Money, money, money, it’s so funny…or not.


I feel like I should begin this post with an apology, an apology in advance if this blog is a bit of a grumpy one. I’m having a bad week.


I knew it wasn’t going to be the greatest week when on Sunday we had the rug pulled out from under us in terms of finances, all due to a very confusing website and my inability to understand it. A bit of background or you, as I have applied for an NHS funded course, I am very lucky that I get some financial assistance. Before I go any further please do not underestimate how much I appreciate this. I am the penultimate intake whose fees are entirely paid for and who receive a bursary to assist with the day to day life of being a Nursing student. Before you get cross and wag your finger at me, it isn’t entirely free money. Throughout my course, I undertake 6 placements, each of which is 8-12 weeks long and despite them being key to my learning, I will effectively be working full-time, for free. And again, I must say, I am grateful for this money and had it just been me that I had to worry about during the next 3 years, it would be excellent chunk of money that could go towards books and equipment and general studenty things. But alas, I have the little whirlwind in my life that is the Little Man, who isn’t QUITE ready to be left at home by himself. I mean, cars usually occupy him for a good amount of time and he can use a fork and spoon by himself but, I just don’t entirely trust him just yet. So, he requires some sort of childcare and any parents reading this will know, childcare is not cheap!!! As such, we applied for the Childcare Allowance part of the bursary alongside everything else to help with a portion of his fees.

Back to the confusing website. The NHS Bursary team in their infinite wisdom include a whole page of information detailing the costs of your childcare and the ‘Total Net Payable’ which to an idiot like me, would make you believe they were planning to pay you some money. It doesn’t, it’s just for their own internal calculations APPARENTLY. Super helpful to everyone and great that non-internal people can view it, oh wait…

For the last few weeks, the Husband and I have been feeling pretty carefree about money, things were still going to be really tight financially but we could just about manage. So to receive an email this week to say that, no, we weren’t going to get a single penny to assist with the Little Man’s childcare was a tad stressful. Okay, i’m downplaying that a little, I may or may not have had a big meltdown, cried, got cross and considered quitting the course completely, I felt like I had no choice. I was further annoyed to then actually speak to someone at the bursary office on Monday and find out that the only way we would be likely to receive assistance is if the Husband didn’t work and we claimed benefits. What an incentive for the Husband to go and work hard every day, for him to live an hour away from us just so he can continue to work and then be told that if he didn’t, there’d be more help for us. How does that work?! Answers on a postcard please people!

This week also happens to be our ‘practice week’ of our new life as of September. You see, in order for me to complete this course, the Husband and I have given up the beautiful cottage that we were renting and we are splitting our time (and ourselves) between our sets of parents. So this week, as the Little Man has his settling in sessions at his new nursery, the two of us have de-camped to my parents. I have got some Uni homework that needs to be completed before the beginning of term so it’s as if we’re doing a mock-up of what our weeks are going to be like. WELL, if the past few days have been anything to go by, I’m screwed.

On a positive note, the Little Man has been loving his new nursery. He came back absolutely filthy yesterday with the biggest smile on his face. I had to pick him up and carry him out of the nursery otherwise I think he would have happily played on the wooden train in the garden all day long. Which is great, one less thing to worry about, not sure how we’re going to fund his new favourite hangout BUT, its lovely that he likes it.

When he hasn’t been at nursery though, the Little Man has been a nightmare. Of course, he’s chosen this rubbish week to dabble with the Terrible Two’s a couple of months early. Imagine a Screaming Banshee who’s learnt a few Kung Fu slaps and really, REALLY doesn’t want to get changed out of his stinking nappy and you’re halfway there. This week I have spent more time sat on the floor of the bathroom crying than I’d care to admit! I am also planning to share a room with the Little Man initially so we’ve been trialling that this week too, which has also not been great. For a small person, he makes a hell of a lot of noise during the night (must buy earplugs) and he was very excited to find me in his room one morning which would have been a lovely thing to wake up to had it not been 4.50am!!! That one’s a work in progress.


Skype…when it works it’s the best, when it doesn’t I want to stamp on my phone!

And probably the hardest thing of all, and i’m sorry to get a little soppy, but I miss the Husband. And not just because it would be lovely for him to help out with the Little Man because, shout out to my parents, they’ve been amazing. I miss having him to chat with about my day and what’s on my mind, the Little Man just doesn’t take too kindly to having the phone camera taken off him during a Skype call! I also miss listening to Just a Minute or I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue or some other hilarious radio show with Russell before bed because we are OLD. Since having the Little Man I have realised what a great team the Husband and I are, being only one half of the team just isn’t as fun. I imagine it’s what Sharky would have felt like if George had moved out of Seacago and set up his own Private Detective agency.

I know that in 3 years time, this will all be a distant memory. I’ll be putting this course to good use and doing something really valuable with my life but right now I just want to wallow in chocolate, coffee and some really terrible Australian Telly. Instead, homework calls! Thanks as always for reading and for all of your support, it means so much knowing that people are following this journey along with me. Oh and if any of you lot win the lottery any time soon and fancy winging over a few thousand, that would be GREAT!



6 thoughts on “Money, money, money, it’s so funny…or not.

  1. Fran says:

    Gah. Hope you find a way to afford some childcare. Would you be entitled to tax credits? Or can Russell claim childcare vouchers? Once Dylan turns three you’ll get 30 hours free provision, so it’s just a year to get through xx


    • gracepaige says:

      Thanks Fran! Were looking at alternatives at the moment and hope we can pull something off. My parents have been amazing too, they so want me to complete the course I don’t think they’d let me give up even if I tried!! I had forgotten about the free hours so thanks for the reminder too! xxx


  2. BrunetteKoala says:

    Oh my gosh, how awful. This TOTALLY sucks. Where are you based, I’m frantically searching through the files in my head trying to think of obscure funding sources that may be available to you. I was lucky to be single and childless when I went back to uni, but had to try and find the £5000 for the tuition fees which was not easy. There were more than a few tears, and feeling torn between having to work and wanting to focus on my studies. I fully believe that tears and meltdowns are just par for the course…let them happen, dust yourself down and let people help you back up on your feet again to continue plodding on. Or as Dory would say… “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”


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