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is it enough to survive?

  • Silvertears
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19 Dec 10 #240536 by Silvertears
Topic started by Silvertears
Just wanted to ask all the sigle parents with kids, takeing under the consideration all the benefits u r reciving can u please tell me how did your standard of life change.
i have twin boys age 2 years im have just started divorce procedure i work part time but will have to stop after divorce as i will not have anyone to look after boys.i am honestly scared about mine and my kids financial future and im scared i will not have enough of money to survive.

  • rebecca02
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19 Dec 10 #240542 by rebecca02
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if you find an ofstead registered childminder the government pays 80% of the costs for childcare you will be much better off working under certain circumstances as you will still get benefits on a partime wage.but rent and mortgage payments may make a difference in the amount you will be better off.this info was given to me recently by a jobcentre woman she even printed out the different amount of hours and the overall benefits for these.

  • Bobbinalong
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19 Dec 10 #240543 by Bobbinalong
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hi silvertears. It depends on what settlement you get and what roof ends up over your head.
It is possible to get a rented place as a 'dhss' labelled tenant, but not easy.

When you go throught the divorce, my one bit of advice is not to hang on to small threads as a matter or principle, lets say your ex has £500 and you want a share, it could cost more than its worth to get the share, also things, things come and go, the most important thing is somewhere to live and your sanity.
You can replace and you wil anyhow, things.
Even if you gained any small amount of cash, it comes down to what your cost of living is. If you get £2k from your ex, but you spend £500 more than your income a month, that £2k is realistically only going to last you 4 months, forget about spending it.
On to your question, you will get child tax and benefit, you should hopefully get CM, depends what the other half earns. Whatever the benefits are, if you stay in the house and there is a mortgage, the benefits will pay some of the interest in the original mortgage taken out on the property after so many weeks.
My ex is a PWC, my kids are 7 and 4, she gets a total of about £900 a month and seems to do very well, there are always plenty of empty vodka bottles int he recycle bag! she smokes which she didnt at home, she runs a car, just bought a big new tv and is saving for a holiday in spain, so the last thing you need to be is scared, you will be ok.
Standard of life? depends on what the income to the home is now, if its £3k a month then standards will go down, bear in mind there are many things you dont pay when on benefits though.

  • LouCheshire
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19 Dec 10 #240553 by LouCheshire
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Silvertears - it's do-able. Depends really on what life you had before.
In my case the kids and me had a bit of a shock...with the ex they had a private education, holiday and massive house.
I lost our family house due to him refusing to pay the mortgage so I rented somewhere smaller. I was able to work and claimed tax credits who covered 80% of my child care costs (be aware though of reporting every little change to tax credits or they'll claw the overpayment off you the following year!).
I get some housing and council tax benefit which helps an awful lot.
With a budget in place life is ok and I even managed to put a bit away each month and although it took 2 years I saved for us all to have a holiday in Spain in October.
My ex will not pay CM, I've gone to CSA and they've been investgating him and you'll be happy to know that CM is not taken into account for tax credits, housing and council tax benefit so if your ex pays it then it;s a plus.
Savings of over 6K will affect your housing benefit and savings which EARN you more than £350 a year in interest (which would be a pretty big sum!) will affect tax credits.
So to conclude..if you have less than 6K savings you should be able to claim.
Lou xx

  • mumtoboys
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19 Dec 10 #240554 by mumtoboys
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quality of life and standards of living vary from person to person so it's impossible to say how life might change for you.

you do not necessarily have to give up work - if you work for more than 16 hours and are generally low paid, you should find that a large proportion of your child care is paid for through Working Tax Credits.

My life, and that of my children, has changed in the following ways:
- children no longer in private school, but are in an Ofsted rated 'outstanding' state school
- can not afford holidays at all.
- I struggle to maintain and run a car (but do manage, so far)
- I worry about the boiler breaking down, the windows breaking, having a problem generally in the house as I have no spare cash to pay tradesmen to help me out
- Children are in supermarket or Primark clothes only, always bought in sales
- I have to cook all meals from scratch, no sniff of a takeaway or sneaky bottle of wine (bottles of vodka bobbin?! how?!!)
- I have my hair cut at most twice a year
- I rarely buy new clothes and if I do, they're on sale
etc etc etc

I didn't want my divorce and would have done anything to work things out with my ex. He wasn't interested. With time, I have to come to realise it was the right decision and I know that our children are being brought up better by me as I am no longer so frustrated or angry all the time.

On the plus side, I have new friends and I'm building a new life. I have developed new interests and am enjoying making my new house into a home using auctions for furniture and buying second hand generally. I have discovered I can do things around the house that I was never 'allowed' to before including unblocking a drain recently which, I know it sounds ridiculous, but made me so happy I had managed it!

two years ago I was terrified for my future. I now know that I have one and have taken full responsiblity for it. All good!

  • NellNoRegrets
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19 Dec 10 #240591 by NellNoRegrets
Reply from NellNoRegrets

I'm not divorced yet so can't say how things will be then, but I will say that being separated has made me look at things I spend money on and I've made a few decisions about getting rid of cable tv etc.

Instead of replacing my dead laptop with a new one I got one second hand which is slower but does the job.

You need to think flexibly. Perhaps you might consider working as a childminder for a bit so you can stay with your children and earn income. Or you can explore the tax breaks available if you need childcare while you work.

When I was a child we didn't have much money, but I know all about make do and mend, buying bargains in charity shops - you can get lots of stuff, furniture, curtains, crockery, cutlery etc as well as clothes, sometimes designer label clothes.

Discount shopping online and getting the most out of loyalty cards will help too.

  • LouCheshire
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19 Dec 10 #240598 by LouCheshire
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Well said Nell!
I found some amazing clothes for my little 2 at a posh village jumble sale and once my little ones had grown out of them I sold them for a profit on ebay!!
Also reward tokens..I have managed to get enough tesco club card vouchers to do away with a big chunk of the Xmas food shop!
It is a bit sad going to the supermarket with a list of meals for the week and it takes an age finding all the offers etc but saves £'s! Also, through trial and error I've found which tesco value products can be substituted for named brands...eg/ tesco value tomato soup is a no-no, tastes awful, kids wont eat it..but the beans are fine, as is the cheese and the toilet rolls (because lets face it, what are they used for...lol...lol).
One pot meals and sauces on pasta (filling and homemade)...packed lunches at school (a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a biscuit x5 kids a day is much cheaper than £2 a child a day!!
We also have "Friday sweets"...my little 2 get 50p each on a friday to spend on sweets...it's the only time they get them and I tell you something they love it...it's so exciting for them whereas before my ex left sweets wern't a treat.
Another thing I found is that if you buy cheap washing powder but a branded fabric softener then your clothes are still clean and smell nice...rather than buying branded both...although cheap washing up liquid doesnt do the job properly...has to be fairy...lol...I sound that the budgeting queen! It's been trial and error!
Lou xx

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