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Live webchat with Alvin Hall, financial guru, broadcaster and author, Thurs 29 March, 11am to 12noon

(65 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Mar-12 08:22:51

Following on from the discussions about last week's budget, we're joined tomorrow morning at 11am by Alvin Hall who is returning to mumsnet to answer questions on saving and investments.

With bank accounts rarely staying ahead of inflation and pensions unable to sustain us in retirement, many people are looking at the stock market as a way of maximising returns. You may already have investment in the stock market in the form of a stocks-and-shares ISA, a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or an endowment mortgage, but do you understand how it works?

In his latest book, The Stock Market Explained: Your Guide to Successful Investing, Alvin gives a clear and practical explanation of how it works and types of investments available to you. He'll be taking your questions about the stock market, saving and investing tomorrow from 11am. If you can't make it you're welcome to post your question in advance to Alvin here. All those who join in the webchat will be entered into a draw to win one of five copies of Alvin's latest book.

bagelmonkey Wed 28-Mar-12 08:45:55

Hi Alvin.
I'm 33 and not currently working. (but will be looking to go back to work). I've worked abroad for a number of years, but now back in the UK. I have minimal national insurance contributions and no private pension. I need to start planning for my retirement. How do I go about finding a pension plan that suits me (risk averse, clueless)?
Thanks.

dietstartstmoz Wed 28-Mar-12 09:22:05

Hi Alvin,
Can I just say I think you are fab. OK question time-we have two children aged 7 & 4. Our youngest has special needs. I really worry about the future for both of them, especially the youngest one as he will have extra challenges to face. Thinking ahead-the eldest may want to go to Uni in just over 10 yrs (eek), without all the other financial milestones of adulthood they may both face (driving, moving out of home etc.), we do not currently save any money for them. Money has been tight and we have some debts we are currently paying off. I am conscious that we need to do something asap as time is moving on, where do we start? I know nothing about the stockmarket or investing and don't know where to begin. Can you please advise? Thanks

Alvin you are the best I used to love your programme and am now finding myself in a position of needing your advice. I was made redundant 3 years ago and have worked pt for tge last couple of years. I have a 4 year old and a 6 month old and am now looking for ft work to go back to following maternity leave at the end of may. I have some loans and cc and am now at the point of struggling to stay on top of everything. Dh works ft and his his we're cut by 20% last year which is what has really made tge difference. He cannot work any extra hours or on an addition job. What should I be addressing/doing to get myself sorted?

Thanks Alvin

Abitwobblynow Wed 28-Mar-12 10:43:45

Alvin, with all this government counterfeiting Quantitive Easing, what is the point of saving! Your money just gets devalued! If I have a pot of money saved, should I go into the stock market right now - where are the savvy putting their money at the moment? Thanks

liger Wed 28-Mar-12 12:17:00

Hello Alvin, we in the Liger household think you are wonderful. We particularly enjoyed your series where you helped families striving to be mortgage free, are there plans to do a follow up series ( or did I miss it?) and if not, how are the family who made the Stoves getting on? They were v inspiring.

Thank you! Hope to see more of you on our screens soon.

Piffpaffpoff Wed 28-Mar-12 12:30:07

Hello Alvin, my question is baically exactly the same as Abitwobblynow - I have a lump sum sitting getting hardly any interest. Where should I be putting it?

TheRhubarb Wed 28-Mar-12 12:38:32

Hi Alvin

I am 40 and my husband is 46. Both of us are line to receive a state pension but neither have a private pension. We've never had enough money to spare as he earns £14.5k pa and I earn just over £10k pa working for myself. I am becomingly increasingly worried about our lack of any kind of pension plan and I realise that we have probably left it too late.

I am currently putting £150pm into a savings account which is £100pm for tax purposes and £50pm for some sort of pension. This is from our joint account. I realise it's not enough, but do you have any recommendations as to where I can make a regular contribution that will give us a little something when we retire? If we both plan to retire at the age of 65, just how much should we be saving now?

Any advice or recommendations would be truly appreciated.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 28-Mar-12 16:40:50

My question is mostly about pensions as well.

I have a stakeholder, and my husband has several work schemes with varying amounts in them. We had wondered about rolling all his schemes up into one to minimise admin charges and complications - is that a good idea?

He was recently made redundant and we have set up our own business. For the moment he isn't making any pension contributions, but I am still paying £180 inc. tax relief into my stakeholder.

Short term we are looking to increase our cash savings to 6 months worth of outgoings, and then we will be looking at some kind of pension planning. We can make contributions through our Ltd company I believe, which limit our corporation tax but don't attract personal tax relief, or we could continue with my stakeholder and open one for him.
Or we could just use our ISA allowance - I currently use my cash ISA allowance but we haven't ventured into a Stocks and Shares, partly due to not having the money to, and partly due to ignorance about what they offer and what the risks are.

We would also like to think about starting to save for school fees in the next couple of years, and I wondered if you have any recommendations or advice about what kind of product we could use for that?

gazzalw Wed 28-Mar-12 18:00:08

Dear Alvin
Always found you very positive about finances which can only be a very good thing!
We have recently come out of a five year fixed term contract and currently are happy that on the variable rate we are approx. £100 per month better off...but worried that the rates might start to rise - what would be your advice - fix or hold off for a while and at what point would you change your mind on holding off if that should be your advice.
By the way we are currently a one income family and narrowly avoided losing CB in the recent review - just to give you an idea of family finances.

diffoname Wed 28-Mar-12 18:53:46

I think you are very good.
This is complicated and I would like to say I know I have been an idiot...just so we get that out of the way.
I have a Wonga loan that is around 350 to 400 a month and a Paydayuk loan which I pay abit of the balance of every month...Loan is 260 interest makes it around 320 so I pay around 90 a month.I also have a wageday advance loan and pay them back in one go it will be 324 this month as obviously it all starts increasing.I work 30 hours on minimum wage a week and get tax credits etc and child benefit for 2 children I will soon be working as a nurse in London on around 29500pa.But have to pay 450 to stay up there in keyworker accomodation and 200 travel and 600 rent and council tax for where my family are based(we cannot move).and other normal bills etc.Am doing this as believe in the medium to long term it will be best for us all.I will work 1 agency shift a week for our food and clothes money.
However how the heck do I get the payday loans sorted?
Would really appreciate your advice.
Thank you.

mrswoodentop Wed 28-Mar-12 19:16:18

Dear Alvin,I loved your BBC2 show and think it is really due for a return(also liked the art ones on R4)

My question is that I have a son going(hopefully) to university in the autumn,he will not qualify for any help as out income is above the limits but will have to self fund as much as possible so is likely to end up with a considerable"debt" at the end,he is sensible but also this is a whole new world of money management for him.

If you could only give one key piece of advice for a student starting out now under the new regime what would it be ?

LottieJenkins Thu 29-Mar-12 04:19:47

Hi Alvin, not a money question but just want to say that the "blooper" scene of you with the ostriches is one of the funniest that i have ever seen! I think it was twelve takes before they got what they wanted wasnt it??

Cathynclaire Thu 29-Mar-12 06:49:42

Hi Alvin,

For several years DH has had a bee in his bonnet about the potential profits to be made from investing in shares, particularly when share prices have fallen dramatically (e.g. BP shares during the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe), and then selling "high" when the share price recovers.

Up until now we've never had any spare money to invest, so I've never paid much attention to his witterings on the subject, but due to an unexpected windfall, we now have about £5k which we could invest in this way.

Do you have any general advice for share-buying novices? Also do you think my DH's strategy for shares to invest in is high-risk? ....I do!

I also loved your BBC2 show back in the days....I can remember you advising someone to destroy their credit card "Burn baby burn...(disco inferno) grin

nowit Thu 29-Mar-12 09:13:48

Hi Alvin,

We are due to move in a few weeks and have fixed for two years. We have a small amount of shared equity that is interest free for 5 years. We really want to plough our money into getting rid of this as quickly as possible but without the temptation of dipping into it.

Can you recommend a notice savings account that you don't have to have a lump sum to set up please? We will be paying in £200 per month and would like it closed for 4 years so that we can't touch it.

Obviously a good interest rate would be a bonus but we do know how rare they are at the moment.

Many thanks

sharonstoned Thu 29-Mar-12 09:52:26

If I have an account with lloyds and they are selling over 600 branches to
co-op, what is your advice on this..?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Mar-12 11:00:47

Alvin has arrived at MNHQ and is ready to start answering your questions. Welcome to Mumsnet, Alvin

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:01:17

Hello hello, I'm very glad to be here today. Send in your messages, and I will answer as many as I can!

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:02:16

Cathynclaire

Hi Alvin,

For several years DH has had a bee in his bonnet about the potential profits to be made from investing in shares, particularly when share prices have fallen dramatically (e.g. BP shares during the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe), and then selling "high" when the share price recovers.

Up until now we've never had any spare money to invest, so I've never paid much attention to his witterings on the subject, but due to an unexpected windfall, we now have about £5k which we could invest in this way.

Do you have any general advice for share-buying novices? Also do you think my DH's strategy for shares to invest in is high-risk? ....I do!

I also loved your BBC2 show back in the days....I can remember you advising someone to destroy their credit card "Burn baby burn...(disco inferno) grin

Thanks for your compliment. Your assessment of your DH's strategy is accurate. Any short-term investing involves significant risk regardless of the type of shares he would be buying and selling. Buying low and selling high is always harder than people imagine. Remember that just because a share is low doesn't mean it won't go lower. A significant upturn is not guaranteed or certain. Give your DH copy of my new book "The Stock Market Explained." It will clarify the risks and rewards of various approaches. Make sure he focuses on the risks, not just the potential rewards!

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:03:37

mrswoodentop

Dear Alvin,I loved your BBC2 show and think it is really due for a return(also liked the art ones on R4)

My question is that I have a son going(hopefully) to university in the autumn,he will not qualify for any help as out income is above the limits but will have to self fund as much as possible so is likely to end up with a considerable"debt" at the end,he is sensible but also this is a whole new world of money management for him.

If you could only give one key piece of advice for a student starting out now under the new regime what would it be ?

That the student should view his education as an investment in the future, that they should make a realistic budget and stick to it. And, they should not waste a lot of time on fretting about the loan - it's the new reality, accept and move forward in a positive way.

I'm not telling you this based on theory because I too graduated from school with educational debt, and I focused on the potential ahead of me to make my life better.

cm22v07 Thu 29-Mar-12 11:04:15

Hello Alvin,
I used to love your show 'Your Money or Your Life'- it was brilliant.
Have you got any other TV series in the pipeline?
Thanks!

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:06:38

Alibabaandthe40nappies

My question is mostly about pensions as well.

I have a stakeholder, and my husband has several work schemes with varying amounts in them. We had wondered about rolling all his schemes up into one to minimise admin charges and complications - is that a good idea?

He was recently made redundant and we have set up our own business. For the moment he isn't making any pension contributions, but I am still paying £180 inc. tax relief into my stakeholder.

Short term we are looking to increase our cash savings to 6 months worth of outgoings, and then we will be looking at some kind of pension planning. We can make contributions through our Ltd company I believe, which limit our corporation tax but don't attract personal tax relief, or we could continue with my stakeholder and open one for him.
Or we could just use our ISA allowance - I currently use my cash ISA allowance but we haven't ventured into a Stocks and Shares, partly due to not having the money to, and partly due to ignorance about what they offer and what the risks are.

We would also like to think about starting to save for school fees in the next couple of years, and I wondered if you have any recommendations or advice about what kind of product we could use for that?

First, of course you should take advantage of your ISA allowance! It's one of the best things the government has ever given to savers and investors. Overall, in reading your inquiry, you're working on many different fronts - retirement, starting a business, building a cash reserve, saving for school fees - you really need to sit down with a professional and work out a comprehensive plan.

One of the key parts to your plan will be to work out how much money you will need in each of those areas. Then you can start to allocate you income properly. But an investment professional will help you see the big picture, and establish the right priorities. I wish I had time to do this for you, but I can't do more for you here, as it would would require a lot of consultation to get it right for your specific needs. Good luck with everything.

lockitt Thu 29-Mar-12 11:08:08

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:09:50

Abitwobblynow

Alvin, with all this government counterfeiting Quantitive Easing, what is the point of saving! Your money just gets devalued! If I have a pot of money saved, should I go into the stock market right now - where are the savvy putting their money at the moment? Thanks

Saving is always important because it's money that you control. If something goes wrong having this money in the bank will give you options. Understand that financial situations change over one's lifetime. So one cannot be trapped in feeling cynical, or bitter, that we're now in a period of low interest rates. Focus instead on what's important for you, and your financial security. Instead of spending your time worrying about low interest rates, spend a little time to consider other options that fit your risk profile.

lockitt Thu 29-Mar-12 11:09:50

Hi Alvin,

I'm in negative equity and have a mortgage with the Halifax. I am on the standard base rate which they are increasing but I dont know where to turn to remortgage on a fixed rate and get a good deal when I am in negative equity. Do you think its ok to stay on the base rate and hope the BoE will keep the interest rates low?

Thank you!

lockitt Thu 29-Mar-12 11:11:56

Hi Alvin I have another question from a friend!

They have a bad credit rating and have recently been declined for a personal loan to clear their credit card.

What are the best steps to repairing your credit rating and how long will it take before you can apply for credit and be accepted?

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:12:39

TheRhubarb

Hi Alvin

I am 40 and my husband is 46. Both of us are line to receive a state pension but neither have a private pension. We've never had enough money to spare as he earns £14.5k pa and I earn just over £10k pa working for myself. I am becomingly increasingly worried about our lack of any kind of pension plan and I realise that we have probably left it too late.

I am currently putting £150pm into a savings account which is £100pm for tax purposes and £50pm for some sort of pension. This is from our joint account. I realise it's not enough, but do you have any recommendations as to where I can make a regular contribution that will give us a little something when we retire? If we both plan to retire at the age of 65, just how much should we be saving now?

Any advice or recommendations would be truly appreciated.

Your husband still has 19 years until your retirement goal, and you have 25 years, so it's not too late! In your cases, I think you should try to establish how much money you want to have at retirement, and then work toward achieving that goal. Right now, it seems as if you're putting money away, but you have no stated goal.

By knowing how much you want to achieve, you then can focus on the
important benchmarks along the way, and each time you achieve a benchmark, it will further motivate you.

So the best advice I can give you would be to define your specific, monetary goal and move toward achieving it. I think that will give you a greater sense of security about your retirement, because then you will know how much money you and your husband will want to have available.

TheMulberryTree Thu 29-Mar-12 11:12:57

Hi Alvin! We're looking to buy a house and so far we've been sensible in looking at the lower end of our budget. However, there are houses that are more appealing but the monthly mortgage repayment would be the top end of our budget.
Baring in mind we're both in our early twenties with a duel income, our earning potential is much higher. How risky do you think it would be to opt for the nicer, more expensive, house with the higher monthly repayment? Do you think the interest rates will rocket in the foreseeable future?

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:14:33

cm22v07

Hello Alvin,
I used to love your show 'Your Money or Your Life'- it was brilliant.
Have you got any other TV series in the pipeline?
Thanks!

Yes, I'll be appearing on The Apprentice: You're Fired in early May, and am in talks with production companies about a series on contemporary art, and another one on personal finance. I have all fingers, toes and eyes crossed for good luck.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:16:50

LottieJenkins

Hi Alvin, not a money question but just want to say that the "blooper" scene of you with the ostriches is one of the funniest that i have ever seen! I think it was twelve takes before they got what they wanted wasnt it??

It was actually 29 takes to get one usable take.

The experience still haunts me. I've been asked "Are you that guy in that ostrich video?" in airports in Australia, in Chicago, and in Europe.

I'm sure there will be an ostrich on my tombstone when I die.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:19:55

nowit

Hi Alvin,

We are due to move in a few weeks and have fixed for two years. We have a small amount of shared equity that is interest free for 5 years. We really want to plough our money into getting rid of this as quickly as possible but without the temptation of dipping into it.

Can you recommend a notice savings account that you don't have to have a lump sum to set up please? We will be paying in £200 per month and would like it closed for 4 years so that we can't touch it.

Obviously a good interest rate would be a bonus but we do know how rare they are at the moment.

Many thanks

Check the financial papers at the weekend, and their websites, to look for the best notice accounts. Also, search online, at various information websites.
Moneysavingexpert.com is a good one for this type of information, and another one is Savvywoman.co.uk

TrumpHair Thu 29-Mar-12 11:20:47

Welcome Alvin!

Please could you advise on the best way of investing a small amount of money for a child.

Thank you.

Toolong Thu 29-Mar-12 11:24:28

If you had a choice when planning for retirement , would you either
a) buy a property and rent it out, or
b) would you buy a pension?

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:24:49

lockitt

Hi Alvin I have another question from a friend!

They have a bad credit rating and have recently been declined for a personal loan to clear their credit card.

What are the best steps to repairing your credit rating and how long will it take before you can apply for credit and be accepted?

Your friend needs to get a copy of her credit report immediately, to see what is the source of her bad credit. She needs to check with all three credit reporting agencies. If it's late payments, she needs to start to make all of her payments on time. It will take about six months before she will see a noticeable improvement.

If there is any incorrect information on her credit report, she needs to contact the creditors to try to correct that information - as soon as possible. This will take a while, and she may find some of it frustrating. And if she really is struggling, she may want to go to see a counsellor at Citizens Advice, or one of the other charities set up to help people who are in debt.

The one thing she does not want to do is to sign up with one of those For Profit companies, who make promises that they may not be able to deliver on. We see their ads on television, we hear them on the radio - do not yield to that temptation!

cm22v07 Thu 29-Mar-12 11:29:28

Great looking forward to your appearance on You're Fired.
A quick question, do I need to sort my ISA out before April if I started one a little bit later last year (May-time), how does this work? When is the best time to do it?
I know this is probably a simple question but I can't seem to find the answer anywhere online?!
Thanks.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:29:31

Toolong

If you had a choice when planning for retirement , would you either
a) buy a property and rent it out, or
b) would you buy a pension?

When looking at a retirement, you have to look at the various streams of income that you want to have at retirement. So we know that you'll get a state pension, which may not be very much money. You may have a pension from your employer, and then money that you have saved up for retirement. Whether you buy a property, or buy a pension, depends upon your individual circumstances. It does not have to be an either/or situation.

Select the one with which you feel the most comfortable, but recognize one fact: that putting all of your eggs in one basket always involves a degree of risk.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:31:17

cm22v07

Great looking forward to your appearance on You're Fired.
A quick question, do I need to sort my ISA out before April if I started one a little bit later last year (May-time), how does this work? When is the best time to do it?
I know this is probably a simple question but I can't seem to find the answer anywhere online?!
Thanks.

If you contributed last year in May, then you used your ISA allowance for the 2011/2012 tax year. You have to wait until after this years deadline, April 5th, to make another contribution.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:36:50

dietstartstmoz

Hi Alvin,
Can I just say I think you are fab. OK question time-we have two children aged 7 & 4. Our youngest has special needs. I really worry about the future for both of them, especially the youngest one as he will have extra challenges to face. Thinking ahead-the eldest may want to go to Uni in just over 10 yrs (eek), without all the other financial milestones of adulthood they may both face (driving, moving out of home etc.), we do not currently save any money for them. Money has been tight and we have some debts we are currently paying off. I am conscious that we need to do something asap as time is moving on, where do we start? I know nothing about the stockmarket or investing and don't know where to begin. Can you please advise? Thanks

The first thing you need to do is get out of debt, and I'm specifically referring to any high interest, consumer debt, that you're carrying, on credit cards, store cards - anything similar to that.

Then you need to make sure you have an emergency fund of three to six months in the bank, so that if something goes wrong, you have a cushion, and you have time to consider your options.

Once you have those two things in place, then you can start putting money away for your children. Keep in mind that other relatives can contribute money instead of presents to your children's futures, therefore the full burden won't be on you.

Before you consider investing money in the stock market, you need to educate yourself first. That's one of the reasons I wrote this book, The Stock Market Explained. Don't feel you have to put all your money in the stock market. In fact, you may discover that the risk is too great for you in which case, saving in a building society may be appropriate.

Secure the day-to-day financial life of the family first, then concentrate on your children's future.

TheRhubarb Thu 29-Mar-12 11:37:48

So for someone wanting to take out a stakeholder pension, are there any good deals out there?

Also, if you don't mind another question. We currently have an ex-council house and are aware that ex-authority houses have a ceiling rate that private houses do not. If you had the extra money to buy a private house, would you do so with the intention of making a profit or would you invest it?

thestringcheesemassacre Thu 29-Mar-12 11:40:18

Alvin,

What kind of vehicle should we invest in with our childrens saving? We put away roughly £1500 a year for them and would love it to grow healthily but still be very secure.

Thank you

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:40:59

TrumpHair

Welcome Alvin!

Please could you advise on the best way of investing a small amount of money for a child.

Thank you.

My first question is how much risk do you want to take with this money? If you are totally risk-adverse, then your only option is a bank or building society. If you're willing to take on more risk, then you might want to look at the stock market, specifically, unit trust. Many allow people to invest small amounts of money at regular intervals. Look for a trust with low on-going expenses, therefore more of the profit it makes will end up benefiting your child.

Tracker funds tend to have the lowest expenses, so they may be something you want to look at first, but keep in mind that the money you invest in any stock market-related vehicle will be at risk. Expect the value to fluctuate up and down. Focus on your long-term goals for your child, rather than the day-to-day volatility. Set certain benchmarks along the way that you want to achieve, and if the investment isn't achieving them, consider making changes.

TrumpHair Thu 29-Mar-12 11:42:58

Many thanks for your answer.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:46:07

TheMulberryTree

Hi Alvin! We're looking to buy a house and so far we've been sensible in looking at the lower end of our budget. However, there are houses that are more appealing but the monthly mortgage repayment would be the top end of our budget.
Baring in mind we're both in our early twenties with a duel income, our earning potential is much higher. How risky do you think it would be to opt for the nicer, more expensive, house with the higher monthly repayment? Do you think the interest rates will rocket in the foreseeable future?

There's two points of view about that. The traditional one is that you should buy the most house you can, the idea being that this house will go up in value, or at least retain its value. The second point of view is that you should buy a house that you know you can reasonably afford, without putting yourself under undue mortgage pressure.

In my own life, I chose the second option because of the job uncertainty that I anticipated in my life, and I wanted a mortgage that I could afford through good times and bad times. In your post, you have two incomes, and your potential is much higher, so you may want to stretch a bit. But don't stretch to the point where if one thing goes wrong - such as one of you losing your job - you could lose the house, or the financial pressures would bring stress to your marriage.

Be realistic about this. As far as interest rates in the future, it looks like the government will keep them flat for a while, but to know more about the future, I'll have to consult my crystal ball! (Or my bowl of goat entrails/or cup of tea leaves!)

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:50:49

thestringcheesemassacre

Alvin,

What kind of vehicle should we invest in with our childrens saving? We put away roughly £1500 a year for them and would love it to grow healthily but still be very secure.

Thank you

I have to give you general advice because I don't know the ages of your children. Since you're looking for healthy growth, you probably want to look at a growth-oriented unit trust, run by a fund company with a long history of good management and low fees. This follows classic thinking about long-term growth for young people.

What concerns is me is when you said you want the money "very secure". This would suggest that you're also risk-averse. If you choose to invest the money, look at tracker funds, or large cap growth funds. While they will be volatile, they will be less volatile than funds that focus on smaller, younger companies.

Calypso Thu 29-Mar-12 11:54:24

Just remembered about this and hope you have time to help...Back in 1996 when we bought our first house we took an endowment mortgage and pay £200 a month to I think it's now Aviva. Don't know how much it's worth but am guessing not that much. Would we be better just to keep on paying in and hoping one day we get something from it, or would we be better cashing it in (know you don't get much if you do that) and investing that sort of money elsewhere. We can afford to "save" it - just want to know we're "saving" it in right place.

TheMulberryTree Thu 29-Mar-12 11:54:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 11:56:28

diffoname

I think you are very good.
This is complicated and I would like to say I know I have been an idiot...just so we get that out of the way.
I have a Wonga loan that is around 350 to 400 a month and a Paydayuk loan which I pay abit of the balance of every month...Loan is 260 interest makes it around 320 so I pay around 90 a month.I also have a wageday advance loan and pay them back in one go it will be 324 this month as obviously it all starts increasing.I work 30 hours on minimum wage a week and get tax credits etc and child benefit for 2 children I will soon be working as a nurse in London on around 29500pa.But have to pay 450 to stay up there in keyworker accomodation and 200 travel and 600 rent and council tax for where my family are based(we cannot move).and other normal bills etc.Am doing this as believe in the medium to long term it will be best for us all.I will work 1 agency shift a week for our food and clothes money.
However how the heck do I get the payday loans sorted?
Would really appreciate your advice.
Thank you.

First, let's view this as a completely new start. Forgive yourself for what you have done, and strive to create a better future for yourself. Head as soon as you can to Citizens Advice, CCCS (Consumer Credit Counselling Services), or one of the other charities that helps people with debt. Be honest with them about your situation, work with them to create a plan that you can stick to - this is very important - and then, be diligent. I can't wave a magic wand to get you out of this situation, or ask you to click your heels three times so that you miraculously end up in a different place. You just have to come up with a long-term plan, and stick to it.

And remember to promise yourself that you will never, ever, ever do this again! Start today, on a new road, and get the help you need.

TheMulberryTree Thu 29-Mar-12 11:57:00

Thank you for answering my question, one of the main reasons for buying a house is because our monthly repayments is likely to be less than rent. But in consideration of the increasing cost of childcare, train fares, food, petrol etc.. how much do you think an average family should have as disposable income?

The average family spends something like 50% of their salary on childcare. What do you think is the 'right' percentage to allocate to childcare/mortgage/bills? And how much of your income should you be 'allowed' to enjoy?

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 12:00:25

LovesBeingWearingSkinnyJeans

Alvin you are the best I used to love your programme and am now finding myself in a position of needing your advice. I was made redundant 3 years ago and have worked pt for tge last couple of years. I have a 4 year old and a 6 month old and am now looking for ft work to go back to following maternity leave at the end of may. I have some loans and cc and am now at the point of struggling to stay on top of everything. Dh works ft and his his we're cut by 20% last year which is what has really made tge difference. He cannot work any extra hours or on an addition job. What should I be addressing/doing to get myself sorted?

Thanks Alvin

You and your husband need to sit down immediately and work out a realistic budget for yourselves that considers all contingencies. In doing this budget, try to determine what is the minimum amount you need to continue your lifestyle.

In working out this budget, you may discover, for example, that you need to reduce your loan payments to survive. Contact the lenders, and try to negotiate a lower payment for yourself without an increase in interest charges. It's better to be pro-active in this situation rather than waiting to see what's going to happen.

BoffinMum Thu 29-Mar-12 12:01:35

Hello Alvin,

I am a typical squeezed middle person who has high housing costs, high childcare costs, long working hours and a monster commute. What on earth do you do to mitigate things if your childcare costs and commuting costs equal your net income, and you can't find a job locally???????

BoffinMum Thu 29-Mar-12 12:02:14

PS I love your work and I make my children read your books.

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 12:03:57

Calypso

Just remembered about this and hope you have time to help...Back in 1996 when we bought our first house we took an endowment mortgage and pay £200 a month to I think it's now Aviva. Don't know how much it's worth but am guessing not that much. Would we be better just to keep on paying in and hoping one day we get something from it, or would we be better cashing it in (know you don't get much if you do that) and investing that sort of money elsewhere. We can afford to "save" it - just want to know we're "saving" it in right place.

You need to contact Aviva to find out where you stand and what is the value of the endowment. You can make no decision until you know that fact. As a general rule, a repayment mortgage, for most people, will be better than an endowment! Because you're paying off the principle every month. This is a more prudent approach, I think. And it involves less speculation about the future. Before you decide your next step, get the information you need from Aviva so you can make an informed decision.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Mar-12 12:05:25

That brings us to the end of the hour. Thanks so much to Alvin for joining us and helping out with such great advice. We've really enjoyed having you here today and do hope you'll visit mumsnet again soon. Thanks to everyone who joined the webchat today, we'll be announcing shortly the five winners of Alvin's latest book The Stock Market Explained

AlvinHall Thu 29-Mar-12 12:06:17

I've enjoyed this, and all your questions have been interesting and stimulating! I wish I could have answered all of them. In fact, I wish I could meet all of you and sit down with you and talk through your issues in person. I'm sure that that conversation would open doors to other information and personal goals that would help you develop the plan you really need to achieve the financial security you desire.

Thanks so much for an informative hour on the internet. In some of my future columns and books, I'm sure the questions you have asked will influence what I write!

Cathynclaire Thu 29-Mar-12 12:06:22

Thank you for your answering my question Alvin. smile

BoffinMum Thu 29-Mar-12 12:09:33

I wish you were Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alvin, because we would all feel a lot safer with someone in charge who had a real sense of how family finance works. Thank you for coming on.

BoffinMum Thu 29-Mar-12 12:10:36

PS "You just can't afford it!" in an Alvin voice is actually our family motto, would you believe it. grin

mrswoodentop Thu 29-Mar-12 12:30:21

Alvin thank you for answering my question ,especially as your answer was so thoughtful and simple.I feel ridiculously excited that it was answered ....and all for free too!

I wonder should"you just can't afford it' be available as a ring tone ,I would like it to play every time I open my pursegrin

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Mar-12 12:35:23

Congratulations to: Abitwobblynow, gazzalw, piffpaffpoff, TrumpHair and TheMulberryTree, you've all won a copy of Alvin's book, The Stockmarket Explained. We'll be PMing you to get details of where the books should be sent out.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 29-Mar-12 12:57:37

Alvin thank you for answering my questions smile

We will definitely go and get some proper advice, and keep using our ISA allowance in the meantime!

BoffinMum Thu 29-Mar-12 13:02:21

It's the way he says it! grin

I feel Alvin is there with me spiritually every time I shop. It doesn't get better than that.

Doobydoo Thu 29-Mar-12 15:31:45

Thank you so much for answering my question Alvin.I shall take your advice and rest assured I will never do it again!

LottieJenkins Thu 29-Mar-12 17:21:17
BoffinMum Thu 29-Mar-12 18:07:41

That is brilliant. Alvin is the consummate professional! grin

NewHouse Fri 30-Mar-12 22:44:11

What a great web chat.

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