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  • FIRST POST
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 2nd Nov 16, 4:27 PM
    • 520Posts
    • 1,753Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    Climbing the Mountain
    • #1
    • 2nd Nov 16, 4:27 PM
    Climbing the Mountain 2nd Nov 16 at 4:27 PM
    Hello! I have decided to start my own diary after being a long-time lurker. The inspiration on this forum is just lovely, maybe one day I can inspire someone too!

    I do not have any debt, but I have not a bean in savings, pensions, an ISA, equity in property, etc. I currently work part time and qualify for some benefits but am looking for a new or additional job that will bring in a higher wage. I am also looking for new ways to bring in money from the internet, I currently do online surveys and competitions but am not yet seeing much of a return for the amount of time I have put in, so I am not sure if I will continue. I am very good at pinching the pennys so increasing my wages is probably the best way forward.

    My main goal is to buy my very own property. I have been renting for decades, and now feel ready and excited to take on the challenge of saving as much as possible for a house deposit or even to buy something with cash. I would love to move to the wilds of Wales where I could live on the top of a misty mountain, but at my age, a retirement flat in Rhyl may be more practical. I am tempted by Ilona's lovely life in North Lincolnshire, so I will keep my options open for now. As long as I have a chimney and a wood burning stove, the animals and I will be happy!

    Thank you for stopping by and please say hello!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Updated with 2017 list of goals so I can see them and edit as the year goes along.

    1.Bring in extra £600 a month minimum, increasing income month on month
    2. Actively explore new ways to achieve above
    3. Finish the big de-clutter properly - anything sold, transfer money over to savings after bills are paid so it doesn't get spent
    4. Keep a spending diary in handbag, update after every purchase, review at end of each month
    5. Clean entire house thoroughly and set up a regular cleaning schedule, possibly join flylady
    6. Make and stick to Meal Plans / shopping lists / food budget
    7. Schedule No Spend days/weeks
    8. Transfer odd change to savings account every day
    9. Wombling
    10. Keep Debt-Free diary updated
    11. Budget – make and stick to
    12. Eat proper breakfast/lunch mainly fruit and veg, eat smaller portions for dinner, less carbs/sugar, puddings on special occasions only
    13. Cook most/all meals from scratch
    14. Meatless meals twice a week, increasing as we find recipes we love
    15. Bake once a week
    16. Get off laptop and live in the real world, severely limit online time wasting
    17. Lose 10lbs a month until reaching ideal weight, then maintain it
    18. Take at least 3 long walks a week
    19. Find a local yoga class and give it a try
    20. Figure out how to get a good nights sleep during the change
    21. Build up immune system/personal health
    22. Think before buying, is it really wanted/needed/useful/going to ruin my diet?
    23. Read all books I already own before buying/borrowing more
    24. Ziffit all unwanted books/games/DVDs
    25. Learn a new craft/skill i.e. knitting, quilting, or needlework
    26. Be more present in life, make a point of really listening when people talk
    27. Save for a week away with the family in a secluded holiday cottage in the country
    28. Save up and keep £500 in emergency fund, replenish if spent
    29. Keep on top of filofax planner and spend 10 minutes going over my calender/goals/lists every morning or possibly even the night before.
    30. Have a weekly de-clutter day or half day
    Last edited by MistyMountainTop; 31-12-2016 at 12:46 PM.
Page 17
    • Dolly Rocker
    • By Dolly Rocker 3rd Apr 17, 10:23 AM
    • 3,161 Posts
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    Dolly Rocker
    Sorry to hear your benefits have been stopped, hope you can get that sorted with them quickly.

    Dxxx
    Goals
    Debt free by Christmas 2017
    Save for Christmas 2017
    Goal weight of 10st 7lbs by Christmas
    Add to deposit savings
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 3rd Apr 17, 2:29 PM
    • 7,274 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    Fingers crossed you get the tax credits thing sorted ASAP - how ridiculous that they can just stop it like that without giving even a months notice - and they wonder why people find themselves in a mess?!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£362.24
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 4th Apr 17, 12:42 PM
    • 520 Posts
    • 1,753 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    Thanks Dolly and EH. Unfortunately there has been a mistake on their part and we have been overpaid since last May. They are now taking the money back, basically by withholding all payments until we are caught up which will bring us to the end of the new financial year. Things were already very tight and now this...

    I'll need to bring in much more money each month to help cover basic expenses and am not sure how to make it happen, but I know there is an answer out there somewhere. I fear money from selling the hobby bits will need to go on rent etc. rather than replacing the equip, which is frustrating as my best chance to bring in more money is by expanding that side of things. I am trying to be optimistic and think creatively as I do know in my heart that things tend to work out for the best even if we can't see it at the time.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • Dolly Rocker
    • By Dolly Rocker 4th Apr 17, 1:16 PM
    • 3,161 Posts
    • 8,708 Thanks
    Dolly Rocker
    That is shocking.

    Fair enough they may have overpaid you but they should give you the option to pay it back over a period of time rather than just stopping your benefits.

    Dxxx
    Goals
    Debt free by Christmas 2017
    Save for Christmas 2017
    Goal weight of 10st 7lbs by Christmas
    Add to deposit savings
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 4th Apr 17, 3:04 PM
    • 4,564 Posts
    • 14,480 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Misty, that's shocking! How awful. Is there any way you can appeal? There must be some way that a payment plan can be arranged instead?
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7800.00 Cap 1: £420.00 Overdraft: £2750.00

    Lunches to work 5/25 ~ £10pw 2/5

    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 10 2017 #003
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 4th Apr 17, 4:36 PM
    • 520 Posts
    • 1,753 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    I was pretty shocked myself. The man on the phone said that withholding the amount was the only repayment option and seemed to have very little sympathy as we have been receiving more than we should have. I felt like I was being accused of fraud. The ironic thing is that I gave them all the correct numbers last year and they are the ones that made the mistake.

    I didn't realise I could appeal something like this - once he explained it to me it was clear that we were getting more than we should, and they now had the correct amount allocated to us which would be withheld to repay what we owed. I just assumed that there is nothing more to be done. I will look into appealing it but it doesn't seem logical that they would give me money I'm not due? Or do you mean appeal the repayment schedule?
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 4th Apr 17, 5:43 PM
    • 4,564 Posts
    • 14,480 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    I was pretty shocked myself. The man on the phone said that withholding the amount was the only repayment option and seemed to have very little sympathy as we have been receiving more than we should have. I felt like I was being accused of fraud. The ironic thing is that I gave them all the correct numbers last year and they are the ones that made the mistake.

    I didn't realise I could appeal something like this - once he explained it to me it was clear that we were getting more than we should, and they now had the correct amount allocated to us which would be withheld to repay what we owed. I just assumed that there is nothing more to be done. I will look into appealing it but it doesn't seem logical that they would give me money I'm not due? Or do you mean appeal the repayment schedule?
    Originally posted by MistyMountainTop
    I mean appeal against them stopping all the money, didn't think they could leave you with nothing. That just doesn't seem fair especially as it's their fault in the first place x
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7800.00 Cap 1: £420.00 Overdraft: £2750.00

    Lunches to work 5/25 ~ £10pw 2/5

    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 10 2017 #003
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 5th Apr 17, 11:23 AM
    • 7,274 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    I think there is a board on here relating to benefits etc Misty - I'd suggest you post over there and see what people say - it seems implausible to me that they can leave you in financial hardship like this.

    On the sale of the hobby stuff and use of money - I think perhaps you actually need to be taking a longer term approach on your spending here - although it is a bit of a vicious circle I know. Realistically though, you HAVE to replace the equipment as, as you say, it's your way out of the hole you're currently in.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£362.24
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 5th Apr 17, 4:19 PM
    • 520 Posts
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    MistyMountainTop
    Thank you EH I will have a look on the other board and see what info is there. We are down to the bare bones as it is, keeping the heating off, doing without things we need, canceling dentist appointments, stopping pocket money, no gift buying, not using the car at all and spending under £30 a week to feed the four of us and pup. There isn't a lot of wiggle room in our budget. Hub is trying to get more hours at work and so am I, but everyone is in the same boat with needing more hours and both of us are close to the bottom of the priority list, having been among the last people hired.

    I am going to go through our belongings again to see if there is something I haven't yet thought of to sell aside from the hobby items. Mainly to make sure we have the rent this month but also to start saving for the new equip. I knew I would rue the day I sold it as it will cost twice as much to replace unless I can find it used, which is not likely. Needs must and all that, no use regretting what has been done.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 6th Apr 17, 9:25 AM
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    • 1,753 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    I've been reading posts and it seems that the situation isn't very unusual but also isn't right, so I will write a few letters to try and sort something out.

    Today and tomorrow I'm finalising the two projects. I am spending more time on them than truly necessary but I want them finished to a very high standard. It's quite exciting to know I could one day be doing this full time and actually earn a living wage from it.

    I have a couple of easier weeks after Monday so will get back into a stricter daily routine and spend a good chunk of the day cleaning up the hobby bits and listing them on fb, gumshrub and evilbay. Things seem to be in chaos at the moment, I need to take back some control.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Apr 17, 10:22 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Good work and positive attitude there Misty - well done! Fingers crossed the letters get the desired effect.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£362.24
    • jvr
    • By jvr 7th Apr 17, 1:47 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    jvr
    Misty


    Really shocked that they would try leave you in this situation after their mistake. Maybe I shouldn't be shocked these days but it is horrendous. Do try fight it!
    The other thing I though of might be totally not possible but are there any mini grants for mini - businesses/ entrepreneurs or anything like that, which would help you get the equipment back? It must be so frustrating for you at the moment knowing that having the stuff back could make a difference to your situation.
    Credit Cards: £6646.68
    Christmas Savings:0
    General Savings £82
    Car Savings (MOT &Insurance) 0
    Debt Free date: July 2019
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 8th Apr 17, 10:38 AM
    • 520 Posts
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    MistyMountainTop
    I've never even thought about it, JVR! I will look into it on Monday, thank you so much for the idea!!!
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 13th Apr 17, 10:43 AM
    • 520 Posts
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    MistyMountainTop
    I've not caught up this week despite my good intentions

    I've been exhausted since the weekend, I must have had some subconscious stress about getting the jobs finished on time! It all went well, the money is in the bank, the clients were even happier than I had imagined and both booked me for more work! It really couldn't have gone better, and proved to me again that this is something I should be doing as much as possible until it can turn into a full time job.

    I've taken out some of the hobby bits and started cleaning but not listed them anywhere yet - I am going to start this afternoon and hopefully have a at least 10 things online by Sunday.

    I've been looking into grants but haven't found anything yet that I qualify for. I'm going to the CAB for another matter and will ask them if they can give me any advice. I'm feeling very positive and the current lack of money seems more like a small bump rather than a huge mountain. I need to actively take steps to deal with it but it's not worrying me too much at the moment and I know it will all be ok.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 18th Apr 17, 10:17 AM
    • 520 Posts
    • 1,753 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    Dd back in school today - it is such a relief to get back to some sort of normalcy! It's much easier for me to stick to a schedule during term times. I have a long to-do list so am just going to get cracking on it. The jobs are never going to be fun but they need doing so I am going to turn on the radio and make it as pleasant as I can.

    I have managed to list quite a few bits on evilbay, gumshrub,fb selling groups, etc. I've not sold anything yet but there is the potential to bring in a fair amount, some that will be put aside for the new equip. I found some items to sell that I won't use again. I feel I'm letting go of a part of my youth but I told myself that if I am ever in the position where I need them, I will give myself permission to buy them. I can't see it being in the next few years and probably not ever. It's been an awakening to realise that I don't need to hold on to everything "just in case", things can be replaced if necessary and if I have no emotional attachment to them then why keep them? It's something I've done all my life, hanging on to things I no longer need "just in case". I don't want to do it any longer.

    I've had someone email about the side business, asking me to justify the fee. I'm sure they are just trying to save money but I am already fairly priced and still lower than others doing a similar thing. Part of me wants to accept the amount offered to bring in more work/income but OTOH it's almost degrading, being paid less than the work is worth. I suppose it's something that freelance people come across quite often. I am going to have to think about it carefully and grow a thicker skin where the sideline is concerned if I want to turn it into a successful full time business...
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 19th Apr 17, 11:39 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    I'd put together something carefully worded justifying your current fee if it were me. This is something photographers get a lot - the "oh it's just taking a few photos" thing - people fail to see the expensive cost of equipment, the time travelling, the time actually taking the shots, the time backing up those shots, and then processing them to the finished photographs that they will end up seeing. I bet your business also has a lot more too it behind the scenes that people don't even think of!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£362.24
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 19th Apr 17, 2:27 PM
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    MistyMountainTop
    Definitely EH, not to mention the decades of training that I've done to acquire the skills I have to do the job. It is very much like photography, it's something that I love and would be doing to some extent anyway even if I wasn't paid but I need to stop undervaluing what I'm doing if I want to make a living from it.

    I sent an email basically stating that I was already charging less than others out there, customers were pleased with the work I'd done and XXX is my fee. I've not heard back from them and TBH I don't care. I don't want to get a reputation as someone who is cheap or can be haggled with - I want to build a rep for doing a good job at a fair price. I've decided to stick to my guns for the most part, I'm sure there may be cases where I bend a bit but I need to feel good about myself and my work at the end of the day, and selling out cheaply will just make me resentful of the whole thing.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 19th Apr 17, 4:19 PM
    • 520 Posts
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    MistyMountainTop
    people fail to see the expensive cost of equipment, the time travelling, the time actually taking the shots,
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean


    I just noticed. If only I could time travel, I'd go back and buy shares in Microsoft...
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 26th Apr 17, 12:42 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Hahaha - there's no question a time machine would REALLY help me at times!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£362.24
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 2nd May 17, 11:41 AM
    • 520 Posts
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    MistyMountainTop
    It's been a few days since updating, but I've been very busy, so not a bad thing! I've had more sideline work, and also sold some bits that I thought meant a lot to me but realised it was just habit that made me hang on to them. I've been able to purchase a cheaper version of the equip that I needed - the quality isn't anywhere near as good as what I sold but it does mean I am fully up and running again. I had quite a struggle over buying it - "buy cheap, buy twice" kept running through my head. The new equip was still expensive and should work for at least a year or more but I will need to be extra careful with it, the other stuff was built like a tank and wouldn't wear out for decades. I will eventually need to upgrade but at least now I can really get stuck in to the work. My plan is to save 10% from each sideline job to buy quality equip in the next 12-18 months, though I may just use what I have until it falls apart so I don't feel so much like it was money wasted.

    I've had no luck appealing the benefits decision, but it could be a blessing in disguise. Desperation has forced me waaaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone. I'm cooking extra cheap meals using Jack Monroe recipes, being extra vigilant about not using gas or leccy, repurposing/making do/mending rather than spending, and I'm really pushing for more side work. I know I am up to the job so am changing my attitude of "can I really do this?" to "of course I can do this!!!" Needing to keep a roof over our heads is possibly the best motivator out there and will help turn the sideline into a full time job quicker than anything else.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
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