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Are you single and poor but happier? (Im financially fucked.)

(70 Posts)
UpDownUpDownandaweebitannoying Thu 30-Jun-16 03:25:20

Separating and I have just realised how little I'm going to have to live on. I have been lucky to have had a comfortable life money wise so far which is about to dramatically change.

So instead of lying here panicking over the figures any longer, thought I'd ask for any nice stories of how you are skint but happier for going it alone?! (Am I naive?)

If anyone is actually awake.

Jalapenos4me Thu 30-Jun-16 05:19:35

I'm separated but still living in the same house. I will also be financially fucked and haven't slept a wink all night after a letter he has written and passed to me this evening. And he's going on holiday tomorrow,. I can't take a break myself, utter selfish bastard!

TheMorningAfterTheNightBefore Thu 30-Jun-16 06:01:44

Yep, same here.

I don't want to be labelled as a in the wrong on here in years to come, so I'm not doing it, but I really want to advise my daughter to not get married and have children and to live independently and retain that independence no matter what.

mathanxiety Thu 30-Jun-16 06:04:06

Most definitely happier. At least now any problems I have are problems I can cure, not spend years banging my head against a brick wall hoping to make exH be civil to me. (I was prepared to settle for civility...)

Jalapenos, if there is any way you can get out from under the same roof, do it. Or give him the boot. I suffered from horrible stress in similar circumstances.

user1465823522 Thu 30-Jun-16 06:04:29

You'll be fine.

I know it can sometimes seem awful, but honestly you'll be okay. I promise. a couple of years ago I went through a bad breakup and took time from work. I was on benefits for about six months, no savings and no one I could ask for help. You deal with. You get on with things because you have to. I'll admit, it was shit. And there were times when I paid for electricity with 5ps and we had beans for dinner three nights in a row, but we came through it. And you will too. xx

Fletcherl Thu 30-Jun-16 06:36:58

When the children were little a was a single parent. There was a period when we lived off my part time wage. I spent days fretting and going over the figures but it was fine.
They are adults now and laugh about it and remember it fondly. The call it the year of smart price. They are students and say it helped them know how to live frugally.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Thu 30-Jun-16 06:44:48

But being single and the only earner is hard. Hopefully you will get maintenance? I don't

crazybat Thu 30-Jun-16 06:55:35

I love being single. I make every decision. I have a wonderful family unit with me and my boys.

I'm not well off at all and I do struggle at times however I manage to run a car a tax credit rebate has allowed a holiday to be booked.

I'm anal when it comes to bills. They are paid up never missed and if I am struggling I budget budget budget X

category12 Thu 30-Jun-16 08:20:00

I might have less money coming in, but I also have control of it (my ex spent everything and more). I pay all bills direct debit after payday, and then am careful with the rest.

I have a budget spreadsheet. I rather enjoy keeping it up.

It's a lot better, I'm a lot happier - and in my case, because he was hopeless with money (although that makes it sound cute and bumbling, when it was more like sabotage), I'm actually better off, although on less money.

Zaphodsotherhead Thu 30-Jun-16 10:17:43

Tough one. On a day to day basis I am happy - I have autonomy and (apart from work) my time is my own. Only...the kids have left home now, and my work is minumum wage 16 hour contract, so I qualify for no benefits at all. I live on about £9,000 a year, and it is very very hard. Great in the summer, all skipping through fields, thinking how lucky I am not to have to get home to cook for a man... But winter, when I can't afford heating or hot water and have to sleep on a sofa in front of an open fire heated with logs I have, ahem, liberated... Not so much.

Thistly Thu 30-Jun-16 11:02:13

It is a test of character.
I struggled, and at times leant on family. I prioritized, so did without certain things in order to continue with swimming, etc for the kids.
But it sounds like you are approaching it positively, so you will get through it.

It was financially tough for about 2 years, but the independence and decision making made that easier to deal with.

Have you got kids in the picture?

UpDownUpDownandaweebitannoying Thu 30-Jun-16 11:44:58

I do have children. I am feeling quite positive today, which isn't typical. We will just have to live very differently. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

gustofwind Thu 30-Jun-16 12:05:08

Same here... I'm going to be absolutely <understatement> skint, but I'm so positive about my future. Just me and my girls. Exh will be a part of their lives, and I want that. But I doubt maintenance will be forthcoming. He doesn't earn very much and I want him to be secure too.

Claraoswald36 Thu 30-Jun-16 12:26:49

I was single and 100% happier despite being poor.
My best advice to the op is to go straight on a strict paternity budget. Cut everything you can and plough through the credit crunch threads for advice. Make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to.
Things will get better. Once you are in control the only way is up. I've been there and really it was probably the best period of personal growth and development for me in my whole life. I grew up completely and got a grip. Honestly op you will look back in a year and be really proud of how you coped becauSe you will x

justjuanmorebeer Thu 30-Jun-16 12:39:26

I was initially worried too. I have been separated for exactly two years now and financially I am back on my feet. The big thing for me was that because I made all the financial decisions finally and didn't have a drain on my resources (him) spending £ on crap, we were ok.
You have to really prioritise. I have never had a car as couldn't drive. But over the last year I learned and now am in a position to get a small run around. This will change our lives lots in terms of what we can do and where I can work.

Dd has not been able to do any activites such as dancing or swimming etc. But once we have a car and can travel this may possibly be an option.

I don't spend any money on things like magazines/books/make up/coffees out apart from the odd occasion such as a train journey. I meal plan and check my online banking frequently. You just have to be very organised.

Have frequent clearouts and sell things on fb/ebay to fund the next size of things you need for the kids. Have a diary and mark in all of your payment dates for incoming and outgoings.
Spend a day calling all of your direct debits and changing the payment dates to suit your circumstances.
Lower your own expectations and decide what is really important to your life and what can go.

Flouncy Thu 30-Jun-16 12:54:00

I'm no longer single but I was a single parent from when my boys were 1 and 3.

I think money and happiness aren't linked so long as you have a roof over your heads, food on the table, you're able to turn the heating on when a jumper and blanket over your lap isn't enough and hopefully receiving your bills doesn't send you into a blind panic. If the budget allows for these things to be prioritised and then sometimes there's a bit over for other stuff then there is hope.

Adjusting took some time for me and finding new ways of doing things but over time it gave me a new perspective. I became an avid eBayer and found buying better quality recognised brands second hand, then selling as soon as things became redundant has helped our budget enormously - it's something I've continued particularly for clothes and toys. It's helped teach the DC about value too. They're happy to have a good clear out to raise the cash for their next must-have item.

When I think about my happiest memories with the DC it's things like family picnics, being caught in the torrential rain and sheltering in the bakers and finding ourselves trying some just baked pastries that were amazing, snoozing on the beach in North Wales when we were staying in my parents caravan and hadn't slept well overnight but a shared bag of warm chips on the beach, the sunshine and sand to dig in and our world was momentarily a really good place.

I've remarried - something I never conceived I would at the time, and have a third child. Now we sometimes have more adventurous expensive days out but when it gets to the end of the summer holidays and the children do the compulsory what I did in my holidays essays it's not generally the costly things that spring to mind first. It'll be digging for Australia with their cousins in the muddy back garden or going on a train to the next town, whatever they've achieved on Minecraft.

UpDownUpDownandaweebitannoying Thu 30-Jun-16 13:12:35

Thank you. Some great advice here.

And lovely memories Flouncy.

Really encouraging.

JellyBean31 Thu 30-Jun-16 13:17:25

I got a part time pub job... Made new friends and earned a bit of extra cash which is always nice

inaclearingstandsaboxer Thu 30-Jun-16 13:20:47

I asked my (ex) H to leave the marital home as I found out he was shagging a colleague of his.

He didn't argue and walked out of mine and my children's lives.

I got the house in the divorce and I had to pay for everything - I was skint but so much happier. He and I had joint accounts and money would haemorrhage from the account and I couldn't work out where it was going. At one point I had to pawn my camera and my wedding ring

We were both senior nurses with a small mortgage - on paper we were well off

I found out he was funding her lifestyle. - no I was funding her lifestyle.

So as I said I was on my own with two kids and all the bills. I struggled but I knew how much I had in my account and I knew it wouldn't change. I managed to save money for a holiday every year.

I am re married and even though this one is a keeper I cannot bring myself to having a joint account...

sall74 Thu 30-Jun-16 14:21:55

Single, happier and financially much better off here! My ex was dreadful with money, despite earning more than me and moving into my place without contributing anything at all towards mortgage, bills, etc but would still borrow money off me.

bigtapdancingpimp Thu 30-Jun-16 17:11:15

Much happier.

Had a wonderful lifestyle with my ex husband - restaurants and nights out every weekend, holidays, full trolley at the supermarket, hair and nails done every month, new furniture and clothes when we wanted them, 3-bed semi, not having to worry about bills etc.

Now I'm in a tiny (but very cute) house and have to watch every cent. Life's a struggle but I have freedom, amazing friends and peace of mind - can't put a price on that. When my ex revealed his true colours I considered for 20 fleeting seconds burying my head in the sand but decided there was no point in living a 5-star lifestyle if you're slowly dying inside.

Cost me two grand to divorce the loser but it was the best money I ever spent grin

PoundingTheStreets Thu 30-Jun-16 17:29:23

I'm happily resettled and comfortably off now, but I was a single parent for 8 years and desperately poor for 4-5 of those years. I worked, but the combination of childcare and no maintenance meant I was worse off than someone on benefits. I'm not going to lie, it was one of the hardest phases of my life. There were times where I was sat wearing gloves in the house because I couldn't afford to put the heating on once DC were in bed, and many times when I went hungry to ensure my DC had enough food or that I could afford the £7.50 school trip, etc.

Despite all of that, nothing would ever have persuaded me to go back to X. When I left him I rediscovered my sense of worth and self-respect. I also had more time to myself, was able to nurture friendships without feeling I wasn't paying him enough attention and there were a whole host of other little things that make being single enjoyable - sofa to yourself, TV remote to yourself, going to bed when you want to, less washing/cleaning, finding the house as you left it, never being undermined because while all the responsibility may be yours the pay off is that no one is second guessing that decision you made and making you question it. And when you find you can cope, you start seeing yourself differently. Your confidence grows, you try more, you achieve more, and eventually life starts improving.

I went from 'getting by' in a crap relationship, to being desperately poor as a single parent, to retraining into a new career with much better pay and a huge sense of fulfilment because I had done it on my own. And along the way I acquired an extra special bond with my children, deepened friendships in a way I don't think I ever could had I stayed with my X, and even eventually met a new partner through my new job who treats me in a way so different from my X that the contrast is remarkable (partly because these days I demand to be treated well and it has a way of making people react in kind).

Temper your expectations with realism because if you don't the financial difficulties and responsibilities may make you feel like you're 'doing it wrong' when in truth it's normal; but once you adjust you will be fine and definitely happier.

Being in control of a difficult situation with hope for the future and a plan to get there, is infinitely better than a less difficult situation where the future stretches away endlessly towards being unfulfilled and unhappy.

The best tip I'd give you is nurture your friendships. They will tide you through this; and other single parent friends can be one of the most powerful forms of support you'll ever have.

Good luck. flowers

UpDownUpDownandaweebitannoying Thu 30-Jun-16 19:50:51

Hi, have just been reading all the posts again after a long day. Thanks for all the advice, its so helpful to read others' experiences and how many of you are saying its tough but worth it.
Its a great message to hear just now. Thank you.

Myusernameismyusername Thu 30-Jun-16 21:23:57

I was poor. I am not now. And that's not a man. Ok I don't have that much and I will never ever own my own house but we do ok. And actually I have learnt so much about growing up and taking care of myself that now I think I would struggle to ever be with someone who was in any way lazy, restrictive etc. I would see them a mile off and ditch them because I don't want that in my life, that I have built. I worried a lot until I started career focus and working my way up. Also proud of the example I have set to my children about independence

Cocoabutton Thu 30-Jun-16 21:58:02

Marking to read later - single parent and working but need to somehow also manage to save!
To answer the OP I am so much happier but xH was controlling and that extended to his finances. His money was his. So theoretically there was money but it didn't come in my direction on a day to day basis.

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