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How to survive financially as a working single mother of two

(14 Posts)
Aloneandnowwhat Wed 19-Feb-14 13:41:57

I'm returning to work in just over a week and am really panicking. Ex moved out over a month ago and due to his aggressive behaviour will not be able to help with childcare.
I earn roughly £1600 a month after tax, basic outgoings are £1100 not including food or fuel. Because I work full time my childcare bill will be approx £800 per month.
On paper I cannot afford to work do just wondering of anyone has advice please?

Rockchick1984 Wed 19-Feb-14 14:00:51

Are you eligible for tax credits towards your childcare, or childcare vouchers through your employer? £1100 just for bills seems fairly high, can you give a breakdown of this to see if anyone can offer advice on lowering your outgoings? How much will you be receiving as maintenance from your ex?

peppapigmustdie Wed 19-Feb-14 14:09:10

You should be eligible for Child Tax Credit and Childcare element of I would guess roughly around £200 a week.

Try the calculator here.

Aloneandnowwhat Wed 19-Feb-14 14:33:17

Hi Rockchick, the following is a breakdown:
Rent 475
Council tax 100
Gas/elec. 80
Tv license 15
Water 40
Car finance 180
Phone/broadband 45
Mobile phone 45
Credit card/store card 100

Aloneandnowwhat Wed 19-Feb-14 14:36:02

Peppapigmustdie I've applied for tax credits but my earnings for 2012/2013 we're significantly more than they are now so I'm worried I won't get anything or not a lot.

mumtobealloveragain Wed 19-Feb-14 14:49:22

Hi OP. Tax Credits do make allowances for your income being significantly lower than the year before. Plus next year you know your tax credits should increase after a full year of your lower wage.

Apply for Housing Benefit, you may be eligible for a partial payment. Also apply for Council Tax allowance to help towards that.

I assume you have contacted the local Council and the £100 a month is with single persons discount?

Is there anyone else who can help with childcare to try and cut costs down? Friends who might want to swap childcare on other days to help you and them out or any grandparents/family that can help? Perhaps consider your exes parents if they are on the scene, they may love to help and helps the kids maintain a relationship with them even if they don't have one with their dad.

mumtobealloveragain Wed 19-Feb-14 14:51:07

Oh and is your ex working? If so then is he paying maintenance? If not, or if he won't, then get that sorted asap- he has to contribute financially to his children's upkeep too!

Rockchick1984 Wed 19-Feb-14 15:00:59

Once you get your tax credits award notice through you need to ring them and give them your new income amounts, they will then readjust the award to reflect your current income.

It would be worth you looking into getting rid of the car finance, as that plus £100 per month debt repayment is going to be making a huge dent in your outgoings, and see what cheaper options there are for you, if you need a car for work. If you can get by without one, even temporarily while you adjust to your new financial circumstances then even better.

Definitely sort out maintenance from your ex!

You can do a calculator on turn 2 us where you can play around with various situations - not working, working full time, working 16 hours per week etc to see how much better off you are by working.

Aloneandnowwhat Wed 19-Feb-14 16:03:36

Thanks for the advice. The car I'm stuck with until June 2015 unfortunately as that's when I can terminate the finance agreement. My parents are both dead and no other family close by, ex's parents are half an hour away by car and both work full time.
I don't have any friends that don't work to be honest, maybe one or two sahms but none that I'm close enough to to ask for help.
Ex works part time so won't be contributing significantly.

pickles184 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:11:27

You should be able to get tax credits that cover most of your childcare costs at that. I get on more than the online calculator said I would. I did have to send bank statements, chilminder contract, work contract, pay slips etc.. but once they had everything they calculated a higher credit. Good job too as without them I literally couldn't afford to work as the childcare cost is approx 4 times more than my disposable income!
Try calling them with all the necessary information to hand

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Feb-14 16:25:25

There's a good benefits checker at which will tell you, based on your current income, what help is available to you. HMRC are quite helpful if you explain that your circumstances have significantly changed. Are you getting the single person council tax discount, for example? Agree about pursuing your ex for a contribution, via CSA if he's unreasonable. Even if it's not a huge amount, every penny counts. Best of luck

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Feb-14 16:25:38

Aloneandnowwhat Wed 19-Feb-14 16:45:07

Yes I claim the single person discount on the council tax. Will look into the benefits checkers thanks, I'm hoping the tax credits will help towards childcare but only posted the form yesterday. Thanks for the great advice.

Charlesroi Wed 19-Feb-14 17:33:13

You might get an award letter back from HMRC saying your award is £0.00(based on last year's figures). Don't worry. Call them and give them this year's figures and you'll get something.

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