So, its been 6 years to the day since my first blog! So what does that mean? its over!! and we survived! I’m sorry, i wasn’t very good at blogging, i think in the end we just needed to get our heads down and get through it, try not to think about the IVA too much and just see it as another (huge!) bill that had to be paid.
I’m not going lie, its been really tough, and its got harder as it went on. The kids got older (and increased in numbers!) they ate more, wanted to do more things, their clothes and shoes got more expensive. Their needs changed, which meant my job had to change and now i’m not working at all. The house needs many repairs, the car is on its last legs. The list goes on. But the IVA still needed to be paid and some how we managed it, and we are still happily married (which i also think is a huge achievement when in an IVA!)
I have to admit, the effect its had on mine and my husband health is something i hadn’t considered when we started the IVA. Every spare penny has been spent on our children, and constantly trying to stay on budget has been so stressful (counting up the cost of the shopping as we went round Aldi was a constant, the kids thought it was a great game, obviously unaware of how much i was stressing in case we didn’t have enough money in the bank ) I’ve lost count of the number of times i have driven the car with no fuel and no money, praying it didn’t break down!
I’ve had a number of friends tell me they have been through hard times, and i don’t doubt them, and i’m sure there is many people living on a tighter budget than we have, but i think that its the length of time that is the challenge, 6 years is a long time to be skint!
But there has been positives too. Our children genuinely appreciate what they have. If they are given something, even something small like a chocolate bar, they are thankful. We where always honest with them, and would tell them straight, that we don’t have the money if they asked for something, and (most of the time!) they would understand. We have tried and tested pretty much every money saving trick going, and i think saving money is so ingrained in us now, i’m sure we will never end up in the same situation again. We certainly understand the difference between what we want and what we need, and the posh cars, fancy holidays etc no longer seem so attractive when i stop to consider the debt it would cause (not that we ever really had these anyway, but i certainly know a lot of people living way beyond their means and i’ll admit to feeling a little envious for a moment before i give myself a kick!) Hopefully our money saving skills will allow us to really make the most of the extra cash we have now.
So it can be done, 6 years is a long time, but in the scheme of things its not really. We tried to see it as a challenge, and of course its always good to try something new! So we’ve been there, done it, got the IVA t-shirt and we certainly wont be doing it again!!