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Everything posted by impecunious

  1. Well done you! Have Blue Orchid approved your business plan then? I have my Business Planning Workshop on Friday (although I've already done mine) and hope to sign off JSA by the middle of next week!! That should fit in nicely before my Contribution-based JSA ends and Income-based kicks in. I think we have an 8-week period where we still have to attend DWP but just have to record self-employment activity instead of job search activity. Oh Happy Days! Imp
  2. Hopefully, once my business plan is signed off, I'll be eligible for NEA at beginning of next month ............... Hope I get a chance to develop my self-employment before I have to give to up cos I can't earn enough money!!! Imp
  3. I thought you were always a grumpy b'stard! Imp
  4. Blimey O'Reilly!!! I just discussed vegetables and my allotment with my adviser this morning!!! Then told him that, of course, because I was going self-employed properly that my job search for the last fortnight was just "going through the motions" -- cos it was irrelevant now -- he didn't say a dickie-bird. Imp
  5. Thanks Jasta11 ...... I've been working on it for about 18 months now. It was really just a hobby that I was developing for my retirement but might as well just go for it now!!! Get the DWP off my back! It involves lots of fabric/craft stuff and being creative! Imp
  6. The adviser with Blue Orchid completed a verbal "Self Employment Readiness Assessment" and each section was scored. My next step is Business Planning Workshop at the end of the month, followed by a one-to-one a couple of days later. That was my first meeting with them. Imp
  7. When I signed on today, I was given a photocopy of a letter advising that UJM activity should be recorded on an ES4 (greybooklet) or recording it on UJM under Activity History. NO mention of providing any other supporting evidence, such as screen prints from pc or mobile. Seems like one rule for some, one for others! Imp
  8. Had my appointment with Blue Orchid this morning. We chatted, she ticked the boxes, I scored 21/30 even before attending their workshop/one-to-one meetings -- don't think she liked me BUT, who cares??? As long as she approves my business plan, should be up and running by end of first week in June. Anything to sign off from JSA. Imp
  9. Had to pop into B&Q today ... picked up some lovely wallpaper samples. They'll look great framed! Thanks B&Q. Cost: £0.00 Imp
  10. I don't mean turning into the Hoarder Next Door!! Be selective! I just made four fabulous new cushions (22" x 22") from offcuts from very long curtains my daughter bought from IKEA about 6-7 yrs ago. I just added some vintage cotton lace and voila! Saved myself a small fortune and dead easy to make. Cost: time and effort Impecunious! [ATTACH=CONFIG]43807[/ATTACH]
  11. My daughter had chance of renting an allotment just behind her house. She didn't think she'd have enough time but I persuaded her to do it! We spent last year preparing the plot - it hadn't been used for almost 25 years so was shoulder-high in weeds and stuff. We've just about planted all our fruit, herbs and organic veggies for the year .. so satisfying. You forget all about the hard work once you've planted everything and can actually start eating your own chemical free produce. We'll have more than enough for ourselves and friends to eat now and to freeze for later. The rent is £20 p.a. - seeds were next to nothing and lots of stuff will self-seed. The allotment will more than pay for itself. It's fun, it's sociable and it's productive. A couple of people/families getting together to share a plot will save so much money. Doesn't even matter if you don't know a thing about growing - fellow allotment holders are more than happy to share their advice, their tools and their seedlings! Check with your local council. Impecunious! Diggin' for England!
  12. If anyone wants culture .................... you can have mine Having to sell my library of university text books (English/History/Art ... to contribute towards additional housing/council tax costs ... Reduced to selling beloved books. How sad is that?? Imp
  13. Signed on again today! Asked adviser about psychometric testing -- she didn't know anything about it. Imp
  14. I wish you lived closer Ruby_Tuesday, you could raid my allotment! Imp
  15. [ATTACH=CONFIG]43505[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]43506[/ATTACH] Man cannot live by food alone! Like everyone else, I love being comfy at home and, even on JSA, it's still possible to have nice things. I've been creative today and managed to renovate one mirror frame (from charity shop), 7 picture frames (ones I had in the 80s and hidden away), a small box (unwanted gift - horrible colours) and 2 candlestick holders (converted from old 1930s table-lamps) for £1.68, a few scraps of fabric and wallpaper samples. Great to keep or to give as gifts. Impecunious!
  16. [ATTACH=CONFIG]43504[/ATTACH] Slavery Sunday at the allotment ..... put in the hard work and get 150% back! Can't wait for my fresh produce. Imp!
  17. I buy all my stock cupboard food from approvedfoods.co.uk .. and at the moment just top up with fresh meat/veggies/fruit .... and cook and bake endlessly. However, food not only has to be filling, nutritious and sustaining, it also has to be varied and pleasurable. Cutting back on food, etc is realistic short-term but it would soon become incredibly monotonous. My mum taught me to cook and bake from a very early age, so it has become second-nature now and I never over-spend on food but eat incredibly well. I share an allotment now, so hopefully come the summer, I will be totally self-sufficient in salad/herbs/fruit and, later on, will be able to harvest fresh, organic veggies. I also grow salad stuff in hanging baskets and pots in the courtyard ... so cheap too and delicious - much better than bland supermarket stuff. I'd be more than happy to pool resources with other people locally on benefits, buy/cook in bulk and share to save pennies. Time to go .... dwarf pea seeds, carrots, tomato and strawberries to sow. Impecunious!
  18. Actually - you can start a sentence with a conjunction .... it's usually used for effect or emphasis BUT, I wouldn't use it in business letters Imp! BA (Hons) English with History
  19. I'd ask them what they read at University................... then duck!!! Imp
  20. Chocolate lover's fantasy!! Yummmy! Imp
  21. From Approved Foods jasta Means I can still indulge my aristocratic tastes at JSA prices!! Imp!
  22. I think I would inform British Gas otherwise Impecunious!
  23. DD, I'm self-employed (working less than 16 hours a week but not earning anything yet) and I can still claim JSA. If I increased my hours to 16+, I would no longer be eligible for JSA (which is currently £71 pw). If I had exhausted finding a job through JCP and was forced to endure being subjected to a work programme provider, I would rather increase my self-employment hours so that I could earn the equivalent or more than JSA and sign off immediately, to escape the farce that is the work programme provider. I believe that changes to the benefit system means that people who are self-employed will be deemed to be earning a certain amount and working a certain amount of hours, before they become eligible for WTC. I think that HMRC allows for a transition period of up to a year for this - but haven't really looked at this in any depth. If you are on JSA and want to become self-employed, you can ask to be referred to Blue Orchid, in my area, where you will be assessed, business plan approved, mentoring and networking facilitated. If successful, you will come off JSA and will receive a New Enterprise Allowance of £65 pw for the first 12 weeks, followed by £33 pw for a further 12 week period to help you move on from JSA. When I refer to "you" above -- I obviously don't mean you personally -- just anyone in particular! Ooohh, it's late - my brain is addled!! There is definitely information online about NEA. Impecunious!
  24. I had a ATO in respect of overpayment of Housing Benefit amounting to just over £1,200.00. I returned my income and expenditure form to the court and, despite, earning a decent monthly salary, the court set the monthly repayments at £5.00. I had a high level of protected earnings .... so was not expected to pay any more than that. Once you've established your total liability and completed your I&E to the court, you might find your monthly repayments reduce. Hope so anyway. That was my experience. Good luck! Impecunious!
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