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  • FIRST POST
    • plush
    • By plush 20th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    • 39Posts
    • 144Thanks
    plush
    early 40s and not fabulous at all
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    early 40s and not fabulous at all 20th Sep 17 at 2:41 PM
    I'm not entirely sure how I ended up here... I don't mean the forum, I used it several years ago when I bought my flat and it's an invaluable resource. I mean with £14K credit card debt and nothing to show for it, and virtually no savings. Also single, mildly depressed and 15-20 lbs heavier than I should probably be.

    I don't understand why I'm unable to leave this vicious circle. I'm healthy - physically anyway - I have a healthy and happy child, family, some friends, a decent job, my own flat (mortgaged, but I'd pay more if I were to rent it, we're in greater London). Compared to many people I don't have big problems, yet I feel like s__t most of the time, don't sleep well, and plus I've started to feel really bad about the level of debt. last but not least, feeling super lonely and discouraged about dating and finding and partner.

    So I live well above my means even though my income is not that bad. Although I have been able to cut some bills, I'm lacking willpower when it comes to everyday spending. I tried to put my credit cards away but I failed. I go on too many holidays. I spend too much money on everything: clothes, shoes, haircuts, household things, concerts, theatre, etc. And I definitely spend too much money on food, on both groceries and eating out.

    I thought it would be a good idea to write here and check in once in a while, because I don't talk to anybody about my money issues. No one knows I'm in so much debt, not even my parents. And I should probably talk to my GP about my depression, as it's now affecting my general well being - I'm not sleeping enough, I'm eating too much in the evenings and I constantly feel tired and grumpy. I also stopped going to my weekly yoga class in an attempt to reduce spending, but that was probably a stupid move...

    So there. I need any help and advice I can get. And a big kick in the a__e...

    Thank you for reading.

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 04-10-2017 at 9:30 AM.
Page 7
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 2nd Nov 17, 11:23 PM
    • 414 Posts
    • 5,149 Thanks
    117pauline
    Well done with the debt demolishing since September. If YNAB is what works for you, that's great. The journey to debt free-ness isn't straightforward and we have to find the best things to help us.

    Don't let your cousin lead you too far astray

    Take care
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Plush
    • By Plush 9th Nov 17, 9:40 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    Thanks, feeling like I'm on a slippery slope at the moment. I did spend a lot during the weekend, not only on eating out with my cousin, but also shoes, clothes, and a Christmas present.. I'm returning some stuff but once again I'm not confident I can get to the end of the month without touching the Halifax overdraft. £126 for the next 2 weeks won't cut it, even though all bills and regulars are paid. I usually budget at least £100 per week....

    Nothing else to report... weight-wise I'm stable, not losing but not gaining either. Dating life is nonexistent, I don't think I've gone so long without any love interest. I must be getting old
    • Money maker
    • By Money maker 9th Nov 17, 9:45 AM
    • 4,846 Posts
    • 11,069 Thanks
    Money maker
    I haven't followed your thread but notice that you're single so not sure why £126 wont cover two weeks if you're careful. Perhaps jump over to the old style board for some tips on economising - just till payday. Saves the o/d charges.
    Please do not quote spam as this enables it to 'live on' once the spam post is removed.

    If you quote me, don't forget the capital 'M'

    Declutterers of the world - unite!
    • Plush
    • By Plush 9th Nov 17, 10:12 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    I haven't followed your thread but notice that you're single so not sure why £126 wont cover two weeks if you're careful. Perhaps jump over to the old style board for some tips on economising - just till payday. Saves the o/d charges.
    Originally posted by Money maker
    Thanks. Yes it should - IF I'm careful - but I did get to £14K+ credit card debt over 3-4 years so...

    What's the old style board?
    current credit debt Nov-2017 £13100 @ 0% // initial debt Sep-2017 £14200
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 9th Nov 17, 10:16 AM
    • 817 Posts
    • 4,095 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Thanks. Yes it should - IF I'm careful - but I did get to £14K+ credit card debt over 3-4 years so...

    What's the old style board?
    Originally posted by Plush
    Old style Money Saving
    Go to top of page and scroll through forum boards to find it.... good source of tips
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • Plush
    • By Plush 9th Nov 17, 10:25 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    Btw, I "only" get charged a flat fee of £3 for getting into overdraft.

    Well, sort of - I have the Halifax Ultimate Reward account, which has a fee of £12 per month, but the fee increases to £15 in the months when go into overdraft. I pay the £12 to get other perks (ww travel and mobile insurance, and home emergency cover) - I wasn't able to find a better deal for these, but maybe I'm wrong...
    current credit debt Nov-2017 £13100 @ 0% // initial debt Sep-2017 £14200
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 9th Nov 17, 12:09 PM
    • 14,884 Posts
    • 47,933 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Hello Plush XX

    you sound so much like me (except I have no children and rent, from my mother no less - so that should make you feel a bit better ) that I thought I would say hello

    I haven't read anything - streaming cold flu thing and my nose is driving me mental so I have the concentration span of a nat. Will be back later to read so more

    XXXX
    Saving all the money.............really I am !
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Nov 17, 8:32 PM
    • 8,195 Posts
    • 42,598 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    On the bank account fee - as I recall the first thing when evaluating the worth of these is to establish whether you really need the extras that the account offers. First thing I'd question is the mobile cover - your home contents insurance would cover I would think, although there would obviously be an excess to pay - but if you're not a regular "abuser" of mobiles it might be worth just "self insuring" by putting a small amount aside each month to help towards the cost of that.

    Travel insurance can be had for under £25 for the year I believe - that's based on full worldwide cover so if you're not likely to travel outside Europe it might even be less.

    The home emergency cover I have no idea about but did you check to see how much it would add to your home insurance to add this on?

    Absolutely agree about Old Style being ace - definitely head over there for a look.

    As for your £126 - come on then, what does that need to cover? Try noting down everything you will need to spend (yes, need, not want!) and see if it will really be that tight...
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 10th Nov 17, 9:17 PM
    • 414 Posts
    • 5,149 Thanks
    117pauline
    Hi Plush

    What's going to get in the way of you managing on the £126?

    Perhaps you could see it as a challenge to get to the end of the month. Check the cupboards and freezers so you can menu plan from them.

    You have been doing well so don't let this blip take over. It's easy to think s** it I might as well spend whatever.

    You sound a bit down? I think it's that time of the year when all the shops seem to be full of "buy me" messages and it' s hard to avoid it especially when the budget is tight. It's like the whole message is that you aren't a good person unless you spend a fortune.

    Have a good weekend, take care
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Plush
    • By Plush 11th Nov 17, 10:45 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    @Essex: regarding the insurance, my contents insurance policy doesn't cover mobile and I'm known to lose phones, I had 1 claim per year or so (well ok, not every year but still). Regarding travel, I did a quote for both of us and it was much more than that but I shall check again. Home emergency cover - I tried to add that to the contents cover that I have with Barclays and it's way too much. The Ultimate Reward account fee is not small, however it also offers the fee free overdraft facility of up to £300 - which I do want to have. I will re-evaluate all my insurances but at the moment I'm paying this, between Halifax and Barclays:

    £16.83 total* (£15 halifax acct fee, plus £6.83 barclays contents insurance, plus £3 barclays blue rewards acct fee, minus £8 barclays current account reward), which covers:
    - ww travel insurance, including winter sports
    - mobile phone insurance
    - home emergency cover
    - fee free overdraft of up to £300
    - AA breakdown cover (which is the only one I don't need, as I don't drive, but it's included anyway)
    - contents insurance

    *In the months when I don't use the overdraft, the Halifax acct fee drops to £12, so the total drops to £13.83.

    So far, I claimed on the mobile phone insurance and the home emergency cover and used the overdraft, but I definitely want to have travel insurance as we travel at least 2x year.

    The only other insurance that I need to pay for is mortgage unemployment insurance, which is £36 per month (this would cover the mortgage payments plus house bills for 12 months in case I am made redundant). I have accident & sickness insurance, and life insurance through work. Building insurance is already included in the service charge that I pay (I own a leasehold flat).

    @Pauline: for instance, I just got a note from school - school photographs £10 (cheapest in the pack) and choir concert at the O2 which is £31 (my ticket and coach travel for DD). While I have budgeted for childcare and activity clubs and school lunches, I have not budgeted for these. Well, not yet. My YNAB is up to date now and I hope by end of Dec to come up with a realistic budget for 2018, which includes these "unexpected" items.

    Of course, you could argue I don't need the school photographs and DD doesn't need to go to her choir concert, after all it's not mandatory. I'm not prepared to drop that for her though.

    And yes, I'm a bit down again... hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thanks both!
    • Plush
    • By Plush 11th Nov 17, 10:59 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    On a different note, I've been thinking about adding the credit card to the mortgage. I posted a detailed message in the mortgage section but no one replied so I've deleted it for now.

    My mortgage fixed rate is expiring in July next year, and I'm thinking about remortgaging. The flat is leasehold and there are 92 years left, and I think it's a good idea to extend the lease now (when I have a job and costs to extend lease are still relatively low, meaning less than £10K). However, I don't have £7-8K sitting around and I cannot borrow more from my mortgage lender (Halifax) because of the current CC debt. However, if I add all the CC debt to the mortgage, I should be able to pay off the cc debt completely and also borrow to extend the lease.

    I've done the maths and monthly repayments (including overpayments!) would be less than I'm paying now, even with the extra £20K debt added to the mortgage. Well, assuming that mortgage rates don't increase by more than .25 by the time I remortgage. My LTV is quite good, even with the extra debt added to the mortgage, LTV would still less than 60% so I now qualify for much better interest rates. I got really lucky with my flat purchase, bought it at the right time, and its value is much higher than 5 years ago. I couldn't afford to buy it now.

    However, I don't know if it's a good idea to add the CC debt to the mortgage.. so I will try to re-post a message in the Mortgage section with less details and simpler questions (those brokers in the Mortgage section only seem to respond to shorter posts/pointed questions).
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 11th Nov 17, 3:09 PM
    • 414 Posts
    • 5,149 Thanks
    117pauline
    Hi Plush

    I totally agree about the school photo and choir concert. They are what memories are made of and are priceless.

    That's exactly the sort of expense that always seem to appear when you have no money. I imagine there are costs each month for school so you could give it its own YNAB category (my wild birds have their own bit in my budget).

    Your SOA is going to be a work in progress for the first year or so. Have you got an allowance for replacing your passports?

    The debt journey isn't easy and actually can be both time consuming and overwhelming. That's why I suggest having a list of self care things that make you feel a bit pampered.

    I can understand why you want to consolidate you credit card debt into your mortgage when you remorgage to fund extending your lease. Most will say this is not advisable as you are making an unsecured loan into one secured on your flat. I can't advise you, sorry.

    And that light at the end of the tunnel? You know it's there, don't you? November is a challenging time for everyone. There always seems to be too much to do in too little time.

    Keep posting, enjoy the weekend
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 11th Nov 17, 6:02 PM
    • 4,673 Posts
    • 8,767 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    The generally accepted view is not to turn unsecured lending into secured by putting it on your mortgage. There are a lot of people who do it and end up with a larger mortgage and still have the credit cards and overdrafts a few years later having fooled themselves that they are debt free. It is just moving it to a more dangerous and because it will be paid over a longer period more expensive particularly in your case as the loans are on 0%.

    Ultimately it is your choice obviously and £14k of credit card debt will take you a few years to clear depending on how much you are repaying each month. You would do well to extend the lease at some point though as you may find it difficult to sell when you come to do that.
    5 weeks to go until early retirement in December . Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Plush
    • By Plush 13th Nov 17, 10:26 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    @pauline thanks - yes I know there are school expenses each month on top of childcare and clubs. In Dec I plan to analyse spending from Oct - Dec and I should have a good idea how much it goes to that. Same goes for passports and pretty much anything else.

    Regarding adding CC debts to the mortgage, I don't really want to do it, especially because it's still on 0%. However, I need to renew the lease on the flat before it drops to 85 years (if I don't, the lease extension costs skyrocket in the tens of thousands). I have a job now, and there is a way to do it - however Halifax won't lend me more because of the debt. Extending the lease costs about £7K at the moment, but it adds at least £15K to the flat value. So in that sense, it's a no brainer.

    My plan is to shift the CC debt to the mortgage and borrow extra £7K, and make monthly overpayments. Just for the sake of the argument, this is how it would work:

    current CC debt: £13K
    current mortgage balance £180K (this will be the value mid next year)
    current flat value: £400K, lease 92 years
    current mortgage repayments: £1000 (rounded up)
    current CC payments £300-400 (minimum is £300 or so)
    total: £1300-£1400 monthly

    new CC debt: £0 (and I plan to cancel ALL credit cards).
    new mortgage balance: £200K (=£180K current mortgage +£13K cc debt+£7K lease)
    new flat value: £415K, lease 182 years
    new mortgage payments £900 (this is due to much lower interest rates)
    but, I plan to make monthly over-payments of at least £300, so new total: £1200 monthly*.

    *This is less than I'm paying at the moment and also, IF I make monthly overpayments of £300 I will pay much less interest over the term of the mortgage, see scenario 3 https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/move-debts-to-mortgage

    So, this all looks manageable and it only works IF:
    1. I make monthly over-payments as planned
    2. I cancel all credit cards
    3. I never do this again

    By the time I remortgage (July 2018) I believe I will have a very good idea if I am disciplined enough and have the willpower to stop using credit cards, so my plan is to make a decision then. If I manage to stay away from the CC card and overdraft, the above plan might be a good idea. If not... well then my problems are much bigger than I thought and I might as well start clean, sell the flat, pay off the mortgage and buy in a different area...
    current credit debt Nov-2017 £13100 @ 0% // initial debt Sep-2017 £14200
    • Plush
    • By Plush 13th Nov 17, 10:37 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    PS. The other advantages, perhaps not so obvious... are more psychological/peace of mind. Yes I know the CC debt won't disappear, it will still be my debt. But, extending the lease will add value to the flat (so it's an investment that pays itself off and more) and at the same time I won't have £13K in CC debt hanging over my head. And overpaying the mortgage will build an over-payments cushion... if I ever find myself in a dire situation in the future I can take a payment holiday.

    Last but not least, I don't have an emergency fund and I was thinking that I could look at building that as well, if I have to "only" pay £1200 to the new mortgage and I have no debt.

    Perhaps my thinking is wrong, and I haven#t decided anything yet, but I have 6 months to consider this. Fix rate runs out end of July which means I could start looking at remortgage deals in May. (and by that time I will know how good/bad I am with managing to keep CCs in a drawer at home).
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 13th Nov 17, 11:20 AM
    • 973 Posts
    • 16,451 Thanks
    Siebrie
    Hi Plush, I've just read through your diary. We're of similar age

    The mortgage/loan calculation seems reasonable, but only if you actually stop using credit cards and using the overdraft. You have 6 months to train yourself

    You've mentioned a few times that you will get a bonus at the end of the year; is it possible that in your mind you have spent this bonus several times already? For instance: 'I'll use it to pay off a credit card', 'I'll use it to pay off the overdraft', 'I'll use it to give myself a Christmas gift', 'I'll use it to buy dear child a Christmas gift', 'I'll use it to visit family'. It may make sense to completely disregard the bonus, to never take it into consideration and the moment it lands in your account, to make it the start of your emergency fund. Be very careful when assessing if something is an emergency. School photos come every year, some sort of school performance will also come every year, house maintenance ... well, things break down every 10 years or so, I believe the guideline is 2% of the house value should be spent on maintenance per year.


    Good luck!
    Still a womble 2017 #25 € 6849,49= £ 5815.67
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 € 3.483,31= £ 2,969.05
    • Plush
    • By Plush 13th Nov 17, 1:46 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    @siebrie: thanks. Yes, that was my thinking to, regarding the emergency fund.

    2% of the house value on maintenance wow that's a lot - probably that's not adjusted for London property prices, which are completely insane. I already pay £75 for service charges though, but those cover what's outside the flat. I'd probably have to budget another £75 for internal repairs and maintenance... will have a better idea in Dec.

    And yes, the annual bonus is already spent, and not only in my mind! I'm getting the money in the Dec payroll. I'm not sure of the exact net amount, I only know the gross figure, but a lot of that bonus will go straight to CC payments. And obviously, it means no new debt because of Christmas. I'm planning the most frugal Christmas anyway...
    current credit debt Nov-2017 £13100 @ 0% // initial debt Sep-2017 £14200
    • Plush
    • By Plush 17th Nov 17, 10:12 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    Just checking back in to say I'm still on track. I "made" some money as I returned some Decathlon ski gear I had bought in September (don't ask), they have a 365 days return policy for members. So at the moment I'm still in green, but I only have less than £50 left in my Halifax spending account - which should cover one week worth of groceries plus anything else. Pay day is on the 24th this month.

    I would have more money, but I started a gym membership and the joining fee was £30. The monthly direct debit membership works out cheaper than paying for single yoga classes. It's £45 per month and there is no yearly commitment, they only need 15 days notice to end it. And the best of all, they have a promotion and it's free until 31 January, so the first payment comes out on the 1st of Feb. Also, the company I work for allows us to claim up to £150 each calendar year for "health and well-being" courses, including gym. I can claim that early next year, as I've already claimed this year's.

    This weekend looks good, we're off to some friends' house for an early dinner on Sat, I will bake a cake and take a bottle of wine I already had at home. I'm hoping for good weather on Sunday so that we can go cycling in the local park - at the moment it looks like it will be cold but sunny.

    Tonight's the first yoga session, I'm so excited to go back to yoga, no more whining on the sofa at home on Friday nights! I plan to go each Wednesday, but I can also go Friday evenings - whenever I'm not going out (and I haven't been going out much....). Won't be able to use the membership much outside of those 2 sessions, that's when DD is at her dad's. But, even if I go only once per week, it's still cheaper than paying for single yoga classes, which are over £11-13 in my area.
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 17th Nov 17, 10:30 AM
    • 414 Posts
    • 5,149 Thanks
    117pauline
    Hi Plush

    It's good to hear you looking forward to something and yoga is great for building resilience and well-being.

    If you are anything like me the period coming up to Christmas is always difficult. Lots of reasons for money to be flooding out of accounts as well as so much shopping based hype. I blame the Coca-Cola truck scenario where we are sold a version of the perfect Christmas - it will be perfect if we buy x, y and z. However much we can try not to be influenced, its hard not to feel as though we are failing.

    I went cycling in Belgium in May. First time in 40 years and probably the last! I bet you aren't like that though. It's beautiful here today - a frost has left sparkles everywhere and the Sun is out. I intend a walk down to the library which will get me out.

    Have a lovely weekend, take care
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Plush
    • By Plush 17th Nov 17, 11:29 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Plush
    Thanks Pauline, Christmas for me is a good time - I normally recharge batteries, read, avoid shops and stay close to friends and family. I don't tend to spend and/or eat too much around Christmas, for some weird reason I'm able to keep bad habits in check around that time of the year. In any case, my annual work bonus will help me keep in green, but I really do hope to pay as much CC debt as I can with it, and not spend much of it.
    current credit debt Nov-2017 £13100 @ 0% // initial debt Sep-2017 £14200
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