Filter by Topic:
Top tips from single parents
We've collected practical tips from the experts, single parents themselves, to give you advice and ideas. Filter by topic or find out more by following the links.
Get advice before it goes too far
My problems with rent were about 5 years ago. I got advice before it went too far and kept in contact with my landlord. I’m not the sort of person to be hiding behind the couch! That is how you get into financial difficulty.
Mum, 2 children, age 5 and 11Get help with your rent
Saving with homemade prezzies
We are doing a lot of homemade pressies this year. For example we’ve made chutney using discounted fruit and vegetables. We save empty jam and sauce jars, which my children decorate with stickers and ribbons. My eldest child is also having a go at making candles
MumMore on saving
Check if you can get extra financial help
When you change from a single benefit claim to a joint claim things change and you can get more help sometimes. I got help to pay for nursery fees – they paid 70%. If I didn’t have help with that, I wouldn't have been able to work. And a lot of people don’t know about those things.
Mum, 3 children aged 1, 5 and 10Information on finances after separation
Try the Turn2Us calculator to work out your benefits
I want to work and if I thought I might get a job, then I need to be ahead and work out my benefits. If I know everything’s in place that makes me feel organised and structured. I go on the Turn2Us calculator to get a rough estimate of money when I'm going back into work – you can see what you’re entitled. It’s really beneficial.
Mum, 1 child aged 4Use the benefit calculator
Try to face up to money problems
It's no use trying to avoid money problems by not seeing it in black and white; always open bills, bank statements, etc., so you know what's happening. If you’re struggling to pay bills you could go to your local free advice centre for help.
Single mumInformation on managing money and debt
You can challenge benefits decisions
I followed some advice given to me by the Gingerbread helpline who advised me to go back to the benefits agency to ask them to review my claim, which ultimately proved successful and reduced my rent payments by half.
Mum, 2 childrenFind out more about benefits
Try to remember what you've got
My advice to other single parents is just to stay strong and try not to think about what you don’t have. I lost a lot when my husband and I split – both emotionally and financially. It’s a bit of a shock at first trying to get by on less. But I’d say, try not to let it get to you – look for the positives and remember what you do have.
Mum, 1 childInformation on supporting yourself
A detailed budget does help
I worked out a month by month budget and recorded every single penny coming in and out, if I spent a bit extra on school uniforms or some other essential, then I made sure the same amount came off the food budget so that I wouldn’t go overdrawn.
Mum, 2 childrenMore on managing money