Feeling fed up...things have been financially difficult for me for quite a long time, but I think it's only just just starting to get me down this badly in the last few months.
I currently don't work, have 3 children and I'm on IS. My DD3 is tiny so I'm not looking for work until she is a bit bigger. It is just a constant struggle every minute of every day and some days I dread getting up in the morning, knowing that it's another day of very little money to survive on. I receive no money from the children's father.
At the moment I'm trying to work out how to get together the money for new uniform & school shoes for September, the kids have grown out of nearly everything in their cupboards and I'm desperate for new shoes (my Primark ballet pumps have seen better days). I'm just feeling very down and I'm wondering how you all do it?
MrsLeigh because her baby is tiny, it says so in the OP. Sadly it's not quite as straightforward as just magicking a job out of thin air, especially one that will cover childcare for three kids (and then some).
If you have three kids and are a lone parent, chances are you're going to be affected by the coming cuts to tax credits and lower benefit cap. So you can try and tighten your belt but it's going to get harder. I understand childcare for three children is expensive. Think the max you can claim through tax credits is £350pw to cover childcare so depending where you live, that mightn't be enough. To protect yourself for the future, I'd be looking at what I could do on a self employed basis from home. I've seen lone parents do all sorts from eBay selling to online forum moderating. You will then be exempt from the benefit cap. You need 16 hours but that can include advertising your business, doing your books etc. In the short term, get in touch with your council and ask about uniform grants. I'd tell the school office your kids have lost their jumper or whatever and have a root in the lost property box. Our school would rather someone had the stuff than it be chucked out.
The rules for self employment are getting much tougher though once UC comes in so it may not be a long term solution unless the business idea is sound.
OP check the MSE forums as well as they are great at frugal tips. Make sure you apply for everything you can, IS gives you priority for various things like the Warm Home Discount. You can also apply for a budgeting loan to help cover big costs but it's paid back through your IS.