Remainer Survival 101

This blogpost is NOT about politics, it’s about surviving, as times get tougher.

Remainers come from all age groups and backgrounds. but research has shown that Remainers are predominantly younger and more educated. That can often mean that young Remainers are struggling to get by on low wages, or to pay student loans. They may be unable to afford to rent, let alone buy, a home.

Millions of people in work, with families, are on benefits. Wages are low, compared to the profits made by many companies and the dividends paid to shareholders. There are major companies who run their businesses on zero hours contracts or with part-time workers only.

Make a PLAN

Set it out, however you want. Make brief notes on your current circumstances, in a way which shows at a glance, where you are now. Next, throw some ideas around about where you want to be in ten years time ie medium term. Then, throw some ideas around about getting from Now to the Halfway Point at five years, ie short-term. Do it in a way that you can add and delete items flexibly. Circumstances and ideas change. You can research one idea and then come up with something better.

However basic, once you have a plan, you are working towards your future.

Minimise the DOWNSIDE

Britain has a high level of personal debt and as a recession looks likely, it makes sense to minimise your exposure to tightening on loans, overdrafts and credit cards, by banks and finance companies. RemainerAction isn’t a financial advice website so please look at

The Money Advice Service
National Debtline
The Money Charity
GOV.uk – options for paying off debt
Moneysavingexpert.com
Be advised that forums on moneysavingexpert.com can be heavily Leave. Engaging Expert Level trolls doesn’t change their minds and will frustrate.

Your requirement might be anything from paying off an overdraft or store card, to negotiating a debt management plan. These websites will help. The less debt, the more cashflow you have. This helps if your wages aren’t rising.

Look into the possibilities of working in other parts of the UK, when you work for an organisation or company with national pay scales. You might end up with lower housing costs and a better quality of life.

EURES is the European Job Mobility Portal. Many people can get their skills and language ability recognised plus their CV uploaded and free advice. If you can move to the EU it’s worth considering.

IF we Brexit before you’re ready to move, get an EU Blue Card to put your skills in front of European employers.

Upskilling YOU

Simply put, this is reinvesting some of your time and/or money to make you a more attractive proposition to an existing or prospective employer. It might mean taking part in training schemes through an employer or trade union, or taking a course at a college or adult education centre.

Upskilling could mean anything from basic literacy or English as a Second Language (ESOL), maths and IT skills to First Aid, food hygiene, manual handling, ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) and specialist technical training.

It might be CPD (continuous professional development) to work towards letters after your name or a postgraduate course.

Floodlight lists more than 10,000 courses in UK. Searching online for ‘adult education courses’ and your county or town should find some, too.

TUC Education courses and e-learning
Workers’ Education Association (WEA) courses
GOV.uk Education and Learning – everything from literacy and apprenticeships to Further Education, with funding advice.

Colleges will often have advisers to help.

National Careers Service

Some universities also offer non-degree language courses, ECDL, shorthand, First Aid at Work and other useful courses.

If you would find it difficult to pay for a course, even with concessions and instalments or just can’t find the time on a regular basis, then explore e-learning. Many courses are free.

BBC Skillswise
FutureLearn
MOOC List
e-LfH (NHS)

If you join a professional body, you may find that there are concessions for students and/or young people. HMRC puts out a list showing which member organisations you can claim tax relief on. You get a change to your tax code which reflects a rebate on some of the membership subscription, not the whole amount and only if you pay it, not your employer. The list can be found HERE You can ask about claiming for previous years and will need confirmation from the membership body.

Maximising INCOME

This can be achieved in a variety of ways.

If you think that you are entitled to Benefits check and claim.

If you can get a tax rebate for professional subscriptions, home laundering of uniforms, purchase of tools not provided by an employer, mileage above allowance from employer and expenses for working at home, for example, look at this section  HMRC expenses

If married, and both you and spouse are basic rate tax payers or only one of you works, check out GOV.uk Marriage Allowance

Had a mortgage, loan or credit or store card ? You can often reclaim PPI without having to pay a percentage to a company. Some financial institutions make it really easy to check. Citizens Advice, The Money Centre, MoneysavingExpert.com all listed above (scroll up) can help you do it yourself, to maximise the sum you might get back. You may have to pay tax on any interest.

If you had a child or children between 01 September 2002 and 02 January 2011 they would have received a Child Trust Fund from the government, which can be claimed. HMRC – Child Trust Fund

Many people will have moved jobs and lost track of the paperwork for a workplace or personal pension. You can search on GOV.uk Find pension contact details RemainerAction isn’t a financial advice website so you should get some advice on what you can do with anything you find, appropriate for your age and circumstances. You can kick that off with advice from The Pensions Advisory Service. which is a free independent service, grant-aided by the Department of Work and Pensions.

If your flights have been delayed and you want to look into compensation of up to £520 per person, you will find details on claiming at MoneysavingExpert. com as before.

Tax rebates on subscriptions, marriage allowance, child trust fund, benefits, flight compensation, PPI and lost pensions – all these things could add up.

Any money received could help pay off debt, bump up savings or pension, make an extra mortgage payment, pay for a course – you name it.

Maximising income could mean clearing out unwanted items and selling them on eBay or a boot fair. Or doing overtime, or taking on a second part-time job, or finally making the young adults in your household help pay for food and energy. You could save the scrap metal from your DIY jobs as well as cans (if you have the space) and take them to the local scrap merchants.

Maximising income could mean minimising what you spend on food. Growing your own in your back garden or getting an allotment. Some counties run schemes where people with big gardens allow people the use of part of it, for a share of the produce.

When it comes to food, it isn’t always necessary to switch to a discount supermarket or start buying value lines. You might make a lot of savings by shopping smarter. Plan menus around offers. Use MySupermarket to find offers at stores nearby or on any regular routes you use. Going out of your way to save 10p costs ! Saving money on food the Remainer way

If you are a student (of any age) get an NUS card. If you work for the NHS, there are several websites which offer you discounts.

Hope that helps !

pic036
Family photo 1991. Copyright Théroigne S B G Russell