Financial Haemorrhaging!

That’s certainly what it feels like this month ( and last month). Now I know we are not the only one’s in this predicament and that there are lots of people a lot worse off than we are.

However, it is difficult to stay positive and not panic when you bank balance literally disappears before your eyes. This month alone has been my youngest’s birthday. Something I normally budget for and this year although I frugally sourced everything it still was difficult to cover. That was because we had so many things to pay for!! There is no other way to say it but we just had loads to pay for!!

So on top of the birthday we had……

*£90 for drama term for youngest.

*£40 for an Explorer weekend camp my eldest really wanted to go on.

*£90 to have my poor ‘Gorgeous George‘ cremated after a shock unplanned pet death.

*£15 for a 1/2 day Geography school trip.

*£20 towards expenses for my eldest’s PE trekking trip.

*£70 for a boiler service.

*£150 for my OH’s motorbike service and MOT.

Ok, so we have not yet overdrawn and I know a LOT of people live via their overdrafts. That is just something I couldn’t do. I wouldn’t sleep ( or get even less than I get now!).However, we have no savings to dip into either. At the end of the day we always pay what’s owed, then live on what’s left. I am extremely frugal with food and have recently made the leap to Aldi where I have found we have been saving at least £10 a week easy, if not much more, on our food bills.

But then there is NO extra!! I mean none!! I don’t go out except for the odd coffee and catch up with friends. My OH never goes out- ever!! He works hard, tries to get as much overtime as possible and then comes home. He never moans about it, that’s just what he does. The kids earn their pocket money by doing chores- it’s not just handed to them.

I’m left feeling worse about not working. Regulars will know I have M.E and this week alone I have been unable to do anything- I mean anything! I have been hit with exhaustion that has made it difficult to function, shower and make dinner- let alone anything else.

If I worked I could help financially, I could relieve the pressure and possibly make things easier. But I cant!!! It’s so frustrating. Frustrating beyond words.

And so I now look towards next month and the run up to Christmas. Thank goodness we pay into a ‘Christmas Club’ via family, it means we get get our money back in November in plenty of time to organise Christmas.

Then I hear people saying hey are going out, going for a weekend away, buying new clothes, going for meals etc and just wonder……….HOW DO THEY DO IT?

I REPEAT……………..HOW DO THEY DO IT??????

 

Who needs a Will?

There can only be one answer to that…………EVERYONE!

Especially if you are a home owner with kids. I was always of the opinion that we didn’t have anything to put in a will until we got advice and realised that actually our house is a huge investment and really if we want our kids to inherit it then we need to get it down on paper.

My in-laws only did a will several years ago when they were in their late 60’s and yet when you think about it that is leaving it a tad late. However, they were of the opinion that everything would be split equally between their boys, and I am sure that had anything had happened that’s exactly what would of happened. Yet when we got our advice it was extremely interesting to hear and think about the different scenarios that could happen especially with me and my OH only being in our 40’s *cough* young whippersnappers!

Also what was great about our advice was that all of it was to benefit our kids. In that I mean ways that things could be arranged to keep everything managed UNDER the Inheritance Tax levels!! Now for every hard working, tax paying, home owning person out there………that is a MUST.

We were lucky enough to be contacted by Ade from Maximum Inheritance Specialists  

to review the Will service that he provides. We really had no idea what to expect and he was extremely patient with us when we looked at him blankly when he was going through the questions to find out where to start with us! Anyway we got through it and it really was food for thought. You don’t want to think about possibilities of going your separate ways or something happening to you or your partner but he definitely makes you realise how important it is to consider in order to make sure your children are put first ( which most couples would want).

The service started with a phone call for basic details, and then followed up the following week with a home visit from Ade. He was at our house for about an hour and a half although I’m sure if my OH hadn’t asked soooooo many questions it would have been concluded long before then.

A few days later hall the sent an email with an outline of our will and trusts to confirm everything and then another meeting is planned, again for the next week. However, as I was ill on the day I had to re arrange the date which Ade was very accommodating. On his return he had all the paperwork ( and there was loads!) which he had already completed for us and all we were doing was signing with a witness to complete.

Again he was super helpful, and patient as the paperwork can get confusing LOL

After that the service was complete and although he can hold the wills for you, you are welcome to keep them for yourselves which is what we opted for.

Some people would question why bother with the service when you can walk into somewhere like WH Smith and buy one you can fill out, however, if you are anything like us you won’t have a clue where to start. It’s easy to say that your children or family will share it all equally however, when money is involved people can become very greedy and that’s when things go wrong.

Having now experienced a full will service from a company I would always advise everyone to do the same, the advice was eye opening and invaluable and the fact all the paperwork is done for you is a Godsend as it’s all in technical speak! We also found that the signing in the right places by the correct person to be of paramount importance as a wrong signature could make the whole document null and void- again better to have someone to tell you exactly where to sign.

Now lets face it these sorts of services don’t come cheap, but I have searched on the net and found Ade’s service prices to be very competitive.

* A basic Will service with this company will cost you £180

* The Trusts and Power of Attorney are separate services which are charged at £450 each- However, if you take out both a Trust and Power of Attorney then the total for the two would only be £550!!

However, thankfully he offers a service where you can pay by installments over 3 months which certainly makes it more attainable.

*** OFFER***

Ade at Maximum Inheritance Services is also offering  a £50 M&S voucher for anyone who is interested in the service and becomes a client before the end of JULY!

 DISCLAIMER: I was asked to review the total service from Maximum Inheritance Specialists with Ade free of charge however, all thoughts and views are my own. No other payment was received.

Money- can you manage it?

I like to pride myself on being good with money. I can make a small amount go quite far when it ids required. I can prioritise what is desperate and what I can leave for just that little bit longer. This includes making the food bill stretch, when necessary and paying all the necessary extras, such as the kids after school clubs and finding alternative ways to entertain the boys without spending a fortune!

I have had to become like this since it was necessary to give up work after being diagnosed with M.E 4 years ago. Going back to one wage, with a hefty mortgage and two growing boys meant a real cut back on almost everything. The last time we had a credit card was when we were going through our major house renovation when we slightly overspent and ended up with around £1500 left to pay off on the card after our loan was used up. This took us a long while to eventually pay off, but we managed it by severely cutting back, doing without a lot of things. It was a sacrifice I’m glad we made as I haven’t got that depth of money worries keeping me awake a night. Since then we have never taken out another as it was too easy to keep adding £30 here and £50 there when we felt like it.

Now the only things we owe on is our mortgage and our car. Other than that we live on a ‘if we haven’t got the money we don’t buy it’ basis. This can be much easier said than done to be honest, there are times when watching every penny can grind you down and you think I just need a blow out of some sort. We are very lucky as both my mum and my in-laws are VERY generous when it comes to helping us out if we find ourselves in a tight financial spot but  I can imagine that this is not the case for everyone and therefore a credit card with all the low interests rates becomes an attractive alternative. In that respect I consider myself extremely lucky.

We are a family that does not care about big brand/ designer names in clothes or our house. I am a firm believer in not paying over the odds for anything and there is nothing better than a good old shop around, especially online, to find a bargain and still look nice and have a nice home without the designer price tag. My kids always come first so if they need clothes, shoes, clubs paid for, then I will sort that first. Neither of my boys have gone on a secondary school trip and my eldest is in yr10. However, they are jsut completely out of our reach. As a family we go camping as a cheap way of affording a holiday. When away we don’t tend to eat out and I will take all the necessary food and treats with us. My boys who are now 12 and 15 are very understanding and have become bargain hunters themselves ( never paying full price for a console game and buying pre owned) again being careful with their money.

However, for some people they just cannot resist and rely solely on their flexible friends to get the what they want. This can quickly build up over several cards and before they know it they really are in VERY deep. For others, it could be the situation they find themselves in, for example, a relationship break up, a loss of a job or partner and literally having no one else to turn to for help, they become reliant on credit because they need to feed themselves and their kids.I have noticed lots of money lending and quick money adverts on the TV recently and for some this can be the quick solution instead of finding a long term one.

A persons debt can be an extremely stressful thing to acknowledge without the proper advice could be difficult to face alone. Sometimes the right advice can be all that’s needed to get a persons financial status back on track. Like I say I’m fortunate enough to have family help if needed but some people have no one and get locked in a downward spiral of borrowing more and more to get them through. So get the proper debt management information for your situation in order to make the changes you may need.

 HOW DO YOU PRORITISE YOUR FINANCES?

ARE YOU A BARGAIN HUNTER OR A DESIGNER ADDICT?

**DISCLAIMER: this post comes to you in collaboration with Debt free Direct.

Lately I have been…….

KNITTING!  Yes I know I’m so rock’n’roll

Anyway, I’m trying to make my new venture work and so my needles have been ablaze!

Here’s a sneak peak at my latest makes:

A gorgeous laptop cover decorated with heart buttons
A cute little cabled doggy jumper

 

Some lovely lace patterned bookmarks
An I Phone cover

All of the above are available here on the Facebook page.

I’m hoping to very soon open an Etsy online shop, but in the meantime if there is anything on the Facebook page that you are interested in just comment below or email me at beaniesandbobbles@btinternet.com

Right I’m off to start a new pattern for a kindle cover!

What’s your latest creative make?

 

I’m going through a change………..

Yes Mum in Meltdown is going to be changing soon! I have decided that I love this blogging malarkey and reading all of yours too. But now I want to move from my beginners Blogger account to a properly owned site…………..wish me luck I am a complete technophobe. This could all go horribly wrong! But I’m hoping it’s not going to be as bad as I’m expecting.

This has all come about after getting a bit of a kick up the backside after joining the Become a Mumpreneur course run by the lovely@erica and @antoniachitty .  I have been off work through illness now for over 2 years and I am desperate to get back on my feet and hopefully start earning something- however small!

The first monetary challenge was to earn £20 for the month. So along with my eldest son we cleared out some old toys/books etc and decided to do a car boot sale!!

So yesterday morning we headed of to set up and hopefully turn some of our items into hard cash!!

We didn’t have a massive amount to sell but we were hoping to break the £20 goal. the day went well and we sold around £48 worth of stuff!! We were very impressed as we didn’t really stay there long and the boot sale itself wasn’t that big. So taking off our entry fee of £12 we cleared £35.80!!!

So my eldest was pleased as he cleared his debt’s ( a lost Ipod touch that was only 8 weeks old!!) and I was chuffed as when he gave the money to me I had exceeded my £20 monthly challenge.

So this has got me thinking towards next months challenge. I have always loved to make handmade gifts at Christmas, (hot chocolate cones, hampers, cookies etc) so with that in mind I have decided to have a table at the school Christmas fair ( hopefully) to sell some of these items(again hopefully!).

My £35 will go towards stuff I need initially to make the items ( which I will take pics of and probably post on here). At the moment I am feeling confident that the items are sell able……………..however when I am standing in that sale I’m sure my confidence will disappear!!

Wish me luck……………………………………….both for the new look blog ( please come and follow me when I change) and for next month’s sale!!!