Mr Bah Humbug is allready ranting happily over the TV ads and weve taken the precaution of ordering a new TV remote for when he hurls it at the TV after the thousandth time the Hare and Bear appear but i think its the M&S add thats got him venting well .
So heres my weird guide to being skint or almost skint , none of this is recomended by anyone but it does work i can vouch for it .
1, You just got made redundent or your income has dropped to virtually zilch
If its redundency and not the liquidators knocking on the door of the company you will get redundancy money ,due holiday pay any salary owed etc quickly. Do not spend this money get it out of the bank the day it lands and put it under your mattress. there is no law to prevent you doing this, the bank may squeal, tell them youre buying a car .
First job is call the Council Tax and if your renting Housing Benefit , tell them you wish to make a claim , you dont have to give them anything much at this stage they just run through a checklist , but once its logged on their system it has 30 days to be processed and they will backdate to your first call to them , if you ring them 6 weeks down the line when the bailiff letters appear that is the date they start the claim from . Do remember it can take weeks to get JSA
Do not make any payments on loans or credit cards , do check if loans or credit cards are covered by insurance first . this is usually the point where you find out just how plain useless all the loan insurance is , my partners covered him for his illness but his employment insurance stated he had to supply details of 3 job interviews he had attended each month , unfortunately he took a year to get an interview fortunately he got the job!!!. other insurances state you must maintain payments till the claim is processed , they then take months to process the claim. Theyre not daft at all . Do not ring them let them ring you , if you dont want to talk to them turn your phone off . There is no debtors prison , yes you will destroy your credit rating but as you cant eat it ,does it matter?
Take a look at your other outgoings , do continue pet insurance its cheap and you never know. Look at your life insurance can you get a cheaper term insurance for less or the same amount .
If you make CSA payments ring them straight away , once again its from the date you call them not from the date they call you .
Utilities , do talk to these people , you will need heat light and water , if you have a large bill outstanding the water suppliers are the people who will have you to court fairly quickly and if you want to avoid CCJs and horrendous costs talk to them .
Gas and Electric if your supplier is one of the big boys your in luck, if you went on a comparison web site and got the cheapest your in deep do do , theyre cheap for a reason sunshine! and this is the point they will exploit you to the hilt , they will have you to court in no time , slap on huge costs and send the bailiffs to fit you with a pre payment meter which will claw the money back at a ridiculous amount a week . You will end up sat in the dark and cold 3 days a week. If you have the money ring them with a meter reading pay the bill and go to the big boys right now.
If youre with the big boys even if you owe them thousands they can still help , do not pay your bill , yes they will ask you to take a prepayment meter , the argument that they are more expensive is based on the fact that you pay £1 a week maintenance charge , big deal . no matter what you owe them you will pay it back at £5-6 pounds a week which is in effect an interest free loan , once the meter is fitted you can go to a cheaper supplier if theyre more expensive . British Gas even do a USB key charger so you dont have to go to the shop!! Plus once you have a meter they all have schemes to help those on a low income so do talk to them
To all my American readers I understand that this is the most boring rant youve read , but i know your country is in as big a mess as ours and normal service will be resumed tomorrow