To be scared?(53 Posts)
Maybe more wwyd?
Or an ask for advice?
I don't know, it's all a mess...
I have been struggling with money since my ex left.
It's just me, ds (12), dd (2) and the cat.
The cat doesn't need much, he lives outside.
Dd can't eat wheat, so her food can be expensive. I try to cook most things from ingredients, but there are some nights when we have to rush, so it will be fish fingers.
But I am behind on some bills. My water bill is £90 a month. This is ridiculous! I don't have an evian factory or anything! Apparently it's because I have a Cheshire postcode
No idea about gaz and leccy... Still waiting for landlord to fix garage door to access the meter.
I have been paying something for water every month. Not as much as they want, but something. I have been asking for a way to pay gas/leccy too, but they haven't sent a plastic card like the water did.
Anyway, got a nasty letter from the water, demanding £800 in the next few days. I have £22 to last until Friday. No petrol in the car (hope ds doesn't have an emergency at school...)
Who can I ask for help? Not mumsnet... CAB? Could they do anything? A charity?
I am already in the bottom of my overdraft (expensive tooth repair, not Xmas excess)
My parents don't have that much money laying around.
I just don't want to be here, with dcs, if/when bad people come banging on my door.
Do you have a water meter? Are you actually using £90 of water a month?
I think most suppliers have a "if you can't pay your bill" option when you phone, so you can arrange a payment plan.
But if you don't have a meter, ask them to install one.
Call them and tell them you have a 2 year old. They can't take what you haven't got.
Then go to cab and see if they can help.
So sorry you are in this situation, hope it gets better really soon
What a horrible time for you! It must be really worrying. Definitely go to CAB as soon as you can. It sounds as if you've been doing your best to pay off the debts which they surely must take into account.
Are you 800 in debt? You say you've been paying something but this would imply you've not paid in almost a year.
Try this link. It's free and you don't have to be a Christian but it's run by Christians. I've only ever heard good things and they will support you to get on your feet and make calls for you with your permission to arrange managable payments. Take a breath and know it will be okay. There are people who can help.
Head teacher at dc's school may be able to refer you to a food bank too.
are you getting all the benefits you are entitled to ?
They cannot cut off your water and won't
This £90 must be an old debt. Your water will not be that a month because you live in Cheshire , it's not how they work out your water charges
You need to call them and agree a plan with them that you can stick to
Please go to citizens advice, they can negotiate the debts on your behalf - they'll help you sort a realistic payment plan with suppliers, don't be scared it's sortable. Take any documents you have with you, you'll feel better just going
I live in a Cheshire post code and my water is half that and there are 5 of us on a water meter. Is it metered? If not can they got a meter? That is a crazy amount. Cap as suggested above or step change can help.
they can demand what they like, legally they cannot cut you off.
What you will be advised as per cab is to set out what goes out each month and what you can afford, they have to accept it, they have no choice.
I have gone through this with debt before, it isnt a nice place to be but dont let the threats get to you. The only bills you MUST pay on time is council tax and rent as they legally have override over every other debt as they can use high court.
Im not telling you to not pay it, just so you dont get that from my post im saying to forget the next day £800 whatever they are demanding.
You tell them what you can afford.
Another vote for CAP, they are great, totally non-judgemental, very kind, supportive. They will also know about food banks debt counselling etc in your local area and put you in touch with the ones you need. They deal with the people/companies you owe money to, over the phone, so you and your DCs don't have to fear them coming to your door.
There is no way your water bill should be that expensive. We pay £20 a month for the 4 of us and we water livestock too, so we'll definately be using more than you!
You've had some good advice in here about people to contact, but I just wanted to add, hang on in there, you will get through this, you can sort this out, it will all be OK. All cliches, but cliches because they are generally true.
In and out donkey? Mine's £50 and there's only 2 of us.
I live in cheshire and my water is £220 per year - so about £20 per month - def query the water further.
my friend is in Chester on a water meter and she pays about £25 per month with a family of 4, a cat and a dog.
That is very cheap donkey, mine is about £60 for three of us. £90 does sound too much though OP, I'd want to see meter readings to justify that.
Call them to set up a payment plan ASAP.
Write to your water company explaining your circumstances and what you can realistically afford to pay each month. A friend of mine was in financial troubles and the water company wrote off her debt so she could start anew as they usually have a hardship fund.
Speaking from experience the best thing to do is contact them and agree payment terms. They will always try to push the amount up higher than what you can afford but stick to your guns, you pay what you can realistically afford. As long as you maintain the payments nothing bad will happen. Courts do not touch people who are in difficult circumstances who have shown effort to resolve the problem. They're only interested in the hard faced scum who run up bills and then deny all responsibility.
Honestly, just give them a call, you will be fine. I speak from experience.
I am falling asleep in a pain killer haze from my ankle. I will look at all the replies when I a, awake a d he guys are back in school and nursery tomorrow.
One hing I can't do is phone. I have no phone. I hate phones. Asd.
You could get someone like CAB to make the call for you or advise you of someone who can? Or just have a friend do it? You need to speak to them.
So sorry that you are going through such an awful time.
I would definitely go to cab, take all your bills with you and proof of income, they will do an income and expenditure for with you and will see what you can realistically afford and still live, they will decide what debts are priorities and what can have a small amount, once cab take on your case it will make you feel so much better. I'm not sure if you will qualify but there is a thing called the water sure tariff to help people with a low income, it caps your water bill it's worth ringing up to see if you qualify.
The only other place I know is step change.
Good luck I hope things get better for you soon.
If you can't phone, could you email? I lost my voice a while back and needed to sort out my electric, I emailed and said I had no voice and they sorted everything out by email, no bother.
Just drop them an email saying you're really ill, lost your voice and can't make the payment but willing to discuss a payment plan as you are struggling financially.
Is it united utilities supplying your water? If it is they have a trust fund, which you can apply for and it will pay off your water debt, you can also use it to pay off other debts such as gas but it's down to their discretion. If it's a different water supplier they may have a similar fund- Google united utilities trust fund application. You have to have roughly 6 months owing to them.
Do you have any credit card or store card debt?
Definitely request a water meter! We asked for one but when they came out it turned out they couldn't fit one cos the stopcock serves next door too. BUT - our bill was still reduced by £20 per month just for asking.
I'm very sorry you're in such a tricky spot and can only advise you to go and see CAB, like PP already have if you have issues with the phone. I didn't think they were allowed to cut off your water though.
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