Lone parent with two kids, no money at all, how do you do it

(51 Posts)
oopsadaisyme Fri 03-Jan-14 16:14:19

Getting £26 a week taken off income support for an unknown fine and ancient budgeting loan, now totalling 2000 apparently, and due to my ex -

I pay 30 per week to top up my rent (so have just cancelled out my child benefit) - I cannot move the kids again

20 + 25 for gas and electric per week on meter

Debts owing, tv and council tax clears out the rest -

So how the hell do I feed and clothe my family?

I'm crying my eyes out writing this - I have no extended family, and balliff letters a plenty right now -

What do I do??

Citizens advice beaureu to check you are receiving everything you are entitled to. Find out what debts if any can be written off or put onto minimum payment plans.

If the budgeting loan was in your xp's name see if that can be transferred to him? Seems wrong that they can chase just you for it.

Do you get tax credits? That could be used for food shopping. You might need to seriously food plan and shop using supermarket basics. But it is doable plenty of people do cope. First thing first is get that appointment at cab and get some help with entitlements and sorting out the debts.

Katkins1 Fri 03-Jan-14 16:24:49

Tax credits for food shopping. CAB to pay the minimum every week on debts. See if you can get full housing benefit- you should on income support. You should get council tax benefit, too. Please go and check, you aren't getting your full entitlement from what you have said there.

oopsadaisyme Fri 03-Jan-14 16:26:49

I get child tax credits, but that cancels out debts I'm paying off, council tax, tv license and excess gas or electric we may need -

after that, I'm in the minus figures -

not accounting for phone?internet bill, just waiting to get cut off -

Then no internet, phone, food, clothes,

I need to work, but childcare seem to be a fortune, and I've no family to help,

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 03-Jan-14 16:28:52

Council tax should only be taking £14 a month off you for this year then another £14 for the arrears. I'd look into that one with the CAB.

Tax credits are a must and will help you out no end.

Renegociate with everyone you can and tell then you are on benefits - I seem to recall they can only take so much off you for bills, I think it's about £5 a month but I may be wrong.

oopsadaisyme Fri 03-Jan-14 16:29:20

kat apparrently I do get full housing benefit, but because of a 'box room', will not allow excess they think I'm entiteled to, hense need to pay 30 per week to landlord in 'top up' x

stargirl1701 Fri 03-Jan-14 16:29:45

You need to make an appt with the Citizen's Advice Bureau. They can negotiate with your debtors to make your payments manageable and check you are receiving everything you are entitled to.

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 03-Jan-14 16:30:46

Whoah - landlord?

If you are in private renting, that cap doesn't apply...it only applies to council and housing associations, not private landlords.

NigellasDealer Fri 03-Jan-14 16:33:06

how old are your children?
could you set up a small business perhaps online - you will still get wftc , ctc, cb, and possibly hb too.
or a small cleaning company? it would only take a pile of leaflets and a phone line.
also what about CSA?

2whippetsnobed Fri 03-Jan-14 16:45:21

I f you can please look at Moneysavingexpert website. There are usually loads of helpful people who can make suggestions about how you can move forward.
I think you should go to the CAB as soon as you can. The charity Stepchange may also be able to advise you too.

RogueRebel Fri 03-Jan-14 16:47:43

How old are your dc? what are you claiming at the moment? IS? JSA?

I'm a lone parent with two and I have recently started working 16hours per week because of the same problems your having.

oopsadaisyme Fri 03-Jan-14 17:37:51

Nigella Thinking outside the box, fantastic ideas x

My Ds's 4 and 10, (ds2 a sept baby, so starts full time next

Rouge i dont mind working anywhere for any hours aslong as we can manage -

(What I'd love to know is how they think single mums are doing this on purpose??? I've worked my whole life, how and why)))!!

I am single mum of two teenagers, although one is over 19 now and at college but i don't get any money for him. I have been unemployed for just over a year, it is hard

I only pay £10 a week on the gas and electric, so £20 in total its cold but we cant afford the heating on. I get £60 a week CTC for one child, so you should be getting £120 plus your income support balance a week. How much do you spend in the supermarket, we eat lots of cheap pasta/rice and value mince.

You have to pay council tax everything else phone them and tell them you can only make a £1 a week token payment until you get a job, i have no one say no when i have offered this.

Clothes and shoes will be a problem for you as your kids are still growing, what about their dad does he help? I get my DD one thing a week from primark so she had clothes but only basic ones, if she wants ore expensive she gets them from her dad or for Christmas/birthday.

I second getting over MSE they have lots of boards with good tips.

Can you move save the £30 a week rent you have to pay?

FourAndDone Fri 03-Jan-14 17:55:00

I agree to pay everyone £1 a week except council tax. Also agree with checking about whether you need to top up your rent with it been a private let.
I don't think moving is an option. How will op afford moving van, childcare during move, bond etc?

£20 and £25 for gas and electricity seems an enormous amount per week - that's £200 per month!! Surely that could be cut down - do you have gas central heating? If so there must be ways to bring your electric down.

Also do you not get maintenance?

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 03-Jan-14 18:03:10

As said before, that's a huge amount of energy. Can you look at other deals if not on prepay or getting the landlord to take the meter out so you can get a cheaper deal on DD.

Also, if your ex has taken out anything you are not actually liable for it. I can't understand why they are taking it out of our IS if it's HIS loan.

Babyroobs Fri 03-Jan-14 18:04:43

If you got a job for at least 16 hours a week you will be better off hopefully as you would get working tax credit too. You would also get a large chunk of any childcare costs paid.

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 03-Jan-14 18:06:26

If you earn under £100 a week you are still entitled to your IS as well.

Go to the CAB for all your options. They are brilliant and a damn sight more helpful than the job centre have ever been.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 03-Jan-14 18:10:23

You need to find any job asap and then agree a repayment plan for the budgetting loan. If you have worked all your life then you should have recent contacts, references and experience.

Find a template on the net and offer all the companies you owe payment to a token payment with a promise to review once working.

You also need to get the childrens father to assist, be it in money terms or more access to save you some childcare costs once working.

oopsadaisyme Fri 03-Jan-14 18:25:41

I phoned the gas/electric company who said it was low, I should be spending 2.90 per day on both, at the lowest cost!!???

I'm on a meter, and it eats credit -

oopsadaisyme Fri 03-Jan-14 18:26:37

(Near £6 a day for gas and electric??)

Farrowandbawlbauls Fri 03-Jan-14 18:28:44

That's not low.

I'm paying £100 a month for both in a 3 bed semi - THAT's on the low side and not even considered to be low.

You also need to apply for the winter discount asap. Call up your energy supplier to see if you qualify - it's not just for pensioners.

oopsadaisyme Fri 03-Jan-14 18:45:23

to be honest I give up, I'm so fucking tired,

I need to work, that's just it, so how do I get childcare and jobs to make us better off??

(btw, i'm not an underqualified lout, I've worked my whole life in many a successful capacity, from Publishing companies, project co-ordinator for the council, management PA for the NHS)

Right now, I'd clean toilets to make ends meet

We have key meters here and I pay £20 a week on the gas that include £5 arrears so £15 usage and £5 a week on electric. I'm in a 3 bed semi extended downstairs to twice the size of upstairs so your tariff seems extremely high to me.
I don't have my heating on a timer I don't turn it on on a morning as we are all showering and leaving for work/college/school (1 adult 4 dc aged 16, 11, 7 & 4). The heating usually goes on around 4pm until 6 or 7 pm then it gets too warm. I am strict about dc putting on sweatshirts or a onesie if they are cold.

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