Ok so here we go again, my third attempt at a blog that hopefully this time won’t get deleted!
We are a month into our IVA now so how did we get here? Well, I guess like many people over the years, we consumed more than we had income for and that’s the bottom line.
I met my hubby 17 years ago (blimey!) and within months we bought our first house together, got married had kids, saw the value of our house rocket and remortgage after remortgage to pay off bills have ended up at the point where we now have a massive mortgage, are in negative equity (just) and have unsecured debts of almost £60k, and what do we have to show for all these years of spending?, nothing, nada, zilch. It sickens me actually, but there we go.
After the last few years of paying minimum payments and being ultra savvy with our budget to make ends meet, it finally dawned on mid summer last year that we couldn’t carry on this way, I am in my mid thirties, hubby in his late forties and we would NEVER pay this debt off in our lifetimes if we carry on the way we are. We had changed our mortgage to interest only 3 years ago to try to hack away at the debt but it had made no difference.
So, last summer, I was in a highly stressful but well paid job but i was almost at breakdown, I hated my job and decided that I wanted to go back into nursing, this would mean a 50% wage cut for me and 3 months at uni with no income at all to get me back on the register.
So I took the plunge, we had saved a little to get us through those 3 months, but it soon became apparent that we just wouldn’t be able to manage.
By mid November, I realised I wanted an end to this, I had a job lined up for when I was back on the register in January, but even then, knowing what my wage was going to be, things were going to be incredibly tight.
I looked on the internet at DMP’s and IVA’s, a DMP would take us 20 years to pay off, that made me feel physically sick, bankruptcy was not an option as hubby would lose his job, so I looked into a IVA. I found this forum and it answered a lot of my questions, I knew about IVA’s previously as I had briefly looked into it years ago but at that time thought we would manage.
so in December 2010, I made a call and started the ball rolling and we were approved in May 2011. It took a few months due to the various changes in my jobs, tax situation etc which i wanted to get right first but we made it. We have made 2 payments now and things are going ok, our budget seems fine and after having a few years of budgeting ferociously, I haven’t found these early days too much of a shock to the system so far.
So how do I feel now?, after the initial elation of being accepted wore off, I guess the realisation of the next 5 years has hit me quite hard, my salary changes month to month and is always more than a basic salary that our IVA payments were worked out on as I get extra payments for working unsocial hours, this means extra into the IVA pot which is not an issue in itself, but I do feel there is a lot of intrusion into our finances that I find hard to deal with, on the positive side it does mean we can earn a little extra cash with helps with the budget.
we are fortunate that we don’t have expensive hobbies or interests, we never have had, we never ate out anyway, or had takeaways, or go to the pub or cinema much, we like to go walking and camping, I like my running, but we do like our holidays.
We have a holiday booked to Switzerland in August which was paid for last year, I am just desperately trying to save spending money for us now but it’s hard, I have also had to get a new passport for me this month £80, and the MOT and service plus a tyre is due on hubby’s car, we could do without the expense of the holiday to be honest but as it is paid for an we just need spends I don’t want the kids to be disappointed now, this will be the last ‘extravagant’ holiday (if you can call it that!) we will be having for the next five years.
So our goals, to get through the next 5 years with as few hiccups as possible, I don’t want to wish our lives away though but I do hope it goes quickly!, then we are going to take the kids to Florida, this time last year (a year ago tomorrow in fact!) we were on our way to florida and the kids had a fantastic time, I know how much they wouldlove to go back so we’re aiming to be able to take them a few months after our IVA completes.
Beyond that, who knows?, 5 years ago I never dreamed this was where I would be now, so an element of positive uncertainty for the future would be good!