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Budgeting help!!

(20 Posts)
Essexdarling Sun 13-Oct-13 10:54:49

Morning ladies,
I'm a mother to 4 with another on the way, I am having severe problems budgeting effectively.... I am on income support (and before someone pipes up about scroungers I was in full time employment until being made redundant while pregnant- hence current situation) I get £238 a week but with shopping, car insurance, rent (i pay reduced rates) and bills I am literally left with pennies the day after pay day!
How do you cope with lack of money?
I've cut back as far as possible, I don't drink, don't gk out for meals/cinema/pub, I need my car as I live in a small village and nearest shop is 4 miles away and we don't have much of a bus service never mind my children's school is in the next village (4,5&10 can't expect them to walk 2 miles to school)
Really getting me down, can't seem to make it stretch far enough sad

Essexdarling Sun 13-Oct-13 10:55:40

Sorry typo mother to 3 with another on the way **

debtcamel Sun 13-Oct-13 11:07:56

It's really really hard to manage to run a car on benefits.

You should be getting housing benefit to help with the rent.

Any chance you could move to the village where your kids are at school?

Have you asked what the criteria are for free school bus transport in your area? If you are in Essex (gussing from your name!) they are here:

I assume the children are all getting free school meals?

Mummyx3x Sun 13-Oct-13 11:08:54

I find meal planning really helps! Then I don't over spend in the supermarket because I know exactly what I need.
(Netmums has some really good recipes for people on a budget)

I don't put the heating on in the day time when the kids are at school, I either add another layer of clothing or pull out the duvet. This really helps me save money on the gas.

BasilBabyEater Sun 13-Oct-13 11:09:37

Very useful thread here

Essexdarling Sun 13-Oct-13 11:21:50

It is really hard, the school in my village is full, but we're on the waiting list, they get free school meals but no there's no bus service for primary schools sad
I've shopped around for car insurance and got the cheapest policy possible, paying monthly plus interest though as the lump sum payment was beyond my reach
I don't use my heating unless its freezing although we don't have gas in the village, so it's 300 oil delivery to get us through the winter, I don't bother in the summer as fortunately I've got an electric shower so I can get by with that during summer,
Can't find anywhere to scrape more cash...
Shopping is already bare minimum, and meals are well planned, left overs are always a pie filling the next day lol
I have to pay the shortfall on my rent, housing benefit doesn't cover it all
I've taken to living on a budget quite well really, I don't miss designer handbags and posh lunches... I've sold all the designer gear on eBay now anyway lol helllooooooo primani!
Can't help but feel like I'm missing something and I know being on benefits is going to be hard but u can't beleive I don't even have an emergency tenner left over sad

debtcamel Sun 13-Oct-13 11:24:03

"there's no bus service for primary schools" is this Essex? because that link said they would sometimes pay a fuel allowance if there was no bus service - every little help!

debtcamel Sun 13-Oct-13 11:30:04

child maintenence?

BasilBabyEater Sun 13-Oct-13 11:30:24

You're already meal planning etc., but this site may also be useful.

debtcamel Sun 13-Oct-13 14:07:40

is your oldest over 18? With 4 children under 18 in full time education, you should be getting a LOT more than 238 a week from income support, child benefit and child tax credit.

What does your total benefit come to, are you being hit by the benefits cap?

antimatter Sun 13-Oct-13 18:20:44

I can recomend this site

full of very cheap recipes!

antimatter Sun 13-Oct-13 18:20:55

raisah Sun 13-Oct-13 21:09:51

Check out the money management website by Martin Lewis. There is some really good advice on there relating to budgets, benefits & money related matters. Make sure you are getting everything you are entitled including tax credits etc.

SoonToBeSix Mon 14-Oct-13 16:17:39

Op are you sure you are getting everything you are entitled too? Tax credits and cb for three dc plus income support for you should be more than £238 us do you not get hb?

Essexdarling Wed 16-Oct-13 08:31:19

Thanks for all the replies, the meal planners were great, got loads of recipe ideas!
I'm preg with 4 so my income support is still 238 child benefit is 47.10 a week but I get it monthly and to be honest that mostly gets swallowed up with the kids clothes, shoes, school trips etc, I do get maintence from my ex for 2 daughters but that's gone in a week on their dancing lessons and travel to drop them off, yes he makes me drop them off with the money he gives me! Lol
I think in going to sell the car for something smaller for abit if immediate relief right now.... Then get job hunting for when I have this baby... I can't live like this lol

debtcamel Wed 16-Oct-13 09:28:52

sorry but I think in your situation the dancing lessons have to go sad

Essexdarling Wed 16-Oct-13 09:45:52

Lol they are £5 a week and my daughters have always had them, before i was made redundant and their dad pays for them (maintence is very much dependant on what I spend it on.., if I don't meet his standards the money stops!) yes he's a *ker, if I sell my car and get a smaller more eco one I can cut £40 a month on insurance and prob a bit in petrol costs too.
I know benefits living isn't a choice for a lot of people and i don't think il last much longer, if I can get through the next year I'll be straight back to work, I don't want my kids to miss out on all the things that they've had growing up just because my employer went bust...

Essexdarling Wed 16-Oct-13 09:50:49

Oh and example I ONCE used a maintenance payment to tax my car on a really short week and he didn't pay me anything for a month after 'to teach me a lesson'

debtcamel Wed 16-Oct-13 09:58:17

"maintence is very much dependant on what I spend it on.., if I don't meet his standards the money stops!" unless he is paying you over the CSA rate, that is illegal smile

and how does he know what you spend the money on?

re benefits after littlest one arrives, have you checked how much you will get and whether you will be hit by the benefit cap?

Essexdarling Wed 16-Oct-13 10:09:53

Fortunately I won't be hit with the benefit cap and the extra when i have the baby will actually go quite far for me as I'm reusing most of my last baby's stuff and what I've got new is from selling the kids old stuff in eBay, breast feeding and as I grow most my own fruit and veg, my healthy eating tokens go quite far,
Ex is an absolute t*at, we didn't go down the csa route as he's living with his new gf and he won't give me the address (I think she's on benefits, single parent and not working, and he's prob not down at her house) I'm sure I read somewhere the csa are going to charge now? Not sure but he will make it as awkward as possible, I've threatened csa before and he laughed at me and told me to enjoy my fiver a week!

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