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I am SO fed up of being poor!

(15 Posts)
Sammie101 Wed 09-Jul-14 20:30:12

Sorry I just really need to rant and I've always found Mumsnet to be a good place for a sympathetic ear.

Just received our tax credits award in the post today and we were over-paid by nearly £300. Not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, but we are also getting £15 less per week than we were previously. I understand that the amount we are getting now is what we were probably meant to get when we first started claiming, but considering that I have taken a fairly substantial drop in income I don't see how it works.

I'm so sick of watching every penny and being too afraid to spend money in case we can't afford to pay our rent and bills. I don't understand how my income could have dropped from £680 to £580 to £430 and we are entitled to LESS. We're barely scraping by as it is sad

When I was on maternity leave I was better off compared to being back at work now. I had to drop my hours because we can't afford childcare costs (even with getting tax credit help) and rely on the goodwill of family to provide childcare.

I'm trying so hard to look on the bright side. We don't have an overdraft and my debt (from a student over draft which I took a loan out to pay off) will be paid off in 2 months. We don't have any costs that we can cut back (we don't have Sky, don't drive etc) and we give ourselves 320 each per week to buy anything we need like clothes, shoes, money to socialize with.

I think we'll seriously have to consider moving to a cheaper area. The areas I've been looking at are seen as quite "rough" and undesirable but I'd rather worry a little less about money and live somewhere cheaper.

This has turned into such a self-indulgent rant and I sound like a complete brat. I suppose I'm just hoping someone will come along and tell me it will get better? To add fuel to the fire I was discussing money with a colleague who is a single parent and she said that after all her bills are paid and rent is paid she has about £900 spare to do with what she likes :O She works the same hours I do and earns the same amount. And on social media I always see all the nice things she has bought herself/her daughter that I couldn't dream of affording. I wouldn't want to swap my life for hers because me, DP and DD are a very happy family, but sometimes I'm just so envious.

I feel better now I've written that down!

lornemalvo Wed 09-Jul-14 20:33:38

I think you've made a typo with the amount you each have a week to socialise and buy clothes etc. You've written 320 each a week. You should clarify that as everyone will fixate on that otherwise.

usualsuspectt Wed 09-Jul-14 20:34:28

You only have 320 a week to spend on anything you like?

gamerchick Wed 09-Jul-14 20:37:57

That's all I'm seeing as well.. was it a typo?

lornemalvo Wed 09-Jul-14 20:38:09

Not having enough money isn't fun, especially if you are always worrying about it.

Have you called tax credits with an estimated income for this year? They disregard the first £2500 when looking at a drop of income from one year to the next but would adjust your award if it has fallen by more than that. Also if your income has fallen it will make a difference for next year's award. Not much comfort for this year in that though.

Sammie101 Wed 09-Jul-14 20:38:47

Sorry that was a very silly typo, I meant to put £20, must not have hit the shift key! I really should spellcheck my posts more thoroughly! :-/

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 09-Jul-14 20:40:57

Firstly, I'm hoping you mean £20 per week each, rather than £320? TBH, that is more than we have each per week for things like that but I do understand that it's not really a lot of money.

Forget about the single parent. No single parent earning £430 per month is having £900 left over after bills & rent. Unless she gets a fabulous amount of maintenance from her Ex anyway. Benefits are just simply not that generous - despite with some MNers would have you believe.

With regard to the Tax Credits. What you receive this year depends upon your income last year - so from April 2013 to April 2014. If your income has dropped significantly since then though, you can give them a ring & they may be able to adjust your award a little.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 09-Jul-14 20:42:56

Grrr - despite what some MNers would have you believe!

usualsuspectt Wed 09-Jul-14 20:44:31

You can ring them and give them an estimate of your earning for this year if you are earning are less than last year.

Being skint sucks. But I don't think your single parent colleague is that much better off than you.

Sammie101 Wed 09-Jul-14 20:50:32

lornemalvo I know, I really do spend too much time worrying!

Yes I renewed on the phone after sitting down with loads of my old payslips. My DP is on a zero hour contract so we can't give an exact estimate of his earnings because they can vary week to week. His boss tries to give him 30 hours per week so that we can have as accurate an estimate as possible. I know it WILL get better because it goes off the previous years earnings, it does make it tight though when we are earning less now.

I was very surprised when we first looked into claiming and how much we may be entitled to because it did seem quite a lot. And nearly £400 a month IS a lot of money--I'm extremely grateful we get ANY help. I guess I'm just a bit fed up of the constant budgeting. We managed to save a small amount last month but when I was going over our online banking we had to transfer all of it into our main account just to make sure we wouldn't go overdrawn. It sounds silly because it really was just a small amount we had saved, but I was proud that we'd managed to get started and tried to build a little emergency pot of money if ever we needed it. I didn't imagine we'd need it quite so soon but DP gets paid weekly so at the start of the month we don't always have a large amount in the bank.

Sorry now I'm getting carried away typing! Thanks for the replies everyone, it's very much appreciated having someone read my witterings. I definitely appreciate it must be so much harder being a single parent, and obviously our situations are completely different. I know she has had a lot of debt in the past so she too has struggled!

RabbitSaysWoof Wed 09-Jul-14 20:51:24

I dont have £20 a week for those things, LP also work.
I think she may be lying or failing to mention other means of financial support (her parents? ex?)

Tallandgracefulmum Sat 12-Jul-14 00:10:44

Poor today does not equal being poor tomorrow. Is there anyway you can increase your earings in the short term, i.e do you have stuff you can sell, and think about changing your lifestyle/job/career/home?

myusernameis Sat 12-Jul-14 00:38:37

I know this isn't any practical help but I just wanted to let you know that when we were growing up my mum had no money, just the debts my dad had left behind. She budgeted and we (the children) didn't feel like we missed out on anything. Looking back I can see how much she sacrificed for us and I'm so grateful I appreciate it more than she could ever know.

Anyway what I'm trying to get at is she did have to budget really hard for a long time but first managed to pay off the debts and then started saving. She's now what I'd call comfortable - so it can get better.

The money saving expert site has some really good advice on how to budget and how to get the best offers and things. It might be tough but you and your partner have each other. Just think you managed to save some money aside for an emergency once already so you can do it again. Keep your spirits up smile

Chloebw Sun 13-Jul-14 15:39:16

I'm glad I read this I wonder if I'm better not working often!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Jul-14 17:47:32

With respect, you're not poor, you're just not 'comfortable'. I think it's a phase a lot of people go through when their cost of living and income are very close and have to be tightly managed to generate any spare cash. But it does pass eventually. Things change, certain costs reduce, wages go up, etc. I'm another lone parent that has literally had to choose in the past between eating and heating the house. I remember the day interest rates went up to something like 15% and literally sitting in my car and sobbing, worrying how I'd meet the extra cost. I'm comfortably off now and, unlike some, I really appreciate it and have retained a lot of thrifty ways from the past. Try to see the situation you're in now as a test of character, a test of resourcefulness and a useful experience that will stand you in good stead in the future.

Good luck

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