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  • FIRST POST
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 29th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
    • 10,420Posts
    • 27,094Thanks
    benbenandme
    2018 Benbenandme's Next Battle
    • #1
    • 29th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
    2018 Benbenandme's Next Battle 29th Dec 17 at 5:01 PM
    Hello It's that time of year for another new diary ... I'm not a newbie, I've been around these parts for years, never quite knowing whether I should be on here or the Mortgage Free boards, but after much consideration I have decided to return here for my next diary installment.

    I have previous chapters of my journey on here, but a brief history of my last ten years is as follows: I am a single parent to a 14 year old boy with ASD. I love him to bits, he is my whole world, but causes me a great deal of stress and worry too We have been living in a flat for the last 10 years and I have worked hard to clear my mortgage on it. In March this year we finally moved into a small house, which is lovely, and near my Mum. My brother lent me £30k to help get the house which is my 'debt' that I am paying back. The monthly budgets are stupidly tight, partly as I want to get it paid asap even though he is in no hurry for it back.

    Looking further ahead ds is in year ten so only has 18 months until his GCSE's. After this he wants to do an apprenticeship which, from a financial point of view, means my child benefit, tax credits and child maintenance will stop , meaning a drop in total income from approx £1900 to approx £1200 So, this year could potentially be my last one with this extra income, so I need to maximise the potential ...

    My next post will list my SOA and my plans for 2018, please stick around for the ride, all help, support and thoughts are appreciated and very much welcome
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
Page 9
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 13th Feb 18, 6:53 PM
    • 2,045 Posts
    • 7,041 Thanks
    tootallulah
    So sorry to hear that you are so low BenBen. I hope you have a good chat with your friend. I think you really need that cruise.
    Mortgage House £45,000 26 January 2018.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Feb 18, 7:44 PM
    • 50,632 Posts
    • 193,835 Thanks
    beanielou
    Sorry that you are not at your best.
    Take care.
    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***
    • TallGirl
    • By TallGirl 13th Feb 18, 7:58 PM
    • 4,235 Posts
    • 8,787 Thanks
    TallGirl
    Sorry to hear you’re feeling low hope the chat helps. Maybe give yourself a bit of a break with the money your brother is happy to wait if I remember and take a bit of a breather to live life a bit. I can only imagine how hard it must be with a SEN child that’s why he’s so lucky to have such an amazing mum. Hugs from here and love can be found after a disasterous Ex I can vouch for that
    • gran3
    • By gran3 13th Feb 18, 8:11 PM
    • 134 Posts
    • 919 Thanks
    gran3
    Sorry to hear that you are so down. Have you explained to DS how bad he can make you feel, if not intentionally? Give yourself a break. Your brother is relaxed about paying him back and while I can understand you want it gone , have a little chill period. The weather just now is dragging everyone down, sleep when you can, in a few weeks the days will be brighter. Can DS other parent not step up a bit, probably stupid question, but you seem to take all the strain. Its not like you so maybe a chat with the Docs is in order? Take some time and money out for yourself.
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 13th Feb 18, 9:01 PM
    • 10,420 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Thanks all I called my mate but she wasn't in So rather than come back to the laptop I went to the kitchen and emptied all the top cupboards out, whacked on some loud music and then had to clean the cupboards before it could all be sorted and put back. At least now I feel I've achieved something

    I know I'm having a pity party tonight, not sure why it's hit me tonight, maybe all the damn Valentines stuff everywhere you look - I never bothered with it when I was in a relationship but it just seems to highlight I'm alone right now. Don't get me wrong, I love being single 99% of the time, but every now and then I feel like life is happening around me and I'm just whiling away the days until my times done. I know that seems melodramatic but that's how I feel

    Anyway, I now have 3 sparkly cupboards, a sparkly microwave and sparkly tiles again

    I have spoken to ds, in fact he came down to see me a while ago and I told him exactly how I was feeling. I think he was quite surprised, I think he sees me as always there as his emotional crutch when he's feeling low or angry, and he isn't used to seeing me like that. He did sort out his own pancake for dessert so it must have gone in as he normally would just wait for me to do it

    There is absolutely zero chance of his other parent stepping in unfortunately - he thinks he's Dad of the year because he sees ds for 24 hours twice a month The less said about him the better

    My brother would be fine if I didn't pay any of the money back yet, he genuinely wouldn't mind if I never paid it back, I know that, but I could never do that. I did sit down and work out the finances and decided on £6000 this year towards his money as in about 18 months my child benefit / tax credits / maintanence payments will stop if ds does an apprenticeship and my finances will be even worse than now, in fact I will need to get a second job I think but I'll worry about that nearer the time, so the quicker I can pay down my brothers money the better it will be for me when we reach that point. But, it is a self-imposed target, my brother certainly isn't pressuring me in any way for any money.

    I did say to ds perhaps we shouldn't have booked the cruise, but I need something to look forward to and that certainly helps sometimes to just browse reviews online, makes me excited about the trip.

    Maybe we shouldn't have bought the house, but again the flat had hit the ceiling price for the location and hardly increased in value in the ten years I lived there, whereas the house will definitely increase (i.e. in line with other stuff) as this estate always holds its value and the average selling time for properties on this estate is currently 1-2 weeks. I love having the extra space, the garden and conservatory, but it has brought added financial stress. Such is life I suppose.

    Tomorrow I'm planning a nice long walk along the beach to blow away the cobwebs, always helps my mood
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Feb 18, 9:54 PM
    • 50,632 Posts
    • 193,835 Thanks
    beanielou
    I think it is always difficult when you have to do everything on your own.
    Everything is just down to you & that is hard very hard.
    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***
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 13th Feb 18, 10:33 PM
    • 10,420 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    benbenandme
    And so I've just discovered ds is back in touch with a kid who was excluded from school. He was the start of ds's problems at school, a really negative influence. Ds has stayed away from him for about a year, blocked him on social media etc, and suddenly ds was being funny about shutting his door etc when playing on his xbox - I had my suspicions so asked him outright and to his credit he didn't lie to me. He knows I'm gutted. I literally ran to the toilet to be sick, that's how much I've dreaded this kid re-appearing. Ds was always drawn to him as he was the fun one - he's had a tough life but without being mean really isn't the sort you'd want your child mixing with. How do I make ds realise this (yet again?!). I dread to think what could happen with him on the scene again, like I say he has been permanently excluded from school, smokes weed, has been involved in criminal behaviour etc. Last time he persuaded ds to fritter about £100 from his savings account on utter junk, he bought him a vape, they ordered taxis / pizzas etc to neighbours houses I really didn't need this tonight. I know currently they're just playing a game online, but it won't be long before they want to arrange to meet up. Oh God I don't need this
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 13th Feb 18, 10:37 PM
    • 10,420 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    benbenandme
    I know the obvious solution is to take away his xbox, but he'll be in touch with him via his phone too. I really need to have a conversation with him and try to make him realise this is crazy but he won't want to hear that. He's blocked him for ages, I can't believe he's gone back to being friends with him

    Considering my job I should know what to do but in reality I know there is nothing I can do, kids of that age will do what they want to do and it's so hard to guide them, let alone a kid like ds who doesn't listen to anyone or anything
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Feb 18, 10:38 PM
    • 50,632 Posts
    • 193,835 Thanks
    beanielou
    That's not the best news.
    Sorry I have no suggestions on how best to deal with it~~sorry.
    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***
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 14th Feb 18, 9:51 AM
    • 1,275 Posts
    • 6,278 Thanks
    MeandO
    De-lurking BenBen to send hugs your way.

    I am a single Mum too and I know the lonelines it can bring. I do have an OH but we don't live together and I have no family or friends nearby to call upon. As you are doing, keeping busy and setting yourself targets really does help, but I think we have to remind ourselves sometimes that 'now' is not the way it will be forever, even though it feels like it sometimes.

    As for DS and this bad influence of a friend, would it be worth chatting to him about how much DS has achieved and how far he has come with the new job and how proud you are of him for that. Remind him that he could lose all that, his income, independence and reputation with his emplouyer and all the doors that may open for him if he gets into the wrong crowd and starts becoming influenced by this person again. Aso maybe point out that this person was just using him for money as before and really doesn't value his friendship as friends don't treat each other like that. Point out to him that it will be easier for him to cut ties now whilst they are just x-box 'friends' rather than later down the line. Perhaps suggesting he blocks him so that he doesn't see when he's online?

    I'm sure you may have done all of the above, but just thinking, perhaps if you try and make him see it in a different way, he will see it as it is for himself.

    As for everything else, you are doing so well and you will continue to do so. You have coped with everything on your own and the way you tackle a challenge head on is an inspiration to others - me for one. In the words of Dory BenBen , keep on swimming. There are better times ahead.
    Xx
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,585.53
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£287/£100 MAR:£0/£100
    • gran3
    • By gran3 14th Feb 18, 9:57 PM
    • 134 Posts
    • 919 Thanks
    gran3
    This may seem harsh but, turn off broadband, remove phone until DS proves to you he's not in touch with this person. He needs to realise phone etc is a privilege not a right and needs to earn your trust. Does he listen to any of your family members? They need to read him the riot act! Everything goes until he toes the line. Sorry I know its easy for me to say and I know he has SENs but how much of this is that and how much just being a stroppy teenager? Good luck and I know the timing I rubbish while you are feeling low but it is short term pain for long term gain.. Best wishes and pm me if you need an ear. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 15th Feb 18, 8:59 AM
    • 10,420 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Yesterday my bestie came round for the day and we sat with ds and had a good chat about everything. We took his phone and xbox and they are having a holiday at her house

    I can switch off the internet but his phone has 4g / unlimited data so makes no difference. His Dad pays for his phone and is already not happy that I've taken it. I said he can have it at his house but my house my rules

    Ds has been lovely since they've gone. Today we're going to Ikea for a mooch and meatballs, haven't been there for a while and fancy getting out for a bit. We're going on the train so ds is excited about that

    Last night I decided to empty my £2 jar - I had been hoping for about £200 in it towards the holiday - anyway, when I added it up there was ..........


    £504

    I'm so happy and so unexpected. The £200 is going towards the holiday, not sure about the rest yet, some may go in my brothers fund, some towards holiday spends, not sure yet
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 15th Feb 18, 9:40 AM
    • 496 Posts
    • 1,063 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Wowzers! well done you. That's one heavy bag of £2 coins. Enjoy planning your spends xxx
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 15th Feb 18, 10:02 AM
    • 10,420 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    benbenandme
    We've been to the bank and paid it all in (£2's and the other coins), I had to pay it all in to ds account as they would only take 5 bags into an adults account, but unlimited into a childs However, when I got home and tried to transfer it back to my account I realised I switched my current account from that bank and can only transfer from a childs account into an adults with the same bank, so will have to withdraw the cash at some point instead Still, at least it's counted and banked
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 15th Feb 18, 10:19 AM
    • 1,275 Posts
    • 6,278 Thanks
    MeandO
    I'm glad DS has been lovely. Perhaps, in a round about way, he was looking for a 'way out' of contacting this ex-friend and by taking the x-box and phone you've given it to him. Maybe you both need some good quality time together doing things too, enjoy the train and IKEA.

    Great news about the £2 pot! How about you put the £200 towards the holiday, £150 towards your borther's pot and go and have fun or be spendy with the £150 left over? It's money you never knew you had and I think you need to treat yourself a bit at the moment. It will boost your spirits somewhat.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,585.53
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£287/£100 MAR:£0/£100
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 15th Feb 18, 11:14 AM
    • 5,942 Posts
    • 21,270 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    Brilliant news on the £2 pot Benben thats brilliant. Maybe a little treat for yourself out of it too xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £6069.37 - 02/01/18 - 73.80% paid off
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 15th Feb 18, 1:53 PM
    • 496 Posts
    • 1,063 Thanks
    ramblehan
    I'm glad DS has been lovely. Perhaps, in a round about way, he was looking for a 'way out' of contacting this ex-friend and by taking the x-box and phone you've given it to him. Maybe you both need some good quality time together doing things too, enjoy the train and IKEA.

    Great news about the £2 pot! How about you put the £200 towards the holiday, £150 towards your borther's pot and go and have fun or be spendy with the £150 left over? It's money you never knew you had and I think you need to treat yourself a bit at the moment. It will boost your spirits somewhat.
    Originally posted by MeandO
    Excellent suggestion by MeandO
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 15th Feb 18, 7:11 PM
    • 10,420 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Today has gone well, we got the train and went to Ikea, I only spent £15 - not taking the car was definitely a good idea as I couldn't buy much as I had to carry it

    For now I'm not going to spend the extra money from the £2 pot - I may treat myself to a new jar as clearly it works well to save them Other than that I will hang on to the money for now, it may be used as spending money on holiday - the cruise is all accounted for but any spends in ports isn't, so it may give us a bit of leeway for odd treats. Otherwise it may go towards some new holiday clothes etc. Either way it's just nice knowing there's a bit of spare unaccounted for cash

    I had a text today from the company that are paying me for having stickers on my car. They want me to go into town on saturday, park the car for 4 hours in a central location and they will refund me the parking and pay me £40 The main reason I don't go into town very often is the stupid parking prices so if someone else wants to pay them for me then that's fab Ds desperately needs some new trainers, his are starting to fall apart (all he ever wears apart from school shows), so that money will cover them
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 15th Feb 18, 7:13 PM
    • 10,420 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    benbenandme
    I meant to say, I agree that treating ourselves right now would be a good idea but for me buying myself a new savings jar is a treat as it's something I wouldn't normally buy as it's not a necessity. Like I said before, knowing I have the rest of the money there in case I need it is also a treat for me
    Mortgage Total: £75,000 £72,676 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: £10667 / £30,000
    2018 Fund £87.65
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 15th Feb 18, 7:25 PM
    • 342 Posts
    • 1,225 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Wow, that is good saving of £2's!

    Sorry you were feeling down, being a parent is hard, and I have my hubby to help me (well I say help.....)

    Hope you perk up again soon.

    And £15 in IKEA I dream of those sort of days
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