June 2016

Oh, I was very surprised to log on today and find the blogs all tidied up!

I hope this is the beginning of regular blogs again as I love reading the blogs.

What’s happening with me? Well I got my long awaited for puppy and she is in training. Dog training is my passion and she is a little superstar. The youngest pup to pass her Kennel Club Puppy Foundation in our club … ever! I’m so proud of her.

GCSE Maths on Thursday, I don’t hold out much hope, as I’ve not been going to lessons since my puppy arrived – how naughty?! I’ll give it my best shot!

Got a residential weekend, for Dog Behaviourist and training booked for July and I’m so excited about this. Really looking forward to it.

Money wise, things are steady, for all of you in the IVA or another debt remedy, hang in there, it will end and you will become debt free.

Oh to blog again – I hope to read your updates and some new blogs hopefully very soon.

All the best. x

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December 2015

Another few months fly by…Christmas again. Having 10 Grandchildren, this time of year could be very expensive to me but… I try and remain as thrifty as I can be. This year the budget per child is reduced due to the number of grandchildren but it actually makes it more fun to look around and find the best value presents that you can for your budget. I do have some vouchers but I spend the on choosing the gifts for the recipients as I do not like receiving or giving vouchers/money for friends/family.

I’m not a shopper, therefore, I like to do it in one. I always ask my children what the grandchildren want as I’m loathed to buy something they’ll put in a cupboard and never use, a waste of my hard-earned money.

In 2016, I will continue with my thrifty ways and finish my counselling course and Maths GCSE, as I work in education, all courses are free for me and I have always taken advantage. I’ve started on my New Year Resolutions list already and I have vowed to do nothing next academic year as I always take too much on and definitely can’t keep this up.

Next year (after June) is for me and I want to look at getting more used to my camera and it’s capabilities as I would love to take ‘good’ photographs especially of the dogs and grandchildren. So a DSLR course is definitely on the cards and I must also get more organised before work.

For those within an IVA, keep plodding on, you will get there.

I would like to wish every forum member a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016.

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August 2015

Another few months have passed – how time flies…

We’ve seen a few new starters to the IVA world, a few finishers and some meeting other milestones. Everyone will finish we just need to be patient. i personally took each month as it came and looking back it went fairly quickly despite the hiccups I experienced early on.

What is happening in the world of Lesley? I got a grade ‘B’ in my English GCSE, my first GCSE at 53! I stupidly looked at the markscheme and found out I was only 2 marks off an ‘A’ grade so been kicking myself a bit. Hopefully enrolling on Maths GCSE tomorrow! Also completing a Counselling course starting end of September assuming we can get some staff development funding for this as I do not want to pay all that for myself. it would be helpful for my job role, so I’ve completed the funding forms and we’ll see. It may help with my advice giving on the forum hopefully too. I need better listening skills of that I am aware.

Had my holiday in Gran Canaria, was just as lovely as other times we’ve been and predictable as ever we’ve booked to go again next August. This time we’re going with Daughter, Son-in-law and their children so be a nice change.

I did say last time that hubby’s job was shaky and was on a strict 40 hours. He’s changed jobs now and got plenty of hours so hardly see him but the cash flow situation is better. Similar type of work but working away from the local area so time spent travelling adds to his day but at least he’s employed.

I’ve a bit of a health issue going on at present so fingers crossed for me please. Hopefully something and nothing but will update when I know more.

Anyway back to decorating on this very damp bank holiday. I’m sure it will be sunny tomorrow as it’s back to work.

Take care, be nice to one another and remember whatever stage of the IVA journey you’re at the forum is always here for you.

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February 2015

A new year and although a little late Happy New Year to one and all and I hope this year sees you that bit further down your IVA journey smoothly.

The forum is currently filled with CreditFix queries as there has been a transfer of some posters to them from Melanie’s company. This did surprise me and I can only be thankful I completed my IVA prior to this happening. The forum continues to pacify those that have been transferred and I personally hope in the not too distant future that things turn out well for them and any problems are only due to the transition. I don’t cope well with change so know I too would view this negatively if I was still in my IVA. Hang in there guys and fingers crossed in a few weeks’ time things will smooth themselves out.

What is happening in the world of Lesley? I’m still completing my English GCSE – been entered for the higher paper, so at 53 I might get a ‘C’ or higher you never know when I take my final exam on June 2nd 2015. Wish me luck! Next year I’ll complete my Maths GCSE – love spreadsheets but not sure that will help me with fractions, angles etc., I love to learn though so not moaning honest.

I’ve booked a fortnight away in July to go back to Gran Canaria – yes I know there is lots more places out there but we love it – going to a different resort so that counts doesn’t it?

Hubby’s job is presently a bit shaky – he is only being paid basic 40 hours, no overtime at present due to cash flow problems of company, not good at all but … he’s contacted his old boss who will take him back so he’s decided to go and working a weeks’ notice with current boss. I just hope he gets paid or it puts our budget right out!

On Tuesday 3rd February it will be one year since I lost my Mother – on 5th February it will be 6 years since I lost my brother and on 6th February it would have been my Mum’s 75th birthday. 1st week in February is a bit tough for me and with hubby’s work situation I am actually feeling a bit down. But with my family and friends I know I can get through it and I have my holiday to look forward to.

Right I have an essay on conflict in Romeo and Juliet (yawn) to complete so until next time, stay positive, look forward not back and you will get there I promise.

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November 2014

Well we are fast approaching Christmas and it’s turned very nippy. We’ve been lucky so far in respect of the weather and I’ve managed to have the heating on only a handful of times, but not any more it’s going on regular from now on too cold even for me!

The forum remains supportive for all and I try and post as much as I can as I realise the importance of a quick reply to those who are in need of support or reassurance. Recently on the forum it has become dominated with the takeover of some of Melanie’s work by CreditFix and I sincerely hope that those in transition soon get the reassurance that their IVA journey will remain smooth running as it was when Melanie managed this. Melanie was my IP so I do know how reassuring as an IP she always was. Hang in there guys and I’m sure things will work out.

Nothing new in my life for this month but would like to wish you all a very peaceful Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

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October 2014

Well I’ve been on holiday and the tan has faded but the memories remain, it was lovely, very relaxing and we had a super time, we’re not party goers so enjoy our own company and he loves his fishing and managed to go up in the mountains after that big carp twice. Needless to say he got a 22lb carp but not the biggie so you never know next time!

I say next time as I’ve now been made redundant from my teaching position and with my redundancy money I have booked to go again next July 2015, it’s money I didn’t have and it equates to a free holiday so to speak. I maybe should have spent it more wisely but I honestly felt a holiday was a good choice.

I continue to save a little bit where I can and am lucky enough to have another position within the college so being made redundant wasn’t that bad. From this Monday I take on 5 hours cleaning a week too, A bit of a come down some say but believe me I’ve never been so happy financially or workwise so that to me is worth more than the status of teacher!

I continue to post on the forum and use it for support for myself and to try and support others, my IVA seems a fair way away now but I walk through the journey with others and have made some very good friends via the forum and some I keep in touch with off the forum too. I truly believe it’s a wonderful place and here’s hoping it continues to be so. Until next time Stay Frugal!

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June 2014

Well here we are half way through another year, soon be my holiday time and I am looking forward to it greatly. Two weeks today (not that I’m counting).

Still continue to use my Vanquis and Aqua card and I now have a car loan for small purchases. I also have a car loan now and nice new (well new to me) car. Not brand new but something that is hopefully reliable for the duration of the loan which I took out. So in 36 months’ time (well 33 now as I’ve made two payments), I’ll be the proud owner of the car!

All credit files were cleaned up relatively quickly and the two/three letters I had to write were dealt with efficiently. After mine was done I had to work on my husband’s as he would never have done it and again all was cleared up quickly. He’s still took no credit whatsoever and in a way I don’t blame him as he has no need to. He has a company van he pays nothing for so he’s the lucky one. I check our credit files regularly especially Noddle the free one.

After the sad loss of my beloved dog last October, we are now proud parents to another two labs, yes two, it was never my intention to get two labs but…these were a pair and I rehomed them in February, the time was right and they’ve settled in brilliantly, it’s almost as though they’ve always been there.

I continue to save what I can and always like that emergency contingency fund there for my own security.

My final day of working in a teaching capacity is August 9th, I’m looking forward to my new position beginning in September of Student Liaison Officer, assisting with funding/loans/hardship fund and a whole host of other stuff! They have offered me a zero hour contract on lecturer rates to deliver some tasters to the local community and I have said yes as financially I will be down when I give up teaching so therefore this will help. I’ve also had business cards made to promote myself as I hear all the time do you give private lessons and while under contract with the college I have to say no but after August 9th I will do some freelance work too to fit in with all my other commitments.

I continue to post on the forum to offer support to others whether it be those starting out or finishing. I’ve walked that journey so feel equipped to know what the journey is like. But what I would like to say no matter how long it feels it does come to an end so hang in there you will get there. Until next time, stay frugal.

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January 2014

Happy New Year to all. Whether you’re starting out or mid-way through your IVA, hang in there it is worth it.

I’ve been using my Vanquis and Aqua card to buy small purchases and pay off the balance in full each month. Both have increased their credit limits and just this week Vanquis has informed me that a new Gold card is in the post for me! Won’t make me buy more but good to know someone is trusting me again!

I’ve started to clear up those credit files and written 3 letter to the 3 creditors defaulting me, nobody is defaulting hubby his all show as satisfied, which I’m pleased about as it’s one less job. Hoping the IVA drops off soon, it completed on Feb 8th 2013 but showing as completed on Noddle as 10th April the day the certificate arrived so I’m not that fussed whether it drops off in February or April so long as it does.

Well Christmas has been and gone and it was again a frugal one, although I did buy hubby a present as sadly in October the 23rd to be precise we lost our beloved chocolate Labrador to cancer, he was only eight and a half and it was far too early for him to go. I commissioned a pastel picture for my husband of him and it is fantastic to the point of I feel like he’s still with us. It would have been his 9th birthday in March and I would like to scatter the ashes on that date and throw his ball into the sea for one last time.

Attended the Summer FF meet at Luluj’s house and she is such a good friend on and off the forum as she arranged for my daughter to be there as a surprise for me, my daughter who lives in Manchester. It was lovely to see her and all done very secretly! There is another one fast approaching on February 8th at Ascot, do come along if you’ve never been as it is certainly a good evening.

Well I graduated in November 2013 and was very proud to do so as often during the years I thought I wasn’t capable and it was never going to happen but it did and I got my degree and some lovely photographs of the day which was also attended by my husband and my daughter.

The very next day after the graduation ceremony we flew out to Guatemala to the wedding of my son. He’s made his home out there teaching English and has married a local girl. We paid nothing for the flight or the hotel and only had to provide our own evening meal. The wedding itself was magical and I was very proud to be a part of it. Being out there made me realise you were either very rich or very poor and it was my pleasure to give to some of the beggars as they made me feel very humble as even within an IVA we maintained a decent standard of living out there in the third world country it showed me just how rich I really am and certainly put things in perspective in respect of wanting material things. A lot of Guatemalans still wash their clothes out in the street in a communal washing place!

Talking of washing my washing machine gave up just before Christmas and how nice was it to think, we can afford a new one instead of fretting over whether to have Christmas or a washer as it would have been previously. Taken our savings down considerably but the fact remains it’s paid for.

I toy with the idea of a new car frequently as this one is now 11 years old, do I don’t I? I think it’s the finance that is frightening me so I think I need to save harder to get the cash up front. So much to do DIY wise in the house too though as during the IVA it go neglected so this year we’re hoping to do each room to a satisfactory standard then sell it and move into rented. We’re not getting any younger in fact I’m 52 next Wednesday so we basically want an easy life and not having to work god knows how many hours to service a mortgage which we have little or no chance of paying off. My only regret in respect of the IVA we went interest only…oh well no time for regrets and I don’t the IVA itself for one minute as

Until next time I do hope this year is kind to us all and that we continue to become or remain debt free. Keep posting on the forum and keep blogging too as I for one love reading them.

January 5th update: I went back to work on the 2nd (the day I wrote the original update) and during the afternoon I received a hand delivered letter from one of our Directors, outlining the details of a restructure. They’re offering me a position two grades below my current position and a change in hours which is less! Honestly just when you think things are working out something is thrown in the pile to mess it up. Got a meeting next week and won’t take it laying down but doubt I’ll have much impact as I’m sure the decision is already made by them despite it being a consultation period!

Oh well onward and upward at least I’ll still have a job, best to say positive.

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June 2013

Well here we are a few months on and our completion certificate was received on April 9th. Happy more like euphoric. So I can finally say YES there is an end. I am off the register which was always the bane of my life. I applied for and was accepted for a Vanquis card, a little bit scary when it arrived. I have used it for the past two months for a small purchase each month (paid off in full) and indeed my Noddle score has risen from 1/5 to 2/5 is this because of Vanquis? no idea but it’s going in the right direction!

I’ve put aside some of the money which were formerly the IVA payment and have a little nest egg. I’ve also had a city break, we went to London for two nights/three days and did the whole sight-seeing thing, it was heaven I had a fabulous time and it’s my 20th wedding anniversary at the end of July and we’re going back to go to a show and just stay overnight. Then it’s time to tighten the purse strings again. I find it odd doing things, spending money and always in my head I’m questioning whether I should be; having been in the IVA for the full duration of 60 months I felt that we deserved a couple of months off and have enjoyed our little splurge!

Looking forward to the FF summer meet at Luluj’s house this time, met Liz through the forum and we have become good friends both on and off the forum. I have made lots of friends and still support the forum wholly in its ethos.

I’ve now finished my degree went off to University and presented to all the lovely people very nerve wracking but I did it and passed the whole thing late May, portfolio submitted and have not heard anything so only assume it is all good. My graduation is in November so 2013 is my year.

Remember whether you choose to share you IVA with anyone or not you will never be alone when you are a part of the forum so do keep posting and do keep blogging.

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January 2013 – Is there an end?

Well I can confirm YES there is an end. I am here at the finish line. My 60th payment has left my bank account and this is my 60th entry into my blog.

I joined the forum on the 20th September 2007 and have been a regular contributor to this since this time. I made my first blog entry on the 8th March 2008. What a journey it has been. I’m going to reflect for a moment on that journey!

It was during September 2007 that I had an operation on my eyes and was unable to work; this was a light bulb moment for me as while I sat at home I began calculating and thinking and the calculations did not add up. I chatted with husband and we made the decision to source some help. A lovely high pressure salesman came to the house to sell me an IVA…I declined. I knew I had not got into debt overnight so knew that I was not going to get out of debt overnight. I googled IVA forum and found iva.co.uk and have never looked back. I found not only the forum but also found Melanie Jones.

Reading all the positive comments on my blog has demonstrated to me that the writing of the blog is not only cathartic for me but helpful to others and the comments are very well received thank you to everyone who has left a comment and to others just for reading my waffle!

So much has happened during the writing of the blog, my daughter was 14 when the IVA was first taken out and she is 19 now and at university. I am in the last few months of completing a degree, hopefully finish in May and graduate in November.

How was life during the IVA, you want me to answer that honestly? Life within the IVA was tough, very tough at times. How did I manage it? I had the support of a good IP, an understanding IP and most of all a realistic and approachable IP. My advice, do you homework, talk to people get a recommendation and do not just catch that lifeline, another couple of weeks doing research will not harm and in the long run will ensure you have chosen the right company to represent you. I investigated my IVA in September 2007 and it was accepted February 8th 2008.

I have had several payment breaks; a new boiler, a new washing machine and sadly my brother passed away, he was only 45, I had the payment break to pay for the family flowers as I could not tell my family I was in an IVA. I did him proud with his favourite red and white of Manchester United. These payment breaks were repaid in full over the duration of the IVA, I paid a little extra each month chipping away at those arrears. The majority of my problems happened in the first two years. Dare I say for the last three years it got easier, how or why I do not know? Things calmed down in my life maybe, no dramas however…

It was never all bad for me, there were good times, during the duration of my IVA seven of my eight grandchildren were born, what joys they all are. I turned 50 and my 4 beautiful children clubbed together and sent me to Gran Canaria for my present, I will never forget that and when I got home they had also got me an iPad, luxury within an IVA.

My IVA journey is at an end but it is the beginning of my debt free journey. I feel a little apprehensive when I think of life without Melanie managing my money (that is how I used to describe it to youngest daughter).

I will blog again but not as regular, however, I will continue to read the blogs. I will continue to try and support people on and off the forum and will need the help of the forum when cleaning up my credit files as I am overwhelmed at the thought of doing that but that’s a while off yet. One step at a time let us get that certificate and off that pesky register in the first instance.

Whether you choose to share you IVA with anyone or not you will never be alone when you are a part of the forum so do keep posting and do keep blogging.

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