Saturday, 28 March 2015

What to do when you are broke & what not to do

In these days of easy credit many people find themselves in the financial mire, obviously it's best not to use credit in the first place but some people are easily tempted and they seem to feel they are entitled to have the best of everything.

When hubby & I bought our house it coincided with a sudden downturn in the building industry & hubby was out of work. Our mortgage payment was £500 a month & my takehome pay was £750, we weren't eligible for any benefits so we just had to manage.
It was 18 months before hubby got regular employment again though he did get some odd temp jobs.
The council tax and utilities & my travel costs came to £160 a month.
I had to feed 3 of us, me, hubby & a teenage boy on what was left.
It was a struggle but we managed  we ate a lot of carbs & lots of veg, very little fruit or meat as they were both too expensive.

We didn't apply for credit cards or loans for a quick fix.

What we did do was to cut all our spending completely, we cut our coat to suit our cloth. We barely had the heating on, we went to bed early to keep warm, we didn't go out, we didn't buy any clothes or anything that wasn't absolutely essential. In fact when our kettle stopped working we boiled water in a saucepan for 3 months until we could afford a new one. 

The other thing we did was to look for ways to increase our income, hubby started to prep the garden to grow veg, we took in lodgers, dog sat, sold things on ebay, I took any overtime that was offered, hubby took any temp work he could get. We didn't buy furniture for the house, apart from 3 beds. We used a garden table & chairs to eat off in the kitchen, all the other furniture was given to us. We managed without most things as we didn't want to get into debt!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister! My fear is that Lotsa folks will have forgotten these hard learned lessons the next time there is a downturn. Joyce from across the pond

Primroses Attic said...

What a hard time for u. But u were so good not to spend and get into debt.
Rosezeeta

Scarlet said...

So many people won't cut their coat according to their cloth. I remember our vacuum cleaner breaking and I used a dustpan and brush to clean the house for months on end until we could afford to buy a new one. When the boiler conked out we boiled a kettle for doing the dishes, and used the electric shower to keep clean - our younger daughter was very small at the time, so we used to put the plug in and run the shower into the bath to give a couple of inches of water for her to bathe in.That lasted for months too, until we had finished saving the last of the money to replace the very old boiler.
I wear my dressing gown over my clothes or go to bed to keep warm, and it's not unusual for me to wear a hat and scarf inside during winter months. It recently took us over a year to save the money to replace all of our corroded radiators - we sold stuff online and I did surveys to help with the savings. Most people would have just flexed the credit card and paid for them later, but not us. I would rather do without.

TrishWish said...

Been there and done all the things people have mentioned and more! What annoys me is "broke" people in soaps - they say poor then go to the Rovers or open bottle of spirits! Real poverty is using the tea bag again! We do need to get people to have more skills to make the best of their resources - gardening, sewing, making do - all need practical skills.

Wean said...

I've also been there and done that with 3 children to care for. It's not easy but it is a challenge and very satisfying when you get through each day, well fed, warm and not having run up any debt. It's a way of life for me now and I live well on very little because of the skills learned.

minimiser deb said...

There are Freecycle sites that you can ask for items you cannot afford to replace.
One thing is not to be too proud- folks are very willing to help at difficult times.
Been very broke at times mostly through my own foolishness. Lesson learned.Deb