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To think if you're skint, it affects your children's outcomes in life

(133 Posts)
racetogether Thu 22-Aug-19 15:17:24

We have always been skint. We don't particularly have a good quality of life- very small house, needs alot of work, no Garden, . My kids have never been away on a holiday, they don't have bikes- we can't afford it. We can't afford trips out even it it's free as we need take into account cost of petrol so they are few and far between. Things like going to zoos etc is out of the question. They've been wanting to join a football club for several years but at £40/m there's no chance.

I feel sad for my kids. They don't have the same opportunities as I would have liked to have given them. I have mental health issues and suffer from depression on and off and this also I find affects the way I parent.

I feel I'm really letting my kids down.

Ok the other hand, their friends holiday regular ansn

OneRingToRuleThemAll Thu 22-Aug-19 15:29:08

Is there no give in your income at all? Are you heavily in debt and payments meaning no money left over? It's worth talking to a debt charity if that's the case.

Is there not free local things you can do? I'm similar in terms of accommodation - flat with no garden, but we go on walks, to the park, woods etc. It does seem like a restrictive childhood if your children can't do anything at all.

Bookworm4 Thu 22-Aug-19 15:30:42

Firstly bikes can be found free, freecycle etc
Do you definitely need a car? As that’s expensive.

HeyMonkey Thu 22-Aug-19 15:35:31

Do you have a partner and both work?

Have you checked that you are receiving all financial assistance you are entitled to?

If you are not already can you add yourself to the list for council/HA housing?

Frequency Thu 22-Aug-19 15:37:26

YANBU.

Being skint is shit, especially when you look around and see how much your children's peers have than they do but I think the depression is playing a bigger part than the financial situation.

I understand who easy it is to slip into that black hole of despair. Trust me, I've done it myself and it is hard to claw your way out and make changes but until you do nothing will change.

As pointed out bikes can be picked up for free, walks in the park are free, many train and bus services run cheap tickets over summer. You can take a packed lunch to the nearest beach. Your finances are not stopping your kids having days out, it is limiting them but it's not stopping them, your depression is.

Grasspigeons Thu 22-Aug-19 15:38:52

Do your children qualify for pupil premium funding at school (possibly not as lost of prople fall just outside) if they do - make sure you claim it and speak to the school about how its used to help your children.
In terms of clubs - brownie/scouts is normally cheap and has a good range of stuff to get involved with. A lot of churches run good youth groups. Also ive found a few brass bands do free music tution. All worth looking at.
It must be frustrating if they enjoy football as the clubs are pricey. Sat morning clubs are often a bit cheaper than the afterschool ones esp if you can volunteer to help.
Also focus on what you are providing, presumably love warmth and food and a home even if small is a home.
My only othet suggestion would be are your children young carers if your mental health is bad? Some support is available for young carers sometimes.

AiryFairyMum Thu 22-Aug-19 15:39:56

If it helps, I grew up like that, and it made me really good with money! I was lucky and I had lots of love at home and a really creative mum so we made something out of nothing. I also worked really hard at school because I was determined to have more in life one day. Now I do, and I am grateful every day for it. A poor childhood gave me a comfortable adulthood, if you look at things that way.

racetogether Thu 22-Aug-19 15:39:57

I work pt and dh ft- both on low paid jobs. I guess that's the reality of living life on low wages.

We live in a pretty crap northern town so theres not much to do here and the kids have been so many times to the things here that they've become bored. We live 30mins from a decent city and if it wasn't for that I don't know what on earth I could do!

Andysbestadventure Thu 22-Aug-19 15:40:27

How old are you, how old are your kids, where is their father?

jellycatspyjamas Thu 22-Aug-19 15:43:00

Of course being skint impacts your child’s outcomes. Yes there are free activities, parks etc but financial hardship contributes significantly to social exclusion whereby things that people take for granted simply can’t happen.

Financial hardship also means your more likely to live in an area with fewer amenities, your less likely to access discounts on goods and services, more likely to pay over the odds for any credit you do get meaning an even further reduction in ready cash. It’s shit for everyone concerned. I’m not at all saying you can’t be happy, but it does impact the opportunities available to you and your children.

Thehagonthehill Thu 22-Aug-19 15:43:33

My mum was skint too,used to put overdue bills in a drawer hoping they'd go away.
But we were all encouraged at school,playing with friends cost nothing.All trips out we took sandwiches,we didn't have a car.
My brother,sister and me all did ok in our exams and got good jobs.
I also remember childhood fondly.My friends had material wealth,no divorced parents but we're jealous of us because my mum so obviously loved us.
I don't think my mum looks back on those times with affection.

SouthChinaSea234 Thu 22-Aug-19 15:44:11

I have a relative in similar circumstances. Army cadets were a god send for her DC. Free transport, uniforms (including boots), outward bound, camps etc. They both loved it and really developed as a result.

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Thu 22-Aug-19 15:44:19

Could you take on more hours? Look for other work?

Didiusfalco Thu 22-Aug-19 15:45:00

This is really tough and I think you are right. I can’t find it but I’m sure there are studies that link income and life chances/achievement. It’s very much not a level playing field out there - you only need to look at where most of our PMs are coming from to know that.
Are you near any churches that offer holiday clubs etc for children near you? Something ran near me specifically for low income children and they took them on trips out of the city - apparently it was really good. I know this doesn’t exist everywhere. What is the school like? The secondary I work at (more than 50% free school meals) is really hot on providing enrichment activities - we know it can’t be offered at home, and in some ways I think it’s better when a lot of the kids are in the same boat and school can try and work on this, and the kids don’t feel different/left out.

Frequency Thu 22-Aug-19 15:46:24

I think maybe you need to take a closer look at your outgoings. I work the equivalent of one part-time job and one fulltime job and I live in a crap northern town. I can afford days out. I can afford to buy things like bikes (or skateboards and guitars) every once in a while.

National Holidays have some good deals if you want something more than hopping on the bus to Newcastle or York (and the Mega Bus and National Express are much, much cheaper than the train). Cullercoats is lovely. Get the bus to the closest town with a metro station and jump on the metro. Kellogs and Carex have BOGOF vouchers for entry into Sea Life Center atm. Take a packed lunch to eat on the beach once you've finished at the Sea Life Center.

HeyMonkey Thu 22-Aug-19 15:48:29

How old are the DC? Are you able to take on a second PT job, or additional hours?

We would definitely struggle on only 1.5 wages. We both need to be working FT.

jellycatspyjamas Thu 22-Aug-19 15:49:26

I love how someone saying “having no money affects outcomes for your children” and posters point out how she could make more money, questions where the dad is etc, instead of actually engaging with the premise that lack of funds affects children adversely, thereby almost proving the point.

There isn’t always (often) an easy way to increase finances.

araiwa Thu 22-Aug-19 15:49:33

Yes

The cycle of poverty

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 22-Aug-19 15:49:34

What’s your household income? Hsve you applied for everything you are entitled to?
Your rent should be cheap if you live in a Northern town.

HeyMonkey Thu 22-Aug-19 15:50:29

Nobody has suggested taking in ironing yet!

Babdoc Thu 22-Aug-19 15:52:39

OP, I grew up in a not well off home, my parents never took me on outings and I had few toys. But we kids amused ourselves. We were out all day playing in the woods, streets and parks. We played football in the street with a cheap plastic ball, we built dens out of fallen branches, we played chase, we made our own board games by using the flattened cardboard from cornflake packets and drawing squares on them, using bits of plastic waste or coins as playing pieces.
We walked two miles to the free library and read six books a week.
We walked to the council tennis courts and had a game with the rackets we used for school.
If we could rake up the bus fare and entry fee, we went to the swimming pool for a rare treat.
But mostly we just used our imaginations.
Honestly, kids don’t need loads of expensive kit and trips to have a good time!
And it doesn’t wreck their life chances - I went to a free grammar school, then medical school and qualified as a doctor.
I think your depression is colouring your views, as a PP suggested. Your DC are probably having more fun than you think, as long as they’re not making unfair comparisons with richer kids and demanding unaffordable toys (which are often boring overpriced plastic crap anyway).

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Thu 22-Aug-19 15:52:56

I love how someone saying “having no money affects outcomes for your children” and posters point out how she could make more money, questions where the dad is etc, instead of actually engaging with the premise that lack of funds affects children adversely, thereby almost proving the point.

You mean people offering suggestions to help change OPs problem rather than joining her in wallowing which doesn’t help at all? What horrible people. hmm

Toneitdown Thu 22-Aug-19 15:53:30

Well...yeah. if you had loads of dosh you could send them to private school, they could have tutors, they could do all sorts of after school activities, you could move to a nicer area and they'd make friends with the kids who are really going places in life.

It's not the be all and end all. I had nothing growing up and I honestly think it did me the world of good. I know it's a cliche but it's true. I've worked so hard for everything that I have. It's made me a better person.

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Thu 22-Aug-19 15:54:18

Nobody has suggested taking in ironing yet!

It’s bloody transformed my finances. Flipping good earner. grin

MummyJasmin Thu 22-Aug-19 15:55:31

If it helps, I grew up like that, and it made me really good with money! I was lucky and I had lots of love at home and a really creative mum so we made something out of nothing. I also worked really hard at school because I was determined to have more in life one day. Now I do, and I am grateful every day for it. A poor childhood gave me a comfortable adulthood, if you look at things that way.

Ditto.

What kind of activities do they do at home?

We didn't have very much but that gave my parents and I the drive to study and work hard at home and school in order to get out of that cycle.

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