Tax Credits – The Panic

Since my divorce I have needed to claim working tax credit and child tax credit in order to survive financially. I’ve been a tax payer since age 17 so claiming money back, as opposed to paying it, is a new experience for me.
I don’t particularly like it, but it’s necessary and I’m working hard on re-starting my career post-children so in the long term I’m hoping not to be a claimant for long. As it is, I’m already back paying tax again, albeit to a small degree!
I had a pay rise this year. Yay!
Which meant I had to call the tax credits helpline to update my income. I did so and after the horror of the automated phone system (honestly! Who thinks of these things? Bloody awful) I got my new award notice in the post today.
I glanced at it, looked at the bit where it said “you have been overpaid” and promptly panicked.
Overpaid?! How? I had to go out then to collect my children. The whole time I was out my brain kept returning to the tax credits letter. Overpaid? I owed how many hundred pound. Money I just do not have!

I got home and re-read the letter. Ah! They had carried on adding my self employed money from the previous tax year. Money I no longer received. Thank goodness for that.
I’ve called and corrected it now. But part of me is still anxious. I won’t know until next week whether I have actually been overpaid or not.
I really loathe not knowing exactly where I stand with my finances.

Juggling Act

Some days, like today in fact, I feel like my life is a constant juggling act. Rushing from home to school to deposit the children, back home, get the car, get to work, do my job, get home, do housework, collect children from after school clubs, get them home, get dinner on, get them showered and hair washed, eat dinner… And so on, and so on.
But I try to do it all with a smile.

Because I’m grateful that I’m able to do all this.
I have friends unable to do the most basic of tasks due to illness. So although it sometimes feels a bit of a drudge, I just remind myself that it’s not for long in the grand scheme of things.