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AIBU?

To be so fed up of working full time and having so little disposable income?

177 replies

Coattailsfails · 10/10/2022 08:14

I know I’m not the only one in this position.

Single full time working mum to two primary aged children. I never stop. I’m exhausted all the time. Annual salary before deductions is just under £27k.
Ive now got £20 left for the next 8 days. We had a couple of unexpected expenses and it’s impossible for me to build up much of a buffer.
We have enough food, although may need milk and bread.
Ive probably got enough petrol if we are careful and walk as much as possible but I have to drive for my job. I can claim some back but it’s only monthly so I have the initial outlay and then have to wait for it to come back (as is the norm, I know but I could really do with it a bit earlier this month, it’ll be about £80).
We aren’t extravagant. But there’s just no let up to it, is there? I can’t think it’ll be better next month because it probably won’t! And dc1 needs school shoes 😩

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

479 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
6%
You are NOT being unreasonable
94%
ReadyForPumpkins · 10/10/2022 10:03

Coattailsfails · 10/10/2022 08:49

Annual salary is just under £27k before deductions.
Take home is approx £1800
Rent is £1200.

dc2 broke their glasses. The frames get replaced but they have to be thinned because their eyesight is so poor. That was £60
Then I had a puncture in a brand new tyre. Another £80.

Oh dear, the rent. But I agree with you that this winter is shit. Only the likes of Truss will tell people to get a better job. DH and I have better jobs and we usually don't have to worry about children's clubs, winter coats and eating out once a week. I'm now watching my bank app tracking what we have spent. It's scary how expensive everything has become and we are down to no savings at the end of the month. I can really see how hard it is for everyone unless you are on a banker's salary.

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lannistunut · 10/10/2022 10:04

Hoplesscynic · 10/10/2022 08:45

27k not a bad salary (unless in London) and you are receiving some maintenance on top. What were your big expenses that brought you down so much?
I wouldn't be buying unnecessary things like coffee and flowers to 'boost' myself.

Hmm £27k is not a great salary at all to cover everything a family needs.

UK has low wages and high costs compared to much of Europe, living standards are very low. Travel, childcare and housing are very much higher and domestic energy quite a bit higher. Food used to be a bit cheaper but now rising.

The average family in France is £8,800 better off than the average family in the UK. That is why so many UK parents are so bloody stressed.

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goldfinchonthelawn · 10/10/2022 10:09

AntlerRose · 10/10/2022 08:24

Some employers will loan their employees a little in advance, it comes of your next payslip or two so its only worth doing for something very specific. I was thinking the school shoes.

in the light of recent price rises, I think it would be more than reasonable for you to ask for petrol money on a weekly not monthly basis. Why should you shoulder that expense and the stress of the money leaving your account?

It would also be sensible to say to ex that he needs to start chipping in with their clothing,. he should be paying for 50% of school uniform costs for example and p=buying them PJs and casual clothes to wear at his house. He's not paying for you, he;s paying for them.

This isn't much help, but it can be therapeutic instead to think of what you are achieving on your tight budget. Your work provides a home for you and your children, and food and clothes for you all. That is pretty bloody brilliant of you.

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Babooshka1991 · 10/10/2022 10:14

Totally understandable, working so hard you should have more freedom to treat yourself and your children. It does sound like you are providing a secure and happy lifestyle for your family and you should be so proud of that.

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MistressoftheDarkSide · 10/10/2022 10:17

Just wanted to add my admiration for you OP - I’m struggling and I don’t have dependent children - my adult sons who live with me contribute to the rent.

However I was widowed in January leaving me with a business to run and while I was holding my own the last couple of months there has been a significant downturn…..

Just have to muscle through I guess….. or sell a kidney…..

And we have to move in the next few months and looking at rents here in the South, I’m starting to feel quite jittery …..

Best of luck - and the same to everyone else struggling…..

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applecartsonthehill · 10/10/2022 10:19

You need to check about applying for universal credit on a low income like yours, and revise the tiny amount your ex is currently giving.

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Twillow · 10/10/2022 10:21

Turn2us calculator suggests around £400 a week in UC.

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applecartsonthehill · 10/10/2022 10:21

Unfortunately there's a lot of people struggling to have anything left over at the moment. You are doing well if you are meeting your bills, being able to afford enough food, and have activities for the children (many have dropped these).

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StJeanDeVence · 10/10/2022 10:22

I've also done a quick calculation on your behalf OP (had to make some details up so it won't be completely accurate!) but you should definitely be entitled to some UC top-ups. Please do look into it because I have no idea how you are managing on £1800 per month take-home with a rent of £1200 - you're incredible to be getting food on the table imo!

Oh, and @Kentgirl2525 - DFOD.

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IdiotSandwich05 · 10/10/2022 10:26

You should definitely be entitled to some UC OP. I didn't think we were as we both worked full time and earned above minimum wage (but still struggled to make ends meet every single month), but we applied anyway and turns out we were entitled and now get around £600 a month. It's a huge help!

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CecilyP · 10/10/2022 10:27

My ex is self employed and claims to earn £100 a week. I told CMS I had reason to believe he earned more, and they applied for an investigation. They found out he'd paid himself £50k in dividends!

Yeah wouldn’t even be paying himself NMW unless he claimed to only work 11 hours a week!

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IdiotSandwich05 · 10/10/2022 10:29

@Kentgirl2525 Always one 🙄

Maybe OP could afford her children when she had them? But then circumstances changed as they so often do? What exactly should she do? Drop them off at the local orphanage?

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Sacredheart7 · 10/10/2022 10:33

I'm the same OP - I earn 25k and get UC paid for my childcare and a nominal amount of CM from my ex and I am still struggling every single month. I have an overdraft that I am consistently in to every single month, it's depressing.

When I left my ex, I had nothing as it was a fleeing of domestic abuse and I left with my daughter and 1 carrier bag of belongings and toys. Had to start from scratch and buy things bit by bit and second hand and on finance, it's been so tough.

I have 1k saved up which I don't want to touch in case something happens, feel very exposed having zero savings whatsoever in case something was to go wrong.

My car is ancient and falling apart and needed some repairs this week and that's put a hole in my bank account for the remainder of the month. My trainers have a hole in and I'm still wearing leggings from 5 years ago.

The plus side is, DD is beautifully kept, warm, fed and happy and doesn't go without - but still, would be nice to be able to afford the occasional treat now and then.

You're not alone OP xx

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bingbummy · 10/10/2022 10:38

Coattailsfails · 10/10/2022 08:49

Annual salary is just under £27k before deductions.
Take home is approx £1800
Rent is £1200.

dc2 broke their glasses. The frames get replaced but they have to be thinned because their eyesight is so poor. That was £60
Then I had a puncture in a brand new tyre. Another £80.

It's your rent that is the problem. My rent is £400 a month. I'd honestly move up North, somewhere cheaper. That is too much of your salary on rent, of course you have no money left.

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GiltEdges · 10/10/2022 10:41

Coattailsfails · 10/10/2022 08:49

Annual salary is just under £27k before deductions.
Take home is approx £1800
Rent is £1200.

dc2 broke their glasses. The frames get replaced but they have to be thinned because their eyesight is so poor. That was £60
Then I had a puncture in a brand new tyre. Another £80.

£1200 is insanely high rent on a salary of £27k, it’s no surprise you’re struggling.

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Rosehugger · 10/10/2022 10:41

I agree, OP, it's shit and even on the lowest FT wage people should not just be scraping by, IMO.

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fyn · 10/10/2022 10:54

Surely you get universal credit too? Our household income is more and we receive universal credit!

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CecilyP · 10/10/2022 10:57

StJeanDeVence

I think you owe Kentgiirl an apology. She was obviously speculating about the question why the 6% could think OP was being unreasonable.

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BackT · 10/10/2022 10:59

At £27k you will definitely be entitled to significant universal credit.

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Mamansparkles · 10/10/2022 11:02

£1200 a month rent for a small 2/3 bed house is average in most of the South of England, including East of England and a good chunk of the West. I'm not sure telling OP to uproot herself and her children, move North, find another job, lose her community and friends and family connections and pay for the cost of moving is really that helpful.

Was @Kentgirl2525 not saying that's what some people think rather than it's what she thinks herself? In response to a PPs question of 'who would vote that OP is unreasonable'?

OP you are doing so well. Agree with all PPs to look on entitled to to see if there is anything you can claim.

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GUARDIAN1 · 10/10/2022 11:03

I'm almost 62 and working around 45 - 50 hours a week, regularly. I work for myself and it's been impossible to raise my hourly rate for 15 years because I can only charge what the market will pay. I'm a whole lot worse off than 15 years ago and have younger family members to support. I'm sick of never feeling like I get ahead and struggling to make essential payments. Clients are often late paying me (I've had to manage over 2 months without wages before). So I get it, totally, and things are only going from bad to worse.

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lannistunut · 10/10/2022 11:05

CecilyP · 10/10/2022 10:57

StJeanDeVence

I think you owe Kentgiirl an apology. She was obviously speculating about the question why the 6% could think OP was being unreasonable.

I think that's bollocks, the comment was a nasty one IMO.

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bingbummy · 10/10/2022 11:14

Mamansparkles · 10/10/2022 11:02

£1200 a month rent for a small 2/3 bed house is average in most of the South of England, including East of England and a good chunk of the West. I'm not sure telling OP to uproot herself and her children, move North, find another job, lose her community and friends and family connections and pay for the cost of moving is really that helpful.

Was @Kentgirl2525 not saying that's what some people think rather than it's what she thinks herself? In response to a PPs question of 'who would vote that OP is unreasonable'?

OP you are doing so well. Agree with all PPs to look on entitled to to see if there is anything you can claim.

I think it's helpful and a perfectly good option when the alternative is always being skint, forever. We earn 40K between us but our rent is so low, as is the cost of living where we are, that we have lots of disposable income.

The thing about moving is once it's done that's that, you're in a new place and can move forward.

The thing about staying in a situation where you have £600/month to live on with two children is that's permanent suffering for the whole family.

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Dixiechickonhols · 10/10/2022 11:16

I’d see if work will pay expenses sooner. You won’t be only one in this position. My employer has recently changed policy.

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Stag82 · 10/10/2022 11:22

OP are your claiming child benefit and UC top up? I use to get CTC top up on a £26k salary (2 kids). Every little bit helps…

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