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Not enough money but don't think we are entitled to benefits?

(135 Posts)
Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 00:48:43

Hi I am recently married and previously was in recept of working tax credit and child tax credit along with a proportion of housing benefit as my then partner did not live with me.

We recently got married so my claims with the above ended - even though he still not not live with me (work related).
We are REALLY struggling financially now and are about £500 a month short, & apart from moving up north from the south have no idea what to do.

His wages are 35k, I'm self employed and bring in maybe £600-£1000 each month but am primarily a SAHM. With private rents as horrendous as they are we are just not making it each month.
We have 2 small children and because of his work and the fact he lives away I live like a single parent 98% of the time. With childcare costs & travel into London to work, (there's not much where I am it's a small village) me going to work outside of my business would leave us with less money not more 😩 Plus I honestly don't know how I would juggle 2 under 5s and a job on my own with no family support what so ever.
I started my business to enable me to bring in some money but work around my children but at the moment it's still fairly new and just not making what we need it to.

My question is because of my husbands wage are we not entitled to anything as its not considered a low wage even though we can not afford to live right now?

We don't live unnecessarily above our means, no social life what so ever, none of us drink smoke, have fancy clothes shop in waitrose lol etc, we haven't been away for 6 years we are living day to day hand to mouth.

Our rent is a disgrace, we do live in a nice area (house it's self is ok - fairly small nothing to right home about) & my eldest child has just started at an incredible school, we have looked about to see if we can find something cheaper locally where I wouldn't have to change my sons school, but there is literally nothing, everything is stupidly overpriced. I really don't want to have to move fairly far away, and take my children out of school, there must be another way.
Surely you don't need a 50/60k salary to be able to live a basic life in the south these days 😭

I feel stuck, and can't think of a way out.
Any bright ideas?

Piehunter Wed 15-Feb-17 00:59:53

If you've got his 35k wage coming in surely that more than makes up for the loss of hb and tax credits you were getting previously? You may be entitled to child tax credits but nothing else. You may not be living extravagantly but that doesn't mean you can't make easy changes that could potentially make a difference- food shopping is a huge one, do you meal plan (and stick to it!) and do a weekly shop? going into food shops any more often is a recipe for expense..! Compared your gas and electric bills and changed if you can save. Same for broadband, check what you're paying with what's around. Sorry of you've already done these, sometimes people forget the basics. What proportion of income is rent?

Sixisthemagicnumber Wed 15-Feb-17 08:06:36

Does your partner live with you or not? Does he have his own flat?
If he is living with you and you are eating a joint income of between £41k and £45k then you won't be entitled to any benefits except child benefit. You got benefits before because your income was only £6k -£10k and you would have needed the benefits to survive but now your husbands wages replaces the need for benefits. I assume your husband is paying most of the bills?
It sucks because housing in the south is so expensive that even people on £50k are struggling.
If you really can't make ends meet you may have to look towards moving somewhere cheaper even if that means a change of school. Kids adapt quite easily when they are young.

DJKKSlider Wed 15-Feb-17 08:18:43

I don't tink its a case of 'Not enough money' £40+k a year isnt a bad income.
You need to look at living with your means and not expect the tax payer to hand you money when you earn far more than someone who needs those benefits. That sounds harsh, but its the truth.

So if rent is high, rent cheaper, even if you have to move.
Look at cutting all outgoings, shopping, TV, phones, gas, electric etc etc.

If youour joint income is £40k you're income is around £3333 a month before.
Even if rent was £2000 p/m you should still be able to live on almost a £1000 a month.

PotteringAlong Wed 15-Feb-17 08:21:22

If you're married why do you still live apart? Could you not move in together and halve your costs?

Letmesleepalready Wed 15-Feb-17 08:27:53

If you are married and you earn less than 10000 a year, you could apply for marriage allowance re Tax. So your husband will save some money through the tax code.

Petalbird Wed 15-Feb-17 08:30:47

Why don't you live with your husband? Have you ever lived together? Renting 2 places, 2 sets of bills and 2 food bills are definitely the issue

Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 09:27:48

Thank you.

It's not that I expect to get tax payers money far from it.

We don't live together because of my husbands work, he gets subsidised accommodation that comes straight out of his wages along with council tax and bills for where he is. He is currently living at the other side of the country and moves constantly. For our children we decided for stability to keep them in one place and he comes home at the weekends.
Take home a month after that and other things that automatically come out related to his work and normal stuff like student loan etc is £1900 our rent is £1450.

I do a weekly shop in aldi or asda and meal plan, gas and electric is £60 a month but maybe something that could be looked at although I think that's pretty reasonable?
We don't have any tv packages, broadband again is due to be swapped over as our contract has just ended.
Doesn't help that my husband has an £11k debt for his mums divorce. He paid for it pre us having children and when finances were not really tight, he's still paying it back.

It's just frustrating because I know 35k is a decent wage and I also know we are not wasting a single penny on anything unnecessary - it's the rent that's crippling us. So hard to leave somewhere you love, they you've grown up, that your friends family support system and lively hood are to move to somewhere far away where you know knowone and I'd be doing it alone.
Hoping there is another option that I'm missing before it comes to that.

My landlord owns ...... Wait for it ..... 72 houses in my area and mine is the cheapest 🙈 The housing market is discugsting, when I did get some housing benefit towards the rent it really angered me. its easy to get frustrated with the people who make the claims for housing benefit and make nasty comments about them wanting to take tax payers money but the fact is the money I claimed was going into the pocket of a landlord that is earning 85-90 thousand pounds A MONTH on property, and a lot of that would be being paid to him through benefits. That's where the problem is! But I could rant about that all day lol.

titchy Wed 15-Feb-17 09:31:48

Why did you stop claiming then if you still don't live together?

NickyEds Wed 15-Feb-17 09:33:27

Bottom line- you can't afford £1450 a month rent. It's irrelevant how much money your landlord makes you can't afford to live there. Sorry op but I think the only answer is to move somewhere cheaper.

mouldycheesefan Wed 15-Feb-17 09:36:20

Your rent is huge. My mortgage on a five bed detached house is half that. Plus you are paying off a massive debt of £11k. These are the two significant issues. Why can't his mum pay for her own divorce? And why did the divorce cost so much! Unfortunately I think you do have to look at moving to a cheaper area or dh getting a job locally where he isn't then paying for teomlots of accommodation, even if one is subsidised.
You are doing really well with your own business I take my hat off to you.

Sidge Wed 15-Feb-17 09:43:35

Well you don't appear to have enough money because you're funding 2 lots of accommodation and bills on one and half wages really.

I appreciate his is subsidised but essentially between you you must be spending, what, 2 grand a month on rent, council tax and bills? Plus all the additional costs that running two lives separately must cost - travel, groceries, toiletries etc.

And paying another adults debt is bonkers - 11 grand to get divorced? Mine cost about £1500!!

Somethings gotta give here - I understand living together is tricky if his job involves movement but you can't have it all ways. You either need to relocate somewhere more central to reduce your outgoings or he needs a new job.

FV45 Wed 15-Feb-17 09:47:48

Why didn't you look into this before you got married?

Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 09:55:24

Titchy: stopped claiming benefits because we got married so I wasn't entitled to anything. Even though we live separately I am not single so his wage is counted and is over the threshold.

I know you are all right and we will have to move eventually.
I think these days you can only really live down south with a family if you have 70k plus coming in or are totally reliant on benefits with social housing. The middle of the road working family just can not do it.
We would be so much better off having a mortgage but can't get one because we can't save for a deposit it's madness.
Friends with mortgages are paying so much less a month for more house and it's their own.

As for his mums debt 😡 It frustrates me to no end. She was in a horrible physically and emtionallly abusive marriage and he had not a penny of her own. My husband financially supported her to get her out of the situation, the divorce was messy and her husband made it go on and on and on because he knew she couldn't afford the solicitors fees & im not sure why she could get legal aid or what not. He didn't want a divorce so made it difficult, in the end she left the divorce with absolutely nothing just to get away & My husband stepped in when he was able to, I would have done the same for my mum, but it's hard now we are not in the same position financially as we were 5 years ago.

Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 09:56:51

FV45 we did look into it and know what our situation would be, but it was important for us to be married for our own beliefs and also due to the job he does it's very important that we were married to protect me and our children should anything happen to him

Redglitter Wed 15-Feb-17 10:00:18

Has he spoken to his mum about her taking on her own debt. He needs to explain he can't afford that for a start

Meffy Wed 15-Feb-17 10:02:09

You need to move !!!!

StarUtopia Wed 15-Feb-17 10:04:09

If youour joint income is £40k you're income is around £3333 a month before.
Even if rent was £2000 p/m you should still be able to live on almost a £1000 a month.

^^ This!!

Our income (both included) is £1800 a month. Our rent is £800. The remaining £1000 is taken up completely by bills and food.

We manage. It's crap but I really can't see how you can't live on that level of income unless your rent is £3k a month?!

Second hand everything. Aldi for your food shop. Ring round and change gas/electricity etc. Mobile hairdresser. Sell your old stuff on eBay. Loads of things you can do to cut costs.

Your husband needs to find a new job that is more stable location wise. Surely that's at the root of all this?

I do feel for you though. We are in the same boat. Can't get a mortgage because we don't earn enough yet we can 'afford' to pay rent which is considerably more than a mortgage would be.

Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 10:04:20

She's not in a position to yet 🙄

My business could bring in the extra income we need and it will, it's still in its early days so every penny I earn from it is getting put straight back in apart from the odd £100 when we have a bill and nothing left. It's just the next 6 months ish while I build it up and have to new putting money back in that's going to be really tuff

AndNowItsSeven Wed 15-Feb-17 10:06:06

Why is your dh take home pay so low? Is it rent during the week? Can you and the dc move there? If not you need to find a cheaper place to live a two bed would be cheaper.

Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 10:06:20

His mums also a nightmare with money, she agrees to help with her debt contributes for a month or 2 and then it stops. She runs up debts daily for unnecessary things. She's never managed her own money because it was her husbands and is like a 13 year old with a credit Card. It's not fair, but as the debts are in my husbands name he has to just keep paying.

Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 10:12:24

Ps he's not paying any new debts she's running up - they are her problem. The divorce money my husband spent was also to buy her out of the house she owned wth her husband.

anyname123 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:12:40

OP I'm guessing your husband is armed forces, can they help you with accommodation or through a benevolent fund? flowers

Mumoftheark Wed 15-Feb-17 10:17:22

Take home pay is so low because of rent during the week and crazily high life insurance and things that he doesn't have a choice but to have because of his work and it automatically come ms out his pay cheque. (He's in the military).
Now we are married we could live together and it would save us financially but because of his rank he moves so so much (he's had 7 moves in 5 years to all over the country). It's so unstable for children especially at school age.
I know a lot of people do it and are ok and we probably will have to as well I just feel it's a horrible way to live. I also wouldn't be able to establish my own career having to move every 9-12 months.

Our house is already a 2 bed 🙈

JustEatYourDinner Wed 15-Feb-17 10:19:22

I think you need to move in with your husband. It sucks moving but costs are generally paid, you will get marrried quarters and the kids will cope. Loads of kids do.

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