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  • FIRST POST
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 14th May 18, 10:55 AM
    • 509Posts
    • 3,784Thanks
    AnnieG
    A diary about debt, dilemmas and a dog
    • #1
    • 14th May 18, 10:55 AM
    A diary about debt, dilemmas and a dog 14th May 18 at 10:55 AM
    Hello anyone who might be reading

    I'm writing this to help with my decision making in relation to a dilemma.

    Here is my slightly unusual situation... I'm a 44 year old single mum, I've been in debt since the first opportunity to 'spend extra money' presented itself to me when I was 18. At the worst point my debt stood at about 42k (I'm using a foreign laptop with no pound sign, bear with me!) and currently stands at around 13,500. Nothing too unusual there, right?

    Last year, I got a new car on a PCP, managed to get myself onto the property ladder and bought a puppy... then I had what seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime and I was offered job in Vietnam. It was an amazing job with a massive salary and a full expat benefits package, I wasn't happy in my job in the UK so I thought great, let's go. So in August 2017, my 17 year old son, my puppy and I flew to Vietnam for an exiting new life and untold riches.

    Of course, life isn't like that is it? My son HATED it and before 3 weeks were out he was back in the UK living with his father. Of course, I was a wealthy expat filled with single parent guilt, having just taken my boy away from his entire life and now I was sending him back to a different part of the UK away from all his mates... so when he asked me if he could fly business class... yup, 1500 on my credit card.

    Having only recently taken out the PCP on my car, I had a choice of either letting it sit on my driveway or giving it back to the finance company along with a payment for the balance of 50% of the car's value... another 5k to pay.

    I decided not to rent my house out.. it needs to be decorated and have new carpets and having spoken to a friend who works in property it was going to cost me 1000+ to get it ready to rent, and with my son back in the UK and not wanting to pay out any more money, I decided to keep it empty.

    So, I tried to get my head down in Vietnam, just me and my best friend the dog. It was hard. It was really hard, and nothing like I had expected. I wanted to go home. I missed my friends and my family and my life, but I couldn't go home because I'd taken on an apartment with a 12 month lease... paid for by the company but with no break-clause and if I left early I'd have to pay the penalty of 3 months rent... around 7,500, and there's a clause in my contract stating that if I leave within the first year of employment I have to repay the costs incurred by the company of bringing me out to Vietnam.. flights, visas etc. The lease on my apartment runs until 7 October and I have a 3-month notice period.

    So I had no choice, I was stuck here.

    It was difficult with the dog, I found it hard to find anywhere to walk him properly and I travel quite a bit with my job so he was having to go to a dog boarding house which was more guilt for me, so in January I decided to send him back to the UK. It cost 3500 to send him home. I found somewhere for him to stay until I go back for the summer holidays and he's well looked after... but he's my dog and I want him back when I eventually go home. I miss him terribly.

    Now to the debt and dilemma. I currently owe about 13,500. I can repay about 2000 a month currently so it'll be cleared by Christmas, if I stay here. But I want to go home, I desperately want to go home. I am on a permanent emotional rollercoaster, completely torn between these scenarios:

    1. I go home at the beginning of October, with some debt left, no money in the bank and no job (at the moment although Iíve started applying for things, hoping that being in Vietnam and interviewing over Skype will work). Iím fairly confident that Iíll be able to get some work, but Iím absolutely terrified of the possibility of that not happening, not being able to pay my mortgage or other bills and ending up in massive debt again

    2. I stay in Vietnam until the end of MarchÖ the reason Iíve picked this date is that if I stay, I should stay until bonuses are paid at Christmas Ė you donít get your bonus if youíve handed in your notice at the time theyíre paid. So, Iíd need to wait for my bonus which is around 12k, then give my 3 monthsí notice. I could go home with around 30k in my pocket, no debt stress and enough money to tide me over until I get a job. I could probably grit my teeth and manage this if it werenít for the dogÖ.

    3. I save frantically between onw and October so I've got some cash, carry on making minimum payments on everything for now and worry about the debts when I get home and find a job.

    The dog
    My beautiful dog Teddy is a springer spaniel and I adore him. Heís currently living with some friends and having a lovely time, but they canít keep him until March. When he first went back to the UK he was going to live with my son and ex-husband until I cam home. However, after Teddy arrived in the UK and was in quarantine, something changed and this wasnít an option any longer so I had a week to make an alternative arrangement. At the time I thought Iíd just sort something until July when Iím back in the UK for a holiday and then I can sort something elseÖ but the something else is proving to be a little more difficult than I envisaged. October I could probably sortÖ but MarchÖ..

    I think I might have to bring him back out here, hire a dog nanny to care for him when I travel and take the costs out of my bonus. Iíd still have 25k-ish to go home with, more money than I ever thought Iíd have in the bank. ButÖ I could go round in circles all day, and in my mind, thatís exactly what I do.

    Please don't suggest rehoming the dog permanently, that's not an option I'm willing to consider at the moment.

    So, thatís my dog, and my debt, and my huge dilemma. When Iím being rational, I think just wait and see if you manage to get a job in the UK. If you have a job by the time you come back to Vietnam after the summer holidays, resign at the beginning of August and go home. If notÖ. Bring the dog back.. then I think Oh just go home, take a risk and be happy.

    Wow, an essayÖ.

    In my next installmentÖ the various scenarios Iíve got for paying the debt and attempting to get an emergency fund together.
    Watch this space!
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
Page 2
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 5th Jul 18, 3:00 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 3,784 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Thank you all... I didn!!!8217;t quite build up the courage to tell my boss I want to stay today, but I did drop a massive hint so will try and broach the subject tomorrow, he was talking to an agency today about starting a search. I!!!8217;m leaving for 3 weeks leave tomorrow night so I need to have the conversation before I go if I!!!8217;m going to raise it. I!!!8217;ve been contacted by a search firm about a very interesting job which would be amazing but I don!!!8217;t feel confident that it!!!8217;ll come to anything.

    My son very kindly reminded me this evening that I'd promised to lend him £1000 for his car insurance if he passes his test on Monday which will take all my spare cash. He will pay me back but it!!!8217;ll be in installments when he starts work in September, I!!!8217;ll make him do me a repayment plan!

    Very excited about my trip back to the UK tomorrow, must finish packing and resolve not to spend too much when I!!!8217;m there.
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 5th Jul 18, 4:11 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Enjoy your trip back home.

    Bite the bullet. speak to your boss. You have nothing to lose but if you don't speak to your boss it could cause stress on your holiday.

    Best of luck
    Debt at LBM (01/01/18) £17,937.19
    current Debt (02/07/18) £12,307.50
    31.4% gone forever
    DFD 12/09/19
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 5th Jul 18, 4:35 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 3,784 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Thank you, I'll speak to him tomorrow !!!128522;
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • Jox
    • By Jox 6th Jul 18, 11:36 AM
    • 1,313 Posts
    • 2,786 Thanks
    Jox
    Do it Before they get agencies involved as they may need to pay them a fee.
    Debts June 2018: Post Office cc £1914.12, Virgin cc £5841, Barclaycard cc £1152.50, mortgage £228,746.40, Aiming to pay off credit cards by April 2020 or sooner!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 6th Jul 18, 11:53 AM
    • 6,684 Posts
    • 14,181 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Considering you are now enjoying the job and living in Vietnam and making friends etc I would try and speak to your boss and withdraw your resignation. Just blame it on trying to do what is best for your son but on reflection he is fine in the UK with his dad. Your son is almost an adult and will be off having his own adventures in a year or two. Just imagine how you would feel having put your financial future in jeopardy and given up a job which is probably great for your career only to watch him expand his horizons rather than be grateful to you for coming back. You can skype him and fly to and from UK (economy not business class) and he can do the same. Put maybe a 1 or 2 year limit to see how you feel then.
    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
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 6th Jul 18, 1:18 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 135 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Hi Annie


    Just a quick butt in from me. Just a thought, you are going to be coming back to the UK for a few weeks and it maybe while you are here and see your friends, family and your dog that you will feel differently again. Is it possible to ask your boss to hold your post until you return and make your final decision then?
    1st May 2018 - Barclaycard £12,843.39 £12047.93 £11747.93, MBNA 1 £5734.86 £5676.72 [£5528.78, MBNA 2 £9209.36 £9209.36£9117.27, Optima (Boiler) £1930£1824.97, Halifax £4865.40 £4865.40£4768.58 - TOTAL £34582.83 £33729£32987.53
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 6th Jul 18, 4:11 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 3,784 Thanks
    AnnieG
    I chickened our today, i put it off all morning and when I was about to say something after building up the nerve and then he went out for lunch, by the time he came back I was in a phone call and he left for the day before I'd finished. I think I'll give it a couple of days to settle at home and then send him an email asking for a Skype call. I just don't want him to think I'm messing him around, he already gave me extra time to reconsider and I feel a bit like I'm taking the !!!!.
    In the meantime, I need to try and make this holiday as enjoyably frugal or frugally enjoyable as possible... quite a challenge!
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 6th Jul 18, 4:21 PM
    • 6,684 Posts
    • 14,181 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    You are messing him about more by not saying something now before he starts putting things in place to look for a replacement. Putting things off never ends well.
    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
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