Rosheene Thomson has been on the domestic purposes benefit (DPB) since she had daughter Madison five years ago.
The 23-year-old has no involvement from Madison's father and has no family in the area to help. She said she relied heavily on the DPB to help get her through each week but it was a struggle.
"There just isn't enough money to cover extra bills like getting the fridge fixed. There's no allowance in my budget for that. You have to apply for extra money then you have to go through all these programmes like budgeting," she said.
"I can't even put money towards my daughter's birthday present or school uniform. We ask for help and they say, 'Why don't you put money away'?"
Ms Thomson said she managed to put 48c a week into savings to go towards Christmas and her daughter's birthday presents. "I get that it's taxpayers' money and everything. I know. But it's quite hard. It's a real struggle.
"My daughter will ask for something like a new bike because her bike broke and I'll say something like, 'I'll think about it', and she will say, 'It's okay, Mum, I know we don't have the money. Don't worry about it'.
"She's 5. She shouldn't have to think about that."
Ms Thomson said she achieved a Certificate in Teacher Aide work but hours in the sector had been cut and no one was hiring. Now her daughter was at school, she was more able to work. Merivale Primary School also offered fruit and breakfast for children of families struggling financially. Those things were a Godsend, Ms Thomson said.