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Money worries

(24 Posts)
4n0nym0u5 Wed 01-Jun-16 20:47:26

Hi, Im a divorced parent of 2 young children.

Since my xh left ive been struggling with money. Iv had help from family members in the past to keep me afloat, but it all just straight out the bank on bills, mortgage ect. I live in the marital home and pay £561 mortgage on my own...my bills in all come to 900 this doesnt include food shopping, petrol, car tax ect...my incoming is £1200 a month, this is from a small wage, income support, child tax credit, child benefit and child maintainance. I work just 5 hours a week and volunteer at my local school. I would be worse off if I worked more as id have to pay childcare for my youngest.

Im just about breaking even each month, thats being frugal and not taking my children out on day trips or anything.

My children are going to look back at their chilhood and remember being stuch at home never going on holidays. I feel like a rubbish mum who should have done better for them.

mouldycheesefan Wed 01-Jun-16 20:51:20

It's tough but it seems you will need to work more than five hours per week. Yes you will have childcare costs but you may get working tax credit or similar to help with that. Nobody is going to have a great lifestyle financially on five hours work a week I made afraid. Check what help you would get with childcare costs.
Good luck

4n0nym0u5 Wed 01-Jun-16 21:01:28

Im working towards becoming a TA...i work at their school and volunteer there too. I want to spend as much time with my children as possible, because at weekends they go to their Dads. I dont want to be a mum who works till 6pm, then I only see them at bed time. With this, I know its my own fault im struggling, but im miserable without my children! Thank you for your reply..

4n0nym0u5 Wed 01-Jun-16 21:01:29

Im working towards becoming a TA...i work at their school and volunteer there too. I want to spend as much time with my children as possible, because at weekends they go to their Dads. I dont want to be a mum who works till 6pm, then I only see them at bed time. With this, I know its my own fault im struggling, but im miserable without my children! Thank you for your reply..

mouldycheesefan Wed 01-Jun-16 21:04:54

Is there not a midway point between working till 6 every day and working 5 hours per week? Working 4-5 hours per day would surely be better financially and not interfere with your time with the kids?

Datingbarb Wed 01-Jun-16 21:06:41

Please don't be put off with childcare as a single mum of 4 I can promise you will be a lot better off working.

If you work a minimum of 16 hours a week you will get working tax credits and childcare

And if you can get yourself a job in a school then even better as you would only have to worry about childcare in term time for your little one

4n0nym0u5 Wed 01-Jun-16 21:07:23

With the course im doing I need to be in a school 12 hours a week, and getting a job inbetween is proving hardwork!

mouldycheesefan Wed 01-Jun-16 21:11:40

May need to work weekends when kids are at their dads then.
Hope it all works out for you, good luck

acatcalledjohn Wed 01-Jun-16 21:12:02

£900? I take it this includes mortgage? In which case £339/month in bills? Seems high...for a three bed terrace we pay approx:

Gas/Electric: £75
Water: £40
Council: £130 (10 out of 12 months)
Phone/internet: £40 (10 out of 12 months)

Every year I shop around for new dual fuel deals and broadband deals via Quidco, which normally results in decent cashback. Also, I renew my car insurance through Quidco compare and that normally gets me another £20 or so. Same goes for mobile contracts (assuming you have one).

Shopping: Start using cashback sites such as topcashback, Quidco, checkoutsmart, and shopitize. Also, use mysupermarket to compare supermarket pricing on lots of items to help reduce your shopping cost. DP and I get some great deals that way and have reduced our spend. Which is great, because I'm paying off a loan and am trying to overpay (I'm already stretched). Any saving I can make is welcome.

Even the Waitrose pick your own offers (20% off on the item) is fab. I have put it on staples like toilet paper and laundry detergent. They regularly do a 3 for £10 offer on Ariel (about £7 each). They take the 20% off the original price, then you get the other deal, so I regularly get that stuff for next to nothing.

I hope these tips help.

4n0nym0u5 Wed 01-Jun-16 21:20:30

Thanks for the tips.

Yeah mortgage is for a 2 bed semi! Id say the usual outgoing is just over 800....this month was abit higher than usual.
normally...
gas and electric 85 month
Mobile 15
tv liscence 12
home insurance 8
car insurance 50
council tax (single rate) 65
water 36

Then after all thats gone out I have food, petrol ect...

acatcalledjohn Wed 01-Jun-16 21:41:14

What about wonky veg boxes, frozen veg (fraction of the cost and no wastage), etc?

For a 2 bed your bills do seem high, especially the fuel cost. That would be the first thing I'd look at. Currently £21 for a dual fuel switch using uSwitch via Quidco.

4n0nym0u5 Wed 01-Jun-16 21:48:31

Thanks will take a look at that, ive just switched actually and saved a little but i still have time to change mind...

Babyroobs Wed 01-Jun-16 22:09:03

Can you look for work at the weekends when they are with their dad, surely that would be the obvious answer as you would have no childcare costs to pay. You would only need to do 16 hours a week to get working tax credits and you will be much better off. You could do a couple of shifts in retail or care work. many parents work around each other to save on childcare costs.

justjuanmorebeer Thu 02-Jun-16 00:47:59

You would be so much better off working 16 hours a week honestly. Your childcare costs would be covered completely by tax credits as they pay 70% but you'd have working tax on top of that so you would have it all paid for then some extra leftover to live off.
For wtc purposes even if you work term time only this counts as 16 hrs so if you got an extra 11 hours a week in the school you would be entitled. Ask them.
I became single when I was already working as a TA. I was under the hourly limit but when I explained my situation they upped my hours. Good luck.

nonladyofleisure Thu 02-Jun-16 01:12:01

Are you on income support? If you are only working 5 hours you won't be getting anything other than a safe and child tax credit X

I'm assuming you're getting some help with council tax as why it's lower (mine is 130 single occupancy but it might be area? ) have you had a chat with job centre? They might be able to help X

Suzietwo Thu 02-Jun-16 04:30:01

Can't you take the kids to the park and/or woods etc? There's loads of free stuff to do. You sound down which is probably the first thing to try to fix, as will hugely help giving your kids a more fun time with less money

whattodoforthebest2 Thu 02-Jun-16 05:26:34

You've got loads of good suggestions here OP.

IIWY, I'd be looking for a retail job for the weekends. Pay rates vary hugely, so look for somewhere that pays well (I believe Tesco Express pay well, for example.). Another 11+ hours a week would make a big difference, wouldn't it?

As for doing things with your DC, a picnic in the park or at the beach is cheap and can be a great day out. Also, how about going on a long bus ride to somewhere nice, picnic lunch and bus back home? Perhaps when youve got your finances a bit more sorted, think about a Butlins-type break?

You're doing really well to cope with 2DC, job, training and volunteering too. Your DC will be fine, they'll have great memories of the things you've done together and as they get older, hopefully it'll be easier to juggle. flowers

4n0nym0u5 Thu 02-Jun-16 11:59:56

Thank you for all your advice....really means alot. I will have a word with the head of the School to see if they can offer more hours, and will look into working weekends too. I like the bus ride idea op! will give that ago.

Yes the council tax is at a lowered rate, it would normally be around 90.

midnightmoomoo Thu 02-Jun-16 16:15:38

If you pay your council tax over ten months ring the council and switch to twelve, that helps a bit.

mortgagefreesoon5 Sun 05-Jun-16 17:57:13

Also you can save lots by menu planning and shopping at Lidls or Aldis. Make a menu plan, then write your shopping list, honestly it really makes a difference. I don't have lots of money and my children are still little but I do lots of things with them, picnics by the sea or at the park, play dates, we pot plants, we do a lot of messy playing ( in the garden), currently we are building a fairy garden inspired by a you tuber, when I ve got a bit extra money we go swimming. We are busy, building memoriessmile

BarbaraofSeville Mon 06-Jun-16 10:23:46

Another vote for working when your DCs are with their dad. Could he have them one evening or even overnight in the week so you could work then too?

How long before you will be able to get paid TA work? Any chance of other paid work in the school now like lunchtime supervisor or in the breakfast/afterschool club?

specialsubject Mon 06-Jun-16 17:47:20

First, you aren't rubbish!

Second , it does kids no harm to recognise that parents work.

Third - that home insurance is impressively cheap. Can you get fuel bills down by switching? Are you driving as little and as economically as possible?

scarlets Tue 07-Jun-16 14:57:36

Definitely try to get 11h work at weekends, just until you qualify as a TA. It'll make a significant difference to your finances, the wage plus working tax credits.

cozietoesie Tue 07-Jun-16 15:41:48

I'd be having a look at those fuel bills as well. They seem a bit on the high side.

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