Drowning - What Can I Do?

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  • I’ve had three attempts to reply to the above comment but it seems to fail every time.

    Previously these were never an issue as I was part of a two income household meaning we had a joint income of £4500 a month, when my partner moved out it’s reduced me to my single income of £2160 and obviously I’m now responsible for all bills // outgoings each month.
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 911
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    edited 19 September 2023 at 4:04PM
    As far as I can see, if you can make some (small) tweaks to an already tight budget (larger tweak once the mobile contract ends) then it's manageable, but will take a few years. The discipline will stand you in good stead, but it will be tough. Side hustles, such as doing surveys on Prolific Academic (there's a long thread in the "boost your income" subforum here. Link to the Prolific site is here - when I used to focus on it a fair amount, it would bring in £30-40 per month) will help, and you'll start to see both the minimum and interest payments fall. It's a long road, and strict budgeting really helps.
  • stymied
    stymied Posts: 525
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    Sorry I only have very minor suggestions:
    - Check for a water leak. Read the meter at the start and end of times when you're not using water.
    - Can you shower at work or the gym? Showers are expensive - good to get someone else to pay for it.
    - Have you got your single person's discount on council tax and are you paying over 10 months or 12?
    - Once you've checked your contract / with HR, why not look for evening work near to where you work rather than near where you live?
    - I agree with you that you need to have some entertainment to look forward to else what's the point?
    - How much would a room in a shared house cost instead of your current 1-bed? Do you have the option of living with family?
    - Food bills may be higher due to your dietary requirements, but just to note that bread freezes fine. If you are bulk cooking, bulk it out with veg / pulses. We use ~750g carrots to 750g mince for spag bol. I aim for a £1.40 average for main meals and ~100g meat per portion when I'm doing my mental calculations of what things cost. Think baked potatoes with beans / chicken leg (£2.25 for a kilo) curry with rice (remove the skin, bung in a casserole dish, add sauce and frozen spinach) on the cheaper end to balance out anything nice we have.

    What are your prospects for a pay rise at work? Trying to work out if you only need to hang on for a while before things get better or if you may want to think about a DMP.
  • stymied said:
    Sorry I only have very minor suggestions:
    - Check for a water leak. Read the meter at the start and end of times when you're not using water.
    - Can you shower at work or the gym? Showers are expensive - good to get someone else to pay for it.
    - Have you got your single person's discount on council tax and are you paying over 10 months or 12?
    - Once you've checked your contract / with HR, why not look for evening work near to where you work rather than near where you live?
    - I agree with you that you need to have some entertainment to look forward to else what's the point?
    - How much would a room in a shared house cost instead of your current 1-bed? Do you have the option of living with family?
    - Food bills may be higher due to your dietary requirements, but just to note that bread freezes fine. If you are bulk cooking, bulk it out with veg / pulses. We use ~750g carrots to 750g mince for spag bol. I aim for a £1.40 average for main meals and ~100g meat per portion when I'm doing my mental calculations of what things cost. Think baked potatoes with beans / chicken leg (£2.25 for a kilo) curry with rice (remove the skin, bung in a casserole dish, add sauce and frozen spinach) on the cheaper end to balance out anything nice we have.

    What are your prospects for a pay rise at work? Trying to work out if you only need to hang on for a while before things get better or if you may want to think about a DMP.
    Water: I’m visiting my brother at the start of October so I could turn the stop tap before I go meaning that in theory I should be on the same usage as when I went away. Checking my daily usage it’s showing as 319l a day, by comparison my friend in a similar sized property uses 70l a day, so it does seem high, but wouldn’t a leak of over 200l a day be REALLY obvious (like literally the house would be flooded). My gym has showers but unfortunately work doesn’t.

    Council Tax: Single persons discount is already applied.

    Employment: Something closer to where I work would make more sense, I’ll take a look at what’s available, any advice on applying to jobs without experience or qualifications in that field?

    Tenancy: I’m not aware of any house shares where I’m currently at (probably because it’s a small rural village) but I might have more luck with something closer to work as it’s on the outskirts of a city (the main reason I don’t live that way on is because city rental prices are crazy, nothing under £1000pcm which is double my rent) If I did find a house share how expensive would storage of my belongings be as they’ll not fit in a single bedroom?

    Groceries: I probably rather just skip the bread than freeze it, for how often I currently eat it, it wouldn’t be worth it. I’ll have a look at what my previous shop comprised of, as the £200 includes toilet rolls, laundry and cleaning products, personal hygiene and any supplementary medical supplies not covered under my prescription.

    Pay rise is likely, but recent years have been less than inflation so are technically a pay cut I guess.

    I don’t believe I’d qualify for a DMP and the implications of such sounds worse than my current situation.
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 911
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    edited 19 September 2023 at 4:48PM
    [deleted previous comment after researching baths a bit more]

    A standard bath is around 100 litres, according to this site, a shower would use much less, so over 300 litres per day sounds crazy unless you have a severe tea fetish. I doubt you'd have needed to use a hosepipe much this year
  • I don't know which your water company is but this is on my water company website.

    How to check for a leak | Leakage | My Supply | Severn Trent Water (stwater.co.uk)
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • Bluebell1000
    Bluebell1000 Posts: 1,060
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    edited 19 September 2023 at 5:32PM
    Our water is £27 a month for a family of 4. Something is definitely wrong there, so it will be worth you spending a bit of time figuring it out!

    We spend £200 a month on food and cleaning products, and just over £10 a month for 3 SIM only phone contracts, so I think there are savings to be made there too. We eat meat free 3-4 days per week*, and just have meals made with vegetables (no meat substitutes). We also know when our local Asda discounts their food, and sometimes we'll get veg for 10p. We also think about what we're buying, as fruit and veg tends to be cheaper when it's in season (no winter strawberries!).

    Topcashback can be used for normal purchases like your contents insurance, and gift cards for certain shops, so you get money back for things you'd have had to buy anyway. Not sure if Aldi is on there...

    If you need something, how about you try buying second hand? I bet someone will be selling a set of hair clippers on Facebook marketplace.

    *I actually prefer meat free meals and if it was just me we'd probably eat even less meat, but I appreciate that is a choice based on my food preferences and not necessarily something others are okay with.
  • I agree with an earlier post, check the water, shower at the gym, even if you just pop in go on the treadmill for five minutes then go. It will keep your energy bills down in winter and reduce your water costs. It's worth checking your gas and electric too. Your bills may be based on two people so you may need a few months for it to reset to your usage. If your bills reduce a bit and you reduce your phone in Jan you can start to save for the car costs. We are a family of five using 350 ish litres of water a day and anywhere between 10 and 15 kWh of electricity.  Small things and turning lights and standby items off can help more than you'd think
    Jan 18 Joint debts 35,213 - Jan 24 just under 17k
    Mortgage Jan 18- 77224 Dec 23- just under 69k
  • Floss
    Floss Posts: 8,121
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    MrDucky said:



    Groceries: I probably rather just skip the bread than freeze it, 


    I don’t believe I’d qualify for a DMP and the implications of such sounds worse than my current situation.
    I live alone & buy half-loaves, Warburton & Hovis both do them (and they are available in my Aldi).

    And there is no "qualification" for a DMP - to be honest, you may well be better off. It does take some nerve though, and a lot of patience.
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  • Floss said:
    MrDucky said:



    Groceries: I probably rather just skip the bread than freeze it, 


    I don’t believe I’d qualify for a DMP and the implications of such sounds worse than my current situation.
    I live alone & buy half-loaves, Warburton & Hovis both do them (and they are available in my Aldi).

    And there is no "qualification" for a DMP - to be honest, you may well be better off. It does take some nerve though, and a lot of patience.
    I still wouldn’t eat half a loaf within the few days it’s fresh, I’m used to not eating it so no need to include it in my diet.

    I’d rather not, I know a few people who did them and it sounded like the worse of the evils when it comes to financial decisions.
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