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To ask how much you survive on as single parent?

(80 Posts)
helpmeplease2045 Tue 17-Jan-17 13:30:47

Recently separated and working three days, plus tax credits and contribution from ex we will have about £26,000.. doesn't seem a lot!

Does anyone have any good ideas for cutting monthly costs? My mortgage, council tax and bills will be about £600 a month..

Thanks for any advice!

MichaelSheensNextDW Tue 17-Jan-17 13:35:46

That's £2166 per month.

VeryBitchyRestingFace Tue 17-Jan-17 13:40:38

Do you live in Kensington? Have a humungous mortgage? Are rearing 12 hungry teenagers?

If not, looks like you will have plenty of money left over.

SeventyNineBottlesOfWine Tue 17-Jan-17 13:40:54

That seems rather a lot to me. I live on far less than that and work 5 days a week and have 2 children.
My bills are higher too as I live in rented accommodation and the rent alone is £550 a month.
As for cutting costs, we always cook our meals from scratch. Bulk buy items as it's cheaper, I buy my clothes from charity shops.
Days out for us are mostly free days. We have trips to Museums, days out walking etc.
However, if I had as much to live on as £26000 a year and only £600 bills a month, I wouldn't be finding that a struggle at all.

manicinsomniac Tue 17-Jan-17 13:44:57

It's hard to answer because it depends what your profession is.

Many single people will out-earn a couple so will be no worse off as single parents.

My salary is £42000 so I 'survive' on the same as the majority of families I suppose (unless it's household average of £27K rather than individual average in which case I have much more than the average.)

They're all fairly basic and minimal but my ways of saving are:
* I don't buy new clothes, furniture, accessories etc (have a severe ebay addiction!) and sell things I've finished with on ebay myself.
* My children don't have any electronic gadgets but that's because they do expensive extra-curriculars so that's just a way of balancing that rather than an actual saving, I suppose.
* We don't have takeaways or eat out as a family
* We aren't in the house much so we tend to use hot water bottles in place of heating most of the time.

In many ways I think it's easier for single parents to have financial stability than it is for the lower earning partner in a relationship because not working and not earning to your potential isn't an option. Take the element of choice away and I suspect many people find they earn more than they would have done otherwise.

megletthesecond Tue 17-Jan-17 13:47:24

Less than that. My mortgage is small though. No holidays, sky, pets, smoking, booze or evenings out. Ancient car. Loads of veggie home cooking.

reallyanotherone Tue 17-Jan-17 13:52:19

Is that before or after tax? Bear in mind your ex's contributions are tax free .

Not single but our family of 4 manages on £20k per year. That's before tax, NI etc so our take home is a lot less.

If all your bills are £600, that leaves you about £1500 per month for food and other spending money. Our take home per month after tax is £1400.

Seems plenty to me smile

helpmeplease2045 Tue 17-Jan-17 13:53:30

Sorry, I suppose it does seem more than it is (if you know what I mean) i.e. I do have other bills, cars, pay for after school clubs and activities for two children (one pre schooler in nursery and 6-year-old and both do swimming/gymnastics/). Also obviously food bill not included in above.

So outgoings at the moment about £1,800 not just the £600, that was just mortgage and utility bills!

Thanks for all advice, I think cooking all meals from scratch will be a good one, also second hand clothes. Never thought of ebay! Is veggie cooking much cheaper? Might be worth a thought!

Afterthestorm Tue 17-Jan-17 13:56:14

Blimey, wish I had that much spare after bills!

Lagirafe Tue 17-Jan-17 13:58:41

I make it work on a bit less than that and 1 more DC. My rent is lower than your mortgage though (£450).

It's not a luxury life by any means but it's fine. I work 3 days too but hope to increase to 4 days once I have all in school (2 currently in nursery).

Lagirafe Tue 17-Jan-17 13:59:57

If £1800 and £600 is mortgage and utility what's the remaining £1200?

Afterthestorm Tue 17-Jan-17 14:00:50

That's not just the op's mortgage though, that's all her bills and c tax as well, so her mortgage must be tiny.

SeventyNineBottlesOfWine Tue 17-Jan-17 14:08:35

Op, is the other £1200 a month what you spend on gymnastics, swimming and food?

I took it to mean that your mortgage and utilities combined were only £600 a month, is that correct?

If so, £1200 seems an extortionate amount to be paying out for clubs and food!

Perhaps cutting back on some of the clubs may be an idea. £300 a week on clubs and food is a HUGE amount.

My children do drama and street dancing. The total of which is approximately £14 a week. My food bill rarely comes to over £50 a week.

Rent, utilities and car would be approx £850 a month.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Tue 17-Jan-17 14:11:10

It's a bit irrelevant how much other single parents survive on to be honest as it all depends so much on number/age of kids, where in the country you live, what outgoings you have etc.

It is bloody scary when you are facing life as a single parent...I sympathise! You need to do yourself a proper budget. Itemise all of your current outgoings and see where you can make savings. There are tons of threads on here about ways to save money every day.

Were you married to your ex? If not, what sort of agreement do you have for payment of maintenance? I was not married but my solicitor drew up an agreement that exP signed, detailing how much he would pay, and what for. It's not worth much legally, apparently but helped to formalise the discussions between exP and I at a difficult time.

Sonnet Tue 17-Jan-17 14:16:47

If all your bills (including nursery and car etc) are £1800 this gives you £366 left for food, petrol and general living. yes that's tight.

Can you increase your days at work and how would that offset against childcare?

Artandco Tue 17-Jan-17 14:18:56

You have the worlds tiniest mortgage for that income then if mortgage and utilities all come to only £600.

Our flat is £1850 rent alone! (One bed), plus bills ontop.

In our situation we would be stuffed on that income as almost all on just rent and utilities, without food etc ontop. But you seem to have plenty left

Do you pay childcare?

Sonnet Tue 17-Jan-17 14:21:24

Have I got this wrong?
OP says outgoings are £1800 per month out of a £2166 net

I don't see £366 left for food, petrol and general living "plenty" so can quite understand Op asking for advice.

Artandco Tue 17-Jan-17 14:26:41

Sonnet - OP spends £600 a month on bills. £2166 net. So has £1566 spare a month for food and activities and anything else.
She says usually it's £1800 spent each month by the time she spends on food and activities and whatever. People are saying £1200 on food, swimming for kids and petrol is a lot

Neverknowing Tue 17-Jan-17 14:28:27

Where are you guys living!? 😯. I need to move there because our rent is £800 on a one bed flat!!
I have pretty much the same as you op it helps me to do my shopping online I literally spend £20 a week on shopping for me, my partner and my little one. Sainsburys have recipes and if you have the basic Spices in your cupboard you only reallu need to get veg smile also, if you eat meat buy and roast a whole chicken and split that between lots of meals that helps! It's fine once you get used to it grin

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Tue 17-Jan-17 14:32:45

I'm a single parent, get no maintanence, and get £356 a week wages & tax credits. £110 childcare, £90 rent, £110 bills - left with £46 for food/travel/days out etc

You just get by, what we eat in a week will depend on what's on offer at te supermarkets, I walk everywhere, go to free things (toddler groups, library, park etc). It's fine at the minute as my sons only 2 but I imagine it will be harder as he gets older.

The only thing I can suggest is looking at your bills to see where you can save or cut back. It's tough, especially if your children are older.

Geraldthegiraffe Tue 17-Jan-17 14:36:00

Surely that's a fantastic income. We live on less than that for 4 of us. Lots of people live on far less surely.

What are you spending all the rest on if it's only 600 for bills (that's amazingly cheap!)
Is it that you were used to a high income?

Post a break down of where the money is going and people might be able to help.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 17-Jan-17 14:36:22

People are saying £1200 on food, swimming for kids and petrol is a lot

It is an enormous amount for 1 adult and 2 DCs and there should be scope to cut this back massively.

Manumission Tue 17-Jan-17 14:39:20

Cars plural!? Why?

Manumission Tue 17-Jan-17 14:41:33

So rent and bills = £600 pcm

But total outgoings total £1800pcm??

Does that second figure include food? What exactly does it include?

mygorgeousmilo Tue 17-Jan-17 14:45:54

Following to see what the extra £1200 is spent on after mortgage and ctax hmm

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