Thursday, 7 February 2013

There's help out there, if you need it

I've spent a lot more time on the computer today, not good for my eyes I know. Sometimes I find interesting stuff, one page leads to another, and before I know it a couple of hours have passed by. Many will see it as time wasting, but I look on it as furthering my education. I can learn about all kinds of things, I wish we had the internet when I was at school, lessons would have been so much easier.
You know that my favourite topic is ways to save money. There are lots of good sites, and blogs to read, but my favourite has to be I have been having a good look round the site. Every aspect of personal finance and money management is catered for, anything you want to know about, regarding saving money, is right there on the one site.
I spend a lot of time reading the Forums, and learn a lot from other people posting up their questions, and dishing out their advice. The boards are very conveniently sectioned under the headings, Pure Money, Work and Benefits, Home and Play, For Who and Where You Are, Bargain Buys, Sassy Shopping, and Fantastic Freebies, Money Saving and the Site, and Moneysavers Arms. They all have sub boards, so there is a lot of topics to choose from. This is a very busy forum, I can see that at the moment there are over 9,000 reading it, that's a heck of a lot of people. 
The boards that I visit the most often are, Old Style Money Saving, that's all about thrift, Food Shopping and Groceries. UK Holidays, Days Out and Entertainment, Motoring, In My Home DIY Moneysaving, Marriage Relationships and Families, Health and Fitness, Debt Free Wannabe, and Loans.
Some of the posts can be light hearted and quite amusing, but at the other end of the scale there are some heartbreaking stories of people in terrible financial difficulties. I try and help if I can with my little bit of knowledge of living within my means. 
People looking for advice can post up their Statement of Affairs, it's a very brave thing to do to admit that you have thousands of pounds of debt, then to let other people pick over your statement. A lot of people are grateful for the help and are willing to make changes to get themselves back on the right track. However, I also notice that some people do not want to give up anything at all to free up money to pay off their debt. They somehow believe they can go on living the life they enjoy, and are not willing to cut down or give up anything. I don't know where they think the extra money will come from. A thread can go on for a long time, with lots of posts from people offering good advice, but if the original poster does not take heed, then they will never get out of debt. I have just contributed to such a thread, suggesting they cut right back on their drinking and socialising, as this would save a lot of money. Others posted similar comments, but I am not sure that the original poster took it all on board. I find it all quite exasperating, but as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but..........  
There are lots of questions about bankruptcy, whether it would be better to throw the towel in and give up. I am amazed that people think they can just walk away from it all. Becoming bankrupt can have enormous implications on future finances. People assume it is free to declare yourself bankrupt, I am not sure of the exact figure but it's around £700, and most people in dire straites haven't got that money. 
There are lots of questions on consolidating debts, taking out a loan to pay them all off, then only having the one repayment to make, usually over a longer period of time. There are numerous stories from people who have done this, but several months down the line, they are in a worse position than they were before, because they kept on spending on the plastic, instead of cutting the cards up. 
Every day there are new posts from people who have found themselves in the Payday loan trap. Short term borrowing which is paid back when they next get their wages, leaving them nothing to live on for the following month, so they need another loan. There is no getting out of the vicious circle except by not spending any money at all for one month, to catch up. Even with my frugalness I would find it difficult to do that, unlessI have a stockpile of food to live on. No, Payday loans are to be avoided at all costs. 
Anyway, I don't know if any of my readers are in need of  help with their debts. I certainly can't help, I don't have sufficient knowledge and I am not qualified to give advice. All I can suggest to you is to get onto the Money Saving Expert web site, read the Forums, and read up on all the help there is available. One thing you won't find are links to financial advisor companies which charge a fee. On no account pay anyone to help you work out the best plan for you. A good place to start is here........
Links to free advice
Or try here......
And here.....

Ha ha, this made me titter.
No time to write much else now. A quick peek at my lunch. I couldn't be bothered to stick my hands in the pea burger mixture again, so I just scooped some out of the bowl and dolloped it into a pan with a splash of oil and cooked it on the hob, then under the grill. Still tastes the same whether it's in burger shapes or one big mass. Lynn asks if they would dry out if they were done in the oven. Yes, I think they would, unless you minced the peas and left some of the bread out. It only needs a couple of teaspoons of oil, just to stop them sticking. I don't like fried food so I use very little oil.   
Not sure where this artwork is going. Playing with ideas, something will happen eventually.
Toodle pip.


  1. A comet? A sideways onion? Can't wait to see what you come up with.

  2. I too love that site. Think I'm actually addicted to reading the 'Old Style Forum!' :)

  3. I saw a pineapple on it's side. Cheers!

  4. that cartoon had DH laughing together. We are like you but I can imagine him playng the female role and saying it to raise a laugh.thanks for your posts
    Brenda in the Boro

  5. Good post re the debt/money issues Ilona. I spend (rather too much !) time on MSE too!
    Ruth x

  6. Those payday loan companies are inherently evil. There are so many shiny, glib ads on during the day - like my OH says, who do people think pay for those? He works with a lot of people who have succumbed to their promises, and even worse, parents of kids who have, and who are now penniless themselves after trying to help their feckless offspring. It's so, so sad.

  7. I had fun reading here. I feel the same with you, if only we have internet during school then lesson can be so easier. But, let's put that aside and face the present. For now, I am enjoying browsing over the net which interest and gain more knowledge on what I read :)

  8. Morning Ilona from House fairy
    There is help out there if you need it.You just have to ask.
    I also am a follower of MSE. It was a bad day when Martin Lewis sold the site. He has agreed to front it for a few years.

    Still cooking, we all have to eat.
    Yesterday did some batch cooking from some of the reduced food I bought.Yellow stickers.
    I made 5 portions of beef casserole with dumplings in the slow cooker. 3 portions of veggie casserole in my small slow cooker. Yes I have 2 slow cookers of diffrent size. Putting some dinners in the freezer.

    Looking at your crafting, I wonder what it shall be?
    I did not do my knitting yesterday.
    I spent the afternoon in front of my coal fire with 4 small drawers from the cabinet on the floor. Still decluttering, some would call it spring cleaning! The drawers hold papers, most not longer needed like old receipts. That fire came in handy - I burnt them.
    Lots of bits and bobs. I got the recycle bin and rubbish bin...
    This morning, I peeped into those drawers and felt "oooh! so proud". 1st one papers and such. 2nd one office stuff, pens, pencils, pins and clips... 3rd one empty and 4th still to do.

    Have a good day, get the washing on the line.
    My neighbours comment on me always having washing out in fine weather. I tell them , yes, I like to look at my tumble dryer. It sits in the corner and hardly gets used. Poor thing.

  9. So far it looks like a thistle head on it's side!

    I read MSE too, and could spend hours on the different forums.

  10. I read MSE but so far I have not visited the forums but they sound like a lively place. The cartoon made me laugh.


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