So those of you who are following my ‘story’ know that as a family of five, we’re one of the many ‘working poor’ families in Britain where we do earn but still find it hard to afford the rising cost of living here in the UK. This includes sky high rent, soaring energy bills, unaffordable fuel prices, frankly ridiculous unaccessible public transport costs, monopolised water bills, increasing food prices and more! The Minimum Income Standard (MIS) Research Project estimates our family needs £58,000 per year to have a minimum decent standard of living. We’re quite a way below that which might explain why we don’t have a great standard of living!
So one way we’re trying to make things better is to stop paying rent and buy our own home where we’d have a cheaper monthly mortgage payment. This would also mean we don’t need to feel like second class citizens having to cough up extortionate letting agent fees and having to move house regularly. This has happened to us twice in the last three years – where the properties we were renting have been sold. This meant we had the incredible stress of finding a new family home which is not easy at the moment as there are not enough homes to rent where we live, plus we have (uh-oh!) children and ‘pets’ (our animal family below) which are both frowned upon now in the world of letting, making it harder to find properties that will accept them.
Of course as much as we’d love a cheap council house or affordable housing association home, we’re never ever going to get far enough up the list to get one. So I’ve given up on that unless of course we make ourselves and our children homeless so the council have to give us accommodation, which I’d never intentionally do as I was homeless myself at 17 with four other younger siblings fleeing domestic violence. I mention this as I have come across families in person who have done this to get a council house and I think it just reflects the desperation some parents feel to do this. Being homeless albeit temporarily for a few months is one of the most insecure and worrying feelings you can have, believe me. At 45 I still wake up after nightmares about walking the streets in desperation ‘looking for somewhere to live’ but never finding anywhere.
Obviously moving house involves a lot of money too like mail redirection bills, removal costs, letting agent fees, carpet cleaning fees etc. And the stress….did I mention the stress!!!
Owning our own home also means we don’t have the letting agent come and ‘inspect’ our family home every three months. Our current agents are ok but we’ve had some pretty shitty ones in the past who were patronising and unreasonable to say the least. We’ve also had an ex landlord refuse to pay our deposit and had to go through a lengthy mediation process to get most of our money back. I say most as we agreed to give up a small amount for an item that was disputed because we are reasonable people. They were not reasonable and lost the case meaning we got our money back – but hey that was another few months of stress and luckily we managed without that money but what on earth do families to who desperately need their deposits back as soon as they’ve moved.
So buying our own place means we need to save up a deposit and it’s really really hard but that’s the plan – and you can follow me on that journey on here and Facebook, on twitter and on Instagram. I’d love to hear from you if you’re in the same boat. Thanks so much for your support.