Milocat's Long Road Home..

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  • milocatmilocat Forumite
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    Hi everyone.

    Funeral is done. Perth was beautiful and while it was lovely to see my family again, it did just emphasize the chasm of wealth between us. They were talking about taking private rail carriages and flying to x place and how their children row at Henley, going glamping and holidays abroad left right and centre and so on and so forth. And I'm thinking, I live on a quiet estate where nothing happens, my child is in the local village school and we go camping as a treat. It was almost embarrassing to be around such a display especially when we are managing on one wage. I felt so uncomfortable. I've never been so glad to get back home to my living room, a cup of tea in my favourite mug and my own bed. The bed in the hotel we stayed in was HUGE, we could both lie there like starfish and still not touch.

    As of yesterday our Stepchange DMP is live. My stepdaughter is 15 today, and I've had to withdraw money from our Park savings in order to be able to afford presents for her. I've paid nothing off the holiday, but I do now have all the documents in order to send off for my passport. We will be freezer diving for the foreseeable. We are both quitting drinking for a while as well, if only to lose some weight. I'm hoping OH will be able to help me figure out how to use weights and do gym type things as I desperately need to tone up my wobbly bits. I have the equipment so no need to pay for gym membership - I just don't know what I'm doing!

    After work today I'm going to walk the dog, do 17 loads of laundry, prepare all my returns and things for the post office, get all my paperwork together to go through it, and hopefully persuade OH to sit down for the second half of Dances with Wolves. It is nice to get back home and be boring.
    Laura 20.08.14 ♡ Ivy 05.07.13
    "...within me there lay an invincible summer."
  • teafor2teafor2 Forumite
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    Hi Milocat :) I can totally relate to what you've said - I've felt like a fish out of water in certain situations over the years. But I will say this, at time has gone on I've realised nothing is ever quite as it seems. Even if the money is genuinely there rather than debt being racked up to cover all these wonderful things, the stress levels/bad habit coping mechanisms that can go with trying to maintain a certain lifestyle can be horrendous. :o

    Hope your SD has a wonderful birthday. Oh and I'm sure you'll have those wobbly bits toned up in no time :) xx
  • BabyStepperBabyStepper Forumite
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    Hi there Milocat

    I have just read your diary and have to agree that you are indeed a superstar to be juggling and managing all the things you do. Well done. :T Dave Ramsey says there is always one partner in a relationship who is better at managing the finances and I have found that to be true - as long as OH is involved in decision making and supports your efforts then maybe that has to be enough.

    It's very difficult at first but it does get better as time goes on. Once your new plan is embedded (and well done for getting the dmps sorted in time and not just struggling on for years, pretending it's ok when it's not) and you know what is possible on your new budget, and you get into new routines, and it starts to sink in with OH, then you will be totally fine.
    And about this...
    teafor2 wrote: »
    But I will say this, at time has gone on I've realised nothing is ever quite as it seems. Even if the money is genuinely there rather than debt being racked up to cover all these wonderful things, the stress levels/bad habit coping mechanisms that can go with trying to maintain a certain lifestyle can be horrendous!

    I agree with this 100%. Families get together at funerals sometimes for the first time in decades. Everyone is trying to prove that they're doing great in life. I bet most of it was bravado. You're the lucky one having a great family to go home to afterwards. Priceless. ;)

    I've subscribed. :)
    Emergency fund £8,500/£8,500
    Mortgage overpayment £260
    Debtfree!
    £21,228.07 paid off in 22 months
  • joeyjimblesjoeyjimbles Forumite
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    Glad it went as well as it could have, and that you are now home and happy. If you don't already use it, Myfitnesspal, is a free app and website that will help you figure out your calorie requirements and keep you accountable with a food diary and logs for exercise. It takes a little while to get into the mindset but after a while its second nature.
    Ms 05.23 £80.00/£80.00 (100%)
    AP 08.23 £95.00/£95.00 (100%)
    D+ 09.23 £80.00/£80.00 (100%)
    BP 10.23 £60.00/£60.00 (100%)

    NF 02.23 £16.00/£16.00 £64.00/£18.00

    X23 £1000.00/£0001.00
    Renewal 24 £600.00/£000.00

  • milocatmilocat Forumite
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    Hi everyone,

    Sorry I haven't posted for a little while. I've been struggling with just about everything and my MH has taken a bit of a battering. I've had to lend money off my friend just to keep my head above water. I had an absolute disaster with the passport office not reading my documents properly and wanting me to send my parents marriage ceritficate in (not an option, they both passed away years ago and got married 10 years before I was born heaven knows where). My mother was granted IDLR 10 years before my birth. Despite me being born in Britain, living here all my life and paying all my taxes, I was not being counted as a British national. I kicked up an almighty fuss (most unlike me) and now I have an interview on Thursday, with hopefully a passport to follow.

    The holiday has been paid off and the parking booked. I've managed to get my daughters birthday presents (she is 5 in a fortnight, HOW) and have since rapidly gone broke. I feel like the worst parent alive because I've got one day off all summer to spend with her. OH has got her, again, and I think he is struggling with it. She's 4, of course she is going to be full on. It isn't that I want to be in work, it's that I don't have a choice. He made me feel really guilty this morning, intentionally or not, and it's really getting me down.

    I went to Lidl last night and made Spaghetti Bolognese, and picked up things for sausage bean and cheese bake (tonight's dinner) and tomato and bacon pasta bake (tomorrow's dinner), as well as drinks and a couple of bits for £14. Which is fine, but then this morning I'm informed we have an extra child as of tomorrow and he is fussy as anything so my food bill will go up again and this weekend we have ALL the children down so it will go up again, and it just seems like a never ending flow of money going out and not enough coming in. I have about £9 to last me until the 16th and I wish so badly I was exaggerating but I'm not. I'm drowning and I don't know what to do.
    Laura 20.08.14 ♡ Ivy 05.07.13
    "...within me there lay an invincible summer."
  • teafor2teafor2 Forumite
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    Hi Milo :) Sorry to hear things are tough at the moment. I'm sure the passport situation will get sorted but things like that are frustrating and just something else to think about.

    Refresh my memory, to save me reading back will you. Haven't you paid off OH's debts several times and has he mentioned your inheritence - if this is somebody else just ignore this :o

    But if it is you then your OH moaning about looking after your DD because you're working isn't really on. It's not as though you're gadding about shopping and having your hair done. Maybe a gentle reminder you'd be in a better position if it weren't for his financial history might be worth mentioning. Also are your finances split evenly or are you paying out more than him?

    From the outside looking in, it really does seem a bit one sided Milo. :( And that's not fair if you're struggling physically and mentally. xx
  • milocatmilocat Forumite
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    teafor2 wrote: »
    Hi Milo :) Sorry to hear things are tough at the moment. I'm sure the passport situation will get sorted but things like that are frustrating and just something else to think about.

    Refresh my memory, to save me reading back will you. Haven't you paid off OH's debts several times and has he mentioned your inheritence - if this is somebody else just ignore this :o

    But if it is you then your OH moaning about looking after your DD because you're working isn't really on. It's not as though you're gadding about shopping and having your hair done. Maybe a gentle reminder you'd be in a better position if it weren't for his financial history might be worth mentioning. Also are your finances split evenly or are you paying out more than him?

    From the outside looking in, it really does seem a bit one sided Milo. :( And that's not fair if you're struggling physically and mentally. xx

    Hi tea

    Yeah, that's me. In terms of how equally our finances are split.... I pay for everything. There is no split. I earn everything and I pay everything and it is quite frankly carp.

    I'm trying to get him to sign up to a scheme in our area for the "economically inactive" :rotfl: that will train him to drive lorries or SOMETHING. I sort of regret taking this job, not because I don't like it here, but because it is just not enough money for us to live off. I know how much he struggled at his last job, and I do think it's nice for him to be able to spend the holidays with his own children as and when, it just is not feasible on my wage to feed 7 people indefinitely whilst keeping up with fuel and birthdays and all the hundreds of other things that keep cropping up. I thought that once the holiday was paid off I would feel this huge sense of relief and I could relax, but it's not like that at all, all I'm doing now is stressing myself about when the next bill is coming and how I am going to find the money for it.

    I've got some vintage Beatles vinyl at home, I might try and post them for sale. As much as I don't want to part with history that means so much to me, I need to feed us and pay the bills.
    :(
    Laura 20.08.14 ♡ Ivy 05.07.13
    "...within me there lay an invincible summer."
  • teafor2teafor2 Forumite
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    Oh Milo, that's way too much responsibility for one person especially when there seems little support and sarky comments from him as well. Even though you say his job was rubbish, sometimes as adults we just have to bite the bullet and get on with it when we've got responsibilities.

    TBH your set up is something I'm struggling to comprehend. You work and he doesn't which is all well and good if that's what works for your family unit, but if you're also having to support children from his previous relationship then that seems wrong. He needs to take responsibility for that himself.

    Honestly, I don't want to get into OH bashing, but the fact he's happy for you to work and has mentioned your inheritance really wouldn't sit comfortably with me. Don't let yourself become a cash cow for him. And if you don't want to sell the vinyl then don't. It's down to both of you to support your family set up, not just you.

    Having to borrow off friends so you can shop to feed his children just doesn't seem right to me and I think deep down you probably know this as well. No wonder you're feeling like you are. :( xx
  • milocatmilocat Forumite
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    Hi Everyone. Sorry for abandoning this diary, it has been a very chaotic few months. I'm turning 30 this year and am really down to my last chance to sort my life out and forge a career and finances and be a better mum and all the things I keep wanting to do and failing. So I've slunk back here with my tail between my legs. 
    Quick update:
    I decided to go back to University this September to do my masters in Library Studies. I've been volunteering on Saturdays in a library about half an hour away from me, on top of the full time job, and was slowly starting to crack under the pressure, and then this stupid virus hit and now they are talking about closing the libraries and have cancelled all non essential activities and I'm feeling very "first-world-problem" but I need 3 months full time experience before September and there is no way on God's green Earth that is going to happen. So that's my first issue. The second is that in light of the whole "volunteer full time for 3 months" thing, I did something incredibly stupid and handed in my notice at my job. It was not going well there, the culture was utterly toxic and there was a woman there who was the kind of person that made me want to staple myself in the eyeballs, who got away with murder. My sanity was being utterly destroyed, and I was exhausted all the time and in a horrid mood with my partner and my daughter. It was the right decision in terms of my own well-being but totally the wrong decision financially. Then to top it off, during the working notice period (which is now) I've managed to contract a dry continuous cough, so am now self isolating and losing money faster than I'm coughing. I have been given the go-ahead to inheirit early, which is great, but again with the virus the stock market has totally tanked, so the majority of what I was expecting has gone up in smoke. I've been burying my head in the sand as usual, and am in so much debt it doesn't bear thinking about, but here I am, so... lets get down to the money.
    Finances:
    -On the 2nd April I will get about £26k in cash. 
    -I have approximately £53,000 of debt. And aside from my rental property (which I did have plans to sell etc, but probably won't now as again, the market is tanking) we have no income. 
    -To mitigate this as best I could and make my money go as far as possible, I have devised a plan which sort of compromises snowballing and also killing off my highest monthly payments, as well as trying to lower every monthly bill that I have, and asking for partial settlement figures from my creditors. 
    This has gone about how you would expect.
    I spent my first day of self-isolation doing laundry and phoning creditors. All day. Including over an hour and a half on the phone to Sky to ask them to remove all my extra packages. They wanted to charge me a downgrade fee, so I played hell (oops) and managed to get my account credited for the amount of the downgrade fee. I've got the bill from £92 a month to £51, so it's not monumental, and I would quite happily forgo the TV entirely and just keep my Netflix and Prime, but because I'm in contract they are saying there is nothing they can do about it. I've cancelled BT Sport separately. 
    The council tax bill came though, and it will be £190 a month, no discounts there. Water bill is £62 a month!!!! And I cannot figure out how or why it is so much. They think it must be a leak, I think it must be a combination of old debt and the broken toilet we could not afford to fix for about 3 months. Either way, there is not much they can do, except refer me to the customer assistance fund, which is well and good but that is regarding debt, and I don't know if there is any on there! Vodafone have been utterly USELESS, they will not let me reduce my bill in any way without paying about £500 upfront for end of contract or upgrade fee, so I'm stuck with that.

    Bills as of next month will be:
    Council Tax £190
    Gas and Electric £123
    Water £62
    Internet and TV £51
    Car Insurance £46
    Car Tax £18
    Entertainment (Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, PS Plus) £40
    Vodafone (2 phones, 1 tablet, 1 watch) £150 :(:(
    TV Insurance £9
    Home Insurance £14
    Pet Insurance £8
    Fuel £200
    Conservatory (on finance) £140
    Stepchange £92
    Total: £1092 (before food and e-liquids) (Anyone have any ideas how to lower this further without living off beans and rice by the light of one flickering candle?? OH on board to tighten belts where necessary)

    Partial Settlements agreed to be paid / lowest debts that need to be paid ASAP: 
    Chris Credit Card £1200 (saving £60 a month)
    Legal Fees £721 (saving £50 a month)
    Car Finance Final Amount £5,600 (this will save £207 a month in the long run)
    After School Care Fees (debt) £670 (saving £215 a month - I'm behind in payments)
    Hudson Energy £1018  £771 (settlement)
    Vanquis Card £485 (not asked for settlement figure yet)
    Safetynet Credit £428 (not asked for settlement figure yet)
    Lending Stream (CRS) £317  £215 (settlement)
    Capital One £349 (not asked for settlement figure yet)
    Cabot Financial £375  £291 (settlement)
    Westcot £734  £550 (settlement)
    Debt Managers LTD  £474 (not asked for settlement yet)
    Myjar £416  £375 (settlement)
    Total: £12,129

    So that leaves me with about £14k, to live off for the next 6 months, and also to try and pay off the remainder of my debts (including the £13k bill for the conservatory that is locked into 15 year finance agreement and will cost us about £26k if I don't pay it off sooner rather than later ++ the just under £25k that will be left with Stepchange split among 7 debtors.) I feel like this situation is both at once, something I should be grateful for, and simultaneously horrific. I'm 29. I should not have this much debt, or this many responsibilities :( 

    Anyway, thanks for letting me get that all out, if any of you are still out there and reading this. Any advice, as ever, gratefully accepted. I'm off to work on my personal statement for Uni. That is, if they're still open come September...
    Laura 20.08.14 ♡ Ivy 05.07.13
    "...within me there lay an invincible summer."
  • milocatmilocat Forumite
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    Update:
    Capital One £349 £220 (settlement)
    Debt Managers LTD  £474  £379 (settlement)
    Safetynet Credit £428 £256 (settlement)
    £396.00 wiped out today, that brings the initial total to pay down to £11,733. One "smaller" creditor left to contact. I did try and ring PRA as they have about 6k of my debts over 2 accounts, but they're having none of it and aren't interested at all. Not sure what to do with that one.

    Laura 20.08.14 ♡ Ivy 05.07.13
    "...within me there lay an invincible summer."
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