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  • FIRST POST
    • Ali-OK
    • By Ali-OK 2nd Jan 17, 11:49 AM
    • 4,058Posts
    • 16,631Thanks
    Ali-OK
    Rock bottom, but the only way is up
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 17, 11:49 AM
    Rock bottom, but the only way is up 2nd Jan 17 at 11:49 AM
    Hi all,

    Those who remember me from previously (last on MFW) I'm back again after getting sidetracked. I met my soulmate or so I thought and everything was rosy. Well now those specs are off and I'm Miss Single again, I can see what a mess I've made of the finances and my SE job nose dived with it. Not really any going back there - it drained all my energy ultimately and I got into a bad place with it.

    I have hit rock bottom over the Christmas/New Year break and just starting to lift my head out of the fog now. My outgoings are now bigger than my incomings and I'll need to do a new SOA. I'm trying to drag myself out of the mire.

    There are some good things and I need to focus on those.

    - I've been offered a 30 hr job, just waiting on DBS to come through. Pay is poor but it's better than nothing.

    - I've got 3 new SE strands that I've got courses booked for - I'm going to be busy and working hard. 2 are online, 1 is in person.

    - I'm doing new stuff to get over the ex (well, it's on hold, he isn't sure) - meditation group and back to my old stuff of exercise - gym classes and swimming.

    - I've got some savings still so bills will be paid for January and February.

    I stupidly (in hindisght) bought another second car - a sports one - a deja vu moment that I'm probably going to have to sell that.

    Reading that, it doesn't look too bad I guess. Just tackling it all alone and trying to work it out whilst hanging on to hope with ex/worrying about money/not being able to concentrate on money, courses or anything, I feel isolated and lost.

    I am grateful for lots in my life...I just can't genuinely believe yet.

    I hope the wonderful community here will support, offer suggestions, share thoughts and lift my spirits too.

    Phew! Glad to get it out of my head. I have to turn 2017 into a successful year somehow

    Thanks for reading x
    Back on the DFW Wagon:

    CC - £3,300 on 0% til 04/2020
    CC - £4,500 on 0% til 02/2019
    Loan - £12,063.84 as at 4/1/18
Page 3
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Jan 18, 6:00 AM
    • 4,169 Posts
    • 23,510 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    ((Ali))

    Apart from Tax Credits are you claiming any other benefits?

    If you are receiving help with your mental health and not managing to work the self-employment then I think you should consider claiming ESA.
    There is 1 based on your NI contributions for the last 2 full financial years or an income related one - both are the same amount but of course with the former you have to have the NI contributions.
    For the income related one you need to have less than £16k in savings otherwise you are not eligible (any capital over £6k is counted as an income)

    If your savings are under £16k you could also claim Council Tax Benefit - your local authority should have a website and hopefully a calculator so you can see if you are entitled.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 24 for January
    NSD - 11/18
    (up to 17/01/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 5th Jan 18, 9:55 AM
    • 4,810 Posts
    • 27,362 Thanks
    in need of direction
    Hey mrs, great to see you back, you've been missed. Btw, not all bar one friend has deserted. We're here!
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £78,892.61, target £65,000 by 31/12/18 Offset fund today £4,075.43 target £5,500 by 31/12/18
    Emergency fund £355.5k & £200/200 cash.
    Current weight loss 9/32 by 28 feb 2018
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • Ali-OK
    • By Ali-OK 5th Jan 18, 8:15 PM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 16,631 Thanks
    Ali-OK
    Thank you so much Hidden, EE and INOD - and I saw what you did there INOD regarding friends.

    I like the PJs and dog walking Hidden! Wonder if pink hearts onesie and wellies would do! You're right though, look doesn't matter in the middle of a soggy field and a pooh bag!

    EE - thanks for the info, very useful. I haven't paid any NI this tax year, but always paid both classes for SE prior to that. I need to look into if I'm eligible to claim anything. I've put CAB on my To Do list.

    Am also wondering if I should sell up and downsize - I could possibly buy a 2 bed place outright and lose the mortgage, though don't feel mentally strong enough to face all it entails at the moment. Another thought is whether selling up and renting for a year would be wise whilst DS completes As and decides his next move and I get straight again. I'm coming up for 50 in 3 months with a £103k mortgage with 10 years left to pay it in. Salary level has to be better than I think I'm going to be able to get for a while in order to re-mortgage in a couple of years and DS might want to go to Uni. A real conundrum!

    MIND are brilliant, I go to Peer Support weekly which has a Support Lead and their Craft Group this morning run by some of the service users, making items to sell and raise funds. Also received an email that a volunteer Mentor has been found and she's happy to work with me, so a meeting will be set up to meet and begin. Hopefully won't be too long before I'm either doing something voluntary or paid. Parking is expensive though.

    My GP is excellent too - psychiatry is his specialist area and after 4 goes at different ADs with horrid side effects (3 with serious suicidal thoughts, 1 with restless legs/no sleep for 3 days) he's sticking with CBT being the way forward. I've meds for physical anxiety symptoms when I need them which are great for driving. I can take them ongoing too as they stop the visual migraines that seem to flare when I'm most stressed/in overwhelm which doesn't take much at the moment.

    I have another double appointment with him in 2 weeks. Also a phone appt with a different GP there as have had a swollen foot since October, likely he wants an MRI on it next (blood tests clear, ice packs tried etc).

    I cancelled the Gym membership DD this morning, so that's a saving of £37 a month from March. Sky paperwork still to find. I think I might wrap up with the psychotherapist as that's £40 a week and GP feels it's not the right therapy now.

    There's lots to be grateful for and I am

    Diaries - I promise I will catch up, read half of INODs new one last night - life changing times there
    Back on the DFW Wagon:

    CC - £3,300 on 0% til 04/2020
    CC - £4,500 on 0% til 02/2019
    Loan - £12,063.84 as at 4/1/18
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 5th Jan 18, 9:40 PM
    • 2,533 Posts
    • 19,291 Thanks
    sashybo
    Hi again Ali, you've achieved a lot so far and a lot to think about too. Well done for identifying it all though, sometimes that's half the battle.

    How is your post dog? I love dogs but we just don't have the time just now that a dog deserves. We have 3 selfish and ungrateful cats instead, as they are more self-sufficient. They are still hard work but I love having furry companions about and they do provide some comedy at times. My DS is fascinated with them and just laughs whenever they come near him (not often as he pulls fur and tails when trying to stroke them ).
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £9615 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £48,635.28
    Loan £3334.75, CC 0% BT £832, Car loans £22,879.88

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 5th Jan 18, 10:15 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Hi Ali,

    It's brilliant to hear from you. I too was thinking about you a few days ago and had hoped you'd found Mr. Right and drove off into the sunset.

    I'm terribly sorry to hear what you've been through over the last year. Keep getting help and looking for answers - easier said than done, I know. Glad to hear you managed to take a look at your account. Its so easy to avoid when you know it's going down rather than up. Been there many times.

    Really pleased to hear your son's GCSEs went well. What's he decided to study at A Level?

    I'll second INOD's post, you have lots of friends on here. Keep posting.

    Hope to hear from you soon,
    Alex.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Ali-OK
    • By Ali-OK 5th Jan 18, 11:21 PM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 16,631 Thanks
    Ali-OK
    Thanks Sashybo and Alex - lovely to see you again too.

    I think the work, housing and resultant financial consequences of the decisions I make next are what are keeping me stuck. I felt a new freedom and happiness when I was bashing the mortgage - I have gone through being angry at myself at being in the position I currently am. My GP gave me a reality check today though - health comes first.

    Post-dog Sadly decided to re-home him as I couldn't manage both for walks and it was unfair on him not getting the amount of exercise he needed. He is local with a lovely family, well and happy and lovely photo updates too. I miss him but his needs come first. He was so loving, we used to cuddle up a lot. Still have the other one, DS couldn't face losing both. Am glad of that though as it forces me to get out and the walking helps.

    Sounds like your DS is having fun with the cats They are more self sufficient and good to have pets.

    Alex - I thought of you and how you've battled and knowing you know this arena well. I can't praise the support from MIND and my GP enough - reaching out was the best thing I've done and I'm hoping the answers will come.

    DS's efforts and hard work results in 10 GCSEs at A's & B's, so proud of him. He's studying History, Geography and Economics and loving Economics. He's happy and also learning to drive. Family gave him extra birthday money especially for lessons back in September.

    How is Little K? Still loving nature? I peeked into your diary briefly (need to fully catch up with so many!) and I think there's been some exciting movements for you too?

    Thank you for such kind comments regarding friends - it means a lot to return and feel so welcome again . I hope I can get back to being the supportive poster I was, I feel a bit selfish/self-absorbed quite a bit at the moment, but am more productive and happier on all levels when I look outwards and give to others. I can also speak my truth and not feel judged here
    Back on the DFW Wagon:

    CC - £3,300 on 0% til 04/2020
    CC - £4,500 on 0% til 02/2019
    Loan - £12,063.84 as at 4/1/18
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 6th Jan 18, 12:09 AM
    • 2,533 Posts
    • 19,291 Thanks
    sashybo
    Aww Ali, sorry post dog had to be re-assigned - his postal skills were needed elsewhere. All joking aside that must have been really hard for you but was absolutely one of the best things you could have done for him if you felt he wasn't getting what he needed, just shows how unselfish you are and that you loved him enough to do what was best for him. *hugs*

    This is absolutely the best place to come when you need a bit of support without feeling judged and I hope you get what you need from posting.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £9615 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £48,635.28
    Loan £3334.75, CC 0% BT £832, Car loans £22,879.88

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 6th Jan 18, 12:23 AM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Your GP is correct. It's brilliant you can have a conversation with him. I've not been able to speak to medical professionals for the vast majority of appointments I've had over the years. Often I've given them a note. There have been occasions I've sat down and not been able to even do that, apologise for wasting their time and walk out. That's probably the first time I've admitted that and I'm rather ashamed I've took appointments from other people to do that in the past. Glad you've managed to reach out, I haven't been that brave on many occasions and I do think it resulted in things becoming worse.

    Having a dog has really helped me. Though it probably doesn't seem so most of the time keeping active will help. If you need someone to listen, rant to etc. you know where I am, support works in two ways and I am very grateful for the times you and others on here have supported me over the years. I wouldn't be in the position I am if it weren't for MSE both financially and mentally.

    Really pleased to hear of your son's achievements and his progression to A Level. Has he lined up his first car yet?

    My son is growing up fast - 7 now. He's doing well in school and has two close knit friends at school, a group of horsey girlfriends and some orchestra friends. I'm really pleased how well he plays with other children and his last report from school. He's staying there unless anything drastically changes. Academically, he is doing well but I have backed off somewhat so he is not making the progress he was. It seems the right thing for us at the moment. He still loves nature and horses.

    I have a new MFW diary - Renovations and Repayments II (wasn't feeling particularly original that day, was I? ) After all the build up teaching didn't work out for me, I hated every minute of it. Working full time in property as well as managing our portfolio. Have a current project house ... well, yes, I know what you're thinking ... mine is still work in progress but we did sort the bathroom. The new one is to add to our portfolio and we plan to add more as Mrs. K. and I found we work together well. That's basically my 2017 in summary as it didn't really start until a few months in. No need to read the drivel I post now. I haven't done so well with savings and the end of the year has been a disaster so far as keeping to a budget. I do have a spreadsheet though.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • debtfreeoneday
    • By debtfreeoneday 6th Jan 18, 4:49 PM
    • 2,814 Posts
    • 9,694 Thanks
    debtfreeoneday
    Nice to see you back, but sorry to hear times haven't been too great for you!

    We are still here - I pop in and out and don't post regularly now.

    Just take one day at a time lovely and things will get better, x
    DFW (08/08) £64,346.53 Credit card debt: £4299.59 over three credit cards.
    MFW (01/15) £118,031.21 £94,075.17 ~ 2017 OPs £12.79
    Earnings 2018 Pcone £6.00 ~ Ips0s £10.00 ~1poll £36.00 ~ Pr0filic £30.46 ~ TCB £21.72 ~ YouGov £30.75
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th Jan 18, 8:32 PM
    • 49,570 Posts
    • 186,689 Thanks
    beanielou
    Take care of you Ali xx
    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***
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 6th Jan 18, 9:52 PM
    • 14,997 Posts
    • 48,660 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    I have seen you on so many threads Ali, I just wanted say hello and I am rooting for you too, big hugs Buffy XXX
    Penny a day Challenge, Frugal living challenge, £1 a day challenge, VSP challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge.
    • Ali-OK
    • By Ali-OK 6th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 16,631 Thanks
    Ali-OK
    Thank you so much and so lovely of you DFOD, Beanie and Buffy to post your kind words and support as well, I am very grateful

    I tried to read more threads today, but as soon as I read OH/DH, partner, income, job it seems to set off my anxiety, I guess it's a reminder of where I am

    So I went out with the dog for some fresh air. Done very little else today. I tend to sleep in the afternoon and then overnight too, though some days/nights I hardly sleep at all. All a bit erratic.

    I did bank our Christmas monies finally too, so a little extra there. I've written up a spreadsheet with outgoings, it'll tell me how short I am each month once I pop some formula in. Scared.

    I've looked at houses half the price of mine on the coast - worried that a job like caring or something might not cover standard bills though.

    Sashybo post-dog re-assigned...I like that!

    Alex, that must have been very difficult for you. I never really know what to say either and am usually on the verge of tears when I do speak. My comfort zone is so small I think - either anxiety hits or it's back in depression, everything else is a distraction from the reality and nothing changes and each day is closer to the catastrophe I want to avoid, but seem powerless to do so or am self destructing.

    DS will have to share my car I think as things stand depends on insurance really. He has tried to get a part time job without luck so far.

    Good to hear Little K is getting on well, that all sounds positive.

    Bathroom done and a spreadsheet, I am impressed . Life sounds pretty good, well done.
    Back on the DFW Wagon:

    CC - £3,300 on 0% til 04/2020
    CC - £4,500 on 0% til 02/2019
    Loan - £12,063.84 as at 4/1/18
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 7th Jan 18, 12:43 AM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Ali, I am so sorry you're feeling like that. I've been in a similar state of mind and it's awful. Sometimes the fog feels like it will never lift but please don't give up. You're taking positive steps even if it doesn't seem so.

    I've had some awful medical appointments over the years. Over the past year I had some rather evasive tests over a number of months to rule out a problem. Final appointment came and went, saw the GP and was told I've no physical problem and the issue must be habitual / psychological. I was inconsolable and the GP was bewildered but it wasn't the first time I've sobbed in that room.

    There have been times my anxiety has been triggered by reading some diaries too. A few months ago I was finding that happening as I wasn't in a great place with the teaching. I stuck a note on my computer in the study, it said "we're all on our own journey". It was something my mother-in-law said to me after the in-laws witnessed me have a panic attack (trigger was them visiting us ). Other people have said similar things before but for some reason that really helped me. Perhaps it was just a case of right words at the right time.

    Try to establish a routine if you can. As this is me saying this it goes without saying that is easier said than done.

    Lots of good progress re. paying money in and spreadsheet. Perhaps you could use that spreadsheet to work out if moving is the right thing for you and the amount you need for the regular bills.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 7th Jan 18, 9:11 AM
    • 804 Posts
    • 3,896 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    Welcome back Ali. It's all about small steps, one at a time. I'll be rooting for you xx
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £17714 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2018 challenges: coming soon!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Jan 18, 9:13 AM
    • 49,570 Posts
    • 186,689 Thanks
    beanielou
    No OH’s , jobs or suchlike on my diary.
    Money worries, poorly cats and people falling.
    A wee bit of volunteering.
    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***
    • Ali-OK
    • By Ali-OK 7th Jan 18, 8:28 PM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 16,631 Thanks
    Ali-OK
    Beanie - good point Well done on the volunteering and sorry to hear about your poorly cat

    Thanks for posting too StepUp, I appreciate it.

    Alex, I'm trying hard not to give up. I appreciate you sharing, thank you, it helps to know I'm not alone. I know not where any path might lead - none seem to fit the basic needs of paying the overheads here, though a downsize could solve that once working or even a lodger I guess. Then I'll have to find a way for DS to manage various things that he hasn't mastered so far. I have applied for 2 jobs today and re-applied for another where I wasn't successful after interview (they picked a more closely fitting candidate to JD). Another step taken.

    Good idea on routine too. I think downsizing is ultimately wise for lowering bills, council tax and maintenance, though I looked at the cost to move and it's not far off £10k using a high street agent is almost £6k of that. So when the time does come maybe a different approach is required. I will look at what I need to earn to cover everything here and and a guestimate for a smaller place.

    Today I took doglet for her walk around a country park, change of scenery and lots of people to say good morning to and doggies for her to socialise with.

    I phoned Sky and even though a lovely adviser came up with a half price deal of £15 a month, I went ahead and fully cancelled. We don't watch it, record to it or anything else and I don't think it's worked properly for some time Last payment 23rd Jan of £16.

    So in a few days I've saved £359.40 on Sky and £444 on gym, total £803.40. Approx £1125 less I need to earn gross.

    On the downside, the boiler started dripping some water last night and there's some wetness around the padding/tank in the loft. Small amount though I'll have to call the heating engineer out. It was serviced a few months ago and though old, still in good condition. Fingers crossed for a fix.

    Hope everyone has had a good Sunday
    Back on the DFW Wagon:

    CC - £3,300 on 0% til 04/2020
    CC - £4,500 on 0% til 02/2019
    Loan - £12,063.84 as at 4/1/18
    • Ali-OK
    • By Ali-OK 7th Jan 18, 9:17 PM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 16,631 Thanks
    Ali-OK
    OK, so the scary step to working out what's coming in and going out has been calculated.

    Income (based on ex paying DS maint but intermittent)

    £589.87

    Outgoings

    £1,851.25

    That doesn't include the annual bills like house and car insurance.
    Almost £500 a month is going to the debt, I could lower that and pay just above minimum on the CCs.

    Grim
    Back on the DFW Wagon:

    CC - £3,300 on 0% til 04/2020
    CC - £4,500 on 0% til 02/2019
    Loan - £12,063.84 as at 4/1/18
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 7th Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Ali, some really positive steps take there, especially savings of over £1000 made. You are most definitely not alone, though I know it can all too often seem like it.

    Well done for applying for the jobs, definitely a step in the right direction. Have you thought about getting back into your old business? Perhaps on a smaller scale to begin with. If not suitable / feasible please ignore my suggestion.

    Agent fees seem high. Have a look at purplebricks et al. Zoopla has an estimated price for cost of living for all the properties listed on their website, so worth a look to gain an idea of what you'd be saving.

    I'm sure your son will do a lot of growing up and managing to figure things out when he moves for uni.

    Well done for getting out with your dog. We had a walk along the river and went back home today, it's very cold up here.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 7th Jan 18, 9:45 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    OK, so the scary step to working out what's coming in and going out has been calculated.

    Income (based on ex paying DS maint but intermittent)

    £589.87

    Outgoings

    £1,851.25

    That doesn't include the annual bills like house and car insurance.
    Almost £500 a month is going to the debt, I could lower that and pay just above minimum on the CCs.

    Grim
    Originally posted by Ali-OK
    Without meaning to pry, do you have more than the one CC in your signature? I wonder if it could be worth moving them to new 0% deals if they are not 0% and just paying the minimum until you get some extra income as paying more doesn't seem to make any sense when your outgoings are more than your incomings.

    Also, could it be worth requesting a payment holiday from your mortgage until you find work?
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 7th Jan 18, 10:01 PM
    • 2,533 Posts
    • 19,291 Thanks
    sashybo
    Ali, just wanted to say although it's looking scary for you at least you're taking the first steps of getting your figures sorted so you know what you're dealing with.

    As Alex said you've done well to do what you've done so far re making cuts/savings on your outgoings and applying for jobs etc.

    You will do it Ali.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £9615 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £48,635.28
    Loan £3334.75, CC 0% BT £832, Car loans £22,879.88

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
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