Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

The ends don't meet!

(16 Posts)
K8tyjones42 Wed 24-Aug-16 11:43:54

I'm a single mum with 3 kids, I work 22 hours pw & get tax credits and housing benefit.
Every month the ends don't meet, I can pay the bills it's just if anything happens like birthdays,Christmas,new tyres etc it cripples me.
With Christmas around the corner & 3 kids to buy for I'm worried sick.
I've entered into a DMP as my debts were getting out of hand.
I can possibly work more however even though my tax credits won't be affected as I'm well in the earnings bracket. My housing benefit goes down almost £1 for £1, I only get £320 pm towards £730pm in rent so I would need to earn well over that for there to be any point.
Just feel like I'm drowning sometimes confusedconfused

SillySongsWithLarry Wed 24-Aug-16 12:00:11

Can you go through your list of income and outgoings and cut out absolutely every non essential. Then change your tax credits to weekly so you are never more than a few days without money. Christmas can be cut right back. There is no need to shop for 5 months for Christmas - one or two cheap or even second hand presents are plenty. My children won't be getting new big gifts this year because I can't afford them. And are you with a debt charity for DMP or a few paying company. If you are paying a company that is money that could be saved or put towards your debt repayments.

K8tyjones42 Wed 24-Aug-16 12:30:10

The DMP is with Payplan so I pay them a fixed agreed amount each month and they distribute it amongst my creditors.
I already get my tax credits weekly but get paid monthly & my wages go on my rent!
The kids know already that I'll be cutting back for xmas this year I just wish there was something I could do.
Can't see an end to it

cozietoesie Wed 24-Aug-16 13:46:58

Do the DCs' father(s) contribute anything ? (I realise that that's not always possible.)

K8tyjones42 Wed 24-Aug-16 14:13:37

I get maintenance and child benefit for 2 children as he made a claim for the child benefit after we first split and the benefits office decided in their infinite wisdom to award him the middle child's money.So now I don't get maintenance for DS2 either.
He earns about 6x my salary. They told me that I could only appeal should anything significant change regarding the kids. He has recently moved in with somebody so I wonder if they may count as a "significant change"??

cozietoesie Wed 24-Aug-16 14:48:37

Sorry - I'm not understanding this. He's a high earner but you don't get anything for DS2 even though he lives with you - from the sound of it - full time?

Imnotaslimjim Wed 24-Aug-16 15:08:18

You need to appeal the decision about child benefit if DC2 resides with you. I don't know what he said to convince them to pay him it but you need to speak to them. Once that is sorted you'll be able to get maintenance for him too.

K8tyjones42 Wed 24-Aug-16 15:36:35

I have the kids 4 days per week and he has them 3 days, they made their decision based on that fact & didn't take into account his earnings at all despite me telling them over and over how much he earned

molliec Wed 24-Aug-16 16:52:00

I don`t know if this will help with presents and extras at Christmas, but I am averaging £100 a month just by dong surveys online. It takes time each day but you get used to it and you don`t need to leave the house. I have about 20 different sites and it can get boring but the Amazon vouchers keep coming.
Some on Paypal as well. Over the last 4 years, it has bought a TV, DVD and Blueray players,two new mattresses, food processor, dog food, two apple tress, perfume, a language course and more. Presents come from Amazon or they don`t often come. It might be worth a thought

K8tyjones42 Wed 24-Aug-16 22:49:14

Would absolutely be interested in that Mollie!!

specialsubject Thu 25-Aug-16 10:29:54

If things are that tight, the festival of sparkly tat that is months away goes out of the window. Stop all adult presents for birthdays and tatmas now and forever. Kids - max a tenner each.

Tat or food/ clothes/ bills?

It is summer. Kids and you can have outdoor fun for free. Make the most of it, forget december when all you need is to be warm, fed and housed.

BarbaraofSeville Thu 25-Aug-16 15:54:20

Have you had professional advice on your debts? Could you manage if you didn't have debts to pay. Did the debts arise due to the separation, income not covering expenditure, or something else?

Depending on how much there is outstanding, how long it would take you to pay it back, what assets you have (car?) and how much your disposable income is, a debt relief order or even bankruptcy might be appropriate.

Depending on the terms of a debt management plan, sometimes people can make payments for years without really getting anywhere.

molliec Fri 26-Aug-16 09:44:38

Good luck with the surveys. The following are a good range = toluna, ipoll, populuslive,valued opinions, crowdology, iap.interactive, globaltestmarket, uk.mysurvey,zoompanel,,pineconeresearch,newvistalive.
Do not be tempted to cash in too soon as it is usually better value to hang on for the higher payout. However there are some that take forever. You will soon catch on. Just remember to be honest- it is quicker - and do not lose heart as it takes a while to build up to a small but very handy voucher income.

K8tyjones42 Fri 26-Aug-16 23:24:59

Yes I'm with a debt management company, on people it looks like the ends should meet I don't know what goes wrong each month no matter how hard I try!

K8tyjones42 Fri 26-Aug-16 23:25:25

Thanks for the info Mollie will have a look

BarbaraofSeville Tue 30-Aug-16 09:30:14

If your budget works on paper but not in practice, you must be spending on things that are not in the budget (or else there are simple arithmetical errors, or your income is lower than assumed).

Have you looked at your bank statements to see where you are spending your money? Are all your essentials included in your budget, at the correct amounts? Are you taking cash out that is not accounted for?

Is the money for annual expenditure (insurance etc) actually available when the bill arises? Is there an allowance for things like appliances breaking – your budget should include a small amount each month for things like broken washing machine – even debt management plans allow for this, especially as you shouldn’t be using credit while paying off debts.

Are you spending on things that you shouldn’t be such as lunches and coffees out or extra socialising or entertainment, that the budget will only have a minimal allowance for.

If you look into things suggested, the answer should be there somewhere. Good luck smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now