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  • FIRST POST
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 30th Jul 15, 1:30 PM
    • 641Posts
    • 2,374Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Battling Debt and Mental Illness — and (hopefully) Winning!
    • #1
    • 30th Jul 15, 1:30 PM
    Battling Debt and Mental Illness — and (hopefully) Winning! 30th Jul 15 at 1:30 PM
    Hi everyone

    I've been lurking on the Debt-Free Wannabe forums for ages and thought it was high time I joined in. I'm also hoping that having my own diary will motivate me to keep going — I've been reading some of the other diaries on here and feel inspired.

    About me: I'm 31, single, unemployed and living with my parents. Ain't life great? After many years of mental illness, I can finally see a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. I have depression and borderline personality disorder as well, but my anxiety is my biggest obstacle at the moment.

    I got into debt partly to fulfil a lifelong dream and get a BA and an MA. I lived at home while I was studying, but travel expenses and book buying take their toll. As did my chocolate bar habit and learning to drive... I was also prone to compulsive spending (still am, but less so since I have more of a handle on my mental health issues) and made many ridiculous decisions.

    The upshot is that I ended up owing several thousand pounds to my parents, over £6,000 on my credit card and a £2000 overdraft. I gradually reduced my debt a little, then was helped by a £2000 inheritance when my grandmother died. However, I was also struggling to keep a car on the road and my beloved dog died a couple of weeks before my grandmother, which was a horrible shock and led to me buying a new dog to give me a reason to live. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's true. My old dog kept me hanging on during the dark times and I couldn't face life not only without her, but without any pet of my own.

    Anyhoo, I was struggling to pay £60 a month interest on my credit card and make overpayments every month. I slipped into putting more unnecessary purchases on the credit card because I thought "what difference will it make?" I had a LBM at the end of June 2015 and realised I needed to do something drastic.

    Since I couldn't get a loan to pay off my credit card, let alone what I owed my parents, I hatched a plan for my parents to take out an unsecured loan for £13,000, covering the £7000 I owed them and my credit card balance. I did the maths and realised it would take me 5 years just to pay off my credit card, without paying a penny back to my parents, if I continued as I was. If my parents took out a loan on my behalf, I could clear the whole debt in 6 years. My parents agreed that taking out a loan was the sensible option — especially as it would relieve them of being £7000 out of pocket. My credit card balance is Nil and, strangely, I'm not even tempted to spend on it.
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    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 20th Apr 17, 8:28 AM
    • 472 Posts
    • 778 Thanks
    reality_check
    Thanks - will hopefully motivate myself to give them a go x
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 24th Apr 17, 12:19 PM
    • 641 Posts
    • 2,374 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    You're welcome, rc

    After starting last week firing on all cylinders, the end took a downturn... Fell ill on Friday, spending the night shivering and sweating. Been taking paracetamol since then, which has helped me to not feel so achey — the main issue is a sore throat and mild headache. Grrr! Thought I was done with being ill... I am sure there's a life lesson in all these viruses (you know, other than "getting out more exposes you to more viruses"), but right now it feels like being slapped with a slimy fish. And I hate fish.

    Having said that, I did get some good work done last week — including submitting a short story Also went to jive alone, after my friend pulled out with an upset stomach. She texted me 40min before I was due to leave, which was a bit stressful, but I went anyway and I coped. Reversed my mum's new car into a bay for te first time, too. Which still counts, though it was in the middle of about 7 empty bays!

    Sadly, we were told that this week's class will be the last at the venue. I can go to the class in my hometown, which is easier to get to since I can walk, but too far to expect my friend to come — plus she does other classes on Wednesdays. I'm terrified, but it took me over 3 years to start modern jive and I'm determined not to quit. I know the teacher and coaches, plus there are bound to be at least a few people I have met in classes, so it's not as daunting as it might have been. Perhaps there's a sense of relief, too: doing the class alone removes anxiety over whether or not my friend will make it. I will miss seeing her so regularly, but c'est la vie.

    Ironically, as I was feeling ill over the weekend, my fundraising for Machu Picchu (see www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HayleyNJones) went well! I raised another £100, thanks to a few donations from my dad's family and a couple of unexpected ones (including from my awesome mentor, Emylia Hall — everyone buy her books!). This brings me £25 short of the 50% mark I don't think I will hit my £1000 target, though I suppose you never know, but raising £500 is still a big achievement for me — especially as I hate askig people for help and promoting myself, even if it is for a worthwhile cause!

    I leave for Peru in just over 3 weeks and am trying to reframe my anxiety as excitement — which helps reduce anxiety and lets me appreciate the excitement I feel underneath. I'm also into my last month of being 32, which makes me feel reflective. I want to use my Machu Picchu challenge as a springboard to create a better life for myself, but I'm not sure how...
    Rainy day fund — 114.16/500 Emergency fund target — 508.99/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 3181/15,487 = 20.5% Fun fund: £54.07 Credit card balance — £0
    • misstara
    • By misstara 24th Apr 17, 8:50 PM
    • 2,129 Posts
    • 14,735 Thanks
    misstara
    Sorry to hear you've been ill. So exciting that your trip is only 3 weeks away, I'm very jealous! I'm also in my last few weeks of 32 which likewise has made me feel reflective
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £231.13 (97.8% paid)
    New flat debt Jan 2017 £2302.75 Now £1758.22 (23.6% paid)
    Mini Targets
    Exercise target - 4/12. Groceries target £131.84/£135. NSD target 15/16.
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 27th Apr 17, 1:41 PM
    • 641 Posts
    • 2,374 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, tara wow, we're very close in age! Lol — kind of thing you never think about, until someone memtions it.

    This week has been kinda good, but not done a lot. Was supposed to have an eye appointment today, but it got cancelled yesterday because my doctor got scheduled for emergency surgery — on someone else, I presume, since he's a surgeon! I know it can't be helped and I've accepted it, but late cancellations are soooo hard to deal with when you have anxiety. I spent the past 2 weeks mentally preparing. It's a bit annoying and frustrating, especially since it's 6 months overdue and already got rescheduled once (at 4 days' notice).

    Been walking more, heading up the lane with my dog. Going to Dartmoor with a couple of my fellow trekkers on Sunday, so that will be a good chunk of training on tougher terrain.

    Got a credit card deal from my provider this morning — 0% interest on new purchses from 18th May to 17th November — so I phoned them to activate it. Very handy timing, since my website costs renew om 21st May and I need to pay just under £150 on my Very account in June. This will allow me to spread the cost and ease the pressure a bit.

    Been doing a lot of introspection work with a fantastic journal of exercises called Start Where You Are. It has clarified some things for me, including the fact that I really, really want to do a psychology course with the OU and possibly build it into a degree. It would benefit me personally and professionally, but I have no idea how I would pay for it.

    Also realised I'm ready to make a concerted effort to lose weight again, after several months of staying around 235-240lbs (down from 263.5 last June). I've started this week and am using a 365 day journal I bought a while back to track my progress and record my thoughts. I need to find ways to keep my motivation high and not get discouraged by slow progress or other stuff happening in my life.

    Soooo... Pretty boring, but still on track
    Rainy day fund — 114.16/500 Emergency fund target — 508.99/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 3181/15,487 = 20.5% Fun fund: £54.07 Credit card balance — £0
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 27th Apr 17, 1:51 PM
    • 472 Posts
    • 778 Thanks
    reality_check
    At least you've not just turned 35 like me ABA....don't know how that happened!!

    Great timing with the credit card!!

    I would love to keep a bullet journal, but I am too scatty to remember to update it! And mistakes on paper annoy me, would spend ages ripping out pages and starting again!

    Good luck with the Dartmoor walk! xxx
    Last edited by reality_check; 27-04-2017 at 2:20 PM.
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 27th Apr 17, 2:06 PM
    • 641 Posts
    • 2,374 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, rc I'm sure I'll get there soon enough — have a feeling turning 40 is just around the corner!

    I have a huge number of notebooks, journals, etc. It's almost an addiction
    Rainy day fund — 114.16/500 Emergency fund target — 508.99/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 3181/15,487 = 20.5% Fun fund: £54.07 Credit card balance — £0
    • dimestorediamond
    • By dimestorediamond 27th Apr 17, 2:44 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 214 Thanks
    dimestorediamond
    Hi ABA, I'm with the OU and I don't know if you have done their courses before, but I have had a fantastic experience. Every tutor has been brilliant, especially last year's who helped me get some real perspective when I had a bit of a breakdown last year (work/uni/MHealth/physical illness). Please speak to the OU about financing and grants, I am in Wales and don't have any other university qualifications, but I am actually getting paid, essentially, to do this course. I know England has different rules, but please speak to the finance team, they have been great for me!
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 28th Apr 17, 12:35 PM
    • 641 Posts
    • 2,374 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, dimestore I have studied with the OU before and really like them. I already have a BA, so I'm not eligible for student loans or grants. I'm considering paying by installments, but think even that would be a struggle (if not impossible) given my current low income and debt repayments.

    Renewed my working tax credits today — nothing has changed in my circumstances, so hopefully I will continue to receive them, but still feel stressed about it. Need to figure out ways to earn more money so I feel more secure and can eventually survive without government assistance. Trouble is, I lost several months when I was ill; even when I kept plugging away at writing, I couldn't think clearly enough to come up with any strategies. Having said that, I find it hard to pick strategies and maintain confidence in them — I need someone to tell me what to do!
    Rainy day fund — 114.16/500 Emergency fund target — 508.99/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 3181/15,487 = 20.5% Fun fund: £54.07 Credit card balance — £0
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