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Minimum Income needed?

(5 Posts)
Fink Fri 16-Oct-15 12:44:07

I'm a single mum working in London. Currently live with my parents, which is lovely in many ways and I'm not complaining, but thinking long term it can't last forever (they want to downsize & move on into retirement).

I'm on about £25,000 at the moment, including wages, benefits, and maintenance. This is not likely to increase significantly in the future as I don't have the kind of job with a lot of progression, I've more or less peaked. If anything, it will fall as DD gets bigger and so less maintenance, and whatever changes the government brings in to benefits.

Having looked around at various accommodation options since ex-H left 4 years ago, I have not been able to find anything. I've mainly been looking in Newham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, and Barking and Dagenham, which are near my work and much cheaper than trendier areas.

I'm wondering how other single parents cope? I know a lot of people don't have a safety net of being able to live with parents, so there must be a way to manage. And it's not a ridiculously low income, all things considered ... so how did you get somewhere to live? My income is too low to qualify for any of the affordable house buying schemes, I can't get a rental agreement for the same reason, can't get housing benefit until I'm already privately renting, was told there was an 18 year waiting list for council housing ... I'm guessing other people must have managed this and be surviving so, any tips, please?

OP’s posts: |
Flowerpower41 Thu 22-Oct-15 04:46:01

I think it is going to be very hard to survive financially on that salary as a single parent in London. I used to live in London but had the safety net of savings for a number of years. It is still crippling financially however now I am living up in the middle of the country as a single parentas I moved away 7 years ago and I only have a tiny mortgage.

Personally I would consider moving to live near to your parents and not with them if you see what I mean, so you both enjoy space and independence. Then hopefully that will heavily reduce the childcare costs. Running a car, the food bill and the childcare costs are the main issues being a single parent. I know you can get DWP assistance but that stops from £23k in London and £20k outside of London and with the Tories being so unkind to single parents these days I would not set too much store on their hep as such.

I have no parents as mine are deceased but have noticed many parents and single parents are lucky in that they enjoy plenty of hands on free childcare so that they can sustain jobs outside of the home. Plenty can afford decent holidays but we enjoy none whatsoever. It is depressing. I have had to work from home as there was no other option as the ex lived over 100 miles away so I had no free help. I am good at budgeting and understand money well but the financial pressure is always on.

I have also noticed if you rent as a single parent they generally have more money than those who own as they get hb help potentially. Others may come along and argue this however so not sure if I am accurate in that. All I know is although my mortgage is tiny I am still endlessly hard up owing to car/food/childcare reasons - and funding birthdays and Xmas presents all alone is a real killer. Many Christmases ds didn't even get a present or phone call from his despite paying maintenance.

Does your ex pay maintenance? Do look into that.

Hope this helps! Best of luck with it. smile

Flowerpower41 Thu 22-Oct-15 04:46:49

Sorry I see your ex pays maintenance so that is something at least!

HeadDreamer Thu 22-Oct-15 04:55:06

For housing benefit, if you qualify, then you need to save up the deposit and also some months of rent in advance. You can claim once you have a rental agreement (or pay the deposit). Ask your council about the exact point you can start claiming and the usual lead time.

Fink Sun 25-Oct-15 21:45:22

Thanks both for the advice, I'll have a longer think about what to do but some useful pointers. Thank you! smile

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