I don't know how we're going to cope financially

(63 Posts)
TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 08:42:07

Does anyone else get this mad sense of panic just build up and overwhelm them completely? In utterly dire financial mess at the moment and trying to sell the house but no one wants it.

The ridiculous thing is, on paper, we both are well-paid!

OpheliaPayneAgain Tue 30-Oct-12 08:45:40

Can you take a mortgage break? afford to drop the house price? Go through absolutely everything - all the insurances - and look for cheaper cover? Suspend your pension contributions.

Yep we are the same. We are making cuts everywhere ATM.

sixlostmonkeys Tue 30-Oct-12 08:47:23

That's the problem with financial troubles - they overwhelm you. It's a horrible feeling and actually makes things worse as you don't know where to start and so actually don't 'start' to deal with it.

Sit down and 'deal' with as much as you can. cancel what you don't 'need', change energy suppliers etc, or go to the CAB for help. Once you start to deal with it you start to feel good (and wonder why you didn't do it sooner)
Don't just wait for the house to sell.

samandi Tue 30-Oct-12 08:51:34

No idea if you're being unreasonable or not based on your post.

CailinDana Tue 30-Oct-12 08:53:53

There are always things you can do.

Why isn't the house selling? Do you need to drop the price? Take care of problems that are putting buyers off?

Can you downgrade your mobiles, sell a few things on ebay, cut off a monthly expense?

It's easy to get overwhelmed by money problems, but money problems are fixable. Even if you lose every penny you have, you will still be alive and (hopefully) healthy. It is stressful, but life is still there for living.

What's the main issue at the moment?

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 08:55:10

If you're in a financial mess that involves excessive debts have you tried one of the free debt advisory services such as CAB, CCCS or National Debtline? Otherwise, is it more of a case of getting in a lot of money but not knowing where it all goes?

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 08:56:31

Thanks. It's just that I was in a car accident back in the summer and wrote a car off. Then another car was written off. We can't afford to replace them but we can't afford to not have cars, either. Nursery costs through the roof. Mortgage providers not hugely sympathetic (like I say because we both have well paid jobs) but even before the cars it cost DH in excess of £100 p/w to get to work. Then I got a parking ticket and I completely forgot about it and it ended up costing over £200 because I forgot. We couldn't afford to pay it and took out a payday loan (I know!!!) and that's crippling us.

I know they are my own fault (well writing thecar off wasn't, it was awful and so scary) but all the same it doesn't help when you've no idea how to cope.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 30-Oct-12 08:59:12

There is absolutely no financial problem which cannot be solved but overwhelming panic has the effect of freezing you into inaction. Doing something other than worrying is the key

I would compile a full Statement of Affairs on www.makesenseofcards.com Take care to do it very honestly and accurately. Then post it on the Debt Free Wanabee forum at www.moneysavingexpert.com
You will then get loads of advice as to the next steps for your individual situation

Teapots - have you been on to the money saving expert forums at all?

Lots of fab, very specific, advice over there. lots of posters in the same boat too.

It WILL get better eventually (nursery not forever, house will sell eventually) but in the meantime the hand holding and information over there is fantastic I found when I was in your position.

Good luck!

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:00:22

I think it's a bit of both to be honest, we do have a bank loan (for a car) and a mortgage. These together come to £1000 per month. Then DDs nursery is another £1000. That's my take home salary.

Then we both have very high commutng costs, groceries, utilities, council tax, a fine [oops] (DH was speeding) insurance, basically everything else.

We used to balance out as there was some left from DHs after the above came out but lately we've had the most awful run of bad luck. The house does need stuff doing to it as we then at least could rent it out and cover the mortgage but we just haveNO spare money!

Ha ha, x-post with Whoknows.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:02:07

Thanks ladies but I really can't face the moneysaving boards again, I had a horrible experience on there when I had just lost a parent which still annoys me when I think about it even though it was months ago now!

PickledFanjoCat Tue 30-Oct-12 09:06:03

Where would you live when you sell it teapots?

Whoknowswhocares Tue 30-Oct-12 09:06:14

Does it cost you money to work then? Nursery costs your take home pay, plus commuting and other costs? Plus any additional benefits you lose by having the higher income if applicable

But the advice on money matters is excellent Teapot.

I agree that perhaps a little harsh at times - but ignore all that, its only a forum after all. (MN can be harsh too, its the nature of the beast I'm afraid.)

The posters on the debt free wannabe forum are not usually so harsh, and they are all in the same position as you. The advice, most importantly, is free! Debt comapnies are overloaded with cases these days, and getting any free meaningful advice to help in your specific situation would be almost impossible via CAB/CCCS etc.

I urge you to try it once more and ignore any arses.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:09:14

Hi pickled, we're not actually living in it at the moment, we're living in my parents house who are no longer with us sadly. When/if it sells depending how much money we have 'left' we will probably try to buy somewhere closer to work to cut down on the costs!

Who knows, difficult one, I'd estimate it costs me around £300 p/m in commuting costs to get to work, then £1000 for nursery, so I do still make around £900 'profit' which pays our mortgage and bank loan.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 30-Oct-12 09:10:01

What is better Teapot? Suffering the occasional forum nutter or not being able to sleep tonight yet again because you are so worried about money? I'd say you we're unlucky before, most people over there (like here) are fine albeit a bit blunt at times

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 30-Oct-12 09:10:43

If you pop over to Moneysavingexpert they have a 'dealing with debt' board and the people there are always happy to help as they've been in your position.

Do you have close relatives such as parents who could pay off the payday loan and allow you to repay them with lower or no interest? Otherwise it's the usual advice - ebay, flog stuff in car boot sales, do a meal planner and take packed lunch (this really does save money). If you can bear to take on additional work on top of your current jobs the Royal Mail is currently taking applications for Christmas temps and you may be able to obtain weekend retail jobs in the run up to Christmas. I have a friend who brings in a bit of extra money every month through renting a room on Airbnb.

If it's possible can you post a rightmove link to your house, so we can see if there's anything obviously amiss?

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:11:05

Thanks MissKeith I might brave it later - sorry, I know it sounds ridiculous but I was obviously very raw and they really did make me cry my eyes out! At least on MN I have usually found that if you say "look you are upsetting me now, please stop it" most posters will be nice, especially if they know the OP is particularly fragile for whatever reason but it was just incessant on there! grin

QueenofDreams Tue 30-Oct-12 09:13:14

Oh I know the feeling you mean. A couple of years ago our situation was really dire (marginally better now, but I guess I've just got used to being broke) It got to the point that every time I thought about money I felt sick and anxious.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:13:38

Thank you smile I'm a bit anxious about identifying myself, otherwise I'd do that. It's a very scruffy house though, no one's lived in it for some time and it shows to be honest.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 30-Oct-12 09:13:40

Sorry, crosspost, I mentioned your parents helping and you've now posted that they've passed away. Apologies.

Can you work from home one or two days a week and save on nursery and commuting costs?

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:16:29

Oh don't worry catkins you weren't to know but thank you. I'm a teacher unfortunately so that isn't an option.

I suppose in a way it could be worse as we're surviving day to day but how we're going to find the money to sort out my car I don't know.

cupcake78 Tue 30-Oct-12 09:17:34

We're not in a financial mess but things are very very tight. Both well educated working hard and doing our best but getting everything taken from us and having to continually pay for increases.

There has been some great advice on here for you today. Things have to turn around at some point wink

Whoknowswhocares Tue 30-Oct-12 09:18:04

Then ( with best my Phil Spencer voice) it will either have to be cheap enough for a do- er upper or you will need to put some work and annoyingly money into it. Do you think the price is right for its condition? does the agent agree?

justmyview Tue 30-Oct-12 09:18:40

Can you sit down with spreadsheets and get all the financial info out in the open? Do you have siblings who could offer you practical suggestions, in a friendly and sympathetic atmosphere? Will you inherit money from your parents? If so, maybe the mortgage lenders would give you some breathing space if there is guaranteed money coming your way, even if not for a while

Sounds tough for you. I sympathise

MinkyWinky Tue 30-Oct-12 09:19:28

There is also a dealing with debt board on www.fool.co.uk. The first thing they will ask you to do is write out a statement of affairs (SoA). This is basically a list of all the money coming in and out including a list of debts and the interest on them - they have a calculator with categories so you hopefully won't miss anything. (If you go to any of the free advice organisations mentioned earlier they will ask for the same thing).

Even if you don't choose to go on the boards, if you do pull together an SoA, it may make it easier to understand a) where you're money's going b) where you can potentially save some.

Good luck! I know it's a really scary place to be.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:20:01

Cupcake - yes, I know how you feel!

I suppose all it takes is one person to buy the house, right? grin

To top it all, I keep getting this patronising woman ringing me up! We were considering selling the house through a company that gives about 80% of the property's market value and on Google, I found one company that turned out to be an "express estate agent" and she keeps ringing me up and asking me questions that make me so angry!

Bigwheel Tue 30-Oct-12 09:22:21

Was the parking fine a council one or one of those dodgy private parking ones?There's so many free organisations that can help out now, contact lenders for you, write budgets etc. It sounds like you need to more proactive and start contacting these organisations now, before things get worse. I would be focusing on why the house isn't selling as well, speak to the agent and ask for a honest opinion.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:23:14

Minky - thank you smile

Whoknows, I think it is quite cheap really - we bought it in 2004 and we're selling it for the same price we bought it for then (but would accept around £5000 less.)

The agents are a bit funny really. We went with them because when we first decided to sell we had a really helpful man come round who was very pleasant. When we put it on the market the one who deals with it is now a woman and she's slightly snooty - her voice annoys me [oops] and I don't know, I could be wrong, but I get the impression she's very young and is trying to sound as if she knows more than she does! I could be wrong of course.

By the way I keep these thoughts to myself - I'm vair polite on the phone of course!

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:25:38

Bigwheel, yeah, it was a council one [oops]

I didn't pay it because I meant to appeal it as I was in Waterstone's and somebody completely by accident and very apologetically afterwards dropped a hardback book on DD's face (she was in her pushchair and he was reaching up and several fell off the shelf.) She was okay but obviously screamed the place down and I lost track of time in reassuring the elderly gent that all was all right then soothing the offended DD. But I forgot [oops]

Whoknowswhocares Tue 30-Oct-12 09:28:05

Hun you really, really need help with this. If you are using payday loans and considering the fast-sell house sale market then things must feel pretty bad and you are resorting to desperate measures. good advice now could save you THOUSANDS and could make the difference between getting out of this with enough to get a new house or not.
Please either speak to Payplan or CCCS (never any of those parasites that charge for their debt-advice services) or be brave and post on that forum. I'll come over with you and hold your hand! Without full figures etc it is really hard for me to give you specific advice and that is what you need

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 09:30:05

Change agents.

If the woman annoys you she'll annoy prospective buyers too.

And re-evaluate the asking price to sell.

If you were willing to consider taking 80% of the property's value for a quick sale, you can afford to reduce the asking price considerably.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:35:14

Yes and no really, the advantage of the quick sale is no solicitors fees or estate agent fees and ours are pretty large. We will be changing agents once our six months with this agent are up.

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 09:39:25

Are you living rent-free at the moment? Once the house is sold I'm presuming you'll be able to sort everything else.

Could you take in a lodger? Would you consider moving back into the house and renting out where you are? Could you do cosmetic work to cheer up your place to help it sell?

PickledFanjoCat Tue 30-Oct-12 09:41:05

On the plus side some of these costs are temporary and once you sell the house that will help..

Nursery fees are killing me at the moment.

Imagine how nice when they stop.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 09:43:54

Mutt, yes, but we still have to pay our mortgage on the vacent property. We can't move back into it - DH got a new job knowing we were moving into my parents' property. The commute (bad now) would be unmanageable, around a 4 hour round trip.

We just can't afford any cosmetic work although if we could, we would. It just feels like we're trapped!

Pickled - yes, can't wait! DD is 3 in June 2014 and I am countng down the days grin

janey68 Tue 30-Oct-12 09:58:10

I think you've been given some really good practical advice on here.
The main thing I want to say is that it's easy to feel overwhelmed, but you WILL ride out this difficult time.
You are in the situation of many middle earners where you earn too much to qualify for any help, but pay out shedloads in mortgage, bills, childcare... I remember that time well. I found it soul destroying on one level to be working so hard when for a couple of years my earnings were totally swallowed by childcare and commute. On another level though it was ABSOLUTELY the right thing to do- several years on I now reap the benefits and have a good career and income, so try to hold onto that long term view.

You've been unlucky in having several incidents which have knocked you back. Use the advice on here to try to make some immediate cutbacks (phones? Sky tv? Food shop?) Also do some longer term planning for once you've got through the immediate difficulties

GrendelsMum Tue 30-Oct-12 10:03:34

If you've got money worries, you really can't do better than ask for help on the MoneySavingExpert forums. I particularly recommend the Debt Free Wannabee section of the site - those people have seen far, far worse financial situations than yours is likely to be, and have been able to take steps to sort them out. There's a real sense of optimism on the board, and they will really be able to help you without judging you for having got into the mess in the first place.

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 10:04:39

Thank you smile

TheDuchessOfEarl Tue 30-Oct-12 11:36:21

Teapot If you want, you're welcome to pm me a link to the Estate Agent pics of the house, I'll have a look & tell you what would make it more saleable. I'm not an Estate Agent or Property Developer but have managed to do up and sell a few houses - setting the ceiling price for each street.

TheDuchessOfEarl Tue 30-Oct-12 11:43:42

That last post made me sound like much more of an arse than I actually am (I hope)

oldnewmummy Tue 30-Oct-12 11:47:12

Could you rent out the house you're not living in?

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 12:03:02

We can't, mummy - it isn't really liveable and we can't afford to get it so.

Plus, the mortgage company would make us have a b to l mortgage which would defeat the object!

Duchess, thank you - the problem is, it really does need big things, bigger than we can afford. New carpets/laminate. New ceiling hmm new bathroom, the list is endless, to be honest!

Just had a letter from an insurance company about my car accident, I need to go and cry now!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 30-Oct-12 12:14:38

If your parents are dead, who owns the house you're currently living in? Could you remortgage it to get cash to make your other house saleable?

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 12:16:18

We own it but a remortgage isn't really an option at this stage - the last thing we need is extra debt!

I think we'll have to sell it to a company just to get it off our hands really sad

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 30-Oct-12 12:29:50

Ok- it just seems a bit mad that you have two houses, one of which is possibly owned outright (your parents ex-house) and you still have cash flow/debt problems. If I'm reading this right, and apologies if I'm not, it's quite a first world problem, if you don't mind me saying.

Remortgage the house you're in with (say) a 1 year "no replayment" holiday. Use the cash to do up house 1. Sell house 1. Repay mortgage on House 2. Or just flip house 1 now as a do-er upper. In any event you still own house 2 (the one you're living in)

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 30-Oct-12 12:33:07

If you're considering selling to a company that'll offer you 80% of the market value, why not instruct your agent to drop the price to, say, 90% of the market value and ask them to really push it - maybe hosting an open viewing once the price has been reduced and pushing it as a project family home? That way you might get more interest.

Also agree with MSE as a source for great advice. Do an SOA and put it on the Debt Free Wannabe forum and you'll get loads of advice on how/where to cut back, advice on getting rid of your pay day loan etc. You'll probably get suggestions you hadn't thought of. If you start off by saying you we're upset last time you were on there as you had a bereavement and posters were very hard on you (or whatever happened), so you took a break for a while but really need advice, I'm sure they'll all be extra nice to you.

niceguy2 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:34:41

I was just about to suggest one of them companies who will buy it cheap.

Obviously you won't get anywhere near the price you'd get from a private sale but in your situation it may be the best way forward since you already have your parents house to live in.

Plus cashflow seems to be what's killing you and if you have enough equity left, you could even pay the car off which would help a lot with the monthly outgoings.

Hard to know for sure though without knowing the specifics but that's what I'd be trying to do in your shoes.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 30-Oct-12 12:40:11

Agree with Niceguy- seems you're asset rich but cash poor (assuming that House 1 isn't in negative equity and House 2 is mortgage free).

The mortgage payments on House 1 are still largely interest so you need to sell it quickly. If you hang onto it for another year, you may be in a position where you would have been better off taking a lower offer and not having the cash outflow. Als, with it not being lived in, and no maintenance, the condition will deteriorate and so will its saleability.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 30-Oct-12 12:43:22

Cricket it is really hard to give advice without the facts! A thought though....
As you don't want to live ling term in your parents house, sell it now. Use the money to pay off the debts that are stupidly high apr, get yourselves sorted re cars and rent somewhere for 6 months using a little of the capital. Then make the decision to either do up and make a better sale price on the other house or sell it at a reduced price. Once you've got clear, then you can buy a new place as you will have what's left of the capital, no mortgage on the old place and the aforementioned 2 good salaries!

Whoknowswhocares Tue 30-Oct-12 12:45:43

Cricket???? Damn autocorrect! Crikey!

Loveweekends10 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:46:10

Moneysavingexpert. Go to debt free wannabe forum.
Keep a spending diary and do a statement of affairs so others on that forum can have a look through it for you.

oohlaalaa Tue 30-Oct-12 13:05:56

You have a guaranteed income coming in each month, from both of you, so I think you can get through this. From experience, it's much more hellraising when one of you is self-employed or unemployed. You also have your parents property, and no doubt some equity in the mortgaged property.

Please don't panic, you are honestly not in dire straits.

Can you use a baby sitter, for part of the week, instead of nursery? This is usually cheaper.

Is there anything you can do to your mortgaged property at weekends, just to make it look a bit loved, with minimal expenditure. Perhaps weed the garden? Clear out any junk?

In the past we have had to borrow from my parents. It sucks, being a grown up, and not able to stand up on own two feet, and having to swallow pride. Can you borrow from DH's parents? It's better than payday loans.

It might sound ridiculous, but what can you sell on ebay for some quick cash?

Can you do private tuition in evenings?

Check out the credit crunch forum on mumsnet, I prefer it to moneysavingexpert. It has some great advice for cutting spending, to the bare minimum.

oohlaalaa Tue 30-Oct-12 13:16:54

I worked as an estate agent for five years, but made redundant three years ago, and since worked in a different field.

If it's in an okay location, and not overpriced, it should sell. It might take a year though. I agree on changing agents, you need to have someone you like dealing with.

I agree, it's better to sell cheap, than accumulate high APR debt. Personally I'd try to sell privately, rather than via a company.

I do think you need to make every effort to visit property at weekends, and try and make it smart from the outside at least, if at all possible? Would you be able to do it up, a bit, for Spring 2013. Can you afford to hang on to it till then?

TeapotsInJune Tue 30-Oct-12 15:28:14

Thank you smile Asset rich and cash poor is about right, really.

I honestly can't fave moneysavingexpert (wimp!) but thanks. Have reduced the price on our house and someone is viewing on friday - please keep everything crossed smile

PickledFanjoCat Tue 30-Oct-12 15:30:18

Whoever said price as a doo-er upper was spot on Teapots.

I think we have very similar situations, although im not actually asset rich as my flat is in negative equity and no one wants it.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Oct-12 16:50:57

Hi there

As this one isn't really an AIBU, we've moved it to Credit Crunch

Best of luck to the OP.

ClareMarriott Tue 30-Oct-12 18:15:15

Dear TeapotsInJune

To be honest, there has been a slight drip feed of information from you , so the advice provided so far may be slightly askew. Firstly, I'm taking it you have a house on which you have a mortgage but are presently living in your parents house which is the house you want to sell but because of its present condition has not had any/many viewings ? How long has it been on the market and does the asking price reflect what that type of property is being sold at ? As you yourself say it could do with a bit of work on it so has it been impossible to find time to do this ? Do the photos the estate agent has taken show it in its best light? Have you looked at the council tax position on both properties ? Are the building and contents insurers ( if different ) on both properties aware that one is not occupied all the time, because cover could be restricted if left unoccupied for a period of 30 days. Two cars have been written off - can your DH's parents help with any finance for a second hand car ? How may children do you have and could any nursery fees be renegotiated ? You're a teacher, what does your DH do ? Painful though it will seem, it does seem a case of you and your DH sitting down and going through EVERYTHING to see if you have everything you need but not what you might have doubled up on or nolonger need. Can you live on the food you have in your cupboards for a time without doing a shop ?

Violet77 Wed 31-Oct-12 08:06:07

I agree with the back to basics, pull it all apart and work out where your cash goes. The small amounts will make a difference.

I got out if a mess many years ago by cutting all spending out for about six months then curbing spending after that. I was single and could live off about ten pounds a month after the fixed costs. Its not nice but it ment i could keep my house and cleared thousands in debt.

It changed my view on debt at a young age.

Good luck

Loveweekends10 Thu 01-Nov-12 05:21:06

Spending diaries are really useful. I always write down what I've spent in a little book. ( dh laughs at me) but it keeps me in check. I stop and think oh no I have been to tesco 3 times this week so then I use what I've got already.
Can you do child care vouchers through work that saved us a lot of money.
Also try to save a contingency fund as it means you don't default to credit cards all the time.
If you have credit cards switch the balances to 0% where possible. Store them in ice in freezer it makes you then have to think before you buy.

YellowSun12 Fri 23-Nov-12 13:05:16

I'm exactly the same - and I feel that I should know better than to get in this mess. It's doing my head in, I'm really down about it. I keep redoing the budget but just can't make things balance.

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