How we helped Ashley balance her budget and have a difficult conversation

Ashley (name changed for confidentiality) approached us for help in affording the school uniform for her 7yo daughter.  We had previously advised Ashely before and supported her adult son to gain benefits because of his disabilities.  There had been several changes in the family circumstances over the years and difficulties with school because of the needs of her son that had dented Ashley’s confidence as a parent.  Most recently the loss of a benefit had made it difficult to budget and Ashley and her family needed help with food as well as experiencing difficulty in affording top-ups for the gas and electricity.

What did we do?

Through having a discussion about sources of income in the household and where money was spent it was identified that there was spending on toiletries and clothes for her son that she was paying for even though he now has his own income.  We discussed how parenting conversations change as children grow up and that habits that have developed from when children are young are not always as helpful at different stages of their children’s life.  A suggestion was made to discuss with her son the family circumstances and the cost of essentials with a goal of £50 board each week to support Ashley.  It was acknowledged that this can be a difficult conversation to have and Ashley was encouraged to explore this.

What was the impact?

Following the conversation, Ashley was able to explain that her son wanted to help and provided £65 each week and agreed to buy his own clothes and toiletries.  This means that the family has an improved capacity to manage and was able to access support with immediate needs for her daughter from our Child Support Fund.  Crucially Ashley experienced a sense of achievement as a parent that will improve her confidence in parenting and will support her with her family life.

If you need advice about balancing your budget, contact us here
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