Author Topic: Starting from the bottom.  (Read 3107 times)

I Want to Believe

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Starting from the bottom.
« on: July 06, 2018, 07:18:28 AM »
Hi all, I'm posting this case study, mostly to get the figures down somewhere sensible, and get some expert opinions on where I'm screwing it up.

I'm 41, in a relationship with my OH who is 46, and we have a 9 year old daughter. Living in rural south Devon.

Basic income:

My job, 45 hours a week on £10 an hour, which gives 450 a week, or £23400 a year

OH employed work, a few hours a week at the school our daughter goes to, £112 a month after tax(not sure what before tax is) £1344 yearly
OH self employed carer usually around £100 a week. £5200

Pre tax, the only thing I can find is a workplace pension that means 1.78% of my wages goes into a pension plan with slightly less from my employer. It started last march, and theres about £500 in there so far.


Theres also income from stable liverys, 4 horses at £50 a week. total £200 a week, £10400 a year. (We try to keep stables accounts separate from personal ones, but frequently move money back and forth to cover large bills)

No property or investments. I have a stakeholder pension with about £2000 in it, I havent paid anything into it for years, and it lost 2/3 in the credit crunch of 2008.
My OH has mentioned a similar pension or 2 but again no money going into them right now. Since we cant do anything with them til we retire we haven't really worked out the details.

Adjusted Gross income:
works out at £40344 (Finding this hard to believe, but we don't usually take the income from the livery into account as it sucks the same amount away)

Taxes:

Wages £23400, less tax and NI of £4,105.32, leaves £19,294.68

OH, since I don't know the before tax figure, her yearly take home is £6544

Since the stables doesn't make any profit or pay us, we dont pay any tax on it.

Expenses.

Rent £92.66 a week, £ 4818.32 yearly
Council tax £119 a month £1428
Water £68.06 a month £816.72
Electricity £30 a week (not an exact figure, but we recently had a smart meter fitted so we can see our usage and costs, currently between £10 and £15 a week, but will go up in winter estimating high) £1560
Mobile phones
Mine £37 a month still 10 months left on the contract, then going cheap sim only
Hers £20 a month 18 months left on contract
Mobile broadband £20 a month (no landline, ad looking into it to see if we can get it cheaper than this). £924 for all 3
Car tax £41.11 for both cars £493.32
car Insurance £85.53 for both cars £1026.36
Fuel £40 a week (estimated, she does a lot more miles than me, school run and caring for different people in villages all over the area) £2080
Car maintenance £200 a year for both cars (MOT and whatever work needs doing to pass, varies from year to year)
TV license £12.37 a month £148.44
Food £100 a week (struggling to get this down and we don't splurge on food) £5200
Clothing minimal, we buy clothes when we need to replace something OH is losing a lot of weight now shes got her health issues under control and still has plenty of smaller sizes she can use as the weight comes off. 2.5 st since may :) probably £100 a year mostly school uniform.



Total £18471.76

Stable expenses:
Hay 15 bales a week £4.50 a bale £3510 a year
Bedding 5 bales a week £9 a bale £2340
Feed 5 bales a week £10 a bale £2600
Farrier £50 every month £600
Insurance £5 a month £60
We have someone who helps out for £30 a week (hesitant to lose her as its handy having someone else ready if we go away) £1500
fuel for tractor and generator £30 a month (includes petrol for strimmer etc £360

Total £10970 yearly

Nonessentials
I do karate £30 a month £360 (facepunch due here i know, but its basically my only break from work and the horses)
OH slimming world £4.95 a week £257.4 (needs to get the weight off and is doing much better since the docs solved her sleeping issue in May.)

Total £617.40

Liabilities
Loan, £12512.12 started november 2017 paying 275.09 a month cant remember the exact interest, but over 20% (scheduling appointment to get better interest now credit scores are up) current balance £11831.48.

costs £3301.08 a year. 75 months remaining

CC £40 monthly I haven't seen any paperwork for this, balance should be £500 ish APR unknown. We agreed that it was for one thing to boost her credit score and then was put away, I have to assume thats whats been done. £480 per year

Assets

Effectively zero

2 cars
My 98 Ford Fiesta 1.25 inherited from her father when he passed on last year
Her 04 Alfa 147 2.0 bought outright for £450 last february (difficult to sell because of gearbox issues that would cost more to fix than its resale value, but don't render it unusable)

I'm sure technically our horses are assets, but since we can't get rid of them due to family issues they're effectively worthless.


There are other outgoings but it's difficult to nail them down to a particular thing as the bank statement only lists where it was spent, not what on. Must ban OH from ebay!

Calculations
in 40344
out 37945.56
leaving 2398.44
or 199.87 per month which we never seem to see because im sure there are other expenses that i haven't nailed down yet. Random coffees, treats for little one etc.

Short term goals, getting debt free to sort the future out.

Mid term goals getting the stables transferred into our name and building a cabin there to live in to reduce costs while we save for retirement.

Long term goals travelling the world having enough income to pay a minimal expense lifestyle and drive an RV across america seeing as much as possible.

We are planning to sit down in a week and get our finances sorted out. I've just cancelled Amazon prime and kindle unlimited so thats £16 a month less. I have several boxes of books in the shed that haven't been read for years, and a good library on kindle/google play books. Personally I want to get my shit sorted out, but it seems like I have little spare time once the daily mechanics of life are sorted out, and weekends seems to be taken up by stopping my OHs mother from losing her shit. We have 3 properties to take care of but seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time at MILs. All I seem to hear is how much needs to be done, but I'm constantly being taken away to deal with trivial nonsense.

I should also mention that our daughter was born with a major heart defect and needed open heart surgery at 6 days old. You wouldn't know it to see her running around now, but she will need another op in 2 - 4 years time. Luckily the first time round OH family was in a financial posistion to support us, but since FIL passed, they can barely meet living expenses. If I thought I could get them to agree I'd look into a case study for all 5 of us, with options to sell the large house that they live in and use the money to put up 2 or 3 cabins at the yard.

Our home maintenance is trivial, rented so the landlord fixes big things also small enough to keep clean with minimal effort, which suits me. MIL house, large and high council tax. They get help with living expenses due to being retired and one of them is disabled and has decent private pension from previous job. Somehow I seem to end up doing the mowing there, and any heavy lifting, being the only physically fit adult. Yard, 9 acres of field, barn with 9 stables in, no mains water or electricity, so water has to be pumped up from a well via generator. Also generator provides light during winters early evenings. Another short term plan is to sell the old tractor slowly rusting away to fund large generator installation. Also clear quite a lot of junk accumulated by FIL during his eventful career (apparently he liked making bombs as a hobby).

Anyway I've rambled on enough, I know I need to get the little expenses tightened up. Any advice for work/home/future planning balance?

Moomintroll

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 07:25:22 AM »
Welcome! Congrats on starting your journey.

Not sure the rules in the UK, but here in Ireland putting up housing on rural land is tightly controlled. Would you definitely get planning permission for multiple homes on the stable land? I know if you have certain businesses you can get planning for a house, and the horses might qualify, but not sure about more than one.

I Want to Believe

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 07:33:50 AM »
Thanks Moomintroll, Planning is one of the issues we'd have to deal with. We may be able to get planning for one building using the business as a reason to need to be on site. It doesn't help being in an AONB. It might be easier to get barn conversion planning, convert the stables into a home and build a new barn for the horses.

Goldielocks

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 09:09:06 AM »
Hi!  Interesting for me to look at the numbers.  I have gotten used to twisting my head around the various US dollar amounts versus what I see, but I think some of the basics would apply.

What I see are a few things:

1)  Phones seem high.  I live in the most expensive cell phone country in the world, and yours seems high.  Even the 20/mo one.  You pay for home broadband, so see if you can cut out your data usage on the go to almost nothing, and then if you can get your phone costs much lower.   (Just a guess from the last time I travelled to EU).

2)  Cars are costing a lot.  I assume you need a car for work, and she needs a car for baby/horses/work.
 Especially a second car is costing you, for which the costs to operate the car versus the job may be outside of reasonable.   Need to review if you can pass on car costs to her care job more, somehow.  Raise rates?  Have a "car mileage expense" that you start to charge?    I won't say quit this job, but her wage net of car is very low.. as in unreasonably low, most likely.   If you keep the second car, she needs to increase the care work to pay for it (the insurance / tax), and / or needs to pass on the costs to the clients.   Here, our outreach nurses get a car mileage expense as part of work.

3)  Anytime you are hesitant to get rid of something / someone / some cost it is a sign that maybe you should.  So stable helper should go.   Between two of you, you need to plan to take fewer away times or plan to hire out to cover the few days remaining.  Maybe this person would be willing to cover your days away at a much, much higher rate, but only for a few days a year.

4)  I don't know why you have horses that you think you can't get rid of...   they are costing you a lot.  Why can't you get rid of them and just keep any remaining income from the stable?  Are they a package deal with the stable or your rental accommodation?   Anyway, if you can't get rid of them, then you should talk to the person that is requiring you to keep them and have that person partially pay for their feed and vet bills. Really.  You don't have the money to support this hobby because...

5)  The loans.  Whoa.  yep, the loans are a huge drag on you and you need to cut them as fast as possible.  This means increasing employment or income for a while, cutting the stable person, and focusing on reducing the loans.  If you did not have these, you might be able to keep the horses or increase your pensions.  As it is, you are just treading water and not moving forward.

My two cents.   

Anyway, cutting the phone and grocery seem like good choices but won't have the impact that the other items above will.

Goldielocks

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2018, 09:14:11 AM »
Note -- my comment on the horses.. I am assuming that you have two horses, plus rent stable services to others, that generate the income that covers multiple horses...and the entire stable costs... 

When I say that the horses cost a lot, I am thinking only of your personal horses, and I know that the whole (or majority) of the stable expenses won't go away if your personal horses do.

How much do you think your own personal horses cost in variable costs (food, farrier, vet)?

Bicycle_B

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2018, 06:27:28 PM »
Hi, I Want To Believe.

In part, I am very very impressed by you two. You are providing emotional and practical care for multiple family members (a human good), living a life that objectively sounds like it could be rather nice (some family, some nature; connections, human and animal; the joy of a growing child), and doing it on a cost of roughly £26,000 for 3 people. Plus you're running two old vehicles on a low maintenance cost (though that may not last...)  I am one person and I spend about £14,000 (US$ 18,700). 

That said, you are in a slow but significant emergency financially. Your consumer debt and lack of savings mean that you are losing money as is. You also have no provision for your daughter's health need. I applaud that you came here, because the situation does need change.

I wish I had savings tricks that would solve this by themselves. By all means look for opportunities to spend less on gas, pay no more than needed for cell phone, etc. I certainly wish you luck in your housing proposal; that could make a difference. Most of all, the untracked expenses that cause you to save nothing instead of £2,000 per year should be tracked and probably eliminated. Even if the housing don't eventuate quickly, the smaller saving moves together might put you close to eliminating the the credit card debt by the time of your daughter's operation.

That's not enough, of course, to assure your financial future or even protect your daughter's health. For that reason, please forgive me if I venture beyond the call for savings and address the subject of opportunity cost.

The horses and stable seem like a big time suck. The time spent there, if replaced by a job that earns a paycheck, could shift you from breakeven or small losses into a mode of saving perhaps £10,000 per year. Combined with the other moves you are contemplating, this could put you on track toward a secure future, or at least a roughly debt free ability to support your daughter's health to adulthood.

In another thread, I think I read that half of the horses in the stable are family property that you are taking care of at below market rates, causing the stable to earn nothing. Someone has to ask the question to the relatives: Is your horse more important than our daughter's health? "We recently realized we will be unable to pay for daughter's upcoming operation. We either have to abandon the stable to get a job instead, or have the family horses paid for at market rates. Can we rely on you to pay market rates so she will have the funds she needs?"

You mention that you "are sure your horses are assets" but you "can't get rid of them for family reasons." Just FYI - technically, an asset is something that is reasonably expected to generate revenue. They don't sound like assets. If the family knew that keeping them was dangerous to daughter's health, would someone in the family be willing to buy them, or at least let them be sold to caring new owners?

Your family relations are your own, of course, and I am aware that English culture places more value on social obligations than crass America's does. Perhaps the feeling of being upper class in some way is wrapped up in owning horses, and you are last bastion of the family's dignity. But your future is at stake here. You and your daughter are part of the family too. Is dignity worth going broke, or missing a needed operation? Are the family members capable of paying their share, once they know the stakes?

Forgive me if I overstep.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 06:40:20 PM by Bicycle_B »

Imma

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 03:50:10 AM »
From the details you give, and the location you're in, I'm picturing an Escape to the country - type property. That's great if you're a millionaire from London. I grew up rurally as well, I know the amount of work that goes in it. It's simply too much for one able bodied adult and especially if that person is already working a 45-hour week. This needs to stop, and you and your s/o really need to tell your relatives that. You can't keep doing this. Not physically or financially. You are already in a situation of hair on fire debt: you can barely make ends meet and there's not much fat left to cut. If you don't change things, at the next emergency you won't be able to pay your bills anymore.

To speak very bluntly: your property is your responsability. Your MIL's large property is her responsability. Yes, as a decent person you should help out your elderly parents, but that doesn't mean they have a right to keep receiving an unlimited amount of care without them trying to lessen your burden. I gladly help out my elderly grandmother and when the time comes I will care for my parents if it's necessary. At the same time, I would expect them to make changes in their life to reduce the amount of care they need. My grandmother has replaced some items in her home that required a lot of cleaning now she's not able to do it herself anymore. In the worst case scenario, I believe a person should choose to downsize rather than expect someone else to take care of their home (or pay for the labour, of course).

You should talk to the local council (or whoever is responsible for planning permission) about all the things you are allowed to do on your property or your family's property. Maybe there's a way to start to make money from it (for example, a holiday let or horse tourism) so you get some financial reward for all the work you put in. If not, you should draw a line somewhere. Yes, we'll take care of your medical needs, we'll drive you to hospital. No, I'm not going to mow your 9 acres. Ask a boy from the village who wants to earn some pocket money.

You should also find out about all the little pension pots you and your s/o have. In my country, there are special rules for small pension pots: you can have them paid out without a penalty. If that's an option in your case, my gut feeling is you should do that and put that money towards your loan. Your very large loan is dragging you down, even if you can get a lower interest %. This loan is a trap that prevents you from saving up for future emergencies, that are guaranteed to happen. When your out of hair on fire debt, you can start thinking about retirement again.

I also find it hard to believe your credit score would go up if you keep a balance on your credit card (probably with a very high interest as well, if you pay off 480 a year and the balance is around 500..... ). Lenders want to see you can pay off loans, not keeping a balance indefinitely. I don't think your credit score would suffer if you paid this off asap.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2018, 07:46:58 PM »
I know I need to get the little expenses tightened up.
Er... no. The correct response to 20% interest loans is:

“AAAAAUUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!! THERE IS A CLOUD OF KILLER BEES COVERING EVERY SQUARE INCH OF MY BODY AND STINGING ME CONSTANTLY!!!! I NEED TO STOP IT BEFORE I AM KILLED!!!”

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

lhamo

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2018, 10:19:09 PM »
Why is your partner driving so many miles for a job that pays 100 pounds a week?  It would really help if she could get a proper job of some sort, preferably one that doesn't involve so much driving.

Can you raise the rates for horse boarding?  And agree that whoever owns those family horses needs to pay for their keep.

I'm sorry for your MIL that the sudden loss of her spouse has created financial hardships, but this whole situation sounds like a Dickens novel in the making.  You guys don't have the resources to maintain a country estate.  It probably needs to be sold and the proceeds invested in something that can support MIL and the disabled relative indefinitely.  If you didn't have the stable work wearing you down you could also add a side gig or start building skills that would help you move into better paying work.

I Want to Believe

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 04:01:00 AM »
Hi all, wow so many points of view.

I have to say I agree with all the points raised, but it's proving impossible to get them to see sense. The house is far too big for 2 pensioners one of whom is disabled. Both of them are too set in their ways to even consider an alternative. I can't get anyone to look past their emotions at the real cost of horse ownership.

Because of the carers allowance, OH income is limited, although she does get paid mileage for caring which is tax free. I'm in favour of giving up the carers allowance and increasing the paid employment, but she'd probably spend the same amount of time at the house anyway.

Difficult to sort out support for MIL and uncle as they're starting to grate on each other, MIL is resenting having to care for him, and giving us grief about it. We can't spare more time to care for either of them, and I wish we could spend less time there. They do however both dote on our little girl, and would kick off more trouble if we tried to reduce the time we spend there.

I feel like I'm caught between a large rock and a very hard place. If anything happens to me, we're all screwed. I'm trying to decide if we should merge personal and stables accounts to make it easier to keep track, or make sure they're kept separate. But when a bill needs to be paid we have to take the money from wherever it is, this frequently means from our own accounts to pay horse bills , or stable accounts for our own bills.

OH and I need to have a good talk about downsizing horses, 2 less and 2 more paying customers would make a massive difference.

I've also started keeping track of finances on a spreadsheet so I can use hard numbers, hopefully that will help keep emotions out of it.

I'll keep you all posted of how things go. Hopefully this hasn't come across as a rant about In-laws and horses.

flower_girl

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2018, 04:46:21 AM »
Hi OP.  It seems to me that emotionally you're caught in a bit of a vortex - so many things going on which you can't really control - and I sense a certain (understandable) frustration in your post.

What say you just started siphoning off 10% or even 5% or less of your income but committed to it and put it in a savings account?  Commit to doing this regardless.  I am wondering whether this could act as a kind of brake or rudder for you.  Suddenly no matter what else is happening you are slowing building this savings account (you can decide what to do with it later, the important thing at this point is I think it might be how you gain a foothold to establish some control).

You could think of it as the emergency fund, then some savings - but suddenly you have the tiger by the tail, know what I mean? As it builds it might be a good idea to make paying off that loan as a priority - suddenly YOU are in control, turning the whole thing around and gaining some momentum in the direction you wish to go.

Best wishes.

former player

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2018, 05:08:43 AM »
You've got a great deal if you are renting a family appropriate home in South Devon for only £92.66 a week.   Any other housing option for you would be more expensive, either in rent payments or in laying out capital that you don't have.  So please forget about moving: it can only be downhill from where you are at the moment.

On your personal expenses you need to understand exactly where you are on the loans, particularly the interest rates, and look around for better deals.  When you have time, you also need to look at what is in all those old pension funds, and either cash out to pay off your debts or consolidate them into a single fund invested in a low cost index fund.

It's a red flag to me that you are using personal money to keep the horse business going, as well as apparently working for nothing.  This is totally unsustainable.  I would say that you need to double the charges you are making on the livery horses over the next year, putting it up in increments of £10 every three months.  If you lose business that is all to the good: there aren't enough hours in the day for you to continue as you are.

The other big red flag is you co-dependent relationship with your inlaws.  That is an emotional issue not a financial one: you seem quite aware that you are working far too hard for far too little return because you are giving in to emotionally blackmailed, but the big issue is: how are you going to change that, and how soon?  Because what you are doing at the moment is not good for you, your OH or your daughter.

lhamo

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2018, 09:02:00 AM »
Can you explain for us outside the UK what this "carer's allowance" is exactly?  Is it some kind of tax rebate your OH gets for caring for her family members?  And if so, why does it involve driving all over the countryside to care for different people if your MIL and uncle live in the same house?

You really need to make them understand that they cannot stay in that house if they don't have income to support it.  They will lose it eventually.  And if the buildings start to deteriorate because they can't/won't pay for the necessary upkeep, it will net them less than if they sell it now when in reasonable condition.  Can you draw up a budget for them showing how close to the edge they are?  And how they would go over the cliff if you and OH ever had to stop giving them free labor?  Which you might have to do, sooner rather than later, because you are putting your own family at risk by doing so much for them, financially and otherwise.

These are not going to be easy conversations to have, but you have to have them.  You are on a runaway train and you need to find a way to slow it down.  At least then maybe you can jump off safely before it crashes.

debbie does duncan

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 09:26:05 AM »
I am not going to touch your expenses as I am in Canada and have NO idea what the euro is at! I will chime in about the horses. Unless you personally find worth in them they are not an asset. Free up the $$ they are costing you and pad your pension savings. You also need to set boundaries with those that seem to take up all your time and not pay you. Thats right Nmil I am taking about your MIL.
https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/3davsm/tip_setting_boundaries/
https://old.reddit.com/r/JUSTNOMIL/
Good luck!

I Want to Believe

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 09:27:57 AM »
Carers allowance is a benefit from the government paid to people who care for a disabled relative in their(relatives) own home for at least 35 hours a week. It pays about £65 a week, but limits other income to £120 a week. I hate this!

This is separate from OH being self employed as a carer for other people at an hourly rate plus mileage, which makes up most of the £100 a week she makes from income, the rest made from a few hours at the school.

I hate thinking like this, but if we could move uncle into a home, we wouldn't need to claim it, and she could work more hours, plus selling the house could setup MIL in a little bungalow in the area with money left over to live on.

Going to try and talk OH into at least losing the yard help, and putting that into paying off the debt. An extra £120 a month should shorten the life of the loan by at least 2 years, and nearer 3 if the rough calculations I've just done are correct.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2018, 11:45:29 AM »
Carers allowance is a benefit from the government paid to people who care for a disabled relative in their(relatives) own home for at least 35 hours a week. It pays about £65 a week, but limits other income to £120 a week. I hate this!

This is separate from OH being self employed as a carer for other people at an hourly rate plus mileage, which makes up most of the £100 a week she makes from income, the rest made from a few hours at the school.

Ah, this does clarify for some of us who are not familiar with this system. Thanks!


I hate thinking like this, but if we could move uncle into a home, we wouldn't need to claim it, and she could work more hours, plus selling the house could setup MIL in a little bungalow in the area with money left over to live on.

That sounds practical. Good luck getting agreement!

The core family issue now begins to sound like one of an aging couple who are not being realistic about their state of affairs. My own dad went through this. His wife of that era and his children from previous marriage were sucked into the vortex. His particular case involved getting Alzheimer's disease. I became his guardian eventually, after some effort. My sister and I cooperated on the project, I was just the one whose name was most often on the paperwork. After various steps of learning what to do, facing emotional issues, and solving problems that cropped up, we did indeed have to put him in "a home" (what in our location is called an assisted living facility). He didn't like anything that was going on, but he would have died sooner and alone if we had not intervened.

One thing that helped me face the emotions, and do things that he complained about angrily at the time, was realizing that I was not the true source of his upset feelings. He was upset because he couldn't have the pleasant independent prosperous life he once knew. I wasn't the cause of that change, only the messenger. My actions and my sister's lessened the pain. In the moment, he was not able to see the whole picture, but we knew. In the end, the process of caring for him despite the difficulties drew us all closer together before he died.

zoe2dot

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2018, 12:47:20 PM »
Re: the stables

1.  Keep the horses separate. 
2.  Find a local equine enthusiast to run it.  Give them 50% of the profits to incentivize them.  You'll need to have a clear agreement, naturally, and good bookkeeping methods.  There are so many horse-crazy teenagers out there--find the right one, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Go hands off except for time you want to ride. 
3.  Consider doing half-leases on the horses you keep.  Have a written agreement.  In case that is not a term common in the UK: https://horseandrider.com/health-and-advice/the-half-lease-contract

Re: the inlaws

Start verbalizing your goals to them so that they can begin to envision a time when you are driving across America in an RV.

"OH and I are taking steps now so that in a few years we can spend summers traveling.  I wanted to bring this up now so you have time to make arrangements for care while we are away."

I Want to Believe

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2018, 08:25:19 AM »
Quick question, if OH agrees to stop the yard help, should I throw the £30 a week at the loan, or into savings?

shadesofgreen

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2018, 11:46:41 AM »
Quick question, if OH agrees to stop the yard help, should I throw the £30 a week at the loan, or into savings?

Why not split the difference? Say 20 to the loan and 10 to savings. It doesn't have to be a either or situation. Per month that would be a extra 80 to the loan and 40 into savings. If you get to a comfortable amount into savings than just put everything onto the loan to pay it off quicker. Once it is paid off use the snowball method to transfer payments to the next loan in line.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2018, 12:25:39 PM »
I would do the loan.

Normally, I am a big believer in defining and maintaining a reasonable emergency fund. But you're already paying interest, and it seems likely that if you pay the loan and then you have an emergency, you'd charge it anyway. Paying immediately reduces interest paid, and also lets you focus on one clear win.

I Want to Believe

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2018, 08:50:17 AM »
Well this has been a turn up for the books.

Apparently OH was talking to MIL over the weekend, and while she's not prepared to budge on the 2 mini shetlands, she's accepting that our daughter isn't all that interested in horses, and looking into losing at least 2 of the ponies.

Also OH has been improving significantly healthwise lately. A couple of years ago in quick succession, she broke an arm, and injured her back falling off a horse, while recovering from that, she ended up nursing her father who was suffering from terminal cancer. She also had a preliminary diagnosis of either ME, chronic regional pain syndrome, or something else I can't remember offhand. Between pain, stress and depression, she ended up putting on weight, and ended up with a sleep disorder. Every night she'd struggle to sleep and kept waking up, but she was nodding off all day because she was tired. In March we saw a doctor who gave her a sats monitor to wear overnight, and return the next day. Fast forward a month, and a very concerned consultant chased her up for another appointment and diagnosed severe sleep apnoea. Apparently the average sufferer stops breathing 8-10 times an hour through the night which is enough to reduce sleep quality. OH was stopping on average 112 times an hour throughout the night.

She was given a CPAP machine to wear at night which uses gentle air pressure to keep your airways open while you sleep. That night she put it on, and slept solidly for over 8 hours, and hasn't looked back. She's got more energy and enthusiasm, and has lost just under 3 st in 3 months. Instead of spending weekends falling asleep on the sofa, we're getting so much done. She wants to start getting the stableyard running properly again, and we spent an afternoon going through our finances and managed to get some bills cut down or eliminated, and a rough calculation that if all the bills come out of the account my wages go into, we can buy food and living expenses from her wages, and my account will slowly build up as the income is greater than the outgoings (I really want to get a spreadsheet made to double check this).

Things are looking up at last.

Imma

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2018, 11:42:08 AM »
I'm so glad to hear you're doing much better! It must be such a relief for you all that your OH's health is improving so much.

And good to hear your in-laws are slowly coming around to reality and you're working on a plan to get out of this situation. Every little step you take now is a small step in the right direction, instead of a small step in the wrong direction. It might take a while, but this way you will arrive at your destination eventually.

I Want to Believe

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2018, 01:19:47 PM »
I've also tracked down my old pension and been pleasantly surprised to find it's currently worth over £6000. Since I stopped paying into it in 2009, and it was only worth £2000 then, it's doing better than I thought.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2018, 02:20:49 PM »
That's great news on every front!

I know it's not the first thing to handle in your problem solving process, but the pension growth is a nice grace note. It shows that once you reach the point of saving and investing, you can get good returns on your investment over time. This can really happen.  Good luck!!

former player

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Re: Starting from the bottom.
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2018, 03:01:34 AM »
Thanks for the splendid update - so many things seem to have turned a corner for you and are now heading in the right direction.


(That seems to happen for some people after they find MMM and the trend pretty much always seems to continue, at least for those who keep coming back here.)