Single Figures

Well, it has been some time since I last blogged. I have seriously slacked!
I am sitting here today with a big smile on my face as I have officially made it into single figures – 9 payments to go. I simply cannot believe that I started with 60 payments and I have made it to this point. Just over 4 years of payments made and I can still remember the feeling I had when I received my acceptance phone call. The relief I felt then is something I will never forget.
Nerves will always sit in the background particularly until I finish all payments and receive my certificate. I try to always take one month at a time and never look too far ahead as you never know what life will throw at you but if you spend all your time worrying then the fun in life will go. Putting a start and end on a 5 year period helps you remember so easily everything you have done during that time, experiences had and memories made. If I had to recall details of the 5 years previous to the start of my IVA, I very much doubt I would be able to recall as much.
I have had some of my hardest times in these years, but I also have had some of the best times (who would have thought that without a credit card to lean on). I appreciate so much more than I ever used to and for this I will always be grateful. My IVA has taught me so much more than how to manage my money. I will definitely come out of this a stronger person and I am determined that my IVA will not define me.
I remember in one of my early blogs that I felt my life would go on hold for 5 years, I was wrong. You cannot put life on hold – this is not a choice which I thought was viable, days, weeks and months will carry you.
I have recently moved into my own flat, something I never thought possible, particularly living in the area I am but I was lucky and by fluke was offered a flat by a private housing association. The flat was completely gutted and in really bad condition. In the month before I moved in, I worked so hard to make it a home (on a very tight budget). I was given so much to get me started as I had been renting a small single previously. It completely showed me who my friends were – some of them spent hours and hours there with me, decorating and supporting me. I have moved to a completely new area which can be daunting but I see it as a fresh start and I love nothing more than going ‘home’.
I am still single, partly out of choice and partly as opportunities haven’t arisen and I have pushed to meet anyone. I have been on a couple of dates but there was no fairytale spark for me and I think as you get older you are more aware of what you want and the type of person you wish to spend your time with. I absolutely will not spend time in an unhappy relationship when I can and have been happy single. My only wish is that I will get to be a mum one day, for now I am happy to play Auntie to my friends children.
Well as always my quick update seems to have turned into a load of waffle but its been good to put down on paper the thoughts that swim through my head!
Everyone just starting, half way through and near the end, keep going, it will be worth it in the end.
Ever Onwards and Upwards. x

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Wow time flies

Hi All,

I cannot believe that it has been so long since my last post, over a year ago seems insane? I always thought that I would be one to update this regularly as I love writing and I like reading other blogs so I think its great to share. I have been checking in and reading the forum and posts where I can but I haven’t had time to get involved in discussions unfortunately. There are so many people that dedicate so many hours to the forum and I think its amazing and so many people would be lost without that help.

All in all I am plodding along ok. I have completed my 2nd year review and so have just gone into my 3rd year. Six months and I am half way through which has come around a lot quicker than what I was expecting. Touch wood I haven’t had any major hiccups or problems and generally as long as I stick to my usual way of budgeting I am fine. One thing I remember saying right back at the start was that I was jealous of everyone doing this that are in couples. I now take back this comment, as much as I know it must be good to have someone going through exactly the same as you it also means that you have to think and budget for 2 people. For me, I am still single but I like the fact that I only have to worry about myself, if I overspend it only impacts me and no one else. Hats off to all the people that have children as I think you do an amazing job of budgeting and it must be so much harder in a lot of ways.

Next month I am turning 30. I can’t wait as I think 20’s can be quite difficult and feel that I will be more settled in my 30’s. I would have like a big party but instead I am keeping it quietish and having a meal out with the girls and then mum is doing a little family party at her house. Those that have me as a friend on facebook will see the piccies of the butterfly decoration my friend made for this and she is in the process of making me a pinata! My best friend then announced that she is taking me on holiday the week after my birthday for my present. I was bowled over with this generosity. We have been best friends since we were 11 and have always been there for each other throughout thick and thin. I cannot believe how lucky I am and am looking forward to spending a week in the sun with her reminiscing over the years :0)

I am so glad that at the beginning I decided to tell my friends what I was doing. It makes it so much easier when planning and doing things and people understand when I say no without lots of awkward questions or making me feel uncomfortable. My parents know I am paying back some money but have no idea of the full extent of it which makes it difficult at times but I am still not prepared to sit down and go through it all with them as I don’t think they need to know.

Anyway I am off to sell some items on ebay in the hope I may be able to treat myself to a new bikini :0) I hope all is well with everyone and no one is struggling too much.

Ever Onwards and Upwards
Sxx

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Proud

I tried to post this at 11:45 pm on New Years Eve. Luckily I saved it and fingers crossed it will now post:

Whilst sitting writing this, I am in a very thoughtful mood. On this IVA journey there are feelings that I never want to forget. The moment you realise you are sinking and feel like there is no way out, the urgency in the research you do in the hope that there is something, the skipping a heartbeat when you read the IVA details and feel like you may just have a chance, the release when you first speak to someone who doesn’t judge you and the jumping for joy you want to do when you find out it is accepted. (I did the happy dance alone in a toilet at work and when I stopped and looked in the mirror I realised I looked ill and that it was also the first time in a long time I had smiled!)
This time last year it was just starting to dawn on me just how broke and in debt I was. I was single and although I didn’t want to tell my family I knew that I could tell my friends and they would be by my side every step of the way, however those first steps I had to do alone. Alone so that I could say I had done it, to restore confidence in myself that had been ripped away and for once be proud of myself. Getting into debt is nothing to be proud of, dealing with it and facing up to it and moving forward is something we should ALL be proud of.
Someone asked me today what my 5 year plan was – to get out of debt and come through it with as little bumps and scratches as possible is all I can ask for right now. Anything positive that happens in the meantime will only be a bonus and anything negative will remind me to be strong!
So into 2012 we head. 52 months left for me but thats fine, I never thought the past 8 would go so quick so who knows what will happen in the next 52. I have participated in drinking mucho champagne tonight that customers gave me and I am happy as Larry. I have no New Years Resolutions this year as I am rubbish at keeping them. However, I stopped smoking 9 days ago, cold turkey and I can honestly say I never thought I would be able to go into 2012 debt dwindling and smoke free!!
Happy New Year everyone. To the oldies, keep going your nearly there and to the newbies – do it, its hard work but worth every tear!
Ever Onwards and Upwards.
Sx

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Life so far…..

Hey All,

Well I thought it was about time I updated my blog. I cannot believe how quickly time seems to be passing and although it is a very very long way off, I certainly have the end in sight and each month it gets one small step closer!

This month I have paid my 7th payment so I have another 53 to go. I keep setting myself small targets and I know that by doing this it will seem much quicker. I don’t want to wish my life away but I do also think that I will really be able to start living again once this is all finished. Getting an IVA has without a doubt been the best thing I have ever done in relation to facing reality. I honestly cannot remember a time when my wages were all for me and I didn’t have to pay money over to credit cards or moving on now to an IVA. I can just imagine the amazing feeling I will have at the end and I know I will be so proud myself. This has been a huge lesson and I never want to have to go through it again. It is a shame that you can’t bottle the feeling of this and then if you ever have a wobble in the future you could open the bottle and be reminded (sorry I think my imagination is running wild today). I hope that when I one day look back on my blogs it will have the same effect.

Anyway, things haven’t been too bad in all honesty. I think the IVA is working for me how it should. I am very frugal in some areas as it means that I can still go and do things. I have to be careful as my family and friends are all over and I want to be able to visit them when I can.

I did have a nightmare in September. My MOT and tax were due in the same month. I had been really careful and managed to save a year’s tax and the cost of the mot. Well I went to get my tyre’s checked just before and they said the front 2 were borderline and would need replacing so bang went my car tax money. The MOT passed however they told me I needed to replace front brake discs and pads asap as they were corroded. Another £120 needed. Thank goodness for mum and dad is all I can say. I somehow managed to get enough together for 6 month’s tax and they helped me out with the brakes.

Apart from that I have been ok and it has come to the end of a couple of months and I have struggled etc but I have managed in one way or another. I have to say I have amazing friends who are there for me and treat me to dinner etc. I consider myself very lucky in this respect. They have all told me that they expect a party at the end ha ha!

I have had once piece of really good news although with it brought some seriously awkward questions from my parents. I have been given a big promotion and with it I am due a large pay rise. I haven’t started my new role yet as they are trying to find a suitable replacement. I couldn’t believe it when 500 people applied for the job and it made me realise how lucky I was as so many people can’t even get a job. Anyway, when I started my IVA I didn’t want to tell my parents all about it but knew I wouldn’t get away with telling them nothing. They would be devastated if they knew how much I was in debt by and even more that they couldn’t help me. For this reason I told them that I was going to cut all my credit cards up and concentrate on paying them off which would means things would be tight I would expect it to take 5 years. So after telling mum about my rise she said fantastic that means you will have more to yourself each month. I said no it means I can pay more over to the debt. To which she replied that I shouldn’t pay it all over and if I do I may leave myself short although at least it will get paid off much quicker. I told her that isn’t how it works and basically explained how it does all work without calling it an IVA (if I had said this she would be straight online looking it all up). A few more questions and a bit of bluffing later I seem to have satisfied her for now.

Please understand if you are reading this that I am NOT ashamed of the position I am in but like me mum is a big worrier and if she knew I was insolvent etc it would really upset her and I am not prepared to put this hurt, stress and worry onto her. I guess I am just lucky that I have told my close friends and they respect my decision not to tell my parents and they support me as much as possible.

Looking up, I seem to have done the usual and babbled on for ages but to sum up I am GLAD I made the choice I did to go with the IVA and I feel much stronger now. If I can do this I can do anything and I hope and pray I make it through the next 5 years and that I come out of it with only a few scars from bumps on the way. It really helps when other posters reach the target and one day I hope to be one of them.

Ever Onwards and Upwards

X

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Ticking Along

Hi All, 

I have wanted to write a blog for ages but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. I have no idea why as I haven’t felt particularly down or anything, something has just been stopping me! 

Anyway, life seems to be drifting in the right direction. I am now 3 payments down and it feels so good, even knowing that I have another 57 to go. To me 57 as a number does not seem so bad, stick months on the end however and 57 months sounds like forever! For me, the thought of how many payments are left to make is not just about the money. It has really made me sit back and dissect my life into 5 year periods. When I think what I have done and how much my life has changed in the last 5 years and the 5 before that, it almost panics me! I can’t say it even panics me in a bad way, more that I feel it really makes you think about the future and what could or might happen! Someone actually asked me the other day what my 5 year plan is! I laughed at him as 5 year plans are something I used to do and used to know what I wanted to achieve in the next 5 years however as I have grown up a little I have realised that no matter how much planning you do, you cannot plan because you never know what is going to be around the next corner when you turn. However, for the next few years I have no choice to be in some sort of plan as I am tied down to a certain extent. It excites me and frightens me all at once. At the moment I am single, 27, I rent a room from my friend. A lot of my friends are starting to settle down, get married, and have children. I however did things a little backwards. Had I have not called off my wedding; this August would have been our 3rd Anniversary. Now don’t get me wrong I have no regrets as he wasn’t for me etc. but it does make you wonder how things would have taken a different turn when you came to crossroads in your life. I can’t imagine meeting someone whilst in an IVA and settling down. Realistically I don’t think it is going to happen. Some of my friends know that I am in one, however meeting someone new and always saying I can’t do this and that would be really hard for me. I am not ashamed myself but I also do not want to be judged by someone that would not know me as a person before finding out….. Anyway I have just realised how much I am completely rambling so I will move on! 

My car insurance was due this month and as many of you will know on the forum it has seriously gone up! However, my bestest friend has come to the rescue and I put towards the amount I saved and she made up the rest and I will pay her back over the next 6 months! It is great as it saved me a little as I have paid it out right and it means that I can choose how much to pay her back each month and hopefully I will have it paid within 6. My friend has recently got engaged and I spent a brilliant weekend with her recently in which we went shopping for her dress and she took me for a lovely lunch for a treat! She has also said that she will pay for my bridesmaid dress and she wants to keep the hen night cheapish as she knows I will struggle and others as well. She is a truly fab friend and it is great to have her support.

 It is my birthday this weekend and so my parents came to meet me from work last Friday and took me out for dinner (again a lovely treat). They don’t know that I am in an IVA; however they do know that I have cut up the plastic and times are hard! 

As of tomorrow I have lots of lovely things planned as I am off for the next week. On Saturday I am going to see Take That (I bought these tickets pre-iva) and I am sooooo excited. I know things like this will be few and far between in the next few years so I am going to make the most of it. On Sunday I turn 28 and a few friends and I am going to a cheap pub by me for some lunch and then a friend and I are off down to use my parent’s flat in Eastbourne for the week. Mum said that she has stocked the freezer and cupboards for me (I am so lucky) and so it should be a cheap week. The main thing on the agenda is relaxing! I cannot wait for this time off and I feel I really need it! I would love to be going abroad somewhere hot but at the same time I feel very lucky that I can escape down there as I know many cannot! 

So, all in all things are ticking along really well. I continue to view the forum and gain strength from others.

Ever Onwards and Upwards

Sx

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Time flies….

Well, well, well, I cannot get over the fact it has been so long since my last post and so much has happened! My IVA was accepted on the 4th April and what a huge relief it was! I did not have to make my 1st payment until May though which really helped. Up until my creditors meeting I had been paying the minimum payments on all my cards each month so I was yet to have any sort of contingency fund. However, the first month in the IVA I put to one side what would have been my payment and it made me feel so much better to know I have some to fall back on! It was enough to put to one side 6 months tax, money for MOT (as long as no problems) and a little bit extra for a rainy day.

I have found that I deal much better with cash than I ever did with cards. At the beginning of each month I drawer out most of my allowences and then split this into plastic wallets eg 1 for spend, 1 for petrol etc etc and then at the beginning of each week, I empty out anything left from the week before into my piggy bank (never much but it will add up) and then put my cash for the new week in my purse. It is so much easier seeing exactly what I have when I open my purse. I can’t kid myself about how much is in fact there.

I feel quite amazed how much I seem to have changed. I can sort of put it down to the fact that when I had cards etc I just used to spend and not think about it and think well it is bad and I am broke so one more thing won’t make a difference. However now, the thought of not having the fall back really scares the hell out of me which is a good thing as it makes me think about every single penny I spend. I am very careful and even more so because I know that if I am careful it means I may be able to get myself a little treat at the end of the week. And that is just it now, every little thing I allow myself to get I see as a real treat and think how lucky I am! So that bar of chocolate may seem nothing to some people but for me its everything, I know I can eat it and be proud I bought it myself because I had been good that week.

My life really does feel like it’s improved in so many ways, I actually have more money a month now than what I had pre iva (if that gives you any idea how much I was paying out each month). I still have many down days when I think if I had just done this or that differently in the past then things would be so different now but in all honesty we all know we cannot change the past but what we do and how we behave now could go a long way in moulding our future!

I still check in and read the forum as much as I can and it is great to see everyone getting accepted etc. I hope I will have more time soon to start contributing more regularly but at the moment work and home is a bit of a nightmare so I don’t seem to have much leisure time these days!

Anyway I don’t want to bore people anymore so I will sign off for now….

Ever Onwards and Upwards x x

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The sun has got his hat on

Well, I am starting to learn fast that I feel like a yo yo! One minute I am up and the next so down. Yesterday was a seriously down day. I couldn’t put my finger on why, I just felt like everything was going round and round in my head like a whirlpool. I still have until the 4th to wait and see if mine is accepted but I am trying to be positive and was working out my budget for next month based on this! But when you can’t think straight the figures just seem to swim about on paper and nothing makes sense.

As most of you know I got blog of the week last week and the vouchers arrived on Monday. So to cheer myself up I went and got some new ballet pumps to commute to work in, if you read my last blog you will know how much these were needed!!! So I was made up and they were a bargin at £8!

Today I am so much happier and I think it has a lot to do with this amazing sunshine we have! It makes such a difference to my mood and everything seems so much easier to cope with. Long may the sunshine and my smile continue!

This weekend I am helping a friend of mine move house. When I think of her I can really put things into much better perspective. Back in January she was diagnosed with a form of leaukimia. The form she has is life lasting and she will never rid herself of it. 2 weeks ago she was doing really well and on the ‘wonder drugs’ that she will always need, however on Friday she rung to tell me that she has deteriorated very quickly and they may have to consider chemo or a bone marrow transplant. On Monday she had to go through what I can only imagine to be horrific bone marrow tests. Knowing of someone in this position really makes me realise that although Money makes the world go round, it is nothing if you don’t have your health and you cannot lead a happy life.

Something that I was thinking about due to this is that there is ALWAYS someone out there with bigger fish to fry than ourselves. No matter what it is. If we all put our problems onto one big pile, I could just about guarantee that 90% of us would want to take our own problems back. Maybe we all think being debt free will be the end of our worries but whilst I have my health I can cope with paying back my debts!

As usual I have babbled on and on but I hope I have made some sense!

Ever Onwards and Upwards x x

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The Angel and the Devil

The title of this blog, dictates what is happening in my brain right now!! Today I have received the date for my creditors meeting. I have put every thought into wondering when I would receive this date and how long it will be and not for once given any thought as to how I would feel once I was given the date!

Up until now I have been more positive than negative and thinking alot about when I AM accepted. Then when I received the date today it all came crashing down around my ears when I realised its more a case of IF! I know that I wouldn’t be put forward it they didn’t think that I would be accepted but there is still a WHAT IF? I know everyone reading this will know exactly how I am feeling and I dread the thought that I am now going to feel on edge until the 4th! Put it this way 17 sleeps and counting!

On top of that I also have loads of stuff running through my head (I have always been a worrier about EVERYTHING and do not see this changing anytime soon). I think it just puts it into reality when you think how long 5 years is and what can actually happen in the 5 years. When I think back over the last five years, so much has happened and so much has changed (good and bad) and when you put the time scale into words as such it makes you realise just how long (and short) five years is! I am probably rambling on and making no sense whatsoever but I am to me!! ha ha.

Anyway I think I am going to try and find the money to put one line on the euromillions tonight. And if my luck was in (don’t worry I am not being unrealistic) I will be paying off all my debt and a few others that I see struggling!

Sorry for the complete mish mash! Wish I could go and lie on a beach for the next 2 weeks until I know but instead I am just going to get on with things, hold my head up and have a cup of tea (or 2)

Have a good weekend everyone.

Ever Onwards and Upwards x x

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Happy Dance!

So my news as most of you know is that I won blog of the week yesterday! Boy did I have one big smile on my face all day after I found out!! I write this blog because it has really helped me and I enjoy it but to get vouchers for something I really enjoy doing anyway is a BIG bonus!

I am desperate for some new shoes to commute to work in. I have worn boots all winter but as it is slowly starting to get warmer I need some flat pumps! I don’t know where the vouchers are for but I am sure wherever they are for I will be able to get some! WHOOP WHOOP! I know I maybe sound way overexcited but if you could see the pair I am currently wearing you would understand why. I can hardly walk in them let alone run for my train as they come flying off! This happened the other day and a kind man picked it up and handed it back to me (yes I was the colour of beetroot!!)

Something else that has cheered me up this week happened during my commute home on Monday. A lady started being sick on the tube. Now I am not very good at dealing with things like this but these two amazing guys really helped this woman. They managed to get her a plastic bag, a whole roll of loo roll and a bottle of water plus a seat (this is no mean feat in rush hour I can tell you. Seeing how kind and helpful these two guys were (both suited and booted) really restored my faith! Normally everyone would turn a blind eye. But again it made me happy to see two such kind gentlemen.

Anyway, on the debt front, they have received back my signed proposal and I am just waiting for the date for my creditors meeting! I wish they would hurry up but I know they probably have hundreds to arrange a day so I need to be patient!

Thanks again to everyone who reads this and for my vouchers!

Ever Onwards and Upwards x x

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The Proposal and the dyson!

So it is nearly another weekend over. Thhis weekend has been quite productive which is good. My new proposal finally arrived and I have read and re-read it so it is now ready to be returned tomorrow. Fingers crossed it will be received by Tuesday and then fingers crossed my creditors meeting can be arranged. I am praying that it will be arranged for the 1st week in april at the latest!

I got up yesterday morning and went shopping my house mate. Sshe wanted to get some presents for her 13 year old birthday so I tagged along. I am almost jealous of how she is. Since her son was 2 she has been a single mum and always survived, she is great with money and her house is always perfectly clean. I am yet to have children but I hope that when I do I can be as organised etc as she is. Anyway I managed to go around all the shops and spend very little money which I was very impressed about.

My friend then decided to buy a new hoover and settled on a DYSON (I did say she was good with money!!). Well this triggered an afternoon of tearing my room apart and hoovering everything in sight! It may sound sad but I HEART this new hoover!!! lol

Last night I babysat my other friends 2 children again. She seems to have more of a social life than me but that”s ok as for all the hours I spend looking after her children, I am happy, entertained and not worrying about the debt I am in or having to make excuses to not go out or spend any money!

Today I am spending time putting all my cd’s onto my Ipod and just generally pottering about. Sometimes I get fed up and think at my age I should be busy having fun all the time but then I remember that is what got me into this mess in the first place! Actually I think I am quite content with how my life is right now. I have never been one to get out and get hammered as I always thought it was a waste of money ~(shame I couldn’t have applied these feelings to a few more aspects of my spending lol). The only time when it upsets me is when people ask me what I have been doing and I say this and that and then they look at me in a way that the almost feel sorry for me. I have questioned why people do this time and time again and I have still not found the answer. All I know is that surely it is each to his/her own and how people decide to live their lives is up to them. At the end of the day everyone is different and the world would be a very boring place if we were all the same!

One last thing for today’s blog is that I have to say my heart goes out to all those people in Japan. I so wish I had a little cash to spare to send to help but right now I really don’t. It really does make you realise how lucky you are for what you have.

Thank you for the comments on my last blog :0)

Ever Onwards and Upwards x x

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