Single mum explains why she swapped high-earning corporate job for life on benefits
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram / @sharaowens / Pexels
A high-earning corporate job is supposed to be just that, right? Well paid. Enough money to live off and have a decent life with.
Sadly, it was not the case for this single mum.
So Shara decided to leave hers for a life on benefits, and she says it’s the ‘best thing’ she’s ever done.
The mum, from New South Wales, Australia, planned to have 12 months maternity leave when her son Hendrix was born.
But her savings began to dwindle as he approached six months, and she decided to go back to her high-salary job as a state manager for a retail company.
Shara tells 7Life that she was having to drop him off at day care at 7 every morning before picking up at 5-6pm every night.
And being on the road for work, she’d use her own car – adding petrol to her list of expenses.
The single-mum was also leaving her heater off to save on electricity and often going without food to afford formula for Hendrix – rapidly losing 30kg in weight with the stress.
“I just got to the point where I wondered if this was actually worth it,” Shara says.
It simply wasn’t the motherhood she dreamed of.
Her quarterly electricity bill exceeded $1100, weekly groceries were $250, monthly petrol in the hundreds.
Then there’s utility bills, day care increasing its daily fee up to $165 – her earning capacity meant she was receiving less than $50 a week with the government subsidy.
And on top of all that, Shara’s rent had increased by $60 a week. For her, ‘money in’ was simply less than ‘money out’.
So, she made the tough choice to quit her job, move her and Hendrix to another apartment and apply for Centrelink benefits.
“I’m independent, I’m not a government leech. It was a huge hit to my ego to have to do this,” she says. “Money is still tight, don’t get me wrong.”
Working full time was making her broke and now she says quitting is ‘the best thing I ever did’.
She also sold her furniture and opted for second-hand items instead as well as moving to an area that wouldn’t require her to drive often.
Shara gets $1500 a fortnight from Centrelink, with the government covering 85 percent of her son’s childcare.
And now she’s studying to become a marriage celebrant, using her payment to cover the fees, bills, groceries and rent. She also doesn’t ‘have savings’.
But now she’s in a much better financial position, addings: “There is a whole workforce of single mums out there who want to work, but financially it’s better for them to stay at home.”