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  • FIRST POST
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 6th Dec 15, 12:18 PM
    • 1,508Posts
    • 8,411Thanks
    Florence J
    Flo's Debt Free Diary
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 15, 12:18 PM
    Flo's Debt Free Diary 6th Dec 15 at 12:18 PM
    Hi there,
    After reading through many of the debt free diaries, I feel brave enough to start my own.
    In many ways 2015 has been one of the best years of my life. I finally fulfilled my dream of getting a full time Ďadult jobí (not that Iím implying some jobs are more worthy than others) which meant for pretty much the first time in three years I have been able to pay rent and bills without borrowing the money off my boyfriend, or living off him. My previous jobs were wonderful, I worked for great people and enjoyed the work, I had three jobs, working for my friends animation company part time, working part time in an independent arts Centre, and volunteering for essential admin experience in an art gallery. I loved all the jobs, but despite working 6 days a week, I was making negative income, and that was before I bought anything non-essential (such as clothes, which is almost an addiction for me). I have five credit cards, which I foolishly gained the majority of in 2014, when I was working less and needed money. Did I spend the money on anything useful, like paying bills or food shopping? No, I went out all the time, I bought clothes, I bought magazine subscriptions, I got takeaways, I bought gifts for my friends, even though they knew the money was coming from dodgy credit cards and usually tried to stop me. I thought Iíd be ok, I had no thoughts about what this would do to me financially or to my credit rating. I was an idiot.
    I also used to smoke, but have finally kicked that habit 13 weeks ago today. I was smoking so much, ruining my health and straining my relationship with my boyfriend who detests smoking. Hiding the smoking habit from him made me feel like the worst person in the world, I am not a dishonest person by nature, but I was addicted to smoking and to shopping. I donít want to make it seem like Iím making excuses for myself, but I didnít learn much financial guidance from my family. My mother was an alcoholic and used the money from her job to buy booze at an increasingly alarming rate, my family was not well off to begin with, and the strain of this caused my father to lose his business and go bankrupt. We were on benefits for many years, my grandparents bought us food out of their savings and pension. I used to spend my pocket money as soon as I got it because otherwise my mum would steal it to buy alcohol. As a result I never learnt to save.
    I donít want to seem like I had a terrible life, I consider my life blessed in many ways. I have a great relationship with both parents, though they are no longer together, which is fine. Ultimately I knew I was loved by both, and to hate my mum for being an alcoholic would be wrong as alcoholism is a disease. I canít hate her for that.
    Due to these traumatic events and others, I suffer from depression and until this year the last few years have been very bad mental health wise. I have suffered from depression and panic attacks and am on a large dosage of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, which actually seem to be working as I feel so happy with my life, except when I think about my debts.
    I have finally paid off a debt I owe to my brother of 540, but I owe my sister a much smaller debt and my boyfriend a far, far larger debt. This is in addition to my credit card and overdraft debt of 5150 which the payments for I am just about meeting. Each month I have been paying the minimum and interest each month, and each month I then spend the minimum again. This cannot happen any longer.
    So 2016 will be the year I get serious about paying off my debts, and I have to live with a realistic budget and accept I cannot live the way I have been. It will be hard, but Iím 26 and I need to think about the future. I want to marry my boyfriend, I want a pet, I want a house, I want to continue my studies with an MA and another degree, If it wasnít for my bad job decisions and even worse spending habits I would have been able to do a couple of these things.
    The root of my money problem stems from going abroad to do an internship through a company when I left University. I borrowed the money of my brother, originally 1700 which I thought I could easily pay back. The company was fraudulent however, and I left with nothing except a debt to my brother, a debt on my credit card and all my saving gone. Due to the dodgy company status, after I consulted a lawyer, it would cost me over 3grand to take them to court, with no guarantee of winning due to a technical loop hole the company could go through, which is less than what I am owed. I had never used a credit card before that trip, I have had to leave it and try to put it out of my mind, the anger I feel drives me insane and I have to put it out of my mind in order to not make my mental health worse.
    So this is the time to put my finances in order. After reading the other debt free diaries, I know that this will be the way to chronicle my journey and get support, which will be great. Itís nice to know I am not alone and that there are others like me. I look forward to sharing with you.
Page 27
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 18th May 17, 5:13 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    Made my first payment to the £1001.75 debt I have to OH today. Only £72.50 but that is £72.50 less I owe him.

    I have a fractional amount of disposable income money left till payday next Friday so I will be having fun for free in the home this weekend I think.

    I feel ill but at least it is Friday tomorrow.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 18th May 17, 5:14 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    We are doing really well this month on the grocery challenge and still have £50 left until payday. We have never done so well this late in the month.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 18th May 17, 5:20 PM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 6,556 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Good you have started to make inroads into debt to OH.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 20th May 17, 9:23 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    Guys, I need help.

    I know I have only been in my new job for a month, but I hate it. I am miserable there. I have had three days of sickness that was probably caused by stress already.

    I don't feel like I am being supported by my new manager, nor do I think I will be.

    I need to leave. But I have to get a new job first. But how is it going to look? That I can't stick at anything?

    I have realised that I can't cope with stress or responsibility. I know these are skills that are basically mandatory in any job but my mental health and my anxiety means I am utterly incapable.

    I wish I was in my old job. I know I couldn't return to it, my contract ended, they didn't have the budget to keep me.

    I am miserable and because I don't know when or if I will get another job I can't leave this one and it is the not knowing that gets me down.

    I am really struggling. My mental health is basically gone. I get the Sunday night blues on Friday night because each minute that passes is a count down to when I have to return to this new job.

    Why am I incapable of coping with proper work? This is the first proper job I have ever had, and I have failed.

    I don't know what I can actually do. What job would be good for me? I can't cope with customer service, I can't cope with anything important or taxing. I can't talk to people on the phone....

    I am intelligent, I am hard working, but I fail at most jobs. My anxiety has rendered me incapable and I can't afford counselling.

    I have in my lowest moments wondered whether my mental health means I could be classed as disabled and have to live on benefits. But I get value from working, I do not hold a negative opinion of anyone on benefits/welfare/support as when I was a teenager I was one of them. But I feel terrible about myself when I am unemployed. I guess it is natural that we tie up so much of our opinion of ourselves from what we do.

    This is why I never ask anyone 'what do you do?' and why I hate being asked it myself, even when I have a good job, because I have spent so long doing jobs that make me miserable or which don't reflect my dreams and passions.

    I don't know what to do. I have applied for two jobs, one which has closed. I was rejected before interview. I had been on a great streak recently, applying for jobs and being invited to interview immediately (in one case before the job had even closed!) but with this recent one it's like they could sense my desperation.

    I came so close to handing in my notice already.

    Pigeons respond better to stress than I do.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 20th May 17, 9:48 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 612 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    I don't know your financial situation, but i think you could get benefits based on your present health. Could you try volunteering , to see how you feel about different types of jobs . Then when you feel better about things you could try getting a job in your chosen field. . Sorry things aren't good at the moment
    July 2017 CC1 3769 CC 2 1150 Emergency Fund £1150

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 21st May 17, 9:39 AM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 27,398 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Wish I had some wise words here Flo - you sound a lot like my dh when he's on a downward spiral.
    Maybe part time would be the way forward for you? My dh is a driver - spends a lot of his day on his own, clearing his head and driving around the sticks. I couldn't do it but it suits him.
    The one thing I have found about dealing with mental health issues is that you have to have an understanding doctor (one that knows you're intelligent and well aware of what is going on in your own health), and then you need to keep nagging. Don't give up - you are definitely worth time, effort and you have the same rights as everyone else to be happy at work. Get yourself some help from the health professionals - that's a good place to start. You will need to fight for it but it's worth it. x
    NST June#24 NSD 8/15 RYSAW17 #1 £412.74 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 21st May 17, 10:21 AM
    • 1,672 Posts
    • 7,593 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I am sorry things are so difficult for you Flo. You are very focused on what you cannot do (understandable as you are feeling low) but you do sound like an intelligent and sparky woman. If 9-5 work is not for you (and it is not for everyone despite what the world may suggest) are there other ways? People often overlook their skills and talents. When you are feeling stronger looking at working outside of the 9-5 may be an idea so you can have self worth through work and an income (perhaps a lower income combined with working tax credit) Take care x
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/June 2017=8,800
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 21st May 17, 10:37 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 492 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    I'm not sure where you live but have you tried going for counselling through the NHS? I know waiting lists are long but it sounds like you need it; your doctor needs to know that your anxiety is making day to day life, including work, almost unbearable for you.

    On the other hand, please try not to beat yourself up. You are not a failure. You have an uncontrollable illness that impacts how you handle stress, and you're trying to .ake changes. You should be very proud.

    Sorry to hear you are feeling so rubbish.

    Ada x
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 21st May 17, 7:47 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    Thank you for all the kind words everyone and I will be back soon, I just have a few chores to do, but in case I don't come back on tonight I wanted you all to know that I have seen what you've said and been very thankful for it.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 21st May 17, 8:07 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    I don't know your financial situation, but i think you could get benefits based on your present health. Could you try volunteering , to see how you feel about different types of jobs . Then when you feel better about things you could try getting a job in your chosen field. . Sorry things aren't good at the moment
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Wish I had some wise words here Flo - you sound a lot like my dh when he's on a downward spiral.
    Maybe part time would be the way forward for you? My dh is a driver - spends a lot of his day on his own, clearing his head and driving around the sticks. I couldn't do it but it suits him.
    The one thing I have found about dealing with mental health issues is that you have to have an understanding doctor (one that knows you're intelligent and well aware of what is going on in your own health), and then you need to keep nagging. Don't give up - you are definitely worth time, effort and you have the same rights as everyone else to be happy at work. Get yourself some help from the health professionals - that's a good place to start. You will need to fight for it but it's worth it. x
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    I am sorry things are so difficult for you Flo. You are very focused on what you cannot do (understandable as you are feeling low) but you do sound like an intelligent and sparky woman. If 9-5 work is not for you (and it is not for everyone despite what the world may suggest) are there other ways? People often overlook their skills and talents. When you are feeling stronger looking at working outside of the 9-5 may be an idea so you can have self worth through work and an income (perhaps a lower income combined with working tax credit) Take care x
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Hi again everyone and thank you.

    I have realised that my last job-the one in the University Library-was possibly the best job I have ever had.

    But I would get so stressed and traumatised by the moments when I had to do customer service (when I was on the library help desk) that I didn't enjoy it at the time.

    My goal now is to do whatever it takes to get another job back in that department (but in a back office role), but it is heartbreaking as there have been opportunities come up recently but I haven't been eligible for them, and both would involve doing the Masters course you need to do to become a Librarian (usually called something like Information Management). Which is going to be difficult when the job would be in a different country to the one I live in.

    I feel my best short term option is to try and get an admin role with as little customer service as possible in Cardiff (I live in Cardiff but currently work in Bristol) that pays the same so that I could use the near £300 I spend on train travel each month on counselling.

    My current employer is very good as they do a 6 sessions of counselling for free scheme but I feel that if I was to approach my manager about that after only a few weeks in the job it will go down like a ton of bricks. And that I might be fired, which, if I'm honest, may make me feel better in the short term (until I realise I can't pay off my debts or the OH or socialise or see Queen or eat etc etc).

    There is another problem as well. My OH's Dad works in my office, and I am petrified I am going to embarrass him or make things awkward for him.

    I just need an admin job that involves no interaction with customers. Or a Data entry job where I can meet the targets each day.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 21st May 17, 8:09 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    I'm not sure where you live but have you tried going for counselling through the NHS? I know waiting lists are long but it sounds like you need it; your doctor needs to know that your anxiety is making day to day life, including work, almost unbearable for you.

    On the other hand, please try not to beat yourself up. You are not a failure. You have an uncontrollable illness that impacts how you handle stress, and you're trying to .ake changes. You should be very proud.

    Sorry to hear you are feeling so rubbish.

    Ada x
    Originally posted by ada-or-ardor
    Hi there, I'm afraid this is not currently an option as I went through this route before and discovered that the only time available was Wednesday afternoons which would involve a bit of a contract negotiation, but I may try it again now as things are getting desperate.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 22nd May 17, 12:21 AM
    • 598 Posts
    • 1,112 Thanks
    reality_check
    I would approach your manager about the free counselling sessions - that's what it is there for. If he is a bit funny about it, go above him and worse still if he was to sack you, which I'm sure he couldn't because of that, you would have a good court case on your hands! I hope you feel better soon! What about your friend you done some work for before, would this be an option?! I think you can get jobs like virtual PA's, I may have made this up, but I'm sure you can xx
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 22nd May 17, 7:28 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    I would approach your manager about the free counselling sessions - that's what it is there for. If he is a bit funny about it, go above him and worse still if he was to sack you, which I'm sure he couldn't because of that, you would have a good court case on your hands! I hope you feel better soon! What about your friend you done some work for before, would this be an option?! I think you can get jobs like virtual PA's, I may have made this up, but I'm sure you can xx
    Originally posted by reality_check
    Thank you for your suggestion and thoughts
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 22nd May 17, 7:34 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    I had to have my one month probation meeting with my manager today and it was probably the best thing that could have happened for me.

    I don't want to make it seem that what I was feeling before wasn't real, because it certainly was, but I feel like a changed woman.

    I was certain that my manager was going to lay into me, and maybe even tell me I was fired, for no more reason than I AM PARANOID!

    Instead my manager was lovely, we had a good discussion and yes this job is more work than I have ever done before, it is more stressful then work I have done before, and it is busy, but I had probably my best day today. I really feel like I was a pressure cooker before building up and up with stress, and having a rational conversation where I didn't get fired or anything even close to that has released the tension.

    Today was just one day. But it was a good day. I feel confident tomorrow will be ok. I want to work hard at this job. I will try and give it my all.

    Thank you for all your help and support everyone. I think I need to take a long look in the mirror and work out what sort of work would suit me, but I think for the moment I will take it one day at a time, and I am not anxious about tomorrow.

    I have nothing further to report. I will try and pop by tomorrow and let you know how day two of new enlightenment has gone
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 22nd May 17, 7:35 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    I think it is clear I need some sort of counselling, and I will look into trying to make this a possibility.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 26th May 17, 7:33 PM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 8,411 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hey everybody,

    It is the eve of my best friend's wedding day tomorrow. It was also PAY DAY today, and if I am truthful I don't know which has made me happier.

    On account of being in my new job for about 6 weeks now my pay today was bumped up, which means I could make an epic payment to OH and now I only(!) owe him £400.

    I have a few expenses this month, which will stretch my £100 disposable income tightly, especially considering I'm going to A WEDDING TOMORROW!

    OH has applied for a job that is part time, and I found out today I have been invited to interview for one of the jobs I applied for panic stricken in the last few weeks. I guess this is good news? I mean, it is, if I got it it would be a great opportunity for me with no travel costs and near £300 extra to throw at the debts each month, but it will be awkward leaving a new job. And I don't like being awkward.

    Oh well.There are worst problems to have.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1225.72 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2313.43/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £851.75/£1001.75
    July 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4567.40
    • abba1772
    • By abba1772 26th May 17, 9:13 PM
    • 3,552 Posts
    • 9,237 Thanks
    abba1772
    Congrats on the job interview good luck to both of you xx
    NEXT TARGET HALIFAX CC WAS £3572.57 NOW £3529.52
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    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 26th May 17, 11:23 PM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 6,556 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    If the new job involves less travel that is a good thing and there is nothing to be lost by going for an interview. Your mental health though is important so if you now feel your current job is going much better if you get the new job you have some thinking to do.

    One thing I would say is even though I do not usually suffer from anxiety usually I have always hated the first month of so of a new job. It is horrible having to keep asking people about how things are done and I worry I am being a nuisance or not doing things right. It is great you have now had a performance review and can see you are actually doing ok. Don't be so hard on yourself. We were all new once.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 27th May 17, 7:47 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 492 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    Florence, I'm so glad to hear you had a good day and a good meeting. And congrats on both your interviews!

    My thoughts would be, now you know your manager is supportive and happy with your work, it might be worth using that knowledge to get some time off for counselling. I've approached two companies about time off during the week for this reason and they've never been anything other than supportive. If you've found that person, it might be best to stick around and make the most of it, for the long term of your health.

    I would still go to the interview though - it's always good to get out of your comfort zone!!

    Congrats on the massive overpayment and have a great day at the wedding!!
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 27th May 17, 10:15 AM
    • 1,672 Posts
    • 7,593 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    All sounding good Flo
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/June 2017=8,800
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
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