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Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Old Dec 22nd 2009, 8:01 pm
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Wink Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Hey, thought i'd spark some conversation!

Moved here and got married in May 2009, got my Green Card in July. I was lucky enough to get a job as soon as I got my Green Card and have been working ever since July 2009.

Currently working in sales and it is SLOW!!! I am really struggling, luckily I am on salary but from Sept 2010 onwards it is 100% comission. I am working in employee benefits sales (e.g. Health insurance, life insurance etc) (yawn!) at the moment.

I am also finding that I am left with about $50 each month after I paid bills (including my UK loan and credit card debt back home). I'm not one of those who just runs away from their debt, and unfortunately I have known of people that have.

I guess i'm not looking for sympathy or answers necessarily! Just somewhere to vent my frustrations!

My wife and I have a house (wife already owned before we got married). 30 years left on the mortgage. We are pretty much left with nothing after our bills are paid! OUCH!

Feel very stuck at the moment. Also doesn't help with it being Christmas (homesick) and that you only get approx 10days paid vacation compared to 20-25 in UK! Wow!

Just wondered how you other Brits are getting on?!

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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
Hey, thought i'd spark some conversation!

Moved here and got married in May 2009, got my Green Card in July. I was lucky enough to get a job as soon as I got my Green Card and have been working ever since July 2009.

Currently working in sales and it is SLOW!!! I am really struggling, luckily I am on salary but from Sept 2010 onwards it is 100% comission. I am working in employee benefits sales (e.g. Health insurance, life insurance etc) (yawn!) at the moment.

I am also finding that I am left with about $50 each month after I paid bills (including my UK loan and credit card debt back home). I'm not one of those who just runs away from their debt, and unfortunately I have known of people that have.

I guess i'm not looking for sympathy or answers necessarily! Just somewhere to vent my frustrations!

My wife and I have a house (wife already owned before we got married). 30 years left on the mortgage. We are pretty much left with nothing after our bills are paid! OUCH!

Feel very stuck at the moment. Also doesn't help with it being Christmas (homesick) and that you only get approx 10days paid vacation compared to 20-25 in UK! Wow!

Just wondered how you other Brits are getting on?!

I'm not in the States at the moment (working on it, again), but I have been in that situation both in the States and the UK (almost gave up my PhD studies in '94 when the money was running out, had very little left over each month when I moved to NC in 2001 - that lasted a year or so - and then when I moved back to the UK in 2006 was in a very similar situation). It sucks, and makes you question your decision, but all I can say is things will change, you can still treat yourself (even if it's taking the missis out for a choc ice), and there are cheap ways to entertain yourself on a shoestring (though it's definitely harder in the States). Plus, as I keep reminding myself at the moment, having any kind of job is better than a heck of a lot of people.
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
I'm not in the States at the moment (working on it, again), but I have been in that situation both in the States and the UK (almost gave up my PhD studies in '94 when the money was running out, had very little left over each month when I moved to NC in 2001 - that lasted a year or so - and then when I moved back to the UK in 2006 was in a very similar situation). It sucks, and makes you question your decision, but all I can say is things will change, you can still treat yourself (even if it's taking the missis out for a choc ice), and there are cheap ways to entertain yourself on a shoestring (though it's definitely harder in the States). Plus, as I keep reminding myself at the moment, having any kind of job is better than a heck of a lot of people.
Thanks! I appreciate your thoughts! I bloody hope things get better! Been working HARD at work and nothing has closed, all bad news! You are right I am lucky to have a job at the moment though.

Merry Christmas to you.
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Sorry that you're feeling homesick these days. You're probably better off counting your blessings than focusing on your stresses. For one, you have a job. 12% in this country can't say that, and even countless more are underemployed, and never mind all those who aren't covered by health insurance. I'm assuming that you have health insurance since you sell it. You have a house that you own.

It took my DH 18 months to find a job. He just started his new job mid October. Up until then, we were living bare bones on my salary. We were extremely frugal, and were lucky to have a small amount in our savings to take care of emergencies (that thankfully never happened-well except our cat, but that's another story). We had budgeted for his not having a job right off the bat, and had to adjust accordingly as time went on. We really went into tight mode when I learned that there were a second round of layoffs and/or possible furloughs and hour reductions at my job. Luckily, I wasn't affected, but that doesn't mean I might not be affected next summer during budget allotments again.

During that time we cut to the bone. Down to one cell phone for us. No cable/satellite, only broadcast TV Our Netflix went from 3 DVDs a month to 1, etc. We shopped around and found the best priced grocery stores, even if they were in questionable neighborhoods. We used coupons every chance we got. Meals out were a distant memory and I took lunch to work at least 4 days a week (usually it was the other way around for me).

Right before the job offer, we figured we were going to forego gifts for all, including ourselves. Now, we're going to have a lovely Christmas as are our relatives. In fact, we just heard this weekend that our 13lb box that cost $65 to send made it over to the UK in time for Christmas.

We don't own a house, neither one of us ever have. That's our next goal. We're going to spend the next year saving like mad for a down payment. We're lucky that we learned to live on one salary, that means that the bulk of my DH's salary will go straight to savings.

I just want to point out that you are not alone, however, you'll have to figure out your priorities. Do you really need two cell phones? Cable TV? Two cars? etc. Be creative and figure out were you can cut corners.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

im the trailing spouse in this household and i gave up a good job with good pay and prospects to come to america with the hubbie. Now im a stay at home mum and frustrated that when we could do with some more cash i cant do much to help. Looking after 3 kids is time consuming and tiring so i doubt i could get a night job for example - also i worry i will never be able to get a job at my previous level because as everyone points out there are thousands looking for work who have worked more recently than me AND have US work experience. Its all moot right now as the ages of my kids mean a job is highly unlikely anyhow but i do worry what kind of job i will be able to get when the kids are all in school etc. But Im thankful my husband has such a good job now as we could be a lot worse off!
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
I was lucky enough to get a job as soon as I got my Green Card and have been working ever since July 2009.

I am also finding that I am left with about $50 each month after I paid bills

My wife and I have a house..... We are pretty much left with nothing after our bills are paid! OUCH!

Feel very stuck at the moment.
I'm with the others, quit whining.

Some of us have no job and are raiding the savings in order to eat.

And you think you are 'struggling'....
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Owww harsh everyone!

This year the hubster and I both lost our jobs, me on Monday, him on tuesday - different companies, unrelated....

We knew that It was going to be tough going, but there's so much to do for free. During the summer months, I could go to a different outdoor concert or play at least 3 times a week.

Providing we could come up with enough money for fuel we were ok.
Thankfully, we both secured new jobs within a few weeks, (and pay rises if you believe it!).

not having a regular income even if it was for only a couple of months, made money an issue, but we saved loads by just being frugal. even now I take lunch to work. We stopped eating out, not running the AC as hard, making sure that the washing machine was always run full.

We took picnics to places. We also had more people round to our house. We had move nights where we borrowed a projector and screened a DVD's. We now have games nights with friends each month because they're so popular.
All free. I think we forgot how much we could do to entertain ourselves.
It was great because I made more of an effort making sure that life didn't stop when we were broke.

Good luck to you and I hope that things pick up for you, but life is what you make it..........
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Right. I have to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I go to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when I get home, my wife kills me and dances about on my grave singing Hallelujah.

(Acknowledgements to Monty Python)

Last edited by Zonie; Dec 22nd 2009 at 10:31 pm.
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Welcome to the American dream
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by Zonie View Post
Right. I have to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I go to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when I get home, my wife kills me and dances about on my grave singing Hallelujah.

(Acknowledgements to Monty Python)
$50 at the end of the month - luxury.
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
I'm with the others, quit whining.

Some of us have no job and are raiding the savings in order to eat.

And you think you are 'struggling'....
You seem like an asshole! If you don't have anything useful to say then don't say it. If you read my post I was wanting to find out how other Brits are getting on.

At least you have "savings"

Last edited by ajcmals; Dec 22nd 2009 at 11:47 pm. Reason: unfinished
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
Feel very stuck at the moment. Also doesn't help with it being Christmas (homesick) and that you only get approx 10days paid vacation compared to 20-25 in UK! Wow!


yeah, that does my head in, especially when they usually get used up with family visiting or trips back to home

I too feel like I just get by every month. Would help if I had friends here, but it generally sucks.

Hope you get to feel a bit more positive soon....but I can totally relate
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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 11:56 pm
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Wink Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by Trixie_b View Post
Owww harsh everyone!

This year the hubster and I both lost our jobs, me on Monday, him on tuesday - different companies, unrelated....

We knew that It was going to be tough going, but there's so much to do for free. During the summer months, I could go to a different outdoor concert or play at least 3 times a week.

Providing we could come up with enough money for fuel we were ok.
Thankfully, we both secured new jobs within a few weeks, (and pay rises if you believe it!).

not having a regular income even if it was for only a couple of months, made money an issue, but we saved loads by just being frugal. even now I take lunch to work. We stopped eating out, not running the AC as hard, making sure that the washing machine was always run full.

We took picnics to places. We also had more people round to our house. We had move nights where we borrowed a projector and screened a DVD's. We now have games nights with friends each month because they're so popular.
All free. I think we forgot how much we could do to entertain ourselves.
It was great because I made more of an effort making sure that life didn't stop when we were broke.

Good luck to you and I hope that things pick up for you, but life is what you make it..........
Hey! At least your comments are a little more 'productive' than others!

It's interesting to hear about other people's stories, not just snide comments or remarks!

I'm sorry you lot your jobs. That does suck. I know that my wife and I are pretty much 1 lost paycheck away from disaster. It seems as though most of the economy is.

With reference to 'The American Dream' it's a real shame, you work, work and work... are underpaid, get fired etc... I suppose the culture shock is setting in for me especially with the AMAZING luxury of 20-25 days paid vacation that Brits get! Wow! I am merely stating here, I did have a choice to move here and yes I did give up a good job to be here with my wife... Question my decisions? Of course I do... it's not easy!

Anyway as I said before, wanted to spark some conversation not some useless "quit whining" type messages! LOL, if you are gona say it, at least say something else more productive!

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Old Dec 22nd 2009, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by Juswus View Post
yeah, that does my head in, especially when they usually get used up with family visiting or trips back to home

I too feel like I just get by every month. Would help if I had friends here, but it generally sucks.

Hope you get to feel a bit more positive soon....but I can totally relate
Thank you for your comments

I agree with your vacation comments about having to use vacation time to visit family! I am lucky to have a friend or two, but find it hard to talk to them about how I feel, after all who cares?! That's why I am here to see if there are any other Brits in a similar situation. Perhaps make eachother feel better?

Merry Christmas to you!
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Old Dec 23rd 2009, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Am I the only Brit Struggling?!

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
Anyway as I said before, wanted to spark some conversation not some useless "quit whining" type messages! LOL, if you are gona say it, at least say something else more productive!

Ok, just going to play devil's advocate here for a second:

Perhaps you're looking at these posts the wrong way. You asked, "Just wondered how you other Brits are getting on?!" Some of the "snide remarks" you say are "unproductive" are actually a very realistic response to your question. Some expats are unemployed. Some are having a difficult time putting food on the table. Some consider $50 leftover at the end of the month a luxury. That's how THEY'RE getting on (or not, as the case may be) -- like it or not, they ARE answering your question.

And frankly, if that is what they're experiencing right now, can you really blame them for the bitter tone? I mean, I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to be experiencing any of those things right now, and if I was then I wouldn't be happy about it at all.

Don't get me wrong -- it's inexcusable for anyone to attack you (or anyone else) personally. But the fact that a response is infused with frustration, annoyance and/or bitterness doesn't make that response any less "productive" than responses with a more positive vibe. Hope that makes sense.

Ultimately, one of the really good things about this forum is that it allows us to come together to share and reflect on our experiences, to extend a sympathetic ear and to a certain degree provide a bit of support. So considering the sensitive and emotional topic of this thread, I think it would behoove all of us to take a deep breath and realize that no one is trying to put anyone down or make themselves superior to anyone else. If you ask an honest question, you need to be willing to give -- and receive -- an honest answer. If you can be polite to others in the process, that's even better.

~ Jenney
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