I can't quite believe it's got this bad



  • spud30
    spud30 Posts: 16,872 Forumite
    Welcome to DFW MrsB

    Dont give up that easily. Start a thread of your own, and post your SOA, then let us all have a look at your budget.

    You never know, we could find you a few quid here and there.

    Do it now, and we might be able to help you get a bit of kip tonight ;)
    Is it better to aim for the stars and hit a tree or aim for a tree and land in its branches :think:
    Loves being a Wonderbra friend :kisses3:
  • alfreda_2
    I'm sure I'm much older than you but I just want to be encouraging about self denial. I am now out of debt but spent years as a single parent with very little income. I agree with the post which said tell the kids. 'Come out' to your friends so you don't feel obliged to keep up on the expenditure front. Can you really not do without TV? Games and books make a good alternative. join a reading group to get started. Make things like beer and wine, if you like to drink. Make clothes. Go to evening classes. It is possible to do without new clothes, and if you have been spending so much on them for years you must have enough. Saying 'No' to yourself and your children is very empowering. Once you have control over yourself you have reason to be proud of yourself and it gets easier. The quickest way to contentment is not to want things. Another way to peace of mind is not to mind what people think about you. This might not sound like practical advice but it is.
  • an4paws
    Hi there, first I would like to say you are doing well so far, dont forget to pat yourself on the back now and again.
    DO NOT RE-MORTGAGE, you put too much at risk.
    With regards to your water bill, they are equally to blame for there inability to send you a regular bill. Make an offer to pay the extra, say £10 extra per month. Explain you have large family and anything else you can think of to explain your willingness, but that it is not entirely your fault. They cannot cut off your water, if they were stupid enough to take you to court, the judge would throw it out, as you have made an offer to pay the debt. So please dont loose heart, you need to remain strong in mind and positive. I dont think your food bill is high at all for such a size family and the fact that most are 'adults' in portions required. One final point, you will need to be very careful for a long time to correct this fifnancial problem, and we all would love to be able to change things 'instantly', So you do need to leave yourselves a little lee-way, an occasional outing to pictures or restauren or what ever your interests are. If you dont make an allowance say once a month you will get bored with it all and it will end in disaster. I have tried that, and it wasnt pretty at the end. Lots of good wishes to you and yours, take care an4paws.)

  • thedeesbees
    Another thing - I notice that those of my friends who are in financial difficulties are always the first to contribute when the charity tin comes around. Some of them are always the first to reach the bar (to buy the first round) when our group enters the pub. It's time to stop being generous. Your own self-preservation comes first. Time to be generous when everything has been sorted.
  • oramgepekoe
    oramgepekoe Posts: 574 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    Hi Talheedin

    Can you cut your petrol costs? You say you spend £170/Month on petrol and yet you sometimes run to work. So where is all the petrol going? Are you ferrying family members around who could prehaps walk. Are you doing lots of little trips to the shops etc that could be combined into one run?
  • twink
    twink Posts: 3,827 Forumite
    if its any help you can get your magazine online
  • thedeesbees
    I used to have a problem with 'must have'. I've never actually overcome it, but I have controlled it. When the need consumes me for a video camera, new computer, or anything - I say to myself that I'll get it in a fortnight. For the first week I indulge myself with the 'need' - internet shops, comparison sites, window shopping in town. By day ten the urge has gone - I think it would be nice to have, but I can live without it.
  • polgara2006

    I'm new to all this but just wanted to let you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel when using the CCCS.

    In brief, I came out of university with £15,000 approx of debt and was in the vicious circle of missing a payment on one debt to pay another then alternating the month after and so on. Not a good idea I may add!

    I was put in touch with the CCCS by one of my creditors and it was the best thing i've ever done. It took me 5 years to pay it all off in total as I also had my payments on my HP agreement on my car. I kept these going as I didn't want to lose my car - I needed it to get to work at the time.

    The CCCS are very helpful and will tell you all you need to know about contacting creditors, what to do if creditors send you letters, CCJs, baliffs, the lot and what your rights are. They will regularly keep in touch and check your income/outgoing finances to check you can still afford the DMP and they always make sure you are able to live without too much problem. They make sure your important debts are taken into account first and usually are not included in the DMP (like mortgages, etc) but will get your creditors to freeze the interest on your loans and agree to a fixed monthly payment. I was told that if ever a creditor refused to agree to an amount and they did try to take me to court it would be very very unlikely that a judge would rule in their favour as you are already doing everything you can to pay the debt and with the CCCS will have proof of where all your income is spent. They would never expect you to sacrifice reasonable living standards to pay a debt.

    If you do come into extra money through savings, etc there is no problem in paying a one off lump sum into your DMP which will be split fairly between your debts. All the money you pay to the CCCS goes on your debts, they do not keep any for themselves - they run like a charity.

    Ok, so coming out of it, you will have a bad credit history that will stay on your file for quite a while but gradually you will be able to build this back up. I managed to pay off 3 of my 7 creditors and applied for an 'emergency' credit card requesting the lowest limit on offer. Yes it was quite a high interest (capital one) card with a limit of £200 but i've finally learned my lesson and have kept it for emergencies - it has never got close to the limit! But just keeping up the payments on this gradually built up my credit rating again until I can transfer to a cheaper credit card which I should be able to do in the very near future.

    I wish you all the best in sorting your finances out and hope that you will be feeling better about things very soon. I hope some of the above has helped!

    All the best

    Amanda :o
  • anthea_3
    Dear Talheedin - you have been very brave in sharing your predicament - hopefully some of what has been written will help.

    Personally, I don't think that £400 a month on food for 7 people is high - I actually think it's pretty good! Having said that, I would echo the advice to save as much as you can in this area. I find that shopping on-line helps keep bills down (not tempted), although you do have to pay delivery. I find Tescos is cheapest of the major supermarkets and I always go for the Multi buy offers and Value ranges.

    Regarding your water bill - if there are 7 of you and you are metered, you're most probably looking at a bill of around £400 - £500 a year so you need to budget more for water. Presumably, your house is newish and you don't have the rateable value option. If you haven't had your meter read for 2 years and you now have a huge bill to catch up with, I would go back to the co. and ask them why they didn't read it before. I think I am correct in thinking that the water co.s have to read the meter at least once a year. If they have failed to do this you may have some comeback - but you will most probably have to fight for it. Try getting in contact with the Consumer Council for Water for your area. Ask your water co. for the details. Basically they deal with water co. complaints.

    Your utility bills don't sound over the top to me, although you may have some room for reducing the electricty bill - don't leave tv on standby etc etc. Anything else I can add has been covered by other posts!

    Good luck and I wish you all the best for the future.
  • normal
    normal Posts: 472 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi Talheedin!

    How does it feel to have become a star? Your honesty has won you a lot of goodwill and excellent advice, but the hardest thing is keeping to it!

    I have a lot of sympathy having been through those long nights and it effected my relationships too although we never argued. It was a weight over us and always in the background.

    So my advice? It's all been said really. The one thing I can suggest is use your newfound fame. A lot of people would be interested on how you progress. Keep posting (the truth!), be honest with all your family and closest friends. By doing this, it acts as a motivator for yourself and means others will continue to support you and offer further help and advice as you need it.

    Head up! The first step is always the hardest and you're already well on your way to recovery. Every time you get down about it, remember that you've faced up to your problems and you're dealing with them (no matter how long it takes, but you're dealing with them!) Be proud of that.

    I now have savings I can tap into for a rainy day and also for lovely presents and treats for my family. It's hard, but it's worth it for the feeling at the end. Much like your running!
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