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  • FIRST POST
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 11:42 AM
    • 176Posts
    • 536Thanks
    MiMi66
    oh my life...... Light Bulb moment.
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 13, 11:42 AM
    oh my life...... Light Bulb moment. 6th Feb 13 at 11:42 AM
    Well, I am posting for the first time and starting a new thread all in one - I joined yesterday and am I so hoping that doing this will help to keep me on track with facing and resolving my debt.

    I am ashamed and embarrassed - both at the debt and at how long it has taken me to face up to being in debt and deciding to address it - I'll have to say it quickly though £21620 - to credit cards.
    God, if I can press the post this button after typing that I shall be going some.

    I oculd come up with loads of reasons about why I am in debt - all valid and real - but it doesn't take away from the reality of having to pay it back. I am a single mother with two children, I work full time in a good job, and I have spent too much, way too much.

    Oddly the children and I don't live some high flying life, no racks of clothes and shoes from designer shops or anything like that - just years of spending over my budget on food, petrol and the big one, trips away. One of these trips was due to my father dying and I needed to go overseas to deal with arrangements suddenly, and took the children - all went on the cards.

    I have tumbled recently - poor health, which gave me time to reflect (or wake up you might think), panic (still), contemplate dark things and get very depressed - and now started antidepressants. They are just starting to work and lift my mood, and I want to try and get a plan into place to deal with my awful debt and take a new attitude to it.

    I have a mortgage, and good equity (though the bank said no to me borrowing against the house last week - that added to my spiral of mood) - House is worth about £200K and my mortgage is £114K. Also turned down for a loan from Sainsburys bank, which I wanted to consolidate my debts with. Instead I am left with credit cards totalling £21600 (I owed approx £22500 in December, but managed to pay off the Christmas mad spend, but living on thin air this month.)

    So - shall I write out my debt?

    Halifax - 6830 0% til Dec
    Natwest - 2419 0% til Sept
    M&S - 5730 0% til June and another at Nov
    MBNA - 6632 5.9% for life of balance
    Nationwide - 9 (yes only 9!)

    = 21620

    Tesco - approx 423 which will be paid off on my pay day - 27/02/13

    I've rung a financial adviser who was kind but had not ideas for me as my mortgage provider and Sainsburys turned me down flat. I also spoke with National Debt Line - who were very kind and also reassured me that as I have no 'prioirty debts' my house is safe.

    I have always paid everything on time - always met minimums plus a bit more, and have never had a DMP, CCJ or any formal action against me. Mortgage is paid and essential bills all on DD's.

    My Credit rating on Experien is all Green - just lots of it. I don't really understand why I haven't been ok'd for a loan to consolidate it all - but it leaves me with having to do that credit card shuffle thing (which I have been doing for years and screwed up completely by always adding more debt to it.)

    SO my resolution is to live to a budget.
    Pay off the debt - I think it is going to take me 7 years () - I aim to pay approx £350 a month (plus that Tesco bill next month - will be another very tight one, but I can't bear the idea of not doing it).
    Keep my job and sanity and work on my mood.
    Hug my kids and get them involved in saving money.
    Find ways to live and have fun that do not cost money.

    My ex husband may be about to reduce child maintainence and also my eldest will stop getting Child Benefit soon - that plus losing the Council Tax single person rebate as my daughter hits 18 - will add up to losing about 300 per month I think. I have to somehow adjust to that change as well as keep paying off the debt.

    Does anybody know what happens with Child Benefit with two children once one leaves full time education - How much does it reduce to?

    Gosh, I fel like I have been really self indulgent writing this all out, and I guess it doesn't make for very original reading, but I am so hoping that keeping this forum diary will help me stay on track, and I would welcome any ideas from anyone.

    Wish me luck!
Page 1
    • OneLife_OneShot
    • By OneLife_OneShot 6th Feb 13, 11:55 AM
    • 742 Posts
    • 533 Thanks
    OneLife_OneShot
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 13, 11:55 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 13, 11:55 AM
    I'm no expert on bank loans but I'll give you my opinion.

    The reason you didn't get a consolidation loan is probably because you likely tried for a high amount.

    You are using a high amount of your available credit and although you have no defaults,CCJs etc or bad marks on your credit report they won't give you any more than around 40% of your annual wage as a loan especially as you have it all on credit cards. Consolidation rarely works in the eyes of a bank because most people don't get rid of the credit cards.

    My advice would be pay off the non 0% ones as quickly as you can.

    Try this also http://www.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx

    Put in all your cards and APRs and balances and how much you want to put towards the debt each month and it will tell you how to pay them all off as quickly as you can.

    At least you have woken up and are facing the problem. With the help of people on here you will be able to do it.

    Good luck
    CC Debt - Paid 0 / £1000 - Debt Free 2018 Ahead

    "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered, the point is to discover them."
    • Tixy
    • By Tixy 6th Feb 13, 11:59 AM
    • 31,074 Posts
    • 39,469 Thanks
    Tixy
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 13, 11:59 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 13, 11:59 AM
    Hi and welcome to the forum

    All really well done for facing up to things and posting about the situation you are in - on here we know how hard that can be.

    So first step is to work out what you have coming in and going out before debt repayments and make a realistic budget that you can live to and see how much you have left for debt repayments. You'll then need to see if that is enough to cover your minimum repayments or if you have a shortfall. And that will then lead you on to your next step.

    We recommend filling in the statement of affairs calculator http://www.stoozing.com/msoc/soacalc.php ideally post it on here for some feedback and suggestions of changes you could make, things you may be able to get cheaper and some ideas about how best to tackle your debts. But even if you don't feel ready to post on here I would still suggest you complete it for your own use as its a real help to see everything written down in black and white.

    Welcome again - you can tackle this!

    PS just to spur you on - that big(!) nationwide debt - pay it off today, you'll feel like you are already making a start!
    Last edited by Tixy; 06-02-2013 at 12:01 PM.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give

    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 12:06 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    MiMi66
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:06 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:06 PM
    Thank you Conisme and Tixy for your supportive comments and I will have a look at both those sites.

    I have kept a budget calculator of my own for years since being a single parent (9years) - but it seems I have constantly given myself permission to overspend. I could go all psychological abouot why I have - but it really just evades the practical issue I have - I need ot pay it back.

    The National Debt line people took me through their budget tool - they think I have about £315 a month that I can put towards the debt.
    I am now working out how to save some money on my phone contract and bank aco!!!! fees to up that a bit more so I can stretch to the £350 a month. I know this is a long term project.... how wish it wasn't.
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: £4756/£4974; NW loan: £9187/£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£5702 /£6502; VIRGIN: £6814 / £7096; Halifax: £9005 /£9485;
    =
    £35464 / £38154 Amount pd off cc £2690
    DFD 01/04/2022 52/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - £74727/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £12840/ £19K Overall M'gage £87567
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £123031/(£127451 30/08/17)
    • Tixy
    • By Tixy 6th Feb 13, 12:27 PM
    • 31,074 Posts
    • 39,469 Thanks
    Tixy
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:27 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:27 PM
    It will be long term, but I think it gets easier with time, becomes more second nature to keep costs down or say no easier to children!

    Regarding child benefit - its £20 a month week for 1 child.

    What is older child planning to do when they leave education? If they are working will you perhaps charge them board? or perhaps be passing on some of their costs to them? Perhaps enough to cover the drop in child benefit (although I guess the child maintenance might drop by a bigger amount).
    Last edited by Tixy; 06-02-2013 at 12:46 PM.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give

    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 12:35 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    MiMi66
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:35 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:35 PM
    Hi Tixy
    It drops to £20 per month?? - That's mad isn't it - when 2 children get £134 a month. Gosh, I have to rework my thinking I guess even more.
    My daughter aged 18 is not sure what she is going to do - gap year - work - travel -but we did have the ocnversation about making a contribution should she start working - She's a brilliant girl and just accepts that without any upset. Very grounded.
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: £4756/£4974; NW loan: £9187/£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£5702 /£6502; VIRGIN: £6814 / £7096; Halifax: £9005 /£9485;
    =
    £35464 / £38154 Amount pd off cc £2690
    DFD 01/04/2022 52/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - £74727/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £12840/ £19K Overall M'gage £87567
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £123031/(£127451 30/08/17)
  • Willing2Learn
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:42 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:42 PM
    Hello and welcome.

    All good advice above. Well done and having that light bulb moment. It will relieve so much of the pressure you are feeling once you have a plan in place, so keep talking to National Debtline. And it'll definitely help with elevating your mood when you can see visible progress!

    Don't forget to take a look at the Statement of Affairs calculator using the link in one of the posts above. It'll definitely help you with your attempts to refocus your monthly budget toward paying down those debts asap. MSE members can also help with this if you wanted to publish the SOA here.

    SO my resolution is:
    • To live to a budget. Good
    • Pay off the debt - I think it is going to take me 7 years () - I aim to pay approx £350 a month (plus that Tesco bill next month - will be another very tight one, but I can't bear the idea of not doing it). Having a realistic and achievable target is really important
    • Keep my job and sanity and work on my mood. Sanity was part of my plan too. I stuck a post-it-note on the fridge to remind me!
    • Hug my kids and get them involved in saving money. Fantastic thing to have as part of your plan. Educational re saving. But the hugs is by far the best bit. You're kids are so fortunate to have you as their mum
    • Find ways to live and have fun that do not cost money.There are load of ideas on this all over the forum. Or start a whole new thread...
    Originally posted by MiMi66
    Good luck!
    Last edited by Willing2Learn; 06-02-2013 at 12:47 PM. Reason: formatting & typos
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • Tixy
    • By Tixy 6th Feb 13, 12:45 PM
    • 31,074 Posts
    • 39,469 Thanks
    Tixy
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:45 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:45 PM
    Sorry!!!! - £20 a week that was a typo, didn't mean to panic you.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give

    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
    • josiebabie
    • By josiebabie 6th Feb 13, 12:46 PM
    • 1,223 Posts
    • 6,512 Thanks
    josiebabie
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:46 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 13, 12:46 PM
    I think Tixy meant £20 a week
    Nothing to report as yet...give me a minute...!
    • MrsCautious
    • By MrsCautious 6th Feb 13, 12:47 PM
    • 1,107 Posts
    • 13,287 Thanks
    MrsCautious
    Hi Tixy
    It drops to £20 per month?? - That's mad isn't it - when 2 children get £134 a month. Gosh, I have to rework my thinking I guess even more.
    My daughter aged 18 is not sure what she is going to do - gap year - work - travel -but we did have the ocnversation about making a contribution should she start working - She's a brilliant girl and just accepts that without any upset. Very grounded.
    Originally posted by MiMi66
    It's £20 a week, £14 for the 2nd child - has always tickled us parents of twins.

    Good luck with your brilliant plans. I hope the lovely people here bring you lots of good tips so you power ahead.
    Sorry I can see I'm not the first to pick up on this xx

    PS not at all self indulgent, I hope you can be kind to yourself, I read a post somewhere here talking about the importance of still allowing yourself treats to keep yourself on track, hope you can have fun along the way.
    Last edited by MrsCautious; 06-02-2013 at 12:54 PM.
    Make £10 a day, 12 months 2013-2014: £8973.51
    Make £10 a day, 2017: July: £375.16 August: £993.10
    September: £296.69 October: £398.87 November £234.42
  • kwmlondon
    Good luck. To be honest I think that you've done the toughest part and that's facing up to the reality of your situation. Pretty soon you'll start to get a buzz out of beating the cards down (it's sooooo satisfying when the 0% deals work for YOU rather than feeling like it's all paying the credit card companies) and it is a very satisfying thrill when you find a deal or a way of saving money! It's addictive but but in a satisfying way.

    End of the day, it's a slog but then so's paying off a car or a mortgage or whatever. You'll get there and when you reach the end of your tunnel you'll be so well set up from the changed you've made to your life you'll be in a great position. You'll also have passed on some incredibly valuable lessons to your kids. Each time you feel like they may be missing out on something you may have splashed out on before remind yourself that you are actually showing them how you can sort out problems and take responsibility and giving them some of the best skills a sorted grown up could ever have. Good on you!
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 1:14 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Oh I am so overwhelmed here but the kindness you are all showing me and the support for my challenge. I will do this....

    I will pay the 9£ to Nationwide Tixy.... small beginnings.....
    I am reducing my broadband and phone costs tomorrow - getting quotes today.
    I will go into my bank and change my current account for a lower fee or free of fees account.

    SOooooo glad that Child benefit is £20 per week not per month! Had a little cold sweat there!

    I will look at the SOA and decide if I am brave enough to publish it here. The advice would be helpful.

    Isn't it amazing how absolutely anyone can get themselves in such a mess - I have a responsible job and have raised the children solo and have managed to dive into a huge amount of debt, against my own advice at times. I wonder if something is wrong with me and I just have been too deluded to see it. Thanks you everyone who has given me that support and reassurance that I am not alone with this sort of thing - nice to know I can come here to share it too and keepp my focus.
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: £4756/£4974; NW loan: £9187/£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£5702 /£6502; VIRGIN: £6814 / £7096; Halifax: £9005 /£9485;
    =
    £35464 / £38154 Amount pd off cc £2690
    DFD 01/04/2022 52/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - £74727/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £12840/ £19K Overall M'gage £87567
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £123031/(£127451 30/08/17)
    • DebtFree2012
    • By DebtFree2012 6th Feb 13, 1:21 PM
    • 3,476 Posts
    • 9,584 Thanks
    DebtFree2012
    Hiya - well done to you and you sound in a good frame of mind to achieve this.

    I have 2 young children and often want to find things to do for free and also things outside as I find they go bonkers inside.

    I have a similar amount to pay off as you do so I will hang around on your diary and see how you're getting on.

    Debt - CCV £3792
    CCB £1383 (took a hit for a holiday)

    Loan 1 £1787
    Loan 2 £1683
    Total £8601 Was £39302
    • DebtFree2012
    • By DebtFree2012 6th Feb 13, 1:23 PM
    • 3,476 Posts
    • 9,584 Thanks
    DebtFree2012
    PS definitely do the SOA, it's hard but ppl will help you see things you didn't see before.

    There's nothing wrong with you - you have got into debt exactly the same way i have and it's just the way we are. Staying on here will help keep you focussed and concentrating on not spending out of budget as there will be times you want to. It's only human
    Debt - CCV £3792
    CCB £1383 (took a hit for a holiday)

    Loan 1 £1787
    Loan 2 £1683
    Total £8601 Was £39302
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 1:58 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    MiMi66
    So - I've just paid that £9 on Nationwide - yip yip. So small but a start. Thank you Tixy for the suggestion!

    And yes Debtfree2012 - feel free to watch my journey - have tea - its goingto be a long one. isn't it funnyhow numbers just add up to so much money. There really is something in that play money feel that credit cards have isn't there - it just doesn't feel real until you face up to it.

    I hope you and your children are doing OK - I think it is hard facing these these things solo, and sadly I think there are a lot of single mums in the same boat - I think one of my longer terms mistakes has been trying to keep up with what my children's friends do with double income families. I just can't do it.

    And depression - what a beast - I saw on the site that there is a booklet about debt and depression - I will download that and see if any of it helps. I was having very grim thoughts, lost weight, apetite gone and sleep so broken and fraught, about the pressure and about potential loss of home and what that might mean and not being able to cope - but I have dragged myself by the scruff of the neck to deal with this - and I think a plan and taking action will help my mood a lot. The helpless and powerless feeling is overwhelming at times, but today I am better - uphill climb commenced.

    If I do have any spare cash I ought to invest in shares for antidepressants - I am a walking advert! Joke!
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: £4756/£4974; NW loan: £9187/£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£5702 /£6502; VIRGIN: £6814 / £7096; Halifax: £9005 /£9485;
    =
    £35464 / £38154 Amount pd off cc £2690
    DFD 01/04/2022 52/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - £74727/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £12840/ £19K Overall M'gage £87567
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £123031/(£127451 30/08/17)
    • Jox
    • By Jox 6th Feb 13, 2:21 PM
    • 1,253 Posts
    • 2,705 Thanks
    Jox
    Good luck on your debt free journey mimi66, it all starts with a single step and it looks like you've made several strides towards peace of mind

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with you....or there is something wrong with all of us individuals who apply for credit and are given it freely only to see it build up into something overwhelming.... countries are in masses of debt too and going bankrupt....we are all in this together right??

    The good thing about the economic crisis for me is appreciating my job (thank u employer!) and paying off my debts, it took me a few years of cautious spending but I've done it now and can actually save money, this will be you in a few years, be clear about what you owe and your plan to repay it and watch the numbers fall month by month.

    I'm glad you sought help for the depression and are tackling the root cause, my depression is quite "mild" and I find St John's Wort has helped me but if it ever became more serious I would get anti'd's from the doc.

    Keep posting, I enjoy reading others' journeys to freedom
    • Nickyj
    • By Nickyj 6th Feb 13, 3:04 PM
    • 231 Posts
    • 653 Thanks
    Nickyj
    Well done for posting, you have made the first step I racked up £25k on debt and didn't have an awful lot to show for it so you're not alone there. I became debt free in Dec after six years of paying everything off. My addiction used to be shopping but thanks to this site my addiction is now saving money, making money through surveys, eBay etc on the side. Good luck and I will keep following your journey xx
    Sealed pot member #1950 - £44.79
    Debt free since Dec 2012
    • sistafromanothermista
    • By sistafromanothermista 6th Feb 13, 3:14 PM
    • 2,161 Posts
    • 2,600 Thanks
    sistafromanothermista
    Hi! Well done on the first, and the most scary, step
    Last may I was in a similar position to you regarding the debt situation. Now it is starting to come down I can see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel
    I second posting an soa it definitely helped me realise what I could cut back on. Xx
    DEBT FREE AND PROUD

    'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt'
    • unoriginal_uk
    • By unoriginal_uk 6th Feb 13, 3:54 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 936 Thanks
    unoriginal_uk
    Hi MiMi welcome to this wonderful site and take comfort in the fact that you definitely are not alone, there are so many others on this forum going on the same journey.

    I had 20k of debt and absolutely nothing to show for it. But it can be paid off, there IS light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to keep motivated (and that's where this site is brilliant).

    Definitely agree with what others have said about eBay - if you've got lots of old junk around the house it's a great little money earner and doesn't take up too much time. Also car boot sales - you can get your kiddies involved as well! (Great that you are getting them involved in your journey, and a wonderful thing to teach them to be financially responsible!)

    oh and definitely post your statement of affairs - people are great on here about suggestions for little cuts in your finances to make to help.

    Good luck and I hope you don't mind that I subscribe to your thread and comment from time to time
    SMOKE FREE SINCE 9 OCTOBER 2012 DEBT FREE SINCE 31 JANUARY 2013
    Official DFW Nerd 1390 SPC #1364 1% at a Time #189 - 18/100%

    Competitions won so far: A years free pizza/Eden project trip & hotel stay/Baby gift set/Baby voucher/Baby bottle/Books/Pedometer/Soup and Mug/Dotcom gift bundle
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 8:12 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Good luck on your debt free journey mimi66, it all starts with a single step and it looks like you've made several strides towards peace of mind

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with you....or there is something wrong with all of us individuals who apply for credit and are given it freely only to see it build up into something overwhelming.... countries are in masses of debt too and going bankrupt....we are all in this together right??

    The good thing about the economic crisis for me is appreciating my job (thank u employer!) and paying off my debts, it took me a few years of cautious spending but I've done it now and can actually save money, this will be you in a few years, be clear about what you owe and your plan to repay it and watch the numbers fall month by month.

    I'm glad you sought help for the depression and are tackling the root cause, my depression is quite "mild" and I find St John's Wort has helped me but if it ever became more serious I would get anti'd's from the doc.

    Keep posting, I enjoy reading others' journeys to freedom
    Originally posted by Jox

    Thanks Jox, your post is reassuring and so not judgemental - I have given myself such a hard time - really damning, but ultimately it wasn't fixing anything doing that, and in fact my low mood was putting far more things at risk. I have tried St John's Wart but it doesn't have quite enough welly for my mood - I count my blessings that antidepressants do work for me, and I am sure that in a few weeks time I shall be feeling better and looking out at starting to live a more colourful, if somewhat cheaper, life.

    This forum has made me feel so much better today - I ams tunned by how many people have read the thread already, and I hope that my sad story does make others feel not so alone, and also kick start them to. I know I've benefited from reading peoples stories, and while I think my debt is huge, and it will be a slow journey, I know that there are other people in the same position - and as you say - countries in the same position -maybe they should use the website hey!
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: £4756/£4974; NW loan: £9187/£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£5702 /£6502; VIRGIN: £6814 / £7096; Halifax: £9005 /£9485;
    =
    £35464 / £38154 Amount pd off cc £2690
    DFD 01/04/2022 52/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - £74727/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £12840/ £19K Overall M'gage £87567
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £123031/(£127451 30/08/17)
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