Advanced search

those of you on income support, how much money do you have spare after bills?

(27 Posts)
juicychops Sun 06-Sep-09 17:58:54

i am working out if i can afford to quit my job and go back on income support so i can study full time but when i worked it out i would have £1 per month spare! if i cut down to the bare minimum on petrol and food and paid back some of my overdraft before i quit my job so interest charges were lower then i would have around £10 per week spare. and then i could also get a few hours per week work too as long as it was within the IS limits which would be a bit extra too.

do others manage fine on this amount of money? is it realistically do-able?

juicychops Sun 06-Sep-09 18:59:04


differentID Sun 06-Sep-09 19:00:41

will you be eligible for IS if you study ft?

juicychops Sun 06-Sep-09 19:19:44

im assuming so as its with the open university and wont be much different than studying part time. il just be doing 2 courses at a time instead of just 1

TheWolf Sun 06-Sep-09 19:30:29

I don't have anything left after bills/food etc

gillybean2 Sun 06-Sep-09 21:27:14

I 'managed' for five years on IS. If you call managing all the sleepless nights worrying the house would burn down as I had no insurance, and worrying something would go wrong with the car which i couldn't afford to fix, and walking around in boots with a hole in the bottom of them and having no money to buy things like lemsip or cough medicine when I was ill... let alone trying to cut corners on food bill etc!

It was bloody hard and I have no idea how people think people on IS have an easy life. I certainly didn't. It is do-able but only if you are prepared to give up an awful lot of stuff others take for granted. I wouldn't want to go back to that level of poverty again.

There is no money for anything else at all. It doesn't matter what you cut back on (my ds and i lived and slept in same room as i could only afford to heat the 1 room) and you will find food for yourself every day becomes a luxury. I seriously looked at getting rid of my car on several occassions as I struggled to find money for the tax and insurance.

Have you looked at the possibility of getting a study grant? Or working part time while you study. If you work 16 hours a week you would qualify for WTC and CTC and help with child care costs.

juicychops Mon 07-Sep-09 14:01:14

i work 16 hours a week at the moment but comsidering quitting work and going back onto IS as im not much better off anyway and im also struggling as the council keep changing my housing benefit every other week and it has now done right down so got to pay out a lot of rent plus council tax.

i am considering going back on IS and getting a job for a few hours per week to earn a bit extra within the limits of IS to give me a bit of extra money.

i know it will definately not be easy and i will have to give up an awful lot. i was on IS before but i didn't have a car to run then so had quite a lot spare.

i get £250 grant every time i start a new 60 point course as i get financial help for my studying

TheWolf Mon 07-Sep-09 16:01:29

I'm pretty certain that you only get one grant a year from the OU.

juicychops Mon 07-Sep-09 18:41:27

maybe thats true actually

norksinmywaistband Mon 07-Sep-09 18:47:23

I manage, but as others have said it is not easy. I no longer have a car as it cost too much.
I have insurance for the house as H pays that in lieu of maintainence.

I do manage to save a bit as I work to earn the extra £20 a week I am allowed( that saves up to pay for birthdays christmas and other essentials)

I am lucky in that I also had a bit of savings so I feel ok atm but that is dwindling fast just to make ends meet - not sure how I will manage when that has gone

Scorps Mon 07-Sep-09 18:50:11

I'm thinking of leaving my DH, and as im 24 weeks pg with dc4 dont think i will be working for a bit yet. I'm scared at the thought of managing on IS, its holding me back i think. DH wouold have to pay maintenance, but i have no clue on what sort of money i would be expected to live.

OrangeFish Mon 07-Sep-09 18:57:33

I doubt you will be elegible for IS if you are studying. If you get a few hours per week work, you may not even qualify for benefits anymore. I would have an easier life on your 16 hours. you could get far more on it and tax credits.

In the past have worked 20 hrs weeks and studied full time at the same time, I can assure you that is far more "doable" and dignified than live on IS.

pippel Mon 07-Sep-09 18:58:01

Scorps I think its about £120 plus child benifit now but I might be wrong about that.

I live in fear of being that poor again. I didnt have a car and I didnt have quiet a lot to spare. Another thing that would worry me is the fact its always easier to find a job if you already have one.

norksinmywaistband Mon 07-Sep-09 18:59:41

Sorry to hear that scorps.
I get Half the mortgage interest paid( H still pays his half of the mortgage
Council tax benefit( so costs me nothing)
IS £64.30 a week
Child benefit
and full child tax credit
Milk vouchers(£3 a week for a child under 4)

This add up with the money I earn to a total of
about £800 a month
From that I have to pay 150 mortgage
as well as normal monthly outgoings.

That is for me and 2 DC you would get more due to 4 dc, but remember until they change the rules next year child support counts as income and would reduce your IS

Look at the CSA website and the to find out the sort of money you would get.

IMO money is not a reason to stay in a relationship, however hard it may be

OrangeFish Mon 07-Sep-09 19:00:42

Scorps, 15% per first child, 20% if you have two of his salary after taxes, provided you have the kids 100% of the time. I don't know how much it would be for 4 kids but I'm pretty sure it would be less than 30%.

You can only keep the first £20 of child maintenance a week, the rest is deducted from whatever benefits you are entitled in IS.

Scorps Mon 07-Sep-09 19:01:17

What are the rule changes next year, please?

I know its not, its very complex. sad I guess i almost want to know that with careful budgetting, dc and i will be ok.

Scorps Mon 07-Sep-09 19:02:22

Thankyou all

OrangeFish Mon 07-Sep-09 19:03:22

Norks, could you please remind me how the rules will change next year? 'm sure the person I talked to in the job centre told me something about it but I was so mortified about the whole subject (and convinced I was not going to get anything) that I didn't pay attentiom. Now I wonder... as I depend on them...

norksinmywaistband Mon 07-Sep-09 19:06:31

In April 2010 a full disregard will be introduced meaning any money parents receive in child maintenance payments will not be taken into account when calculating out-of-work benefits or Housing and Council Tax benefits.

C&P from the CSA website

norksinmywaistband Mon 07-Sep-09 19:07:55

HTH, basically you will still be entitled to full IS whatever you are given in Child support as realistically that is to support the DC and you still need to live

Scorps Mon 07-Sep-09 19:09:43

ahh ok, thankyou.

DH would have to pay for 3 of my dc. ds1 is not his, but i get money from his father already. suggests no rent or ctax payment (live in HA house), but no IS as DH would be paying more than that offere, until rule change time.

OrangeFish Mon 07-Sep-09 19:14:53

Oops! that sounds good however, I have found the following that doesn't sound very promising:
"We intend that, from October 2008, lone parents with older children will no longer be entitled to income support solely on the grounds of being a lone parent. Instead, those able to work may claim jobseeker's allowance. They will be expected to look for work and, if necessary, acquire the skills they need to do so, in return for personalised support.

"The change will be introduced for lone parents with a youngest child aged 12 or over from October 2008 a youngest child aged 10 or over from October 2009 and a youngest child aged seven or over from October 2010."

Unfortunately, that sounds bad considering the current crisis... I have been sending 3 job applications a week over several months and still, nothing. :-( I can't be very positive about finding one before that date anymore.

pippel Mon 07-Sep-09 19:19:39

OrangeFish you shouldnt be any worse off by the changes you would just have to go and sign on and prove you are looking for work which you already are, you wont have to apply for anything that would make you worse off and that you couldnt get childcare for.

TheWolf Mon 07-Sep-09 19:20:12

I did qualify for IS whilst studying with the OU but it was difficult, and tbh were it not for the £250 grant I wouldn't have been able to afford internet at home.

I certainly don't have a car or any other large expenses either.

OrangeFish Mon 07-Sep-09 19:21:30

That's good news, but how much time do I have to find a job before my entitlement as a job seeker is reduced?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now