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Not coping financially

(10 Posts)
HugeLaurie Mon 13-May-13 15:45:30

Will keep this short. I have an eight year old DS. I work full time and get tax credits etc but I am really struggling to keep afloat financially.

I have no family nearby (my parents live abroad) and no one to help out with childcare outside of my childminder so I can only work set hours during the day. I have looked for better paid jobs but even if I managed to find one my tax credits would either go down or disappear entirely, which would essentially leave me in the same position that I am in now.

I do get maintenance but this was fixed seven years ago when my ex and I split up and hasn't changed since. My ex was violent, which is why I left him, and I don't want to bring up the subject of extra money with him, even though he earns a lot of money.

My ex does have a very good relationship with our son though and I am thinking of asking my ex if our son can live with him so he (our son) can have a better quality of life. I can't see any other way out of this mess as I can't improve my earnings unless I can work unsocial hours, which means no childcare. And no, my ex wouldn't offer to have him while I work.

I really don't want to let my son live with his dad as I adore him but I can't see any other way at the moment.

Piemother Mon 13-May-13 17:03:23

I can't read and run. Would relocating be an option? Are you getting working tax credits?

jojane Mon 13-May-13 17:09:35

Are you applying for everything like housing benefit etc etc? I think you need to look at te maintence and ask for more or ask him to pay for certain things - clothes, extra curricular activities, haircuts etc etc. he might be more willing to pay more if he knew what it was going on?

RandomMess Mon 13-May-13 17:13:37

What are your incomings and outgoings? Could you move to a cheaper property?

My cousin slept in the lounge and her dc had the bedroom to save money.

Piemother Mon 13-May-13 17:33:02

Re randoms post - 2 friends of mine do that so they can pay less rent. Actually a single dad does too. Where are you in the uk?
Are you a nurse or similar? You make it sound like night shifts might be available if you could work out the Childcare? I am aware of at least one cm locally that does night shifts though she may be an exception.

Piemother Mon 13-May-13 17:34:10

What about other families you know? Any chance of reciprocal Childcare?

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 13-May-13 21:31:50

go to the CSA they override court orders over a year old. You can't give your son up please. It would not benefit anyone and you would then have to give CSA to your ex and so you wouldn't be better off.

Go to CAB, womens aid, gingerbread and see if they can help.

HugeLaurie Tue 14-May-13 14:56:05

Thank you for all of your posts, much appreciated. The last thing I want to do is to let my son live with his dad, but I cannot provide the things that he needs. All I ever say to him is that I can't afford things and I am so tired of struggling all of the time.

All of my friends are single with no kids and I never take my son to school or pick him up (childminder does it) so I don't know any of the mums there.

Before I had my son I worked in a very well paid job at an airport. This involved very long and unsocial hours and I just couldn't find anyone who could look after my son so I can work these hours. My ex wouldn't help and to be honest he works shifts as well so it would be down to his partner to have him, which I wouldn't be too comfortable about (wouldn't want to put on her as she doesn't like me as it is).

I feel trapped by having to work full time for very little money. I never get to spend any quality time with my son and I never get to take him to school or pick him up or attend at school events. I can't afford clothes or anything even vaguely frivolous, I just don't have any money.

The area where I live is reasonably cheap rent wise (Midlands) and I have approached landlords in the past about one bed flats but they won't rent to me because they say I need another bedroom for my DS. I get some help with the rent via Housing Benefit and they say I can't rent a one bed place either.

I am feeling so depressed and upset with my situation and I just don't know what to do anymore.

PintandChips Tue 14-May-13 17:04:03

Hey Huge, it sounds like you're having a terrible time and it's all getting on top of you.
Firstly, i would say you should speak to the CSA as it's my understanding that they re-evaluate the maintenance that should be paid every 2 years automatically. Ask them to do so now.
When i was struggling, i took in a lodger and had my DS in my bedroom with me. Depends how old he is though on whether or not that's possible.
Can you talk to someone like CAB or Gingerbread and find out if there's any other help for you?
I know this is probably not the right thing to say, but if you're really struggling not just financially, but with the stress of working full time and never seeing your son, then you might consider not working and taking benefits until your son is older.
Is there anything to be gained from asking your XP for more financial help directly?
I hope you can work through it, i know it can be really hard. Stay strong.

HerrenaHarridan Tue 14-May-13 17:33:10

Right you need to have a good financial shake up.

First stop citizens advice, they will they'll you if there are any other benefits you could be receiving,

Secondly Csa, ffs you can't seriously be saying you'd rather your son went to live with your ex than you got more money from him.

If the first two aren't going to cut it then you need to start thinking nanny share, single parent house share, I don't think a lodger will be an option because you receive some housing benefit.

Where does your money go? Can you trim out some expenditure?

Can you supplement your income by working from home a couple of evenings a week. I know 2 people who have call centre type jobs they do on their home computer. I'll text them and find out who they work for if you like.

Calm down, you can and are providing for your son!

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