18 months in…

June 18th, 2008

I am 18 months into my IVA, i am afraid marking anniversarys when in an IVA becomes somewhat of an obesssion.. It helps i suppose my marking your acheivement so far and to look forward to how much longer you have left. So i still have 3 years and 6 months to go which is really depressing …so i much prefer to look at it the other way!

I have been scanning the forum and everyone is in the same boat, petrol, food, utility bills all going up I am not sure how everyone is coping, I can do really well for ages being really frugal and watching every penny. But then i have a blow out …buy foods which i dont need you know snacks and sweets! or a treat in the clothes store! I suppose thats what keeps me going I would rather eat cereal for a week than always feel completly down trodden. But i can do that as i dont have any dependents (apart from my cats of course) to feed and for the record most of the time my cats eat more fresh meat than me..lol.

Well for all of you in IVAs keep on going I am starting to see a glimmer in the distance.. every now and then it goes out.. but i am sure there is a burning light at the end of the tunnell.

how the worm turns

May 26th, 2008

so it seems everyone is worrying about money , not having any! i noticed it last night out with some friends, who always used to be the sort not to worry – stick it on the card!  they were talking about being really up agaisnt it and scrimping and trying to save. i think they were surprised and grateful for my mass of money saving tips… so i thought i would share  a few of these with everyone  they are mostly household ones –

1. go food shopping at the end of the day, alot of fresh furit + food is reduced – you can then but it up and make a big stir fry or cottage pie /veg ;asange etc that night – and take the left over for lunch the next day!

2. use vouchers – simple but make a point of always bringing them with you

3. set your self a challenge to make a meal with whatever is left in the food cupboard.

4. Go back to basics with the cleaning – soap crystal, bicarb or soda, lemon juice – all work a treat mix up a the cleaning solution and re use a spray cleaner bottle!

5.when you do the washing – use half the amount of washing powder or tablets – you never need as much as the box states- you then double the amount of washes you get!

6.save up you coppers 1p and 2p = most supermarkets have the “coinstar” machines where you can change these up – a large coffee jar full to the brim of said 1p adn 2pm is about £10!!

7. if you have pets – alot of the brands will send you free sample s of food – eg whiskers, james wellbeloved – go on the website

8. any new product – eg new fabric softner, will always send you out a sample. Just log on to the website + req it there is usually a link – you may have to put with constant emails. But i did this so much – i had a whole stack of free stuff!

 9. ask relatives – for me its my nan – on what they used to cook in the war! LOL… seriously though family recipes from scratch always work out cheaper and tastier – and last for ages.

 I will post some more tips later


April 19th, 2008

So i am about 3 days away from completing my post grad diploma (as long as do eventually complete this essay!…the allure of facebook is always far to appealing! tracking down and spying on people is  a strange and addictive past time…) anyway i am getting of the point. Once my course is finsihed what am i going to do! Not many people know about my iva (just me i know obvioulsy, my boyfriend and my best friend) thats it..so my course has always proved a very good excuse to get out of expensive nights out/trips away. ” oh no sorry i cant.. assignemt to write” …” sorry i am doing some reading”.

 I have for the record tried before “i am skint” ” sorry no cash” ” completly brassic”…there are a lot of ways to say i am poor… but its always met with ” oh stick it on the card” (what a card i feel like asking) or ” i will lend it to you” (i really cant borrow money on such a tight budget!)

Cos the truth of it is its not that i dont have any money – allthough it feels like it…its that it is all carefully apportioned off for other things.. so if i spend the grocery money on a friday night bender i am going to be a very hungry young lady!

so here is my dilema…what do i say in aprox 3 days time when my course is no longer an excellant excuse… ? I am not in postion – emotionally to have the strength to tell people, i dont see (a) why i should its my personal bussiness i dont demand to know their ins and outs with the banks and (b) i am embrassed i am ashamed of it! Before i hear your crys of ..”at least you are doing something about it” and in 4 years just think what a better positon you wil be in”…. fundementally we would all be lieing if we said we were proud! Proud of the fact that we got into such horrific levels of debt! ,…. ok i am proud of myself and others out there who have decided to do something about it…but i dont want to sing it from the roof tops.

Cos deep down we all know people make judgements.. ” oh poor love is in debt spent all her money on shoes… blh blah” “silly irresponsiable immature”… ” you will be blacklisted forever” ” why cant you be like so and so”..  The whole world is in debt hey there is credit crisis… a crunch .. but everyone is too proud to say – things are tight we cant afford that or this. Because we are all desperate to catch up with those next door!

Even me… ok i dont have anything these days in the mateiral sense of the word….but i wont admit that to anyone. I would rather stay in with the cats and chat to my “debt friend” under a fake name…….being anonmous on the forum and on the blogs does provide a sense of strenght and confidence to talk about fears and worries. But as soon as i am not logged on i am still living a lie to lots of people pretending… and i know they are prentening to .. but who is going to crack first! .. thats the dilema!

And so the second year begins…

April 9th, 2008

after alot of waiting! my review went well … as i had already increased my paymetns in line with salary increases throughout the year my IP was happy with my payments and there were no surprises…. thank god! (or which ever you chosen belief is!)

 So the second year begins, a part of me believes i have learnt my lesson about managing money however, i am sitting here with £30 till pay day.. which is the end of the month. I have to put petrol in the car, buy food, expenses for work…. I have done it before and i now i will manage but it makes me realise that being in debt is not all down to the evil corporate credit machines and banks ,,, throwing your credit agreements, begging you “to buy now pay later”…

I have decided that in my second year of my IVA there is no point in reflection…trying to work out the reasons why i got into the situation and thinking how i am going to get out of it. I feel like i have spent the last 12 months pondering and to be honest the reasons I am rubbish with money and got into debt just go on and on…

I think my second year will be marked with living!  It about time i lived.. ok so i am not exactly going to be able to do everything i want.. or think i want… but i am going to have think outside the box.. “that it all costs money” and start to think about just living ..living with being in budget!

So with this in mind..today i embarked on “how to go for a drink after work without paying”… it was surprsing successful.. all though a tip for others not sure you can repeat this one to much without being labelled a cheapskate ..LOL

waiting for the report

February 16th, 2008

so i am waiting.. waiting to see if my IP has accepted my I&E form and for the report to creditors which is due for March. Its a lot of waiting in an IVA, waiting for your proposal, waiting for your creditors meeting, waiting for you annual review, waiitng to see if its all ok, waiting for the next pay day, waiting to make another payment closer to the end!

Waiting… waiting… its a good job i dont mind queues… you can day dream. It beats waiting for the credit card bill, waiting for the phone call from the bank to tell you your overdrawn “would you like to extend your overdraft take out a consoldiation loan! …..

expenditure form – sent

February 9th, 2008

so i have completed my annual review income and expenditure form and its in the post (thanks to everyone on the forum for their help). I feel sick as a dog now (no offence to dogs..!) i am petrified I am going to have try and raise my payments by even more, at the proposal they were £385. With my promotion this year i have been able to increase that to £578. however the 50% surplus i got ended up being used to pay for ever increasing utility bills, food and petrol. Honestly i am just surviving at the moment.. there is no glamour in an IVA… I am so commited to making it work – i just hope my IP understands this and accepts that my increased expenditure in some areas is just part of the increases everyone is suffering.  So far my IP seems realistic so fingers crossed.  Well i will keep you posted with my nail bitting wait… i am not sure if i can do this for another 4 years .. my tummy feels like its on a rollercoaster and at last night i couldnt sleep fretting about the process of theannual review.. it felt like how life was before an iva (creditors phone calls etc) well i managed to buy a cheap bottle of plonk for this evening so i am off to drink that and snuggle up with my cats!

Friday nights

January 18th, 2008

I am 28 years old… My friday nights used to be about a new outfit, bars, drinks, dancing ….. eat horriable  kebab.. look something like off “booze britan” …£50 quid down… rotten hangover… next day cold “money fear” sweats. My friday nights over the last year have become “treat night” me and my boyfriend will either get fish and Chips or a nice supermarket pizza and a bottle of wine and lots of rubbish tv..cuddles on the coach…play with the cats….. maybe i have got old and settled down… at least my liver and dignty are recovering : ) …. i think its more that i wised up to my spending habits! Because i know if i had the money in my purse i would be out… right about now.. 9.30pm in a wine bar somewhere!..mmmmmm. Because thats where my circle of friends are… the late 20s set … all have great jobs..great cvs…great prospects…lovely clothes…lovely homes..posh cars.. ….shit loads of debt that no one knows about and too scared to deal with it!

I suppose my IVA gives me some displine (very much needed) but it also gives me  hope to a bright future! A future where I am not in debt, where I have learnt the displine to spend money on what is needed!

Its not easy and i struggle all the time … with feelings of shame and guilt (no one really knows my situation apart from my boyfriend and best friend) and envy of other people who seeming have it all!!

I have talked before about how horriable it is making excuses not to go on friday night benders… but its getting easier! … now my work mates make a joke that “she will only come out if its free”… which is true!!…

 So maybe i spend too much time, checking my budget..checking out economy food in the supermarket..chatting on debt forums..?!…. maybe i am just learning just like the song “the best things in life are free”… its more important to have good friends a loving family than the owning stuff! …the newest ipod, car, house, clothes..

I dont post on my blog for sympthy .. i post because what i write is honest.. I spent too much and got myself into this mess but i am getting myself out.. I have a degree in sociology and I could argue that i am a victim of “affluenza!” or a product of a western consumrism… that i am merly a symptom of the lack of moral codes and values of a “need” society.

But you know what.. Its all rubbish .. i had no control.. i enjoyed the buzz of the swipe of the credit card! …It hit me once when i was at work.. if you can believe this part of my job is to give basic advice on welfare benefits and debt advice.. and i thought “who i am to lecture about credit card debt of £500 to this person.. when my own credit card is somewhere near £5,000!!” so i took my own advice and got ADVICE!

waiting for the annual review

January 7th, 2008

i am currently waiting for my IP to send through the above request i am really worried now… which is daft..i am scared i have done something wrong and they will say ” no you cant have an iva anymore!” and open the cage to the baying credit card company wolves.

Ok so i know deep down they cant fail it because i have made all my payments and the review is part of the processes that has to be completed! but even still i am stressing.

I imagine i should receive it some time this week.

one year down

December 24th, 2007

thats it! i have done one year into my 4 year stretch with my faithful pal IVA. its been a difficult first year and we have  learnt alot together, especially about budgets and value products. We have had some embrassing times, having to make excuses not to go on nights out or turning down girly hoildays. But we have had some amazing times me and my IVA, we have bought all the christmas prezzies with real money! We have slept easy at night without fear of the post in the morning, and we have become all lot happier all round.

I am expecting our annual review paper work soon, so i have started to plan for this saving utilites bill showing the increase in payments , petrol receipts etc. Hopefully there wont be too high an increasr as i have been lucky this year with a pay rise and a promotion and have upped my payments accordingly.

As much as my love/hate realtionship with my IVA continues, i confess i will be happy when it comes to an end! But for now i will keep on with my paymets! ¼/p>

the work christmas party

December 15th, 2007

was last night and it was all FREE…. a word i am in love with… lots of wine and a lovely 3 course meal… i had an excellant time and because i didnt have to pay i didnt have that slightly stomach churning moment looking at the menu trying to add it all up in my head.. remeber how much cash i have in my purse… because there is no golden credit card to put it on. In fact i never managed to get a gold card until i got into an IVA odd isnt it.. i now have a gold cashplus prepaid credit card….. very impressive.

Have you noticed how much publciity those cards are getting now… ! they are fantastic idea and have saved me from some embrassing situations… people who deal in cash only do get funny looks sometimes… well i do anyway.

right well i have a hangover to attend to…a free hangover at that!