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New job- no money for 5 weeks. Help

(16 Posts)
Pumpkinette Tue 13-Jan-15 09:41:10

Hi all. I got made redundant in July and started claiming job seekers in September. (DH in same position as we worked together)

I've now got a new job and start on Monday. I will be working for 5weeks before I get my first wage.

When I sign off from job seekers on Friday I will get a final payment of £174 to last me 5weeks including buying my bus pass to get to work. My bus pass is £40 so that leaves £134 for 5 weeks.

As I'm going onto a contracting job I will get good pay. So from the day I start work we will no longer be eligible for child benefit or housing benefit. Once DH hits 6 months unemployed his payments will stop due to my earnings.

So our total finances for the 5 weeks will be : £174 (me) + £216 (DH). = £390.

That's to pay the rent at £450 and keep 2 adults and 1 child. It's just not doable.

Is there anything I can apply for to help us survive until I get paid?

I know I'm not eligible for a crisis loan or help with travel costs as I've not been unemployed 6 months.

We have already got overdrafts and they are at the limit and being unemployed etc, would make getting accepted for a credit card or a bank loan unlikely. We have already canceled all non essential direct debits.

Absolute last resort would be wonga or similar but would like to exhaust every other option before going down that route.

Any ideas? Is there any type of loan I can apply for through the job centre that I'm unaware of? I have no issues paying the money back.

Thanks.

Gauri Tue 13-Jan-15 10:16:14

If you are joining a large company, you can speak to your HR for advance pay.

Pumpkinette Tue 13-Jan-15 10:24:04

It's contracting so technically self employed but through an umbrella company so still PAYE. So I wouldn't be able to get a wages advance.

addictedtosugar Tue 13-Jan-15 10:27:41

Keep the child benifit, and pay it back in a tax return at the end of the year - infact, iirc, child benifit is on Annual income, so will you be over 60k this tax year, including your period of unemployment?
Thats an extra �100.

Pumpkinette Tue 13-Jan-15 11:07:46

I've actually just recalculated and I will still be eligible for child benefit. I forgot to take off bank holidays and a couple of weeks annual leave when working out my salary. That will be for next tax year anyway.

Based on this years earnings I will be well under the threshold this tax year.

I thought it was over if you earn over £50k though not £60k - or am I wrong?

My child benefit is £82 every 4 weeks not £100. That's due on the day I start work and then 1 week before I get paid.

I'm also thinking of not informing housing benefit straight away so we still get if for February and can pay the rent on time. I know I will have to pay it back as an overpayment but I can do that off my first wage so that's fine. Well unless they find out through the job centre I have signed off and stop it automatically.

I can keep food budget at about £15 a week as I have some stuff in the freezer and cupboards. DH and I can pretty much get by on instant noodles so long as DD gets proper food. Free school lunches now really help too.

I just can believe our system though. If £72 a week (JSA) is deemed the minimum to live on, how do they expect you to get by on much less returning to work. I thought there would be some sort of system in place to get a loan from them until payday. This is my first time unemployed and I really can see why so many people struggle to get back to work. I am just grateful that I already have suitable clothes and shoes, I can't imagine how someone without would be able to afford to buy any.

addictedtosugar Tue 13-Jan-15 11:26:03

So the child benifit will actually put �160 into your account before work pay you - even better than 5 weeks at 20/week.

The Child benifit starts tapering if you earn more than 50k, and has dissapeared by 60K - so if you earn 55k, you keep half the child benifit.

AnnoyingOrange Tue 13-Jan-15 11:27:05

www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/tax_w/tax_how_to_pay_income_tax_e/child_benefit_and_tax_if_you_have_a_high_income.htm

Info here on the sliding scale for child benefit for earnings between £50k and £60k

stubbornstains Tue 13-Jan-15 11:33:24

What is your relationship with your landlord like? Can you explain the situation to them and tell them that this month, the rent will be a month late? That's not enough time for them to actually evict you for non payment, although I understand, in this present climate, why you'd want to stay in their good books.

Pumpkinette Tue 13-Jan-15 11:45:44

The job is on a 3 month rolling contract. So in theory if I work there for all of next tax year, take 2 weeks holiday and compulsory bank holidays (as the work is for a bank) then I will earn just over £48k before tax. That's assuming I have the contract for that long and don't get sick etc.

Our quarterly gas and electric bill is due in two weeks. Meter readings we submitted show the bill will be £305. I'm hoping that if I call and explain the situation they might let us pay a bit later. We have always paid on time, if not early. I do not want to end up with a pre pay metre.

I just really need to keep on top of things because if I get a bad credit score it will pretty much end my career in banking - they are understandably very strict about credit ratings when employing people. I think that's why I'm stressing so much about money. I need to pay as much as I can on time.

Pumpkinette Tue 13-Jan-15 11:56:25

Stubborn- I have known my landlord for many years before renting from her. If this had happened a few months ago she would have let us pay the rent late but she has just had her hours in work cut (involuntarily). She needs the money in on time to cover the mortgage on the rental flat. The mortgage goes out a week after we pay so I could possibly delay by 6 days max.

She is a great landlord and I don't want to mess her up financially from paying late. In fact I know if I called and asked she would let us pay late, but then she would struggle herself with cash and it's really not fair to ask her to do that.

Pumpkinette Tue 13-Jan-15 13:43:44

Ok after looking it all over again I have decided that I will just pay what I can for bills etc. I will call my mobile phone company, gas and electric etc to see if there is anything they can do for us - maybe they will take a small token payment until I get paid.

I will not inform housing benefit office straight away and repay the overpayment on payday. I've spoken to LL who has said to just give her the money we get in housing benefit and make the rest up later (we don't get full rent due to bedroom tax)

My priority will be to get bus pass sorted and pay what bills I can.

I will stock up on 18p instant noodles to take to work for lunch every day. We will need to rely on eating cheaper food for a while. DD will be pleased as she will be allowed to eat more junk that I normally allow (frozen chicken nuggets / fish fingers etc). I've checked what we have in and in the process of making a meal plan for the next few weeks to keep food shop cost to a minimum.

I am also going to see the inlaws and ask to borrow some money. I hate having to ask as I already borrowed money from them to fly to my interview (I'm in Glasgow but had to go to London for the interview). They are quite tight with cash and take delight in mentioning how much we owe them every Sunday when we visit. sad

Anyway thanks for all your help. We should just about scrape by. (And be put off noodles for life!)

stubbornstains Tue 13-Jan-15 13:59:13

Don't forget food banks OP- get in touch with your local one and see where you need to go to get a referral. You can always "pay it back" when you get paid.

I think not telling HB is the best plan. (although I have heard tell of the job centre telling them- in my friend's case it was an "administrative error"and all their benefits got stopped at once- whoopee! hmm).

Anyway, isn't yours paid in arrears? Mine is. Think back to when you made your HB claim.....did you get paid immediately, for the date you claimed from, or 4 weeks afterwards? If so, you should get a last payment when you end your claim.

Have you got a DD set up for your gas/ electricity? If they just send a paper bill, surely you can ignore it for 3 weeks? I think you get a red bill, then another one, then probably a warning letter before they even think of taking you to court?

Pumpkinette Tue 13-Jan-15 14:59:41

I didn't think we would qualify for food banks if I am working?

We should get by on food. I tend to stock up tins and things so I can make do with what we have in with small top ups.

Luckily I like porridge made with water rather than milk, DH doesn't eat breakfast so we can save cash there. We have tins of chickpeas, different types of beans, packets of lentils, etc so can make some cheap meat free meals from them (DH will find it tough going though). I will also make a big pot of soup on Mondays to last the week for DD after school snack and DH's lunch etc. We visit the inlaws on a Sunday so they feed us! I'm also sure as DH still unemployed we qualify for free school breakfast club for DD so will use that if we need to.

I can't quite remember if we are paid in arrears. I think you might be right. I know we didn't claim it straight away and it did take a few weeks to come through - I will look out the paperwork.

We get a paper bill for gas and electric so I can in theory ignore it for a few weeks but as I said I do need to keep an eye on what it will do to my credit score as it can have an impact on getting jobs in the future. I'm sure if we call and pay them £20 or something towards it with a date we will pay the remaining balance then they should be ok - I hope.

I know we're still in a better position than a lot of people just now and I'm trying my best to be grateful for that. It's just a bit of a tough adjustment for us just now. I think the hardest part is trying to keep things as normal as possible for DD. We've had to stop her going to her after school clubs and activities for a while and I she keeps asking why she's not been for ages. She's too young to really understand and I feel pretty bad when she asks to go and I have to tell her no all the time. She thinks she's done something wrong.

Anyway trying to keep positive so thanks again for the advice. I know we will get through this. It's not forever - it's only 5 weeks. smile

InfinitySeven Tue 13-Jan-15 16:03:41

I would be hugely cautious about not updating housing benefit if you work in the finance industry.

It's likely to be a moot point, because they should be automatically updated by the Jobcentre and suspend your claim, but do tell them. If you don't, they could marr your record - it's just not worth risking having benefit fraud on your criminal record if you work in banking. They may well just let you pay it back, but they don't have too, so you could end up with a caution.

There's a 10 week runon for housing benefit. You won't have been on benefits for long enough to automatically qualify, but you could apply for a payment from the discretionary fund at the council, and make it clear that you only need help for a month. That would help.

Otherwise, just plan a really frugal month. It sounds doable, with child benefit on top. Tell gas/electric etc that you can't pay them this month. Even if they say that they can't change things, realistically they'll just send you a letter urging you to pay or risk being cut off. You can pay as soon as you've been paid, so you should be okay, but it's calmer if you can get their agreement to pay late.

Pensionerpeep Tue 13-Jan-15 17:32:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Charlesroi Tue 13-Jan-15 19:18:15

If you are submitting weekly timesheets/invoices you might find your umbrella company will give you a salary advance. It's worth asking anyway.

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