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    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    • 512Posts
    • 1,752Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    From debt to freedom...
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    From debt to freedom... 31st Dec 16 at 4:05 AM
    For a couple of months I have been lurking and reading diaries which have been helpful and inspiring. I thought that I would start a diary to keep myself focussed on getting rid of the debts.

    I am a working mum, recently separated from my husband. I have a large family which makes for an interesting and busy life! I have had a couple of LBMs in recent years and tried to stick to a budget. I had 2 loans totalling 17, 000 at one point. One loan was paid in Aug 2016 and the 2nd has just over £2,000 to go and is due to be paid off by August 2017.
    Other than that, I have a cc with a £475 balance, 2 home improvement loans ( for double glazing) that both have about £1700 outstanding. These have a horrible interest rate of 22%, so I'm eager to tackle these first.
Page 11
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 6th Sep 17, 6:15 AM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Thank you Spendless and Helsbell for the encouragement.

    Spent last weekend, trying to get ready for the new term and making sure the children have everything they need. 4 needed shoes in the end, so £100 spent.
    We had a birthday yesterday so tea was simple with lots of birthday pancakes and a big tractor cake. Life has got back to being very busy with the return to work and school. Am hoping for 2 NSDs this week, if not 3.

    Made one eBay sale yesterday so will keep the money in PayPal until I know the buyer has received it and is satisfied and will use only to make a payment off a debt.

    I harvested a yellow courgette and almost 1lb of runner beans on Sunday evening which was very pleasing.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 7th Sep 17, 12:36 AM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Busy at work! I've dug out the postage certificate again and checked the Royal Mail site to see if the tax credit claim has been delivered yet...it hasn't. I've looked up putting in a claim but it doesn't cover any consequential losses from their losing the letter, just a poatage refund. It's a bit disconcerting to think that there is a lot of personal information about my family somewhere lost in the postal system, a fact the RM advisor didn't answer or comment on during our live chat last week.

    I have looked online to see if it can be done that way but the pages I looked at on yougov seemed to be an online calculator tool that if it deemed you were eligible, you still have to ring for a claim pack. All this is crazy when it's only giving them information that they already have. I will try and ring the TC office again on Friday to see what they suggest. Given that one claim pack has got lost in the post to me and one has got lost between posting and the TC office, my confidence in RM is diminishing!
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 7th Sep 17, 8:30 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    helsbell
    I'm sorry that this is still ongoing, it must be incredibly stressful. I'd forgotten that a pack had been lost en route to you as well. You must be doubly Good luck with the tax credits phone call tomorrow.
    SPC 11, No. 062

    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Sep 17, 10:01 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 3,686 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I'm catching up... alarmed to see RM is able to lose something as important as that! I do hope it gets found and delivered soon.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Sep 17, 11:25 AM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    I got through to the TC office yesterday and explained the whole situation to the advisor. She was very helpful and was able to explain why I can't do this over the phone...apparently it's because the ex and I have been separated for longer than 3 months. If I'd contacted them at Christmas, I could have done it over the phone. Ah well... now I know. The other advisors have never explained that before so that was helpful.
    All she could do was to send out a third claim pack and suggest that I write in a covering letter explaining it all. Thankfully I have the receipt for recorded delivery sent on the 23rd which I can photocopy and put in with the letter and claim form. Realistically I have looking at a further 5 weeks minimum before any payments come in.

    Yesterday I did swing between wild panic and the feeling that there is nothing more I can do. I am thankful I have a job and that at least I have that form of income...it would be far worse if the TCs were my only income. I have paid the mortgage, council tax, car tax and insurance and met the direct debits for this month. I might have to see the nursery to explain about the TCs as I was using those to pay the nursery fees. I've paid the first week but I think I will need to speak to them, if only to explain a delay until my next payday. I remember a comment on the diary ( thank you Spendless) that it will be sorted out in time and although 10 weeks without TCs seems a mountain at the moment, in the grand scheme of things we will hopefully look back and see it as a slight bump in the landscape!

    DD2 has started college and now has her front of house and chef whites. It's good to know where the £205 has gone! She was very excited to make her first latte...and drink it.

    I have done one thing that might seem a backward step...I did join the MSE club (that bit was a forward step!) and did the pre-eligibility thing and applied for a cc. Not what I want to do but I'm worried that though I'm eking out my salary I'm going to really struggle to get to the end of the month, especially given that DD1 moves to uni in 2 weeks time and given her health issues, it is important the move there is as supported and smooth as possible. The cc would give me a little leeway with diesel costs and getting her some food etc. As soon as the TCs are coming in ( with hopefully a back payment t to cover the weeks missed) it can be cleared and the card relegated to the freezer.
    Last edited by Honeysucklelou2; 09-09-2017 at 11:28 AM.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 9th Sep 17, 3:22 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 851 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    I don't want to speak out of turn, but shouldn't your children's father be paying some maintenance?
    You're doing an amazing job btw, you have my sincere admiration!
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 9th Sep 17, 4:01 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    helsbell
    Hopefully they will be able to rush the claim through as soon as possible. It must be reassuring that at least some of the basics are covered, like your mortgage for example.

    I don't think that taking out a credit card is a backwards step. You plan to use it for an emergency situation, when there's a gap in the cash flow, and then repay as soon as that situation is resolved. That's different from using it to have a wild time that your income doesn't allow.

    I'm glad that DD2 is enjoying college. I'm sure you'll find the same when DD1 goes to uni.

    Well done, as ever, on making your money stretch so far.
    SPC 11, No. 062

    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Sep 17, 11:19 PM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Hi Nonnadiluca - thanks for dropping by. Unfortunately the ex ( father to all of the children) didn't pay towards household expenses when he lived here. When I have raised concerns about our finances in the past I've been laughed at. During the marriage we always had separate finances, so I've ended paying the utilities, children's trips, costs of clothing etc. He does provide a meal in Wednesdays for the children. But beyond that it's very hit and miss. On occasion he will turn up with random things e.g. One week he gave a bag of bananas, a pack of oranges and a loaf of bread. He does have 2 income streams of his own. My solicitor is preparing an application for a judicial separation but we have yet to go to court, so I'm hoping for greater clarity when that happens.

    A busy day here! Amazingly some washing dried, despite the heavy showers. Perhaps the wind helped in the drier parts of the day! Spent the morning clearing up and some of the afternoon doing stuff for work. Made homemade oven chips for tea, served up with fishfingers and peas and cooked Spicy apple muffins and a batch of flapjack for pudding/snacks. I did snatch 10 minutes to walk down the lane with the toddler and DD3. The toddler loves to look at the cows and we took the opportunity to pick a few more blackberries.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 10th Sep 17, 12:20 AM
    • 899 Posts
    • 3,686 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Why do I so often end up either dreaming of gardens or wanting to cook when I read your posts? Spicy apple muffins would just hit the spot right now...
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 10th Sep 17, 9:00 AM
    • 19,633 Posts
    • 31,715 Thanks
    Spendless
    Re the mortgage, is there any chance of contacting the provider and explaining the situation and seeing if they would take reduced payments for a few months? I did this once and they agreed to 6 months of me paying 50% (get the agreement in writing!) and then contacted me after this time to ask about the arrears. Fortunately for me this co-incided with me finding another job, so I then offerred them double payments until I caught up with what was outstanding. There may be some reason you can't or don't want to do this but thought I'd throw it in as a suggestion.

    The comment about your DD2 making her first latte and drinking it made me laugh! That's what my DS would be like. I don't know whether to be really excited that she's going to be able to help out cooking and make something from next to nothing for you to eat or think it will start being expensive in costly ingrediants. How do college course work, is it the same as if you take food as a subject at school and you have to supply ingrediants?
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 10th Sep 17, 10:45 AM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Fortunately the food that DD2 will be cooking will be in the training kitchens at the college, so they cater for the general public in the restaurant and for their contemporaries in some of the kitchens around the college. I thought they only had the one training kitchen but DD2 spent most of last week on a tour of kitchens all over the campus!! So thankfully no ingredient costs. She also has to do 4 hours voluntarily in a commercial kitchen outside of college which I am hoping might give her the self confidence to look for a small part time job, especially as she now wants to drive as she turns 17 in the coming week.

    Thanks for the thoughts about the mortgage, I'll have a think on that.

    I did sign up for Prolific Academic to try and start getting a little from surveys. Thought it might help. I keep mulling over whether to look for a second job. I have looked on indeed and there seem to be some waitressing jobs but I don't like the idea of being out and needing to either get childcare cover or rely on DD2 to help out. Added to which, I bring work home with me in the evenings as it is from my main job which can't be compromised. My only other thought is to try and be more organised with the allotment. I have, in the past, been able to make £200 a year from plants which although doesn't sound much, is money I can earn without needing childcare, but there is a limit to what can be achieved with the toddler in tow!!
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • louby40
    • By louby40 10th Sep 17, 11:52 AM
    • 1,163 Posts
    • 3,174 Thanks
    louby40
    Let's hope they sort out the TC. What an absolute nightmare.

    Can you not chase your ex via legal channels? Speaks volumes about what sort of man he must be that he doesn't contribute.

    Are you in education?
    Parent loan PAID IN FULL Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #572
    Emergency fund £670/£1000. Christmas savings £450/£600 Car maintenance £50/600
    Kitchen July £12,493 OCT £10,493. 18% paid off
    Barclaycard £233
    Car loan £2890 Mortgage £95,391
    TOTAL DEBT (with mortgage) = £109,024 (without mortgage) = £13,633
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 10th Sep 17, 1:26 PM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Yes Louby, I teach in a primary school.

    Legal channels are being presumed but they seem to go very slowly.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 10th Sep 17, 5:57 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    helsbell
    Hi Nonnadiluca - thanks for dropping by. Unfortunately the ex ( father to all of the children) didn't pay towards household expenses when he lived here. When I have raised concerns about our finances in the past I've been laughed at. During the marriage we always had separate finances, so I've ended paying the utilities, children's trips, costs of clothing etc. He does provide a meal in Wednesdays for the children. But beyond that it's very hit and miss. On occasion he will turn up with random things e.g. One week he gave a bag of bananas, a pack of oranges and a loaf of bread. He does have 2 income streams of his own. My solicitor is preparing an application for a judicial separation but we have yet to go to court, so I'm hoping for greater clarity when that happens.
    Originally posted by Honeysucklelou2
    You don't need a judicial separation before getting child maintenance. I know you've said before that he won't give you his address, but if you get in touch with the Child Maintenance Service I think they should still be able to help. It may take longer, but the sooner you ask them for some advice the sooner you should get somewhere.

    You are an amazing person, being able to cover all the expenses on your own, but the fact is, they are his children too and he should be making a contribution to their upbringing, regardless of how much money you bring home.
    SPC 11, No. 062

    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • louby40
    • By louby40 10th Sep 17, 8:19 PM
    • 1,163 Posts
    • 3,174 Thanks
    louby40
    I thought you were a teacher as you've mentioned school etc on my page but wasn't totally sure.
    Parent loan PAID IN FULL Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #572
    Emergency fund £670/£1000. Christmas savings £450/£600 Car maintenance £50/600
    Kitchen July £12,493 OCT £10,493. 18% paid off
    Barclaycard £233
    Car loan £2890 Mortgage £95,391
    TOTAL DEBT (with mortgage) = £109,024 (without mortgage) = £13,633
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 10th Sep 17, 11:12 PM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Yep, best job in the world but sure does take every ounce of energy you have!!
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 12th Sep 17, 6:31 PM
    • 19,633 Posts
    • 31,715 Thanks
    Spendless
    Hmmm, I think you'd struggle with an evening/weekend job on top of teaching. If you had a job where you 'finished' at going home time, I'd say go for it, as it is, I think you'll be wiped out physically and emotionally

    It must be a struggle for you at the minute.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 12th Sep 17, 9:51 PM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Yes, I think I've come to the same conclusion. At least if I sell any plants or produce, it's been as a result of gardening which is my way of relaxing. At least the toddler can be with me and is learning all the time as he potters around the garden with me!
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 12th Sep 17, 10:08 PM
    • 5,333 Posts
    • 26,310 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Still no news from tax credits then? Don't forget the covering letter and good idea about sending a copy of the postage.

    Hope they hurry up for you x
    DFW £1783.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £571.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • louby40
    • By louby40 14th Sep 17, 9:14 PM
    • 1,163 Posts
    • 3,174 Thanks
    louby40
    Honey, I don't know how you would cope with a second job either. Are you part time?

    It's a great job but mentally exhausting.

    Any news from the tax credits?
    Parent loan PAID IN FULL Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #572
    Emergency fund £670/£1000. Christmas savings £450/£600 Car maintenance £50/600
    Kitchen July £12,493 OCT £10,493. 18% paid off
    Barclaycard £233
    Car loan £2890 Mortgage £95,391
    TOTAL DEBT (with mortgage) = £109,024 (without mortgage) = £13,633
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