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can't believe we are so skint!

(45 Posts)
pearshape Tue 06-Mar-12 14:52:00

Our financial situation is getting worse and worse. dh is self employed but has had no proper work since before Christmas. He has been doing the same work for ten years and we have always done okay from it. I work part-time on a low wage and we do get what we are entitled to in tax credits. We have a debt management plan in place due to debts run up when dh was ill and couldn't work which we have only been able to make a token payment on for the last two months and now all creditors are calling us. We just don't have enough coming in for what's going out. I have cut back all luxuries, sold anything I could and my jewellery, including wedding ring has been pawned. We just about managed to buy food this week. I have tried so hard to be positive for the sake of our two children but I just feel like giving up now. I really thought things would pick up now we are so far into the new year but they haven't. Both myself and dh have tried to find more work but there is nothing out there at all. The only assett we have is our home which we have about £50k equity in so really don't want to go bankrupt as we would lose that as well and that is our security for the children. We are managing to meet our mortgage payments but to the detrement of other bills/debts. I really don't know why I am posting as no-one can help but I feel I'm sinking and can't talk to dh about it as he gets angry because he feels he's useless for not supporting us sad

TheSecondComing Tue 06-Mar-12 14:56:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSecondComing Tue 06-Mar-12 14:57:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pearshape Tue 06-Mar-12 16:35:21

we are seriously looking for work but we are in an area with very high unemployment and have found nothing. We are thinking of selling our home but rent would probably be the same as the mortgage. At least we could release the equity and pay off debts by selling. Not sure we could sell it at the moment though as there are things that need doing to it that we can't afford to get done. I'm not sure the mortgage company would let us switch to interest only but I could ask. thanks for the replies by the way, really unhappy with all of this and it is affecting the way i am with the dcs. They always need things for school and we don't have anything spare, it's so tough seeing them going without sad

ThatllDoPig Tue 06-Mar-12 16:40:29

Sorry you are having such a tough time.
What things do dc need for school?
Make sure they are getting free school meals, and the school can help with payment for trips and things.

overmydeadbody Tue 06-Mar-12 16:40:48

How many rooms do you have in your house? You could rent one of the rooms out to a student for a while? That's what I did when I was really skint, I had a two bedroom house, I packed up DS's room and he moved into my room with me and we had a lovely student come and live with us for a year. It really helped.

overmydeadbody Tue 06-Mar-12 16:42:24

I have been where you are now, I am really sorry you are going through this.

Could you increase your hours? Could your DP find some job he could do in the evenings, even if it's just pulling pints or stacking shelves?

nickelhasababy Tue 06-Mar-12 16:42:25

what about moving to a cheaper house?
or would you loses too much doing that?

ForeverProcrastinating Tue 06-Mar-12 16:44:20

Do try your mortgage provider first, they have systems in place to help people in difficulty but it's better that you contact them rather than just not paying. Try the CRB for help and advice too. Best of luck.

pearshape Tue 06-Mar-12 16:54:17

I will try the mortgage provider. We can't move because we couldn't get another mortgage as we are on a debt management plan and our credit rating is ruined. That also worries me about going into rented. Most agencies credit check so we wouldn't be able to use them. We really have tried every way to earn more money. I can't believe it's like this as we have always got by. DH has never gone without work for this long. We feel as if we are stuck in a nightmare with no escape. Unfortunately we don't have room for a lodger, I wish we did. The children aren't really going without anything major but it's little things they are used to having. DD has music lessons at school that need paying that we are going to struggle with. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

ThatllDoPig Tue 06-Mar-12 17:11:38

Make an appt to talk to the head or deputy head about the music lessons. The school will help, when they know how difficult things are at the moment. Your dc shouldn't miss out on anything for their education. I really hope things get better for your family soon.

petitema Tue 06-Mar-12 17:19:17

it's so shit that so many people are struggling like this. Interest only is a good idea, can you take a payment holiday...?

TheresASpareChairOverThere Tue 06-Mar-12 17:28:17

Hi, has your husband and yourself registered with every agency in your town or nearby towns? If you could even get odd days labouring/catering/temping it would bring in a little more cash.

When myself and DH were right up against it we did get calls from agencies. If you are reliable and polite you will rapidly rise to the top of their 'to call' list.

Yes the entry wages are shit (minimum wage really) but it is better than nothing.

TheresASpareChairOverThere Tue 06-Mar-12 17:28:47

Apols for grammar, have half an ear on the kids playing and it wrecks my writing!

LilacWaltz Tue 06-Mar-12 17:29:10

You need to ditch the music lessons really.

TheresASpareChairOverThere Tue 06-Mar-12 17:29:47

Oh, and explain to your DD that music lessons have to go. You must use head over heart. She will understand - DS1 was fine when we had to abandon promised things.

petitema Tue 06-Mar-12 17:41:56

Agree music lessons and other extra activties have got to go.

Yeahthatsnotgonnahappen Tue 06-Mar-12 17:45:18

Having accrued massive debts in the past myself I can honestly say there is everything to gain by talking to people. I buried my head in the sand which was absolutely the worst thing I could've done. After a massive wake up call from my mom, I contacted my creditors (including one phone call where the debt collection guy was so sweet as I basically just cried at him). Your mortgage company will help - the last thing they want to do is foreclose. The school may be able to help by setting up a plan for you to make smaller more manageable payments weekly/monthly.

Also go online and make sure your gas/electricity provider is competitive - swap for a better deal. Do you have both mobiles and a home phone? Silly I know but we stopped our landline because we never used (just thought that's what everyone has to have). Our Internet comes thru our virgin contract now and we have good mobile packages. It may not seem like a massive saving but everything adds up. If you have an expensive tv package and don't want to lose the landline make the change to freeview instead. Also have the most detailed budget imaginable - I can tell you exactly what comes in and out of our accounts to the penny, including running totals of food/travel etc costs - besides seeing where your money really is going, it made me feel a bit more in control.

I'm sorry you're going through this and try and remember that this will pass.

virgil Tue 06-Mar-12 17:47:06

Where are you and what do you both do? Could your husband do odd job work or gardening or something? Can't get handymen for love nor money around here! Seems they are very much in demand.

EssentialFattyAcid Tue 06-Mar-12 17:49:44

Can you do ironing or cleaning for a bit more money?
Or an odd few hours a day as a carer for an older person?

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Tue 06-Mar-12 17:55:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pearshape Tue 06-Mar-12 18:04:17

thank you so much for your replies. I have to go and help with homework/tea at the moment but didn't want you to think I'd just gone. All of your suggestions have been really helpful. We have contacted agencies etc and it looks like dh might have a couple of nights doing some casual work so that will be really helpful. I just feel like running away at the moment and escaping it all but I'm fully aware we aren't the only ones really struggling sad

EssentialFattyAcid Tue 06-Mar-12 18:34:43

Its no good paying for music lessons if you can't eat sad
Can you get bunk beds for the kids and then rent a room?
There may be food banks near you - this could help.

If you are prepared to do cleaning and ironing then I think you will find that there will be takers for this. Does your dh need to look at employment rather than self employment?

What area of the country are you in?

I agree on the mortgage - take a payment holiday or go interest only for a while. Check out moneysaving expert to reduce household bills, axe non essentials like internet and sky if you have it.

jenduck Wed 07-Mar-12 09:59:09

Sorry to hear of your situation. Hope things pick up for you soon. DH is a contract worker & I am self-employed, so I understand some of what you are going through - we have had periods of a couple of months with no work, and it is scary.

I will put my thinking cap on for you, but here are a couple of ideas:

1) Grocery shopping - buy value brand everything, even meat (or cut meat out altogether). Also go to the supermarket in the evening for reduced bargains or if you have a market, visit greengrocers' stalls there at closing time, they sometimes even give away bruised fruit/veg which can be used to make soups, curries, pies etc.

2) Council tax - I think that most areas are on a payment 'holiday' for that for Feb/March (certainly we are), but when it starts up again, you can contact them & ask to pay it in 12 installments rather than 10, to spread the cost. In fact, when I contacted ours a couple of years ago because we couldn't make the payment, the lady was more than happy to put our account on hold & let us pay a month later, so shifting our payment holiday a bit later.

3) TV - nowadays it is totally possible to do without a TV licence, as you can watch any programmes you like on iplayer etc after they have been on live TV. You could play board games, tell each other stories, sing songs, all sorts of things to keep you & the kids entertained, I bet you wouldn't even notice!

4) If your DC need uniform etc for school, could you borrow from anybody with bigger DC?

If things are really desperate, have you family nearby who would have you round for dinner one night a week? You could pay them by doing washing up?

Definitely agree with posters who have said just talk to your creditors.

Good luck with it, will pop back if I think of anything else.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 07-Mar-12 14:11:23

I'm going to suggest that if debts are the big problem, you should book an appointment with one of the free debt advisory services - CAB, CCCS or National Debtline. Bankruptcy is only ever a last resort and they could have some alternatives.

Second... make sure you're getting all the state help to which you are entitled. If your income has come down a lot you may be entitled to more help than you think. Sites such as Turn2Us Benefits Checker are very good.

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