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22 Foxhole East

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
2.1K replies 249.3K views
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  • f0xh0lesf0xh0les Forumite
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    Oooh, much strangeness in the home of Fox today........

    Logged on to banking this morning, and there was the best part of £1400 paid in by Child Tax muppets. Now, DH gave up his job about 5 years ago, went from £40k odd down to £6k a year while he finished his PhD and was picking up junior lecturer stuff. That is when I learnt how to live on £20 a week food shopping for 2 adults and 4 smalls. The Child Tax Credit worked out £50 per child per week and that covered the mortgage and all bills, and the Child benefit fed us and clothed us and paid for the ballpit when it was too wet to go to the park and play.

    So, every year since, DH's salary has gone up,slowly, and the Child Tax Credit has gone down, as it should. While I had to ring them every term to let them know how much he would be earning, and I sometimes had to ring them 4 x a year to sort out our changes in circumstances, every time I spoke to them they were great, every time it was a Geordie Lad and they did not get one single thing wrong, and quite often, come the following April, there would just be a couple of payments of £400, £300, £800 payments as they worked out they had underpaid me and it just turned up. Apart from the year they gave me just under £3,500. I mean, I told them every 16 weeks what was going on, they knew the same day if there was a change, but there you go, I have done well out of them. Until I moved to Sheffield. And spoke to a lady this time, my one and only conversation with a woman, who decided to completely mess up my claim, decided I was earning £27k and working 35hours a week and rode an elephant in my spare time. As I was used to fluctuating payments, and as I suddenly began getting more, I opened 6% savings accounts for the kids and started building them up the '£100 per year they have been on the planet ' savings accounts I thought they should have. All going well, then we moved again, and I received a letter telling me I owed them £17,000. No I don't I said. Oh, we have sent you out another letter since then, they said. Bizarrely we get 3 x correspondence from them every single time, on the same day usually, and each one has a different amount and date on it, so it is a case of finding which one has the last date to see which is the most current, and then usually the amount that turns up in my account is not the same as on the letter anyway. (Keeping up? All clear? Good!), anyway, after talking to these muppets again, and again, and having to send them back the letters they sent me, and go through a mandatory reconsideration process (I refused to confirm my security details on the phone as A) they had rung me, B) they should know my details if they were who they said they were, and C) I should be asking THEM for their security details but they would probably only get them wrong as they were not terribly efficient.
    Anyhow, it turns out they had overpaid me about £700 and they were going to claw it back out of my payments and dropped them down to less than £10 a week. Not major, as by this time we were back up to £40k-ish and I could do without the CTC. and besides, I was earning 6% on it!!! And was living really close to a Co-op store that reduced everything at 7pm on the dot so I could bath and read the smallest foxes their bedtime story and then run up the road and buy everything for tuppence ha'penny. This April has been the first year they had not given me a huge lump sum, but I figured as they had systematically underpaid me for over a decade, it was about time they got it wrong and overpaid me. So I was really surprised when I got this lump sum this morning. So I did a web chat, got out my mobile and took video evidence of what they were saying, got them to state, categorically they had underpaid me and that the money was rightfully mine.

    So, it looks like I might be able to afford a shower!! and a joiner!!

    I am very lucky, money just seems to turn up sometimes. Just at the right time.

    If my house were finished, this would mean a last minute half term holiday. It is not, and a holiday is sooooo tempting, but, in-laws.........

    Oh hell, just had a phone call from DS2s school. He is unwell. This is becoming a tradition! The day before the end of term illnesses
    MFW#65 6/20 £91,999,99
    E/F £12.500
    Turtle # 4 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
  • f0xh0lesf0xh0les Forumite
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    If Captain Electrician does not give me a date to fix the stupid heating today, I am going to call a damnable plumber to come connect it.

    I am sitting here with a blanket around my shoulders and have two kids lazing in their beds with sore tummies and hot water bottles - they are not bothered with their lovely duvets but I have cold hands (but not cold enough to do the washing up).
    MFW#65 6/20 £91,999,99
    E/F £12.500
    Turtle # 4 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
  • BobarellaBobarella Forumite
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    Wow £1400 is amazing to have drop in your lap. Huge congratulations! What a faff though. Interesting to hear about the CT situation too.
    Sorry to hear you have poorly cubs :( hope the heating gets sorted asap.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe":D

    Debt neutral :) 27/03/17 from £40k:eek: in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
  • f0xh0lesf0xh0les Forumite
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    Congrats at being under 1K! £999 will go down so quickly.
    MFW#65 6/20 £91,999,99
    E/F £12.500
    Turtle # 4 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
  • BobarellaBobarella Forumite
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    Savvy Shopper! I've been Money Tipped!
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    Thank you. Let's hope the business keeps making money. Sometimes I feel like I live in Minecraft world. My path appears as I build but I cant see more than 3 feet ahead. I dream of the day I have a lump sum available to transfer to my personal account each month instead of flicking £50 across when our account gets dire enough.

    How is the heat situation and how are the Hole lets? Better I hope.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe":D

    Debt neutral :) 27/03/17 from £40k:eek: in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
  • f0xh0lesf0xh0les Forumite
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    Well, to be honest I think I was being hoodwinked, but as they all had 99.7% attendance last year, and I know we have the in-laws next week, I kept the 3 at home today who were complaining they were feeling unwell, DS1 went to school, so they all had to jump in the car anyway, as I was not leaving them behind! Then I sent them all back to bed with a hot water bottle and cup of tea and told them to read while I cleaned the house.:D They were perfectly happy with that. Though there has been no sign whatsoever of anyone being ill.:o

    They all had beans/spaghetti hoops on toast for lunch - nobody fell to the ground rolling around in agony. Bonus!:beer:

    The electrician sent me a text to say they could not make it before next Thursday (!) so I rang him - straight to voicemail, got hold of his company facebook page and asked him to ring me back. please. Nothing. so at 4pm I texted him again saying I could not wait until next Thurs with no heating, half term and four kids. 3 minutes later I get a text saying he will be over sometime tomorrow. Great!

    Then at 5 I got a really er, shirty, :mad: phone call about it not being that f-ing pump, it was impossible, there must be something else, he would send one of his men over IF he could but that f-ing pump would not cause that f-ing problem. Charming!

    So, as he was so bloody adamant the problem was not with the bit they disconnected, I hit the internet, read manuals, twisted dials, turned the boiler on and off, twisted other bits, messed with thermostats, ran around the house and made sure all the rads were turned on, that the wireless thing was talking to the box next to the water cylinder, up and down and up and down the stairs like some crazed step-class leader. Nothing. Not a sausage.

    DH came home, stripped himself of his lycra, :jdragged on a hoody and set to doing all the stuff I had been doing already, then he decided to hit the pump thing with a hammer (it was recommended on some site or other in case the pump had seized), and did a factory reset. Then after 3 hours, and about the 4th time of doing it all, suddenly, there was a spurt and warm water began flowing into the radiators downstairs !!!! :j:j:j:j:j So we have the ground floor with toasty rads, and I sent a text to Captain Electricals apologising for casting aspersions on the pump:o, and that that had proved not to be the problem (I assume, after all we don't know what the problem was or what caused it) and that we would not need him tomorrow after all. DS2s bedroom rad is toasty, mine is not, the middle floor landing one was not, the bathroom one is not and none on the top floor are, but, considering it was a room by room rental, we think they have closed off the inflow to certain rads, (the one on the middle landing is now toasty,- that was my test theory radiator), so I think tomorrow I am going to be running around with a spanner opening inflow valves and bleeding radiators until everything is properly stabilised. DH claims he does not know how to bleed a radiator (bless!):rotfl:That boy has strange gaps in his knowledge.

    So, the pump may have seized with being turned off for 6 months, or something else, but half the radiators are working right now.

    DH has just gone upstairs to remove the ballcock and arm from the middle floor loo cistern, as it is misaligned and runs all night long and is driving me demented. Proper Leicestershire water torture. Why he has to do it at nearly 9pm I don't know. It probably means he will have a lie in in the morning as half the job is done, and he can take it with him to the hardware store to make sure he gets the right bit.

    So, for the price of £0 half the heating is behaving. :money:

    Child Tax Credit has gone into the bank today, and has been raised by £4 a week (I know, I won't spend it all in the same shop) and Child Benefit goes in on Monday, which will be welcome.

    All in all the coffers are looking very healthy, but I am aware the bathroom needs sorting asap, and in another few weeks I will be able to do it. But it is so hard not to shove some at the mortgage as an overpayment. I fear I am obsessed.

    Anyway, my friend who we will call 'J' told me I should give DH half of the Child Tax money as it was not 'mine' it was 'ours', pah! thought I, but I suppose he was right really, so I offered DH half, who looked horrified and said 'God no!!, I'd only spend it on rubbish' , well at least he has finally noticed.

    In sadder news, my Grandfather's second wife, who I have inherited, has had a mini stroke, we think. She thinks she is fine and everyone else is making a fuss, but slumping sideways, being unable to move or speak for half an hour and being dizzy for 24 hrs after is never really a sign of 'best health'. All tests and scans came back as totally fine, so as far as she is concerned she just had a 'funny turn'. Luckily she was not on her own, but she was in the garden sitting on a bench and she had to be ladled into her wheelchair by her 73yr old sister who visits every 2 years, and wheeled down to her bedroom. There is no telling her, she is a bizarrely secretive person at the best of times, but she has had two of these turns so far. Poor old duck. Will have to head back over to visit next month to check up on her.

    Anyway, we are not frozen foxes anymore and Friday nights are News Quiz and HIGNFY nights!
    MFW#65 6/20 £91,999,99
    E/F £12.500
    Turtle # 4 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
  • f0xh0lesf0xh0les Forumite
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    The heating came on when I set it to come on!! Woof Woof!:T

    £3.75 away from Y0uG0v sending me a £50 cheque!
    Coming up to the 'C' word there are always lots of surveys for people with kids, and they tend to pay £1-£3 for kid surveys, and they are short!

    DS1 is a whole 14 years old today! He is sitting here with a book his aunt gave him called 'How to Survive Everything' giggling his little head off.

    Have to do the shopping today as I couldn't go yesterday with 3 smalls pretending to be ill. They were all running around and giggling at 6 this morning. There is nothing wrong with them at all. Grocery shopping with smalls is to be avoided AT ALL COSTS. Once they hit the 'ooooh look, Pringles!' years, leave them at home if humanly possible, or they will bankrupt you. Or set very rigid pocket money tariffs, and let them lend/borrow money off each other and fight over who owns what packet of what.

    I do buy them crisps and biscuits, but tbh they eat them like locusts in a field of maize, and then 15 minutes later they are either starving, or leave their lunch/tea. So I tend to put them in a lunchbox rather than them having them in the house. The school must think I am awful, but if they have fruit and yogurt for breakfast and a hot meal with 4 veg and a fruity pudding/pie for supper, they can eat oreos in their lunchbox.:o

    DS1 & 2 have an allowance I pay into their bank accounts, as at 14(!) and 12 they have a bank card they can draw funds with but not pay in the shop - I could not believe you can get a debit card with chip & pin for kids, blimey. Imagine trying to pay with that in a shop! Security to check-out four. They can earn up to £40 a month (never going to happen:money:) by keeping their rooms tidy, not leaving PE kit at home and making me deliver it to school with a sheepish expression and a muttered ' he left this on the stairs this morning', by doing their homework on time, not having a uniform crisis half an hour before we need to leave, and by doing the washing up and helping out.

    Strangely, they are much more helpful toward the second half of the month. :rotfl:

    DS3&4 get £2 a week if they have a tidy bedroom and have done their homework without a screaming fit that takes longer than actually doing the stupid homework.

    And they spend it on E-numbers, crisps and total rubbish. So I don't feel bad about not buying many 'snacky things' with the groceries, but I do feel bad that that is the only thing they want to spend their money on.

    DS1 has just opened his new laptop - what a happy sausage, off for more coffee.
    MFW#65 6/20 £91,999,99
    E/F £12.500
    Turtle # 4 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
  • Great updates! Hope the kiddies are all better and brilliant news about the heating. My dad's approach over the years has been to hit things with a hammer. It's amazing how often it works ;) x
    Debt remaining: :(
    Mortgage - £117,759 (£134,600, Nov 2013)

    Work overpayment and home improvement loan paid back (£19200) :beer:


  • BobarellaBobarella Forumite
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    Savvy Shopper! I've been Money Tipped!
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    So pleased the Foxhole is warm again!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe":D

    Debt neutral :) 27/03/17 from £40k:eek: in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
  • f0xh0lesf0xh0les Forumite
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    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
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    Oh hell! Mr FH spent all yesterday fiddling with the loo which randomly decides to keep filling, it is nothing more than an annoying dripping noise, but he decided he was going to fix something himself as his parents are coming. Well, he took everything apart, went to the hardware store, fitted the washer, wrong size washer, went back to hardware store, they do not have the right size, went to H0mebase, they do not have the right size, decided to use smaller washer and hope for the best, fitted new bottom filling flush mechanism (!) all seemed to be working, except it had developed a drip. So, it all had to come out again, but he had tightened it so tightly he had to take a hacksaw to it to get it out. So, it is ruined. He ended the day with a not working toilet, and a cut hand.

    He has just run out to Screwf1x to get some more bits.
    Never have I been more thankful to have more than one loo in a house.
    MFW#65 6/20 £91,999,99
    E/F £12.500
    Turtle # 4 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
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