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Really struggling :-(

(4 Posts)
strugglingfinancially Sun 02-Apr-17 19:28:22

Sorry this is long but I need to let it out. I have just moved back in with the father of my children.

I will give you the back story so you get an idea of what things have been like. Please no judgment.

We were together a long time (8 years then split for 4 so known him for 12 years altogether) and we really did stick together through a lot and got on well but he cheated on me and things were always one sided in our marriage and things were never fair. So I told him to leave 4 years ago. He left and moved in with his friend. As I was a stay at home mum at the time and my youngest was around one at the time I had to claim benefits as a single person. I did look for work and applied for jobs but never got an interview. Also it was difficult as he had his own life so didn't really have the kids set times he just came and saw them on his days off work and would take them out etc but it was always different week to week and I have no family reliable enough to help me. I also have OCD, anxiety and depression and several other symptoms that are unexplained due to doctors not finding a cause. So I am not in the right place to work at the moment but about 10 weeks ago my children's father moved in to help with the children because I was finding it hard with my anxiety and depression as the kids played up for me and life was generally difficult. Also running the house got on top of me, everything was overwhelming me so their dad agreed to move in to help on a temporary basis until I got myself sorted with my depression, he said he wanted to see me making steps to change things and I would need to get a job after I've sorted myself out. I cancelled all the benefits I was claiming and claimed tax credits as a 'couple' even though we are not a 'couple' I had to claim that way as we live together. We get child tax calculated on how much he earns which works out as £190 a week plus child benefit £61 child benefit.

Before he moved in I was told I would have to transfer to jobseekers as my daughter turned 5 and she was in full time school. The benefit cap also came in, in my area so whilst I was single my housing benefit was cut. I was only entitled to £15 a week even though my rent was £90 a week Because I claimed child tax credits and child benefit and income support for 4 kids that all added up to the benefit cap so housing benefit was reduced and I struggled to pay everything so I was already in rent arrears when he moved in.

Anyway he told me he won't be able to help much with rent or bills because he has an overdraft debt on his bank due to him having to pay out a lot of things ( genuine things, it's not silly debt it's genuine expenses got him in debt) and was struggling himself so when he gets his wage his overdraft just eats up his wage so he is living off an over draft so he said he needs to get this under control so he can't help with too much bills whilst he sorts it. So I'm paying £90 a week from child tax to rent and I have to save £25 a week for council tax ( it's £100 a month) and I pay the main shopping bill and gas and electric and internet bill ( I need internet for job hunting).

It's been 10 weeks and he's had two wages since and all he's helped me with is one week rent, £80 towards a new cooker as ours broke but I Put £150 from child tax back pay once our joint claim was sorted. He's helped with buying some meat for the month £25 and bits here and there but that's it. I'm paying the most of everything and I'm struggling. I have some debts to pay but I can't pay them because I have no disposable income.

When we was apart he didn't pay me anything but he bought the kids new coats, shoes and clothes as and when needed as his contribution. I was ok with this arrangement as I didn't work so only wanted him to pay towards his kids stuff and not me.

To top all this off he's just told me he gave me his 'basic Salary' figure for tax credits and he does get paid some enhancements so he won't know his actual figure until he end of April so now I'm worried I will have been over paid. It won't be a big over payment but it's still an added worry and it means if he gets paid more than he originally thought then we will get less tax credits leaving me in a bad way.

I'm so depressed, low and anxious, my anxiety is through the roof. I have the doctors tomorrow for yet another blood test to find out why I'm feeling so tired and ill for them to probably tell me I'm 'normal' and to just get on with it.....
My life's a mess and I don't know where to start in sorting it out 🙁

I don't know what to do. I try talking to him about money but he shuts off and doesn't want to know. I ask him for money but he says he's struggling himself.

Coconutty2 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:37:56

Hi, I didn't want to read and run. I don't receive any tax credits and only receive child benefit for one child. I do feel for you being honest with the benefits and trying to manage, it does seem that recently the 'goalposts' for claiming help has changed. In the past I have been a single parent, working part time and was able to claim the tax credits, except I didn't claim for housing as the ex continued to pay the mortgage and I know I was in a much better financial position. When I got back with my ex, benefits stopped and yes we just about manage despite both working. Things look good on paper for us, nice house, jobs, cars etc but we sacrifice foreign holidays, expensive meals out etc. Only advice would be maybe to double check via citizens advice whether you are claiming for everything you are entitled to.I hope someone comes along who can be more helpful flowers

tallwivglasses Sun 02-Apr-17 23:35:01

Please go to CAB or other benefits advisor. If you have a local Surestart or children's centre they might point you in the right direction for benefits advice and other support.

I might be wrong but he probably needs to stop staying the night so you can claim as a lone parent again - he can still care for the dc and help out. And he should be contributing financially. So get some advice. Hope you get it sorted OP.

PickAChew Sun 02-Apr-17 23:39:10

If he stays with you, then he needs to pay his way, or bugger off!

Agree that, if he's determined to be genuinely helpful, he needs to stay around for the waking day then go home! fn= not, then he needs to pay rent. You can set the score out with him.

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