Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 14th May 18, 10:55 AM
    • 564Posts
    • 4,134Thanks
    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 I’ve started applying for things, hoping that being in Vietnam and interviewing over Skype will work). I’m fairly confident that I’ll be able to get some work, but I’m 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 March… the reason I’ve picked this date is that if I stay, I should stay until bonuses are paid at Christmas – you don’t get your bonus if you’ve handed in your notice at the time they’re paid. So, I’d need to wait for my bonus which is around 12k, then give my 3 months’ 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 weren’t for the dog….

    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. He’s currently living with some friends and having a lovely time, but they can’t 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 wasn’t an option any longer so I had a week to make an alternative arrangement. At the time I thought I’d just sort something until July when I’m back in the UK for a holiday and then I can sort something else… but the something else is proving to be a little more difficult than I envisaged. October I could probably sort… but March…..

    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. I’d still have 25k-ish to go home with, more money than I ever thought I’d have in the bank. But… I could go round in circles all day, and in my mind, that’s 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, that’s my dog, and my debt, and my huge dilemma. When I’m 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 not…. Bring the dog back.. then I think Oh just go home, take a risk and be happy.

    Wow, an essay….

    In my next installment… the various scenarios I’ve 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
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 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
    • 269 Posts
    • 1,234 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 consolidated 16/8/18 £11,917.34/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..£19.5k)
    EF savings £650.06 House Deposit (LISA) £480.00/£12,000 4%
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 5th Jul 18, 4:35 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 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
    • 1,372 Posts
    • 2,861 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
    • 7,277 Posts
    • 15,951 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
    • 91 Posts
    • 158 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?
    Just one figure from now on - Total Debt as at 27.8.18 - £44,061.26.

    Target to be under £40k by 31.12.18.
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 6th Jul 18, 4:11 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 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
    • 7,277 Posts
    • 15,951 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
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 6th Aug 18, 12:43 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    So... a few weeks on and this is where I am. I enjoyed my holiday back in the UK, really enjoyed it but I think I'm going to get bored with 'normal life' very quickly. So, I have now spoken to my boss and asked to rescind my resignation. He said he'd be really happy for me to stay but that it was out of his hands and no longer his decision now that there had been a formal announcement, and it would now be up to the CEO. I've written to the HR Director with a formal request, she wrote back saying that it was unlikely (for a bit of a nonsense reason in my opinion) but that she would discuss with my boss later this week. So, it's no longer my decision- if they say I can stay then I'm here for another couple of years, if the answer is no then I'll be back in the UK with a big old credit card bill, no job but I'll be with my friends and family and my dog and it will turn out ok, it has to!

    I met with several recruitment consultants when I was back and they all seemed fairly confident that I'd be able to find something without too much difficulty, even if it's a fixed term or interim job at first. Fingers are firmly crossed!

    In other news, I managed to keep within my holiday budget which was great, but I just had a tot up today and since I've been back - a week and a day - I've managed to spend a whopping 286 quid!! I've just been spending like I've won the lottery! I've been out for drinks, bought a skirt, had my nails done, been out for dinner, been shopping at the VERY expensive expat shop and bought wine which is stupidly expensive here. The skirt doesn't even fit me but I've taken the tags off so I can't return it.

    So... I've made a meal plan for the rest of the week using the food I already have in the apartment, sworn off Starbucks for the rest of the week and given myself a good talking to. I'm travelling for work next week so will be able to claim the cost of my meals back but then I'm going to visit a friend in Singapore for the weekend so I want to keep some cash for that as it's expensive there.

    Anyway, by the end of the week I'll know my fate. And the dog's fate... although he's having a fantastic time with his foster family so I know that whatever happens he will be ok.

    I'm off to make dinner from what I've got in the fridge!!
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 13th Aug 18, 1:51 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    The answer was no, they won't let me withdraw my resignation, so it's over. I'll be heading back to the UK in October. I'm really upset, I'm surprised at how upset I am actually, but I'll just have to live with it and get on with the next chapter. Currently I feel like I'm looking at a future of debt and depression. I'm going to just pay the minimum to my debts for the next couple of months and try to get some cash together to support myself when I get back as I don't know how long I'll be without a job.

    So I'm terrified and staring at a completely unknown future, kicking myself for making this decision. You live and learn I suppose.
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • Jox
    • By Jox 13th Aug 18, 2:12 PM
    • 1,372 Posts
    • 2,861 Thanks
    Jox
    Ah that's a shame! Can you get another job in the country you are or do you need a company to sponsor your visa?
    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!
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 13th Aug 18, 2:48 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    No, I need a work permit, and I don't know if I'd want just any job here. My job is amazing, im so cross with myself!
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • Jox
    • By Jox 13th Aug 18, 2:53 PM
    • 1,372 Posts
    • 2,861 Thanks
    Jox
    Hopefully another amazing opportunity is waiting for you and all this has happened for a good reason
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 14th Oct 18, 11:52 AM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Right, so a few weeks on and I'm back in the UK with my dog and my debts. I don't have a job yet, I have one interview lined up but hoping that some more will follow quickly.
    I have 9k in the bank to tide me over until I start getting a wage,which is pretty much exactly the same amount as my debt. Obviously hoping that I won't need to spend it all on living and will be able to keep some as an emergency fund and use some to clear debt.

    I'm going to do some cooking this afternoon then take the dog out for his second walk of the day, then have a big roast dinner. So tempting to curl up with a bottle of red in this weather but I'm trying to cut down on the booze so will stick to tea.
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 15th Oct 18, 9:32 AM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Good morning world. The first half of my weekend was quite spendy, but I then had a stern word with myself and reminded myself that I'm unemployed and I can't keep spending as though I have a salary coming in.

    I need to make plans for each day otherwise I'll just sit in front of the telly all day every day which isn't good for me. So, today I need to go to the tip, hoover upstairs and change the bedding, as well as the standard 2 dog walks. I'm also going to make some soup, I was given 2 squashes at the weekend and want to make sure I use them rather than letting them go mouldy.

    Will also make an appointment to see a recruitment agent I've been trying to get hold of.

    Happy Monday!
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 15th Oct 18, 7:10 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Well I've had a lazy day, didn't get half of my jobs done but I did take the dog on 2 very long walks... he's a springer spaniel and needs a lot of exercise. I did make soup however which is delicious. I almost joined weight watchers but decided against it as I have access to a free weight loss plan through my boot camp so chose not to spend any extra money.

    No job news today, but there are 2 applications I need to get done this week and am meeting a recruitment consultant tomorrow morning so I'm trying not to get dispondent yet.

    I ordered a laptop today as I don't have access to a computer, but got a refurbished one rather than new and had £100 Amazon vouchers to put towards it so spent less than £170. I'd rather have not spent anything but so many jobs want you to fill in a form rather than just sending a cv I could really do with being able to do stuff at home rather than dragging to a library.

    Anyhoo... soup and telly for me this evening, and a trawl if the job boards!
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • Jox
    • By Jox 16th Oct 18, 10:38 AM
    • 1,372 Posts
    • 2,861 Thanks
    Jox
    Good luck with the job hunt! Careful with your money, as you know, it can be spent very quickly!

    I have the same amount of debt as you (as well as a mortgage) and really need to reduce this asap!
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 16th Oct 18, 11:19 AM
    • 422 Posts
    • 507 Thanks
    MovingForwards
    Just register with as many temp agencies as possible and start bagging any assignments offered, they wont be what you want for employment but they will do to get you back working, hopefully there are temp xmas jobs around your way.

    You could look at a lodger (mon to thurs so you have your home to yourself on the weekends), may be able to get enough to cover your mortgage depending on how much it is per month.

    Good luck and stay determined!
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 16th Oct 18, 12:32 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Thank you both. I'm just back from a meeting with an agent, who was very positive and said he didn't think it'd e long till I find something, even if it's an interim post to tide me over. I hope this is the case. I'll follow up on an application I'm waiting to hear back from, I'm very keen on a job I applied for a few weeks ago and figure it'll do no harm to email the director of the company to follow up. Fortune favours the brave, eh?!

    This afternoon I'm going to meet a friend for a run which will be hilarious for anyone watching, neither of us has run for a good year so I expect we will be fairly rubbish.

    I do t think a lodger would work for me... it would cost me a fortune to get the spare room sorted as it needs decorating, a new carpet and it doesn't have a bed in it right now so the upfront cost would be significant . Also I am extraordinarily untidy, I wouldn't want to be my lodger!!

    I must give the dog a walk and then get ready to run and then send this email about the job. Fingers crossed on both counts!
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 17th Oct 18, 10:39 AM
    • 564 Posts
    • 4,134 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Yesterday was a good day! I felt really positive having been encouraged by the recruitment chap and I also got out for a run with a friend.
    Today I've been contacted by another agent about a job, it's not perfect but I'll have a think about it. It's not exactly what I want to do and it's a 40 mile drive away which could be a nightmare, but I'm not excluding it at this stage.

    I've taken the dog out for an hour and am having a coffee while waiting for a delivery. I'm going to see one of my very best friends later so am looking forward to a good gossip.

    I still need to go to the tip but don't want to miss this delivery so will see what time it turns up.

    It's a lovely day so will hopefully get out for a long walk with Teddy later, he was exhausted last night, it was brilliant!!
    Last edited by AnnieG; 17-10-2018 at 10:41 AM.
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

194Posts Today

2,475Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @laurawithers84: @MartinSLewis Our school is going to use your book for our new finance fortnight for year 8 students. We thought we wou?

  • RT @katiejane13uk: ????????IMPORTANT - CALLING ALL LEASEHOLDERS TO COMPLETE???????? @mhclg Leasehold Reform Consultation closes this month. This is the?

  • Just sent a text about postgrad loans. My Swype text auto-corrected it to pothead loans. Does it know something I don't?

  • Follow Martin