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...to think £300/year is a pittance...

(138 Posts)
TotallyUtterlyBroke Mon 08-Aug-11 12:21:47

...to clothe one adult and one teen?

After messy divorce/period of homelessness/move to new house I got into debt and have been on a debt management plan for almost five years. I have just had my annual review where I have to give the DM company details of all my income and expenditure (mortgage, bills, council tax, etc.) and all money leftover after basic needs are met goes to my creditors (mostly bank and credit cards) via standing order. So far, so reasonable...

The creditors give the debt management company 'guidelines' as to what is a reasonable amount for debtors to spend on certain items and I totally accept that I shouldn't be living the life of riley while I owe people money. However... the creditors' guidelines state that one adult and one 14 year old child should only be allowed £30/month between them for ALL clothing and shoes, including school uniform. AIBU in thinking this really isn't realistic even though I buy my own clothes second hand on ebay? I am about to spend almost double that next week to replace my DD's school trousers (2 pairs), school shirts (with logo) (2) and a cheap pair of shoes, which probably won't even last until half term...

I really do understand that I have to repay my debts, but AIBU in thinking £180/year per person for all clothes and shoes is just silly? I am constantly having to into the equally meagre food budget in order to manage, ie. we eat baked beans and spuds for a week or a month when DD needs trainers/PE kit, for example.

<Awaits flaming for getting into debt in the first place...>

squeakytoy Mon 08-Aug-11 12:25:37

It isnt a lot but it is do-able. Many people do not spend £30 every month on clothes. I know teens want designer labels, but if you havent got the money for them, then its a ten quid pair of cheap trainers.

Does the childs father contribute?

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Aug-11 12:26:12

Asda and Tesco sell school uniform much more cheaply than you seem to be paying, OP.

I saw an advert last night for Tesco - school uniform was £15 (though that wouldn't include shoes, of course.)

YoungishBag Mon 08-Aug-11 12:26:58

Can you expand the other 'allowances"? On money saving expert it says to put down for hair cuts, pet foI'd, lots of things.

Of course 30 is not enough, you can't possibly stick to something so stringent, how about an IVA ? The allowances are more reasonable.

Or bankruptcy if you have no assets to protect?

Poweredbypepsi Mon 08-Aug-11 12:27:53

it is a small amount but actually this is probably what i spend per person in our house when i work it out. We get alot of clothes from charity shops and shoes from cheap shoe shops. For example my trainers I wear at the moment were £8 from asda and school uniform is pretty cheap there too.

bananasplitz Mon 08-Aug-11 12:28:44

i spend about £30 a year on clothes lol

hate clothes shopping with a vengeance

HarrietJones Mon 08-Aug-11 12:30:46

Re school uniform, lots of schools have to have labelled stuff now. Dd1 has just cost me £137 for basic uniform ( not including shoes/coat/football boots). I was told IWBU on here when I didn't want to pay £18.99 for a skirt.

So I think £300 for a teen is about right. You'll have to go naked hmm

marriedinwhite Mon 08-Aug-11 12:31:29

I think it's absolutely next to nothing for both of you - even one of you. Accept that Tesco uniform isn't an option because your dd is 14 and those bundles are for primary children. However, I would be minded to manage with one pair of trousers and buy a decent pair of shoes - dd's last for at least two terms. Sad for you - 14 year olds need to feel part of the crowd but actualy she is 14 - is there any way she can earn some money for her clothes - paper round, baby sitting, cat feeding, gardening, etc? Any way you could do a bit of that too?

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 08-Aug-11 12:32:57

I never buy myself clothes. Right now I'm wearing a top that I've had for about 12 years and jeans that used to belong to my sister.

Seriously, it's actually really easy not to buy clothes for yourself, or if you really need something go to a charity shop or primark.

Try allocating £250 to your teenager and £50 to yourself. It's definitely do-able.

SofiaAmes Mon 08-Aug-11 12:33:04

You shouldn't need any new clothes as you are presumably not still growing. I would expect to spend all that money on your ds, in which case it is more than enough. I don't spend that much on clothes in a year for me and my two kids. Although my kids are 8 and 10 and happily wear hand me downs.

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 08-Aug-11 12:33:39

Sorry, didn't mean to sound holier-than-thou, but it doesn't have to be that hard.

knittedbreast Mon 08-Aug-11 12:33:55

of course yanbu, you need to slip many more expences

CardyMow Mon 08-Aug-11 12:36:08

Probably. Adds up DD's uniform (13yo). 2 pairs of trousers, £9 each in Tescos. Blazer £25 from School. Tie £5. School shirts, £11 for 2 in M&S (only place to do 3/4 length sleeves, cheaper than school), school jumper £14 each, from school only. Pe tracksuit trousers £9 from Tescos. PE polo shirt £9 from school. PE sweatshirt £16 from school. PE socks £5 from school. PE trainers - Depends on which shop has PLAIN white, usually about £12. School shoes £15 from Tescos. Schoolbag at least £15 <<Does sums>> That's £145 just for uniform. That's half the budget you've been set. Bloody hell.

I don't notice the price I suppose, as with 4dc, 3 at school, I buy the next size up in bits and pieces, adding a little bit every week through the year, so for DD I have 3 pairs of trousers in the next size up, all DS1's next size up in school shirts, things like that.

The answer is a) not to be in debt in the first place <<Hollow laugh>>, or b) to do what I do, and spread out buying the bits throughout the year, rather than leaving yourself living off beans on toast in August. Better budgeting overall tbh. You HAVE to pay these debts off, but equally, they need to allow a REASONABLE amount over a year for clothing. What if your DD suddenly grew 3-4 inches in a year? (can and DOES happen)

YANBU

lawabiding Mon 08-Aug-11 12:37:09

No new bras or pants for a year, because she's an adult? Really?

BrigadeOfLannisters Mon 08-Aug-11 12:37:56

It isn't enough, no. But when I was helping a relative with bankruptcy (two years ago using the MSE forum guides) I noticed that some allowances were surprising. A holiday for example, UK-based, was acceptable. About £600 for a family of four, yet it was unacceptable to budget for any Christmas or birthday presents for the children!

The figures can be tweaked. And IIRC they are more generous wrt BR than in a DMP.

Weeeell.... it's do-able. If you do not change size/shape, you only need a few new bits a year - I have not bought shoes in a few years for example, or handbags or coats etc. Children is harder because they need about 4 pairs of shoes a year at at least £25 a pair, and logo uniform too. Can you work more? Do abit of ebay selling? Sell nice TV and get a cheap 'old style fat one' from freecycle?

bellavita Mon 08-Aug-11 12:39:17

Imperial - when a child goes to secondary school - you cannot buy uniform in a supermarket - it has to have the school logo on.

Ds1 moves into Yr10, I have had to buy new coloured school polo shirts, have had to replace logo jogging bottoms as he as grown out of the last pair, have bought 20% off M&S trousers and luckily his man size feet - I managed to get a pair of £60 shoes for £30 in the sale.

Ds2 starts secondary school in Sept and his total uniform has been around £150 with school shoes on top - had to pay full price and these were £35.

marriedinwhite Mon 08-Aug-11 12:39:20

It depends how long the OP has been struggling for and how threadbare everything is. Two new bra's can easily be 30.00, add to that a packet of cheap knickers, a pair of shoes, a pair of jeans and a winter jacket and that soon adds up. I could probably survive two/three years of buying nothing for me and just shoes for the 16 and 13 year old but we have well stocked cupboards and plenty of basics - they wouldn't like it though.

Just seen your child is 14, so hopefully a good pair of shoes will last all year? That I think is the most important item, and you may get 'last years style' or something in the sale. No point spending 1/2 the price on something that lasts no time.

JodieHarsh Mon 08-Aug-11 12:40:50

I'm sorry: but it is preposterously low. Of course it is possible, but it would be unpleasant.

New tights when your old ones are in shreds, or when it's 1 degree C and you need those thicky wooly ones? New pants? New bras when the underwiring goes?

What about if you get a new job, or have an interview, and need a smart new shirt and skirt? New shoes when you need them? Re-heeling your shoes, or replacing zips in boots, because you can't afford new shoes or boots?

What about if you get invited to a wedding, and nothing you have will do, and you would feel shabby and rude rocking up in an old skirt everyone has seen before?

Be damned to it. You would be miserable.

JodieHarsh Mon 08-Aug-11 12:42:36

PS I second ebaying - I recently made £250 in 10 days. But of course you need to have some decent clobber to sell...

also (thinking practically) can you sew? If you can, or are prepared to learn, you can knock up custom-fitted A line skirts for a fiver in half an hour, or dresses in an afternoon. Just a thought.

ChitChattingagain Mon 08-Aug-11 12:44:06

Hang on though, she's been under debt management for 5 years now. I assume she's already been very careful about spending money on clothes. There's only so many years you can avoid buying yourself clothes before you are walking around in rags!!!!

It's not much money at all op, and not easy. But you have to do it, don't you! Can't you buy 2nd hand labelled clothing? Some schools run 2nd hand stalls and the clothes are pretty cheap.

zookeeper Mon 08-Aug-11 12:44:12

oh come on everyone; it's nowhere near enough except perhaps for a nudist colony. I don't believe it's possible , and I'm the charry shop queen.

LadyWithNoManors Mon 08-Aug-11 12:44:27

God I never buy clothes! I can't afford to and would rather my DC have nice clothes.
I have to bras which I rotate (they cost no where near £30!) from Primark. I recently lost weight and I'm wearing jeans two sizes to big for me.
My DC's clothes come from Ebay usually.
If I were in the OP's position the money would be going on the DC and I would be making do.

LadyWithNoManors Mon 08-Aug-11 12:44:54

That should say two bras!

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