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  • FIRST POST
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 30th Jul 15, 1:30 PM
    • 617Posts
    • 2,496Thanks
    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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    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 12th Oct 17, 7:08 AM
    • 617 Posts
    • 2,496 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, tara Yeah, I've noticed the lack of funding! The organisation I volunteer for is called The Project and there's huge demand for more groups, but fewer and fewer grants available. In addition, I've noticed that while a lot of people voice support for people with mental health problems, relatively few of them put their money where their mouth is...

    Forgot to mention that I paid off my Very account yesterday, so the debt has officially transferred to being part of the loan from my parents. Also decreased my credit limit, which they had increased to £4850, so now it's £850. Part of me thinks I should just close the account, but it's handy to use the credit with. "pay in 6/12 months" offers, when I'm thinking straight and planning out my finances; trouble is, when my mental health plummets, I make bad choices. This way, I can minimise potential damage while keeping access to some credit.
    Rainy day fund — 600/1000 Emergency fund — 1009/1500
    Loan — 290/19,300 = 1.5% Fun fund: 65 Credit card balance — 0
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 18th Oct 17, 6:10 AM
    • 617 Posts
    • 2,496 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Paid last £30 off cc

    Transferred £10 to ff, which will be used for Xmas presents.

    Paid my mum £50

    Also ordered £30 Paypal from GTM this week, so that will also go into ff for Xmas savings

    Been a quiet week. I feel under the weather !!!8212; think I have a cold
    Rainy day fund — 600/1000 Emergency fund — 1009/1500
    Loan — 290/19,300 = 1.5% Fun fund: 65 Credit card balance — 0
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 22nd Oct 17, 2:15 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 2,496 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    My mum totted up what I owe her and it comes to £19,300 !!!8212; several hundred less than I'd assumed/dreaded. I'm determined to stay on top of it from now on, paying for everything I buy straightaway and chipping steadily at the debt, instead of adding and subtracting depending on my cashflow situation.

    I have a cold and feel a bit blah, especially after a busy few days, but not too bad in mental health terms. Trying to be more positive about my life and prospects, though it's difficult.
    Rainy day fund — 600/1000 Emergency fund — 1009/1500
    Loan — 290/19,300 = 1.5% Fun fund: 65 Credit card balance — 0
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 25th Oct 17, 8:25 AM
    • 617 Posts
    • 2,496 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Paid £40 off loan, which is 0.2% Seems like a pathetically small amount, but it's the first time in ages that I know a payment I'm making is reducing my overall debt, so that's good.

    Still feel blah. My hip hurts and my mood has dipped. Using my SAD lamp and staying active, but don't know if it's enough. Got a flu vaccination on Monday, so hope this winter won't be a repeat of last winter.
    Rainy day fund — 600/1000 Emergency fund — 1009/1500
    Loan — 290/19,300 = 1.5% Fun fund: 65 Credit card balance — 0
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 20th Dec 17, 1:32 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 2,496 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Hi everyone and merry Christmas!

    I have been struggling a lot with depression and anxiety, but I'm still here. Everything is difficult, but I'm still working on my OU course (got 95% for my first assignment!) and writing/blogging when I can. Have had to scale back my volunteering, because I don't have time when anxiety/depression symptoms waste so many hours. I have to prioritise my official work, even if I earn nothing from it and feel that my volunteering matters more.

    Still going to gym classes, though I missed 2 last week thanks to a virus. Pathetic as it is, going with my mum has helped me to keep going through the difficult months. I have finished counselling, since my counsellor left the local charity which was providing me with counselling. It happened a little before I was ready, but counsellor felt I was doing well managing my mental health on my own. I'm also unlikely to get further counselling from the charity, because they are reorganising and getting strict about sticking to their original remit, which is dealing with loss, so bereavement, redundancy, recent illness/injury,etc. rather than long term mental health problems. It means that if I get worse again, my only options are the NHS, which I have tried previously and found to have limited effect since it's usually rationed to 6 sessions, or to pay for private sessions, which would be incredibly difficult in my current situation.

    I feel desperate to change things in the New Year. I need to somehow find paid work, though I have been looking recently and found nothing suitable. Most admin based jobs require either a receptionist or telesales element, both of which are impossible for me atm. I don't know what to do, but I hate having to rely on benefits and even 10 hours a week at minimum wage would give me a little security so that I know I could cope if I no longer received workig tax credits (or universal credit, when it gets changed). That gives me until April to find a solution.

    In the meantime, I'm trying to get through the festive season without trying to kill myself. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's reality for those of us with depression. I'm not in that place right now, so that's good, but I can feel my mood slipping most days. Trying to focus on the good things, like the fact that I'm still keeping active.
    Rainy day fund — 600/1000 Emergency fund — 1009/1500
    Loan — 290/19,300 = 1.5% Fun fund: 65 Credit card balance — 0
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 20th Dec 17, 8:53 PM
    • 1,885 Posts
    • 11,124 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hi ABA, I'm glad to 'see' you back, but I am sorry it is in such difficult circumstances.

    I faced the same trouble you did with counselling options. I eventually found cheap counselling options through my GP, I pay £15 a session, which admittedly was reduced from £25 because I am now out of work. There might be cheaper options through your GP or local council for private counselling, sadly that's the way long sufferers like you and me have to go.

    Keep on going, take each day at a time, you are incredible.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 4th Jan 18, 12:01 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 2,496 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, Florence I feel a bit better, after a horrendous Xmas, but will look into other counselling options if needed.

    Realised I met my savings goals last year, though obviously added to my debt as well. The goal for this year is to reduce my debt and add £500 easch to EF and RDF.

    Also really want to do an Arvon writing course !!!8212; there's one from which I would really benefit !!!8212; so will gove myself permission if I save the £200 deposit. This means I will be able to do it without getting into more debt, because I would use my RDF if I couldn't earn/save the remaining cost.

    Aim to save £10 a week by giving up fizzy drinks... Not easy, since I had been drinking 3-5 cans of Pepsi Max a day and often orangeade in the evening. I used to drink more than a 2 litre bottle of coke a day at my worst point, so hoping I can push a bit further and give up pretty much completely (I won't rule out the occasional drink, especially since I don't always have alcohol if I go out with friends). The first few days have been hard, but keep telling myself it will get easier after the first week/month.

    I have various other New Year Goals, which I won't bore you with! My main intention is to end this year feeling better and more accomplished than I do now.

    Happy new year everyone!
    Rainy day fund — 600/1000 Emergency fund — 1009/1500
    Loan — 290/19,300 = 1.5% Fun fund: 65 Credit card balance — 0
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 4th Jan 18, 12:44 PM
    • 719 Posts
    • 1,644 Thanks
    reality_check
    Happy New Year! Sorry your Christmas wasn't so good. I need to make some goals (and acheive them for once!) too, planning on reducing debt slowly, and concentrating on EF fund and savings. Normally I throw everything at debt, then when something comes up, which lets face it is always does, then need to add to my debt!

    £10 is a good saving per week! Maybe try halfing it at first rather than going cold turkey?! Sparkling water with some squash is nice if you don't like it on it's own xx
    Starting debt £18,675.63
    Current debt: £7,000
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