Hi. I am about to be a lone parent to a 3 yr old and 11 month old twins.
I wondered if I could have some budgeting help?! I have worked out set monthly expenses (mortgage, utilities etc), then allowed an amount to put away for car tax, MOT, service etc; Xmas and birthdays (dramatically reduced!).
What have I missed? Clothes and shoes for dc - how much to allow? General day today expenses - occasional trip to soft play?! I am going to be able to manage I think but it will be tight and any unexpected expenses could throw me!
Try to hit the sales and if you've got enough room buy winter clothes for next year! That's what I did last year thank god I did!
Hi, I am in the middle of doing the same.
Do you have any insurances or have you included that in mortgage, utilities etc. Buildings, life etc.
I have professional fees that my work doesn't pay but I have to pay to work! So have included them.
Council tax, that will go down, if you are the only one over 18 in the house you only have to pay 3/4; also if you are having to move you may go down a band.
Do you have any nursery fees?
I have always kept my child benefit seperately to cover clothes etc for MissE, plus now ballet lessons (she is about to turn 4), so I am keeping that plan and hoping for me that should cover all her "unforseen" needs.
I can't think what else is on my list right now. Good luck with things for you.
I made a spreadsheet with all my income and expenses in a big sum, so it showed me how much general spending money I had left each week.
Ask around parents of slightly older children and you can probably get most of the clothes you need second-hand. Shoes are the only thing I'd include in a budget because when they're needed, they're really needed now and the cost a lot.
As well as keeping costs down, check you're getting all the income you can - tax credits, possibly council tax benefit, child support from your ex, and child benefit.
As pointed out above, there's a 25% reduction in council tax benefit for being the only adult in the house.
Thankyou that's really useful. I am going to have to go fully on benefits which is very scary, I've only ever worked or been a sahm with H working. Now it's me, and it's all down to me and financially I want us to be ok.
Laladipsey I am in exactly the same position as you (but I have two pre-schoolers). I am sooo worried about managing financially. I have only ever worked full time or had partner supporting me and kids. I was told last week that council tax benefit is being cut and I worry about the universal credit coming in. But I have no control over these things. You know in your heart when it's right to separate but it does not make the prospect of managing financially on your own any less daunting. Hopefully another poster will tell us she has been doing it for years and it's fine!
I've been doing it for years and its fine! Well I've worked part time but when I worked out what I would have got if I hadn't worked at all I would have been better off not working (or more or less the same).
You just have to watch every penny you can and keep a track of everything. I have a spread sheet for my budget and update it nearly every day. I try and use my card to pay for most things as I find if I've for cash in my purse I'll spend it, whether it be on a bottle of water, a newspaper etc it just goes. But if you're paying on card your less likely to buy crap you don't need and it's easier to keep track of how much you're spending on everything.
I have a miscellaneous fund as there's always something unexpected that crops up like you need a new headlight or a school trip or whatever it might be.
Also try and allow a bit of money for days out, it doesn't need to be much but you need some enjoyment.
That goes for you as we'll as the kids, allow yourself a bit of a treat, even if its just a bottle of wine and a take away with a friend.
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