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How much do I need to live on?

21 replies

MummyJules · 09/02/2006 11:29

I am planning on leaving my partner and have never lived on my own so have no idea of bills - How much it is going to cost!
Can anyone give me an idea of the things I need to think about for me and dd (who is 3), how much they would cost and also name any cheap suppliers?



OP posts:
MummyJules · 10/02/2006 22:09


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expatinscotland · 10/02/2006 22:11

This is VERY region dependent. Where I live, for example, the going rate for rent on a two bed flat in a halfway decent area is £500/month. Then there's council tax.

Aimsmum · 10/02/2006 22:12

Message withdrawn

colditz · 10/02/2006 22:15

What sort of housing are you going to be in? Will you be in receipt of any benefits?

If it is just you and dd, you will only need 2 bedrooms, and I have a 2 bed house so will give you a rough idea of my bills.

Water - £180ish per year
Electric - £10 per week, on a meter
Gas - £10 per week in winter, hardly anything in summer.
Council tax - £86 per month, but there are 2 adults in our house, and you get a 25% reduction if there is only one.
Food - I know you can do it for less than £50 per week. I spend more, but again, 2 adults.
Clothes - Go to charity shops for kids clothes, honestly. The clothes are usually very good quality and very cheap!

colditz · 10/02/2006 22:16

Oh, and plus rent of course, if you don't own your house. My rent is H/A and is just under £70 per week.

blueshoes · 10/02/2006 22:28


The killers will be accommodation (mortgage/rent) and childcare (if you are working). Next would be groceries - about 70 per week but you and dd could easily live on less.

Outside of these, my monthly bills are about 200 pounds for a 3/4 bed house, comprising electricity, gas, water, phone lines, TV licence. Plus 122 pounds p/m council tax (but that depends on where you live and the size of your house). There is also home insurance (60) and life cover (30) but you could always buy smaller cover or not at all, depending on your circumstances.

Will you have a car?

mumfor1standfinaltime · 10/02/2006 22:33

colditz - you pay alot for gas and elec dont you?
I pay £35 a month for both.

Mind you, my "what am I paying this rip off bill for?" Council Tax is £100 a month for a 2 bed with no garden.

mumfor1standfinaltime · 10/02/2006 22:34

£60 for home insurance, yeah right!

blueshoes · 10/02/2006 22:38

Erm, is 60 for home insurance too much too litttle? That was monthly BTW

colditz · 10/02/2006 22:40

I don't really pay a lot for it, we use an immense amount of it because of dp's refusal to switch things off properly. There is always 2 lights left on overnight, the tv, video, dvd player and playstation all left on stand by, the computer on all night...

Plus we have a dishwasher and tumble dryer.

mumfor1standfinaltime · 11/02/2006 09:14

I think £80 a month on elec and gas is a huge amount! However I dont have a tumble dryer,or a Gas cooker. I try to turn most things off over night - a fire risk to leave things on.

I pay just £7 a month for home contents insurance, but I rent my house and dont pay buiding insurance etc.

MummyJules · 11/02/2006 14:30

Thanks so much for all the advice - I am just after a rough idea of how much it will cost to run my home really as never had to do it single handedly before!

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MummyJules · 11/02/2006 14:34

The housing benifit will pay for my rent and I am not sure about the council tax as I think it be a reduced payment. I am thinking about doing the 3 way thing on ntl which is phone, tv and broadband for 30. I will definately spend less than 70 on food as I normally spend that on p, me and dd and he has expensive tastes.

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MummyJules · 11/02/2006 14:35

Not sure about electricity/gas/water/tv licence and things like that. Will know more when I have a look at the property on Monday.

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MummyJules · 11/02/2006 17:48


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Loobie · 11/02/2006 18:15

Well i am on my own with 3 kids so abit differnt but i can give you a run down of mines if you want it,if not just ignore
TV licence i split up over the year and pay just short of £11 a month DD

GAS-quantum meter-between £7 and £10 a week in winter,i have a gas cooker and central heating,in summer £5 lasts me about 3 weeks!! so i add on extra in the summer to help spread spread out the winter ones!!

ELECTRIC-power card meter-about £7 a week,have tumble drier and huge electrical outgoings,pc on 24hrs,all 3 kids have tvs/dvds in there rooms,2 of them have games consoles!

COUNCIL TAX- i get a council tax rebate so pay only £17 a month for 10 mths of the year.

FOOD- once a month i go round places like farmfoods,lidl,aldi and the market for freezer stuff,fruit juices,tins,pastas,cereals,cat food etc this can cost about £90 once a month,then every week i spend about £30 on everything else and top ups.But remember there are 4 of us,kids are 10,7 and 3.

COMMUNICATIONS-I have a higher package for my net and telephone,both are unlimited across the board apart from mobiles which i dont phone and it costs me £45 a month,then i have the cheapest sky package which basically does me and the kids for £15 a month,though i know telewest like ntl and many others do the 3 for £30 thing ,so that sounds a good idea for yourself.

HOUSE INSURANCE-contents only is £15.46 a month,which is worth it after having 2 breakins.

At the moment i am saving £20 a week towrds park hampers through a friend for xmas.So apart from this i have my own personal debts which are acruid through catalogues etc,so what i have given should cover most of the daily normal living type things LOL!Oh and in scotland we dont pay water,enough of it falls from the sky for us !!!
Hope this helps you out a bit,as i said this is me based on 4 of us and a cat!
REmember also that you will be entitled to milk tokens for dd till she is 5 years old,free prescriptions and dentist,also free school dinners and clothing grant for uniform when she starts school!!Not applicable just know but keep it in mind!

MummyJules · 11/02/2006 19:29

Thanks Loobie. Very helpful. How easy is it to get connected to all of this? If I am just moving into a house that has had tenants in recently?

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Loobie · 11/02/2006 20:08

Find out who the fuel suppliers are/were if you want to stick with them fine,if not decide who you want to switch too and contact them asking them to take over the supply.You can also when you speak to these people tell them you want prepayment meters in for the gas and electric,this way you can see exactly what you are using and pay as you use,no big bills coming in where you have to find the money for them.They may try to talk you out of this but imo these are the best idea for budgeting.
There is a website switch something will try and find it,that tells you the best providers for gas.leccy,phone,net etc in your area.

The same with ntl or who ever you choose to have communications with just call them up tell you have just moved in and what services you want with them.They will arrange a day to come fit the lot,some of them take an instalation fee,some not depending on what offers they are doing at the time.

CT rebate will go alongside rent rebate,you should fill in the forms at the same time.

Depending on how you leave your P you may be entitled to whats called a community care grant form DSS,this is to help furnish,etc the house you go to.There are circumstances for this being paid out as they dont like to cause you dont have to pay back,but basically if you are leaving and gonna be homeless with nothing you should technically be entitled to one.I will look up the switch site thingy and post a link if i find it

Loobie · 11/02/2006 20:11

Right found it uswitch

7777777 · 11/02/2006 21:47

i live on my own with 2ds and get most of my rent paid and council tax.i work 2 mornings and get child tax credit £300 a month

my gas/elec combined with scottish power was £64 a month and from april will be £44 a month.

water is £40 a month for both bills
car insurance £20, tv licence £10, food £50, clothing (dont buy it, have hand me downs from rich sister) phone is £38 which includes broadband (id go mad without mumsnet)and free calls to local numbers.

my elder ds gets free school dinners and help with school trips(doesnt do much for my self esteem but beggars cant be choosers). ive now found out that apparently i can have help with school uniform, more of a self esteem battering.

good luck

allieballie · 11/02/2006 22:33

I pay gas and electric by monthly direct debit as its spread over the year so you don't get huge bills in winter. Also I'm pretty sure that the cost per unit is quite a bit cheaper than with a prepay meter

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