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    • Lisa1992
    • By Lisa1992 5th May 17, 12:18 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Lisa1992
    Single parent mature student- I need help!!
    • #1
    • 5th May 17, 12:18 PM
    Single parent mature student- I need help!! 5th May 17 at 12:18 PM
    As a single parent studying a full time (48 hour week) degree to train as a midwife, I am really struggling financially, I get around £900 a month (all income) to which I have out goings of around £1300. I pay for full time childcare (£500pm) and travel to uni and hospital placements costs on average £200pm. I don't get full benefit as government see my student loan as income yet don't take into account extra outgoings as a student! I have the usual bills of rent, gas, electric, phone, internet, FOOD! I am really struggling and I have maxed out my overdraft. I have cancelled my child's birthday party and have had to scrape through each month and spending more money on interest for not paying some bills on time when I havnt a spare penny in the bank. If there is any help what so ever please give me anything you suggest. I don't know how much longer I can do this with 18 months left and having a break down!
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 5th May 17, 12:57 PM
    • 17,671 Posts
    • 13,371 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 5th May 17, 12:57 PM
    • #2
    • 5th May 17, 12:57 PM
    I don't really see how you can manage with your expenditure £400 a month more than your income. Surely you knew this before you started to study? I think you may need to see if you can take a break and use the time to work enough so that you can build up a savings pot to fund the shortfall when you return to your studies.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 5th May 17, 12:59 PM
    • 793 Posts
    • 1,677 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #3
    • 5th May 17, 12:59 PM
    • #3
    • 5th May 17, 12:59 PM
    What income do you have, and what are your outgoings?
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 5th May 17, 3:52 PM
    • 17,671 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #4
    • 5th May 17, 3:52 PM
    • #4
    • 5th May 17, 3:52 PM
    What income do you have, and what are your outgoings?
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    As stated very clearly in the OP.

    ...I get around £900 a month (all income) to which I have out goings of around £1300.
    Originally posted by Lisa1992
    • Lisa1992
    • By Lisa1992 5th May 17, 6:05 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    Lisa1992
    • #5
    • 5th May 17, 6:05 PM
    Reply
    • #5
    • 5th May 17, 6:05 PM
    I applied for the course when I was with my husband and planned to have a stable household income. Now that is not the situation 😔

    My income consists of monthly student loan of £750 and a 3x a year student finance grant. I havnt included my housing benefit as I don't get ful and have to pay £250pm rent. I get child benefit and minimal tax credits. (Someone has suggested I ring and make it's correct as it sounds like I don't get enough).

    I rang my local council who said housing benefit is correct because they take my loan and grant as an income.

    I get no other benefits or income. My outgoing are all bills expected and full time childcare. Travel to uni and hospitals is also around £200+ a month. I basically work 12 hour shifts (nights bank hold and weekends) and travel on top not getting paid!

    I started this course to do my dream job and I knew money would be tight but feel like I should be entitled to more as I have NOTHING spare or for emergencies. i seem to have far less than everyone else in my cohort but we all have different circumstances. Am I missing something?
    • Lisa1992
    • By Lisa1992 5th May 17, 6:13 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    Lisa1992
    • #6
    • 5th May 17, 6:13 PM
    Overdraft
    • #6
    • 5th May 17, 6:13 PM
    And exactly I don't manage, I have been going into my overdraft and asking for extensions on it for the last two years to actually get by, now I am maxed out I can't afford to pay the bills.

    i have considered taking a year out but gathered I wouldn't save up much as I would be working full time to pay full time childcare and all my bills as usual.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 5th May 17, 8:03 PM
    • 3,251 Posts
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    sheramber
    • #7
    • 5th May 17, 8:03 PM
    • #7
    • 5th May 17, 8:03 PM
    Do you not get child maintenance?
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 5th May 17, 9:10 PM
    • 17,671 Posts
    • 13,371 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #8
    • 5th May 17, 9:10 PM
    • #8
    • 5th May 17, 9:10 PM
    Do you not get child maintenance?
    Originally posted by sheramber
    Yes, this, get your husband to at least pay for the childcare (or look after your child himself). If that's not possible then I can't see how you can continue to study while spending beyond your income, because it won't be long before your bank stops funding you, and you really don't want to be looking at other sources of borrowing.

    Have you spoken to your university / student union to see if they can assess your options with more information than it's feasible to give to us?
    • MakeAChange
    • By MakeAChange 6th May 17, 8:08 AM
    • 73 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    MakeAChange
    • #9
    • 6th May 17, 8:08 AM
    • #9
    • 6th May 17, 8:08 AM
    You should speak to the uni, they have additional discretionary funds available for those who genuinely need help to stay on their course. They will want proof that you are genuinely struggling such as bank statements, proof of bills and childcare and I'm sure if you provide evidence that its genuine then they will be able to support you to finish your degree,
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 6th May 17, 1:31 PM
    • 2,148 Posts
    • 3,266 Thanks
    Dobbibill
    OP - you may be entitled to extra help.

    I had a quick look around and found these details on the government website and turn 2 us charity.

    https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/extra-help

    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Your-Situation/Studying-age-16/Full-time-students-and-benefits/Can-full-time-students-claim-out-of-work-benefits

    HTH
    I'm a Board Guide on the Energy, Student Money Saving, UK Armed Forces and
    Local Money Saving - Wales boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
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    A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.
    • nimbo
    • By nimbo 18th May 17, 8:03 AM
    • 3,152 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    nimbo
    I had a nightmare finishing my degree as a mature student. Half way through my second year placement they withdrew funding as student finance realised they'd overpaid. (I'd checked this as i'd previously studied - and was assured by several people I was studying a degree on an exception list so was entitled to the finance - somehow my name dob and national insurance number wasn't enough for them to identify me and they'd cocked up). They even took back the fees they'd already paid to the university. I called the university before they even knew and they were great - thankfully. I struggled but did manage. Just.

    Is there anyone who could help with offering free childcare? E.g. Mum or friend who could have them one day a week to lessen that bill. How old are the children. Could they be signed up to some after school clubs - to again cut a few hours of child care here and there? Any other mothers on the course needing a bit of help - so you could swap services for differing shifts? Are you getting the student finance to help with childcare - I never applied as I have no children (I obviously didn't want to get in bother for fraud). But others did - however I graduated a few years ago so don't know what help there still may be.

    Have you looked at the old style board to cut back on food expenditure. It may only help with £50 less a month spend - but that's a big chunk of what you need. Eggs on toast or beans on toast is a tea. Unless you eat gluten free. Once or twice a week it can save a bomb. Could you eat from the cupboards / freezer for a week? It's a good way to clear out and although you may get fed up with some of the randomness try not to shop till the freezer is totally empty? Except bread and milk. It may only last 4 days or a week or whatever - but it's still a help and then defrosting the freezer will make it more efficient thus saving you electricity costs...

    Do you pay gas and electric by direct debit And do they owe you cash? Call and ask to either have the dd lessened - or ask for a cheque.

    Could you consider moving closer to where your shifts are to cut back the travel costs. Although that comes with a large hassle and outlay factor.

    Could you car share with someone?

    When I was a student - I got a small grant from someone. Used the grant database on here for help. Some are super specific so if your dad was a fisherman in Grimsby and his name started with a p you were in there. But some are more accessible. Not sure if that still exists.

    Can you look into switching providers for some services and cutting back the tv package? Again it may only be £10 / £20 here and there but it may help. And again will get you closer to the magic figure where your spending less than you have coming in.

    Is there anything that you can avoid for the next 18 months? So no nails (although probably not allowed as a midwife in training) or no hair and eyelashes apinemts or no Xbox live? All of the switching can be a hassle. But £40 quid is 10% of what you need to find.

    Are you getting maintainence? Could your ex help with childcare?

    Could you ask for cash for birthdays and Christmas (I get that's a wait) - stating that this will be going towards you staying afloat and getting your dream job?

    So you have anything you could sell? I'm thinking wedding ring here - sorry I'm cold and heartless. Again £40 is 10% of what you need this month. For the next 18 months.

    Could you do a car boot. Declutter and sell all the old junk for a bit of cash. Not that labour intensive and bung the rest to a charity shop. Hey presto you even have more room.

    If you're wanting to know what benefits you may be entitled to go to the benefits board - people can be helpful. But there can also be an group of haters there so don't be disheartened.

    Go through your own statement of affairs and be brutal when cutting back with anything that could be a luxury. It's for 18 months. You don't need Netflix or now tv or electric. (That was a joke). If you want to be fully pared back even post that in the debt free wanna be board. People there will be brutally honest. One guy was eating Beans and feeding his dog grilled chicken breast - it took him a second or two to twig the dog was eating better then he was by a long shot. They're not going to be getting at you - but they can help with pointing out the priority debts etc.

    Are you exempt from council tax? And have you applied since the split?

    A lot of these things can seem
    Like effort and for not a lot of return. But it will all add up. Every now and again I regret selling some jewellery that I needed to sell to live on while studying - but then I think about my dream job I'm doing now - working 60 hours a week being paid for 37 with the unrealistic expectations and high rate of burn out and think it was all worth it. Haha.

    Stashbuster - 2014 98/100 - 2015 175/200 - 2016 501 / 500 2017 - 3 / 500
    • Starrystarrynight1
    • By Starrystarrynight1 18th May 17, 12:04 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    Starrystarrynight1
    OP, are you eligible to apply for a childcare grant from your funding body? Or is this already included in what you get?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I used to be Starrystarrynight on MSE, before a log in technical glitch!
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 19th May 17, 9:26 PM
    • 19,339 Posts
    • 31,277 Thanks
    Spendless
    I thought students who are single and and have children got help with childcare costs? Is this no longer the case?

    https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/extra-help-students-children
    Last edited by Spendless; 19-05-2017 at 9:30 PM.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 20th May 17, 8:58 AM
    • 17,671 Posts
    • 13,371 Thanks
    agrinnall
    I thought students who are single and and have children got help with childcare costs? Is this no longer the case?

    https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/extra-help-students-children
    Originally posted by Spendless
    The OP has posted nothing to suggest she is in Northern Ireland.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 20th May 17, 9:11 AM
    • 19,339 Posts
    • 31,277 Thanks
    Spendless
    The OP has posted nothing to suggest she is in Northern Ireland.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    Ooops. Thanks for pointing that out, hadn't realised that was where the link was for. I just googled. I remember, admittedly a long time ago, someone saying that they got 85% of their childcare costs paid because they were a student. I remember it because it was a higher % paid (85%) than people can receive if they're eligible for help via tax credits, which is a maximum of 70%, though some years ago used to be 80%. Having now found a UK link. This is what I'm wondering about.

    https://www.gov.uk/childcare-grant
    Last edited by Spendless; 20-05-2017 at 9:15 AM.
    • BeckyAP
    • By BeckyAP 24th May 17, 2:36 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    BeckyAP
    Definitely check with your university's funding or money advice team.
    Most university's have a discretionary fund to help those who are financially struggling.
    Are you getting Parents Learning Allowance and Childcare Grant if you're being funded by SFE?
    Or can you get help through NHS Bursaries?
    • venison
    • By venison 26th May 17, 9:18 PM
    • 934 Posts
    • 983 Thanks
    venison
    If the child is over 3 years old then you should be getting 15 hours free child care and that might increase to 30 soon, also single parent students still get 85% of childcare paid unto £155 per week depending on income (I think the max is £9000 a year).
    #WeStandTogether
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