Flying solo

edited 13 November 2015 at 8:22AM in Debt free diaries
2.4K replies 206.4K views
*Robin**Robin* Forumite
3.4K Posts
Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Stoptober Survivor
edited 13 November 2015 at 8:22AM in Debt free diaries
Hello Folks,

This is my first diary. Until last week I'd never seen this section of MSE, then came across a story that is so close to my own it left me reeling. The author of that thread has inspired me to get my act together a bit better than I've been managing so far; this is the record of my progress (or lack of it on bad days).

So here's the history (apologies for the length of this post):
At the beginning of 2012 'our family' consisted of DH and me, four daft dogs, and four big kids who are all making their own way in the world. DH had the financial acumen, I'm the artistic one who tends to let my credit cards run out of control whenever something expensive happens. Thanks to MSE I've learned to swap balances around so most of the cards are on 0% deals - but every so often DH paid off some of my debt out of his savings. This wasn't a problem as most of the money had been spent on family - dog needs an operation? Here's my card. Van failed it's MOT? Here's my card. And so on. As a system, it worked.

DH and I were looking forward to spending more time at our holiday cottages since he retired - a project begun decades ago when prices were so low we bought one each! This suited us; DH had Aspergers' so needed his own space to retreat to at times, and it was also very useful to have one place to stay at while we worked on the other. Going on holiday to a building site when the children were young wouldn't have been been a relaxing, safe break for any of us.
Fast forward twenty years and the cottages are no longer partly-roofed hovels without electricity, water or bathrooms. DH was full of enthusiasm for continuing improvements, and I joined him when I could (am not retired yet).

The last time, I could see that DH wasn't well as soon as I arrived. So began our many trips to the clinic, where ever more detailed and expensive tests were carried out. DH was in too much agony to fly home, so eventually I drove us back, with DH lying on a bed in the van accompanied by two of our dogs (the others went to stay with family).

You can probably see where this is heading. DH never did get a proper diagnosis; he was passed from one hospital department to another until in despair, he discharged himself after the last consultant told him 'it' was terminal. As an Aspie, DH got very upset by the institutional environment where he had no privacy from hundreds of strangers, and the staff loaded him up with morphine without telling him that was what they were giving him - it failed to control his pain and destroyed his ability to think clearly.
I was able to care for him at home. It was exhausting, but allowed DH to have the best death he could have achieved under the circumstances. We became closer than we'd ever been, and he died in my arms.

Since the funeral I've been making attempts at the paperwork - I'm DH's executor: I've got his Will, and have informed the banks and his ex-employer. The latter sent me a huge envelope of bumf about DH's pension which sat ominously on top of the pile of mostly unopened letters.

I stopped work at the beginning of June when caring for DH had become a full-time occupation. Since his death the household has no income. I have been ignoring my bank statements; all the cards are paid by DD and my overdraft facility will cover it - for a while.

The other day I read a post in the diary I mentioned earlier; the lady who is in a similar position to me has sorted out her late husband's pension..
That got me thinking; I guess it was my LBM. :o I opened the letter on top of the pile - and dealt with it - posted yesterday. So thank you 3Dogs, for galvanizing me into action :T

Today I'm going to tackle the bank statements - find out the total owed on my cards: Medical and travelling expenses, groceries and utilities - all on the cards. A wild guess is 12G's worth.

If you've got this far, thanks for reading, :)
I've hesitated for ages before clicking on "Submit New Thread" because DH and I [STRIKE]are[/STRIKE] :( were pretty 'private' people really, but now he's not here I could use some encouragement - or a kick up the backside on occasion - to get on with the tasks that should be done now, in order to avoid daft dogs and I ending up in a right ol' pickle financially.


  • NewLeaf_2NewLeaf_2 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Welcome to the diaries. I hope you will find them as full of support as I have.
    Mortgage: £280,752/ £262,515.84
    evil credit cards: £41,208/ £37,841
    Car: £18,800/£13,101.18
    Weight 13.9/ 12.6 -1 stone 3
    saving for refurb £2000/£700 1 July 2013
  • well done Robin for beginning to deal with things - I can't imagine what you've been through and am so inspired by your action. good idea to do it a bit at a time too.

    sending lots of thoughts!

  • *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Stoptober Survivor
    Newleaf and Dallas85, thank you both for your welcome, :T

    Well, today didn't go quite as planned, :(
    Grief is a strange emotion; it creeps up and overflows at the most unexpected triggers. Today my downfall was a letter. I'm sure it was meant kindly, but it was from someone who really let us down when we needed them, so all the hard memories came crashing back.

    Daft dogs took me for a loooong walk, which got rid of the wobble fairly successfully as fresh air and exercise usually does.

    I'll look at the bank statements tomorrow, :)
  • Morning Robin,

    Sounds like a difficult day yesterday - hope you are feeling better this morning. And you handled your 'wobble' with a really good solution!

    have a good day,

  • *Robin**Robin* Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Stoptober Survivor
    Woke up in the middle of the night with screaming cramp all down one leg - that'll teach me to try and do without my supplements for a month in an attempt to save money! Had to take my strongest pain meds to knock me out as I couldn't get rid of the cramp. So have woken very late and fuzzy-headed; the cramp has gone but it feels like I've pulled a muscle. Was supposed to have an x-ray this afternoon but 'phoned to cancel because I can't bear weight on my leg; felt a bit stupid telling the secretary I wasn't well enough to go to the hospital!

    Daft dogs may have to do without a walk today, but they won't mind because we can play treasure-hunt in the garden instead - found a big packet of cocktail sausages reduced to 50p in Tosco last night which will be perfect for this game, :D Tomorrow DS is coming to visit so he can walk them if I am still limping.

    Right, no more distraction; my pile of unopened bank statements awaits.. :(
  • rising_from_the_ashesrising_from_the_ashes Forumite
    12.4K Posts
    Home Insurance Hacker! Debt-free and Proud! PPI Party Pooper
    Welcome Robin ........ so sorry to hear about PCs passing, life sucks sometimes (((hugs))).

    I sat and read 3dogs diary one afternoon not too long ago - I had to do it in several sittings, with a box of tissues to hand - she is such a wonderful lady who has also been through the mill more than anyone deserves, as have you..

    I know what the pile of unopened statements is like ...... I had bags full at one time - and I still dread getting letters from the bank / anything official looking even now. Wishing you strength for your journey.

    Post as often as you can - you're never alone on here & it's easier to face things knowing others around are in similar situations and can relate to how you're feeling.

    Hope the leg gets better soon - the treasure hunt sounds good and I might just have to try something similar with Maisie later as she's been sadly lacking on the walks front this week as I'm laid up in bed with the lurgi (luckily I have a dog walker twice a week who I've not cancelled even tho' I'm home so she has been out a couple of times).

    Will pop back & see how it's going.
    Grocery Challenge £211/£455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: £125/£250
    £1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 £3.96 / £1,000
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    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
  • Hope your bank statement opening is going well Robin!

    A tip i learned from marathon training: Bananas are very good for cramp! And a bit cheaper than medicine. (You might know this already)

    Make sure you have a little treat after you've tackled the pile, even if it is a lie down in a darkened room.

  • ListerbelleListerbelle Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    So sorry to read of your loss.

    Here's my tip: if you open the envelopes, discard them and then unfold the correspondence, the pile looks less daunting :)

    Very best wishes.
    Summer fun: continuing my Buy Nothing, Kondo-ing quest as we hurtle towards multi-generational financial freedom.
  • Hello Robin and welcome to you. This is a wonderful forum and you will find lots of encouragement here.
    I too have often logged on in the small hours of the morning and found support and company, so no matter when you are in need this is the best place to be.

    One day at a time. One hurdle at a time and the problems become less one at a time.

    Best of luck and I look forward to your story of success.

    (((:)))) hugs and best wishes
    Return and Restart August 2016
    22 Months to be debt free Aug2016 £12971.00:p:o:p By Jun2018
    PAYDBX2016 #155 = £2268.93/£3414.93 00% paid
    UK Debt #00 = £9857.23/£13039 6% paid
    EmSavFund #204 = £85.00/£1000 6% paid
    Mortgage #00 = £183084/£183093 00% paid
  • HeadAboveWaterHeadAboveWater Forumite
    3.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!

    Sorry to hear about the loss of PC.

    I'm glad you found the courage and strength to hit 'submit new thread'. You will find there is a great bunch of people on here and very supportive. It's good to get that extra little bit of encouragement, even if it is from people you don't know.

    The highest mountain is climbed by taking one step at a time. You don't get there in one big leap. Take things one day at a time. Don't pressure yourself. Don't rush. And do reward yourself in some way when you do achieve a goal, no matter how small.

    Thinking about you and subscribing :D
    Wealth is what you're left with when all your money runs out
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