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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:

Am I being unreasonable?

479 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
missmamiecuddleduck · 10/10/2022 11:24

PPs have given great suggestions on saving and making sure you get all the credits you're entitled to.

Would it be possible to train part time for a higher paying career? There is a shortage of technology workers. it pays well plus the chance of being able to WFH.

Eeksteek · 10/10/2022 11:37

Twillow · 10/10/2022 08:47

So divisive, isn't it? I guess her economic growth plan consists of making us all bankers.
I have an income half of yours though (am one of those doing the lower paid jobs ...) and just about get by (by the skin of my teeth and concerted effort) though I have no mortgage/rent outlay. What are your biggest outlays? Do you think you can trim your budget anywhere?

Noooo, its based on keeping us in minimum wage jobs that aren’t enough for basics so that bankers make more money for extreme luxuries, while keeping our hope alive (and us working our arses off in those jobs) by telling us that we could be bankers if only we worked hard enough, just like they did (so we don’t rise up and over throw said bankers). People who do things create wealth. Not people who manage it, but they do hoard it.

I’m so sorry OP, it really sucks. I’d post your budget, so people can help. It’s really not fun at all. We have cut everything to the bone and are scraping by just now. It shouldn’t be forever, which makes it different and more bearable, but if I have to say no to DD one more time, I think I’ll cry. She was saying yesterday about how fun Christmas will be and how she loves going to choose the tree every year and and and. It broke my heart to tell her there may not be a real tree this year. She wasn’t even being grabby and wanting presents, just a nice experience. She has not idea how fortunate we have been up to now, even though she knows we were;t . An income of

Mumsgirls · 10/10/2022 11:42

Unfortunately in our world , a low paid single parent cannot support a family adequately and this has always been the case. Before top ups many were forced to rely fully on benefits, now work hard but still not enough.
Tory policies have put the boot in, so remember this at election time

TightDiamondShoes · 10/10/2022 11:48

Please don’t suggest OP “post her budget” so people can “give tips”.

it’s both patronising and futile. OP knows very well what her financial status is and I’d bet £1mill NOBODY on this site has EVER said “well after rent, highlights, nails, spray tan and fabletics subscription I’ve only got 40p left”.

Eeksteek · 10/10/2022 11:56

Ack, sorry. Glitchy MN today.

Even though she knows we have gone from a fairly comfortable 36K, and little kid days out and wants, to a dire 13K low point in March as she hit her teen years and wants Alton Towers and a gaming system, not NT playgrounds and paw patrol figures. My income has actually increased somewhat since that low point, but the increases in COL has meant the we haven’t had the lifestyle lift that would have come with it. I did in on 9K when she was four, I was renting, and although it I had to be seriously creative that Christmas, its pretty easy to entertain a four year old on no budget. Teens, not so much.

babyyodaxmas · 10/10/2022 11:56

I feel your pain OP. Sound incredibly tough. My only suggestions are

  1. Talk to your DCs school at the very least they should be able to feed the DCs for free until payday, they may also be able to help with shoes
  2. Talk to your boss and explain the situation you may be able to WFM more.
  3. Finally Talk to the children's DF, explain about the shoes and tell him how much they cost too.
Eeksteek · 10/10/2022 12:06

I don’t think it’s unhelpful or patronising to want the actual figures to work with. Or to offer help. We are definitely not all spending on fripperies and suggesting people ‘just’ cut them out. I’m living on less than 27k, but I can’t suggest that’s possible for others, if they have higher, non-negotiable housing or childcare costs than I did. I’m also feeding us for around £20 a week, cut our own hair, have the nails and tan that British nature has chosen to give me. I’ve almost certainly cut out or back on something OP hasn’t, somewhere. But its not any help if that’s the mortgage or number of children (even I didn’t do that on purpose!)

To some extent you are right, and it’s less productive if those of us at the bottom spend our energy helping one another scrape along, rather than holding the poeple responsible to account and making them fix a broken system. But it doesn’t have to either or.

CecilyP · 10/10/2022 12:42

I don’t think it’s unhelpful or patronising to want the actual figures to work with.

In this case, there is nothing to work with. OP has just £600 a month for everything for herself and 2 kids after paying rent.

Other posters have been helpful in suggesting she apply for Universal Credit and giving her a ballpark of what she might be entitled to.

CecilyP · 10/10/2022 12:47

Eeksteek, have you actually read all OP’s posts. Her take home pay is £1800 and her rent is £1200. There’s not much advice any of us can give on how to manage on that.

mogsrus · 10/10/2022 12:50

Put the left over money, however small in a high interest account.

mogsrus · 10/10/2022 12:54

Love reading about what government has been in power all the time, it has changed for12 next election get them out

Alltheseasonsaregood · 10/10/2022 12:56

If this helps , my dh used to be a manager in public services
A woman in the team was in same situation as you re petrol. They came to an arrangement via hr.

Also she was allowed to wfh at times for paperwork etc.

If the xdh has the dc x 2 a week matye do a shify at a local pub if desperate..i kniw its not ideal as you wd benefit from those 2 nights to yrself? But 5 hours at £ 10 p h wd mean a buffer of £ 200 pm .

AuntSalli · 10/10/2022 12:58

Coattailsfails · 10/10/2022 08:19

Sorry you are in the same boat.
Truss would say get a better job. Yeah right, because that’s easy. And who is meant to do all the lower paid jobs if everyone needs a ‘better’ job.

I would let all the people worry about that, it’s not your problem not your issue if you can get a better job do so.

TeachesOfPeaches · 10/10/2022 12:59

Are your children in after school care and holiday clubs? If so, you can get help to pay for that. Plus you must get child benefit. You need to apply to US and get help with your rent and council tax support.

Alltheseasonsaregood · 10/10/2022 12:59

Do you have a spare bedroom.? When things wer tight for us we rented a room out , ans put dc in one room. I hated it but ir did rhe job .
Short term students from abroad via local colledge.
The rent is clearly disproproportunate o income
.. it seems so high.

StJeanDeVence · 10/10/2022 13:06

CecilyP · 10/10/2022 10:57


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

Nope. I've seen that poster's comments on similar topics before. She wasn't speculating, she was giving her revolting opinion.

I don't believe an apology is required.

CoastalWave · 10/10/2022 13:20

Your salary is not low. That rent is too high.

You've not mentioned childcare (unless I"ve missed it) How are you working full time and picking the kids up etc from school? Is someone doing the childcare for free for you?

Just thinking about the suggestions to move elsewhere. Personally, I would. But if you then had to factor in paying for childcare, they'd be no point.

Few helpful points - I've been poor for years thanks to a few life situations and then Covid. Firstly, school shoes. You do not need to buy new. Two news pairs is £90+. I've just bought DD a nearly new pair in the charity shop for £3. You just need to keep an eye open that's all (and get friendly with the nice ladies who work in them) FB marketplace is also excellent.

Secondly, to the person who said posting a budget was unhelpful. Actually not. My friend was struggling and sent hers over to me for 'help'. She seriously considered her nails to be 'essential' Frankly I don't in the slightest. She also had netflix, amazon prime, gym membership etc etc. It's actually really easy to chop £100 a month off most people's budgets. It's just people don't want to (and I don't blame them really)

lannistunut · 10/10/2022 13:22

£27k is below average and really not enough for a whole family to live on.

People seem to have low expectations for salaries!

CoastalWave · 10/10/2022 13:25

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!

Your household is bringing in what, £36k+ and you're entitled to another £600 a month?! That can't be right, surely?!

Do you rent, or pay a mortgage?

I find they give zero help if you have a mortgage.

I'm asking as we appliedto go on UC during Covid. I was earning £1000 a month (take home) and husband nothing.

We were entitled to NOTHING. They said £1000 was the cut off and perfectly fine for a family of 4 to live on.

CoastalWave · 10/10/2022 13:25

lannistunut · 10/10/2022 13:22

£27k is below average and really not enough for a whole family to live on.

People seem to have low expectations for salaries!

It's one adult and two kids. Not two adults and two kids.

HRTQueen · 10/10/2022 13:34

The cost of moving where is the op going to get that money from ?

a month rent upfront plus a deposit plus the actual costs of moving

then the upheaval for her children and
herself, her support network (these don’t fall into place overnight and many single mother rely on help from from other single mothers) it might be a long term solution but it’s certainly not an easy one and rents are high in many parts of the country but poor people need to live there too

I have found klarna etc so helpful and school shoes I always bought on Amazon and eBay for much cheaper

TammyOne · 10/10/2022 13:36

For those saying “ move North” I’m North and the average rent for a 2 bed house big enough for a family if 3 is £900-£1000 where I am ( Yano where there’s jobs) so not exactly cheap!


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AuntSalli · 10/10/2022 13:38

I literally have on Vinted right now four pairs of brand-new shoes that my fussy DS will not wear, they’ve been ordered online and I’ve just not had a chance to send them back in time, never been out the box. now of course they may or may not suit your child but there must be other parents that do the same as me and potentially have the same taste and size your children are ?

CecilyP · 10/10/2022 13:43

mogsrus · 10/10/2022 12:54

Love reading about what government has been in power all the time, it has changed for12 next election get them out

Wouldn’t make any difference. OPs pay would be the same and so would her housing costs. Others have advised that she would be entitled to in-work benefits, but she needs to claim them.

Cottagecheeseisnotcheese · 10/10/2022 13:47

she may not be able to move north as the father of her children sees them regularly so he could stop her moving thaqt far, unlikely to be able to stop her moving 20-30 miles away but definitely stop at 150-200 miles away
it is not fair on children to move them away from a father who sees them regularly even if he is not paying ( which is very worng and I suggest CMS)

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