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I’m almost 40 and I’ve f***ed up

(171 Posts)
cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 13:55:17

Name changed for this. Sorry it’s long.

I know I’ve been naive and stupid, but I honestly didn’t worry about the future until fairly recently. Now I think I’ve really fucked up.

TLDR we rent, don’t know how we will get a mortgage, are on just above NNW and make minimum pension contributions.

In all honesty our pensions will probably have just about enough to buy a cruise and throw ourselves overboard on the last night. I’m only half joking, I don’t want to live to a long age. I can’t see how we will cope if we have to retire???

My credit rating is shot to bits through poor judgment and spending beyond my means, my (and DH’s) career is stagnant, I have no savings as we spent £30K on our wedding and honeymoon and have spent all small inheritances on going on holidays blush. I know this makes me sound like such an idiot.

Growing up, my parents had a long and happy marriage and lived in a house worth (now) around £800,000. Stupidly stupidly stupidly (as they always said that me and my 2 brothers would inherit the house) I just assumed I didn’t need to worry about a mortgage as I could just buy outright in my old age in a cheaper area, or have a hefty deposit to help get a mortgage more easily if I inherited before my retirement.

However, my DM died, and my father finally remarried 2 years ago after a very short relationship of 6 months. He has already put the house in joint names (as he should, that’s his wife) and I can easily see a situation whereby he leaves everything to her and we get nothing. They haven’t made any wills. It’s not that I don’t trust my step DM, it’s the fact she has a disabled grown child who will ‘need’ more than us. In this circumstance I can see us being cut out.

She is also very funny about money. For my birthday my DH and I paid for all the alcohol which was the biggest cost. I asked if the rest of the family could split the food between them, giving them a smaller bill than me. She thought my dad should pay nothing even though he is a high earner (over 70k). He paid without any problem because it was only £80 and it was his daughters birthday, but she wasn’t happy about it at all.

Anyway, none of this would matter if I hadn’t been so silly to think that my old age would take care of itself. If my DSM cuts us out, or the money goes into a care home I feel I’m fucked.

We have joint income of about £3.2K, living expenses of £1.8K debt repayments of £600 at minimum for about £12K of cc and a loan. We are still living outside our means.

How can I pull this back!

mummysheepy Sun 21-Apr-19 14:12:27

Are you looking for practical tips on salvaging your finances or emotional support for the change in your potential inheritance?

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 14:17:41

I don’t know but think I’m looking for a kick up the arse?

Even if no one reply’s I feel it’s helped to write it down.

mummysheepy Sun 21-Apr-19 14:29:02

Can you break down your monthly living expenses? You say you're living beyond your means but how so?
Possibly the place to start is figuring out what you need property-wise and see if that is feasible in terms of potential mortgage repayments. If this doesn't stack up then maybe time to look and you and DH's 'stagnant' careers and see if relocating would rejuvenate your personal and professional lives. A cheaper area could be the answer.
You cannot count on anyone other than you for planning for your future & retirement. And it's great that you've came to this realisation on your own and hopefully in time to turn things around.

TheRoadBeneathMyFeet Sun 21-Apr-19 14:31:40

So you solely relied on your (possible) inheritance when planning for your retirement? That was indeed rather stupid but you know that.

The only thing you can do now is start saving. You seem to have a good buffer in your monthly budget (£800?) so you can start putting some of this away into savings. Work hard to pay off your debt and streamline all outgoings.

continuallychargingmyphone Sun 21-Apr-19 14:33:12

Credit ratings can be repaired. Mine was pretty rubbish a few years ago but is fine now.

VanCleefArpels Sun 21-Apr-19 14:38:10

getting rid of the debt is a good first step. You can go to a debt adviser via eg StepChange or CAB to discuss your options.

Then you need to be really brutal about your budget. Every single thing needs to be looked at and either reduced by shopping around, or got rid of if unnecessary (including phone contracts, Netflix, takeaways the whole shebang). You can spend your evenings at home entertaining yourself by looking at photos from past holidays you couldn’t afford!

MrsKrabbapple Sun 21-Apr-19 14:38:17

Yes, just start anew now. Spend less and save more. A new start.

I don’t really understand the dad/birthday issue but I think you have to stop taking into consideration what he does with money and start thinking about what you do with yours.

NCC1701D Sun 21-Apr-19 14:39:47

You still have time to salvage this. You've recognised the issue and have 25 years to fix it.

I would suggest tightening your belts for the short term to clear all debts and repair your credit rating. Then build up a modest deposit and get on the housing ladder. I know that is easier said than done, but I can see no other way.

Do you have workplace pensions? If so, then make sure you contribute the max you can afford, as employers will match up to a certain amount, plus you get the tax breaks, so 'free money'.

It's going to be a wake up call for you all, but you've spent without thinking for too long.

And inheritances are not a given. Any parent can so easily go into decline and have massive care home fees to pay.

Hope this doesn't sound like a lecture, I expect many are in the same position, but at least you no longer have your head in the sand.

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 14:40:25

Can you break down your monthly living expenses? You say you're living beyond your means but how so?

We should have £800 per month disposable but this gets spent on going out, holidays etc. Basically having fun. Me and DH have alcohol problems which doesn’t help.

I think if we could pay off debt, then start saving £800 pm we could have a deposit in 4-5 years. Is it possible to get a 20 year mortgage?

I think if at least we owned a home living off our small pensions would be possible. We would definitely consider a move north as I have family there and our rent would half.

I feel like the cricket that sang all summer.

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 14:43:33

You can spend your evenings at home entertaining yourself by looking at photos from past holidays you couldn’t afford!

I’m almost in tears here and this actually made me laugh out loud!!! Thank you xx

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 14:47:18

Do you have workplace pensions? If so, then make sure you contribute the max you can afford, as employers will match up to a certain amount, plus you get the tax breaks, so 'free money'.

We do, I will look at increasing this!

NCC1701D Sun 21-Apr-19 14:47:25

When you say alcohol problems, do you mean that you like to socialise with a drink, or do you have alcohol dependency?

If the latter, then please get help. If the former, then it is just a drain on your finances and you can cut back and put the money you save to better use.

moosesormeece Sun 21-Apr-19 14:47:42

I thought I was in too much debt to get a mortgage. I went to see a mortgage broker to find out what to prioritise, thinking long term, and 3 months later had bought my flat. My debt was less than yours but so was my income.

The other thing that jumps out at me is the drinking; I know it's never simple but maybe for the next month try tracking everything you spend on booze and see if that shocks you into cutting back.

TeaForTheWin Sun 21-Apr-19 14:49:46

I was gonna say head north right enough before you mentioned.

Might be wise to also ask dad about his will...you say he put the home joint in her name...that, is actually really weird. I mean she didn't pay anything towards it right? Maybe she is 'weird with money' because she is with him for it. I certainly wouldn't think it was ok. Wife or not he has barely known her a few years and she's screwed his children out of their inheritance. I mean, not saying she shouldn't have got anything if he passed but putting her name on the house? Creepy.

£800 a month disposable income is pretty awesome but could you maybe put half of it away? I mean surely you can get by spending £200 each on fun stuff right? Maybe don't eat out as much ect...if that's something you do a lot as that can really drain the bank balance.

Hmm, I guess just take a good hard look at things you are spending on and ask yourself 'could I get it cheaper?' or 'do I need it?' or 'do I even want this or is it just impulse?'.

Good luck!

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 14:51:10

It’s a dependency on alcohol sadly.

Oliversmumsarmy Sun 21-Apr-19 14:52:32

Credit ratings can be repaired with time.

I think you have to make a plan for paying debts and savings.

Moneysaving expert will guide you through things and had some really good tips and spreadsheets.

I would start by getting a copy of your credit report and seeing when the latest missed payment/CCJ is.
If it is last month then you have 6 years for it to disappear.

Then I would make a list of your debts and how much you need to pay each month.

A list of your outgoings (this is where MSE spreadsheet comes in handy if it is still on the site).

Then look to see if you are paying the lowest tariffs on insurances/telephone/power etc.

And look for an extra job each.

Do you have children and if not do you want them?

I go through my bank and credit card statements every so often and I make sure I am paying for only the things I use and need. It is amazing how little things keep being debited from your account for things you have forgotten to cancel.

Once your credit file is clear and you have been working hard to save for a deposit everything should come together.

There are still banks and building societies that give mortgages to the over 40s

I have a book that I update each month with what has been paid and the balance owing.

At any point in time I can see at a glance who I owe, what I owe and to whom I owe it.

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 15:00:33

Might be wise to also ask dad about his will...you say he put the home joint in her name...that, is actually really weird. I mean she didn't pay anything towards it right?

She got the kitchen and bathrooms renovated with what was left of her divorce settlement before they were married after they had known each other for a few months. In return he put the house in joint names as she had spent everything she had on his property and he wanted her to feel secure as they weren’t married yet. A family member said she was “getting her claws in”. I prefer to try and see it as a women looking for love, companionship and security. Like we all want I guess.

NotStayingIn Sun 21-Apr-19 15:01:18

You can turn it around! Being aware and really wanting to fix the problem can be the biggest step, so you are already heading in the right direction.

This might not be for you but you could look into Kakebo. It’s a journal to help you save. It’s tedious and time consuming, every single item you buy needs to be written down. But do it for a few months and you’ll become really aware of what your spending your money on.

You may also want to address the amount you drink. Not judging - I love a drink - but I definitely spend more money the more I drink. Not just on drink, obviously, but on online shopping, take always, longer more expensive nights out, hung over induced ‘I deserve this’ purchases, etc. An overhaul of several areas in your life could be really positive. Good luck!

NCC1701D Sun 21-Apr-19 15:02:09

Are you getting help for that OP?

All sensible advice above. The MSE spreadsheet is called a Statement Of Affairs (SOA), you can put all your stats in and it gives you the big picture, very helpful.

It will be tough going, but there's always loads of practical and virtual support on here.

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 15:06:02

I would start by getting a copy of your credit report and seeing when the latest missed payment/CCJ is.

I have done this and all my old defaults are not there anymore but my score is still low for some reason. My bank approved me for another loan (I didn’t take it) but wouldnt give me a cheaper credit card with them to use as a balance transfer from my card with a very high 35% rate.

We don’t have kids thank goodness as we are far too feckless!

pelirocco123 Sun 21-Apr-19 15:09:20

Do you take home 3.2 k a month between you ? If so you aren't on just above nmw

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 15:11:10

but I definitely spend more money the more I drink.

This is so true for me! I’m sure my alcohol consumption is completely the cause for the almost daily Uber Eats deliveries I have been getting for the last few months. I actually removed my credit card details from the app last week so I have to think before I order.

middleeasternpromise Sun 21-Apr-19 15:14:37

Tackle the alcohol issue first and I think you will find everything else is easier to sort.

Is your partner in a similar reflective mood as you? Does he want the change?

If you add up and really add up what your alcohol dependency costs you - I think you will see an immediate saving that can go to whittling down your debts.

Alcohol costs more than money - but it also costs a lot of money regardless of how cheap you drink. You will need professional help - try an AA option as its not too expensive, you will also need to replace so think exercise, or sport hobby don't sit in doors just trying to beat it. Alcohol also robs you of focus and motivation, it adds guilt to the mix and creates a cycle of being trapped in a 'whats the point' spiral.

When you get sober you get time back - could you take another part time job? (Avoid bars) met a fabulous Watress in a chain restaurant the other day who was working after her City job so she can pay back her parents her loan to buy her first flat.

theres no reason you cant enjoy your later years dont write them off. See this as a time of change - youve had fun, you've done the partying you probably wont even miss it - partying has a shelf life IMO. Nothing is impossible its about wanting the change. The dad marriage and boundaried step mum is your kick up the ass.

cbatothinkofanamechange Sun 21-Apr-19 15:14:39

Do you take home 3.2 k a month between you ?

Yes, between us not each! We are a chef and waitress, around 1.2K each on NMW after deductions plus around £400+ per month in tips each.

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