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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%
AuntSalli · 10/10/2022 17:08

monicagellerbing · 10/10/2022 16:27

You're entitled to universal credit why aren't you claiming it

From what I’ve been told about universal credit it’s almost a full-time job trying to get it.
A friend of mine in full-time employment with children was told to come into the job centre at 2 o’clock mid week to pick up a password code to allow her to upload something onto the system and if she hadn’t of arrived at the exact time they demanded it, the universal credits was going to be cut off and she wouldn’t be able to pay for her childcare to do her job. If you can manage without it I certainly understand why people do.

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applecartsonthehill · 10/10/2022 17:15

Has OP not returned? She never did answer about benefits that I saw.

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Stayingstrongish · 10/10/2022 18:02

@AuntSalli thanks, I will hopefully try in the future 😊

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Badgirlriri · 10/10/2022 18:06

mogsrus · 10/10/2022 17:01

What is wrong with putting something away in an interest bearing account

Because the whole point of her post is that she hasn’t got anything left!

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Mojoj · 10/10/2022 18:08

Wow that sounds really tough. Sounds like you also have a useless ex. The Government really needs to step up here and make these useless excuses for fathers pay for their kids. Too many mothers just getting by because their good for nothing exes are getting away with paying a pittance for their kids. Hang in there.

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Eastie77Returns · 10/10/2022 18:43

@Stayingstrongish I work in Tech and have worked my way ‘up’ by completing several free or inexpensive on-demand courses which you can follow at your own pace. Apologies if you’ve already looked into this but Coursera (around £29 pm), Google (free) to name a couple run a lot of useful upskilling courses.

OP - this sounds really difficult. Some of the responses here are simply MN bingo: move up North, get an evening job, take in a lodger…

I have no idea why people think moving cross country, allowing a complete stranger to live in your house when you have small children or working yourself into the ground with multiple jobs are acceptable options in those kinds of situations.

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Babyroobs · 10/10/2022 19:34

With rent of £1200 you are definitely going to be entitled to a significant amount of Universal credit. Are you not currently claiming that ?

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IdiotSandwich05 · 11/10/2022 08:19

@CoastalWave We rent and have two kids in childcare. That's the bulk of our UC. If we didn't need childcare we'd get a lot less.

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missmamiecuddleduck · 11/10/2022 11:11

Eastie77Returns · 10/10/2022 18:43

@Stayingstrongish I work in Tech and have worked my way ‘up’ by completing several free or inexpensive on-demand courses which you can follow at your own pace. Apologies if you’ve already looked into this but Coursera (around £29 pm), Google (free) to name a couple run a lot of useful upskilling courses.

OP - this sounds really difficult. Some of the responses here are simply MN bingo: move up North, get an evening job, take in a lodger…

I have no idea why people think moving cross country, allowing a complete stranger to live in your house when you have small children or working yourself into the ground with multiple jobs are acceptable options in those kinds of situations.

Good advice!

What is the tech course about? I'm certain those of us in tech can find something free or near free that you can do online.
Coursera you can get the course for free as they have financial aid.

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Blondeshavemorefun · 11/10/2022 11:50

As others said rent is very high but hopefully if you apply for uc you will get something towards rent

to have £500/600 left a month to cover all bills food etc I’m not suprised you are struggling 💐

ex def needs to pay more

£100 for 2 kids a month is disgraceful

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Crazycatladyspam · 12/10/2022 22:03

Hi it's so tough isn't it. Not sure if anyone else has suggested this but have you tried ebaying things? If you do it of an evening in front of the TV it's not that onerous and if you do it in bulk even the low value items add up. Kids clothes and toys really do so. Stuff they don't use or have grown out of of course.
Good luck.
Xx

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piesforever · 12/10/2022 22:04

Vinted, got my kids the North Face jackets I could not afford for a great price and a couple of branded tracksuits for my son for less than a tenner each! Sooner this govt leaves the better, sick of this!

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bloodyeverlastinghell · 12/10/2022 22:09

Ask your ex to buy school shoes? Also a benefit check that rent is extortionate. That covers mortgage, building insurance, council tax and electric bill here

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Sophie89j · 12/10/2022 22:40

Not sure where you are but if you’re in Wales, there’s an emergency fund called the discretionary assistance fund which isn’t much but it does help. Not sure if there’s similar schemes everywhere else. Are you on tax credits or UC to help top up each month? Unsure if you’d be eligible mind but it’s worth looking into, even if it’s only a few extra quid a week or month it all helps.
I’m in the same situation but on less, 24k before tax but on SMP at the moment so it is so hard. It is worth stating to your employer with the increased cost of living you’re struggling with fuel for work, they should understand.

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FridayTheThirteeth · 12/10/2022 22:45

Do you qualify for help with rent? Childcare costs?

There are some great money saving tips on other boards and worth a look.

Sorry it's tough for you at the moment. Keep going. Try to take time for yourself even on very low cost treats

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Cantstandbullshit · 12/10/2022 22:47

catfunk · 10/10/2022 08:34

That is shit op. 27k after tax isn't a bad salary either, it's madness that people are struggling on that.
I'd also suggest a benefits calculator to see if you're missing out on any help.

27k is not a good salary, when are we going to stop justifying the low pay culture in the UK? We have increasingly more people working full time and still needing to depend on benefits instead of increasing salaries to be more competitive.

There was a post the other day where someone was upset that the salary on a job post was too high and it was about 30k or so, that crab mentality does not help at all.

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ilovesushi · 12/10/2022 22:51

Also working full time with two secondary school age children. There is never anything left at the end of the month. It shouldn't be this way.

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CosyDarkNights · 12/10/2022 23:36

hattie43 · 10/10/2022 08:24

I think many people are in this situation and will need to dig in for a couple of years .
Even though money is tight at least you are covering your bills and in your shoes I'd buy something cheap just to give yourself a lift , little treats , bunch of flowers , takeaway coffee , bar of chocolate etc etc .
Try and get discount tickets for cinema etc to take the kids .
There are no easy answers tbh but just know you're doing a great job and your kids will thankyou when they're older .

Someone posts about the struggles of paying basic bills as a single parent and only has £20 to live on for 8 days. Mumsnetter replies with buy yourself some flowers and "cheap" cinema tickets (for an adult and 2 kids?)... she's barely breaking even flowers and cinema aren't top of the list.

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CuteCillian · 12/10/2022 23:47

So it’s not actually your salary/the cost of living/lack of benefits that is at fault; it’s the fact that you have a dick ex

FGS - someone must make it impossible for these feckless twats to leave their own offspring to struggle for the basics! What can we do?

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AdverseXCamber · 12/10/2022 23:49

Outside London and the SE is no longer as cheap. WFH has fuelled this. Two Londoners have bought the house across the road from me. They both WFH and go down South which is about 2.5 hours on a fast route once every couple of weeks. It’s obviously still much cheaper than London but prices have risen way above the average huge rises.

So whilst in the past moving North was really a good idea, WFH has changed it all.

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PupInAPram · 13/10/2022 00:28

hattie43 · 10/10/2022 08:24

I think many people are in this situation and will need to dig in for a couple of years .
Even though money is tight at least you are covering your bills and in your shoes I'd buy something cheap just to give yourself a lift , little treats , bunch of flowers , takeaway coffee , bar of chocolate etc etc .
Try and get discount tickets for cinema etc to take the kids .
There are no easy answers tbh but just know you're doing a great job and your kids will thankyou when they're older .

This is the advice of someone who has never had £20, 2 kids and 8 days till pay day🙄

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Boreded · 13/10/2022 00:45

AdverseXCamber · 12/10/2022 23:49

Outside London and the SE is no longer as cheap. WFH has fuelled this. Two Londoners have bought the house across the road from me. They both WFH and go down South which is about 2.5 hours on a fast route once every couple of weeks. It’s obviously still much cheaper than London but prices have risen way above the average huge rises.

So whilst in the past moving North was really a good idea, WFH has changed it all.

I disagree. Where I live, a 3 bed detached home in a very nice area is only 200k. That isn’t changing because of work from home…nobody in London thought they’d up and move 100s of miles to random towns in the north east.

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mackthepony · 13/10/2022 02:08

I just do not understand why CMS is based on what the father is deemed able to pay? Why isn't it just standardised? I. E. Single parent = £100 per week, per child or whatever?

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JoanOfAllTrades · 13/10/2022 02:35

Firstly @Coattailsfails I’m so sorry that you’re in this situation.

You don’t put what part of the country you live in, but I assume that rents go down, the further from London?

When we left the UK, about 9-10 years ago, maybe a bit less, we lived in a fantastic 4 bed, 3 storey Georgian townhouse and our mortgage was £550 per month!

I’m reading this thread in shock at the prices you all pay and how little help you get if you’re in a situation where you’re bringing up children alone!

I’ve lived in a few different places and I’ve come back to this country after a 30 year gap! Being poor over here, from what I see, is easier than being poor in the UK! Being a hot country, you can walk down most streets and pick fruit off trees that overhang the fences. Scrumping basically!

The govt., over here also insists that if you’re in a situation where you’ve split up from your partner, 50/50 is the norm. This way, you are both responsible for schooling, clothes, toys, activities or whatever, because was soon as you sign the child up for anything, you have to give the other parents details and half the bill is sent to them, and their responsibility! Reduced your work hours because you don’t want to pay for the children? No entitlement to benefits, unless your employer made those changes and the unions would go after the employer with a vengeance!

Everything is pretty well regulated over here, in terms of not being able to do the things that I see happening in the UK and benefits are more than liveable if you don’t have a job. When we first arrived back, we didn’t have jobs and it was sweltering, so we would go and sit in the shopping mall or library and do our job search - didn’t have to pay for our own air-con! And bizarrely, the shopping malls must know people do this as chairs and tables are set out to sit down on!

Even living in the suburbs of a city, you get to know people pretty well and there’s always a farmer to buy eggs or meat from, a lot cheaper than the supermarket. We both work and our colleagues always bring in extraneous goods, such as bags of lemons, apples, mandarins, basil, etc., etc., for people to take.

We didn’t have a pandemic as such as our little place was pretty much closed off, but toilet roll etc., still flew off the shelves! People would bring their extra toilet roll, dry goods etc., to work to share out.

I just said to DH (we work shifts as we are essential workers) that I can’t believe that you’re in this situation. He’s only ever lived in the UK and he did some quick mental maths and told me that you earn quite a good wage!

But the rent is so high and the ex is a real nasty piece of work.

You should do week about with him, where you have the children this week, he has them the next week! Let him buy shoes and glasses! If he’s not a bad father, I think that even not having the children every other week, would be a win for you as you would save on the things you usually buy for them. Let him see if he can provide for the children on £100 per month when he only has them for 2 weeks out of 4!

With regards to the tyre, did you just have the puncture fixed? Because £80 seems like a lot, but then maybe with inflation, it’s gone up since we left.

I wish there was more I could do, but I live so far as to make any offer redundant. Please look in to the benefits etc., that the PP are telling you about and linking in for you. It might help a little!

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BooksAndChooks · 13/10/2022 03:32

Haven't RTFT but the first few pages had lots of good advice.

I just wanted to add, you could try vinted for the shoes. I have got plenty of brand new/barely used clothes and shoes from there and saved a fortune.

Best wishes 💐

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