from January I have £62 a month to buy food, extra heating and everything else...

(105 Posts)
Happylander Fri 30-Dec-11 21:18:15

Due to ex leaving me I have, after all bills apart from extra heating, £62 a month to buy food and anything else I need.

Anyone got any advice on how the hell I am supposed to manage I already shop at LIDL.

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ChristinedePizaTinsel Fri 30-Dec-11 21:19:44

sad Is there anything you can cut back on? Have you made sure you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to? Do you have children?

hellhasnofury Fri 30-Dec-11 21:19:46

Are you claiming all the benefits you're entitled to?

Apricots Fri 30-Dec-11 21:21:59

Can't do links but look at there is a meal planner there to feed a family of 4 for £100 per month - hopefully you can adapt that to help you out

BertieBotts Fri 30-Dec-11 21:22:33

That sounds like very little. Have you checked you're getting all the benefits etc you're entitled to? Do you have any extra expenses such as debts, childcare, medical costs, running a car? Contracts you're tied into?

If you work is it over 16 hours per week?

I think you will have to either find some extra income, somehow, and/or reduce outgoings because nobody can live on just over £15 a week food, especially if you have children.

Happylander Fri 30-Dec-11 21:23:46

entitled to £11 a week working tax credit only. I have one DS who is 2 and very lucky I have no child care costs as my mum looks after my DS while I am at work.

My main concern is obviously feeding my DS but I am not sure I can give a healthy diet and I am getting quite stressed about it all.

Ex refusing to give me any more than CSA state as he says it is not up to him to keep me in the life style I am accustomed to obviously feeding his DS and myself and being warm is a luxury I am not entitled to. He is on holiday with OW at present in Egypt.

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Happylander Fri 30-Dec-11 21:28:23

I have mortgage but very little equity in house and selling costs would outstrip any money made plus rent where i live is the same as mortgage. Loan but in my name as i had better interest rate but because it is in my name he won't pay any towards it. I have cut back where I can.

I work 34.5 hours a week and do shifts but I am not well enough to work much more as I have PTSD and I find working very hard going as it is but do it to stop me losing my home.

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MrsHuxtable Fri 30-Dec-11 21:45:42

It's very little money but you will be fine somehow. Is that amount of money a short-term thing or will it be long term? The "good" thing is that it's only you and a 2year old and not more people you have to feed.

What's your day like? If your son is with your mum a lot, is he eating some meals there? How about work lunches? Can you take soup for example or does it have to be sandwiches?

BertieBotts Fri 30-Dec-11 22:05:39

Ah of course the mortgage will be eating up most of your income sad I'm sorry to hear this. It may be worth applying for housing benefit as they will at least help with council tax, hopefully, and in some cases they can pay towards mortgage interest, but I think only after a certain amount of time.

You may get healthy start vouchers which can go towards fruit and vegetables for your little one.

They say that as a single parent you should always be better off in work than on benefits even if not working full time, so perhaps worth querying this at the CAB? The figure I got from the jobcentre was at least £50 per month better off if I was working over 16 hours.

south345 Fri 30-Dec-11 22:09:31

You should get 25% I think reduction in council tax if you can't claim council tax benefit also try for hosting benefit and check if you get more tax credits my friend went from £40 to £180 a week tax credits when she became single but she only works 16 hours, worth checking though.

franke Fri 30-Dec-11 22:12:57

Do you have an extra bedroom you could rent out?

Happylander Fri 30-Dec-11 22:18:48

I went to CAB. They said that because I earn that little bit too much I am only entitled to £11 a week working tax credit and reduction in council tax as single occupancy.

What are healthy start vouchers and how can you get them?

I have advertised my spare room but so far no luck. I suppose it is not an attractive prospect to live in a house old when they are not yours LOL.

I have not been taking any food in to work and hoping that there has been bread in the fridge (work in a hospital).

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Happylander Fri 30-Dec-11 22:21:27

Just looked at healthy vouchers and I don't qualify as earn that bit too much.

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Eddas Fri 30-Dec-11 22:25:11

are there any other bills you can get rid of, eg sky, home phone, broadband(I would need mine though!), downgrade mobile contract? check round for the elec/gas bill to see if you're on the best rates.

Sorry you're in this position sad

PeaceofCakeAndGoodWineToAllMN Fri 30-Dec-11 22:29:45

I'd call the tax credit people. You're now a single parent so entitled to a higher rate of tax credits due to the fact that there's only one income, not two. I'm assuming you earn less then 20k though? Could you change the terms of the mortgage so that it's a cheaper arrangement until you get back on your feet?

Happylander Fri 30-Dec-11 22:30:49

I have got rid of BT broadband and gone with the lowest sky package as this worked out cheaper. Need internet for work really. Mobile is on fixed contract and cant change until April. Cancelled gym membership, don't drive car unless I have to i.e. pick up DS and for work now.

I suppose to really need to start meal planning. It's just all those other things like the dentist and I really need to have my eyes checked as my vision is getting ropey! I am having awful trouble sleeping and am so depressed but it is no point seeing GP as I can't afford the prescriptions.

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ivykaty44 Fri 30-Dec-11 22:31:56

Where are you advertising for a lodger? There are a few good websites and some estate agents also rent out rooms in homes now as people need inexpensive accomodation and find apartments to costly for one.

Make the room look as pleasant as possible and give the house a really good clean and then soft lighting, towels, candles and photograph for adverts. People like to see the hwole house when they want to rent just like buying. So only doing the whole house - lounge 2 angles from different corners and same in room to let, bathroom, kitchen and garden.

Happylander Fri 30-Dec-11 22:32:36

I have never claimed tax credits until now so it is the right amount according to CAB but have to find my p60 to get it all sorted so could even be less. I earn 25K but mortgage high but no more than rent would be really.

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PeaceofCakeAndGoodWineToAllMN Fri 30-Dec-11 22:33:18

You can get an exemption certificate for the dentist/opticians. Google it as I can't remember what they are called. There's ways around this. smile

Eddas Fri 30-Dec-11 22:34:07

although mobile is on a contract try ringing to see if they will put you on a lower tariff, explain that you can no longer afford the one you're on and you are close to the end of the contract, can't hurt to call them.

Do you get a free eye test through work? check with them as a lot of places do have to offer them now, especially if computer based work.

PeaceofCakeAndGoodWineToAllMN Fri 30-Dec-11 22:34:39

Goodness, so it looks like a liveable amount on paper but when you look at your outgoings. Are you able to downsize the mortgage?

suebfg Fri 30-Dec-11 22:35:37

You need to check out - the clue's in the title - this is the best guide to saving and making money that you will find on the Internet.

(Are you getting help for your PTSD by the way?)

Here are my top tips (I'm an avid MSE fan)

1. - You can feed yourself and your DS healthily but you may need to change your eating habits e.g eat more vegetables and pulses. Pulses are great for bulking out meals and children love them. A good website for recipes is

2. Learn to love your freezer and remember that some frozen fruits and vegetables are as nutritious as fresh but obviously last longer.

3. Goes without saying but make sure you're getting the best deal on all your utilities etc.

4. Check you're getting all the benefits you qualify for, as per earlier threads

5. If all else fails, I've had some success with entering competitions via MSE. In a couple of years, I've won over £2k cash, two holidays, a camera, kettle, toaster, spa day, books, free entry tickets, I've lost count tbh. Obviously it's luck but hey ho, if you've got a computer, why not give it a go? There is no catch and it'll make you more money than surfing on Mumsnet. Anything you win that you don't want, you can sell on Ebay.

PS your Ex sounds like a real w**ker

workshy Fri 30-Dec-11 22:37:53

I earn 26k

I do have 2 children but I get £156 every 4 weeks

have you actually applied to tax credits or just been advised?

suebfg Fri 30-Dec-11 22:40:38

Could you do something like Avon at work? I did this years ago and it was quite profitable - would certainly supplement your earnings

Eddas Fri 30-Dec-11 22:40:56

if you haven't claimed tax credits at all were they advising based on what you could have already had, ie they thought you were already claiming some so the £11 extra a week was on top of that?

although to be fair my basic tax credits that I am entitled to is only about £40 a month so not talking a vast amount, but would be a help.

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