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Help- really struggling

(4 Posts)
FutTheShuckUp Fri 28-Sep-12 18:13:33

Everything financially is a real struggle. Our mortgage costs a third of our income. We both work full time and often extra shifts on top. Our cars which we need for work are falling to bits and we can't afford repairs and new ones are out of the question as we have no savings and bad credit rating.
The tax credits wrote to us last month saying they overpaid us by £6000 and we need to pay it back. We are struggling enough as it is without the 450 a month we were getting off them.
I also owe thousands of pounds to family we have had to borrow whilst I was at uni. By this stage in life I had anticipated to be able to pay some back but seems we are no fuehrer forward at all.
I'm so stressed and worried by it all to top it off the kids birthdays and Christmas is coming up and that's just another expense we cannot afford. I feel like we are literally drowning in debt and I don't know how much longer we can cope

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 18:17:17

How on earth did they manage to overpay you £6k?? shock You can get them to reduce the payments if you're struggling to make ends meet. I'd check why you owe them this first though, if it's their mistake then you can appeal.

You need to write down all of your income and outgoings, and see where everything is going. Are you able to cut back on something? Sky TV? Food bills? Change gas/electricity suppliers? Don't panic. I'd explain to your family how tight things are at the moment, they will understand that you don't have the 1K.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 28-Sep-12 20:22:18

Could you keep a spending diary? It really helped me to cut down.

Moneysavingexpert boards are good, others will have been in your position.

I second change utility suppliers, register with quidco and topcashback for Internet shopping/insurance services.

Shop at Aldi, turn your hot water thermostat down to 60c, put an extra layer on in the house, ring any credit card companies and try claiming hardship, a collegue did and got loads off her interest rate.

Where do you think you could cut back?

racingheart Fri 28-Sep-12 20:49:34

It's OK. It's a horrible feeling but it is only money. At worst you could go bankrupt and start again. But it probably won't come to that.

Two cars on top of a mortgage that eats up 33% of your income, plus having kids - those are huge expenses. Look hard at whether there is any way you can go down to one car. Can you transfer or change jobs to be nearer to home? Use public transport or a bike? Lift share with a colleague? Walk to work? Pick each other up?

For the kids' birthdays and Christmas, swallow pride and get onto Freecycle. If your own area isn't very lively join one in a wealthy area nearby that is. We have given away/received good as new or brand new bikes, toys, books, DVDs, musical instruments, sports equipment. You can top up with a few small things from Poundland. Or come on here and see who's offering giveaways. People on MN love to give away good stuff to people in your position.

Tell adults you're not buying this year, but agree with DH to get each other something small and fun so you have some fun and surprises on the day too.

Make a meal plan for the week and only buy food on it. Avoid takeaways. Take coffee in flasks and sandwiches from home to work.

Make sure savings you've made are used to pay off your biggest debts. Start with those that demand highest interest rates.

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