I hate money. I’ve never really got on with it if I’m honest. I’m not very good with it and it obviously doesn’t like me as it never sticks around for very long. It causes problems. Arguments. Marriages break down because of it. But apparently it makes the world go round.
When I am not careful with it, it makes me feel like I’m suffocating. The sheer panic that I feel overwhelms me and I hate it. There were times in my life when I’ve not afforded to eat. This is partly down to my bad life choices but mainly because I was living from one pay packet to the next.
I can recall having ten pounds to get me what I needed to eat for the week. I made it stretch, I’m not sure how, maybe good planning and clever meals. I bet people are thinking – you should have got a job! But guess what, at the time I had two!
Obviously now I’m in a much different place, I’m in a fantastic job which pays me enough that I don’t need to have two. But then comes the problem. I have two children, one who has only been around for five months.
Of course it’s not the children that are the problem, it’s the fact I am currently on maternity leave that has created the issue. With maternity leave comes the dreaded maternity pay. And this is where I’m left dumbfounded on this particular piece of UK policy where my mate money is concerned.
When the average UK salary for a female is £24,964 (Source:Monsters.co.uk) and a male’s salary is £30,539, how are people expected to survive on the maternity pay our government deems ok?
90% of the average UK female salary for one week is £432.07 which you can expect receive for six weeks. Add to that the 33 weeks at £139.58. So if you chose to take an entire year’s leave, on an average UK salary, £7,198.56 would be your annual earnings. How are we expected to live without nearly £18,000?
I know I’m bad with money and lots of people do it with frugality, but seriously why should we have to? Is this down to our employers, or is this something our government should be footing the bill for?
I’m inclined to think that there needs to be more done by our government if I am honest. A government who have fought for a ‘living wage’ to ensure people can afford the day to day needs are leaving families with what an individual on said living wage earns after 19 hours of work.
We have mortgages to pay, food to put on the table but there doesn’t seem to be any concern about that. Is there an assumption that the man will foot the bill?
A lot of my friends, as with many females in this day and age, are the bread winner. So us ladies, who have been taught to be the independent chicks we have all become, work hard to earn the bigger wage but are punished when we come to take time to nurture our babies.
It could be argued that we do get child benefit in our country which is a real plus. And then there are child tax credits but if you took the average salaries combined for a male and female you wouldn’t be entitled to any of that action either.
I am so grateful for what we have in the UK as I know so many other countries don’t even provide what we get. But I do think it’s about time that we supported mums who have worked so hard to earn a decent wage and want to be at home with their babies. Or indeed dad’s who take additional paternity leave, as is the case in our house!