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.


(57 Posts)
Bubblenut Sun 23-Dec-12 19:56:17

I'm so frustrated and quite honestly ... Jealous!!!

I have a friend who started life with a child the same way I did but we took different paths. She is on benefits and works a few hours a week since some government proposal to get people into employment. We both had a child around the same time and her husband left her. I had to run from my partner and was abandoned by my family at the start for having a child out of wedlock.

We were both on benefits for about a year when our children were born - I decided to go back to uni to train in education. She didnt. She only took a job this year (our children are now 12). I calculated that I work 46 hours a week, never got to pick up or drop off my child, go on class trips etc - seems silly but things like that mean a lot to me and was a treat to my daughter on the rare occasions I could pick her up.

She was given a lovely flat in a nice area, this year alone went to Spain twice and New York once, bought her child a blackberry for Christmas, good music system etc.

I love my friend a lot and she is a great person but I feel so frustrated that now she has a new car!

My husband (not daughters biological father ) and I work our arses off in good jobs but can't afford to buy a house ... Not even a car which we desperately need! Our money is going down the drain on rent

How can that be? Surely we should have more to spend than she should on benefits!!! I just don't understand!

I'm at the point where I feel I made a mistake by going back to uni.

I feel like a cow for feeling this way but I feel so ticked off when I see her with lovely clothes and all these things while we work and work to cover bills etc.

I haven't read over this post as I'm fast typing my vent.

Am I being unreasonable feeling like this?

Witchety Sun 23-Dec-12 19:58:29

Shh a benefit bashing thread! Just what we need!

Try it yourself if it sounds so good?

Bubblenut Sun 23-Dec-12 20:04:31

Defend it then.

This is the first time I've ever written about it or even come into this section so wouldn't have noticed others.

I can only assume you're on them and so you're in a good place to enlighten me.

What you're describing it just impossible on benefits alone - New York?

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 23-Dec-12 20:07:23

hmm Why don't you do a search? That way you'll see the hundreds of other benefit bashing threads that have ended up in a bun fight.

DeltaUniformDeltaEcho Sun 23-Dec-12 20:40:25

New york?

I can't even afford to visit my mum every week and she lives 30 minutes away.

I can't help but think you may not be in full possession of the facts here.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 23-Dec-12 20:43:15

YABU because unless you have full access to your friend's bank account you have no real way of knowing where she gets her money or how she spends it. A lot of people seem to live fancy lifestyles but they do it all on credit. Some have generous relatives. Others moonlight... and if you think she's committing benefit fraud there are hotlines you can call.

In the meantime, rather than getting bitter, make sure your family is getting everything you're entitled to... benefit checker at And maybe consider the perspective that everything you have you have earned and it can't be taken away, whereas someone reliant on benefits is at the mercy of whatever welfare policy happens to be in place at the time.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 23-Dec-12 20:46:57

there was nothing stopping you choosing the life she has. in fact, why not kick your Dh out and claim whatever she's getting? if her life is so great i cant imagine why you wouldn't do this. am i missing something?

Tortington Sun 23-Dec-12 20:48:55

its just not possible

do a google and work it out yourself.

better still if shes such a good friend ask her

Tortington Sun 23-Dec-12 20:49:19

or go on benefits - it seems like a hoot

Witchety Sun 23-Dec-12 20:50:48

Why assume I'm on them too just because I ( and everyone else) don't agree with you!!!

Funny how we always want what we cannot have.

I am on Benefits, looking for a job, as are another 99 people with qualifications I have many years experience, so I am looking for a job, studying my ass off to get an HND and get back into work.

Tbh I may not be better off i work but I would like to work, I get bored at home all day...

I wonder what benefits she is on I am broke big time I have a car but my Dad bought me it and helps me with Tax etc, without him my car would go, he knows I need the car to get to College for Exams and get to work when I get a job!

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 23-Dec-12 21:05:29

Just to put your mind at rest that its not your taxes paying for holidays to New York, Spain and a new car please check out the entitledto website. She must have a rich benefactor. Thats something we'd all like to have.

You have created a position for yourself through hard work that means when your DC grow up and become less financially dependent, you will have a little more for yourselves and as your careers progress even more.

If you have a pre teen, are single, minimal qualifications and are reliant on benefits it must be a very scary time. In just four short years your friend may no longer be entitled to her flat if her DC leave full time education, she may also loose almost all of her current benefits. If she is a good friend i hope you can be there for her then because it could be a very tough time.

bakingaddict Sun 23-Dec-12 21:13:23

Full of Christmas cheer aren't you.....agree with SantaIAm, if it's so attractive get a piece of it yourself rather than whingeing on here

archilles Sun 23-Dec-12 21:33:58

It isn't your friends fault that you can't budget!

Frankly I don't believe it. Total bullshit.

Oh FGS. Really?


JakeBullet Sun 23-Dec-12 21:41:49

Bubblenut I am on benefits for the first time after 30 years of work. I can tell you right now that I cannot afford to buy a new current one cost me £250 on eBay. So either someone bought that car for her or she is getting money in from somewhere else and not declaring it.

Ad I get extra benefits as my son is autistic and I STILL cannot afford to buy a new car.

Witchety Sun 23-Dec-12 21:47:54

Maybe her ex is generous with maintenance.... It's not counted anymore...

LOL @ New York, seriously ??

Your friend either has wealthy relatives who are paying for these things, or she is fiddling the system in some way.

drownangels Sun 23-Dec-12 21:49:18

I am not going to defend or critize benefits.
What I will say is that it is possible to do NY on benefits. My close friend, a single parent, who has two children aged 13 and 15 has just come back from a long weekend there.

No family member paid for her - she hasn't got any relatives that she is in touch with.

Brycie Sun 23-Dec-12 21:52:59

Of course you're right to be cross. Good lord, it's an outrage. But it will all come to an end soon, hopefully.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 23-Dec-12 21:55:13

"Defend it then."

defend what?

it's very clear from this response to the first comment by a MNer (a response that in no way relates to what was said in the first comment) that you fully intended to spark off a benefit bashing/defending thread.

Asinine Sun 23-Dec-12 22:01:39


Being jealous will make you miserable. Try looking at people worse off than you (and there are plenty, both here and abroad) and see what you can do for them. If you're happy with the way you've lived your life, that is what matters.

Brycie Sun 23-Dec-12 22:04:30

Doesn't sound jealous - she sounds pissed off that she's paying for her friend to have a better lifestyle than she does.

Asinine Sun 23-Dec-12 22:07:26

Oh-sorry Brycie

I must have misinterpreted the first line of the OP?

perceptionInaPearTree Sun 23-Dec-12 22:11:13

I can tell you that there is no way she would be able to afford that from benefits alone. You don't know all the ins and outs of her bank account - maybe someone else paid for those things? So stop being jealous and mind your own business, frankly.

Miggins Sun 23-Dec-12 22:12:00

Well you must be delighted the Tories are in power because their attack on the benefits system will continue. Perhaps you will be pleased if your friend is one of the thousands who will be forced to leave her home due to the benefits cap. You can smile to yourself when she is forced to chose between fuel and food. What a fabulous life those on benefits lead.

Methe Sun 23-Dec-12 22:15:08

I have 3 friends with different family set up who are entirely better off on benefits than me and my husband are while working 120hrs a week between us.

It's not a fucking fallacy as is touted time and time again on here. For some people it pays not to work.

People on benefits don't like it to be known how much money they have incase the powers that be decide to reduce it and they might have to actually work for it.

My non working but well off, secure friends actually looked at me with its in their eyes when I told them I had to work Christmas and new year..

Good job I love 'em cos the situation takes the fucking piss.

Methe Sun 23-Dec-12 22:16:54

Pity in their eyes, not it's hmm

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 23-Dec-12 22:21:34

so why dont you do it too then methe?

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Sun 23-Dec-12 22:22:16

The important question here though OP is does she have a goat? Could she have rode the goat to NYC?

Methe Sun 23-Dec-12 22:24:13

Been there done that. Got a job instead of having 3 or 4 more children though if might have been sensible to do the latter - We'd certainly have had more 'spare'

JakeBullet Sun 23-Dec-12 22:29:32

I am financially worse off out work. No lies, no fudging of issues my income is down even including housing benefit as I knew it would be.

Hope that keeps some of you happy and able to sleep tonight.hmm

This is a benefits bashing thread pure and simple so can I just shout loudly ....

I STRUGGLE IF MY CAR NEEDS son is autistic and not able to cope on public transport.


SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 23-Dec-12 22:30:17

so quit whingeing. you clearly dont envy their lives that much if you had the option to live it and chose not to.

JakeBullet Sun 23-Dec-12 22:31:39

"more spare money" methe. ...are you sure about that? I struggle AND I get extra because my son is disabled.

JakeBullet Sun 23-Dec-12 22:33:39

Fuck this. ..I am off to demand that goat I must be ENTITLED to hmm

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 23-Dec-12 22:33:42

same here jake. but they wont listen. they dont want to hear it.

usualsuspect3 Sun 23-Dec-12 22:37:48

Can't you give it a fucking rest, it's christmas FFS.

Who are these bloody idiots that keep starting these thrwads anyway?

usualsuspect3 Sun 23-Dec-12 22:38:01


JakeBullet Sun 23-Dec-12 22:39:38


[fed up with saying being on benefits is not the same as a decent regular income from work]

[fed up with justifying why I am no longer working]

[fed up with being made to feel a scrounger]

[fed up with the term "scrounger" which is just lazy arsed stereotyping]

moisturiser Sun 23-Dec-12 22:44:29

I have many friends on benefits (disabled). They are all having an utterly miserable time and finding life very difficult. I am worried for them.

There are occasionally very cheap flights to New York. If you are in a position where you can save, a holiday is possible and why shouldn't it be?

I think it's very likely she'd rather have a husband, have a career etc. than be single and able to go on nice holidays. Long term, it's miserable relying on government hand outs. Honest.

If I were you I would be shaking my fist at the government with regards house prices/no rent controls/poor policies which have led to a housing shortage which have all resulted in you struggling (let's face it, rents are ridiculous in many areas) rather than a friend who is on benefits. Where's it going to get you, being frustrated with her?

Sunnywithachanceofjinglebells Sun 23-Dec-12 22:51:54

Another benefits bashing thread.

Merry fucking Christmas. Have you ever been on benefits? It's shite.

WinterLover Mon 24-Dec-12 07:28:53

I'd maybe guess you don't know the full facts. We're on benefits through no choice of our own and struggle to pay essential bills never mind Xmas presents for our kids and we haven't been on holiday since well never!!

I just love these threads! Merry Christmas!!

RubyrooUK Mon 24-Dec-12 07:48:11

I am not on benefits OP. I am one of those people who works very long hours with small children, misses important occasions and finds it hard to pay bills sometimes. I too get frustrated and annoyed by that.

But you know what? That is MY issue. That's life - it's not always easy.

And you know what, when I grew up my mum was on benefits because she was sick. It was shit. We didn't have anything. We were scared to spend any money. We all hated our money not really being "ours" and terrified that someone would take it away.

The number of people who are benefiting genuinely from the benefits system are very small. Most people - like the ones on this thread - live very modest lives and want to work. The benefits system is there to help when they can't or are unable to or the work isn't there.

I'm happy to pay my taxes for that. Because if I needed benefits myself, I'd want them to be there. And I wouldn't want to feel shit because friends were judging my spending. That's the point of the system - you put into the pot so those who need it (which might be you one day) can take it out.

I hope you don't need benefits ever yourself OP as it's not really a thrill for most people.

Witchety Mon 24-Dec-12 07:53:43

Not been back to 'defend' her position has she!?


lauriedriver Mon 24-Dec-12 08:00:44

Without getting lynched.....i think the point the op was making is that her friend probably has more DISPOSABLE income when you take into account council tax, rent, school dinners etc etc.

Playing devils advocate

I have also worked since I was 16 I am 39 now and on Benefits. It sucks... they just stop your money and you have beg for loans and tell them what you have spent your last weeks moneys on.

To the penny I have had to start writing down everything I buy, every £1 my son takes, just in case....

Lovely way to live not!!

RedHelenB Mon 24-Dec-12 15:41:11

It's your lives after the children reach 18 that will make the difference, that's when she will have to move to a smaller place in maybe not such a nice area . with no income whereas you will have a career, money etc. With a job you have a chance of owning a home, no chance of getting a mortgage on benefits.

lubeybooby Mon 24-Dec-12 15:46:23

She probably gets a load of maintenance from her ex. So what? She's allowed to keep it. or maybe she's good at saving. Maybe she already had savings or won a competition or scratchcard. Maybe her house and car and bills etc are all cheaper than yours and/or cheaper to run. Maybe her parents gift her stuff. Maybe a combination of all of that and she's just a very lucky woman.

It's nothing to do with you either way, and your jealousy makes you look horrific. Ugh.


I have always thought this too, until last night, my Dad was telling me about a couple he knows, both on DLA, (more than Jobseekers and ELA) they bought a £250,000.00 house, he knows them from his school days, they were in the paper, the DH was caught out giving his garden a full revamp, caught laying slabs etc... he has to pay back 6 years benefits he claimed, he apparently had terrible back problems, or not as it would seem!

suzydelarosa Mon 24-Dec-12 16:53:29

Here's the solution: hang around with people who work. Then you'll spend your time wondering why you're not making as much as your friends who have better incomes!

JakeBullet Mon 24-Dec-12 17:06:25

No mortgage on just DLA as an income. He may have been working too...DLA is not an out of work benefit. Lots of people get it to help them carry on their daily lives. They might well use it to keep themselves in work.

This might also mean they are able to get a mortgage
My feeling is that he will have laid down a big lump sum. I get DLA for DS but I certainly could not afford to buy a £250k house ....even if I could get a mortgage.

My Dad happened to phone when I was on here... the DW was working the DH was on DLA, they bought the house then both went on DLA. Then he was caught out.... sorry he always missed some details out!

Oh bollocks. Was hoping this shite had fucked right off for Christmas.

Oh well. Hopefully those with the bigotry will feel some nice festive karma soon.

perceptionInaPearTree Mon 24-Dec-12 19:53:44

'I have 3 friends with different family set up who are entirely better off on benefits than me and my husband are while working 120hrs a week between us.'

How do you know this methe? Do you actually see their bank accounts?

perceptionInaPearTree Mon 24-Dec-12 20:01:01

When my ex-h and I had our first baby dd quite a few years ago and under the last Labour government, my ex-h was on a training salary and we depended on tax credits and HB to get by. We had just enough money to cover food, rent and bills and no money to buy clothes for ourselves (we made sure dd had clothes). We certainly had no money for any luxuries at all. We had no car.

Under this government things are worse. So don't tell me people on benefits are rolling in it and it's all a big secret they try to keep quiet angry

RedHelenB Tue 25-Dec-12 08:22:24

You wouldn't get a mortgage though if you weren't employed. DLA is given regardless of whether you work or not & is intended to help with your disability. (obviously if you are lying then there are no extra costs!!!!)

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