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to not understand how peiple afford to live?

(321 Posts)
pregnantpause Mon 22-Oct-12 13:04:12

I'm so fed up ATM. Me and dh work, me part time, as young dc, we live in a very cheap area if the country (and I suppose our wages reflect that), jointly we bring home under 26 thousand pa). We get 40 a month tax credits, which doesn't seem much, and I've just got a letter to say they've over paid us by 200 in the last year. HOW? Forty quid a month, and that's overpaid? How do people survive? Paying that back will take us into overdraft ans furture payments will now be around twenty quid less? Are we the scroungers everyone talks about? Am I the lazy feclkless parent that won't get a full time .job and sponges off the state? I can't go full time, my employer has no hours to give. Dh can't get a better paid job- there are none. With energy bills going up and food costing the earth how do people live. I seriously worry that people with even a little bit less than me will be pushed over the edge, old people, disabled people, how can people afford to survive now? Aibu to think that it won't be long (or already happening) before people are made homeless, just because the cost I'd living is so far apart from what we earn?

Charliefarlie1192 Mon 22-Oct-12 13:06:55

YANBU, I am a single parent working f/t and I really struggle to make ends meet

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 13:11:59

Just marking place.

MamaGeekChic Mon 22-Oct-12 13:18:15

I take it when you say 'bring home' you mean before tax?

noisytoys Mon 22-Oct-12 13:21:53

I'm struggling big time. This week I have to choose between a cover for the airvent (hole in the wall) that is letting water run down the inside wall or new shoes for DD. which ever I choose has to come out of our £30 a week for 4 food budget. Whatever I don't get this week will come out of next weeks £30 a week for 4 food budget. I can't go on like this sad

DinosaursOnASpaceship Mon 22-Oct-12 13:21:56

I struggle with the price of food. Especially now my children are getting bigger, they eat adult portions and everything costs so much.

Gas and electric are a constant worry, we are metered for both and it seems to eat money, both are on emergency at the moment. Prices have just gone up and I can't even shop around for a different supplier as its in my rental contract that I stay with the current providers.

I've cancelled my virgin media. Well I say cancelled, I couldn't pay the bills and they cut us off - but I am going to be ringing to officially cancel today.

But, I haven't really been managing my money well since becoming a single parent. So I need to learn to budget. I would have enough to live on if I stopped trying to live like I did when ex was around - nothing fancy but we'd have take away a couple of times a week and do meals with lots of meat etc. I need to prioritise my money better.

There is nothing left for extras and it's hard to save up but the basics are covered which I am grateful for. I get (or will get in January) a lot in child tax credits (I will have 4 children) and I use it to pay all my bills and buy food. There was a problem with my renewal a few months ago and it was a huge shock to realise just how much I relied on this money for everything.

pregnantpause Mon 22-Oct-12 13:23:46

Yes before tax. If after it wouldn't be a problem. But my rant isn't really about that, its that we can hardly afford to live, so what about people with less than us? In more expensive parts of the country? I don't think that everyone has an overdraft to be able to go into , not everyone could cut back to make up the 20 lost a month, and not everyone even has a job in the first place. It's a depressing picture, to me at least.

FlobbadobbaBOO Mon 22-Oct-12 13:28:44

I hear you. DH works full time and I CM. we have 3 children and I have to be really strict with the budget most of the time to make it to the end of the month. I am constantly in the charity shops for clothes for all of us and buy as much end of line/bargain stuff as possible.
Contact the tax credits people OP, they will work out a repayment plan that will better suit you so hopefully you won't lose too much per month. They'll just stretch the repayment out over a longer period of time (they take it out of your existing payments, not out of your bank account).

nothingbyhalves Mon 22-Oct-12 13:51:59

Feel your pain. We are just making ends meet, but are up to the max on credit card and overdraft! Have decided after xmas we will have to sort out some kind of plan to pay them off. DH works full time but 50 miles away so our petrol bill is in excess of £500 a month! So he now stays with family who live closer twice a week, I work part time, but it wouldn't make any finacial sence to work full time as the extra money would be swallowed up in yet more fuel costs and childcare costs. We are fed up with saying no to invitations to meet friends at soft paly we can't afford, or for trips to theme parks etc! Tyring to tell ourselves it will not always be like this !

expatinscotland Mon 22-Oct-12 13:57:04

Just wait until even more cuts come in next April.

I'm glad we live in podunk nowhere because there will be rioting sure as night follows day.

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 13:59:02

What do you think will happen next April expat?

Mosman Mon 22-Oct-12 14:05:28

There ought to be an outcry.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 22-Oct-12 14:06:21

its crap isnt it?

on paper my wages look good. so why am i always down to the last sodding pennies each month.....

just got TC renewal through and it goes on for 3 pages to say we should be entitled to about £4k, then says at the very end, deduction for earnings.....

Dh wages have not risen in 5 years, he earns 5k less than me, the firm he works for is struggling. His wages pay the bills and mortgage and mine are meant to pay for everything else - sounds easy but food shopping is extortionate, and im trying to support DS through uni.
we never go out, we run a 10 year old car, we dont smoke, i buy a couple of bottles of wine a week, we did not have a holiday this year at all, and then in the past its only ever been a week in the UK with the dog to save on kennel bills etc....

how are people meant to live? i now work full time, yet i dont see much change in my pay packet from when i worked part time, and part time was so much more family friendly than the shitty shift pattern i do now. i put my neck on the line at work daily and its just not worth it.

Superabound Mon 22-Oct-12 14:15:13

YANBU food prices seem to rise all the time, can only see that getting worse too.

expatinscotland Mon 22-Oct-12 14:17:11

'What do you think will happen next April expat?'

Lotsa cuts, following what may be a cold winter with high fuel bills.

WilsonFrickett Mon 22-Oct-12 14:21:44

Fuel costs are extortionate, we just got a letter saying everything was going up by 10%! Food is up, our weekly shop is up probably 20% on this time last year, combination of food prices and DS eating more. It is a huge worry.

OP, the trouble with the 'scrounger' myth that the govt likes to peddle as a smokescreen for making cuts to benefits - well, that's just it. It's a myth. Very, very few people are 'scroungers' or claiming illegally, most people are like you - just doing the best they can to get by. Please don't fall into the Daily Mail (and occassional MN) trap of thinking everyone not using some sort of benefit hates everyone who does, it's just not true.

Groovee Mon 22-Oct-12 14:23:56

Dh has been unemployed most of the year. We're struggling but have learned to rebudget. Kids understand and if it wasn't for granny's then they wouldn't have shoes just now as we just have no spare money.

But we don't live the life we did in January.

Mosman Tue 23-Oct-12 00:14:30

This was the main reason we emigrated, life hadn't been a bed of roses in Australia, DH got made redundant again 4 weeks after starting his new job but found another with a 20% pay rise within a fortnight. This was after nearly four years of intermittent contracts in the UK with us falling further and further into debt just keeping our heads above water.

impty Tue 23-Oct-12 00:32:18

The moment I saw security tags on meat in the supermarket, 18 months ago, was the sign to me that times are getting really tough.
We are ok, at the moment, but I'm well aware it may change in the future. I do worry about the economic future. More importantly I worry about how families are managing to feed, heat and shelter themselves.

StuntGirl Tue 23-Oct-12 01:01:48

Our combined income is about £24k and while we don't struggle in the sense of having to choose between essential things/getting into debt/etc we don't live an extravagent life at all. We budget very carefully, I am always trying to save money, and am always concerned about the cost of things. We have so far always had enough to pay the essentials and I tell myself that's the important thing, even if we go without the nicer things or little luxuries.

We don't have kids either, I have no idea how families survive on our budget or less, I tip my hat to them. We've already cut down on every bill we can!

Mosman Tue 23-Oct-12 01:10:31

And that's another huge problem wages haven't kept up with inflation. DH and I earnt £24k between us in 1994

FayeKinitt Tue 23-Oct-12 07:14:58

Do you have debts or high childcare costs OP? I think these are the biggest drainer of wages.

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 23-Oct-12 07:15:19

It is possible, dh and I lived on a far smaller amount when we had dd, dh on about 15k a year, and tax credits on top. We didn't go out, have takeaways, smoke or drink, kids clothes and shoes off eBay asda smart price everything. It's not nice but it's doable. We were lucky in that we owned our home and were able to swap to an interest only mortgage.

INeedThatForkOff Tue 23-Oct-12 07:52:37

We were lucky in that we owned our home and were able to swap to an interest only mortgage

There's the difference between getting by on a low income and going under.

CharleeWarlee Tue 23-Oct-12 08:17:15

Your not alone. I am struggling. Recently gave up my job due to being bullied at work. DP works full time and brings home just 14k a year (after tax)

Tax credits believe that £24 a week is sufficient enough for us to get by.

Monthly income of 1290ish (including tax creds and cb) bills add up to 1400... i've given up phoning everyone trying to explain why i cant make payments on some things sad

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