Banishing the black cloud

in Debt Free Diaries
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  • Just read your diary! Sounds like you're making great progress towards getting your finances sorted...well done!

    Good luck to your son tomorrow, hope he gets the results he needs xx
    2nd January 2015: Total £4970.70 Total now: £4878.88 :eek:
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  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
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    Well folks it's been an eventful 24 hours to say the least, B got 2A's 6B's and 1C in his results he got A's in Maths and Biology and B in Geography which were his choices for A-Levels. We skipped over to the school all excited to have a meeting with the principal. What I encountered was the most obnoxious, stuck-up example of elitism ever. They will not let son do A-Level Biology or Maths because his A grade isn't high enough, in fact they wont let him do any of the subjects he wants. They are letting him do RE even though he got a C in that purely because the class is undersubscribed!! We were passed from the principal to the careers advisor who more or less tried to talk him out of his chosen career to suit them and then on to the Vice Principal who then told him that he couldn't even do the alternative subjects as there was timetable clashes!!


    So he was told he can study Business studies and economics, two subjects he knows nothing about and has no interest in, just to suit them!!


    We drove home and I have never seen a lad so deflated and disappointed, I was seething with anger, after passing 9 GCSE's they made him feel like a failure. We then visited our local High who welcomed him with open arms and are allowing him to do his chosen subject, Unfortunately though Biology clashes with Geography on the timetable but they have given him Applied science as alternative.


    He met up with a lot of his friends last night and it turns out they were all treated the same and they are all leaving as well, so he is now a lot happier. Also the new school he is going to is a mile from home so he will be home every evening at 3.30pm whereas he isn't home until 5pm from the Grammar.


    So we didn't have a very MSE day yesterday as I treated B to a meal and some buns afterwards but he deserved, and I was trying to cheer him up after what the school did to him.


    I also checked his results against the Mark Boundaries he was 1 mark of an A in two subjects so I requested remarks which has just cost me £90. On the plus side hubby has been asked to work 10 extra hours per week at time and half for the next few weeks so that should help pay for it.
  • lulu_92lulu_92 Forumite
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    Congratulations to your son! Those are brilliant grades and shame on the school for making him feel like a failure!

    May I ask why you requested a re-mark? Are you planning on trying to get him back into grammar if they come back as A grades? I don't mean to sound rude but I think £90 is a lot of money just to prove a point. GCSE grades mean nothing once A-levels are done anyway.

    When I did my GCSEs we weren't charged for re-marking exams. My sister was 3 marks off a pass so they sent it back at their expense.
    Our Rainbow Twins born 17th April 2016
    :A 02.06.2015 :A
    :A 29.12.2018 :A



  • maggiecon wrote: »

    I also checked his results against the Mark Boundaries he was 1 mark of an A in two subjects so I requested remarks which has just cost me £90. On the plus side hubby has been asked to work 10 extra hours per week at time and half for the next few weeks so that should help pay for it.

    That's awful!!! There'll be nobody left at his school if they carry on like that!
    Just a quick aside - have you asked the school to remark the papers? At mine, any borderline C/D or A/B papers are remarked and paid for by the school as the improved possible results also bumps up their figures.

    Well done to your son though - fab results! I teach 6th form Applied Science so if you have any questions just ask!:)
  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
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    Thanks WW that's great to know, the teachers were trying to talk him into doing A-level bio instead of applied on the strength of his science marks but then he would have to drop Geography, which is his fav subject and he is still considering doing it at degree level so he is going down the applied route. He scored 73.3% in the bio element of his double award science and they wouldn't let him do it as the minimum criteria was 75%!!


    My SIL teaches at the school he is changing to and she said his old school should be getting remarks and that it is standard practice in her school too for borderline results. When I rang the grammar they were like "are you sure you want to do this, his grade can go down"... ehh Hello? you are meant to be a grammar school and that is the stupidest comment ever. unless he drops about 20 marks his grade will stay the same.


    LuLu I appreciate £90 is a lot of money but I do all the hiring for our company and we still ask candidates for their GCSE results so it stays with you for life. I think 4A's would look better than 2A's on his CV so for the sake of £90 I am happy to spend it.


    I have also looked into getting him tutored for his maths for the first few months, I did GCSE, Additional and A level maths and I feel there will be a big jump from GCSE to A-level for him having not done the Additional maths. Therefore I think a tutor once a fortnight will be good to help bridge the gap so to speak. Found someone on gumtree and she lives near us and is charging £25 per hour. So I might have to look at my budget again!!
  • lulu_92lulu_92 Forumite
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    maggiecon wrote: »
    LuLu I appreciate £90 is a lot of money but I do all the hiring for our company and we still ask candidates for their GCSE results so it stays with you for life. I think 4A's would look better than 2A's on his CV so for the sake of £90 I am happy to spend it.


    I have also looked into getting him tutored for his maths for the first few months, I did GCSE, Additional and A level maths and I feel there will be a big jump from GCSE to A-level for him having not done the Additional maths. Therefore I think a tutor once a fortnight will be good to help bridge the gap so to speak. Found someone on gumtree and she lives near us and is charging £25 per hour. So I might have to look at my budget again!!

    That's fair enough then. I just know loads of people I went to school with had them re-marked so they could brag about it.

    My GCSE results are on my CV but I have never been asked about them, probably because I have gotten a degree since then.
    Our Rainbow Twins born 17th April 2016
    :A 02.06.2015 :A
    :A 29.12.2018 :A



  • NintudNintud Forumite
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    Well done to your son, those are fantastic results. The school is clearly more concerned about league tables and A level point scoring than for the future of the pupils, better off elsewhere. I agree with re-marking when 1 mark off, no marking criteria is entirely objective so a senior examiner may spot something missed by the first examiner. Also, there were a lot of new examiners recruited this year (and a lot of over-worked experienced examiners) so fresh eyes might benefit too.
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  • Saver-upperSaver-upper Forumite
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    Hi,maggiecon,
    I have just spent some time catching up on your diary.You certainly have alot going on,but you are getting ontop of things,and that is great.Well done devising a plan of attack for the budget that seems to be workingfor you.
    I shall continue to drop in and cheer you along.:T
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  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
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    I completed my first week of my new budget plan and although it has thrown up some problems things are working out well. I have saved a total of £56 of my £175 budget. The little problems I have uncovered are
    1. I need to stop looking at the bank account balance. This is VERY misleading and is not a true reflection of liquidity.
    2. Some items in my budget fluctuate weekly eg petrol and elec. I need some way of saving the leftovers for when it’s required. I don’t want to have to keep moving money between bank accounts so I have decided to let the money sit in my main bank account and set up a virtual account on my app called Utilities and record every credit I accumulate. That way I will know what money in my bank account is “extra” and when I need extra petrol some week I will pay for it from my account and record this on the app. Having several “virtual” accounts on the app allows me to keep my actual money in one place whilst having separate pots so to speak.
    3. This week I have to put £20 towards a present for a friend and £23 towards a top for our football team. Do I take this from last week’s surplus or do I take it as an expense this week. After much debating I think these come out of last week’s surplus money. The £175 should be purely for living costs and items like this are what the surplus is there to pay for, hence the need to build up a safety buffer.
    So my phone app is starting to get more and more essential to this budget. I now have five accounts set up on it.
    • Personal - this is my £175 per week household spending allowance
    • Emergency – This is mine and hubby’s saving pot from his wages and after debt busting
    • Utilities – This records any surplus from petrol and electricity and also the weekly oil heating allowance.
    • Spending – This is the money left at the end of the week from the Personal account, to spend GUILT FREE the following week, on wants rather than needs
    • Rent – This is all the money that comes in from the flats and all the outgoing bills that this money pays.

    Where I was going wrong in the past. I read these helpful rules on the YNAB website and then worked out my budget based on their principles and it actually works;
    • Rule 1 they say give every £1 a job. This is the definitely the most helpful tip. I have assigned every penny of my wages to certain pots each with a definitive role.
    • Rule 2 – Save for a rainy day. Until I bought my house last year, I had £7k in savings and just knowing I had that safety buffer was so comforting. Now I am £7k in debt but hoping to turn it around.
    • Rule 3 – Roll with the punches, I haven’t over spent on the budget yet, but a few unexpected bills have come at me and I have to rejig things to suit
    • Rule 4 – Live on lasts week’s/months wages. I haven’t a big enough buffer built up yet to implement this fully but from last week alone I have saved £55 to spend this week without worrying about missing bills.
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  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
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    Well that was a very boring post I wrote last night LOL, but writing about my budget is how I process my thoughts so I apologise for boring everyone.


    I had a very productive day yesterday in the kitchen, I cooked a huge batch of meatballs for freezing, a large pot of tomato sauce and a large Chicken, both in the slow cooker. this should provide me with a good few dinners for the next couple of weeks. I also dusted down the bread maker and made a nice sun-dried tomato bread, which hubby took to work with him this morning.


    Speaking of hubby, he is keeping to his side of the deal and gave me the agreed £225 this weekend from his wages, we now have £525 in the emergency fund but some really big spends coming up this week
    B's school uniform £99 plus bag and shoes £70
    C's School uniform £100
    B's exam present £100
    C's birthday present £100
    Party for C £50
    Day out to Belfast for family next Sunday £50


    I also need to go see my brother today and see how much rent income there is. 5 weeks until the rates bill has to be paid and £1750 to save.


    Brother in Law has been working in Canada for the last year and is making about $3000 per week, I don't know what that is in £'s but hubby keeps talking about going over there to work with him for six months. His plan is to make enough money so he can come home and do up the house which is currently falling apart. Hubby spent all weekend on the roof of the garage with silicone trying to fill holes to stop the water getting in as the garage turns into a swimming pool when it rains. I don't know if I want him to go away to work, sometime money isn't everything and just having your family with you is more important. Anyway the reason that I mention this is he now wants to apply for a passport so he can get a visa, which will probably cost £££'s
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