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  • FIRST POST
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 30th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    • 81Posts
    • 131Thanks
    Plain Jane
    University Challenge x 2
    • #1
    • 30th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    University Challenge x 2 30th Jul 17 at 9:04 PM
    Hi everyone, you all seem such a friendly bunch and I've been reading some of your diaries for a long time. I thought it was time I joined in and added my own diary for some help and encouragement.

    My name is quite boring but I haven't got a very creative mind today so may think of something better at a later date.

    So my title says it all really. Our DT (darling twin girls) were born 19 years ago in September. So you'd think after the shock of having two children at the same time we would have thought that at some point they will reach the age where they could well want to go to uni!

    No not us, we lived each day as it came getting ourselves into a mountain of debt without a thought for the future. In 2002 this debt reached £66k - LBM number 1 came along. We entered a dmp and spent the next 12 years scrimping and saving. In 2014 my dearest and lovely Dad passed away. The worst thing that has ever happened to me. About 6 months later his inheritance arrived and the first thing we did was pay the remaining £23k off our debt. The relief was amazing, it's such a shame something bad had to happen to get there.

    The remaining money we used to update the house as it had not had much love. So you think lessons learned we are free of debt apart from the mortgage. Oh no, I obviously thought we were invincible. The children were older and still talking about uni but we hadn't lived for so many years and all of a sudden credit was available to us. We went on holiday a couple of times and had weekends away, spent very unwisely on a day to day basis and bought shoes, clothes and everything else we thought we could afford now but really we couldn't.

    So here we're are, girls hopefully getting into uni in September, upset about having an empty nest all in one go and £40k back in debt.

    I've spent the last month overhauling the budget but nowhere near to the point that some of you do - I think you are all amazing. I have chopped small things out which have added up and the next thing to go is our storage unit where we dumped everything after losing 3 parents and a sister in quick succession. We cannot afford £172 a month for this. So my diary is all about cutting down, minimilising and hopefully losing weight along the way as I think these things can go hand in hand.

    Hope you've all had a great weekend and looking forward to talking to you all.

    PJ
Page 7
    • Mudbath
    • By Mudbath 13th Nov 17, 5:46 PM
    • 5,432 Posts
    • 112,912 Thanks
    Mudbath
    Difficult times for you but how brilliant that she has a good relationship with you and has been able to talk it all through. Hope you managed to chill a bit today on your day off (chill? what is that?!?). Hope your daughter gets sorted quickly.
    Last edited by Mudbath; 13-11-2017 at 6:22 PM. Reason: Typo
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Nov 17, 6:19 PM
    • 6,605 Posts
    • 13,840 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Hope your daughter sorts out a transfer to a local university onto a course she likes. The first term is always tough on most of them. My elder daughter told me years after she graduated the reason she never phoned home in the first term is because she felt so homesick and could not cope with hearing our voices. I am glad she didn't tell me then as I would have done as you are doing and suggest she move home. By the second term she loved it but it is a personal choice and so long as your DD2 is happy that is the main thing.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • lashie
    • By lashie 13th Nov 17, 8:21 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 159 Thanks
    lashie
    Hi PJ
    Long term lurker here. I just wanted to offer some advice in respect of your DD and the Uni issue. I work for a top 25 University in a relevant department. I am sorry to say that I suspect DD is to late to transfer to year 1 at another institution now (UCAS will confirm this), we stopped taking new students 3 weeks after term started as students are to far behind to catch up. However if she can stay for the year at Bath she can apply for year 2 entry at another Uni and provide she passes her 1st year with a certain percentage and the course syllabus matches Bath she will eligible for a transfer. If she really can't stick it out then she can leave and start applying now for year 1 2018 entry. She should get an unconditional offer ready for 2018 as she has taken her AL's or equivalent.
    I am really sorry to hear she is having a tough time. It must be awful for you. I deal with many students in the first few weeks who are unhappy for many reasons.
    UCAS are really helpful and would be happy to advise her.
    Also please speak to Student Finance England as she will need to check if she is able to have a 4th year of finance.
    Wishing you all the best for it. These things have a habit of working out even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.
    x
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 14th Nov 17, 4:33 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks all for your kind replies.


    We did try and persuade her to tough it out but her mind was made up. I do agree with you though Enthusiastic if she could have got through past Christmas she may have loved it.


    Mudbath - I did relax yesterday but, oh what a mistake, the pile on the to do list just doubled up! Back in the office today though.




    Lashie thanks so much for your advice - she phoned our local Uni (Northampton) and they do a very similar course but, like you said, she cannot start until next year. I will ask her to get onto SF as I didn't know there would be an issue with a 4th year - I presume her maintenance loan will stop now for this year anyway?


    She has applied via UCAS today and just put down all the variations on her course that she could so I am hoping she gets an unconditional offer - she has the grades ready. It is just another year on top of everything.


    Catch up with you all tomorrow.
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 14th Nov 17, 9:28 PM
    • 1,891 Posts
    • 11,492 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Just caught up with DT's , am sure DT2 will get sorted and will be much happier being nearer to home . Both of mine stayed at home during university years , mainly for financial reasons. They both got where they wanted. Staying in halls is not for everyone.

    Lashie has given you sound advice so she should get sorted with the transfer. If she can get a transfer with her job, she may start next year with some savings of her own . That will be a big help to you both.
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 15th Nov 17, 12:09 PM
    • 906 Posts
    • 1,918 Thanks
    Kitten868
    You haven't failed. She tried and she stuck it out long enough to be sure in her own mind. Yes she will blame you years from now but I think you've done 100% the right thing and being a supportive mum. Crack on with cancelling things like accommodation so you won't have to pay for the next two terms hopefully.
    Fingers crossed this should help you out on your budgeting one of them earning full time means she can contribute x
    Loan 1 £5900/£8000
    Loan 2 £3900/£5800
    Total £9800/£13800 29% PAID
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 15th Nov 17, 8:59 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks Cumbria Lass and Kitten,

    She is going to have to find someone to take her accommodation herself but the company have given her an advert to use so it's out there. We could get a month's worth back if she gets someone fast.

    I think we will have to give back some of her maintenance loan which is a laugh as it didn't cover the accommodation so any money we may get back will go back to them I presume.

    Yes Kitten it will help with the budgets and hopefully a bit more coming in than going out.

    It all seems up in the air at the moment, we need to just get her back home on Sunday and go from there.
    • greent
    • By greent 17th Nov 17, 10:15 AM
    • 7,075 Posts
    • 72,086 Thanks
    greent
    I left uni in my first term - hated my flatmates, hated the cold - wished I'd stuck it out though. My DD had a horrible first term too - most of her flatmates in her hall ganged up against her (apart from the short term internationals & 1 guy who was out all the time) - 1 girl took against her and she's one of those types whom other girls follow. Could have been really horrid for my daughter - and she told us none of this until this summer. Thankfully she found a lovely boyf and spent a lot of time with his flatmates instead.

    It's hard for them. Hopefully DT2 can get a course closer to home for next year - and will have the boost of a decent amount of money behind her at the same time x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £1068.37/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £522.39/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) £18564.38/£18918.90
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 3rd Dec 17, 3:08 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Back again!
    So it's been a few weeks since I posted last and I can tell as my head has been firmly in the sand.

    DT2 came home from uni two weeks ago and is glad to be home. She is busy applying for jobs and has some interviews this week. She is looking at going down the apprenticeship route as she is not sure Uni is for her.

    Our house is an absolute state as we have had a few jobs done that were well behind such as a floor laying in our bedroom (we already had the flooring it just had to be laid), and a new hall and stairs carpet. I'd forgotten what an upheaval things like this are and all our furniture and clothes etc are all in different rooms of the house. They can't go back until we have freshened up the painting. But this weekend both myself and DH are under the weather with lurgy type coughing illnesses and just don't have the energy.

    So, I have written it off and we have decided to get these jobs done in the evenings this week so we can get our Christmas Dec's up next weekend and hopefully be in a better place. DH will paint and I will clean. Then I can wrap present next Sunday.

    This does mean we have added a tiny bit of debt to pay for those 2 things to be done.

    My main worry right now is that DT2 hasn't yet got a taker for her room at uni and if one hasn't been found by the beginning of January then the next term's rent becomes due of £2700. I think this isn't helping me at the moment with my motivation. The company who run it say that usually international students come in in January so we are keeping our fingers crossed. She didn't chose, but was given, one of the more expensive flats so that isn't helping at all. She is advertising it everywhere she can think of and I'm going to put it on gumtree as well.

    Anyway to do lists this week for DH and myself are:

    Monday - paint one wall in bedroom, clean bathrooms
    Tuesday - finishing painting bedroom, clean bedroom floor and Hoover upstairs
    Wednesday - move stuff back into bedroom cleaning it first
    Thursday - finish paining hallway, my Christmas party at work
    Friday - clean floors downstairs and clean lounge
    Saturday - DH to sort out his wardrobe - I have a day out with friends (I seem to have all the jollies )
    Sunday - wrap presents and put Dec's up

    In the meantime, DT2 can do the washing, empty dishwasher, feed the dogs and cat etc etc.

    It's a tall order but needs must as I feel as though we are sinking.

    I'm hoping by then my mind will be clearer and I will be able to function!!

    We have DH's birthday next week too and I always make him a pumpkin pie so I will fit that in somewhere. I could do with a week's holiday to catch up on myself!

    It always makes me feel better posting on here but sorry for waffling on
    • louby40
    • By louby40 3rd Dec 17, 6:04 PM
    • 1,363 Posts
    • 3,693 Thanks
    louby40
    Wow you sound so busy!

    My son is doing an apprenticeship. He!!!8217;s 18 next week and I frankly can!!!8217;t believe I!!!8217;m going to be the parent of an adult. I don!!!8217;t know where the last 18 years have gone and it makes me feel very nostalgic.

    Anyway - apprenticeships are good. The money is rubbish but my son is enjoying it and it!!!8217;s giving him tons of life skills.
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 4th Dec 17, 1:57 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    That's a right racket about the possible rent situation. How can anyone in all fairness justify those costs and those conditions?

    I know it's all business, business, business, but still.

    I really hope the situation improves, it is true about international students, there are a lot of courses that start in January, and they often have a large intake of international students because outside the UK there are different structures in education terms and timetables. I used to work in the admissions department at a University, so my knowledge will be a little out of date but it should be generally the same.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • greent
    • By greent 6th Dec 17, 7:23 PM
    • 7,075 Posts
    • 72,086 Thanks
    greent
    Hope the accom gets re-let xx
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £1068.37/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £522.39/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) £18564.38/£18918.90
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 7th Dec 17, 12:53 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Hi all and thanks for your replies - yes a right racket. Just heard on the news about the vice chancellor of Bath Spa leaving with a big payoff including a car loan debt of £31k written off. That was DT2's uni!


    Looks like her interview went well at W8rose so we will see.


    So completion of jobs and where we are at:
    Monday - paint one wall in bedroom, clean bathrooms - DONE!
    Tuesday - finishing painting bedroom, clean bedroom floor and Hoover upstairs - NOT DONE - Grrrr couldn't get hubby to do the painting.
    Wednesday - move stuff back into bedroom cleaning it first - NOPE!
    Thursday - finish paining hallway, my Christmas party at work - NOPE!
    Friday - clean floors downstairs and clean lounge
    Saturday - DH to sort out his wardrobe - I have a day out with friends (I seem to have all the jollies )
    Sunday - wrap presents and put Dec's up


    So a new revised schedule has been drawn up and I have told DH that this is the final deadline!


    Tonight - Finish painting bedroom
    Tomorrow - Clean upstairs and move stuff back into bedroom
    Saturday - Finish painting the hall
    Sunday - Clean downstairs and put the decs up.


    He is in fear of his life if this isn't done
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 1st Jan 18, 5:07 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Happy New Year 2018
    Happy New 2018 everyone. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

    Iím writing this in bed with a terrible cold. I keep getting them and I donít know why.

    Anyway, I wasnít going to miss out on a 1st January post. I feel like I need to start a new diary as I am now University Challenge x 1 with a huge amount of debts to pay off.

    DT2 has now secured a job at W8rose in the town where we live and has a 32 hour a week contract so that has lifted her spirits. She starts on 10th January.

    From her first pay day she is going to be paying her phone bill, giving us £100 a month keep and is going to help pay off her accommodation unless we can find someone in the next few weeks to take it. We have got someone interested but we have to wait until tomorrow when the accommodation company is open to see if it is a possibility as the chap has a girlfriend he wants to live with there.

    DT1 has settled well at Uni and Nand0ís and sheís also going to pay for her phone and food from mid January.

    On the debt front things are no better however we have spoken to a financial adviser friend about cashing in some insurance policies to pay off a chunk of our debt. He thinks this should be feasible by the end of this month so, if it goes ahead we can pay a few debts off and then start snowballing down with the money we would have used for them.

    So, I will sort all this out this month and then from when this happens I will sort out a new soa and work like mad to get these debts gone by December 31st 2019. Thatís two years to be debt free

    Iíve given us rules to live by in January:

    No credit card use
    Close one credit card down
    Use up freezer food to keep the grocery bill down
    Joined the £2 coin savers club
    As many NSDís as possible
    Post in my diary every day
    Start swimming again as soon as I get rid of this cold

    I can be more specific as time goes on but this is the start of a two year journey and iím More determined than ever!,

    As the days go by I will be more specific but starting somewhere is a good point in my book.
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 2nd Jan 18, 7:43 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Hi all

    Day two and I am still laid up with this cold. I know it!!!8217;s not flu as I!!!8217;ve only ever had that once and it was much worse. But it has kept me off work today.

    DT 1 went shopping for me and spent £53.00 on groceries and all of our 1st of the month bills have come out.

    No other news really xx
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 2nd Jan 18, 8:02 PM
    • 1,891 Posts
    • 11,492 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Happy New Year, hope you feel better soon.
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 3rd Jan 18, 1:41 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks Cumbria Lass still of work and still feeling bleurrggghhh I!!!8217;m really fed up of it now. I wanted to start my swimming and maybe gym again this week but it looks as though that won!!!8217;t happen until next week now.

    On the plus side it looks like we have found someone to take DT2!!!8217;s student accommodation. We decided to reduce it by £30 a week so we pay the extra £30 and, hey presto, had someone interested immediately. Just waiting to hear back from the accommodation company. It means paying around £500 but that!!!8217;s much better than the £2.7k it would have been. DT2 will be paying that back via her wages.

    Apart from that it!!!8217;s a NSD day here and jacket potatoes for tea.

    Happy Wednesday everyone xx
    • Mudbath
    • By Mudbath 3rd Jan 18, 5:22 PM
    • 5,432 Posts
    • 112,912 Thanks
    Mudbath
    That's a really good idea about reducing the rent. One of my DD's flatmates has left and is struggling to re-rent the room so I'll pass this idea on. Thanks
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 3rd Jan 18, 11:41 PM
    • 879 Posts
    • 3,557 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    That's great news that someone has taken the accommodation. That must be quite a relief.
    paydbx #93 £692/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • greent
    • By greent 4th Jan 18, 5:25 PM
    • 7,075 Posts
    • 72,086 Thanks
    greent
    Brilliant news!
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £1068.37/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £522.39/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) £18564.38/£18918.90
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