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  • FIRST POST
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 3rd May 18, 9:50 AM
    • 3,609Posts
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Crazy Cat Lady Chapter 3 - A New Beginning
    • #1
    • 3rd May 18, 9:50 AM
    Crazy Cat Lady Chapter 3 - A New Beginning 3rd May 18 at 9:50 AM
    Good morning everyone,

    I've had a bit of a break from the forums over the past couple of months, but today seems like a good time to come back on here and to start a new diary. An awful lot has changed in my life over the past couple of weeks and it's going to take some time and effort to adjust, and more than ever I need the support and accountability of being on here to keep me on the straight and narrow as far as my finances are concerned.
    I hope that some of my usual bunch have followed me to this diary, and welcome to anyone new that might be reading. I need all of the help and support that I can get...
    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
Page 9
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 8th Jul 18, 12:14 PM
    • 4,433 Posts
    • 25,445 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    If your husband was off work and his only income was SSP then he can claim help with his rent via Housing Benefit (or Universal Credit if its in your area). It doesn't matter that his name is on the mortgage as his estranged wife and his children live there so not counted and neither is your income.

    Not sure who told you otherwise - give me a shout if you need more guidance as I expect now he is back at work he won't be entitled to anything unless he is part time.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • foxgloves
    • By foxgloves 8th Jul 18, 12:38 PM
    • 4,147 Posts
    • 21,532 Thanks
    foxgloves
    Just left u a reply on my diary, Cat. Re those 2 or 3 things I mentioned, it sounds like sorting out new financial situation will be one of them. You'll start to feel better afterwards....it's weird really but even with difficult financial situations, I find I feel better once I know the true extent of it & can get a plan & nrw budget in place. Hope exam marking money comes soon & the divorce/house stuff doesn't take long.
    Good luck with it all - difficult stuff, but it's also a new start.
    F x
    Money can't jump out of your purse on its own so ask 'Can I borrow one, make one, grow one, bake one, re-purpose or recycle, acquire it for free?' Yes? Then put that purse away & keep your money because little savings grow!
    Loan pay-down fund instalment 2 = 470-01
    Payment received from surveys: 2015 = 320 2016 = 210 2017 = 304 2018 = 264
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 8th Jul 18, 7:49 PM
    • 3,609 Posts
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    crazy_cat_lady
    If your husband was off work and his only income was SSP then he can claim help with his rent via Housing Benefit (or Universal Credit if its in your area). It doesn't matter that his name is on the mortgage as his estranged wife and his children live there so not counted and neither is your income.

    Not sure who told you otherwise - give me a shout if you need more guidance as I expect now he is back at work he won't be entitled to anything unless he is part time.
    Originally posted by Eager_Elephant

    Hi EE
    Rather unsurprisingly it is our council that have told him that. They have been utterly useless with the whole situation, and it was them sending him home that meant I had to get the police involved that day when I paid for B&B for a few days for him. The fallout from that is still ongoing, as I got a call from a domestic violence group a couple of days ago - the police had referred me to them. It was really weird, because as I say we are actually getting on better than we have done in years. He has seen the kids regularly, helped out with a bit of childcare and even tried to cheer me up when I've been miserable. Basically everything I wanted him to do for the past 16 years. Just makes me even more certain that this is the right thing though, because he's more helpful now we're apart than he ever was when we were together.
    Hopefully though the mortgage will be sorted out before the end of this month and then I can chase up my solicitor and see if we can get the financial arrangements sorted.
    He has only gone back to work part time - I think he's looking for a new job, but I am trying not to involve myself too much in that.



    Just left u a reply on my diary, Cat. Re those 2 or 3 things I mentioned, it sounds like sorting out new financial situation will be one of them. You'll start to feel better afterwards....it's weird really but even with difficult financial situations, I find I feel better once I know the true extent of it & can get a plan & nrw budget in place. Hope exam marking money comes soon & the divorce/house stuff doesn't take long.
    Good luck with it all - difficult stuff, but it's also a new start.
    F x
    Originally posted by foxgloves

    Definitely need to have a big budget review and sort out. I've done lots of little bits, like cancelling tv channels and magazine subscriptions, and finally got my council tax discount etc. but I just haven't pulled it altogether yet. Plus I'm still soaking up a lot of extra expenses that I'm hoping won't be for too much longer - his rent, solicitors bills etc. And I really hope that when he finds his feet he'll start paying a bit of something for the kids as well. He's had a bit of a shock financially as well as the separation, I genuinely don't think that he realised just how much it costs to live. But now he does. I'm trying to minimise spending and take the extra costs on the chin for the moment unti things are sorted out relationship/legal wise. Then I'll know exactly where I stand. I still feel sad though when I think that I had an emergency fund and no debt 3 months ago...


    I've had a good day today - wondered if I might get a bit bored with not having a billion exam related things to deal with, but I didn't'. Did grocery shopping, from a list which we stuck to and got the kids involved as well so they could see the reality of what we're dealing with money wise. Then went to my mam's for a catch up and my fortnightly free feast. She had loads of meat and salad on today - it was lovely, and I always love seeing her.
    Came home and finally ventured into the loft, which I've been a bit scared to do even though the pest man said there were no bees in there... and dug out some wool to make a baby blanket for a very good friend of mine. Good job my loft is full of wool because there's no time coming soon where I'm going to be able to afford to get any more and I need my crochet and knitting in my life. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year? Still too hot to do anything much other than relax with a box set, a pint of water and my crochet.
    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 8th Jul 18, 9:14 PM
    • 7,475 Posts
    • 56,308 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Good to hear from you ccl . Take care x
    NST Survive July #4; NSD 9/15; Ex 13/20 ; craft / (77); remove 29 (509)
    2018 Pay off: 2334; 2
    018 sell 49.10; WLOSW /10

    Mortgage 20,809 (01/14: 78,201; 01/15: 59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 8th Jul 18, 9:16 PM
    • 4,433 Posts
    • 25,445 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant

    Hi EE
    Rather unsurprisingly it is our council that have told him that. They have been utterly useless with the whole situation, and it was them sending him home that meant I had to get the police involved that day when I paid for B&B for a few days for him. The fallout from that is still ongoing, as I got a call from a domestic violence group a couple of days ago - the police had referred me to them. It was really weird, because as I say we are actually getting on better than we have done in years. He has seen the kids regularly, helped out with a bit of childcare and even tried to cheer me up when I've been miserable. Basically everything I wanted him to do for the past 16 years. Just makes me even more certain that this is the right thing though, because he's more helpful now we're apart than he ever was when we were together.
    Hopefully though the mortgage will be sorted out before the end of this month and then I can chase up my solicitor and see if we can get the financial arrangements sorted.
    He has only gone back to work part time - I think he's looking for a new job, but I am trying not to involve myself too much in that.
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    I did wonder if it was them - councils will say anything to can to get you out of their office and to be able to tick the box that says they prevented homelessness (even if that involves them making him return to a property where there are issues)

    Imagine how many people they dont have to help by frightening them in to sorting themselves out or by giving misadvice and so people end up in more difficult situations like your ex-DH being removed by the police.

    Depending on what he earns he may be able to get help with his rent, if he rents a room in a house then the amount of HB is much lower than if he rented a 1 bed flat and then of course they take into account his income.
    If you need any help with this PM me.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 9th Jul 18, 8:43 AM
    • 1,985 Posts
    • 16,099 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Morning CCL,

    I'm playing a bit of catch up but it's good to hear from you.

    Have you looked into YouNeedABudget (YNAB)? I single-handedly got out of debt and saved for a deposit with it and I think I'll use it till my dying day. There's a months free trial and there after it costs like 4 a month. It gives me peace of mind knowing that all the important things are accounted for and I'm not overspending.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 9th Jul 18, 6:47 PM
    • 3,609 Posts
    • 30,943 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Good evening!
    Hope everyone is doing well. I'm still struggling, although it is a lot cooler today - I cannot get this dizziness in check. Our school healthcare lady tells me it's another hay fever symptom - but it's definitely the most unpleasant one. I don't feel as though I've had a particularly productive day at work - managed to open my mouth and put my foot in it rather spectacularly so I'm lying low. Thankfully only 9 more school get ups and we have a non uniform day on Wednesday which is nice of the Head (although I feel a bit much for the sake of football). Finished prepping for my lesson observation, which is happening tomorrow first thing - then I think that I'll definitely be able to see the end of term in sight, and it can't come soon enough.
    I've tried a couple of times with YNAB Speky, but I just can't seem to get along with it. I think I'm too old because I really just want to budget on a piece of paper, but I might see if I can look again and go all 21st Century. I seemed to have too many different categories going on and couldn't make it all make sense. Then if I didn't update one day it all went to pot and nothing did what it was meant to. I suppose life would be easier now I'm (almost) debt free and I don't have billions of loans and credit cards to deal with.
    Got home from work to 2 unpleasant things. 1 sickly cat - so I bundled her off to the vet for a couple of injections. She has a long term condition with her gut, and steroid and vitamin injections really help her. So, even though I can't really afford it I've done it - because that's part of being a responsible pet owner and it's and essential as far as I'm concerned.
    2. The final 43 exam papers have arrived. On the plus side it's the final 43, but not so good is that they need marking asap. So my planned night of crochet is postponed in the short term, and I'll focus on the extra money that will be heading my way once I do this. And that it's the final bit of marking for this season. And there definitely won't be any more until the January exams.
    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 9th Jul 18, 9:26 PM
    • 55,484 Posts
    • 222,719 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that the making is nearly done.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 10th Jul 18, 8:31 AM
    • 1,985 Posts
    • 16,099 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Morning,

    On the YNAB thing, yeah, you need to use it regularly for it to work, which I think isn't a bad habit to have. For the first time ever, I was able to say exactly what was in my bank and in my wallet, and know that I was putting something, anything, aside for Xmas, birthdays, holidays or emergencies. Give it a go again, you've nothing to lose. They have a free app so you can use it on the go too. And if you've any questions, just let me know

    Hope the cat is on the mend!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 10th Jul 18, 3:07 PM
    • 3,609 Posts
    • 30,943 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Hey everybody
    Sneaking on at work because I'm going to be busy tonight marking the final few papers I have at home. There's a tight turnaround even though they only arrived yesterday but the extra cash will be very welcome. Then I'm definitely 100% finished for the summer marking season. I can see the first exam payment pending in my bank account for tomorrow and I can't wait for it to arrive - I will need to hang onto some of it to get me through the rest of the month, but I'm also going to put some onto that pesky CC and make a PAD there as well.
    DS has had a minor emergency with school trousers - he's down to 1 functioning pair at the moment, and I don't wash and dry clothes quickly enough to keep up with that, and so I desperately need to get my hands on a pair of navy blue school trousers. Unfortunately, the colour is rubbish for getting a bargain pair so I suspect that I'm going to end up in M&S or somewhere similar. I'm going to try Mr A and see how I go but I definitely need something before tomorrow. Still it's not as if I wasn't going to buy any new uniform at all next year - just a bit earlier than I have planned.
    On a brighter note - I have meal planned so there will be no food expenses, and there shouldn't be any nasty surprises there.
    Had my work counselling today as well. It was arranged after the fallout of the separation and I find counselling really useful when I'm struggling with my self esteem, which I definitely am at the moment. I just wish there was a quick and easy fix for it rather than having to accept that it is what it is. I'd actually quite like to change my base programming if I possibly can but for the moment I just have to accept that my 'safe' place for myself is believing that I'm useless and nobody likes me. I genuinely don't know how to change that... maybe I'm just broken.
    But I'm not leaving on that unpleasant note - I will leave by saying that I love my kids and my cats and I have a lot of good friends that I know I can rely on. So it's all good outside of my own little world of me.


    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 10th Jul 18, 3:38 PM
    • 5,105 Posts
    • 40,362 Thanks
    DawnW
    You've just contradicted yourself right there CCL -



    I'm useless and nobody likes me.

    I have a lot of good friends that I know I can rely on.


    Seriously though, you have had a seriously stressful time, not just recently but for years -with debt, with your stressful job, with your OH and his problems.... Be kind to yourself xx


    And you work so hard, you are the least useless person I can think of!

    July NSDs - 6 / 13
    Groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies and pet supplies - 195.07 / 250.00
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 10th Jul 18, 4:01 PM
    • 1,398 Posts
    • 13,334 Thanks
    Toni'sfriend
    Seriously though, you have had a seriously stressful time, not just recently but for years -with debt, with your stressful job, with your OH and his problems.... Be kind to yourself xx

    And you work so hard, you are the least useless person I can think of!
    Absolutely. Sometimes it's difficult to see how well you're doing in coping with all that life throws at you but from where I'm standing you're doing good. You will get there xxx
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Jul 18, 4:09 PM
    • 55,484 Posts
    • 222,719 Thanks
    beanielou
    I could not do & cope with one quarter of what you do.
    You are very very far from useless.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 10th Jul 18, 10:01 PM
    • 3,609 Posts
    • 30,943 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Thank you all of you - really kind of you all to say that. Makes me sound like an attention seeker but genuinely my default position is one of failure. It's been ingrained into me from a very early age, and today me and my counsellor talked about where the feelings have come from. It's useful any I know all of the right things to say, and that what I'm thinking and feeling is irrational. I say to myself exactly what I would say to anyone else that I love and care about, and I really mean it when I say it to others, but there's just this part of me that doesn't believe it. Because of my experiences growing up apparently. It's hard to explain but we are getting to the point that when times are hard I default back to my 'safe place' of feeling like I'm useless, not really trusting anybody, being scared of being laughed at or talked about etc. It's familiar to me, even though it's an unpleasant place to be - and easier for me to stay there than to take the risk of testing things out. Not at the point of a solution yet, but I am at the point of believing that nothing I say or do will be good enough for anyone. I know in my heart it's not true but I can't make myself believe it at the moment. Weird feeling. I know that I put myself at the bottom of every list I do, and I need to move myself further up, but the solutions aren't there for me just yet. Maybe once I'm less tired then I'll be ready to take a risk. We shall see.

    I've marked another 10 papers tonight but it's hard work and slow going - not a paper I wanted to get involved with but doing a favour for a friend. 25 left to go. I think I should be done by Friday with a bit of luck.

    Speky - I've signed up for YNAB. I've not had time to set it up yet but it's there and I'll read a bit before I go to bed tonight. Just not knowing where to start, how many categories to set up and so on. See - can you tell my head isn't in a good place at the moment? I can't even make simple decisions about what categories to put in my budget.
    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 11th Jul 18, 6:36 AM
    • 4,433 Posts
    • 25,445 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant

    Speky - I've signed up for YNAB. I've not had time to set it up yet but it's there and I'll read a bit before I go to bed tonight. Just not knowing where to start, how many categories to set up and so on. See - can you tell my head isn't in a good place at the moment? I can't even make simple decisions about what categories to put in my budget.
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    You can always add budget catergories as you go along - I start with the basics and then add as I go, I probably add 1 every few months now but I have been using it over a year.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 11th Jul 18, 7:23 AM
    • 3,609 Posts
    • 30,943 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Well I started adding some of my regular transactions to it in categories. It's been interesting to note that I really haven't been keeping as close an eye on my finances as I thought. My expenses here and there have been creeping up a bit so it's interesting to see it all written down again. Definitely going to need to do some scrimping and saving, and change my lifestyle a bit (which bothers me because I'd worked hard to get out of debt and get to a place where I could enjoy having a bit of spare money, which I now don't).
    It needs a lot of work and I need to figure out properly how to use it because it genuinely isn't making much sense to me at the moment. I was looking through the app though so I'll need to properly look at the website version later.
    Woken up feeling really rough again today. On the plus side, it is non uniform at work so I have some really comfy trousers and a t-shirt on. Football related as requested but not what they are expecting I don't think (Grumpy Cat saying I hope both teams lose )
    I'll be back later
    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 11th Jul 18, 8:45 AM
    • 1,985 Posts
    • 16,099 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    CCL - Its quite eye opening to begin with and it can even be fun to know that you're putting something away for emergencies and the like.

    Oh, also, they run free online webinars with real live people at the other end to talk you thought it. I'd highly recommend looking at those too. Feel free to message me if you need a hand with anything

    Even I am looking forward to you finishing your marking!!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 12th Jul 18, 3:26 PM
    • 984 Posts
    • 3,010 Thanks
    lcc86
    Hi CCL, I haven't been on here for months so have missed your new diary. Just read through your new one - such a brave decision to make and I'm glad you're moving in the right direction. Try not to beat yourself up about getting into debt again - it's unavoidable in your situation, you're aware of it, and you have a plan to tackle it once your solicitor bills are paid and you stop contributing to your ex's rent. I wish you all the best!
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    1300/1000 EF 590 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 12th Jul 18, 10:17 PM
    • 3,609 Posts
    • 30,943 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Evening all
    Hope that you didn't think I'd disappeared off again, but I've been a busy bunny desperately trying to get these last few papers marked and sent back but I have run out of oomph for this evening. There are 6 left to go. I had planned to finish tonight, but last night ended up being a write off with the football. I wasn't bothered, but the kids were really excited and made way too much noise for me to concentrate on getting anything done. So I just watched the football and had a couple of drinks.
    Then unfortunately ds was up for most of the night feeling unwell. So we've both been tired today - however he got the day off school. I couldn't have that luxury as I'm a Year 7 tutor next year and had to be in for the rest of the week as the new Year 7 are visiting from their primaries. It's been a busy, but lovely day - always nice to see them while they're still sweet little primary kiddies. But I am very, very tired now as it's been non stop. DS is lots better and definitely going back to school tomorrow though...
    Got home, grabbed pizza from Mr A for dinner as it was cheaper than a takeaway and there was no way I was making anything, and set to work again. So close to being finished.
    My YNAB is all set up and good to go - just need to make sure that I keep it all up to date and see if it ends up being the miracle for me that most people say it is. You will be proud of me Speky - I did 3 of the little online workshops after the football last night and I feel quite a bit more confident than I did before about using it. Hopefully it'll keep me on the straight and narrow.
    Anyway, I'm pretty shattered so off to bed now. Thank goodness there are only 6 more school get ups - I can hardly wait.
    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
    • Fmess
    • By Fmess 13th Jul 18, 4:49 PM
    • 2,714 Posts
    • 26,032 Thanks
    Fmess
    Well done on the exam marking, you!!!8217;ve done phenomenally well to keep going.

    Hope you have a lovely peaceful weekend and can get done r&r
    LBM = 07/09/13 Debt = 13339 (100% cleared)
    New Car and Roof Debt 0/19033
    DecNST #2 SFD 13/15 Food 105/120 Personal 380/350 Petrol 80.01/80
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