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First year as single parent - practical help please

(12 Posts)
honestjoan Mon 07-Nov-16 15:01:46

My head is mashed after losing my job and kicking out my philandering husband in the same week late last year. Two DCs. I'm self employed and have been keeping my head above water but I know there are all sorts of practical steps I need to take like looking at tax credits, benefit entitlements etc but it's been all I can do to get through each day. I have no idea where to start. I've seen a solicitor re divorce but where do I go for help with financial stuff? I know I must sound really stupid - actually held a very pressured job down and prided myself on never needing to be reminded about anything! But this past year has had me on my knees. Any advice on what to do, where to go for advice etc, very gratefully received. School run but will check back later and thank you.

feelingalone5878 Mon 07-Nov-16 15:08:49

Sorry to hear your situation. Im going through the first year as a single parent.
I used step change, it's a debt charity although I'm not in debt they went through every single outgoing and all my income. Calculated what benefits I should be entitled to and help build a financial plan for me from then on. Also you create an account with them so you can come back to them when/if circumstances change and they have all of your details already. They were so helpful and friendly and as they're a charity they really only have your best interests in the whole process. They give advice on how to go about claiming any benefits you're entitled too, it's worth it as they mentioned things I hadn't even heard of before..although I wasn't entitled it makes you more aware of what's available.

honestjoan Mon 07-Nov-16 16:39:25

Thanks so much feelingalone, that is brilliant advice. I'll definitely contact them. I'm guessing they're an online charity?? Sorry to hear you're in a similar situation and good luck to you flowers

feelingalone5878 Mon 07-Nov-16 17:42:42

They have a number you call, make sure you set aside a good amount of time to talk to them. I think it was about an hour I was on the phone and I had all my income/bills to hand to make it easier. Also made sure I was child free! Going from two incomes to one was a huge change and I would have ended up in debt if I hadn't of spoken to them. Hope this helps you and good luck flowers

feelingalone5878 Mon 07-Nov-16 17:44:22

0330 055 7563 they are government approved x

honestjoan Mon 07-Nov-16 18:13:29

This is brilliant, thank you. I've been in a tailspin of panic but I need to pull my head out of the sand before I start sliding into debt. It is such a huge change. Good luck to you too x

feelingalone5878 Mon 07-Nov-16 18:24:51

The feelings are raw for me too, it takes me about 2 weeks to get a simple thing done but try not to worry/panic. I really hope they can help you.

SingaSong12 Mon 07-Nov-16 18:28:41

citizensadvice.org.uk
Have a look under the benefits heading. There are links to benefit calculators so you can see what you may be entitled to. You may be able to get further help from your local office.

You can also find information on divorce and the end of a relationship - there is basic info on divorce, getting child support, contact sorting out property. If there is no domestic abuse then the focus is on family mediation to sort things out and no legal aid for solicitors. If there is or has been abuse of any kind there the website has links to organisations that can provide support and notes that there is legal aid to support with the split.

jeaux90 Mon 07-Nov-16 20:07:34

By the way OP single mum now for 6 years. It really does get easier once your finances settle down and you feel more in control. I love being a single parent now. Stay strong, big hug xxx

MattBerrysHair Mon 07-Nov-16 21:04:40

Turn2us and EntitledTo are benefits calculator websites. They were brilliant last year when I split up from my ex. I'm also self-employed with 2 dc plus mental health issues. I've struggled so much with many things over the last 18 months but due to the above calculators money hadn't been one of them.

clarityofthesweetvariety Mon 07-Nov-16 21:15:19

Single mum to two children here, doing it on my own for six months and counting... you are not alone. My relationship was toxic and emotionally abusive, I now have some space to regain the confidence I previously had and have started getting everything back on track whilst doing the best for my kids. Yes I'm busy and responsible for everything that happens in our home but do you know what, I find it easier than hoping and waiting in vain for that support to come. You can and will thrive, have faith in your own abilities and you'll be amazed what you can achieve smile

honestjoan Mon 07-Nov-16 23:42:08

Thank you so much for all the replies. Feelingalone I know that feeling - just getting through each day is enough but I have so many huge things to deal with, too. It's horrible isn't it.

Singasong thank you. I hadn't thought to look for Citizen's Advice online. My brain is just shot right now.

Jeaux90 that's just what I needed to hear so thank you! The finances are a major contributor to my stress levels and having a handle on them will definitely help me to sleep better. In glad you're happy!

MattBerrysHair thank you for the calculator recommendations. I'm sorry you've had such a tough time. My mental health has been in decline this year so I can relate to your struggles. It will all get easier, I'm sure xx

Clarityofthesweetvariety you sound like you're in a really great place just six months on so well done and yes you're right, it's better to be free of a toxic relationship than to still be stuck in one, even if going it alone is hardly a picnic. I'm glad you escaped that. I'm self employed which adds to the stress levels but at least I have some pointers for tomorrow now, thank you all of you - nice to know there are others in similar situations and good luck to all of you xx

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