Advice needed, please

(483 Posts)
NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 13:35:35

DH and I have just found out we are about to lose £500 a month income.

I had started another thread, but I was advised to come here for some advice. We don't know what we are going to do and I wondered if anyone could help us. Name changed because lots of these details would out us.

We have just taken on an 18 month lease with a letting agent. We have spoken to them this morning, and we cannot break this. We could simply not pay, but we would lose our deposit, and would struggle to find a landlord that would take us on if we did this.

We currently earn about £30k between us, take home about £23k.

Rent is £1000
Council Tax is £200
Gas and Electricity is £190
Phone/Broadband is £50
Childcare is (currently) £350
Car insurance is £60
Car payment is £140
Petrol around £80
Home insurance is £20
Gym membership is £75

Think that is everything. Obviously, this leaves us over budget. I genuinely don't know what we will do without this money?

We aren't entitled to any benefits, including WTC and CTC.

I genuinely don't know what to do.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 13:45:13

Anyone? I only have a few hours before I have to go to work..

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 13:53:46

Why are you losing £500 per month? Is this a net reduction? If it is a job loss could you cut down on the childcare costs at all because of it?

Also there are obvious things on your list like gym membership and probably gas/electric too. That seems high! Is the house very big?
If so do you have a spare room? A lodger is quick tax free money, even if temporary.

What is the car like? Can you sell it and but a banger outright? Check if all these things are feasible and then take it from there!

Also, post on money saving expert forums, people are great over there at cutting costs.

You haven't included pertinent costs such as food or water bills. Or clothing/emergencies. Or any debt. If you don't have any debt would a short term loan help cover a gap in income.

Possibly a few things you could do but your info is pretty sketchy in your op. Most of all try not to panic, it won't help you think clearly.
You will get through this thanks

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 13:57:48

Will the £500 come back in time? Is it a job contract and you will get others.
Use the Moneysaving websites budget planner and follow their suggestins for reducing costs. Is the childcare due to end soon?

Can you or your husband take on more hours?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:01:00

Sorry, I wasn't sure how much infor to give blush

Why are you losing £500 per month? Is this a net reduction? If it is a job loss could you cut down on the childcare costs at all because of it? This is £500 actual money. It was an ongoing gift that we are no longer to receive.

Also there are obvious things on your list like gym membership and probably gas/electric too. That seems high! Is the house very big? No, it's a 2 bedroom. Not very big but does have high ceilings and I have asked around and £200 a month seems to be the norm?

If so do you have a spare room? A lodger is quick tax free money, even if temporary. Sadly no spare room.

What is the car like? Can you sell it and but a banger outright? Check if all these things are feasible and then take it from there! No, it's a 2005 so not new, and we still owe a lot on the car loan. Plus we need it grin

You haven't included pertinent costs such as food or water bills. Or clothing/emergencies. Or any debt. If you don't have any debt would a short term loan help cover a gap in income.
Nope, as I don't see how we will pay for food!
We don't have water bills hmm nor any debt (other than car) but we aren't eligible for a loan.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:03:25

The £500 won't be coming back.

Have tried the money saving expert site but all I got was 'you are spending over your budget'..

Childcare is not due to end soon. In fact, it was meant to be going up by £200 a month but I don't know what we will do about that.

I am 8 months pregnant, so realistically, no one is going to hire me for weekend or evening work. And DH wouldn't be okay with it anyway. I already have 2 jobs.

DH could possibly work weekends, but he is studying at the moment and really, needs this time.

He is already out of the hours for 13 hours a day on weekdays.

TheReluctantCountess England Tue 18-Feb-14 14:03:29

Can you cancel the gym membership?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:04:22

We can't cancel the gym until December.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:04:45

Oh, I forgot our mobile phones as well. £80 a month.

CalamityJones Tue 18-Feb-14 14:06:15

Get rid of gym membership - £75 seems very high. Is your council tax really £200 for a 2 bed? And the bills seem really expensive (both are more than I pay for a far bigger property).

CalamityJones Tue 18-Feb-14 14:07:25

Those phone bills are crazy. Why £80? Can you reduce those? Mine is £8 per month, dh's £28 and he's constantly on the bloody thing!

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:08:05

You then follow the suggestions for cutting down. The options are simple:

- cut down
- earn more
- dip into savings.

And probably all three will be required. You just have to systematic and not panic. It's a heavy blow but it won't necessarily sink you.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:11:46

I can't see where we can cut down though?

We are tied into gym and phone contracts. You can't just cancel them. We don't get 'bills' for the phones as we never go over the minutes.

Yes, council tax is £200 a month. Expensive city.

We don't have any savings to dip into. I wish!

Earn more would be good, we aren't sure how. I can't get a third job, no one will hire me at 8 months pregnant.

DH could get a weekend job but as I said, he woudl have to put his studies on hold and really, this is our 'means to an end' as once he is qualified, we'll be fine. Probably looking at between £5k and £6k a year increase in salary so will be perfect. But that's at least another year away.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:12:48

Gym is £75 a month for both of us, it's actually pretty cheap in comparison to loads of others. But like I said, we can't cancel it as we are tied in until December. We just moved gyms in December 2013.

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:14:19

Maybe these immoveable contracts are more flexible than you think. Often things are. You need to talk to someone senior at the companies. And maybe study will have to be postponed. All I'm saying is the options are clear. You have to do something or you will run up debts. Sometimes having someone go over the figures with you can help. CAB maybe?

CalamityJones Tue 18-Feb-14 14:16:27

It's not that cheap. I wouldn't like those gym and phone bills and my household income is more than three times yours. Surely things were tough even with the £500?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:17:28

Um, that's why I am here? I know we need some help as I can't see what to do.

We've done spreadsheets, contacted everyone we could (such as gym, lettings agency and Vodafone) and there is nothing we can do. We are in legally binding contracts. They have to be paid.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 14:19:10

Even as your dh is a studen you may become eligible for some benefits once the baby is born. It is worth applying.

Does the university have a hardship fund? Worth speaking to them.

Could Dh speak to his current employers and ask about a career development loan from them to be repaid from future earnings?

Is there anything that can be done to rejig childcare?

I'm wondering whether you all share one bedroom and have an au pair in...

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:19:39

Well, when we had the £500 we managed, just fine. But no, we didn't have spare money at all hence no savings.

We have never been on holiday
We don't buy new clothes
We haven't been on a night out, or day trip, or cinema or anything in over 2 years.

MerylStrop Tue 18-Feb-14 14:20:35

Negotiate hard on all the contracts - you haven't a choice on that really.
Gym and phone - sometimes there is a way out
Bills are high, rent seems high but of course that depends where you are.
Can you manage without the car?

Are you sure you are not entitled to any benefits at all? Might that change when you are on mat leave? Surely your childcare costs will go down then and its a slightly different conundrum?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:21:53

DH doesn't study through a university, he is doing chartered banking qualifications whilst working for a financial institution. So he isn't a student.

Childcare is breakfast and after school club. We need it as we both work, so it can't be rejigged.

We don't have space in our bedroom for us all. Plus, it would be a bit inappropriate, DS needs some privacy. And we really don't need/can't afford an au pair anyway.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 14:22:27

Would the Letting Agent let you out of the contract if they find someone else to rent the flat? I have been offered that option before.

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:22:36

When you had the £500, you didn't manage just fine. You couldn't afford much at all. But that's by the by. You have to start from now. I'd get someone to look at your figures with you. Another eye on things would help.

Your gas and electric is very expensive I live in a two bed flat and spend £90 a month and that is on prepayment meters. Mind you i dont put the heating on much. Have you looked at switching suppliers I got £90 cashback for switching.

Cancel the gym direct Debit they wont be able to do anything they might try and take you to court but the probaley wont bother.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:23:54

I will only be on maternity leave for 4 weeks.

We have done the benefits checker thing countless times, and gone to the benefits agency. We are entitled to nothing. I do not know why, but they keep telling us we aren't.

Can't manage without the car, wouldn't get DS to and from school, and myself to and from work in time without it.

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