus fares 2400 2400
2nd income sandwiches and bus fare 2400
(€10 by 5 days by 48 weeks)

net income
per year 43650 28990
per month 3637.5 2415.83
per week 839.42 557.5

difference 281.92
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