Friday, 11 October 2013

Illness, no work and so its well and truly grinding today

Hello All,
Well after a few years of living comfortably in a lifestyle where I managed to have a few luxuries – by luxuries I mean the off treat of a box of maltesers, the odd looksie in a charity shop without having to worry too much about the odd few quid I was spending in my purse – it looks like the purse strings are about to be tightened, super-glued and welded shut for a while
I have been suffering from labyrinthitis for the last 9 weeks….its one on the nastiest bugs I have ever experienced…. dizziness, nausea, sickness, major increased anxiety, tinnitis, ear pain, deafness, sore throat, lost 2 stone in weight through lack of appetite, agoraphobia, and an intolerance of strip lighting, computer screens and crowds which all sent me spinning in a minutes notice. I couldn’t walk my son to school at the beginning of it and now I can actually wait in the yard to collect him and put my daughter in and our of nursery without feeling bad. Only downside is that any virus / cold that I contract – it can reoccur – what fun!
So since then my work basically said they had hired more staff and given them my shifts, this means I will be given new shifts as they gave them my contract so I will be put onto whatever they need covering which is impossible with a 9 year old, a 3 year old and a partner who works from 8 – 5.30 and works away occassionally. Therefore I either accept the new shifts I am given or can hand in my notice. :(just how you expect to be treated after 8 years old very rarely being off ill. I was bringing in £260 (after my loan was taken out)
I tried to claim employment allowance support or whatever its called – but they keep rewriting asking for more sick notes so I feel like Im flogging a dead horse if Im honest.
Tax Credits changed my working status to unemployed since Sugust when I got taken ill – so my tax credits went up from £202 to £375 which was a bit of good news.
We are in a battle with HSBC over reclaiming bank charges, and have just written to the financial ombudsman for the complaint for after getting the letter a few days ago from the bank saying they wont pay despite us having good reasons and suitable ‘financial hardship’ grounds……fingers crossed on that one
We had to take out a ‘loan’ from a well known site ( W***a ) as I couldn’t afford to buy food and the cupboards were empty and by empty I don’t mean a load of I cant be bothered to cook that and there’s no easy meals empty, I mean a bag of pasta, flour, golden syrup, tin of sweetcorn, smash and rice empty, and very little in the freezer to the point I can see most the bottom……this has never happened before. I took out £200 with the idea of paying £112 council tax and £80 shopping with a few pennies left……..didn’t turn out like that – I spent £48 on a dentist fee, £87 on shopping and had to give Owen £50 for his car petrol for the week and the last £15 – Ben needed £6 for a school trip, Holly needs £1 snack money for the week in school so I have literally about £5 left.
I have asked for a council tax/housing benefit form, hoping to get that filled in and sent back ASAP
My partner Owen like I said works and brings in £260 a week after tax etc.
So between us we get (with benefits at present) £1545 every 4 weeks.
Our outgoings of 
Rent  ~ 370.00
Water ~ 66.39 
Council Tax ~ 112.00 
TV ~ 20.40
NTL ~ 90.00
Gas ~ 49.00 
Electric ~ 40.00
Loan (Wo**a) ~ 234.00
Loan 2 ~ 40.00 
Dentist ~ 16.68 
Bank ~ 10.00 (28th each month)
Holly Nursery ~ 4.00
Ben – Cubs ~ 8.00
Owen Petrol ~ 160.00
Owen Loan  ~ 70.00
Food ~ 200.00 
Josh Maintenance ~ 100.00
so we are over…..and thanks to Owen’s bank taking charges when they shouldn’t have , it meant our car didn’t get taxed last year, subsequently got clamped, fined and had to pay nearly £400 so I had to take out a loan with a credit union to the tune of £850 to get our car un-clamped, mended and taxed which I’m paying off at £40 a month from my wages – which I probably wont have much longer. Also because the tax wasn’t paid he has been given a court order which he is pleading guilty too obviously so he will end up with a fine/charges of some sort for that :( :(:(
I have no savings. I am trying my best to take up Avon but I am in a relatively poor area with lots of working class families but it is bringing me in about £20-£30 a time but it is better than my shop work job as I don’t have crowds, strip lighting or computer screens to trigger dizzy spells and can do it at my leisure to a degree
I asked my dad his opinion (my dad is a round, hard working , ex RAF man) and he said if my tax credits have increased by £170 – I would literally be £90 short of my wages that I could use. So he said if I can save 22.50 a week – then that would cover the £90 a month
Besides Avon I am crafting with items to hopefully sell at a craft fayre coming up in November, I cook from scratch. I will list kitchen items soon but bare in mind I literally did my shopping yesterday so have to make this stretch until the 22nd.
Also in the £200 food spend – this includes 2 dogs (JRT and a mongrel of the same size – they eat what they are given), 2 terrapins, and I am currently looking after my neighbours 3 ferrets as she has had a few personal issues and cant care for them but will be having them back when she is fit. She has provided food/bedding etc so these do not need any of that expense. Oh and 3 gold fish.
I have been through old DVDs and plan to put them onto a various site to see if I can cash them in as they are no longer needed, I also have books that I’m sure I’ve seen a site to sell them on which I might try.
I am hopefully picking up a sewing machine on free-cycle today once Owen finishes work (the owner took it apart as it was dodgy and catching, and then reassembled it wrong) so I’m hoping to try and fix it so I can make a few crafts and Christmas presents for family.
I am looking for tips, advice and will keep this up to date with what I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks to try and get us back on track.
My mission for today is to list what I have in my fridge/freezer/cupboards and go from there.
*** On a side note I had a message from Swalec that we are £136 in credit with our Gas bill, and I owe £27 on the electric but Im thinking rather than claim it back that it will be worth keeping myself in credit for the upcoming winter months ***
Hope your all well and any input most gratefully appreciated.
x x x x x


  1. I feel for you, it sounds like your having a hard time of it. Have you read "A girl called Jacks" blog it's great for cheap meals and for keeping spirits up when times are hard. Keep positive and I'm sure your luck will change.

  2. Great to see you back even if it is not great news. I hope you can work your magic with the food you have and try to make it last

  3. I know I'm a bit late with this, but any chance of getting a food bank referral? Could help you no end :)