Funny Side Of Life.

I am sure one day we will look back and laugh at this situation but at the moment its no laughing matter .we have got ourselves into a mess and we are trying to do what we can to live.The first year was hard and the second year looked impossible until I got my small job.Sometimes it  never go smooth though I have sorted one pair of the wifes glasses out but she still needs reading ones and my glasses also need replacing ..Then the modem broke down for the Internet that was another expense  which I didn’t need.The internet is important as we have no shops near us  so grocerys need ordering to get delivered. And its also company for the wife she reads the online news papers etc.

I got some trousers from asda for work I have to wear a suit and be smart  my trousers were getting worn holes in the pockets and looking shiney I am surprised no one noticed.And I also have to provide my own uniform for weekend job.

The wife had two pairs of new pyjamas as hers were falling into holes I think a lot of things are wearing out and looking shabby.We will be like tramps by the time it ends.Maybe tramps might look smarter than us.

We still havnt been out anywhere now I work a 7 day week its impossible to even plan anything but one day in the summer we hope to go to a nature reserve for half a day that will be our holiday for this year.That will be a luxury compared with last year.We also need to get some paint and that will be my holiday trying to maintain the home as that is looking a bit shabby in places.

The wife is going to grow some vegetables that should ease the food budget I just hope she doesn’t run the water bill up doing it as it would be a case of robbing peter to pay paul.

You have to laugh or else you could sit and cry on a daily basis.I have read posts on the forum some seem to manage better than others  no doubt if we lived near a decent market we could go and get food cheaper but living without a car makes life hard.No matter how many IE you have it never seems to be quite enough  they expect you to save the IE all year to get one pair of glasses so what do you do if you need 3 pairs between 2 people ? What if you have eaten your IE money ? As we say we have eaten ours.I don’t think the IE is enough it is very tight very bare basic. I suppose its a punishment of sorts making you appreciate money and how to make it stretch sometimes it doesn’t have enough stretch in it though..The elastic went ping in ours.

Pocket Money ? What is that ? neither of us have any  so neither of us can just go out and treat ourselves or buy each other a gift I am afraid its lean times ahead.

No matter how hard I have struggled I wont ask for a payment break its totally out the question as it will just extend my IVA even longer and one day we hope to move .We cant sell  up while we are in IVA as they have something attached to the property and no one would give us a mortgage either so we are well and truly stuck .Maybe we will be stuck here till I retire  10 years to go..And no doubt my IVA will be extended to 72 months so I have just under 54 months to go..

Staying in for 72 months working and sleeping and coming to terms with the fact I cant get these years back I cant change the past and it could be a long stretch .


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The First Year

What a long year it was managing from pay day to pay day we bought food and their was nothing else surplus .We stayed in all year no days out no shopping just about living like prisoners.I think they get days out sometimes ! During the summer the Tumble dryer started to squeak  and we both thought please don’t break it squeeked and squeeked all summer into the Autumn and finally packed up on Xmas Eve..Wet washing on xmas day how much fun is that ?

November I thought of ways out of this hell because it is hard don’t let anyone tell you its a easy option as its not.Should I have sold the house paid the debt and rented somewhere ?but then their is the dog people don’t want dogs in rented houses..I am not classed as needy to get social housing as I have a pension besides a wage.We googled options and came up with no answers.

Extra money was needed and fast  because my small amount of overtime was hardly worth having maybe £20 a month but even that is better than nothing.

So I took a job which is hard menial work Friday and Saturday night  just what I need after a long week at work.The first week was the worst as they trained me on Sat/Sun  night so I had to go to my day job on the Monday having had no sleep.But extra money was my ultimate goal .I have sorted it out with Insolvency company and I have to hand over a huge chunk of it but long term that will be a benefit  as its decreasing the IVA ..

Once I got used to weekend nights I was enjoying it as my day time job is very boring and the weekend one  is a bit more interesting.As we don’t have a car and the transport here is limited I have to get a taxi to work on weekends but I am still better off.I have a bit of surplus money to play with .things breaking down etc etc..

The downside is the wife is now on her own all weekend as well as in the week for long days .  I am sleeping most of Saturday and Sunday she said its like living with a zombie..And apparently I am leaving trails of mess as I am tired.

During the first year we had a lot of trouble as my wife was on the overdraft debt but not on the IVA all the debt is my responsibility.So we had 5 debt companys phoning the home they would last about 6-8 weeks then switch to another company..Some were quite nasty.She doesn’t have a income or even a bank account now  and I am paying the debt under my IVA..The debt company have been really good I am with DFD and they sent letters to the debt collectors and it seems to have stopped..As really they were chasing my income and its covered by IVA .I used to come home from work and she was pale and upset and I knew she had either had phone calls or letters but all letters had to go to DFD..The best of it is she never contributed to my bank account and I only put her on it when we bought a house just in case anything should happen to me.It never rains springs to mind..

We also have another huge problem I have to somehow get a letter from DWP to say my wife isn’t getting benefits ..”BENEFITS ”  Well she should be so lucky she has never had a benefit in her life.She phoned the DWP up and they said she wasn’t entitled to anything..That was no good as it wasn’t on paper..I wrote pretending I was her as she flatly refuses to beg for benefits  and they said go to job seekers .Well that’s no good either as she isn’t job seeking  she hasn’t worked since about 1995 has no stamps and isn’t looking for work she is older than me and not far off 60 ..They have risen the womens pension age so she wont get anything till she is 66 and she hasn’t got the full amount of stamps so it will probably not be worth having..This Benefit thing is past a joke as neither of us know how benefits work I have worked for the last 40 years  we moved around a lot so the wife had part /time work here and their and I was the main bread winner.Anyway I have to get something to satisfy my IP so she can say to the creditors that the wife gets no benefits..I am afraid its a dirty word in the house as wife thinks its begging and she wont sign on anywhere as it would be fraud as she isn’t asking for anything ..Proud and Poor..Thats what I have to do and I will get it sorted somehow..They told us to fill a form in online so she did that and all that came back was one sentence .”You are not entitled to anything at this moment in time ” Well that’s of no use like her phone call was also no use.The wife says she hasn’t even got a bank account to pay benefits in to and she is mortified about it..I have told her to forget it as I don’t want to hear about it every night.Anyone would think we lived on Benefit Street …And no she isn’t going to sign on for job seekers as she isn’t job seeking as she isn’t 100 % well so that to her is being a cheat  and I would love to be a fly on a wall if she did go to a interview as it would be what type of work are you looking for ? “Nothing would come the loud reply as if I have a day when I am in pain I wont turn up “She has damage to her nervous system which sometimes gives her chronic pain but she wont take pain killers  she is now saying we cant afford them..Headstrong to the very end..A benefit cheat or a liar she isn’t one of those.She trys her best to keep well away from the doctor but has to get regular injections and blood tests anything else and she suffers in silence.But I hear it every day.

Making Food Last..This is one thing we are fairly good at Wife is a good cook and can make food stretch.We stopped buying Goodies by that I mean chocolate,biscuits and treats So that is  a huge punishment as we both have sweet tooths.The wife tells me it is not cheaper to bake a cake as the dried goods have risen so much in price but she still bakes.As the shop bought cakes are not very good.ordering food online saves money as you can browse the aisles for bargains.We have had a few months where we have £10 to last 2 weks  but we always had food in the cupboards.You cant ask for extra food money when your wage hasn’t increased as their is nothing spare to ask for My wage is frozen or I believe I got 1% last year which I havnt received as yet.You cant really ask for extra anything when the IE is set so tight their is nothing extra to be had.

Gas & electric are fairly stable we have a open plan house so all the heat goes upstairs and you sit shivering downstairs.Thats my fault as I said it wasn’t a open plan house ! Remember I was the one who viewed it.We are not wasteful with energy we do switch things off.

It wont be forever it just feels that way..

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Getting Sorted

So I sorted the IVA out you get a Income and Expenditure which is fairly basic but as you are in such a mess its like receiving a life line.On paper it sounded okay we had enough to eat and pay the utilitys,Insurances and IVA so no problem ..Living it isn’t so easy though because the money you are supposed to have for extras somehow seems to be invisible.We have enough to eat  and then their is very little left.We don’t live in a cheap area we don’t have Aldi or cheap food stores within our distance without transport.The bus fares are also expensive just to get to town and back is nearly £5 doesn’t sound much ? Well it is much when you have very little to live on.We shop online mainly because carrying grocerys home would not be possible for my wife.I do bring odds and ends in and we watch every penny..

I have to provide a suit and shirts and ties for my job  but the clothing expenditure doesn’t cover that..Well I am not even sure where the clothing money goes we must eat it.We both wear glasses the wife has two sets and her reading ones are broken and she is using a magnifying glass  because we don’t have money for opticians. Well yes we do but where is it ??We must eat it..This is a worry as my wife had a eye complaint caused by her Anemia so she should get eye tests .

Looking at other people in their IVA they seem to manage better than us then you look again and someone will say they lived on baked beans all week to use the food money to buy something else. Not sure  I fancy doing that we don’t eat expensive food but we do eat fairly healthy ..We have never lived out of a chip pan.

On paper this money is their in reality its invisible..

Every month you dread something happening which will take you out of your comfort zone as you have no place to turn for help.

The their is the 10..50/50 clause..I was earning a small amount of overtime certainly no where near the 10%  so it was a few pounds extra then someone else at work wanted to earn it as well so then it had to be shared between 3 who were also  after extra money due to us not getting a pay rise since 2008.Everyone is suffering where money is concerned but they took away my few extra pounds..

So day to day and month to month we were limping along not going out just work sleep and eat…We don’t drink so the money isn’t going in that direction.The cost of living is rising all the time.Extra expenses the wife goes to the doctors she needs bus fares then needs prescriptions some times she has to get to a hospital out of town..She had to walk last time as we couldn’t afford a taxi to get her their..

All these little things add up to a very hard life.

Then we have the dog what did they give him for his expenses ? I think it was £20  well he is a very large dog and costs double that to feed some food runs through him so he has to have a premium one.. Then he needs a vet every year for booster etc which is another very expensive thing in this area costing £53 it costs our daughter £20 less in her area.The dog is important so he has to get fed .I think the dog is eating our IE as well..

You have to laugh or else you would surely cry.

Money for extras well  its hit and miss can we afford a hairdresser ? Well I cant so I now shave my own hair off myself its cheap and might make a mess in the bathroom but  the wife has very strong hair I do wish it would stop growing as it needs a cut far to often.I made her go 4 months last year and she looked like a yeti..My idea of a little joke..


What can we sell ?

The worst thing in the last 18 months is my wife selling her ring  she did it without telling me  but the dog got his booster ..She has no other jewellery as she isn’t a flashy person  so now she has nothing to sell we don’t have many luxury items  as we have always lead a simple existance..She did a car boot with the daughter up early loaded the daughters  car  off to make her fortune ! She earned £13  it was a very long day and she was exhausted mentally and physically for a week after I think the customers put her off that idea and the lack of earnings..So we have nothing to sell….


Feeding The Grandchildren

Sometimes we have to baby sit the grandchildren get here and eat us out of house and home for a few days before they go home and our cupboards are empty..We have even started quaking at the thought of them coming because we cant afford to feed them.We cancelled Christmas because we couldn’t stretch the money to pay for it and  I don’t get paid till the 25th so it was very hard.They were upset but we gave them £20 we couldn’t afford anymore  we were  feeling like the meanest people on earth.I think they have also eaten a share of our IE.

Having a IVA isn’t easy  its a punishment with benefits their is a light at the end of it but its a long way to go ..



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The Long Road

The long road well I guess I have to start some place.I am in a mess through situations and happenings beyond my control..Looking backwards I could have done it different 5 years ago I didn’t owe anyone a penny  I had money in the bank and lived a moderate lifestyle .We have never had a flashy life style meals out holidays etc..We like the simple things the great outdoors walking and watching wildlife.Then I changed my job I retired from one job and needed another job to pay the rather large mortgage as we had spent the last 30 years in houses which were rent free with my work..But then at the age of 50 I had to get a home .So we bought a house and did it up  we paid out of money we had to get it done really nice..Then my job moved me miles away ..We don’t drive and I was spending over 3 hours a day travelling on trains..No chance of getting a transfer I tried that as where they moved me to a place no one else wanted to go to..

So sadly we moved leaving our lovely home behind and I bought  another within one train journey to my job and a couple of bus rides  which was a lot easier.The house I bought well I was the one who went to view it and I have been in the dog house ever since..It had several things wrong with it which I as a man didn’t notice.

We lost all the money we spent doing our lovely home up and I sold it at a loss for a fast sale .”Mistake “….Then I had to make the house half way to decent  on what little money we had left so I did the basic things like get a new door as it didnt close properly and other mishaps which hurt to even think about..Borrowing and taking out loans  and max the credit card and over draft out ..It still isn’t a palace the heating system is poor and the boiler old and it still needs things doing.But by this time I was in debt.

So I took out a IVA which seemed to be the answer to my problems ..AT my age well I really don’t know how I got to this  situation..My wife has been ill for many years she doesn’t work  and she is depressed beyond belief as she now lives somewhere  which she hates the people unfriendly and her friends 2-3 hours away..She cant even afford to go and visit the daughter  and grandchildren as we cant stretch to that..She isn’t disabled  but has a very rare Anemia and  gets days when she sleeps a lot and she says life is not worth living which makes me feel bad that I bought her here.The only happiness she gets is her dog  who is her total company while I work long hours.The dog was needing  to see a vet a few months ago and we couldn’t afford it and she sold her wedding ring to pay for him to go and see the vet have we really hit hard times I think so…More to follow…

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