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AIBU to give up all four jobs~just so furious. Pointless 12 months.

(36 Posts)
Cornwallbird79 Wed 08-Jun-16 11:53:34

Right. Id appreciate your thoughts please.
We developed a huge (and I mean huge debt) during a period of time when DH was studying. We have both worked as hard as we can but with the interest piling up it became unmanageable. I had ALWAYS thought that people in debt were ridiculous. Why couldn't we just stick to a budget? LOts of my friends seemed to do it.

I guess this might be easier with stable income but it was often a little up and down. We made some very silly mistakes such as change our mortgage to interest only (almost £900 a month for a 2 bed semi) plus allowing the bank to talk us into a huge loan to consolidate the debts - when looking back, it was clear that we would have been better selling up & paying ours debts off. We were tired, stressed and not well. decisions with loans etc reduced our credit rating & our interest rates were v v high. If only we could go back and make better decisions!

We havn't holidayed since we married almost ten years ago, we dont buy new clothes & we drive old bangers. Shamefully, i don't even have a bra that fits me. I alternate between two nursing bras that Ive had for 4 years. However our exteriors are cheerful. I regularly volunteer on variuous boards, take an interest in community & we have a messy but I guess sort of ok home (rented) I love the children and they are lovely kids!

A friend of mine recently commented about 'poor' people and why they don't just get a better job or work more hours. I'm ashamed to say i just sat opened mouthed & babbled something about everyone circumstances being different.

Neither of us command a huge income but we have just hung on to the hope that things would get better with effort & time. It hasn't.

I suffer from bi polar depression. No one knows this as I have never had reason to tell an employer or friends. I work REALLY hard to keep myself level & every day is a real balance. I'm on a small amount of medication which has so far worked, I don't smoke, take drugs of any sort & I keep my alcohol to a real minimum. I don't sleep around or do any of those things that TV make out happens... and I don't have hallucinations or talk to inanimate objects smile well.....not so far.
I receive no benefits or allowances etc for the privelage of having an adled brain smile

Fast forward 5 years and we are still chipping away at the debt. I now have four part time jobs having just cut it down from 5. These are all £7.20 an hr care type jobs / help at a school / support work and frankly although are lovely jobs (in that they are helpful to the community) they are very draining. I regularly cry in the loo at work, I'm exhausted to my bones & I often day dream of running away!
Then I remember that I'm 40, got myself in this mess, and need to get myself into gear and get on with it!

The work I do is very 'bitty' & is often for 2-5 hours at a time. We have had no family support so it has often meant leaving my children upset at nursery (which they hated) or leaving my little girl inconsolable in daddies arms as I walk out to work. It got to the point that every waking moment was taken up with her clock watching, discussing my work & pleading with me not to go. What kwpt me going was that i knew i was helping to pay debt and to help keep the house running...

Today I had a letter to say we were no longer entitled to tax credits. I have been exhausted to the point of pangs of anxiety, awful IBS - lots of things associated with depression (all of which I parcel away as I don't want anyone to think I cant cope and I don't want the kids to worry)
So basically my piddly income that ive battled for, has meant NOTHING. We now owe them almost £1700 from last year & i am totally furious.

Contributing to society is a really important for me. Basically what 'Ive done is NOTHING. I was polite on the phone but pretty fuming and told the guy that the next time i call is to say I'm unemployed. What is the point?

On one hand it may seem like our income is ok but take out several hundred pounds of a debt a month and we aren't entitled to housing benefit or anything like that.

I'm so fuming with myself for being so useless - that ive now run out of words.

AbbieLexie Wed 08-Jun-16 11:56:29

Sending huge hugs your way.

Babyroobs Wed 08-Jun-16 12:14:32

It sounds like things are really hard. It is a horrible feeling when HMRC suddenly demand money back ( it hapenned to us many years ago) and you are already struggling. Firstly try to check that the overpayment is correct as they do make mistakes, secondly you should be able to pay it back gradually. When we no longer were entitled to any tax creidts, they suddenly demanded £900 back. I rang them , I think I cried on the phone and they agreed for us to pay it back at £30 a month which was manageable. Please ask if this is an option.
I wouldn't advocate giving up your job, especially if your dd is nearing school age. When Universal credit comes in I think you would both have to work once your child is school age especially if you are both on minimum wage. I understand how hard it is leaving them, my 10 year old dd still doesn't like it when I have to go to work at the weekends or onto a night duty. have you sought advice on how to manage your debts from an organisation such as stepchange or CAB or CAP ( Christians against poverty ) ? Hope things improve soon.

WreckingBallsInsideMyHead Wed 08-Jun-16 12:21:41


You sound in an awful situation

Definitely seek help with debt management! I had a Demb Managemnt Plan with Payplan and they deal with creditors for you and will agree reduced payments, still paying off the full amount cause it sounds like that's important to you, just over more time and many companies will freeze interest and charges so you're not adding to the mountain.

Four bitty jobs can be more exhausting than a full time one even if you're doing the same number of hours. Having to constantly change gear from one to another, plus travel time is all stressful.

araiba Wed 08-Jun-16 12:24:26

you really need to sit down and spend some time with someone who can go through the numbers with you. things like the tax you pay- it can get complicated when doing more than 1 job, are you getting maximum allowances/ benefits, can you change your debt structure

you say your hours are bitty- are they the same every week or can it vary? if it varies, it will make it hard to plan and you may be better with a single job withe consistent hours.

sticking your head in the sand wont help but you will certainly feel positive if you have a plan and go for it. not easy but very necessary

2boysnamedR Wed 08-Jun-16 12:27:38

I'm sorry your in this situation. You can't go back and change the past now so don't beat yourself up.

If you was to drop one job how much would your TC be affected?

There's no point working yourself into a early grave. Could you drop one thing and then pick up another job once your better able to manage it?

Sorry no real advise. How about cab?

HighDataUsage Wed 08-Jun-16 12:28:00

Post this thread on money matters and credit crunch for advice. There is a poster there called talkingpeace (I think) she works in the finance industry & has helped loads of people with debt advice. Put 'debt advice needed' in your title heading.

Firstly, do you rent or own your property? If you own, can you claim back any ppi on insurance policies etc that you may have taken out on any loans/mortgage.

Use the template letters on the MSE website, very simple to use and send off yourself. Don't use a company as they charge extortionate fees.

Are there any credit card loans that you can switch to a 0%card?

Can you switch utilities to cheaper rates etc? Have a look on the MSE website for best deals etc.

Regarding your job can you look for one that is fixed hours so part time 3/4 days a week. That will give you respite time to recover emotionally. I used to work in an fE college 3 days a week doing administration and that fitted in with childcare etc. Doing 4 jobs is taking its toll on you emotionally and physically. It's very important that you look after

alphabettyspaghetty Wed 08-Jun-16 12:28:35

i would definitely look at a debt management plan - the debt free wannabe board on MSE is really helpful in this respect. No judgement from them as some people on their have been in horrendous positions.

its not great but is there a option for whoever has the debt to take bankruptcy?

can you approach your work and ask for a payrise? even if its 50p it might make a difference over the course of month.

Can your DH ask for a payrise? Is that possible?

Definitely phone HMRC and agree a payment plan they are very good like that.

Hope it starts to sort itself out for you flowers

trafalgargal Wed 08-Jun-16 12:45:26

Maybe the tax credits were a bit of a wake up call that you need to target your efforts rather than use the throw everything at the wall and hope it sticks approach.

Doing one job instead of four may make more economic sense if it restarts tax credits for example . Ignore people who make glib remarks but have never had to wonder how the heck they will pay the bills. If they've never walked in your shoes they don't know.

At forty it's not too late to retrain ,universities are full of forty somethings on student loans making a fresh start , many have families and part time jobs . It isn't easy but it's probably not as hard as your current level of juggling. As an example my local university does an evening access course for people without A levels or who have been out of education that runs one or two evenings a week (so one or two year course) . I have friends who took this route in their forties who are graduating this summer , one is adding a teaching qualification, another is going to work locally in criminal justice, another as a social worker , all were older than you when they started that access course and all benefited from loans for both fees and living expenses and also bursaries . Do the maths , would going back into education leave you worse off or the same but with potential for better future earnings ?

Even if education isn't the route you want you need to look at working within a business plan. Is job B for example worthwhile if it leads to both extra child costs and tears and exhaustion and would dropping it and just doing jobs a & c be more effective ....or even finding a brand new single job E and dropping the rest as it pays better, has better hours etc.

I work from home , in a PAYE job that I took because I needed to solve the problem of my teenage Aspergers son getting distressed when I was delayed coming home from work. He's now much older but whenever I look at other jobs and add up what it will cost me in work clothes, travel expenses etc it simply isn't worth it. It costs us to go to work in most cases and sometimes a closer to home job that appears to pay less doesn't in nett terms . Something to add to the mix when working out which jobs make the most economic sense perhaps.

stiffstink Wed 08-Jun-16 12:52:26

If you rent your home, why do you have a £900 interest only mortgage? The moneysavingexpert website is really useful, especially the Debt Free Wannabe board of the forum.

TheWernethWife Wed 08-Jun-16 13:11:28

Cannot see where the op said they rent - did I miss that bit?

HighDataUsage Wed 08-Jun-16 13:22:13

we have a messy but I guess sort of ok home (rented)

Here ^ the op mentions the rented house

icanteven Wed 08-Jun-16 14:00:24

They may have lost the house that was mortgaged.

OP: It seems like you are constantly exhausted and fraught, which explains why you feel like you are not moving anywhere. You have had some really good advice about debt management, but I think you also need to reassess your work situation, as what you are doing sounds unsustainable, and I think you know it.

What skills do you have? You appear to be articulate and literate, for one thing. You would earn more per hour doing freelance virtual assistant or writing work, to start with, and I bet you have lots more transferable skills that would be invaluable in an administrative or even managerial role if you weren't too exhausted to assess yourself clearly, and start looking for work in a completely different area.

Maybe get some inspiration here -

Feel free to PM me for advice.

Cornwallbird79 Wed 08-Jun-16 14:26:54

Overwhelmed thanks so much guys. Was expecting at least one person to be ratty about it. After all its debt we got ourselves really, really snowballs and it wasn't from buying nice cars / champagne or even a social life let alone clothes, TV's and holidays. Interest builds up so much.

Yup, we sold our home and just about covered costs of selling it. There was no money left in the mortgage - not even for a deposit for our rental.
We now rent

I don't think some people have to even wonder about bills. Another friend the other day was saying 'ooh come and stay...we don't really cook at home we eat out all the time - you'll LOVE it."
Erm, yes I'm sure i would but i cant afford to eat out, so have had to politely decline. (which hasn't gone down very well as apparently 'I'm always too busy to socialise.
Id love to - but it would be a picnic at mine smile

The idea about re training is great and something Id love to do. I've even had a place back at uni twice in the last five years but finances were just too tight. I did voluntary work etc in preparation and was so, so happy that I got the place. Not possible at the moment.

I did tell one friend about the situation and she advised separating from my husband. She told me she gets lots of benefits, but I love my husband and don't want to do that! How dishonest. She was gloating a little bit i felt about what she gets - she smokes and drinks and has a new car but I'm sure her parents must help her out?! I don't believe anyone would choose to be a single mum. (not that there is any issue with being a single mum !) It sounds really hard and not something you do just to improve finances, not to mention it would be dishonest! sad

I'm going to speak with debt charity now. Thank you

Cornwallbird79 Wed 08-Jun-16 14:43:48

thank you smile

pambeesley Wed 08-Jun-16 14:49:52

It may be better for you to drop one job and still get tax credits. Maybe limit your hours to 16 especially if paying for nursery.

HighDataUsage Wed 08-Jun-16 15:14:30

How old are your children? If you have a 2 year old, you could qualify for 15 free hours childcare.

This might not be your thing but it could be a temporary solution to your problems while your dc are young. Could you do an evening shift at a supermarket therefore cutting nursery fees completely. Use the saved nursery fees towards paying off your debts earlier. My friend does the 8pm-midnight shift at her local supermarket and earns £500 take home. She's home and in bed by 12:30am so the job doesn't interfere too much with her sleep patterns.

Babyroobs Wed 08-Jun-16 15:24:48

Could you just fit your care work job around your dh's job ( assuming he works 9-5 ish hours). Doing a couple of split nightshifts a week would probably ( especially if NHS as you would get unsocial hours enhancements) bring in a decent amount and you would have no childcare costs. We have worked this way for years to make ends meet and avoid childcare costs.

TortoiseSmile Wed 08-Jun-16 15:26:09

OP, its good you work hard in the community, but you also owe a life to yourself! Isn't your first priority is yourself and your family, especially when they're growing/so young. You haven't had a holiday in 10 years?

I know the desire to get active and "get out there" and do stuff for others, is great, and also would ask does the bi-polar thing make you a little 'hyper' on that score btw - I only ask because I had a friend like that. Four jobs sounds incredibly stressful, no wonder you end up crying in the toilet. I am sure you will have lots of practical advice on this thread. But it sounds like you need to give yourself permission to relax and try and find a solution that allows you to do that.

dowhatnow Wed 08-Jun-16 15:47:18

How many hours do your 4 part time jobs add up to? then add travelling time etc?

How can you earn the same money but in a less stressful way?

See what the debt people say but

Well done for trying to sort yourself out and chipping away at the debt.

lazyarse123 Wed 08-Jun-16 17:28:21

We are in a similar position. I had 3 part -time jobs totalling 55 hours, but it was definitely far too much (I am 58) I now do one of them full time with occasional overtime. My money is about £150. a month less, but I save quite a bit on travel expenses and also meals as I now have time to shop and cook properly. We are still struggling financially but I feel so much better and happier and not as stressed. We are now entitled to tax credits. I also owe them £1000.00 from when my children were younger and I only pay them £5.00 a month through Stepchange. They have been a fantastic help and I have quite a few debts that I only pay £1. a month and no interest being added on. I would love to pay everything we owe and go on holiday but I can only try my best. Good luck with whatever you do flowers

Cornwallbird79 Wed 08-Jun-16 19:57:35

wow I'm genuinely overwhelmed that anyone is helping, let alone all of you. I've felt lighter today than I have in ages~quite a burden lifted by just talking to someone.

Well the jobs I have amount up to anything from 20-34 hours a week. That doesn't include the time of course where I may sleep over night caring for someone. I'm aware that its not full time and I could do more.....but actually I'm not sure I could. Yes, its all bitty - I feel like I'm always running between things and often late (awful as I hate being late and in a flap - its unprofessional let alone rude!) Its also awful, like physical pain leaving my daughter as sometimes the lifts I arrange for her go wrong (other people are only human) and my son was left on the doorstep the other day waiting for his lift to school. I get back at 9.45 am and he is standing there looking lost. Bless him (its not on a road or anywhere dangerous) but when I asked him why he didn't wake his dad up to ask wjhat was happening, he went all pink and said he didn't like to wake daddy as he knew he was tired after working over night.
I just gave him a hug and called school to briefly explain and no harm done - but inside I was crying for not being there for him.
I owe around 40,000 - an awful lot.

Running between things means that nothing in the house gets finished and it can be real chaos. This isn't good for my head in general but also isn't nice for hubby coming back from work or the children as although I work hard to be calm, and airy around them - you walk in and there is nowhere to move. A day off where I can cook meals up in a batch, plant a few veg seeds and vacuum and make the beds feels so, so ,soooo good. I love housework nowadays as it means I'm home and available for my children. Also as was mentioned - totally. I honestly think I save being at home as I'm mindful of cooking and saving on food - no waste etc.
My two are 4 and 8 - not babies smile but this has been going on for a long time. This isn't something that has just has happened & I've been trying really, really hard without letting myself tip over and go completely OTT and start being manic and a busy fool. The last week, all I've wanted was sleep. I think my brain is just saying 'WHAT are you doing?!'
This has been such a help knowing I'm not on my own

cmt1375 Wed 08-Jun-16 20:05:40

Try talking to Christians against poverty (they are the Christians, you don't have to be) they will help, talk to people you owe money to and stop you dealing with it all on your own.

OhBigHairyBollocks Wed 08-Jun-16 20:16:40

Don't stress about HMRC. We had a similar letter demanding a sum of £5000+ even though we had been telling them for a YEAR that we were being overpaid. They insisted it was correct each time. And then "lost" any evidence thAt they had spoken to us in that time. They are a fucking nightmare. They make the mistake and we have to take the fall!
Anyway. We rang nd told them we could not afford to pay them and we can only pay x amount per month. They were fine about this ans set up the direct debit immediately.
I hope you manage to get debt free. You sound exhausted, you poor thing. Xxxxx x

mamas12 Wed 08-Jun-16 20:29:49

Make an appointment to see CAB they are brilliant debt advisors and can point you in the right direction
They also have a sort of hotline phone number to tax credits and can deal with a query re possible mistakes they may ah e made.
They were a godsend to me and always recommend them

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