What do you think?

I posted recently about owing £28k of debt and had good advice and I could manage to get it paid off in about 3 - 4yrs if my situation doesn't change.

However more and more recently I been contemplating life etc and doing good and well basically all the latest ads and the post about the homeless man have spurred me into seriously considering Fostering.

I would love the opportunity to have children in need of a good home temporarily. So I'd give up my job, kick out my lodgers and if I was approved - foster. I believe I have so much to give and a child deserves a chance.

BUT my debt...I'd have to claim bankruptcy... I just couldnt pay that kind of money with no salary.

I'd get maybe £100 - 200 a week for fostering plus child allowance.
My husband earns £1000pm after tax.

Now my question is...how would we afford to live? My rent alone and house bills come up to about £1200. I know we could get put on the waiting list for a council house but its a long waiting list!

Bankruptcy.......if I just stopped paying my debts how long would it take for the banks to declare me bankrupt (ie: the £600 I spend on debts I could save until I quit work to foster and was declared bankrupt)

Would it work. Its something I feel so strongly about I know we'd get child allowance to buy things for the children but obviously I'd want enough money to by food and pay bills to provide a good home.

Any advice or am I just being stupid and should put my head down and just pay my debts and foster later....

Though it brings me to the next part. We're not getting any younger and would like children in 2yrs or so. If I wasn't approved (or even if I was) for fostering I'd still plan on having my own in a few yrs. Even with all the debts and wanting to be a full time mom, how would we survive? Should I just bite the bullet and declare bankruptcy now - put it down to youth and stupidity and learn from my lesson.

Maybe this is all just crazy talk - but thats what debts do to you.
Advice please. Thanks!
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Comments

  • Eliza252
    Eliza252 Posts: 449 Forumite
    My Mother and Grandmother were both foster carers - I have to say if you are thinking of having kids of your own in a few years then fostering might not be an option - some placement last longer than 2 years. My grandmother looked after the same child for up to eight years.
    It also costs loads more than the amount you are given.
    I dont intend this in any way to put people off fostering because its a very very important occupation and so wonderful of you to consider it
    - however, I would be hesitant about doing it if you think that your lifestlyle might change or be unstable in the next few years.
    I also dont know if you are allowed to foster with that much financial insecurity.
    Any more questions let me know (or pm me or something) I will give my gran a ring tonight - she fostered for forty years!! :D
    I've made my debts bite-size too depressing to look at all at once so am handling them one at a time - first up Graduate Loan £1720 paid off! only £280 to go!!!
    Money to raise for tuition fees: £3000
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!
  • BettyDebt
    BettyDebt Posts: 124 Forumite
    Thanks for the info.

    Thats what I worry about. The financial side. I dont care about the stigma of of bankruptcy I'd rather devote my time and money to children that need it than sending it to the banks.

    I'm aware fostering can be a very long term thing and I would be prepared to make the commitment. I do believe in its cause greatly.

    I guess I'd have to talk to them though they do say even single people can be carers so obviously then there could be no salary income....

    I will contact them but I dont want to go into it and make then spend time looking into my suitablity if there was no way I'd be able to afford it and they'd just say no anyway. They say in my borough alone there are over 300 children in need and it would such a shame if I know I'd provide a good home.
  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
    What about respite care? My sister did this, having the same children (brother and sister) every other weekend at some of the school hols to give single mum with MS a break. This would allow you to continue working so that you could pay off your debts and you could then go for fostering when your situation improves.
  • Eliza252
    Eliza252 Posts: 449 Forumite
    definately ring them and have a chat - they are always willing to make suggestions, as you say there are so many children desperate for a decent start in life..
    - My Grandmother spent the whole forty years fostering as a single parent and with no other income aside from the maintanance money (she was the original money saving old styler though!)
    I've made my debts bite-size too depressing to look at all at once so am handling them one at a time - first up Graduate Loan £1720 paid off! only £280 to go!!!
    Money to raise for tuition fees: £3000
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!
  • BettyDebt
    BettyDebt Posts: 124 Forumite
    Thank you. I think I'll give them a call. Respite care sounds like a good start too!

    Thank you again.
  • ceegee
    ceegee Posts: 856 Forumite
    Bettydebt......No offence intended, but are you really sure about fostering? Are you sure that it's not just a spur of the moment thing? Are you sure that you are not thinking about it to take your mind off your financial matters?

    As i said...no offence intended and you did ask what people thought.....I just hope you have considered the massive commitment that would be required. And what if a baby of your own turned up unexpectedly.....how would you manage then, both financially and emotionally?

    Thses are the thoughts that initially occur to me. :)
    :snow_grin"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........":snow_grin
  • BettyDebt
    BettyDebt Posts: 124 Forumite
    No offence taken. I am definitely committed to the idea IF I could financially afford it. IF I could go bankrupt and start fresh. All based on IFs.

    I've been dealing with debts for so long I fuction around them, through them but I can't put my life on hold because of it.
  • Debt_Free_Chick
    Debt_Free_Chick Posts: 13,276 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    BettyDebt wrote:
    Bankruptcy.......if I just stopped paying my debts how long would it take for the banks to declare me bankrupt (ie: the £600 I spend on debts I could save until I quit work to foster and was declared bankrupt)

    They're unlikely to. It costs the creditors a lot of money to pursue a debtor for bankruptcy, so they wont' unless you owe a huge sum to one particular lender.

    A better option would be for you to declare yourself bankrupt. At least then, you're in control and would know it's a decision you made for yourself and not something forced on you by some faceless institution.

    HTH with your thinking & deliberations. Good Luck :)
    Warning ..... I'm a peri-menopausal axe-wielding maniac ;)
  • johannamse
    johannamse Posts: 498 Forumite
    Hi there -

    My debt free date was 3 years from when I/we began paying back. I am now in month 17 of 35/36. It is a long slog, but you do get a sense of achievement from paying it back. And you learn soooo much and you will never make the same mistakes again. I too would like a baby now, but finanicially it is just silly and will have to wait until month 35. I suppose my point is that time goes very quickly. And you can start planning for when you will be debt free long before the debt freeness happens. I think the idea of fostering is an admirable idea, but as you say even without the debts you will struggle, if you pay the debts back you will get used to being on tight budgets and it will be a lesson for the future. Children that need fostering need a lot of stability, and you are obviously 90% there, bar your finances. I don't know - I hope this may have put a new light on it. Good Luck.
  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
    I've just read your original post and see you are 26yo - so I would definitely say earn as much as you can, pay off your debts as quick as you can and THEN think about children. On this thread, when you said "We're not getting any younger and would like children in 2yrs or so", I assumed you were 35+!

    Honestly, a few sacrifices now will make your life so much easier for years to come.
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