An empty bank account at the end of every pay month

This is now happening to me routinely with credit card debt also backing up..

I earn above average wages albeit with the expense of living alone.. 

No drug addictions, no kids, no pets, no expensive tastes to speak of.

How the hell is most of the country not now desperately broke to the point of near destitution? 

Realising as I write that almost no one here will understand 

My entire adult life has been a case of a residual overdraft that appears towards the end of the month which is occasionally reduced by a bonus or the like.  I celebrate when I finish a month with money in my account even if it has only been achieved by putting a couple of bits on a credit card to put the expenditure off to next month.

  • Why are you so weak in wallet?
  • How did you manage to get onto this board with such a poor financial situation?
  • They must be allowing any old riff raff these days.

Yes there is equity in the gaff but that's not money I can touch and use today so doesn't feel real ATM (no pun intended)

The rising living costs has indeed rendered all my calculations when I moved in out of date

 Recent renovation work has added to the bills and the LordCarCar is also making dangerous noises that it may be about to start costing me ££

 

sails you evidently come from considerable wealth  - you fool nobody.   You may not have that much cash in the bank at any given time but you have enormous resources to fall back on.

I feel your pain. We never had to pay much attention to how much was in the bank account until recently. Then in October we spent a few grand finishing off the last of our renovations, got an unexpected tax bill and had to pay the quarterly service charge for our building and suddenly we realised our accounts were basically empty.

We don't have credit cards, my car is entirely financed by my employer including fuel and maintenance, and I have money in instant access savings accounts so it's not a big deal but still pretty scary seeing such a low bank balance when you're used to seeing it looking much healthier.

What I can't get a sense of is how bad the cost of living rises are in the UK. For an average family, how much are rising food, fuel and energy prices affecting your monthly budget? Because if it's enough for people on a decent salary to be in the red at the end of the month, I don't know how people already living pay cheque to pay cheque are going to cope.

I have a load of equity in my house Guy but that ain't much use when you've maxed out your mortgage borrowing at a rate below 2% and someone drops an unexpected bill on you towards the end of the month.  Rather hoping that when I come to remortgage in three years I can either sell or interest rates have dropped again.  At least by then I'll have repaid 20% of what I originally borrowed.

Fair enough sails, but I dont think you risking penury any time soon...

 

Anna food prices have gone up considerably, for those already hand to mouth I imagine this is making things very difficult.  But food has been incredibly cheap in the uk for decades compared to almost everywhere else in the developed world so for most people it is just a question of either accepting a slightly higher percentage of their income must go on food - or trading down in terms of where they shop and what they eat.

the saving grace of this crisis is that the poorest are actually reasonably protected with fuel payments, RPI increases to state pensions, benefits and the minimum wage.  It is the next tier up, the lower middle class that are really feeling the pinch this time around.

I'm in a similar boat, gaga. I am dreadful with money though, admittedly. And support 2 kids so perhaps not entirely similar. Living alone is costly though, which I also do. 

Anna food prices have gone up considerably, for those already hand to mouth I imagine this is making things very difficult.  But food has been incredibly cheap in the uk for decades compared to almost everywhere else in the developed world so for most people it is just a question of either accepting a slightly higher percentage of their income must go on food - or trading down in terms of where they shop and what they eat.

Yes, I was astounded by the food prices when I moved to France. And until recently, if I was in the UK and I did a shop at, say, Waitrose (i.e. not exactly a budget option) I'd get to the till and be like, "woah, that's so cheap!"

When I was in the UK over the summer I went to Waitrose and the bill was around 25% higher than I was expecting it to be.

I have been relying on 0pc credit cards since I moved in for one off/large expenses (including to do the renovations) and while this was anticipated to an extent the plan was always to get them paid off before the promotional period ended.. rising living costs have meant I now spend essentially all my salary each month on just normal expenses often leaving very little or nothing to service these debts.

Now they're both due to end in a few months . If I hadn't had these cards to rely on then I would have been in a sticky situation on more than one occasion over the last year and a bit.

Will probably be able to balance transfer and rinse and repeat but it's concerning .. just have to hope nothing breaks in the next 12 months which given my luck seems unlikely.

I know this is priveliged wingheing to an extent but it does make me wonder how much worse off people aren't basically destitute. 

 

 

There's nothing I can cut other than really marginal things like shopping in Aldi instead of Sainsbury's , Netflix, the odd night out etc. My view has always been that if one has to cut such things then clearly the living situation is unaffordable and needs looking at .

Cc debt is currently sitting around the 8K mark and 6K of that is the bathroom renovation I recently did..

The way I think of it is , there are plenty of people that lease a new car every 3 years and think nothing of it so ultimately I've just bought a new bathroom at 0pc finance.

The way my brain works though means that I feel obligated to clear it asap so I can hopefully one day start saving money again.

The danger is, as I am sure you know, that you might not be able to get another 0% balance transfer. And £8k, once you start paying interest on it, can quickly snowball.

If you can't really cut anything then you need to try and get a pay rise or a better paid job and pay down the credit card debt.

That or sell a watch. [/RoF]

Not being funny but you maxed out on a mortgage to get a house (fixed I hope?) then dropped a further £6k on a bathroom you didn't have the money for, and are now crying that you don't have much cash left over? 

TBH this is where the fuel for the stories in the paper are coming from - middle class people that blew all their saved train fares and holiday money and are now a bit short. The truly badly off have been living like this for 12 years under the party the OP seems to favour. 

I'm down to one night out a month with only public transport and preferably a night at a friend's house.  Also perfecting the art of just postponing things so that I waited two months after my car announced it needed servicing to book it into a month where I wasn't expecting any other big expenditure.  Next month my extravagance is my six monthly trip to the dentist.

Bathroom was essential though, the old one was  really bad and giving me problems .

I do not favour the Tories FWIW. Never cast a vote for them in my life so I dunno where that perception comes from. 

And the whole thrust of the thread was that if I'm this f***ed then how on earth are people on low wages and single mums etc managing .

This is why the economy is.going to completely tank over the next 2 years...

 

Gaga, doing your food and household shopping each week at Aldi rather than the Big 4 will save you at least £30-£40 pw minimum.

I had a 35% pay increase and had this happen to me one month recently - massive jump in cost of usual outgoings plus one unexpected expense. It's shocked me back into budgeting and made me up my contribution to community support charities.

 

did a shop at, say, Waitrose (i.e. not exactly a budget option) I'd get to the till and be like, "woah, that's so cheap!"

is the best humblebrag I’ve seen for a while

Have you tried being less poor?

 

More seriously I hope your mortage is a long term fix hammer mate?

Its bollox you can save 40 quid a week shopping at Aldi. i bet he doesnt spend 40 a week on food ffs

To be fair to Anna hotnow I think she means compared to living in France, that was the reaction of most europeans and americans to british supermarkets until very recently.

A girlfriend wouldn't necessarily add to the burden, in fact in the long run would most probably do the very opposite .

"It's shocked me back into budgeting and made me up my contribution to community support charities."

That is commendable as it would have had the opposite effect on many.   When times look tough I am often tempted to reduce my charity payments.  I usually manage to resist but certainly dont increase them!

The Aldi tip is a good one.Absolute no-brainer at the moment if you've got one close. Get so much more for your money & quality is pretty good v.cost.

Yeah it sucks, I feel your pain LG, as a doctor I probably earn substantially less than most here and it’s not easy 

I do like Aldi food but just find it a more stressful shopping experience ..

And the savings for me really are fiddling at the margin stuff. Not a real solution to this problem .

Anyway just got approved for yet another 0pc balance transfer for 18 months so that's something 

I think they are pretty close. My local Tesco Express prices are fooking laughable by comparison, and getting worse. 

If I cannot afford it I do not buy it. I have no credit cars, no overdraft, no HP, and haven't had any for ten years at least. I cut my cloth accordingly

Yeah there's a Tesco Express near me too and it's absolutely bonkers. The price of their "meal for 2" thing which we used to get sometimes went up by 20%

EBITDA if everyone followed your philosophy the economy would collapse completely. ...

Credit drives everything. I suppose I should have just saved up for.my house and paid in cash too ??

Not the case everywhere, lordgaga.

Credit cards are almost unheard of in France. The closest most people can get is a deferred payment card where your balance is paid off the following month.

LG, the attitude of ‘it’s not worth saving 40 quid per week’ is why you will always have money problems 

LOL @ EBITDA's advice from the BOMAD ivory tower. "All you have to do is get your parents to pay hundreds of thousands for your education and then get them to pay half your deposit". The reason EBITDA has no credit is they can't understand what he writes on the forms. 

£40 is probably a bit toppy per week for a single non-bloating bloke, but you can definitely save £20-25 a week, a ton a month, which is not peanuts if you're in the situ you describe. Being disciplined and doing a proper weekly shop is crucial.  

I don't spend 40 a week on food to begin with .

I reckon 40 a month is more like what the saving would be and I did used to do Aldi but got sick and tired of always having to have a £1 coin for the trolley. And the mad fast checkouts.

Maybe I'll go back to it. But it won't be a panacea.

I don't have takeaways anymore 

Change the shopping. Cancel or downgrade the Netflix subscription. Cancel the other things you’ve got - gym? Etc.

No drug addictions, no kids, no pets, no expensive tastes to speak of. 

 

If you aren't spending more than £40 a week on food, something doesn't really add up.

Hmm that's why I'm hoping that a year or so of no more one off expenses and it will fix itself..

It's essentially the expense of setting up Gaga Towers the way I want it that's put me in this position . It's easily done 

I followed the financially illiterate strategy of paying down debt - so that outgoings = food, fuel and clothing my children.  Obviously that isn't something you can start once you are in bother, but not "borrowing to buy" whether by credit cards or by installment plans / personal loans in my view is a sound personal finance strategy.  

Talking to some of my colleagues I realise some are in pretty bad financial states - one guy said he can't afford to pay the £430 fee for an exam we all have to sit, another guy struggling to afford to fix his leaking roof. All doctors. Good country

That's harsh making people pay for exams they sit although I guess part of the LPC fee probably covered the cost of doing exams.

I know someone who has worked at a place for years and recently gone part-time and is muttering about the fact that her employer is making a one off cost of living payment but is going to pro rata hers because she's not full-time.  I can safely say that she's spent years working extra without claiming overtime which has more than saved the firm the extra bit they'd have to pay her now if they paid her the full amount.  Never ceases to amaze me that the well paid people making decisions come up with ideas like this.

Yes, we pay bigly for exams. We also pay for membership of a Royal College, which is mandatory. I'll pay around £850 for both together this year. Then there's professional indemnity insurance. The mandatory costs of employment as a doctor in specialty training easily run into the thousands.

doing your food and household shopping each week at Aldi rather than the Big 4 will save you at least £30-£40 pw minimum.

This is mad - a single adult would not save that, unless they went from living on M&S ready meals and lots of meat and cheese down to Lidl beans on toast. 

I find the fresh fruit/veg rubbish at Lidl and Aldi and therefore a false economy.  

No, it's for everyone. I should correct myself there actually - it's not strictly speaking mandatory as we have indemnity from the Trust. However, it is STRONGLY recommended to have your own indemnity provider - the Trust indemnity is for the Trust, it's not for you and they are only incentivised to protect you insofar as they protect the Trust. At least that's what I've been told.

tbh the cost of indemnity is relatively minor for most trainees at <£100/year. The cost of exams and college membership is far more significant. Oh I forgot to mention GMC - that is around £430 again. So yeah between GMC, exams, college membership and indemnity I'll be forking out approx £1400. Honestly find it disgraceful that they don't cover the mandatory costs of employment.

Kimmy I easily save that - my Waitrose weekly shop for one was around £100, this goes down to around £50 a Lidl (including a couple of bottles of wine).  Its not just the prices, I also get less fancy stuff at Lidl

I think waitrose fruit and veg is marginally better although often twice the price, but not everything is superior - indeed I think bread is better at Lidl despite being half the price.  Also prefer Lidl steaks and chops, probably about 50% cheaper

So I'd say my food bill is about £25-40 a week.  A bottle of wine or some spices and it soon crops up.

Aldi is a useful shop but really because I like the food from there.

Do you buy lunches or coffee's out?  do you purchase a lot of small items online?

What would you say your food and discretionary spend was a month?

Never coffee out 

The odd Tesco meal deal 

Food shops at the supermarkets is probably in the region of 40pw so according to the posts above Aldi would be free to save me what they claim .

If all I had to do each month was pay mortgage and bills, go to work and eat and nothing in the house /car ever broke or needed replacing then I'd be fine..

It's all the unplanned extra costs that hurt 

Hopefully it will all resolve by end of next year but if not then will be fine to question whether I can really afford to continue this 

If it’s truly mandatory and work doesn’t cover you should at least claim it as expenses on your tax return

Leftfield suggestion but does Gaga towers have a spare room you could rent out for 6-12 months to pay off the accrued debt and get yourself back on an even keel? 

Appreciate living with a random is probably a bit crap but might be worth it as a temporary measure if it was means to an end. 

Have you worked out what you spend your money on? Down to the £?

Then see what can be cut etc?

I did to recently and found an old insurance that was still taking 60 quid a month, had no idea what it was for. Now cancelled. 

If you are not out and about drinking and eating a few times a week, it's likely you are over spending on necessaties and there will be other options

It's very unlikely that anyone earning a decent lawyer wage is struggling, they will be just overspending

As a side point I often end the month with only a few hundred quid in the main account as I take all my investments and savings out on pay days 

New Chimp. That’s so  wrong. Same for other health care professionals like nurses too.  City lawyers in here don’t get it. 

As a side point I often end the month with only a few hundred quid in the main account as I take all my investments and savings out on pay days 

hehe! I'm sure this is very comforting for the OP

8k isn't a lot in the long run, assuming you have a decent career.  Sounds like you'd better make sure you do.

Most people are struggling.  The economy is heading into the doldrums.

I know I really shouldn't worry about it .

Anyway now I know I essentially have another year and a half at 0pc I'm not so worried.

Just have to cross everything that the house stays up and Lord CarCar doesn't go majorly wrong in the next 12 months. Once that period is up I will become less car dependent in all likelihood anyway 

I do have a spare room but the whole lodger thing seems a bit sketchy to me. Would have to be someone I knew and was comfortable living with me as I believe legally it's a bit of a grey area... And of course wary of ending up like mark in Peep Show

 

Believe taking a lodger is actually a very decent option if you can manage it as the income is tax-free below a certain threshold.

Gaga clearly should rent out his spare room to a hot single nurse.

He won’t, as his stock in trade  is feckin misery.

Remember I don't live in London. I'm from a suburban backwater in SE England which as Hotblack determined last week means I must be a racist country bumpkin by definition 

Tbf that is a reasonable wedge then 

Shouldn't have too much difficulty having a nice life but might take a bit of readjustment of expectations and budgeting 

In most of the southeast and London I wouldn't be able to afford to live alone at all. In pretty much any way. Which is a bit nuts really, to think I would either need 2 incomes or to live in a shared house at this age and career stage 

I'm a jobbing criminal type - if I get to the end of the month with a few hundred quid left over I consider it to have been a good one.

Yes I am a homeowner and I have paid a chunk off my mortgage - plus I make decent contributions to a pension scheme.  But as others have said above, this is not 'real' money that can be accessed on a day-to-day basis.

If my car needs a trip to the garage or the 6 monthly service charge is due I can find myself with next to nothing or overdrawn.  If both happen at the same time I will usually try and defer one until the next month to make ends meet. 

I have no idea how single people on normal (i.e. non City salaries) make it 'work' in London and the south east.  I mean how the f00k does someone who works in an entry level job afford to house themselves, eat reasonably well, have a half-decent social life and take the occasional holiday?  

I've dated 2 girls this year - both were in their mid 30s and worked respectable mid level marketing jobs.  The first owned 50% of a small one bedroom flat in a commuter town and drove around in a 10 year old jeep.  The second rented in a flat-share in Battersea.  Both had modest social lives, no shoes / clothes / handbags of any note and were quite clearly living pay cheque to pay cheque. 

Saw a thing on social media of a woman living in London and working full-time at Starbucks that stayed with me - she described her income and outgoings, all of which sounded totally plausible, and it was leaving her with about £17 a month. Absolutely miserable.

‘Housing price growth has been encouraged and helped create this awful situation’

indeed. Plus tuition fees, a tax system that penalises middle earners, cuts to child benefit, extortionate public transport, cuts to workplace benefits etc etc 

"you shouldn't have been allowed to borrow 6 to 8 k on credit"

I repeat : if people weren't allowed to do this kind of thing then whole industries would collapse.

The cost of day to day living Vs wages for most means saving up for stuff is basically not a thing any more.

It's only ultra cheap borrowing that's made life bearable and kept the economy chugging along albeit in an incredibly lacklustre and undynamic way , between the 2009 and the Covid/post Covid economic apocalypses .

Really annoys me when smug people who've never had to worry about money in their lives carp on about people living within their means and "financial irresponsibility" when for most of us we have to push it just to survive and not live in borderline penury while also keeping the great Ponzi scheme that is the economy going 

Really annoys me when smug people who've never had to worry about money in their lives carp on about people living within their means and "financial irresponsibility" when for most of us we have to push it just to survive and not live in borderline penury while also keeping the great Ponzi scheme that is the economy going 
 

Agree with u there

If you don't have kids and have had a steady job for 15/20 plus years then you should be comfortable even with the cost of living increases of late. Does no one save anything?

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