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  • FIRST POST
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 11:42 AM
    • 157Posts
    • 442Thanks
    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 15
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 12th Sep 17, 2:08 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Hi MiMi,

    Sorry you are feeling so down - it takes time to recover from surgery and no doubt it makes any other problems seem bigger.

    Is there any reason you wouldn't consider a DMP or IVA? It feels like you really do need a formal way to try and manage this debt. I know you don't want to sell your house and I agree with you there - the mortgage is ticking down and it's one area where you seem in financial control. I'm not sure when you would need to remortgage or how much equity you have, but if you decide to stay there for definite then perhaps a DMP or IVA would be the way forward?

    I'm sure you'll resist this idea and want to struggle on, but without any significant change in your circumstances on the horizon I can't see how things will improve. As you have said, this debt is now taking away your options in the most uncomfortable way possible, and that won't change unless you change something. It worries me that the CC debt has gone up so much in a year, and suggests you still struggle to control your spending.

    I do wish you well whatever you decide. I just want you to have a break, and although I know a DMP/IVA has implications for your credit rating, I think you do need a formal line drawn so that you caan start to see this debt finally go down.

    Good luck and I hope things go better for you this week.
    Originally posted by Magpie100
    Thank you Magpie 100. Yes it is utterly grim. I have just been in floods of tears and I think my life is 9/10 absorbed by worry and calculation at present.

    And yes it is time to draw a line.
    I do want to move house away from where I live at present and sadly where I want to go is a bit more expensive. So much hinges on whether I get the post I am in permanently or not and they are waiting for me to come back to work before they advertise it. I must not screw up the interview. This is the only thing holding me back from a DMP now as I don't want to be tied to the house I am in forcthat length of time... though I need to find out whether I can 'port' my mortgage to a different home. Once there I would then do a DMP - I hope that is all possible.

    I gave some massive decisions to make. And some smaller expenditure to cut back which will psychologically help.

    I paid off my using cc today. £1690. Took all my savings.
    I have £700 on there for next month which I will pay of in 2 and a half weeks time when I get paid some overtime I did before I went for surgery. The card will go out of my wallet in the morning.

    I have subscriptions I will cancel tomorrow - I've been deluded. I can't afford things like this.

    Utterly stupid I think. And I'm getting anxiety symptoms and waves of panic washing over me. I keep reminding myself it could be worse. I could have no equity. Or I could have been in one of these awful disasters. I still feel sick and ashamed though. And those thoughts of things I can't out into words keep rising up.

    So.

    Tomorrow.
    Call mortgage provider to find out about porting mortgage (I have about £125 000 in equity I believe).
    Cancel susbscriptions so not to add to debt.
    I have £130 for food and travel for the rest of the month. Review cupboards and plan meals. Both kids are home now.
    And look at getting the house valued so I have an accurate idea of what I can do.
    Look on line at houses to buy or rent.

    Read up about DMP / IVA and see what is best.
    Consider house sale and renting instead?

    On a slightly brighter note I had the tryo to London yesterday for my appointment today. The complication I have is no where near as bad a what I thought it was. A real relief. I need to go back in 2 months time again so booked the bus tickets tonight coming home. £5.80 for the novenber trio including the booking fee! Thank heavens because everything else about going there costs a bloody fortune. Transport, meals for myself and for daughter and her boyfriend so while the news was better than expected the costs of the overnight really freaked me out.

    I have made so many poor choices and you are right to call me out on the evidence of worsening debt.

    Does a DMP mean you can't move your mortgage?

    God I feel sick.
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 12th Sep 17, 2:10 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    And now it's raining.
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 12th Sep 17, 1:37 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    Magpie100
    Hi MiMi,

    So sorry to see you posting at that hour of the morning. I hope you’re ok, I really do. First thing first: you’re not stupid. We’ve all made mistakes. I am sure it seems overwhelming, but your post actually outlined a way forward for yourself. It may not be what you want, and you may feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is very far away, but your post showed that it is there.

    So, in looks to me as if you need to do the following:

    First and most important: concentrate on convalescing and getting well again. Very pleased to hear the trip to London went well from that point of view. Well done on booking the bus tickets for the next trip – brilliant. In the nicest way possible I am less happy at you treating your daughter and boyfriend to meals out, but I suspect that’s not an argument I would win with you and I am sure you have your reasons. All I will say is now you know when your next trip will be perhaps you could start looking for vouchers and deals for the next time round.

    Second: research, research, research. There is an IVA/DRO board here – go and explore it. I am not sure why DMPs are not specifically mentioned but I am completely sure the good people there will be able to help, advise and point you in the right direction. I am not an expert in them so do please talk to other people first. What I do know is that you should never pay for someone to administer one for you. As you point out, you have some options, and you have some equity, but you need to get this right. A DMP will mean you cannot take out any more credit, and you will need someone to confirm that includes mortgages, but I imagine it does.

    Third: Stabilise your money situation. You are already doing that by cancelling DDs and speaking to your mortgage provider etc. Do one or two things a day while you have the time so you have as much info and are in as strong a position as you can be. Be ruthless with subscriptions etc. If you want to list them all out do so, and people here will explain why you should ditch them, or find you cheaper alternatives. You are recovering from illness, so you need to go steady, but you can also use this time to stabilise the ship. Good work on paying so much off your CC AND having a plan for the rest of it.

    Fourth: as time goes on, concentrate on the return to work and the interview for the permanent position. Whatever happens, at least if you have done your research on DMPs and other solutions you will be in a better position to deal with the consequences and make decisions. Selling the house is a massive decision and you need to know for sure your job situation and location before you make any changes.

    We’ve all been deluded about money – that’s why we’re here. Don’t feel ashamed. You are dealing with it, and you will find a way forward. You do need to make changes, and some of them will be big. But you cannot carry on as you are.

    Finally, keep posting. You actually had the plan in your head all along, but you needed to get it down in writing. It does help.

    I’m afraid I can’t help with the rain – but I’ll tell you I went to an outdoor boot camp yesterday evening and had horizontal rain and thunder and lightning for the whole hour of it. My Magpie feathers were soaked through and NOT happy.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on over the next few days and weeks.

    Magpie100
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 13th Sep 17, 2:01 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Hi MiMi,

    So sorry to see you posting at that hour of the morning. I hope you’re ok, I really do. First thing first: you’re not stupid. We’ve all made mistakes. I am sure it seems overwhelming, but your post actually outlined a way forward for yourself. It may not be what you want, and you may feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is very far away, but your post showed that it is there.

    So, in looks to me as if you need to do the following:

    First and most important: concentrate on convalescing and getting well again. Very pleased to hear the trip to London went well from that point of view. Well done on booking the bus tickets for the next trip – brilliant. In the nicest way possible I am less happy at you treating your daughter and boyfriend to meals out, but I suspect that’s not an argument I would win with you and I am sure you have your reasons. All I will say is now you know when your next trip will be perhaps you could start looking for vouchers and deals for the next time round.

    Second: research, research, research. There is an IVA/DRO board here – go and explore it. I am not sure why DMPs are not specifically mentioned but I am completely sure the good people there will be able to help, advise and point you in the right direction. I am not an expert in them so do please talk to other people first. What I do know is that you should never pay for someone to administer one for you. As you point out, you have some options, and you have some equity, but you need to get this right. A DMP will mean you cannot take out any more credit, and you will need someone to confirm that includes mortgages, but I imagine it does.

    Third: Stabilise your money situation. You are already doing that by cancelling DDs and speaking to your mortgage provider etc. Do one or two things a day while you have the time so you have as much info and are in as strong a position as you can be. Be ruthless with subscriptions etc. If you want to list them all out do so, and people here will explain why you should ditch them, or find you cheaper alternatives. You are recovering from illness, so you need to go steady, but you can also use this time to stabilise the ship. Good work on paying so much off your CC AND having a plan for the rest of it.

    Fourth: as time goes on, concentrate on the return to work and the interview for the permanent position. Whatever happens, at least if you have done your research on DMPs and other solutions you will be in a better position to deal with the consequences and make decisions. Selling the house is a massive decision and you need to know for sure your job situation and location before you make any changes.

    We’ve all been deluded about money – that’s why we’re here. Don’t feel ashamed. You are dealing with it, and you will find a way forward. You do need to make changes, and some of them will be big. But you cannot carry on as you are.

    Finally, keep posting. You actually had the plan in your head all along, but you needed to get it down in writing. It does help.

    I’m afraid I can’t help with the rain – but I’ll tell you I went to an outdoor boot camp yesterday evening and had horizontal rain and thunder and lightning for the whole hour of it. My Magpie feathers were soaked through and NOT happy.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on over the next few days and weeks.

    Magpie100
    Originally posted by Magpie100
    Oh magpie - I hope my thanks to you isn't dissipated by the fact that this is take two of my message - I typed it our and towards the end I had a phone call and by the time I got off the phone my son had unwittingly closed down the computer - message unsaved.... I wanted to just say how grateful I am for your non judgmental support with good advice....just the right blend for me. I was in tears reading your message, a mixture of acute sadness and a sense of being recognized if that doesn't sound to sappy.

    SO today - I have probably done too much and my head is definitely fatigued by thinking it all.

    Positives and negatives. My check list written in the night (yes those early hour awakenings are back...)

    Call mortgage provider to find out about porting mortgage (I have about £125 000 in equity I believe). I rang and found out grim news that while I can port the mortgage and the interest rate of 2.14% tracker for life of the mortgage - I would be reassessed for a mortgage as if it were a new mortgage on a new property - which I almost certainly would be declined for as I have too much debt. so my option for selling and buying again is drastically affected - I could sell and leave it six months and buy in that time, after all my old mortgage and debt is paid off but I would have to rent in the gap. Or I could sell and rent fullstop.

    Cancel subscriptions so not to add to debt.
    I have £130 for food and travel for the rest of the month. Review cupboards and plan meals. Both kids are home now.
    And look at getting the house valued so I have an accurate idea of what I can do.
    Look on line at houses to buy or rent.

    Read up about DMP / IVA and see what is best. Well this is a tricky area - some real negatives to all of those options. Bankruptcy = house sale and loss of home, and credit rating, no mortgage etc.
    IVA = reduced payments if accepted, and a request to remortgage to release equity to pay in full in at the beginning of the fifth year but apparently most people are turned down for a mortgage due to debt history. If no release of equity to pay more the fifth year, people are required to make a sixth year of payments and then anything left is wiped, credit score made poorly for 6-7 years. The real negative to this one is that people ar required to stop paying into their pension and for those payments to go into the debt repayments - sounds reasonable but I am in a small group of workers who have their employers paying a double contribution from age 50, so I get two years for every year going in - and I can take my pension if I wish at 55, with lump sum which for me will be about 45 - 49K - which is either going to be good for paying off a big chunk of mortgage (most likely) or outstanding debt or even better still having some fun in retirement.

    A DMP - reduced payments on frozen interest sound the best option, you pay the lot back but at a much slower pace - reduced agreed payments which appeal to me, but I am fearful of the length of time. I need to read more about this. but it is possible that once I know what I am doing - job, house move, this may well be the path I go down but with the plan to make extra payments to shorten the length of time. If I take one of these out it may well suit my circumstances? I read about one person's journey over 11 years or so of repayments to get down his high £40K. He posted on the evening he made his last payment - I want to do that one day - very much. And cut up those cards as I do so.

    Consider house sale and renting instead? Hmmm yes - one for thinking about after the job interview.

    I have stared at figures so much today and spoken to HSBC re my mortgage and whether i can have a lodger under the terms of my mortgage - they are going to look into that and let me know. I saw a local college student on a sharing rooms web site and have emailed her - £90 per week for a room and it might just fit as my son goes to the same college and they might get on. which would be ideal - we are a small and quiet family, that usually laughs a lot and is very supportive of one another - I wouldn't want a lodger who wasn't a good fit for us.

    This money if sorted would go to debt and building an emergency fund.

    A smaller scale positive - I cancelled all my subscriptions - £84 per month! I had no idea having never added them up before. and it is not like it is real savings other than £19 as I usually put my CC details in for those sorts of purchases which means that the bill is always picked up on my credit card and stands a high chance of heading towards my bloody 0% pile of cards....

    I also logged into join MSE Credit Check Club - very easy and easier than the main Experien site who could not find me. (Why I wonder - am I so bad that I broke the credit rating algorithm?)

    My credit check is still green 893 which is utterly ridiculous! Amber weak for Debt ratio, green for Credit utilization (of course) and red very weak for Disposable income. My affordability scores for CC and loans is both red weak. Hello brick wall.

    I have worked out that I can pay about £695 off the debt each month is I am very tight. My fear is that this level of budgeting is not sustainable and that I will crack - new SOA to come.

    I have been very low all day today and been at points just feeling waves of anger and shame, sadness, anxiety and panic which I find the worst feeling to have. I knew my options were reduced but it is very humbling to see it in action. I will view each payday as a milestone and a day to celebrate another chunk of the debt being paid off - and go and find something in my home that I can look at and say - 'you are now paid for!'

    Sleep now though - more to do tomorrow - starting to declutter the garage and at the same time look for things to sell. Thanks you again Magpie - so valued. I thank you to the tips of your magpie feathers! Which I sense may be blown about dreadfully by these gale force winds tonight - what a racket out there - tile checking in the morning....

    Oh and you are right about my folly in paying for that meal - but his parents had just paid for my daughter to go overseas on holidays with them - all expenses paid...I felt it the very least I could do, but I am really aware that I can't afford to do this - a difficult situation.

    Sleep - heavy eyes which is far better than last night. and yes I will do my best not to risk my recovery - a lot hinges on my being fit and well for work. Thank you again.
    Last edited by MiMi66; 13-09-2017 at 9:15 AM. Reason: Errors in grammar.
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
    • Narola1976
    • By Narola1976 13th Sep 17, 8:20 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 261 Thanks
    Narola1976
    Hi Mimi, sorry did not get a chance to respond yesterday but I want to echo much of what Magpie said. Most of us are here because we all made massive mistakes with money (see my signature for evidence of my own poor judgement!). Like you I have berated myself for the mess I am in and experienced that same sense of panic and anxiety from time to time.

    But the important thing is that you are not letting those feelings immobilize you. You are taking active steps - cancelling those subscriptions is brilliant. My instinct is saying not to make big changes. So I would leave the mortgage / selling/ moving well alone. I also don't know much about DMP's but what I can say from reading people's experiences here is the sheer relief that came from being able to BREATHE and SLEEP EASY after having arranged it. And their home was still safe. Everyone's circumstances are different and therefore there is no one set time for people to complete their DMP. It depends on the amount of money that you can throw at your debt while still LIVING. The DMP as I understand it gives you a fighting chance without horrendous interest rates preventing you from making a dent in your debt. You won't necessarily take 11 years to finish it. Check out the boards and people's diaries. Crazy Cat Lady is a great person to ask about it. Speak to Step Change / CAP

    Whatever you decide to do remember you are doing what you can and what you can do is enough. Be gentle with yourself - I find we are often so harsh with ourselves, harsher than we would be if we were advising a friend in the same situation.

    Keep posting, we are here for you!
    HSBC CC £7150.15 - £6524.68 ~~~ Barclay Card £7894.74 £7846.32 ~~~ MBNA 1 £10382.67 - £10272.67 ~~~ MBNA 2 £7214.28 - £7062.94 ~~~Argos £202.05 - £100.05 ~~~ HSBC Loan £399.27 - £0 ~~~ Hitachi Loan £24.12 - £0 ~~~ Car Loan £14745.60 - £14008.32
    TOTAL £48012.88 - £45814.98 (Paid £2197.90 so far)
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 13th Sep 17, 9:08 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Thank you Narola, I was about to say you have no idea how warming and reassuring it is to get feedback and support here but if you course you do know! You have very similar debt amounts to me, and seem to be managing to not go bonkers with it.

    My eyes feel like they are going to fall out of my head today, so tired and feeling very fragile. I need to get more sleep. Bone weary which isn't good for my recovery I know. My surgeon would be very exasperated with me I think.

    My plan today is to try and find things to sell to make a bit of cash. Looking ahead I already know that over the next 6 weeks I have more outgoings and costs than I have cash for after the debts and food and fuel is paid for. I really want to not get the cc out to pay for things. It's my son's birthday and also two trips to university open days in Oxford and London. These will be done on a shoestring but the do require overnight stays. London is easier in a way as we can bunk down at my daughter's student flat. Oxford I shall look at air b&b to see if I can find a bargain. The kids know it will be cheap visits and are really supportive of that. Thank god they like noodle bars!! My daughter is very good at selling things in line (as is my brother but he doesn't live in the UK) - so I shall get her to help me do this selling bit.

    My children have been great. Sometimes I worry they know too much about it all and that I have burdened them but I don't think I could keep this to myself. They feel I have given them a good childhood and the only critical but true feedback that my son gave was that 'people sometimes bake the wrong choices when it comes to creating the amount of debt you gave ' Yep. Very true and said with care. Hopefully I am now giving my kids a very front toe seat in my awful life lesson and that they take something from that in learning about doing money management better than I have.

    My little cat Has come up and is now asleep on my chest while I am typing this on my phone. Either she is comforting me or thinking I am a warm platform for her paws - and thinking she advocating for breakfast. Best move to make something if the day and reassure the cats after the dreadful winds last night. I don't think I unmentioned two if my cats have had feline pancreatitis this summer. Very frightening to see how sick and thin they got. And the vet bills.... excess if nearly £100 on each insurance claim but thank heavens I had the insurance though it is a lot in premiums. My cats certainly seem to either get injured or sick and I have had my fair return on the insurance cover. They are both well and have regained their weight now.

    Last thought though. Does anyone think contactless cards are a blasted contributing factor to debt creation. To easy to use and also you get no sense of spending money when using them. I wonder if banks can reissue cards that are not contactless or I wonder if it is best to go cash only. Feel the paper (or plastic) in your hand as you go through the experience of buying items or food. Hmmm.

    Thank you again for good wishes. I value it.
    Last edited by MiMi66; 13-09-2017 at 9:20 AM. Reason: Error in grammar.
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
    • foxgloves
    • By foxgloves 13th Sep 17, 11:29 AM
    • 3,639 Posts
    • 17,732 Thanks
    foxgloves
    Hello Mimi,
    I contributed to your thread first time around. I noticed you were back & am sorry to hear how stressed you are. I just wanted to say that I think you may have a point about contactless cards. The sheer speed of that transaction probably wouldn't have helped me back pre-LBM when I was a shocking fritterer. I have been using Contactless much more recently. Not a problem as am sticking to budgets but what I'm noticing is that whereas I always would have been given a receipt, there are now more transactions where the assistant asks 'Would you like a receipt?' I always want one as I use them to reconcile my budget, track my spending & log what money has been spent from which pot. In the last week, in two shops when I've paid contactless, I haven't even been offered a receipt & had to ask....& in the other case, forgot.
    I don't want emailed receipts either.....an idea surely borne simply out of the wish to spam our inboxes with offers & stuff we don't need. Maybe lots of customers using contactless just want to be as quick as poss & refuse a receipt, but I definitely want one, particularly because as you say, it's such a lightning-quick procedure, it'd be easy to forget the spend had happened.
    Well, I feel better for that little moan. Wishing you all the best with your decisions & debtbusting.
    F x
    Money can't jump out of your purse on its own so ask 'Can I borrow one, make one, grow one, bake one, re-purpose or recycle, acquire it for free?' Yes? Then put that purse away & keep your money because little savings grow!
    Loan pay-down fund instalment 2 = £120
    Payment received from surveys: 2015 = £320 2016 = £210 2017 = £246
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 13th Sep 17, 6:08 PM
    • 2,153 Posts
    • 13,581 Thanks
    parsniphead
    I agree with the contactless card spending being way too easy. I have had one for a few months and have just realised how silly I got with it. I'm trying g to return to cash as much as possible as I'm following D@ve Ramseys babysteps.

    Keep going mimi and keep posting. You WILL get there.
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £206/2500 8.24%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing should be wasted on the self-sufficient holding. The dustman should never have to call. John Seymour
    • Magic Sister
    • By Magic Sister 13th Sep 17, 6:58 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Magic Sister
    Hi Mimi, I've read your entire thread today, inbetween wirking, and I just wanted to say how much your situation mirrors mine. As a sole wage earner it feels like a never ending battle doesn't it? And it just takes a bit of ill health to throw it all out. I think you should be so proud of your wonderful, caring, level headed children, who are an absolute credit to you. Everything else will sort out, in time, and I fully believe that once you're ready, that special someone will appear in your life too. Take heart, you're doing amazingly!
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 13th Sep 17, 8:55 PM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Thankyou Foxgloves, Magic Sister and Oarsniphead (I too feel like a parsnip head!)

    Yes mortifying to be back and the only thing good to come of that is if the sense of deep shame keeps me on track.

    I've been in a tired fog today. Sorted out transport for my son's open days. Will drive to Oxford as that is cheapest and most practical. My lovely son has paid his own train fare (I found a bargain for him though that after student rail card came down to £27. I bought mine - no discount for £38.50 going for cheapest tickets I could find. And a day return for Friday to a nearby city I have to go to for Physio. £10.30. All cash. I have budgeted these costs into next months outgoings but bizarrely my Rrust has decided to pay small amounts of next month's salary in weekly instalments in the previous month. I have always been good at putting that aside until the pay month properly starts ( mind you, using the cc in a fashion of denial) - but this time I have accessed that money. Marked it in my October budget and bought the tickets as they will only get more expensive we if we left it. So that's a bit of money trickery to get the best deal and not use the cc. I have paid in cash a household bill. £34. And the smaller train ticket came out of this months remaining money. It leaves me with £75. Til pay day at the end of September (27th). Sigh.

    Magic sister - my heart goes out to you if my journey has been like mine. I suspect there are others too. I'm doing my best to be pragmatic and focused but the wobbles get me. Less tears today but still a bit weepy. I think tiredness has kicked in.

    Parsnip head - yep contactless card are my new enemy. I hope I am not deflecting, bit I think I have been weakened by them and it is all too easy. I have drawn out my money in cash and I certainly felt handing over £5.07 for a few groceries today. Much more real. Happily I spotted my co-op points balance is at £25.90. At least we'll have Christmas lunch on the co-op. I like them, seem a kinder supermarket. But I know I am going to have to shift to Lidls a bit. Blasted Sainsbury's and Waitrose keep sending me massive discount vouchers -£12 off a £60 shop, but the temptation is very strong in those hallowed Waitrose halls. �� Pennies do count and add up. Before my big fright this week I gave money to charities outside the supermarket. Can't do that. Must choose more specifically who I will support and only when I can. They may have to wait 6 years....

    I am rambling.....

    I didn't do the decluttering today but I really would like to do that before the autumn ends. Sell and clear and clear and sell.

    My exhusband came by today and we are pretty lucky in that we are open with each to a reasonable extent. He thinks I should get out and rent. But I am going to sit and ponder rather than make a decision about the house too quickly. I wondered today about if I got the cc debt down to under £25000 ( the loan is at £9871 and current Cc debt is around £28000) whether I should see if a loan over 5or 6 years might work? The current loan was originally for £14950, and over 21 months I have that down to £9871) and then cut up the cards. No more 9% BT but they have not been my friend as I was always adding on a bit more each time to gain financial comfort. Look where that got me. I've never been more uncomfortable. Anyway today I am thinking DMP vs Loan (unsecured) and House staying out a renting. Thinking but not deciding. Brain like a mashed parsnip and will only make bad decisions at present.

    And you know it never rains but pours in life. I have been asked out on a date.... what is they say - 'be careful what you wish for'. He has offered to take me out to dinner. That's a first in 10 years. My first thoughts (after ah... I have no money) was what do I wear? Still a girl in there after all.

    Something else to fret about. �������� but sleepy now so will decide on that tomorrow.
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 14th Sep 17, 10:03 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    Magpie100
    Hi MiMi,

    Not sappy at all – I hope you found it useful. It’s easy to dish out advice to other people, of course, but I can see from your latest posts that you are beginning to get your thoughts in order and come up with plans. Sometimes all you need is a helping hand with priorities and to break things down a bit. I know you are tired and upset still, but you sound much more focussed and practical to me – keep going!

    So. Let’s look at a few things.

    IVA/Bankruptcy. I think you can put these options to one side, for now. You are right about your pension – it is invaluable. If anyone suggests you should stop paying in to it pick up the nearest soft furnishing and throw it at them. Hard. Also, you have a relatively speaking stable job in a stable organisation and a decent income. Bankruptcy is not something to consider unless that changes.

    House sale. I am glad you would consider this, because many people won’t. However. IF you are going to sell your house and rent for a bit before buying again you need to be as clear as you can on a couple of things (I know we can’t guarantee anything in life, but you need to be realistic and honest with yourself about what I am about to say). You need to know that if you sell your house and clear your debt with it you will still have enough leftover to buy where you want to buy and with a sensible-sized mortgage. This means you need to be realistic about the housing market in the area you would want to buy – is it going up, will you be priced out if you rent for 6 months, or indeed longer. You also need you be SURE that once you have cleared your debt you can then live on a budget WITHOUT dipping in to the equity. I think this is a danger because for so long now you have felt deprived (and indeed have been depriving yourself of things) and it would be easy to feel ‘rich’ and book six back-to-back Caribbean cruises and start buying groceries in Fortnum and Mason, or whatever. You do not want to sell, clear the debt, move in to rented and then start frittering away the capital. You need to be honest with yourself as to whether you can STICK to a budget while this process happens.

    Selling and renting for ever. I try not to fall in to the house-prices-only-ever-go-up-rent-is-dead-money trap so I would have no problem with you considering this. However, you sound like someone who likes their own, cosy home (and what’s wrong with that?). Of course, if you rent you are then at the mercy of the rental market and only you know if you can cope with that. For both selling and renting then buying again and renting for ever you are at a time of life where your children will be spending less and less time at home (I’m sorry! I’m sure they will visit often!) but this means you should consider carefully exactly what space, and what type of space, you need for the future. But this may actually be an exciting project for you for the future.

    DMP/loan. I still think a DMP is the way forward for you. A loan is just kicking the can down the road and I am not sure your budgeting is under control enough for one (I realise you’re a way off one anyway because you need to clear CC debt first). It hasn’t worked for you in the past – why will it now? A DMP has the advantage of MAKING you stick to a budget. But of course it is still a big decision and I know you need to get things firmed up with your job situation first.

    Lodger. Yes, good, I am glad you have asked the bank about this. Continue to explore. A local lodger who knows your son sounds ideal to me, even in the short term. Christmas is coming. On which note, what is your plan for it? I notice in the past that it tends to derail you, and while you have this time to yourself it would be good to come up with a plan to keep costs and expectations down.

    Subscriptions. I am DELIGHTED that you have tackled these. Well done. PLEASE keep on top of them. I know it is easy to fall in to the trap of thinking ‘what does it matter…I’m in so deep’ but that’s how these things build up. I am also pleased you have budgeted and made plans for things happening in October. You should be really pleased with this. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good here – there will be back and forwards and wins and losses – but the more you do this and plan ahead the easier it will be.

    Contactless – horses for courses, but I quite like it. But I am impatient and often in a rush. I don’t like receipts because the plastic coating on them means they can’t be recycled, but I know many people rely on them for accurate budgeting. Increasingly I’ve been asked in bigger stores if a receipt can be emailed to me, which I like a lot. But I understand why it isn’t for everyone.

    Finally – you might want to consider asking the mods to move this thread to the Debt Free Diaries board. Up to you, of course, but the posters cruising round there are great at advice for long-term debt issues, which yours is. And you may get more traffic and friendly advice there.

    The date. For god’s sake, woman. Go for it! He wants to take you for dinner, so let him. Can you go and shop your wardrobe and see what you can find?

    I was extremely ruffled by the wind the other night and woke at 3 am and then couldn’t go back to sleep. And also I have had to deal with a mouse incident on behalf of my cat. Let’s just say he seems to draw inspiration from Jack the Ripper.

    Anyway. Keep going! You are getting there.

    M100
    • Magic Sister
    • By Magic Sister 14th Sep 17, 11:49 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Magic Sister
    Oooh enjoy your date! Unfortunately I am stuck as much as I would love a relationship, my 20 yo DD has mental health issues, diagnosed for the last 6 years, and all my time/ energy goes in to supporting her. She would also not deal well with another facet in our lives so for the time being allhopes of romance are on hold. And I just get older so maybe never, but who knows?

    I really hope you enjoy your date!! 😁😁💜💜
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 15th Sep 17, 10:40 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Hi Magpie and Magic Sister

    Thanks for your messages, I had read them yesterday but was in a proverbial emotional hole and not able to string together thoughts. Awful
    panic.

    I am now wanting reassurance that my eyes won't explode or fall out if I keep crying.... seriously they feel like they are in my cheeks. I have been going around in mental and physical circles. My thoughts are intrusive and I have paced endlessly in my kitchen. I am worried about the emotional fall out on the kids though it hey seem mega robust and while not minimising the situation they are keen to help me keep perspective.

    Sleep utterly rubbish but rather be Han right last night I read other people's threads and looked at Debt Free Diaries. Not 100% that is the right place for my thread, but have only read a few longer threads there. Interesting the way different people each to and deal with debt. Though if I do ask for my thread to be moved there how do I do this? How do I get hold of a moderator to move it?

    Today's thoughts. I am in the train now to go to Physio and then sneak into training course (god knows what this says about my work ethic but I hope it is good) work is a therapy for me though. Absorbing and I'm good at it. And generally cannot spend money while doing it.

    And then my date afterwards. A walk and coffee and then dinner. Fingers crossed. I really appreciate the thumbs up on this as I do feel very daft entertaining dating while I am in such a hole. It appears he is equally broke but it may be comforting to be with someone who is keen for me to keep up with them. (I am so guilty of that in the past) I shall let you all know how it goes! I feel a bit nauseaous with anxiety about dating as well as extremely nauseaous about lack of money and debt. I guess not ideal to bring any of this up on the first date, but when should I say something about being a self inflicted Poor Church Mouse (PCM)?


    Thinking last night - exploring ideas and ways forward. I did the Step Change took and it seems we are right. Not IVA or Bankruptcy but they recommend a DMP and to consider selling up house. So I'm on the right track.

    I did the expenses budget but want to revisit it when my head is clearer and I hopefully have slept. What I am wondering is that the tool came out with my having £620 to pay debt with. Currently I pay about £712 and end up short for monthly living costs as I need to recalibrate daily budgeting and spending habits. I think you are right Magpie, I don't trust myself that she these habits won't get me into trouble if I sell and rent and it's awful to think that after 24 years of mortgage repayments that I would not own something outright towards or not long after my pension and retirement or going part time kicks in.

    So if a DMP would require me to pay the same or thereabouts as what I pay now at least I know I am doing what I can on the repayment front. I pay the minimum plus some on the cards - anywhere from 25-75% of the minimum payment except on one which I do just pay minimum on. If I keep that going the big challenge is stopping accruing debt. Stop all additional spending. To do this I need a small reserve behind me for emergencies. Then there's the job interview and impact of that outcome. And my blasted health though that feels hard to hang onto in importance right now. I just want to get back to work and see if I can pick up some overtime.

    Lodger. - yes I want one. The college girl didn't reply but I had a brainwave last night. I live 5 mins drive or 20 mins walk from the hospital. I will go next week and ask facilities if I can put a notice in the pin board by the dining room to see if I can get a lodger who works at the hospital- either permanently or a student placement. And happily they will have been DSB checked (really don't want the hassle of an ax murderer moving in!). I would need a couple of repairs done to doors in the house (bathroom door doesn't close, dropped hinges or something and needs a latch) and my son's bedroom door is split from an over zealous attempt to dip strip the door to remove paint. And tidy and declutter to give prospective lodger a sense that there is space for them and that I am not the chaotic freak I feel I am right now. It looks like I could get 360-400 a month from renting g a room out and this would be emerg NYC money then debt repayment money.
    I think (today at least this is the plan) that I will hold off formal DMO and keep my repayments as is (never missed or underpaid anyone) and do the house bits (need a cheap handy man) and get a ad up at the hospital and get self back to work. Occupational Health check next Friday. Whew.

    I want to assure myself and you that would am not avoiding the DMP but if I can do a DMP like commitment and not incur and debt for six months I think I can do it by and large for 55 months (estimated pay off frame). I saw in some threads people avoiding paying their debt backbut I do want to pay mine back. I spent it and any spare money I have is not my own. One day it will be.

    If I don't achieve this over the next 6 months I shall look again at house selling and renting or formal DMP. My son finished college in June 2018 so that fits well in terms of timing if we move in the early mid summer next year.

    Now my mood. Very low. I know I sound like I can make a plan but the feelings of panic are overwhelming. My daughter, ever so tactfully, and knowing that I came off my antidepressants 3 months ago, wondered to me if I was maybe getting depressed again. I think that what has happened is that I am really feeling things in a way you don't when you are taking antidepressants. However it's a balancing act - true emotional experiences that keep you in touch with reality and taking action (debt - was I cushioned from the worry of it too much?) vs being rendered incapable through distress, crying and panicking, sleep loss and fear. I will see how my mood goes over the next 1-2 weeks and if still plummeting I will go back on them - a long term relationship for me -13 years of antidepressant treatment. I just have enjoyed being off them. Music and reading seems to come more to life when not cushioned. But I have been very tearful, dark and now sleep and appetite going - I think I already know the answer...)

    Another thing maybe not to mention in the first date..... hopefully I'll come across as interestingly mysterious rather than secretive. ���� thank you for good wishes with it.
    Last edited by MiMi66; 16-09-2017 at 10:44 AM. Reason: spelling
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
    • foxgloves
    • By foxgloves 15th Sep 17, 11:14 AM
    • 3,639 Posts
    • 17,732 Thanks
    foxgloves
    Hello Mimi,
    Sorry to hear you are feeling so horrid. Panic & anxiety is so awful, isn't it? You find the same thoughts revolving in your head in a loop of worry & 'what if' and it makes everything feel worse. You do have some plans in there, though. That sounds like a potentially useful amount of money from having a lodger & what a good idea to try & get someone who works at the hospital. There's surely bound to be someone who would welcome affordable lodgings so close to their place or work. Hope you get a good response when you put up your notice, anyway. I've never suffered from depression, so I don't have experience of taking anti-depressants. I did have a couple of difficult years ages ago with generalised anxiety disorder, which needed a low dose of medication, so I do have some experience & understanding of how distressing it can feel to have the same thoughts crowding into your head & simply not to be able to shut off from that mental merry-go-round of chaos. My tactic now, when I am in stressful times (which I am now, but for different reasons) is to throw myself into all those elements of my life over which I DO have some degree of control..... at the moment, things like tightening the budget, really meal planning well & batch-cooking - that kind of thing, trying to eat as well as possible to keep myself well (& to control my weight, as I need a big surgery & am still heavier than I'd like to be for that). De-cluttering seems to help too.....just anything where I feel I have been in control of things rather than the stressful stuff (in my case, a very ill family member) controlling me. You always sound very sensible (& a lot more 'together' than you probably think!) and you will know all this already, but I wanted to leave a sympathetic message, as despite never having been clinically depressed, I certainly remember what that dreadful anxiety & panic attacks were like. I do hope you can find a lodger, as that would be such useful income. And amongst all of this, make just a little time each day to do something nice for yourself. Yesterday, (I know this is a truly titchy thing!), my best thing (apart from NOT starting the day with phone call to say dear family member collapsed & back in hospital again) was baking a sourdough loaf!! That sounds daft, doesn't it? I think it's because I'd wanted to learn how to do sourdough for ages, started a culture this year, & with Youtube, a book gifted to me by a friend & trial & error, I can now do it & despite all the stress & sadness around in my family at the moment, seeing that loaf (& I'm only talking Aldi flour here lol!) sitting on the cooling rack in all its golden crusty glory, just gave my spirits the lift they needed! Anyway, I'd like to wish you luck with your date......it might lead somewhere, it might not.......but why not just enjoy an evening out & tell yourself you're worth it! And fingers crossed there is a lovely lodger looking for a place just like yours & that there will soon be rent money landing regularly in your bank account.
    Best Wishes,
    F x
    Money can't jump out of your purse on its own so ask 'Can I borrow one, make one, grow one, bake one, re-purpose or recycle, acquire it for free?' Yes? Then put that purse away & keep your money because little savings grow!
    Loan pay-down fund instalment 2 = £120
    Payment received from surveys: 2015 = £320 2016 = £210 2017 = £246
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 15th Sep 17, 12:33 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    Magpie100
    Hi MiMi,

    Well done on posting even though you feel so low.

    DMP – I think your suggestion to try and get your spending completely under control and sticking to a budget for six months before looking at starting one is excellent. You won’t be able to have any further credit whilst in it, and you MUST be able to live on your budget. This will take a change of mindset, and that won’t be an overnight process. But please, just because you are going to delay the actual process of a DMP for 6 months, don’t bury your head in the sand and keep spending. I’m not saying you would, but I do feel like this is crunch time for you. You currently do have some solutions, but any further increase in debt is really going to start reducing your options even further.

    I think one of your big issues is one you have correctly identified – being over-optimistic about what you can pay off and leaving yourself short every month and then adding to the cards. Your budget (please post it here when you can) absolutely must be realistic. Remember, on a DMP most of the interest will be frozen (all of it, we hope) and you should start to see inroads in to paying off the capital. It is good that you have identified that there is still work to do in retraining your spending habits. You will need to refine your budget and spending over a period of a few months to see where the savings and pitfalls are.

    Lodger – yes, looking for someone via your work is a fantastic idea! Axe murderers as lodgers are SUCH a pain – all those tools cluttering up the hallway and the bloodstains are a nightmare to get out of the soft furnishings. I don’t know where you live and if there is any call for it but a Monday-Friday lodger might also work well for you – someone who is around during the working week but not at weekends. I keep banging on about stabilising your situation, but I do think if you could get a lodger sorted and build a small emergency fund by the start of the new year you could then consider a DMP with confidence.

    How you are feeling – I don’t know you, of course, and I am not a doctor. But your daughter, who does know you, sounds very wise. It know this is a horrible and overwhelming experience to go through, but perhaps one long-term good thing this enforced time away from the routine of work has made you confront the reality of your situation. I would never dissuade anyone from seeking medical help when it is needed, but my view is similar to yours in that I do think anti-depressants can have a cushioning and numbing effect. Only you can know of course where the balance lies on this front – so I agree with your plan to give yourself a couple more weeks. It might be when you get back to the routine of work you begin to feel a little more in control of things.

    As for the date – why shouldn’t you entertain dating? You aren’t a pariah! You’re just in debt. Many people are. You aren’t defined by it. I agree it probably isn’t a subject for discussion on a first date, but if it does come up you could perhaps say that you are at an exciting point in your life where you are re-evaluating where you are living, your financial priorities, and putting a plan in place for the future. Which is true! As part of that plan, of course, you need to deal with your debt, but he doesn’t need to know the ins and outs right this minute. I also feel that saying something like that to yourself might help you realise that this is what this process is – a plan for your future financial wellbeing. Things may look bleak now, but you are doing everything you can (posting here, speaking to your mortgage provider, researching, thinking of ways to increase your income, looking at your budget, coming up with a plan with a timescale) to reassess things and improve for the future. How much worse it would be to say ‘I’m in XX amount of debt, and have no idea what I’m going to do about it.’ But that isn’t you!

    I realise the above might make me sound like some crazed new age positive thinking lunatic (I AM NOT), but I do think it would perhaps help with the panic and anxiety if you can reframe things in this way. And you aren't lying about your situation, either.

    Let us know how you get on and good luck.

    Magpie100
    • Narola1976
    • By Narola1976 15th Sep 17, 8:42 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 261 Thanks
    Narola1976
    Hi Mimi, absolutely smashing advice you are getting here. Shall I add my two pence worth?

    Firstly, breathe....you are doing absolutely everything you can. Worrying more cannot improve your circumstances but it can sap every bit of strength you have, strength you need to get through these dark days. Of course, its easier said than done...to not worry...can you think of things you can do that are relaxing, perhaps meditation if that is not too new age for you? I also think that sometimes we do need more help than we can give ourselves and so there is no shame in going back on the anti-depressants. Were they helpful before? They can't work miracles but if they can give you just a little bit of help to rebuild your internal resilience you will cope with things much better. As was said, focus on what is within your control. You can't change the debt and you can't make money magic out of thin air (I wish LOL) but you can do things that will improve your mental and physical strength. I often have sleepless nights, I lay awake worrying about my job...its high risk, and I am petrified I will make a mistake and it all comes crashing down. So if I know I am going to be awake, instead of fretting, I read, or I listen to my audio book. Reading always helped me escape when I was a child and it helps me now. Is there anything similar for you? A bath with candles? Music?

    I think big decisions regarding the house must be made when you feel in full control and you are not being led by emotions. Speaking as someone who makes impulse decisions - did I mention I bought a car on the spur of the moment having taken mine in for a service - it was only 4 years old?? You have a lot of things going on and its easy to feel pulled in so many directions. But try not to tackle everything at once. One thing at a time.

    I was thinking of your lodger idea...if you are 20 minutes walk from the hospital, in the meantime, do you have a driveway you can rent out. Here people rent their parking spaces or drive ways to people working at the hospital to avoid the horrendous car park charges. Have you also though of trying Air BnB while looking for a permanent resident. You still rent out the room but its usually for a few days or a weekend and they tend to just doss in your home as they are usually on holiday or working. My OH used it once when he had to work in London for a month. He was out the whole day, just came in to sleep, kept to himself. If I had a spare room I might have considered this, as also, if you want some space, you just don't rent it out. A lodger is more permanent. Its a little more risky but worth checking out as an interim measure.

    I also want to suggest if I may you trial YNAB. I don't know if you have heard of it but they offer a 34 day free trial. The software itself and the app is amazing but what I really found fascinating was the 4 rules, because it is more than a budgeting tool. The concept for me about budgeting for my true expenses was revolutionary. And this resonates with the advice you have received about budgeting realistically so you are not leaving yourself short and then adding into the CC debt. I don't advocate you paying for the subscription especially as you have made good progress getting rid of them, but to me the benefits outweigh the downsides. I think the structure of something like this at least initially helps to bring order and calm. There is safety in routine, and boundaries sometimes. And even if you don't want to get the software, just watch the You Tube videos. Its really inspiring.

    Good for you regarding the date...didn't I say when you least expect it! Have fun, you deserve a night out, to talk about things other than money. Speaking of which, do you spend any time with RL friends? Sometimes a chat over homemade coffee can also de-stress just a bit.

    I hope I haven't come on too strong and if so, please feel to disregard every word. My intention is only to be supportive. I think you are doing marvelously and you a strong courageous lady. And you have kids that love and support you. Ooh just a though have you considered a gratitude journal...I have heard amazing things from people who were in the depth of despair and it really helped them, they started with I am alive, I have a comfy bed because they could not think of anything positive to say but that changed with time, not their circumstances but they change and their responses to those circumstances changed.

    Any way, chin sup, smile and keep posting!
    HSBC CC £7150.15 - £6524.68 ~~~ Barclay Card £7894.74 £7846.32 ~~~ MBNA 1 £10382.67 - £10272.67 ~~~ MBNA 2 £7214.28 - £7062.94 ~~~Argos £202.05 - £100.05 ~~~ HSBC Loan £399.27 - £0 ~~~ Hitachi Loan £24.12 - £0 ~~~ Car Loan £14745.60 - £14008.32
    TOTAL £48012.88 - £45814.98 (Paid £2197.90 so far)
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 16th Sep 17, 11:14 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Hi Magpie, Foxgloves and Narola,

    My message deleted again when I looked at something further up the thread - if I had more energy I would be very irritated - right now I just think - of course it deleted itself... Must start using Word to write in first.

    thank you for a good sound advice you are all giving me - and it helps to have things reframed or options considered. I sleep a bit better last night 1- 6 when Lily cat woke me up, and then back to sleep til 8. My daughter and I are going to tackle the garage this morning. I am a bit less foggy brained.

    So money or date feedback first?

    Date - it went well, he was very kind and gentlemanly - good conversation and a chatterbox which was good as I am so out of practice with all that - it has been an age. But I am not sure about seeing him again - he seems a bit unreliable? No regular work (was a part-timeLearning support assistant but has left that last year for part-time gardening)and he has not had a relationship any longer than 18 months which seems a bit of a red flag in a 47 year old? I get the feeling he could whip of in a flash like a will-o-wisp. he was talking about a n offer he had to go an live for free in a Buddhist retreat in Spain and is likely to do that I think? He is currently living off his savings having sold a flat in London, and bought (outright I think) a lovely home here in Devon. So while he says he likes me, and that is a novelty for em, I am not sure whether he is right for me. I resisted spilling the beans about my situation and I took your advice Magpie and went with it was a time of change in my life, reevaluating everything and needing to look at how I was living etc etc at a mumbled pace - he was kind and did not ask any questions. It was lovely that he paid for dinner and tea when we first met though - I haven't had dinner bought for me for 14 years and even then when I was married I paid as my ex was very reluctant to get his wallet out - we didn't go out much though - young children, etc.
    You must think I am an unsightly hag to not a have had the m,ale attention and flattery of having a meal paid for in all this time, but I am not a gargoyle. I am usually friendly and kind, bright and hard working, and not a gargoyle - is that what you meant Narola about a Gratitude Journal - how is that for a start? 'I am not a gargoyle.' :-) Seriously though I have thought of those things and done a vision board for things that please me - full of open spaces and animals. I must do one for financial stability and security and cash!

    And so money - driveway idea is a good one - but I don't have a driveway - frustrating. I have a half pull in place which is a bit of a risk for my own vehicle really - juts out a bit.

    Lodger - feeling good about trying this - have realised it might take me a bit of time to get sorted for it - making space for a lodger....but will pursue - that seems the most doable of all options right now. Monday to Friday sounds good to so we get out home space back - I wondered about taxation on this but have had a bit of a look and it seems you can earn up to £4800 a year doing it which is why so many are offering to pay £400 a month I guess?

    I have worked out that if I return a few items that I have bought before coming to my senses (painful that - no wonder people avoid reality) - that I might be able to save full repayment onto the using cc (which I want to axe asap) to the tune of £148 and my son owes me £57 for something that I paid for for him on the card - so about £200 that I can keep as an emergency fund. hope so - a lot relies on the return of a pair of jeans I have worn but on their first day they stretched dreadfully - looking like baggy pants - and before I would have just put them in the drawer and maybe made shorts out of them next summer - but I am going to attempt the return today. Small local department store so not sure how they will respond.

    I think you asked me Magpie about budgeting for Christmas - hmmmm - yes it is a derail moment. The kids and I have talked so they are well informed as to my reality which impacts on the Christmas tree stash - I am going to try and get overtime once I am back to work - and also try to save £150 per months in Nov and December - and if I can't - arghhhh - ask me closer to the time - I might sell stuff? or if I have a lodger that will help - but I will NOT use the CC. Home made presents might be the padding to make it seems more :-)

    So off into the garage - and tidying and helping my daughter sort her things before she heads back to uni next Thursday - I am going to miss her!!! But I am up there next month as you know, late October ( apparently as is my date? - he wants to take me for Vietnamese in London? god in heavens - I have a romantic option!)

    Wish me luck with my returns.
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
    • moneysavvy35
    • By moneysavvy35 16th Sep 17, 1:49 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    moneysavvy35
    Hi Mimi66

    I have just popped into this thread by accident. Im so sorry but I don't have much advise in terms of money saving. But I just want to say I have read some of your post and I feel nothing but admiration for you.

    You have been open, honest & refreshing with your feelings, even when you are in your darkest moments you will come on & say how you are feeling - do you reliase how much strength that takes? You are much more resilient than you give yourself credit for.

    I wish you continued luck, love & support on your journey to bringing debt down.

    I will pop in from time to time to see how you are getting on.

    I before I go here are some quotes I got from google:

    "Dont forget that your human, its ok to have a melt down. Just dont unpack & live there. Cry it out & refocus on where your headed"

    " Its ok to fall down & lose your spark, Just make sure when you get back up you rise as the whole damn fire"

    All the best...x
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 18th Sep 17, 2:32 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    Magpie100
    Hi MiMi,

    How are you getting on? I tend to draft my posts in Word first as it can be very frustrating otherwise, as you have found out.

    Your ‘I am not a gargoyle’ as entry number one in your gratitude journal did make me laugh! Of course I would never think that of you anyway – why would I? Even if you WERE a gargoyle you would still be worthy of advice and support – even stone carvings can get in to financial trouble, I am sure. ☺ I am glad the date went well – I suppose all I would say is perhaps try not to overthink it and see him in London and see how you feel after that. Kind no judgementalness while paying for dinner seems to suggest he might be worth getting to know a bit more.

    Yes, if you can charge a lodger a level that will keep you below paying tax on it (so the Rent a Room scheme amount) that will be one less thing for you to worry about financially. I would not advise throwing HMRC in to the mix right now. Perhaps once your daughter has gone back to Uni you’ll then be able to make a list of what needs to be done to make a lodger comfortable and then find cheap ways of auctioning it. Don’t be guilt-tripped in to feeling you have to make it like a palace for them – if it is tidy, clean and welcoming that should be fine. Obviously you may want to make sure you have things like locks on bathroom doors and storage space for them, but a decluttered neutral space is all that is needed.

    How did you get on with returning the jeans?

    I’m sorry to have mentioned the Christmas word (I really can’t bear the lead-up to it myself) but I did notice when reading through your diary that it does seem to be a time of year where things do go off the rails for you. It is very easy to get caught up in the ‘It’s Christmas’ ‘What’s another £25 on the credit card’ feel of it all, especially with endless advertising n marketing these days. When you feel up to it perhaps make a list of EXACTLY what you would need to buy, including things like decorations and food. Charity shops are very good for pre-loved Christmas decorations, and you could start with buying a coupe of Christmas things every month between now and the big day. It soon adds up.

    Let us know what challenges you are facing this week and how you are getting on when you can.
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 20th Sep 17, 3:20 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    MiMi66
    Hi Magpie and Moneysavvy

    Thanks for the helpful check in and following. So hopeful my story is helpful to other.

    Sorry to have been off line the last few days. Wobbly and recovery took a downward turn. And here I am in the middle of the night yet again! My post surgical stuff is getting me down a bit and I think the anaesthetic has taken a big toll on my resilience. It'll pass but it's a pain. I am due to go to Occ Health on Friday and likely back to work next Wednesdays. We'll see. I want to go back but I don't want to be wobbly at work.

    On the debt activity front I have done good. Jeans back and shoes. And another item returned by post. Not cash back exactly, as it was cc spends a few weeks ago, but at least I don't have to pay for them in reality. I plan to pay off my using cc next week (yay pay day Wednesday!! - am ridiculously excited) - sorry if I am repeating myself!

    And my daughter and son have helped to declutter and dejunk the garage. 3 runs to the dump and charity shop. My daughter's kitchen things sorted for uni and a pile of things to sell. A couple of sales already done on Facebook and Amazon Seller. And more to go. Not a big sum but if it all sells it might be £150 which will start the emergency fund.

    Selling CD's too - odd feeling. Like selling memories for 1p up to 12p it seems in Music Magpie. Awful when you think what was paid for them. But the world is digital now and on working on releasing myself from stuff.

    I've had time to think more about the psychological patterning of debt accrual. I wonder if debt of the nature I have, self comforting spending and a bit of keeping up with partnered friends with two income households, might in some ways be due to childhood hurts - and result in a pattern of self comforting with having what the dressings of security. And how difficult though possible it is to retrain yourself from a habitual attitude to use of credit. I think I've read before that negative and damaging ha it's like smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, and gambling can result in the development of neural pathways to support those habits in the brain. Changing the behaviour required the building of new neural pathways which take a consistent change to address the habit and time. I think this must also be the car with debt accrual and stoping using credit.

    I found myself in almost a high panic at points the last few days when the realisation hits that I am embarking a credit free life. No back up. So far so good. 10 days in and no credit card use. £28 to pay day but I may pull forward a tiny bit of my advanced pay to do a grocery shop.

    Lodger wide Magpie - part of my down-ness the last few days is about the awful sense of moving my daughter out. She seems fine but I am struggling. However the way to address that fear and guilt is to try for the Monday to Friday lodger and also have a trial period to make sure we are compatible as house mates. I also need to figure out if utilities are extra in the lodging fee or is it meant to cover it all?

    Ohhh suddenly sleepy - going to strike while eye lids are heavy on this 'PCM not a gargoyle' woman.

    Will be back with more.
    Last edited by MiMi66; 20-09-2017 at 3:22 AM.
    MiMi66 02/09/17 NWCC: £4893/£4974; NW loan: £9871 /£10097 - 3.4%; M&S:£6302 /£6502; VIRGIN: £7025 / £7096; Halifax: £9365 /£9485; =£37456 / 38154 DFD 01/12/2021
    Mtgage1 - £75832/ £107K
    Mtgage2 - £13025/ £19K Overall M'gage £88857
    Overall Mortgage and debt - £126313/(£127451 30/08/17)
    Amount pd off £01138
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