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Is living on my own with DS feasible?

(30 Posts)
SnailBob Sun 23-Jun-13 21:34:22

Hello all,

I have NC for this, been posting here about our issues for a while. Without going into them, I just would like to find out from you, especially if you are a single parent, how do you manage financially? And to see if in my situation leaving and surviving on my own would be feasible.

I work full time with income of roughly £32000 a year.
The properties for rent I have been looking at (to get the idea) are from £750 to £900 a month. £750 would mean 1 bed, £850+ - 2 bed flat/house.

After taking out all the unavoidable expenses (presuming I rent something for £850 a month, then loan repayment, car insurance, mobile phone) I am left with around £300 which would have to cover all food, any additional house bills (heating, electricity, council tax etc), all necessary clothes for me and DS.

Is that even feasible? I do realise I am not on the minimum wage and overall am not complaining... But I am scared that I would find myself struggling hugely or worse, unable to pay for all things.

Also, I wouldn't qualify for any benefits, I don't think...

So can I be a little bit cheeky and ask what is your breakdown is and how do you manage?


sipofwine Sun 23-Jun-13 21:40:04

Hi, SnailBob - are you sure you wouldn't qualify for child tax credits? I thought that a single parent with an income below approx £40k could get help currently??

WhoWhatWhereWhen Sun 23-Jun-13 21:46:57

You wont get any tax credits on that income.

EachAndEveryHighway Sun 23-Jun-13 21:49:04

Is the £32,000 gross or net?

£300 really wouldn't cover everything .... council tax in itself could well be £100ish a month and in winter heating and electricity would be at least £100 a month. You just wouldn't have enough left for food / unexpected expenses / clothes / petrol / car tax etc.

You would get child benefit, and presumably some child maintenance.

Are you sure you wouldn't be entitled to any tax credits?.... not sure what the cut-off point is.

I am a self employed single parent of two, and I struggle - the minimum I get per month is £500 after mortgage, council tax and electricity are paid for. I can manage on that as long as the car doesn't break down but if it's one of those months where I have a lot of dinner money to pay (I pay half termly) or house insurance premium comes up or anything like that, it's a real struggle.

I've also found it far more preferable to be skint-but-free than have money in a toxic relationship.

SnailBob Sun 23-Jun-13 21:49:12

I just used the child tax credits calculator and it tells me that no, I would get £0.00...

Of course, now you have reminded me, I get the child benefit, £80 a month so that means I have £380 to play with...

SnailBob Sun 23-Jun-13 21:51:29

EachAndeveryHighway, that is before tax, I get around £1900 in hand per month.

pinkpudding Sun 23-Jun-13 21:59:45

money fears should not be a reason to keep a family living together. if you feel you should leave then you should either really open up communication channels with your partner and talk about how you feel or take the plunge and stand alone. for better of worse, relying on yourself and good family and good friends can only teach your son about more functional relationships than what he is currently exposed to. would you like him to grow up and choose to treat his wife the way you are being? my best friend is in this same position and i wish she would get brave enough to demand to be treated with the respect she deserves as she is a lovely lovely woman, taken advantage of.

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Sun 23-Jun-13 22:05:00

Have you checked the local authority local housing allowance calculator? And do you pay any childcare? If you do, you may get a little tax credits but even if not, they may disregard the childcare you pay from your income to calculate Lha and they definitely disregard child benefit.

EachAndEveryHighway Sun 23-Jun-13 22:05:56

So that is more than me most months .... the minimum I get (including income, tax credits, child benefit and child maintenance) is £1400 pm. Some months I get more depending on how much work I can get.

My monthly costs are : Mortgage £500, electricity £100, council tax £110ish, water is £58ish, tv licence can't remember, PAYG mobile £10 credit max per month, broadband and landline £32 - those are my fixed expences every month - then there are the one-off expenses like car insurance , car tax, house insurance, etc to keep in mind.

Guess you live down south so it's the rent that eats into your monthly income so massively. Not sure what to suggest .... could you renegotiate the loan repayment figure? Would you be entitled to child maintenance? Could you rent with a friend or family member?

Must be some way round it.....

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Sun 23-Jun-13 22:06:18

Also can you move a few miles out of town if you drive? I rent a 3 bed for the price of a one bed in the town I used to live in, only 10 miles away.

ShoutyCrackers Sun 23-Jun-13 22:06:55

No it's not enough.

You need to sort out and reduce your loan repayment probably

JsOtherHalf Sun 23-Jun-13 22:07:30

Is there any way of moving to a cheaper area, perhaps with a job transfer? In this area a 2 bed house could be £ 400 a month, although a better area would be a bit more.

SnailBob Sun 23-Jun-13 22:37:38

Yes, I am in South England...

Thank you for sharing your figures EachAndEveryHighway, I didn't even think about things like broadband and tv licence...

Thank you all for confirming what I sort of knew - that the money is not enough to survive. I need to think of a different plan then..

Sunflower6 Sun 23-Jun-13 22:39:38

Won't you get some child maintenance?

SnailBob Sun 23-Jun-13 22:42:24

Sunflower I am going with the worst case scenario where I won't...

EachAndEveryHighway Sun 23-Jun-13 22:46:07

No problem! But Sunflower6 is right .... if your OH is a dick and likely to prove uncooperative, the maintenance could be taken via the CSA so deducted from him at source.

angel1976 Sun 23-Jun-13 22:47:14

Snailbob Could you look into renting a place with another single parent or renting from someone who is recently separated but desperate to keep the family home so would be willing to consider taking you and your DS as lodgers? There was a thread on 'Lone Parents' on single parent household that tried to pair single parent with each other to share a place as it becomes so much more affordable that way. Best of luck.

colditz Sun 23-Jun-13 22:50:39

Move somewhere cheaper. I live in a sizable three bed semi with a mahoosive garden. £575 a month.

MagicHouse Sun 23-Jun-13 22:51:52

It's a shame your rent is so high - is there any chance at all of reducing that? House share/ buying/ different area? I remember reading an article a while back about houseshares for single parents. I agree you couldn't afford to live on the figures you've given.

NoRainNoRainbow Sun 23-Jun-13 23:02:12

I'm a single parent, earning £30,000 also in the south.

I get paid 13 times a year (every 4 weeks so numbers a bit different to yours)

But I was entitled to £80 per week housing benefit on a £570 rent. But I can't claim it due to my mum and dad being landlords!!

Go on to turn to us, or entitled too, and do the calculator for housing and council tax benefit, I'm sure you will be entitled to something as I'm not entitled to tax credits but am housing benefit which I was shocked about!

Food wise, I spend £50 per week in supermarket plus £10 school dinner money. (But to be fair I could cut down on food shopping if pushed)

Remember you will get 25% discount on council tax.

NoRainNoRainbow Sun 23-Jun-13 23:03:32

Oh and no child support either. But I have no childcare to pay as rely on family.

EachAndEveryHighway Sun 23-Jun-13 23:10:11

£1900 - rent £850 = £1050.

That is a manageable income really for all your household bills plus clothes and food etc, so the big problem is your loan. How long is the term on this? If it's just a few more months maybe you could stick a)stick it out in your current situation or b)move in with family as a short term measure (say a year or 18 months) so you can chuck money at loan .... even overpay it, just to get it off your back. Or c) renegotiate it.

Don't know how feasible any of this is for you, but there must be a way!

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Mon 24-Jun-13 07:46:06

I'm in the SE. I used to live in Brighton and I moved to lancing. Much cheaper. You can rent a two bed flat here or in Worthing for under £700. Can you do similar? Also do use the lha calculator, you might be surprised. When rents are so high benefit thresholds can be high too.

SummersHere Mon 24-Jun-13 08:08:01

I do it on half your income OP and that's including any help I get. So yes of course it's feasible. You have various options. The first thing I did was reduce my loan repayments massively. Yes it'll take a lot longer to pay off but paying for essentials comes first. You also have the option of going part time if that's a possibility in which case you probably would be entitled to tax credits/help with rent etc.
I am probably poorer than I've ever been in financial terms but I've never felt richer, iyswim.

babyseal Mon 24-Jun-13 13:18:32

Go to CAB / local advice centre and consider doing a Debt Relief Order to clear your loan, if you have less than £50 a month left over after all essential household expenditure and no assets you are considered as being unable to repay your debts and will probably qualify. I can't believe you will not qualify for any financial help at all; look into housing benefit and council tax reduction as well as tax credits.

I have an earned income of £1100pcm and without factoring in maintenance as I don't get any I receive around £1000pcm in child benefit / tax credits / housing benefit, and also my council tax bill is reduced, but then I do have a £360 a month childcare bill. After rent and childcare I am left with £1100 roughly, and manage on this okay, so I think that if you get rid of the loan, or default on it and make much lower repayments, you will do fine smile.

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