My feed

to access all these features

Find financial and money saving discussions including debt and pension chat on our Money forum.

Money matters

we're in so much debt, i dont know what to do

48 replies

rayofsunshine · 06/11/2005 11:24

Well the title says it all.

We have almost exhauted our overdraft, we have a loan coming out in 2 days time, we are on Monday 2 weeks behind in our rent and we owe council tax.

We owe so much money, i feel totally ashamed and embarraseed. We havent got a clue what to do, and we still need to eat.

Ive spent all morning in tears (which i know isnt going to help or the answer). DP and myself have been a off with on another too, the last thing i want is this destroying our relationship.

OP posts:
Blandmum · 06/11/2005 11:26

Go to the citizens advice people.

They deal with this sort of thing all the time. They will be totaly non judgemental and will give you a structure to help sort our your probelms. Their advice is free and they can work with the people you owe money to to re shedule your debts.

Phone them tomorrow and make an appointment...all the best

soapbox · 06/11/2005 11:28

Is there anyway you can boost your income?

Do some late night shelf stacking in the shops or some Christmas till work?

Are there skills you have that you could use to do extra work from home?

rayofsunshine · 06/11/2005 11:41

soapbox, believe me i would love to get a job, but i live in the middle of nowhere, unable to drive, buses are not existant even in the bestest of weather, i know they all seem like excuses, but its all true, and we have just put in for housing transfer. I am applying and checking online for jobs. I also was successfully at an interview with a supermarket but they havent go any hours available within my availability.

I do to two things working from home, but have not been able to get anything from it, in fact my sister worked out that my outgoings for it are more than ive actually 'earnt' so far. Again it something that involves doing better if you can drive.

Thanks for your advice.

OP posts:
soapbox · 06/11/2005 11:47

Can you make things at home and sell them?

Look at ebay for ideas - filled party bags, personalised chocolate bars, cards. jewellery, stuffed toys etc

Ot just trade on ebay - go to the charity shops/car boot sales buy stuff up cheaply and then flog it on ebay?

The thing is, it is hard to get out of debt just by cost cutting, especially when there isn't much money there in the first place. Boosting your income is often the only way to make long term improvements in your financial situation!

I hope you find some ideas of how to manage your way out of this

soapbox · 06/11/2005 11:47

child minding?

HRHWickedwaterwitch · 06/11/2005 12:14

Ok, here's what you need to do imo: sit down and make a list of everything you owe. This will be scary but it has to be done. Note the total amount, the monthly payment, what it's for and who to - i.e. rent, Mr Landlord. Then make a list of everything you've got coming in. The top list will probably be bigger than the bottom list but don't worry and don't be scared by it, tell yourself you have to do this to tackle it. Look at list 1, is there anything you can get rid of or cut down on right now? If there is make a note of what it is and sort it out on Monday, i.e. you don't have to have Sky tv for example so you can cancel that on Monday. Then work out what you can realistically afford to pay back on the other amounts. So if there's a loan and the monthly repayment is £100, work out if you could afford, say, £20. You ought to try to see if you can manage to pay something, however small, on each debt every month. Then you are going to have to prioritise the debts that have to be paid, i.e. rent and bills. And then you need to go and negotiate with your creditors. Or get someone to do this for you, there are debt advise bureaux, you can google for these, just make sure they're not loan sharks in disguise. Remember that your creditors have the option of agreeing to something you can realistically afford OR of taking you to court (which costs them money) and still only being awarded an amount you can afford. They will come to an arrangement with you since the alternative costs them more and will result in their getting the same amount anyway. Good luck, no more time now but may be back later.

rayofsunshine · 06/11/2005 12:14

soapbox, child minding, now i never thought of that, thank u so much, will find out about it.

OP posts:
Freckle · 06/11/2005 12:17

Have you checked to see if you might be entitled to any benefits, such as tax credits, housing benefit or council tax benefit? Go to CAB and ask them to do a benefits check for you.

Take details (preferably documents) of everything that you owe and details of what your income is. They will sort out the priority debts, such as rent, council tax, etc., and may even be able to negotiate a rate of repayment for you.

At least you are acknowledging your position, so do something about it.

Kaz33 · 06/11/2005 12:18

The motley fool website has discussion boards - a whole section called Dealing with Debt. There are people on it in your situation and should hopefully be able to give you some advice and support.

rayofsunshine · 06/11/2005 12:18

HRH im actually thinking of disconnecting the internet for a short well, it will only save £15.99 but its a saving at the moment. I dont want to, as its so handy for ebay and just a bit of relief on here even, but needs must really.

OP posts:
rayofsunshine · 06/11/2005 12:21

freckle, its cause of tax credits we are in this mess, they reckoned they underpaid us two years ago, now they reckon they overpaid us. We have tried appealing but they didnt want to know. They reckon DP made a mistake in his wages, but we have always filled in the form accurately and read the accompnying forms etc, we have never had any wages increases or anything so that never changed circumstance.

OP posts:
SueW · 06/11/2005 12:49

The Motley Fool's snowball plan is brilliant.

philippat · 06/11/2005 12:59

DEFINITELY talk to the CAB about the tax credits. They should be able to argue a better case for you.

Tortington · 06/11/2005 13:34

you absolutley must pay your rent.

your transfer will not go through if you have arrears - despite anything that your H/O may have said to the contrary.

pay your rent + 3.50 for the arrears.

the cab will be an enourmous help in helping you make a list of priorities.

rent is primary - you must keep your house - and no one is obliged to re-house you should you default on your rent. your kids are obliged to be re-housed - not you. so that means social servces will help your kids out and you may be split up.

any catalogue bills you can pay at a minimum of say £3.00

you need to phone utilities and agree a payment plan or get them to fit you a payment meter. the meter charges you more than a normal utility bill, howver many people find this way of re-payment easier. even if it is a rip off of poor people.

the cab also know things that may help you such as - many moons ago i went to see them for a similar problem. at that time in my area there was a deal where any water rates over 500 quid were wiped as long as i made 3 months steady repayment,

get rid of mobile phones and contracts.
get rid of internet

you need to look at your household expenditure and how you eat.

i dont know how many are in your house but it may be worth while setting up another thread asking for budget tips with regards to food.

so for instance - buy only value stuff.

2 chickens for a fiver in tesco.

big sack of potatoes from a local farm - isnt that much considering what you get.

you can do chips and beans for the whole family for about 40p per person.

cut out stuff like expensive shaving foam, shampoos and cleaning products.

you need a cheap bottle of bleach - lets say 60p

some scourees - tesco do then for 25p for 4.

60p washing up liquid. washing up liquid not only cleans the dishes in my house - but cleans the kitchen sides and the floor. with a bleaching very infrequently. the bleach goes in the loo.

you dont need polish, speay bleach, air freshners or any other fancy crap.
cheap toilet rolls too.
opwn brand washing powder.

we all have our little things - so for instance my nan would do withour electricity in favour of fairy washing up liquid.
i on the other hand will not drink cheap shit coffee.

no more new clothes.

as xmas is coming up your kids ( dont know how old) do have to realise that you have to pay for the presents that santa beings and you cant afford playstations and stuff this year. give them a budget - say £20 and get them to look through the argos catalogue and see how much they cn get for that. my kids are quite happy with this budgeting arrangement around festive occasions.

credit cards - can you transer to interest free cards?

the cab have a pack they will send you. they have a budgeting form you can fill in. they have a draught letter you can send to all your creditors. - a letter the creditors will recognise as being from the cab - becuase so many people do it.

you need to get a job - your excuses do sound like excuses - sorry to be blunt - but in desperation i have travelled for 4 hours a day to get to a job so we have money coming in. you have to think of a way to get round it.

how about advertising in your nearest village you are able to take ironing in.
you will clean other peoples houses?
walk dogs
deliver the free paper
get a paper round
child mind - but there are lots of regulations you will need to look more carefully into this.

walk other children to school for a fee - collect them and take them home.

homework help - advertise at school - in the school newsletter - that you are will ing to take some kids in after school to do regular homework every night.

how about avon or betterware - you dont have to go knocking on peoples houses - you can do it at the school gates - leave a catalogue for the teachers and staff - hand them out at school.

ann summers parties - if your dh works during the days he can take you in the evenings to peoples houses to do parties.

tupperware parties.

hope this helps.

Tortington · 06/11/2005 13:39

sell things - on mumsnet.
on ebay.

clothes, toys, furniture.

expatinscotland · 06/11/2005 13:41

In addition to rent, you also MUST pay council tax. Have to. Like rent, it's one of those debts you just can't get out of.

After settling Mr Landlord, you need to get hold of the council ASAP and see if you can work out a payment plan. And you MUST stick to it once you come to/sign an agreement w/them. Even missing ONE payment whilst on an arrears agreements means they send out the bailiffs - and as your responsible for this cost your debt will increase.

See if you qualify for housing benefit. You may if you rent, but not if you own. But FIRST, you need to come to an arrangement w/your landlord and the council about paying any arrears.

I agree 100% w/custardo. Been there, bought the tshirt!

As for tax credits, don't give up! We raised seven shades of holy hell and had strong, written evidence that they ballsed it up. After enlisting support from our MP, MSP and a Welfare Rights Advocate, our appeal was upheld. It involved a lot of letter-writing and follow up, but was well worth it.

expatinscotland · 06/11/2005 13:43

Also become friendly with your local Farm Foods, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland for food. Dropping meat from our evening meal 3x/week has saved us loads.

sallystrawberry · 06/11/2005 13:55

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rayofsunshine · 06/11/2005 13:55

custardo, thank you, so much for your help and the time uve taken to type all that.

Well ive applied for 3 jobs in the last hours, i feel we eat 'cheap'as it is, although i agree, we probably could cut down further still.

All your other ideas, dog walking, homework help, etc i will start looking into.

I do sell on ebay, so that helps a bit, but not much really.

OP posts:
HRHQoQ · 06/11/2005 14:01

Definitely, definitely, definitely contact CAB. They've beenn very helpful for us (we've got a total of 35k of debts - with 4 months missed mortgage payments, and in arrears in several other places). They sat down with DH last wednesday and made up a financial statement, helping him work out the "priority" debts, and the non priority ones (their website also gives help on that too).

We've now got an arrangment with the mortgage provider to pay back the arrears (in bits each month), an arrangment with the water board, and are in the process of now arranging all the other ones too.

Shopping can be done very cheaply too if you're crafty about it - I currently spend around £30 to feed and nappy a family of 4 (and we're still eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and proper cooked meals).

You will get through this

expatinscotland · 06/11/2005 14:09

Exactly, HRRQofQ! You're not alone! Many of us have been there, are still there.

Being proactive makes you feel so much better, too.

Keep us posted.

milward · 06/11/2005 14:34

excellent advice plus great tips on custardo post
hrhqofq - how do you only spend £30? - I'd love to do this in ratio as we're 6.

HRHQoQ · 06/11/2005 15:21

milward - I buy lots of value stuff (tinned tomatoes, beans, ham , etc). Then I go to the market and usually spend around £6-7 on fruit and veg. Then get the 'essentials' (milk, nappies - the cheap Morrisons ones, wipes), cleaning stuff I get from Wilkinson's (my washing powder is currently a 60p a box job from there, plus about 75p on Fabric Conditioner, which 'eaked out' can last me about 1 1/2 weeks), then I go round the meat section and find all the bargain cuts, and packs.

Took some doing - we used to spend about £80-90 a week for the 4 of us. I'm hoping once I've started my job to spend £40-50 on the weeks shopping, as that will make it a little bit easier.

milward · 06/11/2005 19:30

Good tips hrhqoq - I always check for bargains & the sell by dates so things keep longer. My weakness is newspapers & mags!!!

stitch · 06/11/2005 19:39

excellent tips. id like to be able to do some of these.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.