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AIBU to go back to relying on tax credits

(54 Posts)
BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 16:54:54

I have a big change at work possibly which will involve over an hour round trip commute a day. I work full time currently locally to my home.
I'm a single parent with young teen DC.
IMO the commute will be hard on all of us, it's hard on us with full time but we have a system that works.

Today I am considering if I have to commute, dropping to 30 hours. I would get a tax credits increase and qualify for WFTC again (currently don't)
I would drop back under the threshold.
I've worked hard to try to get out of relying so much on these but is it better for my family?
I'm conflicted on th best outcome. I don't want to live an even more stressful life!

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 16:55:47

Should add: Over an hour round trip with no traffic. With rush hour traffic probably could add on 30-60 mins

Ilovecaindingle Mon 06-Feb-17 17:00:11

My teen dcs are approaching exam times and you are likely in the same position - have some time away from the pressure of the commute and juggling life and concentrate on getting the dc through these years. You will be helping them succeed and enabling them to get a good job and pay into the system. Don't beat yourself up that you need to take some out at this time to benefit your dc in the long run.

MissAdaSmith Mon 06-Feb-17 17:02:21

an hour round trip - so 30 mins each way? I find that a rather short commute TBH.

LewisFanIsBack Mon 06-Feb-17 17:44:14

30 min each way?

I'm looking at jobs 60 min one way and I'm a single parent to a teen too ... I don't think an hour or even 2 round trip is terrible per day.

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 17:48:20

30 mins with no traffic. 30 Mins on a map, in reality it's a 45-60 min journey at peak rush hour times

Yes to the exams

It's not a terrible commute in terms of what other people manage I appreciate that, I know it's going to make me really unhappy and stressed out. I took this job as it has no commute.

PoundingTheStreets Mon 06-Feb-17 17:49:52

What's going to be the biggest impact on you? The extra costs of the commute or the time taken to commute?

The average commute is 45 minutes each way apparently. You're well below that, but if you're only just scraping by, the extra fuel costs and possible extra childcare (maybe not at 13 but depends how long you're going to be out for) could be a major issue.

I can understand why you'd chose to drop down, but I'd be wary. The way benefit funding is going, tax credits may not be around much longer and where will you be then?

miserablesod Mon 06-Feb-17 17:50:37

My commute is over an hour each way, i thought that was goodconfused

GreenGoblin0 Mon 06-Feb-17 17:51:21

an hour round trip for a commute really isn't very much. surely it would just mean leaving half an hour earlier and arriving home half an hour later? personally would not reduce my hours in these circs. takes me an hour to get to work by bus (ie two hour round trip) and my child is 4 yo so have to fit full time working hours around school pick up / drop off.

what is is about the change that you think will be so significant? what time will you be having to leave the house and come home?

keep in mind that once you drop hours it's not as easy to increase then again

Starlight2345 Mon 06-Feb-17 17:53:53

My worry for you would be if you have teens will you be able to up it when they leave education as it won't be that far away.

Is there some middle ground 35 hours a week instead of 40?

GrassWillBeGreener Mon 06-Feb-17 17:56:36

When my sister started secondary our mother ended up quitting a job that was going to move her further from home (typically hour each way commute), in the opposite direction to our schools and no chance of continuing / going back to part time. She was able to return to something she'd done in the past and work from home, albeit mostly outside school hours. So she was in the house although busy.

It's a difficult choice for you but may not be unreasonable.

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 18:05:12

I have no childcare and no local family who can help with anything. Also they stay at home by themselves during the holidays if I have to work and obviously this feels easier when I am 5 miles away vs 25 miles away in terms of emergencies etc.

I think it's likely that I am going to constantly be late/trying not to be late and stressed and us all eating dinner gone 7pm and having much less time together and a knock on on any hobbies they do.

They can't walk to and from school (too far) so need public transport - fine they already do this part that is sorted. It's not an extreme extra cost.

It's mornings that I know will be awful - I did this for years and hated it which is why I found a job with a 5-10 min commute. I don't want it to change, it's not my choice to do this. The route I have to take (the only one) is a notorious head fuck that kills your soul slowly by death by 5 mile tail back traffic lights.

Putting my hours back up at some point probably wouldn't be an issue and I had always intended to go further afield for work when they were older and more independent.

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 18:06:19

I can make any request for dropping hours that I like. I wouldn't go below 30 but maybe even half an hour a day would help. I'm not sure what's best.

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 18:08:20

I would have to leave my house before 8am I think. I haven't attempted the journey yet. I would probably leave at 7.45 and return sometime around 6pm. Currently I leave at 8.15 and am home by 4.45

SingingInTheRainstorm Mon 06-Feb-17 18:09:52

It's entirely your choice, if you drop your hours for family reasons then WTC are neither here nor there, you just happen to be eligible. I would say these are special years with DT, would you regret working 10 hours more plus commute? If so just cut your hours if you can.

luckylucky24 Mon 06-Feb-17 18:10:01

I wouldn't purely because they are incompetent and somehow we have ended up owing them 4k because THEY got things wrong despite being updated every time our circumstances changed hmm. But if you think the balance will better then go ahead.

Flisstizzy Mon 06-Feb-17 18:10:23

What if they change the thresholds on tax credits and you end up earning too much? Personally I don't trust the Govt. not to do this. You could find yourself on a vastly reduced income, and some jobs don't allow you to go back to FT hours if they've agreed PT for you previously.

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 18:12:12

My job probably would be ok with it

I suppose I am working out whether I would rather spend this extra time in my car or with my kids and if this is a selfish luxury when it means relying on tax credits/low income?

GreenGoblin0 Mon 06-Feb-17 18:12:42

how old are your DC?

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 18:14:18

Almost 13 and 14

EurusHolmesViolin Mon 06-Feb-17 18:15:30

I'd think of it less in terms of selfish luxuries and more in terms of long term risks.

Totally see why you want to do it, but I personally would prefer not to rely on tax credits any more than I had to. It's not a good system. Especially if my kids were older teens. I wonder is there a third option, a possible job closer to home?

littleblackno Mon 06-Feb-17 18:18:32

I would do it. I currently work 30 hours and receive wtc - very short commute but very stressful job. I could go full time but the impact on my kids (both still at primary) would be massive and I think that i have to do what's right for them and what makes it easier for us all generally.
I guess it depends if you are going to be able to increase your hours in a year or 2 if you want to.
I know tax credits are changing but I will cross that bridge when/if I need to.

Chippednailvarnishing Mon 06-Feb-17 18:19:00

I think you are just making excuses. If you don't want to do it, fine. But don't make out you're in some awful position of having to do a huge terrible commute when it's simply nothing more than the fact you can't be arsed.

Viviennemary Mon 06-Feb-17 18:25:14

I don't think I would considering your DC's are older. . And amounts and entitlements to TC's could easily change with a new budget. But it's up to you in the end. Half an hour to work doesn't seem very long to me. Sometimes the thought of something can be worse than the actual doing it. But if you think it's the best choice for you then go for less hours.

BumDNC Mon 06-Feb-17 18:30:35

I don't want to move at all, not hiding that with excuses. Don't want to go. If I had another job available I would leave tomorrow. I will look for another job now I know it's going ahead. I don't know what excuses I am making - I didn't choose this, I don't want to commute at all and am trying to find a good option for my family and myself. The idea of spending so much time driving is horrible. I get that other people don't mind their commute or have it 'worse' than me I think that is individual preference. If I had chosen a job in this location then that would be a choice I had made. I chose a full time job locally and now I can't do that anymore. I don't want to rely on WFTC and the idea makes me nervous but so does going to and from work every day feeling this way

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