D4D

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Archive for the category “Rebuilding”

Replacement Card

On Friday evening, while I was out for a meal, I paid using the card for one of my Barclays accounts.  That transaction, while all went OK, had traits that felt… odd. Wrong. Or at least just Not Quite Right.

So I called the bank straight after, and cancelled the card with immediate effect. That took a bit of explanation, as “I want to cancel the card from right now, no more transactions” apparently still needs discussion, and a whole bit of scripted text from the bank about “With the card cancelled, you won’t be able to use it”. (Well yeah, that’s why I’ve cancelled the cocking thing.)  But I assume they’ve had to deal with morons in the past who’ve cancelled the card and then complained they couldn’t use it for something.

Anyway, they told me my replacement card would be sent out as soon as possible, and all that jazz – all fine, I’m just happier knowing that I’ve handled it to the best of my abilities, should that transaction have turned out to be as dodgy as it felt like it could’ve been.

When I got home last night, there was the new card.

And I can’t deny, I’m impressed with that – a card that’s been requested in the late evening (10pm-ish) on a Friday, and is delivered on the Monday? Not bad going at all.

While Barclays have their moments of driving me absolutely crackers – and that’s still going through the Financial Ombudsman, so I assume Barclays are being dicks with the Ombudsman as well – I can’t deny that some of their systems are also pretty bloody good.

[Updated to mention : Having looked back, it turns out it’s not the first time I’ve been impressed by this replacement card system]

ReKindled (Again)

Just to top off a pretty expensive fortnight, while I was away over the weekend the Kindle broke. As with previous ones, the screen film cracked, so half of it is working and the other half isn’t. In short, fucked.

As it turns out though, I can’t be too annoyed (annoyed, sure, but not too annoyed) as it turns out I’ve had this one just short of three years. Considering that before that I had a spate of broken screens in less than a year, it could’ve lasted a lot less time.

Yes, I’d rather these things were more resilient, were designed to last longer than 18 months.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how things have progressed with Kindles, and whether they’ve improved the ways to reload content onto a new device. It was horrific three years ago, so I’m hoping for improvements, it’s fair to say. (And if that doesn’t happen, I’ve got a backup from the old device – so maybe I’ll just be able to roll that onto the new one.)

We’ll see.

An Expensive Week – finale

Collecting the new (to me) Kia Ceed yesterday, it made me think again about how much things have changed over the last few years. Back when I had to get the Saab, I was mid-bankruptcy, and the available funds were super-tight.  I got lucky with the Saab – very lucky, in fact – and in some ways I needed to get that lucky.

This time round, while things haven’t been perfect, I’ve been able to do much better. I’ve moved a fixed amount from savings to bank account, and worked within that larger-but-not-huge budget to get the Kia. I could’ve taken out more, but didn’t want to drain the savings entirely. I could’ve spent more from the budget, not bothered with the maintenance/parts warranty. I didn’t want to, but I could’ve done. I had options.

I hope that the Kia will last me a couple of years. I’ll spend that time rebuilding savings and so on, and hopefully be in a better place again when it comes times to replace it. By then I should be OK to look at sorting out a finance agreement, rather than paying outright, which will be another step in the rebuilding process.

A lot has changed in the three-and-a-half years I’ve had the Saab. A lot more will change during the expected lifetime of the new one. And that’s nothing but good.

Adding to Savings

About six weeks ago, I wrote about the changes to my intended savings plans for this year, and how it was affecting things.

Basically, I’d had a plan of how much I wanted to put into my savings account this year, and that hasn’t happened. There’s been a lot of other stuff going on instead, but all the same, it’s been a bit annoying to have not managed that target.

Since then, though, I’ve been adding in to the savings account, and making progress. I won’t get to the original target figure for this year – but putting some in is better than putting none in. So since that first post, I’ve put in the full amounts of a couple of invoices for work I’d done, but also a bit more than 10% of each piece of income has gone straight back out to the savings, so I don’t even really notice it’s gone.

In honesty, that’s what I should’ve been doing all of this year, but I was looking at it from a flawed perspective. (I can’t be bothered to explain that right now, but may do some other time)  I’m intending to keep doing the same for the rest of this year, and do the same but with more money next year, and see how we go.

Reduced Insomnia

During the week in Cornwall, I slept better than I have in absolutely years – to the tune of about 2 hours more sleep per night. It’s the first time since I started recording my sleep times with the Fitbit that I’ve had more than four hours in a night – and it happened all week.

So, it looks like the possible cure (or at least improvement) in my insomnia is :

  • Move to Cornwall (or somewhere with equally remote areas)
  • Walk at least six miles a day
  • Sleep in a house miles from anywhere, in absolute pitch-black darkness and silence.

At the moment, none of that is massively feasible. But in the future, it may well be. I need to look at how things work, what I do and what I want to do, and how to get to where that kind of plan might be possible.

So, that’ll be fun.

Mislaid Plans

Back at the start of the year, one of my stated aims was to put more money into savings.  I’d finally finished my bankruptcy’s payment plan at the end of 2015, so the plan was that I’d put that straight into savings instead of into the payment plan.

That aim has kind-of worked, but not to the extent I intended to.  Road to hell, Good intentions, and all that rot.

I looked back this week – coming to the last third of the year, I wanted to review where I was.  I’ve certainly added to the savings, but it’s not been to the full extent that it could/should have been.

There’s some reasoning behind it, when I looked into it and thought about it.  Primarily, it’s the first time in way too many years (certainly far preceding the bankruptcy) where I’ve had disposable income – and I can’t deny, I’ve been taking advantage of that this year.

It’s been one heck of a year, with a lot going on – as I’ve written about before – and some of that has been funded by the money that “should” have been getting funnelled into savings.  I can’t – and won’t – deny it, I should have been a bit better, a bit smarter about it, but well, I haven’t.

I’m already making plans for 2017 to be much calmer, to not be going quite so barmy about having time, space and money. From January, that money *will* be going to rebuild savings.

2016 has been a mad old year, with lots going on. 2017 is going to be a good year, but a bit more relaxed, a bit more sensible. Not perfect – I’m never going to claim that – but I know what needs to be done, and I intend to be doing it.

Four Down, Two To Go

Over the weekend, it was four years since my bankruptcy was declared.

That means I’m two-thirds of the way through the process now, although really all that remains is waiting for it to come off my record. All the rest is done.

As evidenced in a previous post, it still has knock-on effects, but that was expected. I never went into the process thinking it was a quick fix, or that everything would be rosy straight afterwards.  I’d done my research, and knew the effects.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I expect to be dismissed out-of-hand for having been through this process, and still having it on my record. Paradoxically, I don’t mind being dismissed out-of-hand if the company in question is open and honest about it – if they say “We won’t accept [x], because you’ve got that on your record” then fine. I get that.   It’s when I’m lied to about it that it annoys, or when they try blaming someone else. “Oh, your credit score isn’t good enough“, “You haven’t passed our criteria, but try again in six months” and so on. That shit isn’t on – tell me it’s because I’ve been a twat in the past, and that’s fine. Try passing the buck on it, or leading with false expectations, you’re a tosser.  It really is that simple.

As time goes on, though, it’s all rebuilding nicely. And that’s the end goal, really – just being back on an even keel, with nothing owed to anyone.

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