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Can't make ends meet


Hi I've just joined. I'm just trying to find people in the same situation as me.

I have a 2 and a half year old boy, and his father does not want to know at all. I'm just really struggling with everything. I'm working full time and my son goes to a nursery every day. I don't have hardly any disposable income and I sometimes struggle to get to work due to the cost of buses and to feed us both. I have been through days where I just don't eat so that my son can.

I just feel so alone and in September my Dad and my sister moved away. I live in the Isle of Man and my dad moved to Croatia and my sister moved to Manchester. My Mum lives in Spain too.

So i suppose I'm just trying to find people to talk to about these things.


Posted on: November 13, 2011 - 1:21pm

Hi Elise 

I am also in a similar situation as yourself. I am a single Mum and work (up into a month ago I wroked full time but have now changed to part time as was too tiring.)

My little one is 3yrs old and his father has very little contact with him and no financial help towards raising him. 

making ends meet is very difficult but I am lucky enough to have family near. I cant afford to go food shopping most of the time so i go to the families for our dinner most of the time. 

I also feel guilty for working and not spending enough time with my boy, so i never get a babysitter so i can go out which resluts in me feeling like i never get chance to have time to myself which then again leads to me feeling guilty for wanting time to myself.

There is help with childcare fees from the government. do you get these?  

Posted on: November 13, 2011 - 1:51pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hello Elise

I feel sad that you are struggling so much, parenting alone is hard enough without such financial troubles.

Are you getting all the childcare help you are entitled to, as ethiemu asks?

Would it be viable to go part time at your employer's? If so, you can get a financial projection from our Money Expert as to the implications. Sometimes, with the cost of travel to work and childcare, lone parents can be better off (at or at least not worse off) by working less hours.

Also are you stuggling with debts? If so, it would be great to get some professional help to sort them out and pay less back per week

Have you thought about taking a lodger, to help with the bills?

Sorry, just bouncing some ideas around now Smile

Posted on: November 13, 2011 - 2:00pm


Hi Louise and Ethiemu

Thank you both for your comments. I do receive help from the Government for childcare which is great but I still find myself with next to nothing. 

I have thought about going part time, but weirdly enough it's my job that keeps me sane at the minute. It gives me a chance to forget about things. Although i do feel guilty for leaving my son at a nursery all day, i know that he is getting a proper meal and having fun. Whereas at the weekends I can feed him, but I have to be so careful about how much so that I know we have some for the next week. Also, I can't really take him anywhere apart from the local park as there just isn't any money for travel or swimming etc. Now that is what makes me feel so guilty!

Louise, I would love to get a lodger in but as I am renting I can't. I am waiting for a council house but this could take up to another 3 years. I'm horrendously in debt with the goverment as i got a huge bill from them after handing in my tax return.  But I can't sort anything out until next year, I will probably go to citizen's advice to help me with that one.

Ethiemu, I also don't ever get a babysitter as I can't afford it. It just isn't possible. So at weekends I do feel very alone. I sometimes dread the weekend, which just isn't normal at my age!!

I am going to get a projection from the money expert about going part time. I would do anything at the minute to have that extra little bit of money to get us both by.


Posted on: November 13, 2011 - 2:11pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Yes, your  Citizen's advice can help you re the debt, Elise, but start by contacting our Money Expert (click the link) for a projection, and also mention your debt to see if they have any ideas to start you off.

Personally I think it is quite hard to draw up a budget and be totally honest and realistic about it. Here is a budgeting tool......but I found that the first step was to keep a little notebook and write down EVERY PENNY you spend each day...the form that you can make a budget. It would really help to do this before you go to Citizens Advice.

It just feels really important that you get hold of this situation now and do your best to improve things, even if only slightly.....

Posted on: November 13, 2011 - 6:18pm

Sally W
Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hi Elise

Sorry to hear that things are so difficult for you right now, Louise has pointed you in the right direction for getting some advice.

Have you any friends that support you?  I remember when my children were young and i was broke and in debt, i used to occassionally invite friends round to my house to watch a movie, chat and stay the night with their kids on the weekend, the kids used to think it was great! and did not cost me anything other than supplying tea/coffee and cereal for breakfast!

Posted on: November 14, 2011 - 3:52pm