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    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 30th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    • 43Posts
    • 18Thanks
    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.

Page 5
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 10th Sep 17, 9:47 AM
    • 43 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks Honeysuckle

    You too. It's a bit of a limbo time isn't it?

    Last day in Devon today and should be taking £200 back - yeah!!!

    Need to put £100 back in the EF as used it to get DT's bus pass the other day and I'm figuring £50 each for first week groceries.

    From this payday onwards then it is sorting out getting those cc debts down!!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 10th Sep 17, 1:57 PM
    • 4,244 Posts
    • 7,662 Thanks
    I think you should also look on this period between childhood and adulthood for your twins as an adjustment for them to start being responsible for their own financial choices. Expensive mobiles, day to day expenses and running their cars should be down to them at 18. You do them no favours by funding these things regardless of affordability. Presumably at some point you need to look at your retirement. Having £40k of debt which you may not realistically be able to reduce while your twins are at Uni will be a millstone around your neck as income reduces. How old are you and when does your mortgage finish?
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 12th Sep 17, 6:46 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    I'm 52 and hubby is 54, our mortgage runs for another 13 years. At the moment we can't magic money from thin air and the dt's know the score. However they can't afford those things either so do we give them all up which means starting again in 3 years or muddle through, pay off the loans and stop the phones when the contract ends? They will both need a car on holidays for working so it seems to me it would be best to muddle through. They are 19 today and both had money and vouchers which will help.

    We're home from our holiday now and back to work and more debt busting! 2 weeks until payday when another chunk gets paid off.
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 17th Sep 17, 3:49 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    So we dropped DT1 off at university yesterday. She's all settled in and we did a food shop while we were there of £50 which is what I budgeted. She went for own brands even though I said she didn't have to but she said she had to get used to it. She's making a spag Bol tonight and will freeze 4 more portions. I cried all the way home, was ok for a bit and then cried some more. But she's so happy and organised. Just hope she gets through freshers week unscathed.

    Next Saturday DT2 goes and she is very excited and getting packed. I shall do the same moneywise - we will get groceries to the tune of £50 to set her off. She's not a cook and reckons she'll live off Spec!al K, chicken and scrambled egg on toast.

    I've spent this morning starting to clear the slum that is DT1's room - I know I will feel better when it is done to 'my standard'.

    We are still within our food budget for the week - just done a top up shop to last until Friday. Hubby is away until Wednesday night so have not needed to buy as much.

    Not really been an MSE week due to uni trips and getting last minute bits but coming along.
    • Mudbath
    • By Mudbath 17th Sep 17, 5:04 PM
    • 5,373 Posts
    • 112,393 Thanks
    Just wanted to say hello and well done at getting one of them settled in at uni. My DD goes next Sunday though we've already taken half her stuff already. Her accommodation is ridiculously gorgeous (and ridiculously expensive but it is all that was available).

    I guess we're lucky as we only have one going at the moment (DS is two years younger).

    Luckily DD had savings from working through 6th form so she's paid the first £1000 on her accommodation and will pay that back when her loan comes in. We've worked out it will cost us an extra £50 a week on top of the maintenance loan to fund her accommodation and we're aiming to give her £50 a week for food, books, social life, public transport etc and she'll get a job if she needs more. Luckily her current job has said they'll have her back at Christmas, Easter and over the summer.

    It does make me feel incredibly mean when I hear my friends parents are giving their children £150 to £200 a week!! Then again, I guess it will teach her to budget!

    Good luck settling your other daughter in.
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 18th Sep 17, 10:18 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Hi Mudbath it's nice to speak to someone going through the same thing.

    I think £50 is about right. We are giving ours £30 for food and their grandma is giving them £100 a month so either £20 or £25 a week depending on whether it's a four or five week month. DT1 managed to save £400 to take with her from her summer job so better than nothing.

    I know there will be others in their flats that have more or won't have to work but that's not our situation I'm afraid.

    DT1 has some terrible news last night that one of her school friends who was at uni only a few days committed suicide. She is devastated. I'd hate to think my children were going through some emotional trauma like that and I knew nothing about it.

    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 18th Sep 17, 11:22 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    Well done to your DT1 for making portions of spaghetti Bol...good thinking already. Will the DTs have chance to visit each other? ThT's interesting to read of your initial food budget. My DD1 goes on Saturday, so I'll take her to the supermarket to get her stocked up.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Mudbath
    • By Mudbath 19th Sep 17, 8:41 AM
    • 5,373 Posts
    • 112,393 Thanks
    So sorry to hear about your DD's friend committing suicide. It must be so unsettling and sad for her. Last week a local lad of 17 did the same and then my husband came home and said a work colleagues friend had also killed himself. I sat my two down and told them nothing was ever too bad to talk to us about. They looked at me as if I was slightly mad but I had to say something. So desperately sad.

    Hope Saturday doesn't bring too many tears. Kleenex (or own brand supermarket) tissues at the ready for me on Sunday x
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