Single parents with low incomes, how do you do it?

(21 Posts)
ILoveTheOcean Tue 20-Jul-21 14:38:13

Single parents with low incomes, how do you do it? I am contemplating a separation but not sure how I can support my child and I on 28k when a 2 bed flat is pretty much half my salary, let alone travel/car, insurances, other necessary taxes and household bills....

OP’s posts: |
DistrictCommissioner Tue 20-Jul-21 14:48:30

Have you use the entitledto website?

FATEdestiny Tue 20-Jul-21 16:30:27

Move to the Midlands?

Rightmove - 2 bed less than 500pcm

ILoveTheOcean Tue 20-Jul-21 16:43:25

I will definitely look into entitledto website, thanks.

Moving to the midlands seems a bit far, it would be unfair to take my that far away from his dad and sister, but I understand what you mean.

OP’s posts: |
Erinrose82 Tue 20-Jul-21 17:56:24

That's a decent wage many earn much less x

Cloudninenine Wed 21-Jul-21 04:19:58

How much does your partner earn? Is he the father of your baby? You would be entitled to child maintenance.

You may also be entitled to benefits to top you up - there are online calculators which show you how much.

Shelddd Wed 21-Jul-21 04:25:53

Will be a struggle anywhere on that.


Persipan Wed 21-Jul-21 08:28:15

What's your housing situation and what would you anticipate it being after a split? Rented or mortgaged?

radiosummer Wed 21-Jul-21 08:52:52

28k is a lot! My entire income, including benefits and earnings is around £13k a year and I'm a single parent. I genuinely dont understand how people earn so much! Who is paying these high wages?

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Wed 21-Jul-21 09:06:34

You need to plug all your details into a benefits calculator as if you are already single. Then it will spit out a sum (no idea what it might be!).

In theory - reduced rate on council tax, help with childcare bills (up to 70%), possibly some universal credit towards rent, plus maintenance from your ex on top of this, plus your salary

CiaoForNiao Wed 21-Jul-21 09:10:33

Benefit top ups.
Cheaper accommodation if possible.
Did I mention Budget?

But 28k isn't that low. I was earning 17k as a single parent. Now on "full" benefits (too ill to work but not ill enough for any extra money apparently) of just under 1600 per month. It should be more but i lose some to the benefit cap and lose more again thanks to a council fuck up on my HB which led to an overpayment.

inmyslippers Wed 21-Jul-21 09:24:08

Budget, clear all debt/finance. Run a cheap car

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jul-21 09:36:17

28k isn't a low income confused I would think of a low income as being minimum wage and/or part time.

I was I on much less than that. But it felt like loads just to be able to control my own money as my ex used to be very financially controlling.

I'd imagine if you're earning something like 28k as well, that's a "career" type job with prospects and/or qualifications, so you'll be in a much better position than a lot of people as you have the opportunity to job hop, look for promotions, do further training etc which will help over time.

So it will be about finding bulletproof childcare and making sure ex pays his share. Then being sensible about lifestyle stuff in terms of DC activities, cars, where you'll live, holidays, clothing, other luxuries. If you've been used to 28k being "low" then you might have to adjust expectations with these things.

ILoveTheOcean Wed 21-Jul-21 13:49:24

Thank you all for the comments, it certainly makes me feel better. I appreciate some people earn much less and survive which is why I asked, I've never had to do it on my own so certainly some helpful info in the thread. It's generally quite expensive around the Reading area and I don't want to move to far away because it wouldn't be fair on my son to have a big distance between him and his dad. The idea that a flat could cost £1000 which leaves me with around £750 for insurances, travel, groceries, child costs etc seemed quite daunting. I will certainly look into all the calculators too to see if I qualify for govt aid, that would help a lot. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
CiaoForNiao Wed 21-Jul-21 13:53:24

There are definitely cheaper than £1000 flats in/around Reading. £800 for a 2 bed seems fairly standard to me. Trust me. I look weekly in the hope I'll find something cheaper and nicer than my house.
Even so, you'll probably qualify for some help from UC.

ILoveTheOcean Wed 21-Jul-21 15:44:13

For those saying that 28k isn't low, I accept that then and I will probably be just fine in that case. It only seemed low to me because it's not even half of what some of my friends earn, also because I think at my age (40) I should probably have done better (compared to my friends, as I said)

OP’s posts: |
OneRingToRuleThemAll Wed 21-Jul-21 15:48:20

I'm on a similar income and it's very difficult. It's that limbo of too much for benefits and not enough to support yourself comfortably.

My children receive DLA and my ex is generous with maintenance. Without that I wouldn't be able to do it.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Jul-21 16:50:07

The main reason I would say it isn't low is because it sounds more like a professional salary.

The problem with low income (which I'd put roughly below 22k per year) is that not only do you have less money to play with, but your job is also more precarious. They tend to be minimum wage jobs or unskilled kind of jobs which means that the contracts are often unstable (zero hours or similar), there is no or very little prospect of progression, you are given no leeway by your employer. If you work in retail (or something similar) you can't just leave early, swapping shifts is a complicated thing, and you're generally thought of as a totally replaceable entity and treated as such. Even if you leave one company and work for another, you don't really have any scope to negotiate on salary. Minimum wage is minimum wage.

Whereas people I know who work in higher paid/office jobs have much more freedom to work flexibly, move things around commitments, when they have a problem their bosses are much more willing to try and work with them because their expertise/experience is valuable to the company. I know that's not the case for every company, but in general. And if you look around for other jobs you can generally negotiate a higher salary each time you move (that one I've got no personal experience in, but I'm assured it works this way...)

Bluntness100 Wed 21-Jul-21 16:52:42

Op you need to count in child benefits and child maintenance

And ignore the frankly ludicrous comments of moving north, like it’s that simple.

SarahDarah Thu 22-Jul-21 12:28:27

Move to a one bed flat. Your son having his own room when he's young is a luxury. That will significantly decrease your costs. Focus on career progression/job change, and when he's older you can move to a 2 bed.

Also, is your current relationship with his dad definitely not salvageable (assuming no abuse etc)

Tinkerbellfluffyboots79 Thu 22-Jul-21 12:54:54

I’m a nurse, single parent 3 kids. I earn 16000 but do get a small amount of hb and ct I am very careful as it does not go far. You should get some housing benefit if your rent is that high and as others have said do entitled to I don’t think it’ll be as bad a you think. I like just relying on me, however when they change your tax credits or housing benefits all of a sudden it’s difficult to adjust - happened to me 4 times last year you think you’re in the green then bam nope you’re paying back something they calculated incorrectly. I hope it goes ok op, it’s a daunting prospect I’m sure.

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