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  1. #1
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    Default Budgeting help

    OK so in the sense of trying to find some way forward I have decided to tackle my finances (since avoiding them is obviously not working). So am after advice/help with budgeting & where people would allocate, things I've missed etc (sorry it's long, trying to deal with rambling, racing thoughts right now). I am also attempting to do this assuming a situation where I am at home caring for DS

    Income - DSP/FTB/rent assistance
    fortnightly - $1,112 (will increase by $95 in Feb assuming I can survive without another advance payment)
    Also get another couple of hundred in supplement payments each quarter

    Fixed expense - rent $600/fortnight - leaving $512 for everything else (obviously where my main problem is)

    Expenses - (note I have only
    included amounts for fixed expenses - everything else I'm trying to work out what I can afford to pay towards & have added notes - these are things I need to contribute regular amounts to)

    electricity
    gas
    water
    food
    internet/phone
    petrol (when car on road)
    medications

    upcoming expenses:
    car rego - $185 (need to pay to avoid having to get roadworthy on car to re-register - the work needed to do this plus the amount to get it on the road would far exceed the value of a 16yo pulsar)
    DS laptop for high school (payable 14/12 at latest) - $986
    DS school fees - unsure - scholarship will pay $250 of
    DS books for 2017 - $650
    DS uniform - around $150
    DS graduation from primary school $75 for him & I to attend, need formal clothes/shoes for DS (any ideas?) & semi formal for me (any ideas for something cheap/easily available & can go with boots as I have a pair of those - only other shoes I own are thongs)
    DS cricket - $140 overdue (not essential but important for DS with all he is going through to have his main love in his life, particularly when he plays at elite level)
    Christmas/DS birthday - he knows he isn't getting much but would like to take him to a couple of Big Bash games & get him a new baseball gloves since his is falling apart.
    Garden - need to get professional tidy up done (cheapest quote $125) as over waist length on DS & he claims to have seen what he says is a tiger snake (very possible in our area)
    Car repairs - $1,000 - again not essential but everyone agrees important for my mental health to try & help me get back into society again. While it would be useful to have done now (DS can't get to school currently any other way due to location & no bus service), we have lived without & the assistance principal & his wife live around the corner and & more than willing to pick him up/drop him off). Our area is not one that is easy to live in without a car though - poor public transport, very hilly terrain, very narrow streets with no footpaths or off-road places that are safe to walk etc, no shops within a few kms of said terrain etc)

    Hopefully I will get the funds for one of DS's scholarships in time for that to cover $500 of the costs of his books. I have also based his uniform costs on being entitled to free shorts, jumper and school shoes, therefore needing to buy bag/sports uniform/polo shirt.

    Electricity - I currently owe $1,050 or so - am waiting on a form for URGS which if accepted by DHS will reduce by $500
    Gas - around $1,200 (thanks parents for over using the heater) - don't qualify for URGS for gas as had recently
    Water - around $700 or so - need to contact as unsure with amount whether they have applied my concession & to check whether URGS is an option (if it is may reduce by $500)

    Medications -around $40/fortnight this is having reduced the amount due to reaching the safety net. Some of my medications have been taken off the safety net & I have to pay $6.50/week to have my medications dispensed weekly (required by my drs for my safety) so these don't count on safety net. Come January this cost will come close to doubling based on current medications.

    House - moving house isn't a realistic option for a number of reasons: have lease until next August (can't afford breaking lease fees even if leased again immediately), one of cheapest in area, having dog & being single mum on DSP with zero savings & having paid rent late twice on this property (now pay by Centrepay so won't happen again) makes being approved for houses extremely difficult, the area I am in is in it's holiday period so rentals that are vacant are rented out as holiday homes & far too expensive, moving out of area would be a bad idea with the services I am tied to, especially HACC where my house is cleaned for $1/fortnight, & most importantly the mental health service - something that can be next to impossible to access without being a previous or known client.

    Food - I usually try to limit to $125/fortnight but find it really hard to provide a balance diet on that.

    Clothes - both DS & I are in desparate need of clothes & shoes for summer - DS has outgrown his & the only shoes he owns are his runners/baseball cleats & my clothes are now too big after significant weight loss plus literally thread bare & falling apart & the only shoes I own are very worn out thongs & a pair of boots. I haven't budgeted for this from anywhere as I just can't see where it can come from. We both also desperately need haircuts with neither of us having had one in at least 2 years.

  2. #2
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    Do u have Facebook Hun? I would jump on simple savers xx

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  4. #3
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  6. #4
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    I would try a financial counsellor, they can speak with your creditors for you (gas water electricity etc). Try the not for profit agencies, they provide them for free. Do you get child support? If you have a good relationship with FOB could you ask for some assistance with your sons expenses?

    It sounds tough, I hope it gets easier.

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    pointless1  (31-10-2016)

  8. #5
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    So just to clarify, you are in hospital while your parents are caring for your son in your home? And you mentioned the judge making a decision over his care? Some I'm assuming your son is on a Supervision or Custody Order?

    If so, talk to the Dept. Your son is being housed there so they are responsible for him too. Schedule a meeting with your case worker. Explain in terms of *him* not having electricity. Him not having school books/items. They at least used to do clothing and education grants of $500 a year. They will probably agree to help with at least his clothing, school needs.

    I would also look at your rent. I don't know where you live, I'm assuming metro or semi metro so I know rent is a lot. But you would be better to get a tiny 1 bedroom unit for 6-12 months, use the savings to pay off your debts to zero then look at re-assessing. There is no point living in a semi decent unit/house if you have no heating or power.

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    pointless1  (31-10-2016),yadot  (31-10-2016)

  10. #6
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    Sent you a pm xx

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  12. #7
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    I agree rent is way too high! $300 a week for 2 people - no way. You could survive with a one bed and your DS on a sofa bed. I know it's not ideal but it's what you might have to consider in order to get your costs down.
    My hubby comes from an immigrant family of 6 and they lived in a two bed unit for 16 years- with him and his brother sleeping on a sofa bed for 10 years. It's what you've got to do to put food etc on the table

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  14. #8
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    Well done for looking at getting your finances in order - it can be such an overwhelming task but making a list of all your expenses like you have is a great start. Can I suggest that you consider contacting the Smith Family to see if they can allocate a sponsor to assist with your sons education expenses such as his graduation, uniform and laptop. They run a sponsorship program specifically to assist in this area. I think your budget is extremely tight and it must be tough managing it all. Is there anyone that could help? For example, could you ask family to chip in and pay for your sons cricket for Christmas? Is there a Facebook group of parents in your area that might be able to help with clothes, uniforms or books?

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  16. #9
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    Also sent you a pm x

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  18. #10
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    Thanks for the pm's& suggestions - I'll reply as soon as I can work out how to & use the spacebar at the same time. I will also answer some questions - sorry I can't quote as can't use the spacebar if I do for some reason (not sure what is going on there).

    DS's father/family - unfortunately DS's father passed away when he was 3. His mum used to provide both practical & financial support but she has also now sadly passed away (as otherwise I would most likely live with her & have her help with care of DS)

    I am on a waiting list for a financial counseller - the current wait list is apparently 3 months as funding has recently been cut in our area. From experience, last time they were able to help with negotiating lower repayment plans than I could as well as arranging a lower ongoing rate and a small discount. They were not much help in organising an ongoing budget - their advice was to get a part time job which I do hope to one day but is right now at the bottom of my priorities due to health.

    Yes DS is currently under a supervision order that my parents care for him while I am in hospital/any residential facility. At this point in time there are not provisions in that for when I am home as the judge reserved this until I am of more sound mind so there will be another court hearing before that is decided, though my solicitor has told me the most likely option will be what I want if it is still the same when I am of sound mind with additional supports being put in place by DHS.

    DHS have already paid an education grant - they have contributed $500 to the computer. They have also already made a contribution towards clothes - this paid for his current runners & winter clothes. From what they have told me he qualifies for more funding in February.

    A different area of DHS provideup to $500 every 2 years for essential services under the URGS therefore the child protection branch do not cover this.

    He is under Young Carers so I am waiting for them to advise what funding they are able to get for him as far as school goes (hoping for a contribution towards the laptop). Books I am not too worried about as I have been told I should get the money for the $500 scholarship early-mid January and should be able to the use lump sum I get for the supplements at the end of Dec to cover the rest.

    Rent/moving house. I've already mentioned many of the reasons that renting is not feasible. I do not live in anything flash - we live in a regional town in a small 2 bd run down beach house. But to restate the issues with moving:

    Break lease fees - I have no way of affording this plus the costs of moving, particularly if the house does not rent out quickly (which it likely wouldn't at this time of year).

    Time of year - rents are always higher from now until after Easter in this area as most investment properties that are not tenanted get used as holiday rentals/homes

    Access to DS school - we need to stay somewhat local to the area for DS high school, especially as he is going into a select entry position and is too late to apply for the same ****** in schools in other areas.

    No cheaper properties around - I just checked this out to make sure on this one. In my area and surrounding suburbs there are 2 properties cheaper than mine - both are rented through an agent who has refused applications from me on 5 properties (including having 2 relisted at lower prices).

    Being accepted to rent another property - DS has a dog which complicates applications (will not rehome her as he really needs her as a companion - she has helped him immensely in what has been an incredibly difficult year for him), being a single mum with no employment, properties always (even for 1 bd properties) at 50% or so of my income, zero savings or spare money in bank = really bad candidate for renting a home to. Plus my reference from current agent would be somewhat dodgy after paying rent late twice and the house being an absolute disaster zone when I was hospitalised involuntarily a day before the inspection.

    The most important one, and the factor that stops me from moving to a 1bd that is cheaper enough to warrant making the move, is being treated by the mental health service. I cannot move out of this area and risk not being able to access public system care for my mental health. It is incredibly hard to access these services (not sure how many of you have needed it in the past) unless you are known to them. You can even present to hospital in a psychotic state, be stabilised and turned away from ongoing care. Without this ongoing care, and maybe even with it, I will end up dead. So I am somewhat stuck with that - in the catchment area for the service, I am currently living in about the cheapest rental you can get. If there was a 1bd available that would reduce rental costs I would take it in a heartbeat & give the bedroom to DS. It is definitely not about wanting a bigger/better house or anything similar, but what is available where I can guarantee getting the medical care I need.

    I am on the waiting list for public housing - was on a list that escalates your eligibility & have been for 18 months so far.

    ETA Smith Family sponsorship program doesn't operate in our area (someone else suggested it once so I contacted them) but am hopeful that Young Carers are going to be able to assist)


 

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