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 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.

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:23:59

Are you now entitled to things like free school meals? £500 is a helluva of a drop. What is that? About £12k a year down.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 14:24:15

DH does need to speak to his employers.

Is there some reason, other than earning too much, why you don't qualify for any benefits?

Could you manage avon? I did that when we were very short of cash, it's good for when you have a baby as you can just wheel them round with you to drop off and pick up your booklets.
I made about £70 a month and I only had a few clients.

BTW I thought you had 3 jobs.

growingolddicustingly Tue 18-Feb-14 14:25:19

You have had the rug pulled out from under you OP, I am so sorry, but I don't think there is a magic wand that will help you maintain the status quo. If you are going to survive then I think only radical action will do.

Your DH needs to postpone his qualifications until you are both in a position to support him through them again. He needs to find a job paying more than £11k at least until you can get out of the contracts you are tied into. Short term pain for long term gain.

Alternatively do you and he have any skills that you can use to set up a business from home?

Again, I am sorry that you are in this position.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:26:02

The gym will send the debt to a collections agency. We can't do this as we are really trying to rebuild our credit rating so one day, we can get a mortgage.

I know that seems a long way off but we've tried so hard to reduce our debt and get our credit score better of the past few years, I just cant throw it all away.

We switched providers for G&E recently (a year or so ago) and the price was about the same?

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 18-Feb-14 14:27:01

You can sometimes negotiate out of gym memberships or agree to pay less and not have access to the facilities. Ask to speak to the manager.

Likewise the phones, ring up and see if you can negotiate lower payments for less minutes and a longer contract (you will need to choose the "end your contract" option).

Consider selling the phones and cars and replacing with more basic options if that is likely to get you a profit.

Then the council tax, I saw your other thread, has your DH got the student exemption form for council tax so you are only paying single-person occupancy? Has he tried asking for hardship funding?

By my sums you have £248 left over each month which should be just enough for food.

That rent and CT is astronomical for your income. Could you find new tenants and ask letting agent if they'd allow you to leave if new tenants moved in ASAP? That way it wouldn't affect your chances of being accepted my new LL.

Preciousbane Tue 18-Feb-14 14:27:50

I agree, ring up the gym and the mobile phone people and tell them you are liable to default on payment can they do anything.

I just had a renewal notice on insurance and haggled them down. I also haggled my phone and broadband down from 49 to 35 a month and said I would leave and go to another provider. I also got 2.5 hours of free calls to premium rate numbers added to keep me. I do use say no to 0870 but not everyone is on there.

Is there any chance of cutting down on petrol? no unnecessary trips at all. I appreciate your pg but any walking instead of driving is good.
Eat meat every other day, I had almost two years of enforced vegetarianism when very hard up and had meat at the weekend only.
Do your employers offer childcare vouchers taken before tax? we did this and saved a few hundred every year.

You need a brass neck to ask but asking is free.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:28:12

Only people in receipt of benefits are entitled to FSM. We aren't.

Random what can DH work do?

Checkpoint I know 2 women who sell Avon (through work), and I know zero who would buy grin

Slebmum Tue 18-Feb-14 14:28:16

Can you ask the gym to suspend your part of the contract at least as you are pregnant?

Are you taking mat leave - does that mean you can reduce the childcare costs?

We pay £110 for electricity and gas in a much bigger property, with high ceilings. Have you tried Uswitch?

If you go on mat leave does your income drop significantly enough that you will qualify for any benefits?

Ponyphysio Tue 18-Feb-14 14:29:07

Have you contacted StepChange? Most contracts can be put on hold by large organisations like this.

Preciousbane Tue 18-Feb-14 14:29:08

You need to be a full time student for exemption from CT and I don't think on the job training counts.

Slebmum Tue 18-Feb-14 14:29:31

Can you ask the gym to suspend your part of the contract at least as you are pregnant?

Are you taking mat leave - does that mean you can reduce the childcare costs?

We pay £110 for electricity and gas in a much bigger property, with high ceilings. Have you tried Uswitch?

If you go on mat leave does your income drop significantly enough that you will qualify for any benefits?

Also, £720 pa for car insurance seems really really expensive, when is it due for renewal?

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 18-Feb-14 14:29:49

Have you counted in child benefit? Also, have you tried renegotiating existing commitments? What about changing from fully comp to third party f and t for car? Or spreading your car loan payments over a longer period to bring the monthly cost down? It'll take longer to get rid of the debt and you'll pay more interest in the long run but it would be a good short term fix.

Speak to the companies and tell them you're struggling. Ask them to help you sort out a more favourable payment structure. Remember they want to keep your custom and not lose you to a competitor.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:30:04

DH isn't a student!

We only use the car for essential journeys - we are walkers. But, I need it for DS school and to get to work. And I can't manage the shopping myself without it.

We've asked the gym, and DH called Vodafone but we are tied to the contracts.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:31:20

Child benefit is £80 a month, I forgot to include that. So we have that as well. Apologies.

I'm not taking maternity leave, only for 4 weeks.

Why is our G&E so high?

threepiecesuite Tue 18-Feb-14 14:32:07

Change your gas/elec tarriff now. Ours is £113 a month for a 3 bed semi and we have it blasting round the clock.
If dh is working 13 hours a day and you have 2 jobs plus a child, when were you both going the gym enough to justify £75?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:32:31

Car insurance is high, but we only learned to drive 2 years ago. It is renewed in November and should go down a bit then. It went down a lot last November. We were paying over £2k a year for the first year!

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 14:33:06

He can ask them about a loan/career advancement/Payrise - sometimes they will do these things if you sign up to staying for x amount of years after qualifying (and of course you have to repay). Obviously if you leave their employment you are still liable to repay.

Sod what the benefits agency say. Actually apply for housing benefit and council tax benefit. As soon as the baby is born send off for child benefit and phone up Tax credits and apply.

Please do not take anyones word that you are not eligible for a benefit, apply and check thoroughly the paperwork they send back with their decision. Your income dropping by £500 per month net may well mean that you are now eligible.

Phone up today Tax credits and local council and apply - or look on line, you have nothing to lose.

Are your G and E bills based on what you actually use? If so, are you leaving things like heating, water, etc on all the time?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 14:33:51

Find a good benefit checker and run the figures if you became a SAHM after this baby, or if DP became a SAHD. Sadly, it might be that you would then be better off. Would one of you consider a career break for a year or two if it saved your bacon?

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 18-Feb-14 14:33:59

How long is your heating on for?

Is anything except the fridge/freezer left on for long periods?

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 14:34:00

Would your car insurance reduce if only one of you was insured to drive it?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:34:37

He is out of the house for 13 hours a day, as he walks to/from work. We go to the gym some evenings or at the weekend.

We would cancel it, we tried to cancel it, but they said we were tied in and there was nothing they could do. I said I would just have to cancel the DD and they said that was fine but it would go to a debt collector.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 14:35:37

At one point we were eligible for £1.62 per week council tax benefit but what that did mean was that we were eligible for reduce priced school holiday playscheme part funded by the council!

Do you already have a tax credits claim? Currently if your gross pay is over £26k per year you earn too much to get any CTC for 1 child but the cut off goes up to £32k ish for 2 children. If you don't currently have a claim you can always apply now, then call to add your new baby as soon as it's born to get the extra money ASAP.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 14:35:58

If you get to the point where you HAVE to stop paying something, then stop the Gym membership first.

In your position I would also be applying for Social Housing.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:36:10

I would give up my 'employed' job if it meant we were better off, yes.

Heating is on for 3 hours in the morning, and 3 in the evening. Water is the same.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 14:36:17

Sorry- but you need to ditch the car, and come up with a plan B for getting your son to school, and you to work.

Is there a bus? Do any of his school friends live by so that he could get a lift (there may be some lovely mums of 1 that would relish having a bit of extra distraction for their child in their own car)?

As for shopping, go online- it'll save you in the long run too as there is less impulse buying, and it'll save you lugging shopping about with the little one when they arrive.

StickyProblem Tue 18-Feb-14 14:37:10

Hi OP

Re the gym -
Have a look here Sorry there's a lot of info to wade through.
This was an Office of Fair Trading ruling against a company who does the contracts for a lot of small gyms. If you lose your job you are entitled to get out of the contract. Ring them again and insist that they allow you to cancel. OK as the £500 was a gift you won't have a letter from an employer but perhaps something else would do.

Also, have a look at switching your utilities. Ours was £275 pm blush but switching got us down to £206. Investigate getting gas and electric from different suppliers, that saved us a lot. The utility companies assume people will take for granted that dual fuel is cheaper, but IME it wasn't.

Good luck... as long as you can think creatively about each element of your spending, you will be able to save far more than you first thought. flowers

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:37:13

We can't get anything from CTC or WTC.

We can't apply for social housing. Well, we can, but we would be so far down the list it would never happen. We are extremely low priority. We looked into this a few months ago, before we moved here.

Slebmum Tue 18-Feb-14 14:38:05

So you are also going to have to find extra money for childcare once you go back to work after mat leave, which is appx 8 weeks away? Do you work FT?

Preciousbane Tue 18-Feb-14 14:38:33

Heating n one hour in the morning if your going out is enough. How persuasive is your DH? Could you do better ringing asking for discounts. My DH would not be good at negotiating.

MerylStrop Tue 18-Feb-14 14:39:02

why did you sign up for gym membership when you were 7 months pregnant? and couldn't afford it anyway

contracts are always negotiable. Get CAB or the govt money advice thing to help you.

what is your maternity pay situation? why only 4 weeks? you get 6 weeks at 90% so will you not take that? you might be better off taking longer, ditching childcare and car for that time. plus you might then get some WTC or CTC for that period.

don't panic, get some proper advice

LittleYellowDuck Tue 18-Feb-14 14:39:04

Lots of good advice from other posters here... I have also read your other thread
What about internet shopping, if you switch down to all the value brands, menu plan etc you could save a lot plus you wouldnt need to use your car . Even if the delivery slot was £3 , you could save more than this by choosing cheaper food options etc plus would save you carrying heavy items if heavily pregnant?
I have switched contracts half way through on a mobile before, I had to pay a fee , think it was around £60 but the savings over the 18 month contract were much more than this one off cost...it can be done, you just need to be more persistent

What abour selling things on Ebay ? this can be a great little earner, old baby things etc, or on Gumtree?? Everything adds up
I also think your gas and electric is very high, we are approx £130 a month for a 3 bed home and heating on a lot?

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:39:24

Is your rent very high for the area? Can you move? I think with the letting agencies and Vodaphone, you have to try again. Can you offer something? Same with the gym. Who said they couldn't negotiate? What is the person at the desk? I got out of a gym contract once by getting hold of the manager and blubbing. Embarrassing yes, but better than losing the money. It wasn't fake tears. I was genuinely panic stricken.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:40:31

rumple We need the car.

DS school is over 5 miles away, and he would have to get 3 buses to get there. I would then need to get another bus plus a 20 minute walk to get to work.

So, we'd leave at 7am to get there for 8:30
I wouldn't get to work until nearly 10am (obviously, too late)

I would need to leave at 3:30 (too early) to be at school for 5
We wouldn't get home until 6:30 (probably later as it is rush hour?)

In the car, it takes 20 minutes total.

None of his school friends live anywhere near - they all live near the school. We can't afford the area.

You're right, you can't.... I mentioned earlier up the thread about finding new tenants and being released from your contract. Sorry to mention it again but it is a good way of leaving your contract and everyone wins. Could you find a smaller 2 bed for around the 5/600 mark?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:43:35

Sleb childcare was going to be £200 a month for the new baby, but we will have to rethink that, yes.

We took out a new gym membership as we are both very sporty and fit. We've always been gym goers, even when pregnant. Being pregnant doesn't stop you exercising!

We can't afford to take maternity leave for more than 4 weeks (I could take the full 6 but there is a situation at work that's a bit complicated, and basically I need to be there when newborn is 4 weeks old for a few days, so I am going back after 4 weeks).

We aren't entitled to WTC or CTC regardless of our situation.

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:44:17

It sounds as if you've hit the nail on the head. "You can't afford the area." Not even five miles from the school. But it's only a temporary situation. You can get out of it. Isn't this the sort of thing that CAB help with?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:46:21

I wish Jon!

Even a horrible studio flat in a really dodgy area here is about £650 a month.

We could have gone for something like that, I guess, but we didn't as we didn't know we were to lose this money. And now we have signed the lease.

I have spoken to the letting agents personally. They were actually really annoyed and said we've just signed the lease, there is no cooling off period and we can't end it. Even if we found new tenants, they would keep our deposit and we wouldn't be able to move somewhere new with no deposit available.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 14:46:37

Okay- I have no idea where you live, but would school transport be an option? Some places will offer it free dependent on circumstances?

https://www.somerset.gov.uk/irj/public/services/directory/service?rid=/guid/c07e7e94-e851-2d10-52bd-dd33b6d0c680

Then it would only involve getting yourself to work?

MerylStrop Tue 18-Feb-14 14:46:56

you need to move schools then - are you not entitled to help with his transport if school is 5 miles away?

the whole set up sounds completely unworkable - you need to look at the whole situation and go through each thing and see what can change. I don't know how you coped even with the £500 gift.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 18-Feb-14 14:47:15

Can your son change schools to a local one?

And get on the housing list, you never know, the list might move quicker than you expect and if it doesn't you can always just carry on with your life.

Is there any flexibility in childcare? E.g lose breakfast club but keep after school or lose 1 day? Also can either of you get childcare vouchers through work? That could save you £40 a month.

Gas and electric does seem high, we pay 110 in a 4 bedroom house.

Obviously cancel the gym and mobile contracts as soon as you can, giff gaff is very good value when your contract ends.

Also when your tenancy ends could you maybe rent somewhere a bit cheaper in a less nice area?

Sorry I can't really think of anything short term apart from Aldi for shopping, cutting back on convenience foods and using savings if you have any.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:48:42

There isn't free transport to the school.

We should really move DS schools but he is in a really good school, that feeds to a fantastic hight school.

The closest one to us now is awful, really bad OFSTED. So we are keeping him where he is. I really wouldn't be happy to compromise on this if there was any chance, as it's very, very important to us.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 14:50:31

So you have 3 jobs and banking exams between you?

Can you give us rough breakdown of what the three jobs bring in?

Have you tried WTC/CTC/HB/CTB calculator for all possible permutations of jobs and childcare?

It might be you will qualify for tax credits inc childcare payment once baby is here. So imagine he/she IS here and put those details in the calculator.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:50:41

My employer doesn't do childcare vouchers. Will ask DH (how do these work?)

We already shop in Aldi and Lidl, I have done internet shopping but it honestly wasn't cheaper in comparison. Have never bought a convenience food, and haven't a penny in savings.

We are overdrawn by just under £2.5k. We always are, except on payday.

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:51:47

What are your thoughts on how to deal with the loss of £500. If you run through the options and graded them, which would you start with?

velvetspoon Tue 18-Feb-14 14:52:00

Your gas and electric is too high. I rarely switch heating on (I can afford to, but years of living frugally have got me used to doing without it). Have boiler on timer for hot water only. Use hot water bottles in bed, wear extra clothes. Be meticulous about switching off appliances/lights. Several years ago I lived for a short while in a rented property with pre-pay gas and electric meters, I used to put £10-15 a week on electric and £10-15 a fortnight on gas. Scrap the heating, have the hot water on an hour in the morning, same in eve.

Cancel phone and broadband. Landline isn't a necessity if you have a mobile. Beg phone co to switch you to a cheaper mobile tariff (a friend pays £10 a month for hers, no fancy phone but still gets free minutes, texts, data allowance etc).

Stop paying the gym. You simply can't afford it.

Cut back on food - you can live incredibly cheaply on pulses and veg.

I'd say ditch the car, but I don't drive so am used to managing without one.

You need to find ways to increase your income - I'm assuming you both work FT? £30k between you is a v low salary in the south east (again I'm assuming that's where you are due to house prices, sorry). Extra jobs? Work weekends? Any work you can do from home (ironing, sewing etc) Cleaning work?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:52:06

DH earns £20k (before tax)
I earn £10k (before tax)

We aren't entitled to WTC or CTC!

We applied for HB and CTB but we were told we would get something like £1.60 a week? hmm

Slebmum Tue 18-Feb-14 14:52:12

Now intrigued as to where you can get childcare for a newborn or £200 per month for full time care?

Can you get childcare vouchers through your work?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 14:52:31

Also, if you apply for housing now, you will be already on the system should you find yourself in a rent arrears or eviction situation.

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 14:54:12

If you were always overdrawn except on payday, then you were already living beyond your means. Old fasioned phrase, I know,but that's what it was. With the loss of £500, you will slip further into debt unless you make some decisons. Look at your options. There aren't any magic solutions. Just tough decisions and compromises until you get back on your feet.

MerylStrop Tue 18-Feb-14 14:54:28

Most people don't go to the gym when heavily pregnant or with a newborn. Especially when their OH is out of the house 13 hours per day. In fact, my gym was happy to release me from my contract when I got pg second time.

You have to take a few steps back from the situation and look at it all and see what you can change.

Move house
Move school
Consider whether your job/s are worth it
Advice on benefits
Extract yourselves from contracts

Don't assume the things that you think of as fixed cannot be changed.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 14:55:19

Is there any family that you can ask to help? I'm sure you've thought of this- but it may mean that you need to go cap in hand for a few months, to tide you over. Then, in short- you either need to find more cash (promotions etc.), or move to a different area as soon as you can release yourselves from your flat.

We did break out lease once, by doing exactly as others have said- finding a new tenant- and that was very tricky, as it was a large ugly house in a VERY rural location. But we managed it (through out own Facebook advertising!).

A friend of mine did move out of this area just recently. We live in the SE, and she has now moved to the Norfolk area, with lower rent- and close to her DCs school so that she doesn't need a car.

Its horrid to think that you've been squeezed out of where you live- but that is now the reality.

Are you both willing to upsticks (dependent on finding new work)?

I can't think of anything more than others have suggested I'm afraid.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:56:19

We need the landline for the broadband.

We don't spend much on food.

We don't live in the SE either grin

I could try extra work, would be happy to.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 18-Feb-14 14:58:15

I understand about the schooling situation but you have to look at how you will feed your DC first.

And accept the £1.60 a week, every tiny bit helps, especially if you don't have to earn it and if you keep your situation updated it might well increase without a large paperwork burden.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 14:59:38

sleb it wasn't full time childcare, I have a friend who will do 2 days a week and I am going into condensed hours so will have 1 day a week off.

rumple sadly, the money we were getting was from family, and is stopping. So we obviously can't ask for help there.

Meryl Fair enough, but I do. I still run as well, and cycle.
Move house - we can't, we are tied into our lease. I have explained.
Move school - I would really rather not, but even if we did, I would still have to travel to work?
Consider whether your job/s are worth it - are you suggesting quit work and live on benefits?!
Advice on benefits - we've had this! told we were entitled to nothing.
Extract yourselves from contracts - we tried.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 15:00:05

There is always somewhere cheaper than where you live now though.

Okay, if not Avon- then how about Phoenix Cards, Jamie at Home etc. Not easy work, but may bring in a little more?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:00:26

What is Phoenix Cards / Jamie at Home?

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:00:30

You need to walk away from house. You simply cannot afford it or the expensive gas and electric.

Suspend your gym membership.

Move nearer to school to be reduced car costs or get rid altogether.

Get rid of phone and broadband. Use you mobiles and make do with library access for essential internet stuff like banks, or use free hotspots.

OP Sorry to sound so harsh but needs must you cannot afford to live there.

growingolddicustingly Tue 18-Feb-14 15:01:32

OP if a good friend of yours was in the same position, what would you advise them to do?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:02:10

WE CANNOT MOVE.

I have said so many times.

If we stop paying rent, we will be evicted. Maybe end up with CCJ's. We will lose our deposit, and won't be able to move into somewhere new without that money.

We need the broadband as I am going to work partly from home, which is a hell of a lot cheaper than another days childcare.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:02:45

growing I don't know.

I think I would tell them to try and earn more money.

That is what I need to do. Get another job, somehow.

BalloonSlayer Tue 18-Feb-14 15:04:59

On your other thread you said your DH earns £11k from his job, you have 3 jobs earning £9k, £9k and £4k

calilark Tue 18-Feb-14 15:05:06

well it seems like you're a bit stuffed then. There isn't a magic wand that somebody will wave to come up with a solution - everything seems to have already been suggested and shot down.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:05:25

Just looked into Jamie at Home - it's selling his stuff. I don't think that's really for me, plus there is a start up cost which we don't have the money for.

Phoenix cards seems to be selling greetings cards? Again, this isn't something for me. I don't have the right contacts to sell personal products like that.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:05:32

OP, I don't think you are hearing what people are trying to tell you.

You are up shit creek.

There is no easy answer, only hard choices.

Now the benefits advice; have you just had it for your current circs (one child, once set of childcare to pay) or have the calcs also been run for your situation in two months time (two DC, two lots of childcare)?

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 15:06:26

Apply for housing benefit & council tax benefit now - was that £1.60 after the £500 stopped? It will increase once the baby is born either way. As I said it may help you access other things at reduced fees (like local council gyms at reduced fees and summer holiday playscheme)

I know you want to improve your credit rating but you may not have a choice. You many have to ditch your phones, gym membership and overdraft and use one of the charities to help you with a repayment plan. You need to eat somehow!!!

You should become eligible for CTC once the baby is born too - again it may not be much but it will be something.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:06:37

I am not trying to shoot down solutions.

So far I am going to try to look at why our G&E is so high, as loads of people have been surprised by this.

I'm sorry, but I can't just say 'ah yes, move house! I didn't think of that' and leave it, as this isn't a solution. I am not shooting down suggestions, just pointing out that they won't work for us.

Childcare vouchers are basically paying for childcare pre-tax, so you take £240 per month out of your pre-tax income, which means your actual income decreases by about £200 but you have £240 to spend on childcare.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:07:57

The £500 was never included in anything, as it was a gift and not 'income'.

And again, we aren't eligible for CTC. or WTC.

Coconutty Tue 18-Feb-14 15:08:02

Stop paying the gym. Yes they will send it to a debt collector but you can't afford it so it's tough. Pay them a quid a week.

Cancel your broadband and landline and then turn the heating off. We don't use ours at all in the morning while we are getting ready for school/work.

I'm guessing you're in Edingburgh or Bath at those prices? You need to tell the landlord you're moving and to find somewhere cheaper. You can't afford a grand a month.

Lose the deposit and get somewhere further out.

Does your FIL care that you'll need to move etc?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:08:26

Ah okay, so I could ask DH to see if his work do these childcare vouchers. That's really useful, thank you.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 15:08:42

Cards https://www.phoenix-trading.co.uk/web/corp/area/join-us/?bid=bd30010165eaf0258834652d7cf29775e661b6d6

Jamie at Home- scrap that as you have to pay £120 upfront.

You can move- if you find another tenant for your flat.

Would you be eligible for more benefits if one of you wasn't working? Obviously then you could cut down on the childcare costs and some petrol. I know it's not ideal, especially if you want to work, but it might be worth doing the sums if the alternative is a lot of debt.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:09:36

Look, that budget barely balances and there is nothing in there for clothes, car repairs, tv licence, water, dentists, medication, contingencies, bank charges......

Something will have to give.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 15:09:49

So you have about £2k per month whereas before you had £2.5k per month coming in? Its a significant drop %wise and therefore will need significant adjustment to your lifestyle, which even before the drop,you admit there was no buffer.

Its all very well saying we can't do this that or the other - but the reality is that something has to change. You may well be better off not working, taking the lower income, claiming tc's and dropping both childcare and motor expenses iyswim. A lot depends on how your current income is split between you, and I'd really rather not advocate a person becoming financially dependent on their partner/the state for the long term.

Sounds drastic because it is, but whatever solution you find will probably need some major life changes for you all unfortunately. Either that or incurring debt through the lean years which you then pay for tenfold in future.

Bagofnutsnbolts Tue 18-Feb-14 15:10:15

OP I read you previous posting from yesterday, it was fair enough to change your thread as you got a fair flaming. Today your story has more consistency, still recognisably yours, although quite a few changes! but once again to every offer of help and advice you turn down, coming up with reasons why you can't make changes. Interestingly if you can be bothered to look at your previous post, MNs have gone the extra mile to help. But why don't you want help? Why to every sensible bit of advice to you, do you come up with a justification as to why you can't change. Look you have no choice but to move, cancel gym membership etc. so why waste everybody's time and patience, what exactly is your agenda here?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:10:26

coco

We need the broadband we I will be working from home partly. The heating is only on in the morning and evening, and it is bloody freezing without it. I can turn it off more just now and dress DS up, but when the baby comes, is that a good idea? I will, if we have to.

If we leave this property, we lose the deposit.
Without the deposit, we can't move in anywhere new.

You need deposit AND first months rent to move into a new property.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 15:11:19

How much is your overdraft costing you per month?

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:12:48

O. Get cheaper broadband. BTinfinty and calls package is cheaper than £50 per month. There maybe cheaper out there, check on MSE.

Look that is your biggest bill. You simply cannot afford it. Line up your next house and move into it. If they take you through the small claims court so be it.

Can you appeal to your letting agent and ask them to find you somewhere else with them so they don't lose out and let you out of it amicably. I think you are really up against it here. I would still walk away for the house. If you can't pay the rent what difference does it make if you end up being chased now or later for the money? Least if you lineup another house you will not be homeless .

I think it may be wealth getting advice from CAB or legal boards, 18 months is a long time and to not be able to give notice on it?

Anything you could sell? If you work from home you don't need the car, move ds school.

Yon have some very tough choices to make, I'm sorry.

if that was me I would be prepared to walk away from house get a cheaper on and let them pursue me through courts, they have to wait for their money while I paid rent elsewhere. Its not in their interest to force someone to stay in a contract that they ultimately cannot afford.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 15:12:54

You won't lose your deposit if you find a new tenant. We didn't.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:13:04

clothes -we don't buy
car repairs - we keep our fingers crossed, not ideal I know.
tv licence -we don't have one
water - We don't have water bills
dentists -is free
medication - also free
contingencies - I know. And I hate not having savings.
bank charges...... thankfully we don't get any but if we did, yeah that would be awful.

WE CAN'T CLAIM TC EVEN IF I STOP WORKING! I have said this so many times!

Surely if I quit working and went on benefits, we'd get even less than we do now?

bibliomania Tue 18-Feb-14 15:13:42

Turn off your heating and hot water. Six hours a day is huge. For me it's more like six hours a week (I do have an electric shower).

Do you really need the home insurance? Check if you already have it bundled into your bank account/credit card or something. Or just cancel it and take the risk.

If you can't get out of the gym and phone contracts, sounds like you're stuck with them for a while. Make sure you're clear about the earliest possible date you can get out of them and cancel the moment you can.

Start ebaying everything you can get your hands on.

If this situation is short-term (and you say it is), start thinking about the cheapest way to access more credit. Go on to Money Saving Expert for advice - depending on your situation, it might be a question of getting another credit card and doing a credit transfer. I don't like advising someone to go into debt, but sometimes you have do - make sure you do it sensibly and with a proper repayment plan. I have quite a lot of debt (exH dragging me back to family court on spurious grounds) but most of it is currently on at 0% interest, which is a comfort.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:14:16

We asked about finding a new tenant. They said no.

We would lose our deposit.

We can't move somewhere else without a deposit.

Every piece of advice you have been offered you have come up with reasons not to accept it. I'm sorry but if you were struggling you do what you have to in order to save a couple of quid.
I couldn't imagine having expensive gym membership or mobile phones costing that much, it may affect your credit rating but that is the reality of having things you can't realistically afford.
We are on our arse and we have had to make cut backs accordingly. Put up or shut up.

It seems like you are already fairly frugal and/or tied in to some of your contracts. What do you think will happen if you can't cut down on your outgoings? Do you have the facility to take on some debt in the short term and repay it when you are able to cancel the gym etc?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:14:57

"WE CAN'T CLAIM TC EVEN IF I STOP WORKING! I have said this so many times! "

Why not? No recourse to public funds?

FluffySocksAndMarshmallows Tue 18-Feb-14 15:15:15

I think the problem is that you aren't considering them.

You can't easily move house. You are tied into the contract, and you'd have to find someone to take over and find somewhere new to live. It's hassle, and it'll be stressful, and if you like your house, it'll be sad, too.

But you definitely can't afford to live there. So saying "WE CAN'T MOVE" isn't an option, because soon enough you won't be able to afford anything at all, including living there.

You might not want to cancel the gym or argue and plead with the phone people, but if you don't, you'll soon get defaults everywhere when everything bounces anyway. And that will also affect your credit rating.

Infact, it's probably worth forgetting your credit ratings, because unless you can find £2.5k to pay back your overdraft and enough money to cover all of your outgoings every month, then you can't afford to pay everything. You just don't have the money.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:15:46

I can't take the risk on home insurance as it's a rental property. We couldn't afford to replace something if it got damaged, and we have a child (soon to be 2).

We ebayed everything we possibly could about 5 months ago, to get the money for a deposit for our current house. Nothing left to sell.

Would a credit card be a good idea?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:17:24

fideline No, not that. It's due to past circumstances.

velvetspoon Tue 18-Feb-14 15:18:08

is there no way you can manage without the broadband? use Libraries, free Wi-Fi spots etc. How much work are you doing from home - can you manage from data allowance on phone?

And even if you don't spend much on food, even £5 a week saving helps. My parents spent a year living on homemade soup and beans/pulses when I was a baby and my dad couldn't work.

You both need to try to increase your income, either in eves or weekends. Just some ideas, if you are in or near a relatively well-off area, there may be a market for odd jobs, lawn mowing, decorating etc. People round here were offering decorating services before Xmas £50 to wall paper a room, or (I think) £20 a wall, it was being snapped up. Dog walking is another - a friend pays someone £20 a time to exercise and play with her dogs for 2 hours a day.

Every penny you can earn, or cut back on, will help towards that £500 deficit.

If none of that is possible though, you have to face moving, or ultimately ending up being evicted. I appreciate that's a horrible prospect.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:18:27

Don't pay your rent, use it for new deposit.

Are you waiting for someone to send you money OP with a 10 magic chickens and free childcare offered? I'm getting pissed off now as you are just stonewalling, you havn't give an inch.

You over committed your income and now you are stuffed. If you don't make one of these hard choices you will end up being evicted anyway.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:18:39

I have had some advice, that I have accepted? Some good advice that I wasn't aware of.

But I can't accept advice that isn't feasible for us? I don't see why it is wrong to say 'sorry but that won't work for us'.

I really appreciate the help, but please don't get annoyed with me because your suggestions aren't a possibilty for us.

MerylStrop Tue 18-Feb-14 15:18:59

I totally understand why you might not want to move schools (similar situation ourselves). I get it. Plus huge sympathy with the situation you find yourself in generally.

But you are going to have to face facts and - getting PROPER ADVICE - find ways to do at least one of the things that are suggested. Otherwise you are totally stuffed and will find yourself evicted anyway.

You managed to miss the main point of my last post which is stop assuming that things cannot be changed. Get proper advice re benefits, moving house, extricating yourself from contracts.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:20:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:21:12

velvet no, sadly not. I need access to my work files and things and I have a pretty basic phone. It has internet, but not the ability to work from home.

So we do need broadband. I will be working from home around 20 hours a week.

I don't think anyone would pay either of us to paper a wall - never done it before! But gardening possibly, DH could learn gardening? How hard can lawnmowing be? Good suggestion. Thanks!

Slebmum Tue 18-Feb-14 15:21:19

If your husband earns 11k and you don't work you will be entitled to tc. 3 jobs, one on condensed hours and a newborn with 4 weeks mat leave sounds untenable. What if the baby is two weeks late? Will you bf? If not you need to factor in formula on top of food shop.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:21:45

So HMRC have banned you from claiming tax credits?

Because they suspected fraud?

You might as well tell us, we really are trying to help and you've NCed anyway.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 15:22:06

Are you going to apply for the housing benefit and council tax benefit - you need to, each change in circumstance you can then just phone up and they will amend the claim?

Credit card is tricky. You would need to get a normal one and one of the fantastic 0% interest rate deals one. If your credit rating is ok then this should be doable.

You would then have to shop etc. on the normal one, once it was due to be paid transfer the expenditure on to the interest free one. You usually have 3 months in which you can transfer balances onto it - so that would give you 3 months of free shopping, I guess stock up as much as possible in those 3 months. I would also pay for a years car insurance up front using it too - again perhaps only you can be insured on the car from now on!

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:22:08

Maybe we should try the benefits agency one more time then?

Would we really be better off on benefits, if I stopped work? How is that possible?

BalloonSlayer Tue 18-Feb-14 15:22:48

"The heating is only on in the morning and evening,"

well yeeeeessss but you said 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening, which makes 6 hours already which is a long time.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 15:24:05

Have you checked the lease to see if it has a break clause? Quite often an 18 month tenancy will have a break clause after the first 6 months.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:24:11

Hmm. Our credit rating isn't great, we are working on it though but it is a slow process. We paid off a load of debt over the past couple of years and now have none, but the score won't go back up for a while.

We saw a financial advisor last year who really helped us out.

I've just taken DH off the car insurance. Saved £16 a month grin thanks for the suggestion (sorry I forget who suggested this, fast moving thread!}

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:25:25

Okay I will reset the timers for heating to be on for an hour in the morning, maybe 2 in the evening (it's SO COLD here that I am a bit worried about such little heating? Will we get damp? Sorry if that is ridiculous, I remember my mother used to say a cold house would get damp.)

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 15:25:34

So you cannot claim working tax credits due to past circumstances.

You claim CB so why not TC's?

Is there a backstory to this, because your claim for TCs would be perfectly legitimate if you gave up enough earned income in order that one of you cares f/t for the dc's and would have the added advantage of not needing a car anymore either. Seems like a reasonable short term solution to me confused

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:25:52

Do I just contact the G&E provider and tell them I am planning to use less heating so can they reduce the DD?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:26:21

It is possible you would be better of as a SAHM short term because you would not have childcare costs and on just one income with two children should also qualify for HB and Tax Credits.

But there is a big diff between DP earning 20k and 11k. Which is it?

And you need to come clean about why you think you cannot claim Tax Credits.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 15:27:33

Also whereabouts in the country are you?

In the sarf east only I'd say £1k rent seems reasonable <<boak>> but pretty much everywhere else it seems ridiculous unless there is some niche property place with no-where else at all nearby that is cheaper to live.

2468Motorway Tue 18-Feb-14 15:28:21

I cannot imagine where you live. You say not SE so not central London. You must be living in a palace to have rent and council tax at that level.

The bottom line is though you have to find a way out of your contract and move to somewhere cheaper. Also preferably near to your sons school. You say you are in a city, 5 miles from school in a city is a massive distance. You should think about moving schools too probably.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:28:40

Free dentist and prescriptions suggests Scotland or Wales.

PP guessed E'burgh or Bath based on the high rent.....

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:29:07

Yes, there is a backstory to the TC's...

Sigh. I would rather not have divulged this in the interest of not being outed, but since no one will take me at my word..

We claimed TC for a years, then they sent a letter asking for evidence of childcare. I sent this, and they claimed that in 2011 I hadn't informed them of a change in our circumstances which meant our childcare had gone up (as we added breakfast club on) even though I was adamant that I had told them.
So they said our claim was not viable, and have requested 2 years worth of TC back. So, not only do we not receive any payments, but we owe them money too.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:30:05

Ok. THAT is what you need specialist legal advice on.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:30:16

'come clean'? Jesus. I am not lying, just because I don't want to divulge every part of my life.

I have said we aren't entitled and that should be enough. It wasn't, so read my last post.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 18-Feb-14 15:30:22

Do you have up-to-date meter readings with the G&E and have you checked you don't have a balance building up?

And you don't have to quit all your jobs, but if only one requires the car and/or paid childcare then quitting that one and then downgrading the associated expense might save you money.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 15:31:19

So your childcare costs went up but you didn't inform them and they failed to increase the childcare element of tc's and beacuse of this oversight they have majorly sanctioned you hmm

Ok then.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 18-Feb-14 15:31:21

But I can't accept advice that isn't feasible for us?

but carrying on as you are is not feasible: you need to change how you spend £500 per month.

^ ^ ^ this is unavoidable.

you need to work harder to get suppliers to let you out of contracts. can you downgrade any packages?

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 15:31:35

because

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:31:53

It wasn't that i doubted your word OP

If you did nothing wrong, then legal advice could help you sort it out.

On the other hand £500pcm of undeclared gifts could cause you trouble if discovered.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:32:02

fideline what part?

Yes, we are in Scotland. It is expensive. We are already on the outskirts of the city. We are onlyjust on the edge of still getting public transport in our area. We moved here, because it is cheaper.

Trust me, it is bloody far from a palace.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 18-Feb-14 15:32:10

If you started claiming them again would it reduce your repayments as they take them from your current TC first? Or get specialist legal advice as a PP said.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:33:33

You don't need to declare gifts from parents. We absolutely checked this. They are tax exempt. The tax has already been paid on it (or something) and it is not declarable income.

I will try vodafone again.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:33:44

OP there's no point asking for budget help and then being mysterious about why you cannot claim the one payment that might help you confused

It was impossible to advise until you "came clean"/divulged....

Slebmum Tue 18-Feb-14 15:34:22

So is the 500 loss really the loss of the (undeclared) gift or the tax credits?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:35:26

You need specialist advice on straightening things out/ proving your innocence to HMRC so that you can start claiming tax credits to which you are entitled.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:35:53

Surely me saying we arent entitled should be enough.

Obviously not, it's fine, it's done.

sleb we stopped getting TC's 18 months ago.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:36:45

Oh my good lord. You don't have to declare it on your tax return. You DO have to declare it for benefits and tax credits.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:37:35

I'm walking away now.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:37:53

We've done that. We got legal advice at the time, the lawyer helped us draft the letter (and the subsequent appeal) but ultimately, we lost.

They also put us in touch with the financial advisor.

I am here for some more practical help.

I've had some already, many, many thanks, and I have already managed to save us some money on the car insurance by removing DH. That was instant, and a good feeling.

I will phone the G&E and tell them I have turned the heating on less now and can they reduce my DD.

gamerchick Tue 18-Feb-14 15:38:47

there is an awful lot of cant's in your posts... you don't want to change anything it seems more like. You want a magic solution so you can maintain what you're accustomed too.

I have a huge 4 bed end house and my gas/electric isn't what you're paying. Something isn't right there and needs looking into.

when your contract for mobiles is up.. go onto a sim only contract rather than getting an upgrade.. it's something like 8 quid odd a month. You have to contact them though, it isn't automatic.

Ask the gym to suspend your membership for the minute.

you need to sort out your TCs.. somethings not right there.. they can't just stop them even if you owe them money.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:39:09

fedeline for the benefits and TC's we did add the £500 in, yes.

And yes, we have done new 'quotes' without it. Didn't seem to make any difference? I don't know why.

Sorry I thought you were asking if we had to declare it as in self assessment.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 15:39:22

OP, you need to give yourself a good shake and tell the truth if you want people to help.

Yesterday you had 3 jobs and earned £22k in total- today you have two jobs and earn £10k.

Yesterday your husband earned £11k and today he earns £20k.

Yesterday your rent was £1,350, today it is £1,000.

Wtf do you expect from starting this thread if your figures are plucked from thin air and you are not prepared to take any of the advice you are being given?

People aren't trying to be unkind, OP. But if you want help then it's probably best to lay cards totally out on the table. It's an anonymous forum. Personally i just don't know why you signed a tenancy for such a very expensive house when your income is pretty modest.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:40:07

Really? They stopped them over 18 months ago and have told us we aren't eligible now because we owe them for previous years?

If I can claim again, I absolutely will.

starfishmummy Tue 18-Feb-14 15:40:48

I thought your rent was more than 1000 a month? But I am not going tk re read your other thread to double check.

Tbh I am not sure why you have started this thread - you won't listen to any advice anyway.

PenelopePipPop Tue 18-Feb-14 15:41:10

You are 8m pregnant, life has handed you a curveball and I seriously think you may be depressed. Because as lousy as this situation is it won't get better by blaming it on anyone else. As a lot of kind sensible people on this thread have said it will only get better if you cut your outgoings or increase your incomings either through work or benefits. The solutions are simple if you feel robust, energetic and can-do. But overwhelming if you feel dispirited, exhausted etc.

Work
You said on the other thread you already work 2 jobs and p/t at weekends and you are about to have a baby. You cannot take on any more work. DO NOT BE BLOODY DAFT. Write this on a post-it note, stick it to your forehead and every time you think 'Oh the only answer is getting more work' go and take a look in the fucking mirror. It is a depressive's solution because you secretly know it is unachievable but so you can keep hurting yourself with the false belief that you are creating/perpetuating this situation by not working enough. You are not.

If the question is 'Well should we just claim benefits then?' sometimes the answer may be yes.

But it may not be necessary...
Gym membership
You can definitely lose this and must - speak to the manager again and explain your circumstances have changed asap. The put it in writing to their head office - as someone has already said upthread after the OFT investigation last year they will be hot on this one and I think this should be sortable. Just because you've been knocked back once does not mean you will be again. The Consumer Action Group has excellent advice forums for advice on this sort of thing.

Phone and broadband
Again you need to speak to Vodafone - cheaper contracts certainly exist. Even if there is a termination clause it may be cheaper to pay this and get the cheapest deal on phone and internet access elsewhere (assuming your circumstances are not a valid reason for cancelling the contract) than continue paying this much for the next 12m.

Gas and electricity
It does not matter what your neighbours consider normal for heating a flat the size of yours, your situation is no longer normal. It must be possible to bring that figure down.

Housing
You have a scuzzy letting agent who is bullying you. It may be reasonable for you to meet the costs of vetting a new prospective tenant, but those will be less than the cost of your deposit. Get on Facebook and Gumtree advertising for a tenant and so long as you find someone with a decent credit record it is perfectly reasonable to ask them to take over the tenancy. The LL can refuse, but if you then stop being able to pay the rent and they go after you for a CCJ it won't look good in court.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:41:12

Jon well, we probably shouldn't have but we have. We thought, wrongly, that the £500 a month we were getting would continue.

I will call the benefits agency again.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:43:53

starfish hmm Eh?

I've had lots of great advice. I've taken it, I have made a saving ALREADY whilst on this thread, on the back of a suggestion.

I will ask DH to look into childcare vouchers at his work.
I will call the G&E and ask them to reduce my DD as I am turning the heating off for longer.
I will try vodafone again and ask them if I can downgrade our contracts.

Dinosaurporn Tue 18-Feb-14 15:45:05

Maybe your DH should ask for another £9k payrise, like the one he received overnight. After all he was only earning £9k yesterday. And thank God your rent has fallen £350 per month compared to yesterday's thread.

LittleYellowDuck Tue 18-Feb-14 15:45:26

I can understand why others are getting frustrated, you are coming across as very defeatist and batting off all sensible advice...
Also you said the local school was poor Ofsted ? I may be wrong but in Scotland we dont have Ofsted as such, schools are inspected by HME? Just seemed strange thing to focus on in Scottish school?
If it was a choice between keeping a roof over my head through transport savings then , yes , I would move my sons school.

HyvaPaiva Tue 18-Feb-14 15:45:35

Your circumstances have changed so much in 24 hours OP.
Your DP was only earning £11k yesterday, now £20k.
And you had three jobs not two.
And I thought it was a common colloquialism to call your rent your 'mortgage'?

hmm

Hi OP, sorry you're having to deal with this. I know you said you're going to but I really would call the benefits agency again. I would also recommend going on the benefits advisor and putting in your details as though your second child had already been born (even if you make up a birthday for earlier in the month for them), and as though you only have your DP's income and you can work but aren't, just to see what it says.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:46:56

I use OFSTED because people never know what I am talking about on MN if I say HME grin learned over the years.

It really is a scummy school, the local one. And he is in such a good school now, really. I would be devastated to change it.

But yeah, I guess maybe we have to sad

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 15:47:07

Please start fresh claims today for everything.

Then as soon as the baby is born you can phone up and have a change of circumstance and everything can be updated quickly/instantly - worth doing.

Read the lease very very carefully - worth taking it to CAB, there may be a clause that after x months you can just give 2 months notice or something despite it being an 18 months lease.

Can SIL really not afford to give you a loan if you explain how desperate your circumstances are - have you indeed actually told her how bad they are?

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 15:47:22

Seriously OP, can you confirm which facts are actually the truth, yesterday's or today's as it is fundamental to any advice you receive?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:48:15

I am doing an online calculator for benefits now.

spikeyiscool Tue 18-Feb-14 15:49:01

HyvaPaiva, but look at the money the OP has already managed to save on rent - �350 a month overnight!!

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 15:49:09

Can you cycle to work with ds? I know it can be horrific with the roads but if it keeps him in a great school and means you can get rid of the car?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:50:17

We can't cycle as it's an 8 mile cycle. It's just too far.

Plus, I wouldn't make it to work in time, cycling from his school.

HyvaPaiva Tue 18-Feb-14 15:50:31

spikey I forgot that key point, lost in the inconsistencies. Oops.

Valpollicella Tue 18-Feb-14 15:51:32

Have you spoken to Shelter re the contract like was suggested yesterday op?

Your contract won't stand up legally as mentioned by others in your thread yesterday

Btw how much is your rent? Am confused as yesterday it was 350 more

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 18-Feb-14 15:52:57

What BearBehind said.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:53:26

Also be good to establish if the lost £500pm was income as stated in the OP, or as you later asserted 'a gift' and so not declared to tax credits, or as finally stated income which was declared.

Dinosaurporn Tue 18-Feb-14 15:53:28

You shouldn't have resigned from your third job, after all you only quit last night so why not ask for your old job back.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:53:33

Not spoken to shelter, no.

Apparently, we are legally tied to the lease, it is perfectly legal on their side and there is absolutely no legal leg for us to stand on. We could appeal to their better nature, so we will try this again.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:54:30

This was my result:

EntitlementPer yearPer weekNotes
Means-tested income entitlements
Initial Tax Credit£0.00£0.00This figure is based on the income you received last year. The Tax Credits figure shown below is based on your current income amount.
Tax Credits£0.00£0.00On the basis of the data entered you are not entitled to Tax Credits
Means-tested bill reductions
Council Tax Reduction£0.00£0.00On the basis of the data entered you are not entitled to Council Tax Reduction
Housing Benefit£0.00£0.00On the basis of the data entered you are not entitled to Housing Benefit. We have calculated your entitlement using Local Housing Allowance rates, as you cannot claim for a rent greater than the allowed amount.
Other income entitlements
Child Benefit£1,055.60£20.30Child Benefit will be £33.70 per week after 8th April 2014
Total Entitlements£1,055.60£20.30

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 15:56:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 15:57:28

I name changed from the last thread, because I had changed too many details there, as I was trying to stay anonymous.

So, could people please refrain from bringing up details of it?

Yes, my rent is £1000 and not £1350. I said rent was higher on the last thread, and omitted other bills to offset the cost. Outgoings pretty much the same.

Please, if you are just here to nitpick and be nasty, don't. I am 8 months pregnant, really stressed and in floods of tears.

I have had some great advice and I am really trying to ignore the nasty posts but it is starting to get to me. Please, please stop.

Rumplestiltskinismyname Tue 18-Feb-14 15:59:04

Don't cry. Pick up the phone to shelter and get professional advice.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:01:07

OP your story has changed multiple times within this thread.

The figures and the facts MATTER.

Can you not see people have been trying to help? But the story keeps changing.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:02:17

You have given your DPs income as 11k and 20k WITHIN THIS THREAD

confused

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:02:23

Shelter says your tenancy agreement should say whether or not you can end your tenancy before the fixed term is up, and how much notice you need to give. If your tenancy agreement doesn't mention this, you may find your landlord can still charge you rent until the fixed term is over, even if you need to move out before this.

Ours says implicitly that we cannot end the tenancy before 18 months.

If we leave, we will be liable for the remainder of the contract. And we'd lose our deposit.

I will call shelter now though and talk it through

spikeyiscool Tue 18-Feb-14 16:02:48

People are really confused, NeedMoneyAdvice, at the changing facts. it's not nitpicking - lots and lots of posters have been helpful and given great advice - it's trying to see what your actual situation is. People are spending time trying to help you, and in return need a clear picture of your situation.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:03:00

fideline where? Where have I done that?

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 16:04:09

So the calculator is based on having 2 children just one what you will have as income next year?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:04:10

I am being totally clear. Please, I am not trying to hide anything (what's the point?) and my last thread (which incidentally, I namechaged from) had some changed facts to hide my identity.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:04:48

Rumpel she needs to get access to tax credits too, if any of this is true, but who know's which bits are accurate.

You are at real risk of losing your children's home here, OP.

Do you want to start at the beginning again?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:04:55

That calculator asked about both children, and asked for the EDD of the baby.

Income next year should be much the same as this year?

HyvaPaiva Tue 18-Feb-14 16:05:04

Don't cry. People will give you help and support. But they cannot do that if you lie about the very facts and figures that they need in order to help. If you keep changing those, no one can give you accurate advice or direction. Plus, your creditability goes out the window and it starts to look very unreal indeed.

Jess03 Tue 18-Feb-14 16:05:18

Honestly, you know what is going to happen, you are going to get into debt again. Based on all the outgoings you can't cut, i can't see what else is going to change. Can you sell your phone? You could subsidise someone 5/month to take it and ditto the gym membership, advertise it in your gym! It's 1.5 yrs until you can start supporting yourselves properly. Go to the cab or see that financial adviser again. What about my question of asking MIL for childcare help?

gretagrape Tue 18-Feb-14 16:05:24

I used to belong to a gym where you could suspend your membership, so I think they charged people £5 a month to keep them on the books - it meant that when they could afford to restart they didn't have to pay another joining fee. Any chance that your contract has something like that in it?

Re just cancelling the DD to the gym, they might not bother to take you to court but it would appear on your credit rating as a missed/late payment, so if you do need a loan later on it could have implications.

Council Tax - you should be able to apply to pay it over 12 months rather than 10 which would cut down the monthly payment from £200 to £166. Check your council's website.

Gas/Elec - is this payment based on actual readings or estimates? If it's based on estimated readings check your meter against your last statement and if you're using less than they estimate, ring them and get them to adjust your payments. Or, can you swap to a cheaper provider?

If you aren't eligible for a loan, could you talk to the bank about having an authorised overdraft? At least then if you do go over your budget one month you won't end up being charged loads for it. Could you also swap banks? Santander 123 gives good interest plus cashback on DD's - it costs £2 a month but we average £8-12 a month in interest/cashback.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:05:26

I can't get access to TC! I can't get them. I am not able to get Tax Credits.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 18-Feb-14 16:05:31

If we leave, we will be liable for the remainder of the contract. And we'd lose our deposit.

yes. something is going to have to give. all you can decide is what. you need advice from CAB or a debt charity.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:05:53

Do you mean explicitly?

Ok so if you are entiled to Child benfit you can get CTC and WTC this will over £700 a month on your husbands salary, give up work you will have a baby, you save on childcare costs, and you can get rid of the car, cancel mobile and gym they will let you do it if you cant pay and if you can get CB you can get housing benefit.

gretagrape Tue 18-Feb-14 16:06:14

Sorry - I only read the first page as I didn't realise it had so many posts on - sorry if my post is irrelevant.

Whaddafark Tue 18-Feb-14 16:06:21

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 16:06:22

Earned income yes, you didn't include the gifted income though?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:06:41

MIL won't do childcare. We asked, she said no. That's fine.

We have an overdraft already.

I haven't told any lies.

Bagofnutsnbolts Tue 18-Feb-14 16:07:05

OP, people have been very kind and very patient, but can't you see why they are also getting very frustrated and annoyed. I think the truth is you have a hell of a mortgage hanging over you and moving is ruddy costly and not what you want to be doing at 8 months pregnant. I think you are scared about defaulting on you re- payments ( who wouldn't be esp. In your circumstances). And that's why you are being quite honestly pig headed about not moving. Forgot bad good schools. Mine both go to shite schools...they'll do alright they have fab parents behind them!!! As for gym membership? Seriously is there much you can do at 8 months pregnant?

HyvaPaiva Tue 18-Feb-14 16:07:32

Fuck this. I'm out.

Dinosaurporn Tue 18-Feb-14 16:07:47

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MrsSippie Tue 18-Feb-14 16:08:38

According to our latest TC statement we owe them over £5000! however, they have not stopped them, but are taking the money out a bit each month (we only get about £40, so negligible) they do not stop them full stop and make you go without. I have no idea what we owe £5K for and am going to call, just dropping into the thread to say that they will not cut it off completely.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:09:21

I am not making up anything?

Oh my god. Please, if you don't want to help me please leave. Please.

I am at the end of my tether. I am so upset. It's like bullying.

I have to go. I can't do this anymore.

SnookyPooky Tue 18-Feb-14 16:09:59

Bearbehind, exactly what I was thinking. No answer I see.
Sorry but this thread is as ridiculous as the other one.

OP, you are continually stonewalling, why is that?

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:10:13

They 100% stopped our payments 18 months ago. We haven't had a penny in TC since then.

I don't know why it is different but that is what happened.

Whaddafark Tue 18-Feb-14 16:10:25

Don't get stressed Need. Wouldn't want premature labour as well as financial difficulties

If you think you are not entitled to TC because you owe them money a new baby is a new claim and they will just take of a bit of what you owe them. There is no reason they wont give you money its for your children.

Jess03 Tue 18-Feb-14 16:10:40

That's a shame re MIL. I agree, your situation is so dire you need proper CAB/debt councillor help. Actually if true I also think you're working too hard and should abandon that plan. If you go bankrupt you'll have a tough few years til dh is properly earning but you're going to have tough years anyway and be away from the dc constantly. Bankruptcy isn't the end of the world.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:10:48

Stonewalling?

I don't inderstand. Some times I might have missed posts, this thread moved fast.

Ask me a question, I will answer it?

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 16:11:18

I really think you need to speak to one of the debt charities and accept that you are going to have to go onto a debt repayment plan, I cannot see any other option.

Speak to your mp regarding your CTC see if they can do anything to help.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:11:27

Can you go bankrupt though, if you don't have debtors?

I owe then £5K and am paying back £10 a week.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:11:43

Okay I can try the MP route.

MrsDeanAmbrose Tue 18-Feb-14 16:11:50

Looking at the outgoings in your OP and your income with the £500, you couldn't afford your outgoings then, never mind without the £500. You've overcommitted yourselves massively and you need to bite the bullet, get proper advice as to how to leave your tenancy, and find somewhere cheaper to live, as well as defaulting on your gym and phone membership. Your future credit rating is the least of your worries.

Or, get a lottery win. This is the only magic wand solution I can think of, and I think that's what you're looking for.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 18-Feb-14 16:12:11

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Jess03 Tue 18-Feb-14 16:13:37

You are going to have debts though as you can't afford I reduce your obligations due to fixed term contracts and therefore end up in debt. There's no magic bullet we can see. Have you gone in person to the gym and tried to guilt them into suspending the contract? Heavily pg and all.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:14:28

Two and a half grand overdraft is a debt. If it exists.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:14:46

happy you have actually made me cry again. You are bloody horrible.

I don't just work in a bar.

I can't do this.

I can't. I am sorry. Thanks for the good advice. I can't take it anymore.

People here are horrible. I just want help.

Whaddafark Tue 18-Feb-14 16:15:25

pmsl at "ask me a question and I will answer it"

You need to forget your credit rating. I had to and it doesn't feel great but I had food on the table and was able to move house.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:16:07

There is no answer.

I can't help my family.

People are mocking me. I just wanted some help.

There is no solution. I can't go on like this. This is awful. What have I done?

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 18-Feb-14 16:16:25

I honestly think you should stop posting. There is just no point to this. No one can help you given the shifting facts. If you genuinely do need help, start calling debt charities today and get yourself an urgent appointment. Your DH needs to take a day's leave and do it with you.

Jess03 Tue 18-Feb-14 16:16:59

I agree with jonsnow. Also, credit ratings can change quite fast if dh does suddenly start pulling in the big bucks. You need to come up with a proper plan to get some sort of career going too, otherwise debt'll always be an issue.

NeedMoneyAdvice Tue 18-Feb-14 16:17:17

I can't carry on.

I can't take it. I didn't realise I was so fragile. I thought I was strong.

I can't take abuse and mocking. I can't cry anymore.

I have ruined my family. I am going to leave my babies homeless. It's all my fault.

Best post, Angela

ViviPru Tue 18-Feb-14 16:17:26

Your DH needs to take a day's leave and do it with you.

This is the best piece of advice I've seen so far in relation to this OP.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:17:28

If you would just be straight with us, you would get good advice.

If you don't want to post full and accurate details, the internet is not the place to seek advice.

Have a cup of tea and see if you can find a specialist welfare rights advice service. Specialist.

Preciousbane Tue 18-Feb-14 16:18:31

The problem is you have changed the amounts a few times. When people's stories change on MN and in RL it can indicate lying so people are suspicious.

MrsDeanAmbrose Tue 18-Feb-14 16:19:13

england.shelter.org.uk/

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Contact both of the above. You need to find out how to get out of your lease and contracts, ASAP.

jellyandcake Tue 18-Feb-14 16:22:03

You can't get outed as such as you have name changed so whilst someone could recognise your situation, they couldn't link it to your presence on MN under another name. I think that on both threads people have got very frustrated by the way you have changed details inconsistently which makes the advice harder to give.

For example: people suggested asking your well paid SIL for help but you said she had spent all her money buying her house. Then you said PIL had bought her house as a gift.

Also, your income and your husband's income have been given as drastically different sums, ie in this thread you have said he earns 20k and 11k - that's a big difference and affects the advice people can give you.

You have said you have two jobs and also three jobs. You have said you work in a bar, but can work from home.

Might it be better to calm down about being identified - your situation is quite desperate and people are going to know about this anyway, I'm guessing - and actually explain your situation clearly and honestly.

I don't doubt that you are in dire straits and feeling terrified but what you say doesn't make consistent sense and it's all quite crucial financial information.

It sounds like a debt charity would be a good place to go for advice and I am sure they will be able to help you get out of unmanageable contracts etc.

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:22:30

I'm sorry but I'm failing to see the inconsistencies?

She's given different earnings for her DH as one was before, and one after, tax. She's explained why she said her rent was more on the other thread.

You posters on here just to out her as a troll are just as bad as a troll. Is this your entertainment? Meticulously picking apart a thread to discover slight discrepancies? Half term really does bring out the weirdos…. I've never seen anything like it, I'm embarrassed for you.

Whaddafark Tue 18-Feb-14 16:23:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BIWI Tue 18-Feb-14 16:23:50

If your son is not even 2 yet, surely at this age it doesn't really matter if you change school? Plenty of time to worry about Ofsted/HME.

And why are you only taking 4 weeks maternity leave? Take more time off and then you won't have childcare costs for the period you're off - and you do qualify for some maternity pay, surely?

Is there no way that the £500 a month could be reinstated? Or could you not borrow a little money from your parents to at least tide you over until your DH is qualified?

I haven't read your other thread, and I don't know what you do, but your income is very, very low - is it possible you could look for a higher paid job when you're ready to return to work?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:25:09

Nope, Miren. Several inconsistencies within this thread. Honestly.

Inconsistencies that make a huge difference.

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:25:12

Whaddafark - maybe you should walk away from this thread? Judging by the caps it's not doing your blood pressure any good.

Seriously - what is wrong with you people, if you don't want to help, or the threads annoying you, don't get involved! I just can't understand this…. you're just being a bitch for the sake of it.

jellyandcake Tue 18-Feb-14 16:25:25

Sorry, I cross posted with your most recent posts. The internet isn't helping you - I second the advice to go with your husband to a debt advice charity and I am sure you will work something out. Good luck, OP. I t must be scary and awful right now but you will come through it ;flowers

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:26:20

fideline - so? So what?! Just hide the thread, surely?

To be fair it's a pretty shit troll if it is one. I mean honestly - get a hobby

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:26:50

Miren! People don't want to help? Seriously? Have you read the thread?

growingolddicustingly Tue 18-Feb-14 16:26:59

OP you need to start fighting. Make a nuisance of yourself with the gym and the letting agent and energy supplier, phone etc - squeaking wheels and all that. Challenge HMRC. Use debt charities. Be really, really proactive. Don't take no for an answer. And get your DH involved.

We can't do this for you. As many of us have said, there is no magic wand.

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:27:58

OP - book in to see someone from the local CAB. Failing that, maybe there's someone at your local job centre that could help. I remember seeing a lovely lady at the job centre after my situation changed drastically and she was fantastic - completely sorted me out!

Bagofnutsnbolts Tue 18-Feb-14 16:28:00

Miren OP posted yesterday under am I being unreasonable? It's clearly same person but different story lines. In this post I don't think anyone is being nasty...just very frustrated!

SoonToBeSix Tue 18-Feb-14 16:28:02

I may have missed another poster pointing this out but your cb will go up from £80 to an extra £13 a week. Also when you have two children I think you will be entitled to tax credits even if just for child care. Just apply even if you think you aren't entitled.

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:29:55

I didn't say people don't want to help - I said if people don't want to help then they should go. It's quote distracting having every other post be about inconsistencies and is completely derailing the thread.

WipsGlitter Tue 18-Feb-14 16:30:06

There is some good advice on this thread. But hounding someone and the nit picking is disgraceful.

OP step away from the thread. Go to CAB or similar and get some professional advice. Take care.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 16:30:36

OP, start a whole new thread, explain that the facts in you previous 2 were inconsistent but that the details you are about to give are the actual truth this time and then list everything properly.

No one can help you if you deliberately deceive them.

You said repeatedly yesterday that your rent was £1,350 but that isn't true.

You were asked repeatedly why your husband only earned £11k as a trainee professional and you said he just did only earn that, yet now he earns £20k.

I really don't understand why you would do that.

It's not about bullying, it's about people who are trying to help you but are unable to because you are not telling the truth.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:30:45

Miren.What do you mean "so what"? What an odd thing to say.

People have given up an hour and their experience or professional expertise to try to assist her. Of course it matters if the amounts keep changing whilst you are trying to advise someone.

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:31:57

Baofnuts - I followed the thread yesterday and can completely understand the inconsistencies. The explanations make sense to me - and if they didn't I sure wouldn't be bothered enough to spend my time pulling the OP up on it. I would think 'bollocks' and move on.

Troll hunters are the same as trolls IMO

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:33:46

It matters?! This is an internet forum, do you understand that?!

Whaddafark Tue 18-Feb-14 16:33:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Miren Tue 18-Feb-14 16:34:52

Oh God… really? Please don't start with the welcome to MN bollocks

purplebaubles Tue 18-Feb-14 16:35:35

OP. I tried to advise yesterday.

My advice for today would be this. Firstly, step away from mumsnet.

Get a piece of paper. Write down (honestly) all your outgoings. Work out your income. Go through each one and be honest, can you reduce it? Or get rid of it totally?

People are getting annoyed with you, because a lot of us do exist day to day on very little income. You have changed your story that many times, it just doesn't seem credible in the slightest anymore. When you advise someone on how to cut their housing costs (for eg), sympathise about the 'never having a holiday/never going out' etc and then find out on another thread that the same couple have expensive gym membership (which incidentally, I'm very confused about - you have 3 jobs - when the hell do you find the time to sleep and eat never mind go to the job - oh yes, and you're 8 months pregnant hmm )...you see???!!

I'm even confusing myself here.

Changing details to protect yourself is one thing. Wrapping yourself up in such a made up world of made up financial figures is just putting people's backs up frankly.

You have spectacular failed to stand on your own two feet as an adult for the last 6 years. Now is the time to step up. Get the facts and figures. Get your DH to take a day off. Go and seek professional help

nkf Tue 18-Feb-14 16:35:45

If you want real help, you need to be honest. Not on here. This is the wrong forum for that. But you and your husband could really benefit form going through your finances with somebody. Clarity is what you need.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:36:03

Miren OP has stated both 11k and 20k as DHs income today. On this thread. I am sitting here doing calculations under the impression that two small children are at risk of homelessness. Which I do still believe actually.

She is not making it easy to help her.

Lying will inevitably lose her both sympathy and credence.

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Feb-14 16:36:09

Listen OP. You need to go to a debt advice charity and tell them everything, do not mix stuff up like you gave on these threads. Do not go back to a financial adviser. They have an interest in selling you things.

Your financial situation is pretty dire and regardless of contracts you need to scrap the gym and your phones. Give meter readings to the gas and electricity companies. Your bills cannot reasonably be £190 a month for a two bed flat.

Call tax credits and talk to someone. Talk to your mp if need be.

Whatever helpful posts there have been are now getting lost in snarky, sometimes downright bitchy posts.

Good luck.

SoonToBeSix Tue 18-Feb-14 16:36:49

Re needing the landline for broadband not with virgin you don't.
Also I really think you would be better of not working you would get more tax credits, less childcare costs and how reliable is leaving baby with a friend two days a week.
Don't mean to sound judgy either but four weeks old is very little to leave your baby for four days a week,

Your babies wont be homeless, go to the council when you get evicted they will house you, its not nice, i have been there but at least its a roof over your head.

TeacupDrama Tue 18-Feb-14 16:39:01

your heating costs are way too high for 6 hours a day in 2 bed flat we do not pay that in 4 bed house and we do not freeze at 14C take a meter reading today take another say time tomorrow work out what you are using on average per day and ring up and change supplier they will be basing calculations on last tenant I would think £100-120 would be ample for 2 bed flat

go to CAB and ask them to check tax credits, I do not normally advocate this but you might just be better off not working after you have baby not paying for childcare and then once not working claim housing benefit again oK because of bedroom tax you will not get anything like the £1000 you are paying

I think you over-stretched yourselves the rent was not really affordable on our incomes I feel sorry as hindsight is a wonderful thing but you could save at least £100 on heating

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:40:18

That is homelessness teenage. Nobody has mentioned sleeping rough. They would qualify for homeless B and B.

She can turn it all around though but she needs to tackle the situation head on and be honest with someone in RL who can professioally advise.

Roussette Tue 18-Feb-14 16:41:15

NeedMoney - I was on yesterday's thread and now I am on this one. I hate to think that you are in tears or feel bullied. There is a wealth of expertise on here from MNers who just want to help and the 'bullying' is really just pure frustration from people at the ever changing story.

I won't bang on about your house, gym, mobile bills (all far far too expensive and beyond your means and should never ever have been taken out in the first place.) However, what's done is done. You need a fresh start and you need to look at the bigger picture and dry those tears. T'intenet has reduced me to tears before now and it's just not worth it. I imagine you are young old boiler talking here and you must treat this as a life lesson - don't rely on family or live beyond your means again.

I am just not sure 'here' is the right place for any more advice. You need CAB and the other suggestions posters have talked of. And I do just wonder what your DH is doing towards resolving this crap financial situation because you have spent a lot of time posting and I do think he needs to be more proactive and you should skim through your two threads and write a list of anything that could be looked into, whether it is rent again, gym, mobile, G&E whatever... and the two of you should look at this and tackle this together.

I wish you luck with it.

sleepyhead Tue 18-Feb-14 16:42:52

NeedMoneyAdvice, I know it's horrible when all your "choices" seem so unpalatable, but you need to cling on to the fact that it's not forever, and even shit situations are rarely as bad as they seem at the time.

Up until 2 months ago we lived in a one bed flat with ds1 (7) and ds2 (10 months). Now, did I set out to share a room with 2 children? No? Was I embarrassed by it? Yes. Did I hope for something better? Of course. However, it absolutely saved us financially through a few very, very tough years, and now we're in a 3 bed and things are a lot better.

Ds1 is loving having his own room, but he wasn't scarred by sharing with his parents and his baby brother, it was normal to him, and actually quite lovely a lot of the time to all wake up together. Another thing that people do is let their children have the bedroom and they sleep in the livingroom. I know you said your ds needs his privacy, but only in an ideal world. In this world he needs a roof over his head, food in his stomach and parents who aren't going out of their minds with financial worry. Sharing a room with a baby, or even with a baby and two parents is not going to damage him.

I know this is all a moot point when you don't think you can get out of your lease, but if in fact it turns out that you can manage it, don't discount severely downsizing until your finances improve. It's not the unthinkable thing that it seems when you've never had to do it. Honest, it's not.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 16:43:13

I don't know about any other thread. I responded to this one Op as you'd had no response in 20 mins and it seemed like you needed some brainstorming type ideas to help you get out of a financial pickle. And possible a little vent. Its what MN is for, I get that.

I have no axe to grind. I don't care if you have changed/fudged figures.

I have tried to offer some ideas though along with others - only to be met with a 'no can do' attitude.

I do understand, and empathise but you haven't made it easy to offer ideas and help.

Your posting style is defeatist and woe is me. I remember being 8 months pg with barely a pot to piss in. Its shit. That sort of attitude won't help though. will it?

If you have caused some of this by being less than honest with regard to state help then I'm afraid you or your partner really will have to knuckle down and work, work, work. If you cheat the safety net it won't catch you a second time and all that.

You seem to have had your heads in the sand for a while though. I can't believe you have taken out an unaffordable tenancy based on the assumption of a regular gift. Its laughable if it wasn't so sad. Rents haven't mysteriously gone up overnight.

There are other things in this post I would question too. Who the chuff misses off food costs from a basic budget but insists they joined a gym only recently cos they just love exercise yet cannot live without a car confused

Op I wish you well, but I'm out.

Lovethebubbles Tue 18-Feb-14 16:43:44

You need to put priority debts first; rent and council tax. 3 of us live in a two bed house and we don't scrimp on heating and our gas and electric is £80 a month. Do you pay your council tax over ten months? Local authorities can split payments over 12 months if that is more manageable for you....
You need to stop paying for gym, phones etc. I suggest writing to these companies to explain your financial situation has changed and offer an amount you can afford to pay. They would prefer to get some money rather than nothing. The CAB can help with this.
I would also go to your local authority and have a chat with the housing options team to see if they can offer any advice. If your properly is unaffordable then technically you are at risk of homelessness.... Although they will tell you to stop paying the secondary debts like gym, phone etc etc.
I assume you aren't entitled to housing benefit, but it might be worth speaking to the housing benefit department at your local council to see if you can get any assistance with a discretionary housing payment (DHP) on the basis that the property was affordable when you signed the contract but your financial circumstances have changed. This is a separate pot of money that the council can use at their discretion but definitely worth asking.
As mentioned by someone else, see if the landlord would consider releasing you from the tenancy agreement if someone else was found to rent it. Mention to them that if they don't, you are worried you will not be able to afford to stay, resulting in rent arrears building up and them having fork out money to evict you.
I think when baby two comes along you will be entitled to tax credits, albeit a small amount. The reason I say this is because we are on a similar income and don't get anything now but if we had another child I think it worked out we would have about £12 per week child tax credits.
This must all be very daunting for you , but you have to take drastic action so that you don't lose your home and or end up in loads of debt that you can't afford to pay.
Good luck OP

SnookyPooky Tue 18-Feb-14 16:45:30

People are not horrible, you need to be HONEST.
There is no magic wand, I am in your shoes RIGHT NOW except I don't have children, just cats. I have robbed Peter to pay Paul every single month for 2 years now because my DH can't find work. We are not in UK.
We have a lovely 3 bed house, rented. We took it 5 years ago when we were fairly well off.

Now we have my small FT salary and my husband's even smaller pension.

Because we love the house so much and didn't want to leave it we negotiated a temporary rent reduction from our landlord.

Petfood is expensive here so instead of Whiskas, they now get a cheaper brand.

We changed our phone/internet provider.

We don't have central heating, we have split AC/heating blowers on the walls (like you see in holiday accom). Electricity is ridiculously expensive so we never switch them on. There is only one electricity supplier here so not able to shop around.
Instead we use calor gas type heaters. Gas is €15 a bottle, we are extremely frugal with it. It's winter here for only a little while longer so heating costs will disappear.

Water we can't change as again, only one supplier but it is metered and we are frugal.

Ditched our expensive TV subscription and watch it through the internet.

Petrol is €1.40 a litre, no unecessary journeys, I refuse to waste petrol. No public transport to where I work.

I work in a garage so no car maintenance costs.

I budget in advance so I know where the money is going, shop at Lidl and if the money runs out we have toast for tea till I get paid. Petrol and bills come first, then cat food then us.

We don't go out, have not had a holiday in years. I got my hair cut last week for the first time in a year!

The point is that you have to cut your cloth. We were very lucky to get a rent reduction but if we hadn't then we would have been forced to move to a much smaller house. No doubt about it.

Lovethebubbles Tue 18-Feb-14 16:46:27

Oh and www.entitled.com website is good for checking about tax credits and housing benefit

Lovethebubbles Tue 18-Feb-14 16:46:48

I meant www.entitledto.com

Fedeline no if you dont pay your rent for a few months and get an eviction notice the council will house you you once you have one, so all OP has to do is not pay her rent and then she will be housed, esp with two children. its not ideal but will happen

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:50:48

Yes. That's what i said. The rehousing is likely to be B and B or hostel at first, though.

and seriously why is OP worried about credit rating just stop all payments and feed your kids, credit rating is the least of her worries.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:51:54

That is 'the homelessness route'. Eviction notice = impending homelessness.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Tue 18-Feb-14 16:53:08

Op talk to National Debt helpline if you havant already,they can offer you some fantastic advice,and also advise on your lease and ask shelter to.

Saying that the lease company were actually a bit cross....what do you expect! They are not going to be thrilled to have to go back to LL nad say actually , that fell through.

You need to get tough. So what if they were cross, your going to be broke, you are broke, its dog eats dog.

you have to fight, be in there crying, making a case for yourself...

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:53:31

She won't listen on here. I hope someone gets through to her. Her grasp of the immediate priorities does seem odd. I just hope she doesn't decide to skip council tax so that vodaphone can be paid.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Tue 18-Feb-14 16:54:02

*credit rating is quite key actually, to everything! if they want to destroy themselves for the next ten years...yeah fuck the credit rating confused

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 16:54:53

OP, you need to speak to you PIL first. They have suddenly stopped your £500 a month payment but if they could see what this has done to you they might be prepared to help for a bit longer.

There are other options but they all involve breaking legal and contractual obligations.

You are going to have to admit you've made some unwise choices but it will be better than trashing your credit rating if you can help it.

I'm say this because if you husband is taking professional banking exams, no one will employ him with a trashed credit rating (if he went bankrupt he would likely be barred from the professional body too) so all the studying will have been in vain.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 18-Feb-14 16:56:03

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

This is why

What are the income limits for tax credits?
The income limit for you depends on your own situation. But as a very rough guide, you might not be able to get any payments of tax credits if your income is more than around:
£26,000 if you have one child
£32,200 if you have two children
£13,000 if you're single with no children
£18,000 if you're in a couple with no children
These limits will also apply from 6 April 2013 - but remember they are only a rough guide. You could still qualify from 6 April 2013 if your income is above these amounts. For example, if you pay for registered or approved childcare, are disabled, or have more children.

ToddlerHoover Tue 18-Feb-14 16:56:36

I don't undertsand how someone can work three jobs, in the SE (I'm assuming due to the high rent) and only earn 9k?

Even a telesales job should net you twice that before commision.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:56:47

Well it's six years and it's not really a choice.

If there's not enough money to pay it all, then do you pay mobile and gym to not worsen your credit. Or do you pay rent and council tax to avoid bailiffs and eviction notices?

And she did say her credit was already impaired.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 16:59:01

If his credit rating is badly impaired, he should just forget the studying and take on another job in the time he is currently studying as he won't get anywhere in banking with a poor credit rating.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 16:59:07

She's in Scotland. An expensive city there.

Noone would advise bankruptcy in this scenario. Maybe a DMP.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Tue 18-Feb-14 17:00:06

As far as the gym goes, go in ask to speak to manager, no joy area manager....no joy write an email to all the managers and say " struggling family, new baby due, about to be plunged into debt because Gym wont release them from contract..." say your posed to go to papers with a nice picture of yourself...

oscarwilde Tue 18-Feb-14 17:00:53

Jeez your council tax bill is high. Is that normal in Scotland? I'm fairly sure I don't pay that in London (close but it's a bigger property than a 2 bed flat) or is it because it also includes water?
https://www.gov.uk/apply-council-tax-reduction

I've never heard of a gym that won't suspend a membership for pregnancy or serious health condition. Get yourself down to the gym and cry if necessary. Get the suspension in writing and cancel the DD.

You might want to avoid a CCJ but if you are evicted the council is going to have to house you anyway. Time to visit them in person I think.

Last suggestion which is a bit desperate measures. What would happen if you were "abandoned" by DH? For housing and benefits?

kungfupannda Tue 18-Feb-14 17:00:54

This is incredibly frustrating. Whatever you say, OP, your facts and figures have changed substantially, during both threads and between the two threads.

People on MN are very good about helping people in hardship, but most people who ask for help are honest about their situation.

There are several strange things about your situation and when people comment on this you just say 'we can't change it' or 'there's a reason for it.'

1) 18 month contract with no break clause. This needs to be sorted. As I said on your other thread, no landlord in their right mind would sit tight and do nothing when their tenants are saying they will default on the rent soon. You need to be clear and firm about your situation and point out to the landlord/agents that you are categorically not able to continue paying the rent, so need to come to an arrangement re marketing the property. Keep calling them, keep emailing them. Keep going until they agree. There's no point saying 'WE CAN'T MOVE' again and again. You will be moving sooner or later, either on the tail-end of an eviction procedure with a CCJ against you, or under your own control, albeit possibly with loss of deposit/reference.

2) Gym membership. Ditto. Keep calling. Write to head office. Ask about deferment, to be reviewed in 6 or 12 months.

3) Phone. Same advice. Point out that they'll get less out of you by pursuing you through the courts than if they allow you to go onto a lower tariff in the short-term.

4) Tax credits. An overpayment doesn't stop you claiming forevermore. What usually happens is that deductions are made from the new claim on a rolling basis. I am a criminal lawyer and represent people on benefit fraud allegations - they often have an arrangement in place regarding the repayment, even before the prosecution begins. You need to go into this with CAB or similar, and go and see a local advisor. I'm also confused as to why an increase in childcare costs would lead to an overpayment. You need to look at having this reassessed. Again, keep pursuing.

With all of this, you seem to just accept the first thing that anyone tells you. Of course the landlord/gym/phone people are going to say 'computer says no' - that's easier for them. You need to persist and be clear and firm. People aren't generally going to push on regardless of their own best interests. Talk figures and consequences and you will almost certainly get somewhere.

And if you want help from somewhere like MN, you need to be honest and consistent. The inconsistencies in these threads have been spectacularly obvious, and people don't want to waste their time.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:00:57

Are you an illegal?

The TC thing makes me suss. Surely you would still claim n receive payment but with a reduction in place to pay off what you owe.

That won't work for us. If anyone sounded so entitled it is you OP.

You are kidding yourself if you think reducing car insurance by £16 is addressing your problems.

I'm sorry but you really need to tell the agent to feck off and move somewhere cheaper. Suspend gym easily done as you are preg. Get rid of car. Which you said originally you needed for work but now don't as you work from home and need the broadband.

Why you would take on such a high rent on such a low income is silly in the idiots place. Some harsh advice and lessons here OP.

ToddlerHoover Tue 18-Feb-14 17:01:29

From teh other thread

We aren't entitled to any WTC or CTC as we earn over £30k together.

DH earns £11k from his job.
I earn £9k from one job, £9k from the other and £4k from the other.

Our mortgage payments are £1350 a month.
Council tax is £190 a month.
Car insurance is £80 a month.
Childcare is £350 a month.

NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:01:55

First place

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 18-Feb-14 17:03:08

And you have either been given shocking advise or are talking rubbish about your previous claim

A change in circumstances that means you get more in tax credits would not result in that happening you would just lose any extra you were entitled to as a result of that change and only be able to obtain a months work backdated.

A unreported change that resulted in you getting more than you should does not result in a further claim being prevented.

The upper earnings limits changed last year it dropped quite a lot you earn over it that's why you can't claim anything with your current income

WipsGlitter Tue 18-Feb-14 17:03:53

RTFT

She is not "an illegal".

She needs the car to take her child to school and to get to her bar job.

soverylucky Tue 18-Feb-14 17:06:15

Due to medical circumstances I lost my driving licence some time ago. It was a massive shock to the system as I was so reliant on my car but even me in a semi - rural area have coped. I rely on lifts, public transport and my feet. It is shitty carrying the shopping home in all weathers, getting the kids to school and getting to work BUT I have managed because I have to. You must sell the car. If you live in a city or outskirts of then you will survive. To me it is the only option if you can't get out of your rent etc.
You should also change ds school. It is terrible that your local school is not good enough for him as you see it but sadly you do not have the luxury of choice. Is this fair? Of course not but then that is just the way it is.

soverylucky Tue 18-Feb-14 17:07:42

Also years ago I owed money to an energy company - I told them I was skint and agreed to pay it back at £2 a week. Call them and get your bill reduced.

antimatter Tue 18-Feb-14 17:10:45

if your employer doesn't do Childcare Vouchers you can volunteer to set it up for your company.
I ma pretty sure someone on Mumsnet done it - I'll have look for you and paste it here.
The think is - it doesn't cost them anything, just the hassle of running it.

kungfupannda Tue 18-Feb-14 17:11:52

You could also look at debt consolidation.

I think the problem is that you are trying to find a way to avoid any of the consequences of this situation - credit rating damage, sharing a bedroom, changing schools, DH giving up his studying etc. You can't. You're in this situation and there will be consequences to whatever course of action you take. You just need to decide which route has the least unpalatable consequences.

You are desperate to keep your credit rating? Fine, look at room-sharing or DH giving up studying.

The 2 bedrooms is non-negotiable? Right - give up on worrying about the credit rating for now.

DH's studying is most important? OK - share a bedroom and default on gym/phone.

You need to decide what can give first, and focus your efforts on the most pressing issue.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:13:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Feb-14 17:13:43

Then report thinking. Don't troll hunt.

MrsDeVere Tue 18-Feb-14 17:14:32

The OP will get WTC/CTC.

The gym membership must be due to finish in the next 6 mths surely if the OP is 8 mths pregnant?

4 weeks mat leave from all three jobs is very unusual.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:16:09

little bear I don think giving advice then realising what the OP has posted doesn't add up is not the same as troll hunting.

I don't think she is a troll but I don't trust the op has explained herself well enough to give accurately advice. She seems as many have said unwilling to take any on board. It's glaringly obvious they cannot afford that huge rent.

soverylucky Tue 18-Feb-14 17:17:37

I am right in thinking then that before the payment stopped you had an income of about £2500 a month including child benefit?
You took out a rental that was more than half your income?

Even with my dodgy maths this looks very silly.

1350 rent (from thread 1)
200 council tax
190 energy
75 gym
80 phones
350 childcare
cars stuff - 200
100 - petrol and home insurance

total of 2545 BEFORE we even mention food and one off bills. How on earth did you think this rent was a good idea when you couldn't afford it even with the £500? The letting agency were also very irresponsible.

WipsGlitter Tue 18-Feb-14 17:18:15

She has said she works from home part time (some sort of online work I'm guessing). And she works in a bar.

Objection Tue 18-Feb-14 17:20:30

Have you tried putting another family member on your car insurance to lower it?

Sounds mad but I have my FIL on my car insurance; he is a company director and has had his license for 15+ years. He has HALVED it.
I'm 22, pay £419 a year and have had my license since Aug 2011. It should be £1000 + but I've saved massively by having FIL as an additional driver.
Have a look into it.

I'm astonished at how many of your facts have changed since the other thread though confused

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Feb-14 17:22:42

Crap thinking. Your whole post prior to mine said that it wasn't true. If you don't believe it then report it. There's a whole bevy of little Sherlocks cross checking the facts between this thread and the other one.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 17:25:33

A few years back I was in loads of debt, credit rating so poor I couldn't even open a bank account.

I went to Thinkbanking.co.uk

They renegotiated contracts and repayments on my behalf and managed my income and outcome so everyone got paid but only what I could afford. I didn't have to deal with anyone directly and it was a huge weight off my shoulders, which, given your pregnancy, sounds like something you could use

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 17:29:24

Thinkbanking is an awful thing to advise.

Why not suggest a credit union or a basic bank a/c?

Is your only connection with them as a customer?

Fatone Tue 18-Feb-14 17:30:50

I got out of my gym membership when I lost my job. Just waddle in there heavily pregnant and tell them you have lost your job and have to cancel please. I think even being heavily pregnant is a reason to suspend payment for a while. I am sure they will do the decent thing. If they refuse ask for an address of the MD and write/email them. Could you cut the petrol bill a bit? Advertise the flat quite generally on Gumtree - not too many details - see if you get any takers then approach the Letting agent to discuss. Speak to CAB? They are quite good with finances. Do you have any family that could help you out short term? Please try not to worry too much - if there's one thing I have learnt it is that things ALWAYS sort themselves out. You are under a lot of pressure at the moment. Be kind to yourself.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 17:31:20

The best place to get help with debt is through a recognised debt charity. Always.

neffi Tue 18-Feb-14 17:32:02

I only have one piece of advice. You need to speak to a properly qualified benefits adviser about tax credits. Many high street solicitors do not have the specialist knowledge on welfare rights issues.

I suggest your local CAB or independent law centre that does benefits advice.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 17:33:12

Not sure the 'being pregnant so need to suspend gym membership' will help when it was taken out when the OP was 6 months pregnant anyway.

I'm not saying not to try and get out of it, but using the pregnancy as an excuse isn't going to work.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:36:23

Adamant mrsd she is not entitled to any.

"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"

Income £1916.6 I've assumed this is after drop in £500 per month.
Outgoings £2165

Short by £249 plus strict food budget £250

I would stop working in the job that causes you incur child are costs? Increase hours on other one if possible

Insurance 'new' withdraw off is £44
Suspend gym membership
Change broadband to another provider should be able to get fit down to £20 at least.
Half energy-ish to £100

Estimated savings so far £190 that's gym, car ins and energy.house insurance I'd wing it for a couple of months but we pay £9.

New total 210, I'd trim rest off by trading car in for cheaper model, even a rand new small car per month is less than that.get that downto £100 per month.

So without leaving your house which you are adamant about you could cover churn rent and bills by doing the above but you literally would have to to your food from a food bank.

Is this rent and way of living tenable?

SnookyPooky Tue 18-Feb-14 17:36:51

Not really necessary to cross check, the inconsistencies are glaringly obvious and are even within this thread.
FWIW I believe the OP is genuine and has received good advice on both threads, however she chooses to embroider the truth and stonewall continually. She asked for advice, she got it, didn't like it, can't do this, can't do that, that won't work for us, ad nauseum.
Some people can't be helped.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:37:29

It's normally a valid reason to suspend gym membership, saying not to do something that others have managed to do and help her cut outgoings isn't helpful either.

alwaysneedaholiday Tue 18-Feb-14 17:38:40

You can definitely cut down on the gas and electric - ours is that for a 5 bed house. Have a look on moneysupermarket.com or similar.

Gym memberships can usually be put on hold due to pregnancy/redundancy - throw yourself on their mercy. Even if it buys you a year off payments, it's a bonus.

DH needs to speak to his employers re his low wage (I was on your other thread).

DH is going to have to get an evening job, perhaps only once a week, but it will add up over the month. I know it's not ideal in your circumstances.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:41:36

I havn't seen the other thread I took this at face value at first.

SolomanDaisy Tue 18-Feb-14 17:46:03

If the details you have given here are correct, you are entitled to tax credits. I just checked this and it is correct. I understand you may have changed small details, but the figures would have to be very significantly different for you to get nothing. You need to go to CAB to get help, you really sound too distraught to be making sensible decisions.

NearTheWindmill Tue 18-Feb-14 17:50:00

I'm sure it's been said but if you are 8 months pregnant why do you need £350 on childcare for the next few months? Why do you need landline and broadband and mobile phones (like, yes - need no) - my mobile phone contract costs £7.50, dd's is £14 and ds's is £30 (and he has an expensive phone and tastes and I have pandered).

I can't help much with the cost of bills because I'm afraid I've no idea but you don't need a gym membership (and I'm sure you can give written notice if there has been a change in circumstances - the same for your rental lease as well - most letting agents would prefer honesty and the opportunity to get in a family who can pay rather than trying to recoup unpaid rent/evict over six months).

If your dh wants to continue studying and you want to continue to run a car you will have to rent a smaller property for a while with a bedroom for the dc and a sofa bed for you and dh.

You have to cut your cloth - how far are you from school that you HAVE to drive there daily - isn't there a school closer to your home. I know someone who bought a car for £150 and it lasted for 2.5 years.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:51:34

solomon OP has said up thread they are not allowed to claim due to a previous claim and they owe them money.

SolomanDaisy Tue 18-Feb-14 18:02:37

thinking she then said she'd done the calculation and it said she was entitled to nothing. That is not correct and her previous history should not stop her from claiming now.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:02:39

fideline er yes? Been with them for years now.

Why such a terrible thing to advise?

I did clearly say I couldnt get a basic bank account!

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:04:40

Oh, and all my debts where paid in full, by me, nothing was written off, just interest frozen and took longer. Proud of mysf when is done it though. What's so bad about that?

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:05:22

Oh confused

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:07:07

Nothing ad at all, wish I could say the same about our debt. wink

Our mortgage which we are stuck with is the same as OP's rent if. I could reduced it to pay down debts I would like a shot. I up pose that's why I'm frustrated with the OP and the moving goal posts.

Fatone Tue 18-Feb-14 18:07:13

bear I said 'heavily' pregnant. I don't think doctors advice is to hit the gym at 40 weeks pregnant or even for the first few after birth is it? Even a month off would cut her some slack. My gym did, I was just too heavily pregnant to go - they suspended my membership - then a few months later I joined again - then I lost my job and explained this to them and they let me cancel.

Jux Tue 18-Feb-14 18:10:18

OP, you can do this.

As far as feeding the family is concerned, buy some dried beans and pulses - very cheap - and fresh veg. Make a large bean/pulse stew with fresh veg. You can do enough for 3 or 4 days at once, and add a little more fresh veg to it every day when you're heating it up. This does cost next to nothing and is the cheapest way to feed yourselves I know of. I have done it myself - for 6 months. It's not great, gets really boring, but it's hot and nutritious. As my finances gradually got better sorted I added more interesting food to my stews. I still love beans and pulses, btw, but I'm not sure I'd voluntarily use them like that again! These days though, there is far more choice. Even dh (rabid anti-vegetarian that he is) loves quinoa salad and cous-cous. Both very cheap, tasty and nutritious.

When you do have a few quid to spare, you could buy Rose Eliot's The Bean Book; meanwhile borrow it from the library as it tells you everything you need to know about preparing them. There are certainly other people here who can give you better info on really cheap meals, but this one I can vouch for personally.

As for the rest of your financial problems, you have had a lot of pointers to organisations which can help you.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:11:03

School is a 5mile drive, 8 mile cycle.

It's a long way but it is doable. I cycled to work for a while, 9 miles each way. I'm not at all fit but it was doable. You are already fit OP, and you said you enjoy exercise including cycling, so might be worth a re-think?

(Not while pregnant obviously!!)

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:12:55

Thanks thinking smile

Fideline seemed to think it an awful thing for me to suggest for some reason!

INeedSomeHelp Tue 18-Feb-14 18:13:34

If your DH works in financial services then he needs to talk to his employer before you make any decision about a debt management plan or similar.
They might be able to help but will take a dim view of financial mismanagement if they're not made aware of it. It can be considered a disciplinary matter and that's the last thing you need just now.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:17:36

"fideline er yes? Been with them for years now.

Why such a terrible thing to advise?

I did clearly say I couldnt get a basic bank account!"

Why on earth would you advise a profit-driven company who would essentially take control of the OPs income when reputable debt advice charities, credit unions and basic bank a/cs are all available?!

It is very hard to be ineligible for a basic a/c. Barclays for example will even give recent bankrupts a basic a/c. Co-op will give a basic a/c to anyone except bankrupts. Credit unions are usually even friendlier. In the highly unlikely event you can't get ANY of those, savings a/cs with debit cards are available.

By all means use think money, if you like. Use Wonga, Provident and Baines & Ernst too. Hell, take out a 'Picture' mortgage too. It is totally inappropriate advice to someone in financial trouble, though.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:18:08

That's a good point ^^ I work for an accountancy firm (I'm not an accountant! I work in marketing) and yeah, they won't like that. They are financially mismanging any way though, and if all the other routes really are as undo able as the OP seems to think, they seem to heading for bankruptcy/CCJs anyway tbh

oldgrandmama Tue 18-Feb-14 18:18:23

Heaven't got all the way through this thread yet ... also been following the other thread. One thing really puzzling me: OP says council tax on two bedroom flat is �200 a month. I find this incredible. I live in a five bedroom house in Islington, high band, but my council tax is �175 a month (before the discount I get for sole occupancy). How can a small flat incur such a high council tax? Is OP sure she's got that right?

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:20:28

fiderline er, because my personal experience of them has been helpful and beneficial for me and the OP is refusing all other advice?? They are not a loan company, why the comparison with wonga etc, ffs

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:21:59

Oh and I had a savings account thank you, massively overdrawn smile

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:22:01

"The thinkmoney Personal Account is designed to help you manage your money more easily, so you know exactly where you stand each month.

Unlike current accounts that charge you for missed payments or going overdrawn, you'll never pay any unexpected charges with our account. All you'll pay is a monthly management fee of £14.50 (£21.25 for joint accounts)."

Clutterbugsmum Tue 18-Feb-14 18:22:55

I'm not even sure what the OP is asking for.

She/he keeps changing the story everytime some give advice as to why they can not do what ever been suggested.

I think the only thing they want is for her PIL to re start supporting them. And surely if she has more then one job then she would be paying base rate tax on two of them.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:23:05

Stepchange, National Debtline et all will do a DMP for free and you retain control of your money.

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Feb-14 18:23:59

Five bed house in islington. envy

Ours is £110 for a two bed flat in Camden.

Does seem high but based on ours it may also be islington is pretty cheap.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:24:18

And yes, I pay them £17 a month to manage my bank account and make sure I am never in debt again and help me pay off £12k of debt.

Worth it for me

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

No reputable advice organisation would recommend them.

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Feb-14 18:25:30

It's not angry envy grandmama though. Realised envy face looks a bit angry.

Don't suppose you'd like to sell it for massively less than its worth though... wink

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:25:54

Sorry yes £21. Sorry but I still don't see why you are attacking me for just sharing what had worked for me??

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:26:37

Good job I'm not a reputable advice organisation then and just a normal person trying to help??

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:27:17

I am not attacking you.

I said that it is awful advice.

Which it is.

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Feb-14 18:27:32

Not much though clutterbug if they are both minimum wage.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:28:46

OP seems to be finding it hard to accept good advice. I really don't see how well-intentioned bad advice is helping.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:29:29

Oh it was PIL. I did wonder.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:29:31

Fine, well they helped me and I find them good value money for me. If I didn't id leave them and love my account elsewhere.

Is that ok with you? Am I allowed to say that?

Crickey I'll remember to never try and help someone again

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:30:32

Do you just want me to pretend it was good advice Rino?

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:30:40

I didn't see it as bad advice! Genuinely. Because they had helped me. I was trying to think of ways to help the OP.

That's all

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:34:08

Jolly good. You offered your opinion. I added my (trained) one.

People can weigh it up.

I like Dominos pizza. I never recommend it because it is expensive and unhealthy.

We have put forward differing views. No harm done.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Tue 18-Feb-14 18:35:23

kung

With all of this, you seem to just accept the first thing that anyone tells you. Of course the landlord/gym/phone people are going to say 'computer says no' - that's easier for them. You need to persist and be clear and firm. People aren't generally going to push on regardless of their own best interests. Talk figures and consequences and you will almost certainly get somewhere.

I agree I think op is very young, maybe mid late twenties? Thats OK, she will learn soon enough to toughen up.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:36:25

Oh and at the time, I'd never heard of the free options, so yes, the OP should definitely use those if she can. I would of I'm sure if I'd known at the time.

But this is probably all academic since the OP doesn't seem to want to take any advice, good or bad!

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:37:12

She certainly doesn't.

MrsDeVere Tue 18-Feb-14 18:37:40

Benefits calculator says a couple with two children paying that amount of childcare earning 30k would be entitled.

Have you tried it yet op?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:40:55

She says the HMRC have told her she can never claim tax credits again because she previously fraudently UNDERCLAIMED. She apparently had legal advice at the time. Make of that what you will.

I don't think we are sure at this point that the income IS £30k

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:40:57

Re benefit calculators, I've found they always seem to come up with a conservative estimate (if any). The only way to be sure is to actually apply. The amount of CTC the calcs came up with and the amount HMRC decided I should actually get are not the same, even though the information out into the forms was identical!

The OP should apply

oldgrandmama Tue 18-Feb-14 18:43:39

LittleBearPad, I live in dread of some re-banding of my house! I know I am extremely lucky. I bought the place, twenty years ago, at a huge discount because there was serious planning blight in the area in that there might be an overground eight track railway at the end of the road (something to do with the link to the Channel Tunnel). I was past caring, just returned from living abroad because my dear husband of only three years had suddenly died and thought to myself 'Hey ho, I just want to be back in England, near my kids, and so what if trains are roaring past ever couple of seconds?'.

Anyway, the huge railway line project never happened (it went underground), so that was great. smile I have to say, council tax, although it's gone up, is still reasonable, especially with my single occupancy discount. And my house has appreciated, somewhat blush not that I ever intend to move, but my kids will benefit (after Inheritance Tax liability).

But I digress ... it is maddening that OP dismisses out of hand any suggestions on this, and the other thread. Also, her story seems to change all the time. I can see that MNetters really try to help with constructive advice, suggestions, links to money advice sites etc. etc. I'm sorry, but her attitude seems to be 'Yes, BUT ...'.

Thje entire thread has all got a bit 'How many angels can dance on the head on a pin?' now. Short of us all taking up a collection to bail out the OP [sarcastic face!] don't really see what else we can bring to the table to help her?

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:43:56

The HMRCs own calculator only ever tells you what you should get for the remainder of the tax year, which is confusing to. The entitled to calculator is usually pretty accurate, offers weekly and annual amounts plus forecasts for the next tax year.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 18:45:42

It's normally a valid reason to suspend gym membership, saying not to do something that others have managed to do and help her cut outgoings isn't helpful either.

thinking she took out the gym membership when she was 6 months pregnant so saying she no longer wants it because she is pregnant isn't going to wash. It's pretty easy for the gym to check the dates.

I did say that she should still try and get out of the contract but not to use the pregnancy as the reason.

fideline Tue 18-Feb-14 18:48:01

'How many angels can dance on the head on a pin?'

Exactly the phrase that just popped into my head grin

Anyway, enough time spent wasted on this thread already today smile...

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:48:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:50:49

I know bear but it still valid she is now heavily pregnant and will be recovering from birth.

I don't know why you nagging me about it loads have suggested it. Since you last post I've suggested a new budget but it still would leaver her short for food.

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 18:51:25

Ah ok fid , that's the one I used so that's probably why it was off. Whole tax credits thing is so confusing to me to be honest. But luckily my income etc is pretty straightforward so I just full out the form each year, keep them up to date re circumstances and let them sort it out!

I had gym membership once (in a moment of madness!) it said I couldn't leave before 12months. I just told them I was being made redundent. They didn't even question it and cancelled it straight away. Wasn't as expensive as the OPs membership though!

Bearbehind Tue 18-Feb-14 18:58:32

I'm not nagging thinking but the OP is 8 months pregnant so in a month that excuse will no longer be valid anyway. She needs a longer term solution to get out of the membership.

They can't afford to pay it again until something massively changes.

I think a much more important concern, raised by me and others, is how their financial situation might affect her husbands job in banking and she absolutely has to get advice on this before they do anything, or accept his studies might be worthless and he might be out if a job to boot.

Electryone Tue 18-Feb-14 18:59:21

OP "Ask me a question, I will answer it?*

Ok, I get why you are saying why you have "embroidered" a few details but such glaring inconsistencies about the most basic and essential details i.e you and your DHs income are harder to understand, particularly since you are asking for help with your finances! On this thread you state that your income is £10,000 yet on the other you state you have 3 jobs earning £9 K, £9 K and £4K, total £22,000....makes a big difference to figures! Cant you see why some people are suspicious of you, why would you do that?

Rinoachicken Tue 18-Feb-14 19:02:42

OP - did you get to the bottom of what exactly the qualification is that your DH is doing? You weren't sure on the other thread and it could be useful to know if it's something he could possibly take a break from/transfer

Coconutty Tue 18-Feb-14 19:02:56

The DH has allegedly just posted on the other thread.