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This is a question The Credit Crunch

Did you score a bargain in Woolworths?
Meet someone nice in the queue to withdraw your 10p from Northern Rock?
Get made redundant from the job you hated enough to spend all day on b3ta?

How has the credit crunch affected you?

(, Thu 22 Jan 2009, 12:19)
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This question is now closed.

Can't even stand to tell the story.
I'm looking at my life's work - my own custom furniture company - dying a slow death. Rounds of layoffs every couple of months - we've gone from 21 workers in August to 9 now, and I have to let 2 more go next week. I'm in my late 40s and haven't worked for anyone else since my teens, so I'm not looking forward to hitting the streets and looking for a job. I'm doing everything that I can to keep the company alive until the turnaround, but it's not looking positive right now. A year ago I thought I was sitting pretty: after years of struggle, we finally started to land jobs from the best, richest clientele in the country. You guessed it: New York banks and investment firms. I've done work for all the names you read in the papers, but that market has flatlined. At least I've got plenty of wood to knock for luck. I'm going to need it.

Mort
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 23:07, 2 replies)
My sister
My sister worked for large bank X for a number of years.

She left there about 18 months ago to join large bank Y. She didn't really want to leave, it meant a longer commute, but it was more responsibility and more money.

However, bank Y ran into trouble back in September.

So much so that it was bought at a knockdown price by bank X.

And my sister is in the happy position of being one of the few people at bank Y who know and understand the systems and culture at bank X, making her pretty redundancy proof (fingers crossed) and she's basically back working somewhere she was always happy with a better job and more money.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 23:04, Reply)
Ageing hardman vs recession
I've written about my father before. He's getting on a but now, but in the last recession he was working in the design office of a large engineering corporation somewhere Up North.

Now, my father and I are different on many fundamental levels. I credit him with my innate sense of justice, my inability to tolerate political fuckwittery and hypocrisy. I also credit him with my intellect and natural curiosity. However, one of my less than attractive traits is my seldom aired temper. For example, on Friday night I was cycling home minding my own business when I was stopped by a local chav and his mates asking questions about my bike and where I lived as one of them said he'd come round and nick it. In a snarling (and absolutely heartfelt) reply I told the mouthiest of the quartet that if he did I'd gouge his fucking eyes out.

Anyway, back to my father and the last recession. A colleague of his had been a victim of the spate of car crime blighting the town. The perpetrator had been caught and brought before the powers of justice who merely let him go on account of him being fourteen and having his life in front of him or somesuch.

The sneering teenager walked out of court proudly boasting that he'd not only had my father's workmate's motor away but would be back for the rest of the office car park.

Two weeks later, a rented Transit van screeches to a halt in the outskirts of town and three portly, late middle-aged men wearing balaclavas get out, shouting and eventually bundling a terrified teenager into the back of the van before screeching off in the direction of a local reservoir.

The once sneering teenager is ordered to strip to his underpants before the shortest hardman of the trio grabs him by the scruff of the neck and drags him sobbing toward the water's edge. The humiliated chav is thrown into the freezing water and only grudgingly pulled out once he promises never to cross anyone again.

The unfortunate TWOCer is left knowing in no uncertain terms that if any cars within five miles of the town centre are tampered with, his assailants would be back to do away with him once and for all. A few slaps were handed out for good measure and he was finally released.

Recorded car crime underwent a significant drop that spring.

The moral of this story being - times might be hard, but there are people out there prepared to resort to anything in order to keep what they've worked for.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 22:52, 8 replies)
Daily expenses
Edinburgh day saver bus fare up 20%
price of Guardian up 12.5%
Edinburgh single bus fare up 9%
train fare to Glasgow up 6.2%

Some financial wizard reckons RBS (headquartered in Edinburgh, massive employer plus work for contractors) has around a 19% chance of survival...

That enough?
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 22:35, Reply)
It goes both ways.
My work has been affected by the financial situation in both directions.

First the courier side has died off a fair amount, I can't see days where I make £300+ a day happening in the near future. Especially after the death of a certain American Bank who often paid big money for late work but I did get paid a hell of a lot to deliver redundancy notices for another big bank on the dogs. Companies at the moment can no longer afford to pay me to take a jar of caviar to Cornwall late on a Friday night for a wedding reception first thing Saturday morning but I am still getting by.

On the other hand I started a Motorcycle parts company on Ebay (www.mc-sp.co.uk) about 9 months ago and I'm now having my busiest month. So far this month I have made over 200 sales and every month the number seems to be rising, I just hope it carries on. If it does after the financial fear has passed I might just have a valid company and an income I can live on. Wish me luck.

Keep in mind I've had most of the last 2 years off of work due to knee problems, it is starting to look up for me but it will be hard work in the present climate.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 22:16, 4 replies)
Watching it from the safe side
It's pretty horrible being where I am some days. I work doing people's pensions, and most of this hangs off the values of their money invested in the stock market...

Most of the time I get questions like "Why's my pension so small?" and "What's happened to all the money I put in it?" It doesn't really help when you can't explain to people (more like it's not accepted) that everyone else is in the same mess and someone up on high has cost us all a lot of money.

The worst thing is dealing with the people who've been made redundant. You see so many people who've lost their jobs because there's just not the money left to save them. And when they have gone and are over a certain age, they ask for a pension, and there's not enough money to provide anything decent.

Sorry for the seriousness, but there's not much to cheer about when people who work honestly all their life are driven into enforced poverty. Trouble is ahead for us.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 21:30, Reply)
Naked confusion reigns...
In November I had the chance, after looking into the scheme, to buy a domain name and go into 'partnership' with one of the worlds largest nudist dating websites.
(They'd sent me the addy of the last person to go in with them, and they had nearly 2000 people join them within the first three weeks.)
So, I bought the domain name for the grand sum of £8.OO for two years, and set up the site, then they took over.

If I was asking for people to pay money to join I could understand the lack of response.
I'm even going to pay some money to charity now for everyone that registers with the site (British Heart Foundation), and still its like watching paint dry.

Edit: Apologies to the people who considered this spam, it has been taken into consideration and you will notice that both the website addy and donation details have been removed.
However, it was not meant as such, and I haven't even got the excuse of being drunk as I don't think one half glass of white wine with a meal would validate it.
What is NSFW?
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 21:04, 7 replies)
As long as...
40p gets me a bag of crisps, I'm happy.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 20:29, 3 replies)
Schools
Applications for free school meals are up.
I've noticed fewer children in new shoes, and lots more in worn down ones.
More dads picking up children at the end of the day.
More parents unable (or unwilling) to pay for school trips
Less money in school to pay for equipment, because I want to keep staff in jobs

As a head of a semi rural school in a large shire county, I've noticed that belts are being tightened, and that money is much, much tighter all round.

Sorry, serious post. But there it is.

Length? Another five quarters according to Robert Pesto.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 18:24, Reply)
Well
Seeing as a few others are doing their best Nelson "HA HA!" impression, ill join the bandwagon and say what credit crunch? I read all this scaremongering in the paper, yet find it incredibly easy to get credit even with only a short credit history. Ive got more money coming in from the job (6 years at the current one) than ever, and they are not laying people off or downsizing. In fact, we had 35% growth in 2008 and a projected 15% growth in 2009.

I often wonder if all of this scaremongering wasnt in the papers and on TV, how much would consumer spending be shaken?? Would things have deteriorated as rapidly?

Mind you, i dont have any mortgage payments and my outgoing are some 30% of my monthly income. I should probably open a savings account instead of pissing it all up the wall each month. And from reading all the stories here, I now feel quite lucky.

*edit* oh yes, apparently new cars are cheap as chips if you haggle well. i got 5 grand off the list price of a brand new Subaru WRX this month.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 17:39, 3 replies)
New definition of cheap
I found myself trying to calculate the VAT reduction on a damaged advent calender. In Woolworths. On the 22nd of December.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 15:30, Reply)
Homemade bread...
... it's lovely. It's also a considerable saving on the shop-bought stuff which is all puffed up with air.

Of course, there's the electric for the oven, and the fact that every second day for the past two weeks I've been baking yet another batch of bread and eating it all. I'm just as skint as before but I'm also getting distinctly too large for my trousers.

Length? It's the circumference I'm worried about - 38" and rising...
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 14:39, 5 replies)
Credit Crunch? WHAT Credit Crunch?!
Seriously?

I was poor before it was cool.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 14:36, 4 replies)
If you stuff up a loan,
the main consequence seems to be that you can't get further loans.

Isn't that a bit like saying if you stuff up rubbing broken glass on your genitals then you won't be allowed to rub broken glass on your genitals any more?
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 9:18, 5 replies)
Eating all the shit at the back of the cupboard
I've been regressing to my student dayz by making horrendous meal commbinations out of all the random shit at the back of my food cupboards, purely so WM Morrison doesn't get any more of my hard earned wodge than is absolutely necessary. Pasta sauce made from Heinz mushroom soup and worcester sauce, anyone?
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 9:06, 12 replies)
I made a joke about an imaginary cereal called 'Credit Crunch'.
but then I realised the joke had been made redundant.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 7:59, 4 replies)
American Express
Slightly off-topic, but anotherlogan's right - don't mess with American Express. They NEVER give up.

A relation of mine died, leaving credit on his American Express account. I called and explained, and 'Express agreed to close the account.

The monthly statements still come as normal though, noting that the account is closed but in credit for 13p.

It's been three and a half years. They know he's dead. The account's closed. I can only conclude that they think he'll change his mind.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 6:49, 15 replies)
Because of people like me
I got my first credit card 10 years ago. I bought things and made my payments on time. As a reward they gave me more better credit cards with higher and higher limits. Once I maxed them out I simply stopped paying. They sent letters and made many phone calls that went unanswered. Then one day I got a letter stating that they would accept a settlement of about 60% of what I owed. I happily sent the check for the amount requested. It screwed up my credit something awful.

Then, 18 months later I started getting credit card offers again. Rinse, wash, reapeat through my 20's. I had done this 4 times and about two years ago had stopped making payments yet again. Except this time I had pissed off the wrong people.

American Express didn't send me a settlement offer, they sent me a subpoena. They had no desire to settle, they wanted the $8k or so I owed them. I'm too cheap to hire a proper lawyer, so I brought along my accountant friend. The trial went something like this;

"You have been accused of breach of card holder agrement blah, blah, blah. What do you have to say for yourself?"

"Well, they were having a really good sale on this 7 person jacuzzi..."

To make a long story short I had 25% of my wages garnished. Which made me not able to afford the house I had just bought. Which was probably indirectly responsible for my wife leaving (that and she was a materialistic twat). I put all my crap in storage, and moved into my friends guest bedroom. To top it all off I have a comission based sales job. and when the credit crunch hit, I saw my paychecks cut in half which then have 25% garnished. At least I still have a job. In the county I live in unemployment is at 10%.

So now I drink domestic beer, eat at home, but I still have my jacuzzi. It's been a few months since I paid off the card through my garnished wages. I wonder if I'll start getting credit card offers again? Next time I'll stick to screwing over Visa.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 2:40, 5 replies)
I remember
asking my old form tutor (who was head of economics at my school) how one went about forecasting the economy.

He shut his eyes, waved his hand, and stabbed a point in thin air.

I think this explains a lot.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 2:39, Reply)
I've stopped masturbating into socks
and now just catch it in my hand before washing it off under the tap.
Therefore saving much needed money on;
1-new socks
2-washing powder
Hopefully i'll get a girlfriend soon and she can become my new cumbucket, resulting in pregnancy and then benefits win!

Take THAT Credit Crunch!
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 2:04, 6 replies)
New/ Old Labour
Why would anyone ever vote Labour? The last time they were in, they ruined the economy. They taxed high and spent high, and the grand result was that we needed Margaret Thatcher to come in and sort it out. Whatever evil things she did were done as a direct result of the Labour incompetence.

One of the first things that G.B. did in the treasury in 97(?) was to remove tax breaks on pension funds. From having one of the best pension funds in the world we now have THIS. Moreover, all so he had more money to spend on whatever he spent it on. Government borrowing is sky high and even though I am beginning to tire of Dave Cameron, why didnít G.B. save when he had the chance. Now is not the time to be borrowing but he is. He is borrowing money to pay the banks when they made stupid mistakes. When H.B.O.S. bought the Dutch bank last year they said at the time that he had paid too much. How can anyone trust these banks ever again Why not guarantee deposits and let the banks go under, the money would still be there to go in the remaining banks and people and organisations would have been punished instead of getting away with it. Every person who has ever voted Labour and has allowed G.B. to think of himself as a financial wiz are to blame for this. He is still pouring money away on the banks. Get them out.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 1:10, 10 replies)
Managing cashflow
As revenues in our business have dropped, the reigns have been pulled in, staff let go and so on.

The latest focus, as of this week, is on cash spend. Ergo, expenses and travel.

Fine. I understand this. In a way I support it - exes can be fiddled after all so this was some type of costing karma coming in.

Until I was given this year's budget for me and the guy that works for me. Both of us are respnsible for about 1/4 of our businesses UK offices.

What they'd done is look at last year's expenses and then flattened the same level of money out evenly over a 12 month period.

Still, all fine by and large.

Except if you go over your budget then you can be taken into a disciplinary and get the sack. All entirely legal too apparently.

What they'd neglected to consider, moreover, was that last year the guy that works for me didn't start until June. Then he was deskbound for 4 months on a project. Now he is the process of launching the commercial side of the project which means he has to travel and introduce it, train people etc.

Our nearest office is 12 miles away; our furthest 110. So return journeys are between 24 or 220 miles.

Fuel allowance is around 12p per mile.

The budget?

£8 per month so... 66 miles.

So we're now in a position of either getting everyone (about 150 staff in total) to come to us for the training and use their department budgets up via multiple car journeys etc or he goes to them and faces a disciplinary for doing what we're employed to do.

Or we don't do it at all and therefore fail to make the company the revenues we expect from implementing our project.

Annoyed is not the word and I'll be having a stern word with our cheif exec next time he flies up for a meeting.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 21:24, 5 replies)
I decided...
...to understand economics a bit more.

My first conclusion - economists have absolutely no idea what they're doing.

Second - found this video to explain money.
Utterly astonishing.

uk.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 18:45, 4 replies)
I decided to be frugal this afternoon
And buy my pint of milk from Iceland, rather than Tesco. Popped out about 1pm, picked up about a fiver's worth of bits and pieces.

Aaaaaand locked myself out. Without my phone. And my housemate is in Madrid.

£85 for a locksmith.

Really fucking expensive pint of milk that...
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 18:21, 5 replies)
I've always been cheap
though I do prefer to be called 'economical'. I know who has the best price on what groceries this week, which shops double what coupons, the market stall with good prices on fine produce, the best charity shops and which department store branches have the nicest clearance items. Good economy or bad economy; doesn't matter as I'm always like this. I'm not a tightwad, I just figure that any less I manage to spend on something I do need is a little more to save away or to spend on things I want, like the stack of antiquarian books I picked up yesterday for under a fiver.

We do nicely on one salary while friends ask us how we do it in one breath then in the next say how they can't be bothered to cut coupons or see what's on sale at the shops this week.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 17:44, 6 replies)
5% of my salary....
I worked out went on cigs and smoking related activities* last year. So I decided to quit and I've been clean for about three hellish weeks.

It's a tough a sacrifice but it will mean that I don't have to give up my internet or hooker addictions.


*lighters, wightening
edit: whitening toothpaste (my spelling neurons run on nicotene) and replacing clothes with burn marks.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 17:42, 5 replies)
Credit Brunch?
Well, as a debt adviser my appointments diary is running at about 5 weeks whereas this time last year it was running at about 2. What's more, the people I'm seeing this year seem to have more and more complex issues, charging orders, repossession etc so i've never felt so busy. That said, funding for my job was due to end next year but given the current climate im pretty sure the project will be around for several years yet - I cant imagine any government would want to announce cutting a few million for debt caseworkers after just having given the banks billions when they're (for the most part) responsible for the mess we're all in.

On the plus side, i did bag some bargains from Woolies (a hdmi cable for £4!) and have just bought 7 dvds and a blueray from zavvi for less than £40. And I've just been promised a payrise at work that will be backdated to last April, not that i'll be able to spend any of it as my fixed rate mortgage ends in May and i'll be at the mercy of variable rates until i can be remortgage.

So, all in all a mixed bag. Such is life.

By the way, i hope everyone realises that things are going to get MUCH worse over the next year and that the bankruptcy and repossession figures are going to be ridiculously high, the highest ever i'd bet..something i think our politicians and local authorities seem to be underestimating at the minute. Or just dont want to admit.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 17:08, 2 replies)
Working out nicely for me at the moment.
I'm managing to pay back my overdraft back in blighty for a lot less cash that it was a year ago as the pound has gone from 2.3 Swiss francs to 1.6. Mwahahaha, etc.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 16:43, Reply)
How has the credit crunch affected me?!

Well I've bought a car
and some pictures
and a chainsaw and a chainsaw hat and some chainsaw gloves

and I've just had a pay rise

so quite a lot really


actually the chainsaw is fucking ace...and really noisy so the hat has ear protectors as well as a face guard
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 16:20, 2 replies)

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