The awful feeling knowing there is not enough money in bank to pay direct debits due on the 1st(80 Posts)
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
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.
Same boat here, although I don't have children to worry about.
It's utterly soul destroying shit
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.
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.
Our local foodbank is overflowing with food from generous christmas donors and is desperate for some punters.
Hope your ex enjoys NYE knowing his children have no money for food.
Mine's done the same, Julia. They should make this a criminal offence.
We are in the same position. Pasta, toast, jacket potatoes and rice are staple diets in this house
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
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.
When you say you work "in the community", do you mean voluntary/unpaid?
You'd be brave enough if you really had an empty kitchen surely?
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.
Oops sorry I realised that's what you said
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.
You can put dates back on direct debits if you think you will have money soon, if not definately cancel the less important ones.
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.
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.
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.
notactuallyme- thanks for that. My car is a lease car through my employer would that make a difference?
I see. Can you increase your hours or get a second job, even if temporarily?
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
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.
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.
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?
Look up 'austerity housekeeping' blog - written by a MNer and she has also written an e-book encompassing the whole blog. It doesn't solve your immediate issue but they way things seem to be going, costs will rise more while net incomes won't, for many.
I haven't been in your situation but without distressing them can you involve your elder child (and maybe younger) in food budgeting? And in perhaps earning their own money (for their own luxuries/wants) by making things, selling stuff, doing jobs for neighbours?
Hope your ex wakes up to his responsibility soon.
A lovely MNer did a £30 per week meal plan a while back - feeds a family of 4 over 2 weeks.
She didn't want it published on an open thread, but she pm'd it to anyone who wanted it. I'm happy to pm it you, chocolatespiders.
Could you pm it me please too
Am regular under name change.
Running could I be a pain and ask you to PM me the meal plan too?
this website here was a bit of a lifesaver for us a while back (and i still use some of the recipes even though things aren't quite so tight). I think the pricing is a bit out of date, but it's still cheap, covers all meals and snacks, and your basic nutritional needs.
Not sure how the lease car fits in - the 40p is to cover wear and tear i think?
honestly if you're on 30hrs a week, get child tax credits for two kids and presumably help with your rent if you don't earn enough - or you earn enough, then i i don't get how you don't have enough money to feed your kids.
do you have debts or something?
better tell bitterandtwisted her meal plan is doing the rounds again
Yes, it is indeed Bitterandtwisted's meal plan
Hope she doesn't mind me passing it on - she very generously passed it on to anyone that wanted it at the time.
I've pm'd it to the posters that asked for it.
Runningforthebus, may I have the meal planner too, please?
i think she spent about a week sending it out to all the people who requested it she wasn't expecting quite such a response
Can you ask your bank for an overdraft? I have to live on mine most of the time. You can request it online.
i'm sorry btw i didn't mean to sound judgmental OP it's just i do wonder how people get in these situations. not from the place of naive wealth but because i've been there on minimum benefits and now live on 23hrs a week salary plus tc as a lone parent of a 5 yo and have always managed fine. mind you i don't spend much most of the time and the pasta, toast, potatoes type food people are describing as poverty food just seems like normal living for me.
maybe i've been poor for too long now!
Ooh running could you chuck that in my direction too please
Feel for you OP I second calling your ex and telling him he needs to pull his finger out? What would he say if you asked him for help?
Please may I have a copy too?Thankyou
Thank you so much Running for some reason it won't let me reply to say thank you.
You can cancel gas and lecric and reset the DD for the following month.
Not ideal but will help jan.
Do you meal plan around what you have in the house?
Sorry you going through tough time op.
lack of payment by dad very crap.
see if you entitled to any extra benefits.
ie tax credits, income support.
I do think there are crisis loans you can get from social/job centre,
Some months week before payday been hard but 2012 been even harder as
our veg patch dident grow,
wasent anything to forgage due to rain I live in outer city and still plenty to forage if you look.
have you got any cash to go shopping tommorow or tuesday I ask as reductions good right now.
Earlier today got 4fullbags tesco reduced shop for £8.50 including chicken fillets 80, reayd meal 49p, large pizzas 99p.
We forsee jan being tight month and next payday is 25th.
we have car mot an eldests birthday next month b4 feb payday.
I have list on frezzer and planner next 30days worth of dinners all in my chest freezer most reduced as even went food shopping boxing day.My store cupboards are full with basics as did big aldi shop last pay day.
do you have an aldis or a lidls near you?
aldis have super six deals fruit and veg which change every fortnight check their website as some as low as 39p for potatoes or fruit.
Lidls -they have some deals that start on thursdays.
the mea deals are weekend go to website stick in postcode and will tell you waht nearest stores deals are sometimes have pack lean mince for £1.34.
shop value lines
pound shops have odd bits
iceland/lidls /farmfoods do cheapest deal on milk.
I have been very inventive last few years.
Do your kids have school dinners or packed lunch?
possible 7 day meal plan if possible.
mon -breckfast value or reduced bread -toast or crumpet, small bowl of cereal and small value fromage frais 50 p for 6pack.
lunches-cheese-grated goes further, tinned tuna-if you have any, ham or chicken or even egg sandwiches.add value fromage frais, value apple, squash in bottle, kids dont mind value crisps hubbys more fussy.raisens shops sell bi value bag.
dinner -jacket potatos with butter , cheese and ham if can spare.
followed by yogurt or fruit.
tue breck -same as mon
lunch similar to mon.
dinner -ham anc cheese omlette or whatever else want to throw in with value oven chips.
value mouse dessert 35p for pack of 4.
wed-brekkie same-porridge maybe if kids would eat it.
lunch- see other days.
dinner-if you can afford a pack of mince or 2 and some red lentils.
passattas 29p aldis and lidls, one onion chopped. sainsburys value herb 18p.if cant afford 2packs get one pack and divide equally then add some cooked red lentils.
fry mince with chopped onion. drain off fat then add cooked red lentils, add passsata pinch salt pepper and herbs and let simmer.
once done add to value spaggetti or pastta as low as 30p a bag.
if can afford it value garlic breads less than 50p.
place 2nd half of bol mix in tub or covered bowl in fridge.
thur brekkie -see before
lunch see before
dinner take bolaniase place in saucepan on hob add some kidney beans and spoon ful value chilli powder seen it in morrisons not sure about others tesco has loads value stuff. add value rice you have chilli con carne.
pudding-tin rice pudding maybe or make up a jelly from scratch as packets of cubed jelly quite cheap.
friday-brekkie -the same
dinner-if you can afford it tin tuna, value pasta and tin of sweetcorn all mixed up. to make pasta mix add grated chese if need be.
sat easier-brekkie-whatever was week day
sat lunch-beans on toast.
ad a dessert so seem like more
dinner-i really does depend what you have but if can afford yeast, bread flour, passata and value mozarella 49p. you can make base for hm pizas and make about 4-6large ones.
pm me if you wnat recipe. asdd value tomatoes, onions and ham or whatever toppings you have,. estimate cost of buyi all this
yeast and flour £1.50maybe less
reckon come in at £2 and if roll think can make a few.
kids can have fun helping you make them
sunday going to sound mad but can you afford a chicken
as do roast chicken sunday lunch with frozen mixed veg £1 iceland, some value from yrkies or try making them,, potatoes and ready made gravy granules. you could do a roast for a fiver.
dont use all the meat pick off some and place in covered tub.
then on monday add value curry sauce and value rice for mondays tea.
then et chicken carcass in hot water and simmer for about hour the chicken will fall off the bone , this will make a stock which you can either use to make chicken soup add salt pepper, herbs and diced value potato and veg to make chicken and veg soup.
Or you could add to rissotto rice and make chicken and onion rissoto.
It all depends on how much you have.
how much you shop around and what shops you got near you.
what do you have in house maybe you have some stuff to make meals from.
other nice extras
value squash for kids
value biscuits we opt bourbas or custard creams about 50p a pack.
value apples approx £1
value fromage frais.-50p for 6
value tea /coffee
milk, eggs, butter.cheese.
if you have flour already you can easily whip up 12 cheap fairy cakes for lunchbox or snacks.
This post may be very useful £7 a week seems mad but some fab ideas and price lists and recipies
Latest aldi super six
Little gem lettuce
with my menu options above.
maybe make omlette chuck ins some chopped spring onions and cherry tomatoes with small amount grated cheese and serve with new potatoes instead of oven chips as works out cheaper. You could add side salad of lettuce.
If kids like add chopped cucumber and cherry tomatoes to lunchboxes. or add cheese and use as sandwich fillings
so spend £2.50 and you have a few options.
not to mention few other bargains in aldis.
I totally forot about pancakes make them as normal and add savoury fillins like cheese and ham and use as if its a wrap its very yummy or add sugar and tinned fruit and eat as a pudding.
Also the 15 year old could do a paper round, as Xenia says, and you could try to get the off bit of babysitting work if the kids can be palmed off on friends for a few hours, or for a sleepover. It's probably worth mentioning locally that you are struggling a bit so that neighbours offer to have them to free up some more working time for you. People can be very understanding.
Oh yes, and mention to the children's schools that you need free school meals, or if you are just over the threshold, explain this and see if they can wangle you some money out of the pupil premium dosh. If you don't ask, you don't get.
BoffinMum your blog is bloody brilliant. I have been on it nearly all night!
The school helped me for a short time, once with uniform and a few months school meals which meant I could make soup for tea without feeling guilty, I don't pay the full amount for school trips - just what I can afford and I'm only paying half of the £350. Needed for the annual last trip so DS can attend.
People should always tell schools when there's trouble at home. There's so much they can do to help. It's terrible when problems are suspected but people are too proud to admit when help is required. Then schools have to tiptoe around things and are not quite sure what to do for the best.
Totally agree BoffinMum, I was really embarrassed but the DC needed a hot meal so I sent them in with no money because I knew the school would feed them and my bill grew and grew.
It was only because the school secretary was such a nice lady, I told her everything over the phone one day when she called
again to ask for money, by that afternoon I had some very needed help and I cried when she offered help with school uniform because that meant I wasn't actually the only one seeing DS go to school looking like a scruff.
Thankfully he was too young for school friends to take the mickey out of his grey shirts and short trousers with the hem hanging down for length
I no longer get free meals but they are great with trips and school activities, such a weight lifted then.
Things are much better now and 2013 is looking brighter which is why I'm posting here because its surprising what horrors we can all come through.
Sometimes, in extremis, schools can also slip kids into spare places in breakfast clubs and after school clubs, where (free) care and snacks can be made available as well.
The 42p per mile standard allowance is if you are using your own car. Op as you say it's a lease car from work then the 10p per mile sounds about right as you are getting the use of the car for your own use as well I assume, for which you pay your own petrol, and just claim back 'duty' mileage?
I am self employed and can claim the 42p per mile but I bear all the costs of the car myself.
Sorry your ex is being so selfish.
Where do you live? Anywhere near Leeds? I would happily drop you a box of stuff off. Mums have to stick together. January is a shit month for people.
Tinned, frozen and dried fruit, veg and pulses are your friend. For example boil up free ham bones from butcher for stock. Cook lentils in there and add a small amount of chopped bacon, with a few croutons made from stale bread, and you have supper right there.
Similarly part cook a bag of frozen mixed veg, add a tin of chopped tomatoes and sone seasoning/worcestershire sauce, put in dish, break two eggs per person and bury them in wells in the veg, top with grated cheese and bake until the eggs are cooked through but not too hard. Serve with wedges of brown bread. Luvverly.
Also big can of pie filling topped with home made crumble mix fills people up, or you can use blackish bananas instead, the sort market stalls give away at the end of the day.
Home made rice pudding with full fat long life milk and cheap dried mixed fruit is another brilliant wheeze, as is making your own yoghurt from sterilised milk bought cheaply from the supermarket.
Do you like italian food OP? Our staple cheap pasta dishes include spaghetti with oil, garlic and chilli flakes (fry together and toss with spaghetti. I add parmesan because love it but isnt necessary. Think cheapest place in uk have seen it is aldi and will last for ages). Other cheap variations on this is a courgette or 2 sliced and cooked in the oil and garlic, cooked broccolli mixed and crushed down into the oil, or a bit of ham and couple of handfuls of peas. Italian sauces dont need to be elaborate or have loads of ingredients. Often the thinking behind their creation is money saving, the first course of pasta to be cheap and plentiful to fill you up so you didn't need much of the second course of the more expensive protein. Also with a meat based sauce over here they often dont use much meat unlike the uk version, its just cooked for a long time in the tomato sauce to make the most of the flavour. My sons favourite is raw egg yolk mixed with cooked pasta and parmesan so heat of pasta cooks the egg lightly. From the scots part of the family my mum gets a ham shank for a couple of quid max, makes stock, cooks with a cup of soup mix ( with lentils, peas, pearl barley already mixed), add grated carrots, potatoes, swede and chopped leeks. She adds a stock cube although probably not necessary. Is gorgeous and she always has about 6 double portions left over she freezes. The Brit part of the family have it with bread, the Italians add a handful of tiny pasta pieces and a bit of parmesan. A big frittata omelette feeds three to four as well either with something on the side. Oh and boiled white rice, a knob of butter mixed in with parmesan is favourite comfort food here.
Good luck OP, have been where you are, its not nice! Agree with what has been said above as well. Pick and choose what you can pay on your debits, ask for help and take what is available, you are one of so many struggling, there is no shame in it. And think about going to see the CAB as they can advise on who you can approach in terms of help. Here's to a better 2013 and your bloody ex getting sorted out!
Running sorry to be a pain but please could you send the meal planner to me as well. Thanks I'm advance.
Sorry to be a pest, but could someone please send me the planner too? Thank you
Found about this site from a MN message under this topic.
Just been to their 'Organic' section, thinking I'd be looking at high prices. Not a bit of it. Looks like a very good bet to me.
Running please could you pm the meal plan also
Approved Food are brilliant. I use them all the time.
To keep the cost of fuel down, do you make sure you drive as economically as possible? ie a) best speed, in highest gear possible, smooth changes and steady speed b) don't load boot up with lots of stuff c) keep tank half full rather than totally full to avoid excess weight. Also, use petrolprices.com to make sure you are paying the lowest price offered near you.
I know how you feel. I would cancel the water and tv license rather than the rent, this gets you into hot water .
Honestly I see where you are coming from swallowedafly, on paper with dp's wages/tax credit's etc we have enough money to live comfortably. However we do have debts, we are always running to stay still iyswim, robbing peter to pay paul.
Determined to sort it out this year and actually stick to a budget, it's a horrible feeling having actually no money. We had about £12 for the last 4 days, thankfully tc have gone in early tonight, all because flipping Tesco took a double payment (still not returned).
We have cancelled mobile phone/sky etc, so that should free some money up.
Certainly have a look at entitledto op, it's fairly accurate, any ppi or bank charges you could claim back?
Yes, you can easily lose the TV and still survive. But put your TV away so you're not tempted to use it as the fine is so substantial if you get caught out.
If you are honest with your landlord about what has happened, pay at least 50% of your rent and make it up asap, then while it will make your landlord nervous, it will minimise the risk of eviction.
WOW- some amazing things been written here thankyou all so much for taking the time to offer me advice and information. Thanks for the links to the blog.
mam29 - such great information- thankyou for taking the time to write all of that out.
Woke up to a text from my bank saying I had gone overdrawn (I don't have an overdraft) Logged in to my account and all direct debits had gone out. I phoned bank helpline and was told the company's had reset the direct debits up. The man has cancelled them again and the money will go back in and I can then pay half the rent.
Someone form the bank is going to ring me tomorrow and talk to me about borrowing a small amount of money I wont allow myself to get my hopes up though as in the past my credit rating has been poor but I have been mindful about trying to make it better.
I will also be ringing CSA tomorrow to see if there is any hope of any of the money ex owes my this month.
Running can you pm me too please
Cancel water and tv license. Water willgive you time to pay and they aren't allowed to disconnect you.
No worries chocolate spiderers glad to be of help.
sometimes the old a problem shared works.
Dont feel bad so many in same boat especially prepayday
jan hardest month.
mse oldstyle is great source of info. In fact after reading that £7 a week thread im inspired to come up with cheaper menu for feb as eldest birthday in feb ad car mot will skint us out plus I have overdue bills to pay.
Something no one suggested yet is
do you have ebay acccount? list what you can.
Im really loving my fb local selling group right now.They come collect pay cash no fees and brought some bargains.
Mums forum site of similar name also has local boards with selling pages where you can list for free.
Gumtree area specific and free too.
Fb has selling groups for specific brands ie boden, joules , next so search and request to join.
Im aiming to step up my selling this month and declutter.
The new minimalist organised me in 2013.
Pre dec payday it was my selling that kept petrol on the car and brought a little food .
Today im on reduced hunt in co-op spar. My freezer has lots in it now all reduce so I should be ok until jan payday end of month but me and oh could do with diet so a more frugal basic menu wouldent do us any harm.
Sorry about bank they numpties.Generally I find most banks rubbish although Lloyds did give me small temporary overdraft but only to pay back bank charges I owed them from going overdrawn.
I would contact social see if you entitles to extra help/crisis loan. could you not possibly get some help from housing benefit?
Also there are things called credit unions that loan money to people in need and save. They not loans harks or pay day I think they run like charities. Charities like barnardos may have some funds.
So search local food bank
search local credit union.
If quite a few debts I suggest maybe going to cab and reducing your debt payments.
As for utilities theres actually a social tariff and those in dire need I think possibly can get some help with energy its not just old people.
So as soon as new years over go book appointment with relevent person as im sure you entitled to more than you think and there must be some recourse over csa ie they take direct from his wages.
Spell out to csa what dire straits you in.
Anyway hope 2013 gets better for you , its never as bad as you think always a solution.
Any other family and freinds who could help? Im guessing no and its hard to ask.
Running can you PM me that meal plan too if you get a chance please
OP - Sorry to hear ex is being difficult. Cancelling the water DD is a good shout from a PP, as they can't cut you off. Water, gas/electricity companies all have some schemes to help people who are struggling. We've been in this position too and I know it's a horrible feeling, once we cancelled everything but the mortgage direct debit. I hope things get better for you soon
Sent the meal plan to all those who asked for it.
Happy New Year to everyone. OP I hope you get through this and 2013 is a better year for you.
Running please could you PM me the meal plan too? Thanks .
oh OP i've been there. it's fucking shit. i was lucky in that my exp was paying CS and i went cap in hand and asked him for an advance on the next months payment.
you've probably thought of everything already but just incase you haven't i have a few suggestions.
can you sell anything? even clothes for 99p on ebay or bundles of children's clothing on gumtree/free ads.
can you offer any services? dog walking, babysitting, cleaning, ironing, errands for neighbours, sewing/mending clothes. have a look on gumtree and see what services people are looking done.
can your eldest get an afterschool/saturday job?
is it possible to eat with family/friends for even one meal of the week?
could the dcs go to their dad's for 1/2 meals?
Thanks for the ebay idea.. I have sorted out a few of dd's old tops I do feel a bit bad selling them on as I was given them, they are Gap, Zara and Monsoon so I will put them on and hope for at least a pound.
I will also have a look to see if I am entitled to any Housing benefit.
Dinner was at my dads yesterday and we left with some leftovers and dinner is always at my mums on a Friday as she picks my girls up for me because I work later on a Friday and so she feeds us all.
OP, how is it going? Are you feeling OK?
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