The awful feeling knowing there is not enough money in bank to pay direct debits due on the 1st

(80 Posts)
chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 12:40:08

I am a single parent (have been for 15 years) and this is the first time I feel I wont have enough money for food in January.

I work 30 hours a week in the community- I have to put petrol in my car to do my job but how can i buy petrol when I cant feed my 2 children sad

I made sure I put enough money in electric meter from December wages.

I have cancelled rent direct debit -£450 but I will go into the office and pay £350 as I don't want to get to far behind. This will allow other direct debits to go out which include water and TV license.

I have not had any child support for the last 6 months which I realise I was stupid to relay on but it helps towards everyday living. CSA don't seem to bothered when I phone them and just tend to give me false hope which comes to nothing.

What can i feed my children age 15 and 9 so they are full up and not looking for extras.

BoffinMum Tue 08-Jan-13 12:14:11

OP, how is it going? Are you feeling OK?

chocolatespiders Wed 02-Jan-13 09:28:30

Thanks for the ebay idea.. I have sorted out a few of dd's old tops I do feel a bit bad selling them on as I was given them, they are Gap, Zara and Monsoon so I will put them on and hope for at least a pound.

I will also have a look to see if I am entitled to any Housing benefit.

Dinner was at my dads yesterday and we left with some leftovers smile and dinner is always at my mums on a Friday as she picks my girls up for me because I work later on a Friday and so she feeds us all.

Booyhoo Wed 02-Jan-13 04:55:28

oh OP i've been there. it's fucking shit. i was lucky in that my exp was paying CS and i went cap in hand and asked him for an advance on the next months payment.

you've probably thought of everything already but just incase you haven't i have a few suggestions.

can you sell anything? even clothes for 99p on ebay or bundles of children's clothing on gumtree/free ads.

can you offer any services? dog walking, babysitting, cleaning, ironing, errands for neighbours, sewing/mending clothes. have a look on gumtree and see what services people are looking done.

can your eldest get an afterschool/saturday job?

is it possible to eat with family/friends for even one meal of the week?

could the dcs go to their dad's for 1/2 meals?

runningforthebusinheels Wed 02-Jan-13 00:58:58

Done smile

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 01-Jan-13 23:05:08

Running please could you PM me the meal plan too? Thanks smile.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 01-Jan-13 12:43:02

Sent the meal plan to all those who asked for it. smile

Happy New Year to everyone. OP I hope you get through this and 2013 is a better year for you.

EricNorthmansFangBanger Tue 01-Jan-13 11:36:55

Running can you PM me that meal plan too if you get a chance please smile

OP - Sorry to hear ex is being difficult. Cancelling the water DD is a good shout from a PP, as they can't cut you off. Water, gas/electricity companies all have some schemes to help people who are struggling. We've been in this position too and I know it's a horrible feeling, once we cancelled everything but the mortgage direct debit. I hope things get better for you soon brew

mam29 Tue 01-Jan-13 10:58:26

No worries chocolate spiderers glad to be of help.

sometimes the old a problem shared works.
Dont feel bad so many in same boat especially prepayday
jan hardest month.

mse oldstyle is great source of info. In fact after reading that £7 a week thread im inspired to come up with cheaper menu for feb as eldest birthday in feb ad car mot will skint us out plus I have overdue bills to pay.

Something no one suggested yet is

do you have ebay acccount? list what you can.
Im really loving my fb local selling group right now.They come collect pay cash no fees and brought some bargains.
Mums forum site of similar name also has local boards with selling pages where you can list for free.
Gumtree area specific and free too.
Fb has selling groups for specific brands ie boden, joules , next so search and request to join.

Im aiming to step up my selling this month and declutter.
The new minimalist organised me in 2013.
Pre dec payday it was my selling that kept petrol on the car and brought a little food .

Today im on reduced hunt in co-op spar. My freezer has lots in it now all reduce so I should be ok until jan payday end of month but me and oh could do with diet so a more frugal basic menu wouldent do us any harm.

Sorry about bank they numpties.Generally I find most banks rubbish although Lloyds did give me small temporary overdraft but only to pay back bank charges I owed them from going overdrawn.

I would contact social see if you entitles to extra help/crisis loan. could you not possibly get some help from housing benefit?

Also there are things called credit unions that loan money to people in need and save. They not loans harks or pay day I think they run like charities. Charities like barnardos may have some funds.

So search local food bank
search local credit union.

If quite a few debts I suggest maybe going to cab and reducing your debt payments.

As for utilities theres actually a social tariff and those in dire need I think possibly can get some help with energy its not just old people.
So as soon as new years over go book appointment with relevent person as im sure you entitled to more than you think and there must be some recourse over csa ie they take direct from his wages.
Spell out to csa what dire straits you in.

Anyway hope 2013 gets better for you , its never as bad as you think always a solution.

Any other family and freinds who could help? Im guessing no and its hard to ask.

good luck.

FrameyMcFrame Tue 01-Jan-13 10:18:28

Cancel water and tv license. Water willgive you time to pay and they aren't allowed to disconnect you.

WineyAunt Tue 01-Jan-13 10:14:30

Running can you pm me too please smile

chocolatespiders Tue 01-Jan-13 09:53:44

WOW- some amazing things been written here thankyou all so much for taking the time to offer me advice and information. Thanks for the links to the blog.

mam29 - such great information- thankyou for taking the time to write all of that out.

Woke up to a text from my bank saying I had gone overdrawn (I don't have an overdraft) Logged in to my account and all direct debits had gone out. I phoned bank helpline and was told the company's had reset the direct debits up. The man has cancelled them again and the money will go back in and I can then pay half the rent.
Someone form the bank is going to ring me tomorrow and talk to me about borrowing a small amount of money I wont allow myself to get my hopes up though as in the past my credit rating has been poor but I have been mindful about trying to make it better.

I will also be ringing CSA tomorrow to see if there is any hope of any of the money ex owes my this month.

BoffinMum Tue 01-Jan-13 01:36:15

Yes, you can easily lose the TV and still survive. But put your TV away so you're not tempted to use it as the fine is so substantial if you get caught out.

If you are honest with your landlord about what has happened, pay at least 50% of your rent and make it up asap, then while it will make your landlord nervous, it will minimise the risk of eviction.

SpeedyMarie Tue 01-Jan-13 01:20:09

I know how you feel. I would cancel the water and tv license rather than the rent, this gets you into hot water blush.

Honestly I see where you are coming from swallowedafly, on paper with dp's wages/tax credit's etc we have enough money to live comfortably. However we do have debts, we are always running to stay still iyswim, robbing peter to pay paul.

Determined to sort it out this year and actually stick to a budget, it's a horrible feeling having actually no money. We had about £12 for the last 4 days, thankfully tc have gone in early tonight, all because flipping Tesco took a double payment (still not returned).

We have cancelled mobile phone/sky etc, so that should free some money up.

Certainly have a look at entitledto op, it's fairly accurate, any ppi or bank charges you could claim back?

Snazzynewyear Tue 01-Jan-13 00:59:36

To keep the cost of fuel down, do you make sure you drive as economically as possible? ie a) best speed, in highest gear possible, smooth changes and steady speed b) don't load boot up with lots of stuff c) keep tank half full rather than totally full to avoid excess weight. Also, use petrolprices.com to make sure you are paying the lowest price offered near you.

BoffinMum Tue 01-Jan-13 00:40:18

Approved Food are brilliant. I use them all the time.

polosareverynice Mon 31-Dec-12 22:43:03

Running please could you pm the meal plan also smile

RoseWei Mon 31-Dec-12 22:22:18

www.approvedfood.co.uk/organic

Found about this site from a MN message under this topic.
Just been to their 'Organic' section, thinking I'd be looking at high prices. Not a bit of it. Looks like a very good bet to me.

Hippymama Mon 31-Dec-12 13:25:37

Sorry to be a pest, but could someone please send me the planner too? Thank you smile

runningforthebusinheels Mon 31-Dec-12 11:32:01

Done smile

HeartOfDixie Mon 31-Dec-12 11:24:48

Running sorry to be a pain but please could you send the meal planner to me as well. Thanks I'm advance.

BananaGio Mon 31-Dec-12 09:31:26

Do you like italian food OP? Our staple cheap pasta dishes include spaghetti with oil, garlic and chilli flakes (fry together and toss with spaghetti. I add parmesan because love it but isnt necessary. Think cheapest place in uk have seen it is aldi and will last for ages). Other cheap variations on this is a courgette or 2 sliced and cooked in the oil and garlic, cooked broccolli mixed and crushed down into the oil, or a bit of ham and couple of handfuls of peas. Italian sauces dont need to be elaborate or have loads of ingredients. Often the thinking behind their creation is money saving, the first course of pasta to be cheap and plentiful to fill you up so you didn't need much of the second course of the more expensive protein. Also with a meat based sauce over here they often dont use much meat unlike the uk version, its just cooked for a long time in the tomato sauce to make the most of the flavour. My sons favourite is raw egg yolk mixed with cooked pasta and parmesan so heat of pasta cooks the egg lightly. From the scots part of the family my mum gets a ham shank for a couple of quid max, makes stock, cooks with a cup of soup mix ( with lentils, peas, pearl barley already mixed), add grated carrots, potatoes, swede and chopped leeks. She adds a stock cube although probably not necessary. Is gorgeous and she always has about 6 double portions left over she freezes. The Brit part of the family have it with bread, the Italians add a handful of tiny pasta pieces and a bit of parmesan. A big frittata omelette feeds three to four as well either with something on the side. Oh and boiled white rice, a knob of butter mixed in with parmesan is favourite comfort food here.
Good luck OP, have been where you are, its not nice! Agree with what has been said above as well. Pick and choose what you can pay on your debits, ask for help and take what is available, you are one of so many struggling, there is no shame in it. And think about going to see the CAB as they can advise on who you can approach in terms of help. Here's to a better 2013 and your bloody ex getting sorted out!

BoffinMum Mon 31-Dec-12 08:23:46

Home made rice pudding with full fat long life milk and cheap dried mixed fruit is another brilliant wheeze, as is making your own yoghurt from sterilised milk bought cheaply from the supermarket.

BoffinMum Mon 31-Dec-12 08:21:06

Also big can of pie filling topped with home made crumble mix fills people up, or you can use blackish bananas instead, the sort market stalls give away at the end of the day.

BoffinMum Mon 31-Dec-12 08:18:59

Similarly part cook a bag of frozen mixed veg, add a tin of chopped tomatoes and sone seasoning/worcestershire sauce, put in dish, break two eggs per person and bury them in wells in the veg, top with grated cheese and bake until the eggs are cooked through but not too hard. Serve with wedges of brown bread. Luvverly.

BoffinMum Mon 31-Dec-12 08:15:17

Tinned, frozen and dried fruit, veg and pulses are your friend. For example boil up free ham bones from butcher for stock. Cook lentils in there and add a small amount of chopped bacon, with a few croutons made from stale bread, and you have supper right there.

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