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To believe £780 month lone parent benefits income is adequate to live on.

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goldfacegreen Mon 13-Jan-14 00:48:02

There's some myth busting required at last I think.

As a lone parent of two under 6, I receive a total of £780 a month in benefits:

Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit, CSA (£5 a week).

I receive full housing benefit for a two bedroom house (£75 shortfall which has to come out of my income support, currently being paid via Housing Discretion Award) which doesnt go into mybank account, it gets paid direct to landlord, and £16 a month council tax shortfall also has to be paid out of income.

I'm on meters and gas and electric are around £20 a week each, some of which pays off accrued debt. Water is deducted directly from my income support via an 'attachment of earnings' type court order.

I don't have loans or credit cards, no landline, no satellite tele, no car, no travel expenses, no socialising costs, don't smoke, my Internet is paid for by someone else although I should have organised a bill swap ages ago blush and I run an old phone on £10 month contract. My other costs are regular swimming, yoga, wax salon, and I buy school uniform and children's clothing as and when required.

Childcare such as nursery (pre-school), morning and after school clubs are free to those on income support, school holiday clubs are heavily subsidised, as are school meals, dentistry, doctor's prescriptions, council run leisure centre swimming and gym classes, and many other recreation facilities.

My budgeting skills are atrocious but having recently done some sums, I actually have around £250 a month 'spare' from all benefits income. Although for the past year or two I've been constantly overdrawn by around £500 so whenever income is credited, I'm always 'one step forwards, two steps back' amd because of this will never get back in the black again.

So, with better budgeting (I don't buy a regular weekly food shop for instance, instead spend a fortune every few days buying dinners and sundries at the overpriced local Tesco Metro) I just don't understand how so many lone parents claim they can't afford to live on these same benefits.
Even if you have debts, there are features in place to reduce your debt payments to just £1 a week or even write them off altogether as a last resort.

Also, the father of my children earns thousands but fraudulently claims benefits, so he is only required to pay the minimum £2.50 a week per child direct from his benefits. Many lone mothers receive full child support which isn't deducted from their other benefits income, so can be receiving up to £800 a month on top of their benefits depending on what the chikdren's father earns. I have noticed that rarely will lone parents on benefits state this fact or include it in their income along with their complaint.

Yes, it is a struggle trying to support myself and two young children on £780 a month (but mostly because I can't get over this overdraft debt shackle) but on paper, budgeting well, it is entirely doable, and if you are frugal, you could even save a little too.

Why does the Daily Mail stereotype exist that single mothers are rolling in handouts, given the above figures? Just under £195 a week is an adequate income for one adult and two young children, surely..

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 13-Jan-14 00:54:08

Well you are proof its not as simple as the figures suggest right? Im not sure how after listing all the reasons you arent managing you are struggling to understand how others are t managing either confused

SPsMrLoverManSHABBA Mon 13-Jan-14 00:54:48

£20 a week on meters?! I put £40 on and that's without heating! How the fuck you managed that? I cant answer the rest til that is answered

goldfacegreen Mon 13-Jan-14 00:56:19

SP That's £20 each for gas and electric.
Do you think that's a lot or a little?

goldfacegreen Mon 13-Jan-14 00:57:43


It was a shock to me to learrecently that satellite tele can be upwards of £80 a month subscription that's for sure! shock. That's a luxury, surely?

allthingsfluffy Mon 13-Jan-14 00:59:12

I don't have loans or credit cards, no landline, no satellite tele, no car, no travel expenses, no socialising costs, don't smoke, my Internet is paid for by someone else although

Not all lone parents find themselves on benefits free of these bills. They are often tied into contracts, have CC debt, or need a car to get them around. (If you live in a rural area a car is a very useful thing to have.)

While it is "adequate" if managed correctly, sadly, many people do not possess budgeting skills and they do really struggle on it.

Not sure what the point of this post is. Great that you are happy enough. Do you need to make out that other people are ungrateful for daring to admit that they struggle?

SupermansGirl Mon 13-Jan-14 00:59:21

Dont forget all the help you can receive from being on benefits...maternity grant £500 and milk tokens. I worked from 15-22 and was on £800 a month before tax for the last 3 years. I left my job 1 month before falling pregnant and now unfortunatly am on benefits but not a lone parent but my DP also is claiming as he is a full time carer for his mother now. I recieve not much less than what i was when working. I dont care what people think but what are you ment to do when you have no financial support from anyone??

I two beleive what we are given is enough and if you dont think that then they are doing something wrong. If you are on benefits you need to understand you will not have time for luxuries just the essentials and thats why people think they dont receive enough!

MyPreciousRing Mon 13-Jan-14 01:00:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 13-Jan-14 01:00:58

Who has £80 satelite and why are you talking about it? confused

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 13-Jan-14 01:01:20


CrazyHneedsSleep Mon 13-Jan-14 01:02:19

I wish I had a £195 a week to live on hmm

I have £100 a week to live on which includes bills etc and I'm a lone parent .
You say that Cable is a luxury ?

Well I consider that the Salon and exercise classes are a luxury especially the exercise as that can be done for nothing .
I'd rather pay for Cable & internet so me and Ds can keep in touch with family over sees and so he can watch his programs when he is having a bad day

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 13-Jan-14 01:03:23

How do you pay for furniture/replace appliances? Do you have transport costs? Do your DCs have hobbies yet? Children get more expensive as they get older, clothes and shoes cost more.

Life on benefits gets more and more difficult the longer you are on them.

SPsMrLoverManSHABBA Mon 13-Jan-14 01:04:42

Crazy Same here. I want to know how she only puts £20 on her meter. It costs me £4 everytime I put the washer on. I need to change suppliers. That's the only thing I am biting at. grin

The rest is bullshite

allthingsfluffy Mon 13-Jan-14 01:05:37

Perhaps if you cut out the waxs (razors can be bought for £1) and saved that money every week, you could be back in the black sooner.

Also, if your ex is claiming benefits fraudulently, report him.

goldfacegreen Mon 13-Jan-14 01:07:27

There is free household furniture available to those on benefits also appliances.
No, I have no transport costs as an unemployed person.
My children's hobbies are cost free, art, crafts, outdoors (parks) etc.

Yes, I agree life on benefits must be harder the older children become.

The point of the post is to counteract the threads I have read where parents in my position claim they do not receive enough state benefits to live on. I just wondered why.

CrazyHneedsSleep Mon 13-Jan-14 01:07:57

Oh & my cable bill is £27 a month so god knows where you have pulled £80 from hmm

Superman not everybody on benefits is entitled to The Maternity Grant as it depends what benefit you get , I weren't entitled to it .

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 13-Jan-14 01:08:20

Not really sure of your point. Surely circumstances alter every case?.

I,d try to get your overdraft sorted, they can really mess your finances up.

You could always write to IDS enclose a cheque and tell him theres been an awful mistake grin.

he probably make you a Dame.

SupermansGirl Mon 13-Jan-14 01:08:25

Its okay for you now with the free childcare because your on income support but are you planning on being on benefits forever? Do you not wish to go back to work.

Iv been on benefits 11months and DD is only 1 month old and im already itching to work!

goldfacegreen Mon 13-Jan-14 01:09:44

I agree fluffy, the yoga and salon are luxuries.

SP The meters are with Eon if that's any help. It doesn't cost £4 to run a 30degree machine wash, unless you have an energy INefficient tumble drier cycle at the end of it!

SPsMrLoverManSHABBA Mon 13-Jan-14 01:10:00

I'm scraping by. It isn't enough to live on never mind having waxes!

No transportation costs? I have those as I need to go shopping so transport is necessary.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 13-Jan-14 01:10:24

Free furniture and appliances? Where from? Is it the same place the goats are from?


SPsMrLoverManSHABBA Mon 13-Jan-14 01:10:53

Gold It takes £4 off my meter. I have watched it as I couldn't believe it. I'm with BG.

goldfacegreen Mon 13-Jan-14 01:11:03

Yes, Superman, my youngest started school two months ago, I'm currently looking for work.

SPsMrLoverManSHABBA Mon 13-Jan-14 01:11:57

Would also like to know where this free furniture and appliances are

CrazyHneedsSleep Mon 13-Jan-14 01:12:17

gold is their fuck free furniture and white goods for people on benefits , from my experience the only time you get free stuff is when you are a prolific drug user or Alcoholic.

SP I put around £20-£30 on the leccy meter a week and luckily my gas meter is a pretty paid one so at leasti I'm always warm grin

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