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  • FIRST POST
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 30th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    • 58Posts
    • 77Thanks
    Plain Jane
    University Challenge x 2
    • #1
    • 30th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    University Challenge x 2 30th Jul 17 at 9:04 PM
    Hi everyone, you all seem such a friendly bunch and I've been reading some of your diaries for a long time. I thought it was time I joined in and added my own diary for some help and encouragement.

    My name is quite boring but I haven't got a very creative mind today so may think of something better at a later date.

    So my title says it all really. Our DT (darling twin girls) were born 19 years ago in September. So you'd think after the shock of having two children at the same time we would have thought that at some point they will reach the age where they could well want to go to uni!

    No not us, we lived each day as it came getting ourselves into a mountain of debt without a thought for the future. In 2002 this debt reached £66k - LBM number 1 came along. We entered a dmp and spent the next 12 years scrimping and saving. In 2014 my dearest and lovely Dad passed away. The worst thing that has ever happened to me. About 6 months later his inheritance arrived and the first thing we did was pay the remaining £23k off our debt. The relief was amazing, it's such a shame something bad had to happen to get there.

    The remaining money we used to update the house as it had not had much love. So you think lessons learned we are free of debt apart from the mortgage. Oh no, I obviously thought we were invincible. The children were older and still talking about uni but we hadn't lived for so many years and all of a sudden credit was available to us. We went on holiday a couple of times and had weekends away, spent very unwisely on a day to day basis and bought shoes, clothes and everything else we thought we could afford now but really we couldn't.

    So here we're are, girls hopefully getting into uni in September, upset about having an empty nest all in one go and £40k back in debt.

    I've spent the last month overhauling the budget but nowhere near to the point that some of you do - I think you are all amazing. I have chopped small things out which have added up and the next thing to go is our storage unit where we dumped everything after losing 3 parents and a sister in quick succession. We cannot afford £172 a month for this. So my diary is all about cutting down, minimilising and hopefully losing weight along the way as I think these things can go hand in hand.

    Hope you've all had a great weekend and looking forward to talking to you all.

    PJ
Page 6
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 30th Oct 17, 2:12 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Wow!
    Thanks so much for all your replies they really do mean a lot to me and I know I should be looking at selling those darned cars!


    greent - you are correct - I have realised using YNAB over the last couple of months that I am not budgeting properly. Especially on car maintenance. The 9.40 is the fee Fiat charge me for a service plan for my car. Both DT's cars have had MOT's and servicing done in the last 6 months and all have gone on the CC's - so I know that is a failing.


    I will post a new SOA up at the end of December - I think I still have some work to do on the budgets and want to see our frugal Xmas out of the way.


    Oh, the cars!! DT1's boyfriend sold his car to us for £1k less that he could have got for it himself for my DD as he thought it would help them when visiting each other at different Uni's. In the end, they now go to the same Uni which you would think would help but .... he is at a different campus in a different town. His parents have kindly offered to house her car so that she can see him and also come home when she needs to. This is one reason why I don't want to sell her car. Her and DT2 have always been treated the same so it wouldn't be fair (would it?) to deprive DT2 of her car. They can't use mine on my insurance as our insurance company said they had to be 30!!!!! Can I get this anywhere else I ask? I am thinking of moving to Admiral when mine runs out in April so maybe they can allow it. I have both of the DT's car with them on a multi user. DT1's car is classed as a Sport hence the high insurance. DT2 and I could share a car if it was the case that she was allowed to drive mine. I can't have hers because I ferry the Doggies around in mine and hers is tiny.


    They have now told me that they will have to choose a house for next year by the end of January and have deposits ready . So double the accommodation to go out around January - I am hoping they are exaggerating.


    Good news is DT2 has bagged herself a job at the W8rose supermarket in her Uni town - this is a good job with decent money so .... once her first month is over she will be sending me money to go towards her accommodation costs and I really want her to pay for her own phone - I'm not sure how much she will be earning yet.


    DT1 is still looking hard - she has applied to numerous places and still awaiting answers but fingers crossed it won't be long.


    Florence J - I am in awe of you. To even get to Uni after what you have been through amazes me and humbles me no end. I have taken all of your views on board. I think I get my 'helping my daughters out' mentality from not being allowed to go to Uni. My parents said no, they couldn't afford it - there were 3 of us but I was the only one who wanted to go. All my friends in my circle went and had the best experience. I am the only one who still lives within 5 miles of where I grew up. I know I still did do well but a lot of that came later in life after my children were born. If I had my chance again I would have tried my best to go and that is what my children wanted to do so I feel I have to help them.


    Anyway I am ranting on and on but thanks all for your thoughts - I am working on each and every part of my budget.
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 31st Oct 17, 1:24 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Yeah!! DT2 has found herself a job . She starts at NandOs on Friday. She is so excited. This means that both DT's are in gainful employment!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 31st Oct 17, 6:06 PM
    • 49,035 Posts
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    beanielou
    That is good news
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Mudbath
    • By Mudbath 31st Oct 17, 7:03 PM
    • 5,399 Posts
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    Mudbath
    So glad your girls have settled well, mine too

    I've just been told we'll need to pay the accommodation deposit for year 2 in January as well! Eeeeek!
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 31st Oct 17, 7:13 PM
    • 905 Posts
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    Cumbria lass
    Good to hear both have jobs now and settled in. That must be a relief to you .
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • greent
    • By greent 31st Oct 17, 7:37 PM
    • 6,508 Posts
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    greent
    Great news re the job fronts
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) Bal 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    Next: BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2017 OPs (#18) £5278/£3286
    Net sales 2017 £1259.72/£500 PAYDOX17 £12239/£10k Decluttered 1870/2017 items
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 1st Nov 17, 12:14 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks all.


    Yes, year 2 - do I bury my head in the sand about it or do something about it? I don't even know where to start - how much it will be etc etc.
    • greent
    • By greent 4th Nov 17, 1:58 PM
    • 6,508 Posts
    • 65,689 Thanks
    greent
    My DD is in Y2 now. Although housing lists came out this time last year, she did not manage to secure a property (for several reasons) until April-ish. She then needed to pay the agency fee (c £150) and the deposit (1 month's rent) - I would have thought it would be a similar situation in most uni cities/ towns (my DD is in Cardiff, where housing is quite cheap in comparison to some places) - it cost just over £500, which we did pay for her (she can't afford 1 month's rent money to be in limbo for 12 months) You could have a look at some letting agencies in the cities/ towns where your daughters are at student properties and see how much rent is and the agency fee, to give an idea - my guess is you can get a reasonable approximation for both in around 15 mins online? x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) Bal 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    Next: BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2017 OPs (#18) £5278/£3286
    Net sales 2017 £1259.72/£500 PAYDOX17 £12239/£10k Decluttered 1870/2017 items
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Nov 17, 2:02 PM
    • 49,035 Posts
    • 182,067 Thanks
    beanielou
    My DS is in his Masters year & is currently paying a lot for a flat which has a systemic problem with damp,
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Puzzcat
    • By Puzzcat 4th Nov 17, 2:33 PM
    • 3,154 Posts
    • 16,265 Thanks
    Puzzcat
    Hi,

    My daughter has also just started second year and secured her house back in May/June.. we had to pay £600 deposit + 1 months rent and letting agency fees.. just short of £1400 in all... She is by the seaside mind....

    It definitely depends on the renting prices in the area that they are going to live so doing some online research is a good idea...!

    Puzz
    Christmas 2018 £0 cash/£17 vouchers
    I love my dmp started in Nov 13 with SC 41% paid
    £60062/35473.49 - 4k UE
    Pot Of Gold - £470.00
    MY DIARY -
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4768685
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 4th Nov 17, 4:11 PM
    • 846 Posts
    • 1,727 Thanks
    Kitten868
    I didn't pop up to beat you over the head with the same stick. I just wanted you to realise that you do too much so of course you're overwhelmed with money going out. You wouldn't be depriving them of the childhood that every other child has. I know that's how it feels. I'm at the other end though. Mines just started primary school. There's a mum of twins and she's completely lost without her two. I constantly feel like I have to give her everything or she won't be in with her friends or not happy but the more I talk to other mums in a similar I realise I'm killing myself over nothing and setting myself to standards that don't even exist. You're doing great you're just going through a massive adjustment with a huge expenditure change.
    Loan 1 £7100/£8000
    Loan 2 £5100/£5800
    Total £12200/£13800 12% PAID
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 4th Nov 17, 4:18 PM
    • 4,848 Posts
    • 9,164 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Your daughters will probably share houses with friends in year 2 and yes many start looking quite early and you need to bear in mind that often rentals need to be paid from June/July time even though students often are not there in August/September as they are at home. Usually though it is cheaper than halls in year 1 depending on where they are studying. As Puzzcat says usually it is one months rent upfront and a letting fee but if they are sharing houses this can be divided amongst all of them. The only thing I would be wary of is that they need to be careful who they share with and if possible they each pay to the landlord separately as one of mine had problems with one of their housemates never stumping up for rent on time which meant the others had to cover it. Same goes for bills.
    1 week to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 4th Nov 17, 4:40 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks for the comments re Year 2 - Frightening news. Do they pay monthly in Year 2 then? That might be a help as it s easier to budget when you know what is coming out and in equal amounts. Or is it weekly or 4 weekly? DT1 has a viewing on Tuesday for one with 6 other people £135/week without bills

    DT2 is home for reading week - it's lovely to have her home although the house isn't so tidy!

    DT1 started her job at Nand0s last night and loves it - phew! DT2 starts at W8rose next Saturday so from 1st January when they have a buffer behind them they are going to buy their own food and hopefully pay their phone bill!!

    Been really lazy today - catching up on all your diaries and getting some motivation. I did my housework last night so don't feel too guilty although I am sure DH will start getting huffy when he gets back from dog walking.

    Hope you are all having a lovely weekend

    I'm trying to think of ways to get my house looking smarter without it costing a fortune - the hall, stairs and landing are in a terrible state as are the doors that lead off them and the carpet.
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 4th Nov 17, 4:42 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Hi Enthusiastic

    Just seen your reply - I never thought of others maybe not paying - I will make sure they pay landlords direct if at all possible. How could people do that?
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Nov 17, 9:06 PM
    • 514 Posts
    • 1,907 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Glad to be reading your diary to find out tips for Year 2 of student life.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 4th Nov 17, 10:18 PM
    • 4,848 Posts
    • 9,164 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    You may find it easier to budget in year 2 as most rentals are paid monthly. One of my daughters lived with 7 other people in a 8 bed student house and they each paid separately so that worked fine. The other one lived in a 3 bed house and they opened up a joint account to pay the monthly rent which was split between them but on more than one occasion my daughter ended up subbing one of them who was late putting their rent in.
    1 week to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 5th Nov 17, 10:58 AM
    • 846 Posts
    • 1,727 Thanks
    Kitten868
    I lived with 3 girls 2nd year and the joint account didnt happen despite promises. One girl was from a rich family (high up doctor) and he never paid me on time and I got a default on my account. Why he couldn't do a standing order I will never know. Paying separate is definitely better. It was monthly rent and bills. We didn't get ours until May or June though. Started in August. I can't believe they plan it so early and it's so expensive!
    Loan 1 £7100/£8000
    Loan 2 £5100/£5800
    Total £12200/£13800 12% PAID
    • PayItOff
    • By PayItOff 5th Nov 17, 12:41 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    PayItOff
    You're wondermum I wish someone would have paid for as much as you are for your children! As someone who has been graduated a year and is still trying to pay off my university overdraft I can definitely agree that uni is an expensive venture! I too was in the boat where student loans didn't cover the rent let alone living costs. Parents are on a sizeabe DMP that sees them paying until 2080 so no funds came from them. In the total of 3 years I had 3x £25 worth of shopping at the start of term. I did bar work the summer before I started which thankfully paid for the deposit's and then had to very swiftly get a job! Even then it was but £12pw after rent. The best jobs are the campus based ones, so in uni bars, shops, tutoring etc. I was a Student Ambassador (that idiot that was made to give tours to guests!) If that's an option they are always more forgiving with last minute shift changes which is inevitable thanks to shoddy timetabling.

    A word to the wise: BE VERY CAREFUL WHO YOU MOVE IN WITH IN 2ND YEAR!! Everyone is not as hunky dory as they seem when bills come in the door and that means sacrificing a night out. Also definitely get into a house where the bills are included and paid direct to agent or landlord. Often you need a guarantor too so decide if that's something you can or are willing to do. My agency allowed to pay either each semester, monthly or 1 lump at a discount.

    I would say though that having seen and spoken to lots of students, the ones that learn the most are the ones that have to muddle through. Those who's parents took the loan and divided it up etc. We're without a doubt the ones who either crawled back for more or ate cold beans

    Finally check that either uni doesn't have a hardship fund!! It is given to all unis depending o their intake and HAS to be used up or they get given less every year. They usually really want to give it away and is a tax relief they for them. I got a token amount in my 3rd year but could have accessed it all 3 if i'd have known!!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #587 ~ (--.-- / £150)
    • Mags35
    • By Mags35 5th Nov 17, 1:33 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Mags35
    Wow what lucky twins you have, I have a set of twins and an older daughter and I dread them going to uni due to the cost so Iím following you to try and nab some money saving and debt busting ideas!!
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 13th Nov 17, 2:20 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Well I can't believe it has been over a week since I last posted and what a week!

    DD1 is happy as can be in Oxford, she's enjoying working at Nando's especially as she gets a free meal each shift which helps with the food budget. She's going to be taking on her phone contract and was looking at reducing the monthly payments which she can do - although it says on 3's website that it is a 24 month contract - does that mean 24 months from now so is she starting again or does it mean for the rest of her contract? Couldn't find anything in the small print so may have to ring them.

    She has found a year two house with 6 friends and the deposit is being paid today - £350 - that had to go on my credit card though as I only had £200 in my emergency fund and don't what that to be gone just yet.

    The bigger news is that DD2 is leaving her uni and coming home. She came home for reading week last week and was down the whole week. We took her back on Saturday and she couldn't stop crying. She loves Bath, she loves her course but can't cope with living in halls. So we wanted to be the tough parents and demand that she tough it out but you could tell she's on the verge of depression and not coping. So, it's all I her hands now - we have insisted that she organises everything I.e. Transfer to Uni close to home so she can drive, sort out her accommodation and speak to student finance and maybe UCAS if necessary. Bath uni have been really good to her and given her advice. It may be that she can't start again until September so we are just waiting to hear.

    So ...... although this is the last thing we needed it could be positive in that she will not have any accommodation fees and we will only have to help out with DD1. Stressful times though, I'm dreading us having to go and move all of her stuff back home. Also she has just started at W8rose so she's asking about transfers to a local branch or finding somewhere else to work.

    I had a flare up of my IBS at the weekend so have taken an annual leave day as I feel so washed out and have a lot on my mind.

    Christmas is just around the corner and I've started to get a few presents together - any thoughts on DD1's boyfriend? Aged 19, thoughtful but not expensive??

    Cheers everyone and have a good week xx
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