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Depressed and poor, need to get it off my chest

(29 Posts)
Pansy0926 Tue 13-Feb-18 19:56:56

Depressed and just need to this off my chest.

Me, my husband, 2.5 year old, baby on the way. Both kids conceived in ‘times of plently’ before reality caught up with us again.

About £2000 in debt, not much to some, but it’s not going away and is steadily increasing. It started when we had to use credit cards and overdrafts to afford our wedding. We regret spending the money often.

We spend about £50-100 a month on food, live on cans of beans and similar for ourselves, with a couple of ‘good’ meals a week and cook nice things from scratch where possible for DS - he always has a good diet, good clothes, and his bedroom is heated.

We have, after many years of moving around, found ourself a tiny 2 bed flat that is nice enough that I am not yearning to leave already. Good, safe neighbourhood, nice neighbours, close to places we need to travel. Paying a higher council tax band and rent feels well worth it. And yet, we aren’t making ends meet, even with benefits.

There isn’t a solution here. I just cannot bear to move to cheaper housing and have my children brought up to the sounds of junkies battering each other as the stench of weed wafts up through the floor boards. Been there, done that. DH is job hunting at the moment, for a job with more hours. When he gets that job, we will be fine, but in the moment I am freaking out. We are both working part time minimum wage jobs at the moment, childcare is a constant, expensive problem and our qualifications forgotten about for now as we focus on just making money.

We haven’t gone on holiday for years, we went for a weekend away before DS was born and not been able to do it again since. DH has been doing without new clothes for ages and chooses to do without a winter jacket or decent shoes (his are almost rags now but look good at first glance). I feel immensely guilty as I have spent a lot of money (couple hundred) on clothes this month. I don’t know what it was, pregnancy hormones most likely, but I have felt ugly and fat for so long and had worn out so many of my clothes that I felt like a slob. I know I could have shopped at Primark but the clothes rarely last and I guess I just wanted to have something nice. DH was cool with me spending the money on myself, but it has only added to my debt and when I think about it I feel terrible. Not trying to justify it, but I have been wearing the same holey jeans and three tshirts since DS was born - needless to say they don’t exactly fit as I am getting a big baby bump.

Just, we both feel rubbish and years of this is getting to me. We have never had to starve, but we have been cold in the winters at times (not DS). We have put our marriage through so much stress, not being able to afford real dates, just walks on the beach and picnics etc, not leaving the house much in winter because there’s nothing to do we don’t have to pay for, except again, more walks, or going to the shops which I dread in case we are tempted to waste money.

I could write a huge list of things we have wasted money on, but to be honest, I can’t hold them against either of us. We are both struggling to make this work -life, our marriage, whatever - and every now and again (maybe every month or two) we need a pick me up, be it a nice dinner, a new pair of shoes, some new clothes ...none of these things would really count as splurging for most people.

I’m sorry, what a rant. Just needed to get it off my chest. I grew up poor, so did he, but I never saw this for myself, especially when I graduated. I just feel like I’m waiting for things to get better, like once he gets a full time job, once kids are older...or maybe we will find somewhere cheaper but still nice to live. I don’t know. Just, on horribly winters days like this I just imagine being able to go on holiday, or buy a house, it cheers me up but I feel worse when I realise it’s not going to happen.

I know this is a huge self pity rant, but I don’t like to go on about it to friends as we previously had a friend who did nothing but whinge about life and it was awful, so I try not to.

I’m 26 and I feel like I’m in my fifties. If it weren’t for our lovely little family I would be sorely regretting most of my life decisions but hell I wish things were a little easier.

I just really needed to put my feelings out there, somehow.

GreenTulips Tue 13-Feb-18 20:05:52

We've all had hard times - the cycle of scrapping by, feeling flush, spending money - BUT

You do have an escape route - most people don't!

You have a degree and could work more hours in 12 months when the baby is old enough and your DH is looking for better paid work - some people don't have this get out clause!

Change your mindset. Look for free stuff to do at the library, set up a baby sitting circle, sell things in eBay. There loads you can live without and cut down on, but down compare yourself to others

Good luck

Pansy0926 Tue 13-Feb-18 20:14:27

GreenTulips thanks.

Usually I am upbeat yet resigned to this cycle. We have recently been trialling living on WW2 rations as a ‘fun’ experiment. Google the 1940’s diet if interested, it’s not bad and still healthy. We do have a pretty busy life tbh so not short of things to fill time, but where we live there truly is little to do as far as quality time goes unless you love nature walks - I mean we do enjoy them but at the moment I’m a bit sick of it. We have plans to trawl charity shops for board games soon, so that’s something. Sounding a bit ‘worthy’ and self absorbed no so I’ll not say more except I’m just having a bad night and usually have a better mindset.

GreenTulips Tue 13-Feb-18 20:42:57

Board games are great fun are a pack of cards - we play for pennies to spice it up!
Also I used to have 'a day off' from the drudgery - no housework all day! It doesn't go anywhere and you catch up the next day.
Put on the radio dance in the kitchen
Get some paints out and play doh
Calpmiut in the living room
Get the kids some cardboard boxes and build a den
Save junk for junk moldling

Lots of free or cheap games to play

Raver84 Tue 13-Feb-18 20:45:58

Is there any work you can do from home in the evenings to add to your income. I think your main problem is your both working part time hours which would be hard for anyone not least with a child to pay for. Are you claiming all the benefits you can? Are you able to take some of the clothes back and get some cheaper bits as ebay can be great for maternity clothes as people hardly wear them before they know it baby's here.

GoodStuffAnnie Tue 13-Feb-18 20:50:56

Chin up lass.

Why doesn’t your husband work full time and you work part time weekends, so no childcare costs?

It’s tough, have a moan. But it won’t be like this for ever.

MrsGrindah Tue 13-Feb-18 20:52:46

Not judging just trying to understand your circs. You say this baby was conceived in times of plenty so that must have been in recent months- what changed? Is your 2 grand debt recent? Has your husbands job changed.? If so these might be circs that can change quickly again

Viviennemary Tue 13-Feb-18 21:14:12

When I read your post I thought you were a lot older. But you are only 26 which is very young. A lot of people couldn't even think about affording two children at your age. You say you've had years of being poor which I agree is no fun.

I don't quite get why you're not making ends meet at all. You need to do a budget of your outgoings and incomings. But then I see you are both working only part-time. Realistically that just isn't going to be enough to support a family. You'll just have to keep on going till things improve. I also don't understand why things have got so bad financially.

MrsGrindah Tue 13-Feb-18 21:36:17

Your DH should be able to pick something up no problem..even if it’s min wage , working FT will help. Is he very active in his job search , using agencies etc? Him getting work will make the biggest difference.

Look at the money saving threads on here... loads of excellent advice.
Can you transfer your card debt to 0% interest one? Sounds like you are trying to manage your outgoings but it’s more a case of maximising your incoming. Anything you can eBay, can you do anything from home before the baby comes?

You can’t beat yourself up about it but now is the time to act.

RoderickRules Tue 13-Feb-18 21:40:36

Look after other people’s DC?
Childcare dot co dot uk, free to register.

YellowMakesMeSmile Wed 14-Feb-18 07:33:09

How can the baby have been conceived in "times of plenty" when not born and your post indicates that you have been having issues with money for some time?

It seems to be a case of wanting it all (wedding/shopping sprees/ baby) for the minimum effort. You've chosen to have children yet are both working part time and aren't covering your expenses. There are plenty of ways to work without extortionate childcare costs but they take hard work.

bouncydog Wed 14-Feb-18 08:02:41

Can I suggest you go over to www.moneysavingexpert.com and have a wander around the site. They will have a look at your budget on the debt free board, plenty of ideas of what to do on a tight budget, loads of offer links and competitions and up your income ideas. This won't last for ever and you are lucky enough to be educated to degree level so there will be plenty of opportunities for you. Good luck.

ZBIsabella Wed 14-Feb-18 08:26:11

Could you work a night shift or evening shift when you husband is home and your 2 year old is asleep? We also shared weekend jobs when we had a baby and toddler ( as well as full time week day jobs). It was hard but it did bring in extra money.

Tablesturned Wed 14-Feb-18 08:34:34

You give the impression that you are much older - children conceived in times aplenty, moved around for years, paid for your wedding - and you are only 26!

I know a lot of single professional people at the start of their careers at that age and they are all struggling too. I think it's a perfectly normal position to be in. Add in two children to the mix then yes you are going to have more outgoings than if you had chosen to put a family on hold for a while.

I was well into my 30s before I had paid off student debts and had any disposable income and I still had to be careful.

Agree that shift work/evenings/second jobs are the answer if you and your husband can't get full time work.

Kardashianlove Wed 14-Feb-18 08:56:31

Do you think maybe your expectations are a little unrealistic?

and every now and again (maybe every month or two) we need a pick me up, be it a nice dinner, a new pair of shoes, some new clothes ...none of these things would really count as splurging for most people

I think most people, especially those both working part time with DC would count these as treats and not be buying them every month.

Also, spending a couple of hundred on clothes that you can’t afford and probably won’t last as you’re pregnant is madness. Pregnancy clothes you need as cheap as possible-Primark/eBay bundles/charity shop.

You say DS always has ‘good clothes’. Please don’t spend lots of money on this - again charity shops/eBay bundles are the way to go.

Can you eBay things you no longer wear/need. Get everything on there, it soon adds up.

You could do with making a proper budget and not buying anything unnecessary on a credit card. £2K is not that bad and really manageable to get down but if you carry on spending the way you are, £5K / £10K becomes unmanageable and you’ll be paying it off for years.

LovingLola Wed 14-Feb-18 08:57:41

Is your ds in nursery? Do you have to pay for that or are they free hours?

Sugarhunnyicedtea Wed 14-Feb-18 09:11:30

If you both work p/t minimum wage jobs then your income is possibly around £12k so you are presumably getting hb, tax credits and child benefit. I think you need to sit down and do a proper budget. List everything you have coming in and all your essential bills, including food. The leftover is what you can spend. I doubt you have anywhere near £200 a month left over. I live in Primark clothes and probably spend less than £20 a month on clothes, you have to make do. Try selling sites for bargains, kids clothes and maternity clothes are often sold in bundles very cheaply. We all need a pick me up now and again but spending money you don't have on clothes or a meal out isn't the right way to go. Living on beans but spending £50 on a meal once a month is ridiculous. Budgeting is tough but it won't be forever

AnaWinter Wed 14-Feb-18 09:18:26

If you both only have part time jobs you both need to get second jobs. Weekend work in pubs, takeaway delivery, baby sitting and ironing are jobs that spring to mind. It won’t be forever only until you get on your feet. Babysitters where I live are in high demand and get paid at least £10 per hour.

BarbaraofSevillle Wed 14-Feb-18 09:33:35

* a nice dinner, a new pair of shoes, some new clothes ...none of these things would really count as splurging for most people*

No, but they are luxuries, once you have adequate clothes and shoes, so you shouldn't lose sight of that.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Your DH will find better paid work sooner or later. You might not be able to get much work while you are pregnant but can you get maternity allowance etc?

When the second DC is born, you'll get extra child benefit and might be eligible for a bit more CTC and WTC and if you are meeting the hours requirements for the latter, it does make quite a bit of difference so do keep an eye on what benefits you are entitled to as your circumstances change.

And workingopposite hours is always a good way to bring in more money without shelling out on childcare, although you will get help with that too.

As far as the debt goes, you need to stop adding to it and deal with it effectively which could mean not paying it - if you only have £50/100 to spend on food, you shouldn't be paying your debts, you should be spending the money on food and essential bills/a coat and shoes for your DH if his have holes in and getting advice on a debt management plan, or possibly a debt relieft order. Second the advice to look on moneysavingexpert. There you can get help putting together a budget and dealing with your debts.

Good luck with money and the baby.

pigshavecurlytails Wed 14-Feb-18 09:35:33

What has changed since you got pregnant, how were you in times of plenty a few months ago but not now?

Scabbersley Wed 14-Feb-18 09:38:09

and every now and again (maybe every month or two) we need a pick me up, be it a nice dinner, a new pair of shoes, some new clothes ...none of these things would really count as splurging for most people

Yes they do count as splurging. Its a bit ridiculous to be living literally on rations and then spending £200 on clothes!

Scabbersley Wed 14-Feb-18 09:38:57

Your dh is going to have to get a full time job.

FaFoutis Wed 14-Feb-18 09:44:51

I agree, that is splurging. Spending money will not make you happy (as you have found).
When I was in your situation my dh got a full time job, I worked evenings and weekends and we had a lodger. Not fun but necessary.

Riverside2 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:44:23

I'm quite flummoxed by this post tbh

I was still doing 2 jobs at 26. You are bound to be scrimping and saving if you have 2 DC at this age?

Also wondering what happened with the "times of plenty".

As for £200 on clothes - no, I wouldn't do it now (age 42) never mind at 26 when every penny had to go for a deposit - and that made me lucky in my view, that I was in a position to save for a deposit.

LovingLola Wed 14-Feb-18 18:47:44

According to your other posts your dh is a sahd and also has a full time job...

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