The awful feeling knowing there is not enough money in bank to pay direct debits due on the 1st

(80 Posts)
chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 12:40:08

I am a single parent (have been for 15 years) and this is the first time I feel I wont have enough money for food in January.

I work 30 hours a week in the community- I have to put petrol in my car to do my job but how can i buy petrol when I cant feed my 2 children sad

I made sure I put enough money in electric meter from December wages.

I have cancelled rent direct debit -£450 but I will go into the office and pay £350 as I don't want to get to far behind. This will allow other direct debits to go out which include water and TV license.

I have not had any child support for the last 6 months which I realise I was stupid to relay on but it helps towards everyday living. CSA don't seem to bothered when I phone them and just tend to give me false hope which comes to nothing.

What can i feed my children age 15 and 9 so they are full up and not looking for extras.

CrispyHedgeHogmanay Sun 30-Dec-12 12:42:23

Same boat here, although I don't have children to worry about.

It's utterly soul destroying shit

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 12:45:49

You can cancel the direct debits for the TV licence and the water. Your water company should have a fund to help people who are struggling, so you could try this. Have you looked at entitledto.com to see if you're claiming all the benefits that you're entitled to? Housing benefit will help with your rent, but it really does depend on what you have coming in. You could also pop to the CAB if you have time as they will help you with the CSA as well.

What food do you have already? Jacket potatoes seem to fill us for a long while.

mumblechum1 Sun 30-Dec-12 12:50:23

Do you get refunded for your mileage? Is your claim up to date? Cheap things to eat are stews, bulked out by lentils, pearl barley etc, you can buy really cheap cuts like stewing steak, and don't need so much if you're using pulses as well.

Do you have a court order for your child maintenance? If so, and if your ex is an employee you can apply for an attachment of earnings order so that his employer takes the money from his paypacket and you receive it direct.

incogneetow Sun 30-Dec-12 12:50:40

Our local foodbank is overflowing with food from generous christmas donors and is desperate for some punters.

JuliaScurr Sun 30-Dec-12 12:53:54

Hope your ex enjoys NYE knowing his children have no money for food. sad

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 13:01:29

Mine's done the same, Julia. They should make this a criminal offence. sad

noisytoys Sun 30-Dec-12 13:02:12

We are in the same position. Pasta, toast, jacket potatoes and rice are staple diets in this house

chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 13:02:20

Ladymary- I have just cancelled those, not sure what will happen will wait and see. another big one is £75.00 due to my employer for a lease car I had 2 years ago and did excess mileage in, I don't think I can get away with cancelling this one.

Mumblechum1- I do get refunded for mileage but at 10p a mile it does not really cover it but is better than nothing. CSA were meant to be doing a deduction from ex's wages from 19th December after many months of messing around on his part but I phoned them 2 days ago and they said it had not come through and they were not prepared to phone his employer until 2nd Jan as most employers are not there over Christmas hmm

incogneetow- I work alongside Adult social care team who give out food bank vouchers not sure I would be brave enough to ask although if I had nothing to feed my children of course I would have to.

HollaAtMeSanta Sun 30-Dec-12 13:03:38

When you say you work "in the community", do you mean voluntary/unpaid?

Gumby Sun 30-Dec-12 13:04:25

You'd be brave enough if you really had an empty kitchen surely?

BabysPointlessPocket Sun 30-Dec-12 13:04:44

A bag of frozen mince goes a long way and can be used for bolognaise, chilli con carne, mince with onions and gravy, in rissotto with a chopped pepper and onion, cottage pie.

Gumby Sun 30-Dec-12 13:05:36

Oops sorry I realised that's what you said blush

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 13:05:48

They just send you a letter, telling you that you've cancelled their direct debit. Things should be a little better after Christmas so call them and set the direct debit back up.

wavesgoodbye Sun 30-Dec-12 13:05:55

Same here,

You can put dates back on direct debits if you think you will have money soon, if not definately cancel the less important ones.

chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 13:06:06

No its paid work- 30 hours a week part employed by NHS part employed by local council. I only made reference to the community because I need my car to work and have to out petrol in it which is so much money.

chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 13:09:42

Gumby- it would be hard but of course I would.

I always make soup for myself to have every lunch time and will make extra to have in the evenings.

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 13:13:52

IME soup isn't very filling as it's digested quickly. Honestly, use the foodbank. I've had times where I've used my boots advantage card to buy food when I've had no money.

Hi - do you pay tax? If so you can claim tax relief on the difference between the 10p and the 40p approved rate (reduced to 25p after 1O,OOO miles) so if you do 5000 miles, you can claim 22 percent of 5000 x 40p less 5000 x 10p. (Unless you are a h r taxpayer) - call your tax office asap.

chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 13:22:32

notactuallyme- thanks for that. My car is a lease car through my employer would that make a difference?

HollaAtMeSanta Sun 30-Dec-12 13:23:02

I see. Can you increase your hours or get a second job, even if temporarily?

ivykaty44 Sun 30-Dec-12 13:26:56

when money is tight here I got o tesco and get lentils and make daly

we have daly with carrots
dalh with potato
dalh with cauliflower

I use a jar of curry paste or just spices - it is cheap to make and I serve with rice and pita bread - i buy pita bread and freeze

a large bag of red lentils will cost around 2 pounds and last us three about two weeks.

Talk to the bank and make sure that for jan and feb your overdraft is more so that you don't end up paying charges for an overdraft - the bank will often do this for a short time as it is sensible planning and saves you 30 quid charges etc

is there any way you could get a secondary job for a while? Bit if domestic cleaning (pub work is out in Jan and feb)

hope things go ok for you

chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 13:28:02

Thats a good idea I could look at joining the bank at the hospital and maybe work the weekends when youngest dd is with her dad. This would hopefully mean I don't pay 2 lots of tax as employer should be the same. I will check to see how it would effect tax credits.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Dec-12 13:33:50

January is the worse month of the year for most people. Still no Council tax usually in February and March so that's a help. If you pay it over 10 months that is. Can you not put your petrol on a credit card if you claim it back. And I think you should have a word with your employer re car expenses. It doesn't seem right that you are out of pocket if you need a car for your job. If you have a mortgage it is worth asking if you can miss a couple of months.

Xenia Sun 30-Dec-12 14:33:43

1. Email or text the children's father to say you are having these problems. Ask him to deliver food if he is not happy to deliver money - the children could email him about what they'd like in a home delivery shopping order and he could book it with them so it would feel more like money for their food than money to you if that is his problem (although it's probably more likely he has his own bills he's put first before the children).

2, I drink only tap water which saves some money. The children pour large jugs of it for themselves too. Eat a lot of basic foods like carrots, potatoes, tinned sardines.

3. Possibly give up the TV. I don't watch and I think that means people then tend to read more books (if they can afford to drive to or are able to cycle to the library I suppose).

The big difficulty is the poverty trap - if you take on more work all that may happen is you lose tax credits. The Government has still not been able to solve this issue. Still worth looking into.

Today's Sunday Times profiles how very many people are now growing a lot of their own veg on allotments - huge number but that is not that easy. We quite like foraging when we can - gathering berries etc but not possible if you're in the inner city of course.

Our local paper shop was having trouble finding any teenagers to do a paper round just before Christmas. Have you got a child old enough to do a round near you?

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