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A question for those of us who are struggling financially...

(20 Posts)
eenybeeny Tue 29-Jul-08 15:13:36

I am struggling financially at the moment as a lot of us are. You know who you are!

We are living by scraping the pot every month, borrowing, selling etc until my CM starts.

What I wonder is: Do you feel you are working towards a better future and sort of "paying your dues" and things will get easier soon or do you feel it will always be a hellish struggle?

I guess the reason I am wondering is that I know I am poor now but I will not always be poor. I hope by New Year I will be earning a decent income from doing something I am passionate about and love. As terrible as I feel nearly every day because of money I take comfort that there is an end in sight. That one day - even if its not for a year - I will be able to buy a new pair of shoes or get my hair cut or buy a decadent box of handmade truffle chocolates. And save, and take holidays, and get a car that isnt a death trap. I firmly believe I will have all of that in 6-9 months.

You know, it doesnt put food on the table. It doesnt put petrol in the car or clothes on our back. Those are real problems we face every day but somehow we are getting through. I guess I was just wondering if we ALL thought it would end at some point in the future, or if some of us feel it will always be a painful struggle that we will never escape?

tiredemma Tue 29-Jul-08 15:15:36

This time next year I finish my nursing degree. As long as I can get a job (!) then we will be ok.


eenybeeny Tue 29-Jul-08 15:29:15

its good isnt it. that is what keeps me going some days. I am studying and training for a career that I find fulfilling and worthwhile. And when it starts I will live a normal life. The sort my friends live, where they dont fret every week at ASDA and have holes in their shoes etc.

tiredemma Tue 29-Jul-08 16:06:57

Oh yes, I cannot wait.

I earn just £400 a month at the mo working part time on top of my degree. I haven't earnt a decent wage for about four years.

Once I qualify, I wont know what to do with the extra money. Actually thats a lie, I will buy some new clothes, have my hair done in a decent salon etc etc. Cant wait!

gillybean2 Tue 29-Jul-08 17:19:31

I still struggle some months and I'm loathed to buy those shoes or get my hair done because I always worry that some surprise bill will be waiting round the corner. I feel so guilty spending money on myself and am completely out of the habit. I avoid shops and going out and use any 'spare' money to treat my ds to things like cinema and days out. Memories to me are far more important that how my hair or clothes look. We have had a couple of hols recently, but only at the expense of pretty much selling my soul to the devil and it left me completely stressed out.

I save whenever I can and still struggle, but have been able to relax a little recently, though to be honest I'm stressing they've made a mistake on my WTC calculation this year and I don't want to spend the extra money I'm getting for fear they will demand it back at the end of the year!

No I don't think things will get better than they are now for a long time (though they are better than when I was on IS). I actually dropped my hours at work last year because it made me better off financially to work less hours. If I earn more my WTC will get cut plus I pay tax on my income, so I am now in a plateau where I would have to earn significantly more to be any better off. If I earn slightly more I'm actually worse off so I can't do overtime (I very nearly asked not to have my xmas bonus last year and I had to turn down a small pay rise too as it made me worse off!

I am not putting anything into a pension or anything other than very short term savings and my car is so ancient I will need to replace it at some point and have been saying that for 5 years now so it's going to give up at some point... So there are always worries and struggles.

I worry what will happen if we get a change of government who aren't so keen on reducing child poverty. (I'm still considered to be in that position despite working). And when my ds leaves home I will loose my WTC & CTC and will have to work a lot of extra hours to make up that shortfall to my income.

When i'm an old lady I'll be even worse off than now again because I won't have any salary and only a state pension to love off and no partner to support me or share buills etc with.

So no I don't see my life getting any better for a very long time, if ever I'm afraid. And I'm on more than minimum wage so I have no idea how others manage who are!


Rhian82 Sun 10-Aug-08 17:33:47

I hope that things will get better over time, but don't really have a fixed timescale for it.

My DH has two degrees (psychology and medical science) and ideally will end up doing something with them that's a full on career with a decent pay scale to climb. At the moment he works in retail management and although he's doing really well and getting regular pay rises because of that, it's still very badly paid, and he's reaching the top of what he can do with it.

I'm in a career (journalism) that will hopefully pay off more the more experienced I get, and as time goes on I should be able to get more and more freelance (fingers crossed) which bumps up our income each month.

I wish there was a definite end point rather than a constant struggle, but I suppose at least I know we both have the potential to earn more, it's just going to take time.

expatinscotland Sun 10-Aug-08 17:36:25

I believe I will always struggle.

I am firmly convinced that this is my lot in life and have accepted it. It no longer bothers me the way it used to, in fact at times it can be funny.

I'm happy to be working poor here and not some place else.

Like the US or a developing nation.

mankymummy Sun 10-Aug-08 17:40:07

studying again from september and once thats out of the way in a years time i can start earning again.,.. hurrah!

def. think you have to try and have something to work towards.

i am anticipating the day when i can go out and just buy anything i like (i mean like a steak for me or new shoes/toys for DS) without calculating whether i can afford it.

the good thing with being skint is you appreciate money so much more when you do have it.

there are far, far worse off people than me. i have a home and enough money to feed and provide DS with the basics, if it had to be this forever i wouldnt really complain.

muggglewump Sun 10-Aug-08 17:55:41

I'm the lowest I've been financially in years but I am optimistic for the future. I'm waiting to hear about a job and it may be possible to claim maintenance for DD.
If both of those go in my favour things will be a lot better. I will be able to shop without worrying, put the heating on if I'm cold, not analyse the electric meter before deciding to put the washing machine on etc and maybe even have some treats.
Basically just live a life not dominated by lack of money.
If both fail obviously things will be crap, like they are now but I have to have some hope or I'd collapse mentally. Hope is what keeps me going and I have to keep going and put on a happy face for DD.

I am also touched by the kindness MNetters have shown me and that I'm not alone in all this

unaccomplishedfattylegalmummy Sun 10-Aug-08 19:11:11

Well atm we're on benefits and financially things are really grim. They have been for years even when DH was working full time. But I'm starting college next month and hoping to go to uni next year, so my plan is in 4 years time I'll be fully qualified and should be able to command at least double the income we were used too when DH was working. So yes although things are pretty tight atm and the next few years, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

ForeverOptimistic Sun 10-Aug-08 19:16:09

Things are really tough for us at the moment, tougher than I ever expected. I have career plans and once I am able to realise my plans I KNOW things will get easier.

I am a glass half full type of person, dh is definitely a glass half empty type and it drives me insane!

sarah293 Sun 10-Aug-08 19:26:06

Message withdrawn

tink123 Sun 10-Aug-08 19:29:34

to be honest, i am sort of enjoying having to be very strict on budgeting with food etc. For years me and dh have lived beyond our means and have just overspent all the time. Now time to rein in all the spending. It is changing the way we think about money.

expatinscotland Sun 10-Aug-08 19:34:23

I don't enjoy it. I've gotten used to it, though. It's familiar territory. Have never lived beyond our means it's that our means are mostly limited.

ilovemydog Sun 10-Aug-08 19:36:56

I was really quite happy when I was student poor doing a post grad degree a couple of years ago. Really really poor. I enjoyed doing the degree, the intellectual stimulation and scraping together what I could.

Things will get better in the next few years financially, but not sure that this will make a huge difference anyway. I've just got an allotment, go out with friends with kids for lunch/coffee, but am not a 'shopper' unlike mil! smile. My thing is books. When I'm poor, it's the library. So what!

hopefully Sun 10-Aug-08 20:38:44

I am having a head banging against the wall day, thinking about this very subject.

I have spent the last year essentially controlling DP's finances (at his request - he's crap) and trying to dig us out of debt. Last month we made the last payment on an overdue tax debt, and I really felt we were on top of things, and today DP realised he had made a massive error in his calculations (last year - it's things like this that led him to ask me to take control) and we need to come up with another £2,500 by January. As I'm about to go on maternity leave, the timing could be better, and I'm more than a little depressed by the whole thing.

Really feel like we're paddling incredibly hard to stay still, but I have a mental goal of us being debt free within 3 years, or 5 at the outside, so i suppose in the grand scheme of things that's not that long.

OneBoyOneGirl Mon 11-Aug-08 17:06:33

Im hoping things get better, for babys sake as i have just discovered i am expecting again.

To be honest, it has to, it cannot get any worse for us at all and we are working so damn hard that sometime, surely things have to start looking up )

mommy6 Mon 11-Aug-08 17:54:27

We are better off than afew years back,but still struggle.We manage to pay the bills(just)but don't have much left over.
BUT i have a lovely family(dh and 6 lo's).So i'm very happy just sitting at home on mumsnet needing a good hair cut.

Will we alway stuggle?Yes i think so.grinBut hope lo's have better choices i.e. a career over just a job.iykwim
Dd1 is on her way to a good career.She is doing really well at college and deciding which uni to go to next year.grin

simplicity Mon 11-Aug-08 18:09:28

It is always reassurring to know you are not on your own and there are people far worse off than you.

We are just about managing to keep our heads above water and it is a particular struggle the week before pay day. Both dh and I are off this week with 4 children to entertain and little money. We managed to do bowling today and lunch from the bakery for £15. It is a challange to find things to do when on such a tight budget, but with lots of thought and effort achievable.

There is light at the end of the tunnel we are both in employment were there is potential overtime and little chance of redundancy. We have our own house and car along with 4 beautiful healthy children. We have to be thankful for small mercies. smile

colacubes Mon 11-Aug-08 18:31:40

There is a Chinese proverb, "You are rich when you realise you have enough" problem is with the state of this god forsaken country at the moment just when you think you have enough they move the God damn goal posts and you realise you're far from anything that could resemble enough.

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