Today we start the first of our monthly appearances from our resident agony aunt, L K Jay. She’s an indie author whose niche is ghost stories and she works in education when she isn’t creating spine tingling tales. As a friend of our editor and regular contributor to RockPaperSpirit, L K will be solving your problems in her own inimitable style. She’ll give you tea and sympathy while maintaining the ability to give you some straight talking.
This month, our first problem is from a young lady in financial difficulty who is looking for a quick fix. Read on to see L K’s advice…
For the last couple of years money has been really tight and now it’s worse than ever. I’m struggling to bring up a young family on my own and my benefits are being cut because I have three kids. During a Whatsapp group chat a few weeks ago one of my friends joked about working the chatlines and of course we all laughed. But now I am seriously considering it. I looked into becoming a chatline hostess or even a webcam model and the money is fantastic. These girls are making £150 a night from the comfort of their own homes. The problem is that I would hate for anyone I know to find out, especially my kids. They’re now old enough to understand what would be involved in webcam modelling and I wouldn’t want to embarrass them at school, but I don’t have a lot of options. I have no skills, a very basic education and nobody wants to hire a single mum whose main priority is her kids. What should I do?
Dear Anon of Newcastle,
First of all, why are your benefits being cut? Have the benefit office told you specifically that they’re being cut because you have three children? What benefits exactly are you claiming? How old are you children?
I ask these questions because I wonder if you are getting all the money and benefits you are entitled to. It’s time to sharpen up and start making a plan of exactly how you are going to get out of this and where you’re going long term. How about the father (is there more than one) of your children? Are you getting the correct contributions from him? Have you approached the child maintenance agency, they are very good at tracking down absent fathers and extracting the money you are owed out of them. No room for sentimentality here, get what you are owed.
With regards to the webcam modelling, steer well clear. What goes on the internet, stays on the internet and you run the risk of being discovered. Once that happens, you could have social services knocking on your door. I’ve seen it happen, children can get taken away from sex workers, because that will be the label they will give you. You also run the risk of being involved in crime, a lot of these women are being run by criminal gangs or have been trafficked into the work. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
Have you thought of increasing your skills and education? It’s the best thing to increase your prospects long term. As you are on benefits, you should be entitled to free courses at college – you can study to increase your skills in any area you’re interested in or learn a trade. I have yet to meet a poor electrician or gas fitter. You can also study with the Open University and get help with that – either way you need to work hard and apply yourself to get a good steady income. Discipline and clear headed thinking is what you need. It won’t be easy but hard work and perseverance will pay off in the end.
After all, there was the story of the young single mother who sat in a coffee shop in Edinburgh and wrote a story about a boy wizard, and look where she is now.
L K Jay.
If you have a problem you’d like L K to solve, please use our comment box below, contact me page or email us. You can even DM our editor on Twitter. All problems are treated in the strictest confidence and will be published on the site as from “Anon”
What advice would you give this young lady? Do you agree with L K or would you reply be different?