Massively in the sh*t…

(30 Posts)
Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 13:17:43

Just found out that the contractor that contracts to DH (98%) of his work load has essentially sacked him. He's been used as a scapegoat by the 'project manager'.

Lessons throughly learnt - never having our eggs in the same basket again!

This coupled with an abrupt end to maintenance payments for DS1 (£400 per month) means we are throughly in the shit.

It will be a while before DH gets back on his feet (a lot of money owed out) so I'm trying not to go into melt down and looking at how we can stay afloat.

Also, (although not the top of priorities, I know, but this is our first holiday abroad and the DC's are more than excited about going on a plane) we have already booked our holiday and paid for the flights and 50% of the accommodation cost as a non-refundable deposit. Do we forfeit the money paid or pay the remaining £300 and go with minimal spends? My first priority should be how do we pay the rent but for some reason I feel most sick about the holiday!

I'm hopefully going to get back to work and possibly will start next week. It will net us £500 per month so will at least make up for the CSA shortfall and £100 more.

We've also got some massive unexpected expenditures crop up including a £200 vets bill, a £250 car bill and £125 gas bill on top of our normal £125 per month because of an unnoticed missed payment.

Can anyone offer me some miraculous money earning/saving advice? I feel I'm on the edge of a breakdown.

crazykat Wed 19-Feb-14 13:26:52

Cancel anything not essential that isn't under contract like sky/cable, mobile.

Could you negotiate smaller monthly payments for the gas missed payment? Same with the vet, would they take smaller monthly payments?

Wrt the holiday, I'd be tempted to go with minimal spends rather than lose out what you've already paid, so long as it doesn't put you into debt.

Could your DH look for a second job until he can get more contracts? Is there any way he can prove that he's not to blame for whatever the problem is/was and keep his contract?

A lot of people recommend money saving expert but it completely baffles me. May be worth a try.

specialsubject Wed 19-Feb-14 13:35:09

TBH I would take the holiday, as long as you have paid for travel insurance.

anyone can lose a job just like that, self-employed or not. So for the future you need to look at building up a six month cushion so this doesn't happen again.

get in touch with your landlord ASAP, explain you have a problem and here is your plan to get out of it. If you are good tenants he would rather keep you than have to evict you, but he may have a mortgage to pay too so needs to know.

if things are that tight you shouldn't have pets, I realise that shooting them is a bit extreme but don't replace them.

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 13:41:40

Thank you crazykat.

We've took out Sky in December, and I think we have signed up for 12 months, if there anyway out of the contract.

The only 'non- essential' thing that pops into my head is our World Vision donation for our sponsor child. It's £21, but I would feel awful cancelling, we often exchange letters sad.

Going to have a look at my bank statements to see what else we pay out that might be un necessary.

That's a great idea re:vets, although I'm worried about having another thing to remember to pay. We could put it on the credit card, but it will max it (£750 limit). It wouldn't make much of a difference to the monthly payment and I have to pay it anyway.

The gas is already an agreement to clear a massive bill we had previously. We aren't connected to the mains so it's Calor, they have us over a barrel really and charge us an extortionate amount. I think we ale them about £1500.

DH is out today trying to drum up more work, but because he owes so much to his suppliers if will be a while before he gets in the black again and can start to take a wage. It's all so shit.

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 13:43:00

'if there anyway out of the contract.' should be is there anyway of of the contract?

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 13:51:08

Just cancelled Experian - £15 per month they were taking shock

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 13:51:42

specialsubject - yes our travel insurance is a feature of my bank account

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 14:32:25

Does anyone know if I cancel Sky when in contract? It's £30 per month

FluffySocksAndMarshmallows Wed 19-Feb-14 14:36:29

You can try to cancel Sky, but as you only joined in December, they probably will fight you quite hard over it.

Is it already the basic package? THey may let you strip it down to the very minimum.

Did you get any new equipment/installations in December? You can sometimes get Sky to agree to ending the contract if you lose your job and provide proof, but if you've had a Sky box or they installed anything, they'll bill you for that and it'l probably not save you anything over the year.

moldingsunbeams Wed 19-Feb-14 14:43:29

Miren, I cancelled sky during contract, it was simply a case of insisting that they were not going to get any money from us regardless of whether they cancelled it or not and asking if they could suspend the contract for six months or cancel, we argued and argued but eventually a manager cancelled it.

ellenjames Wed 19-Feb-14 15:03:48

why are you losing csa payments?

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 16:40:00

We had a new sky box… will give it a go. We're not on the basic package, but got a really good deal. We have everything including HD, movies and sports. Think it will save us about a tenner if we strip it down, which doesn't seem worth it as we get a lot of use from it - but perhaps that's not the right attitude hmm

Losing CSA payments because ex has found a way to get out of it. He's a director and has sold his shares to his partner so she gets the dividends. He's declared his salary as £641 so should pay £5 a week, but because I've cancelled CSA and gone with the new Child Maintenance system I will have to wait 13 weeks to re-apply

crazykat Wed 19-Feb-14 17:19:55

Could you get a new credit card on 0% balance transfer? It wouldn't save anything on the monthly payments but would reduce the balance a bit quicker.

It sounds harsh cancelling the world vision sponsorship but your DCs come first. It's rubbish that your ex has found a way around the CSA but there's not much you can do.

FluffySocksAndMarshmallows Wed 19-Feb-14 17:20:16

Does your DH have anything that he could send to Sky to prove that he's lost his job?

Looking online, it would seem that some people have agreed to post the box back to Sky and got released from the contract that way, so that could be an option.

I agree that everything for £30 isn't bad, but if it's £30 you don't have, it's not really an option sad

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 18:57:59

crazycat - I don't think our credit rating is good enough to get another credit card. It's the only one we have and our overdrafts are maxed (total of £2000).

He doesn't have any proof - no contract or anything. Will give them a call tomorrow and try my best. I did manage to get a cracking deal out of them by grinding them down so my persuasion skills can't be that bad. wink

trufflehunterthebadger Wed 19-Feb-14 19:00:58

do you live near a language school/university that you could have some lodgers ?

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 19:03:23

truffle - we rent so not sure if that's allowed? Would it be classed as subletting?

Miren Wed 19-Feb-14 19:05:00

In fact I don't think it would matter if we are allowed, we're in a village in the middle of nowhere, no bus route and the only thing we boast is a church and a post office…not sure there would be any demand grin Great idea though!

starkadder Wed 19-Feb-14 19:07:42

If your landlord says it is ok then it would be allowed.

Maybe ebay stuff, at least to £300 so you can have your holiday and not feel guilty about it?

trufflehunterthebadger Wed 19-Feb-14 19:09:26

we rent and our landlord has no issues with it. It's not subletting if you have foreign language students - you might have problems with your location though !!

You need to up your income. There's only so far you can cut costs. Got anything you could ebay ? Could you/DH pick up some casual work in a restaurant, pub, anywhere ?

How old is DS1 ? Go to citizens advice about your child maintenance if you don't have a lawyer.

Miren Thu 20-Feb-14 08:03:54

DS1 is 8 - can CAB help with that?

Had forgotten about eBay- I'm going to have a sort through the loft this morning, there's loads up there, excellent suggestion to use that for the holiday, thank you!

fieldfare Thu 20-Feb-14 08:24:16

Is your ex completely unhelpful? If you were to call and explain the situation would he just not care that his kids would be going without so much? That might be a really daft question though!

Call everyone you have debits with and explain your situation, try to get everything pared down as much as possible. Call the bank and ask for your o/d to be extended temporarily (6 months).

See if you and dh can find any extra work in the short term.

Is there anything you can sell? Go through everything and anything that's not sentimental or essential get on eBay or a local selling page.

Miren Thu 20-Feb-14 10:05:29

He's completely unhelpful unfortunately fieldfare

Dh has secured dome work, but he's lost a lot of money so will take a while for the business to recuperate.

Selling site is a good idea- ebay is a bit of a nightmare with postage etc IIRC?

AdoraBell Fri 21-Feb-14 03:06:02

Is there a local Facebook page for selling? I don't use either, and I'm abroad and out of touch, but I'm sure I've seen people mention using their local FB and things get collected etc. much cheaper/better than eBay.

RandomMess Fri 21-Feb-14 22:59:14

If you have lots of personal debt, in addition to the business debt, it would be worth speaking to one of the debt advice charities to see if you can get the interest frozen and monthly payments renegotiated.

I'm thinking overdraft, credit card, cancelling sky, gas, etc?

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