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  • FIRST POST
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 6th Dec 15, 12:18 PM
    • 1,395Posts
    • 7,652Thanks
    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 29
    • jvr
    • By jvr 6th Jun 17, 8:48 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 990 Thanks
    jvr
    Hi Florence,


    Me and OH have had lots of arguments about bed time! I start work really early so I go to bed at 9.30 while OH starts late and goes after midnight.... there were lots of guilt trips about how I wasn't spending enough time with him and just stay up a bit longer bla bla... but I NEEEEEED my sleep I don't just get grumpy I panic about managing when tired and my mental health can really suffer. Perhaps this reliance on each other is not that healthy... if you went to bed at the right time would you always need his help to get up and going in the morning?


    You may have BDP you may not, you seem to really understand the things you find harder than other people might. Have you tried listing positives too....? I hope that doesn't sound patronising, I have lived with depression on and off for years and it took me a long time to accept it and also realise that it brought horrible times but it has also made me very good as seeing peoples emotions and what they are going through and be more sensitive? Now that doesn't mean I wouldn't give it up in a heart beat not to get depressed but I find it helps me to see a positive that can come out of having mental health problems.


    Most of all look after yourself and accept dealing with all those emotions is really hard and you are doing amazingly!


    Also the cbt service is IAPT self referral ... when I looked on website it was leeds based but looks like there are options throughout England... not wales though
    Credit Cards: £6646.68
    Christmas Savings:0
    General Savings £82
    Car Savings (MOT &Insurance) 0
    Debt Free date: July 2019
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 6th Jun 17, 5:39 PM
    • 3,875 Posts
    • 27,195 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Productive, yet frustrating sounding day for you Flo. Sorry about the job - but it sounds fantastic that you have such an understanding doctor. Everything I've done has been a fight mental health wise for my dh, but he has been able to access services (as have I) without charge at all.
    There is a website I sometimes use for a bit of help and inspiration called get gg - it's got lots of CBT stuff on it free of charge.
    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
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 10th Jun 17, 9:25 AM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hi Florence,


    Me and OH have had lots of arguments about bed time! I start work really early so I go to bed at 9.30 while OH starts late and goes after midnight.... there were lots of guilt trips about how I wasn't spending enough time with him and just stay up a bit longer bla bla... but I NEEEEEED my sleep I don't just get grumpy I panic about managing when tired and my mental health can really suffer. Perhaps this reliance on each other is not that healthy... if you went to bed at the right time would you always need his help to get up and going in the morning?


    You may have BDP you may not, you seem to really understand the things you find harder than other people might. Have you tried listing positives too....? I hope that doesn't sound patronising, I have lived with depression on and off for years and it took me a long time to accept it and also realise that it brought horrible times but it has also made me very good as seeing peoples emotions and what they are going through and be more sensitive? Now that doesn't mean I wouldn't give it up in a heart beat not to get depressed but I find it helps me to see a positive that can come out of having mental health problems.


    Most of all look after yourself and accept dealing with all those emotions is really hard and you are doing amazingly!


    Also the cbt service is IAPT self referral ... when I looked on website it was leeds based but looks like there are options throughout England... not wales though
    Originally posted by jvr
    Productive, yet frustrating sounding day for you Flo. Sorry about the job - but it sounds fantastic that you have such an understanding doctor. Everything I've done has been a fight mental health wise for my dh, but he has been able to access services (as have I) without charge at all.
    There is a website I sometimes use for a bit of help and inspiration called get gg - it's got lots of CBT stuff on it free of charge.
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    Thank you guys.

    I have rejigged the budgets and if I pay off my overdraft, don't have a social life, don't buy anything, and get counselling then I will still be £200 short of my now rejigged and reduced Christmas budget.

    Things are going to get tight.

    But what would help is if I pay off my overdraft I can change banks to one that will give me money for switching.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 11:24 AM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    I have the day off work today ill. I had insomnia, headache and felt like I had been run over by an elephant.

    I am fairly certain that today is my last full pay sick day from what I've worked out, which means any more I have this year before it resets in October will be at half pay, which is a massive stress, let's hope I don't need anymore time off.

    I am struggling beyond all comprehension. But I am being as proactive about it as I can, I have joined a anxiety/depression support group on meet up in my area, I am going to an initial meeting with a counsellor today, if it is a good fit for both of us I will have my first proper session next week. I can just about afford the counselling and pay off my overdraft, but it leaves me with zero (I will post a revised SOA in the post that follows this one).

    I guess I have to accept the fact that paying off my debts and getting help for my mental health are essentials and a social life isn't.

    It will just be hard because it will feel like I am working a job I hate just to afford the counselling to complain about the job I hate with no money to let off steam with my friends.

    If I had known that getting into debt severely limits your life, forces you into work you hate or might not even be able to cope with just so that you can pay off your debts, I would have put down the cigarettes, the clothes, the books, the dvds, the nights out, the meals out, the canteen lunches.

    I want to be a debt advisor. I want to help people. I want to educate people about getting into debt and try and prevent it.

    If this experience leads me to my dream path, and if I can help just one person, it may have all been worth it.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 11:49 AM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    REVISED SOA

    Ok everyone, here is how my current 'July 2017 Finances' spreadsheet stands. So this is where I input all my bills and the costs of them against my income.

    This is based on paying back the remaining amount of my debt to OH over the next 7 paydays of the year left (about £58 a month) plus a potential £50 loan from him for two counselling sessions this month if I decide to stick with my counsellor, and on the basis that because I will be on holiday one week I will only have three counselling sessions in July before my next payday.

    My payday is the 27th of each month.

    INCOME = £1206.26

    BILLS

    Overdraft charges = £10.76

    Paying off chunk of my overdraft = £100 (it currently is £400)

    Lloyds 0% balance transfer credit card = £15 (this is a minimum payment but I have over a year left on the card)

    Tesco 0% balance transfer credit card = £30 (minimum payment, over a year left)

    Mobile Phone Contract = £21.50

    Broadband = £27.95 (contract ends in July and we are getting the hell out of it then.

    Gas and Electricity = £65 (this is currently the cheapest deal for us)

    Train Monthly Season Ticket = £292.30

    Rent and council tax = £169.52 (I'll explain, OH pays these two from his account, this payment that I give him is my half of the bills he pays minus his half of the bills I pay)

    Food/Household shopping budget = £250 (we recently increased this as it was becoming impossible for us to spend less a month, I am in charge of the food budget so that's why all the money comes from my account)

    Water bill (OH pays the yearly bill and I pay my half in 12 installments) £19.57

    Debt to OH (This month) = £115.96

    Counselling £75

    Labour Membership £3.92

    All of this leaves me with £9.78, that I would probably throw to one of the credit cards.

    So there we have it. Zero.

    I could not pay off my overdraft, or only pay £50 a month, but I'm not sure what to do. Discussing it with OH and I get mixed messages. He said he would absolutely pay for counselling for me and I could pay him back whenever, rather than having a set date, when I suggested I only pay £50 to my overdraft and have £50 pocket money a month he got a bit funny about that and questioned what I would need it for (I said postage costs for posting presents to people)

    the broadband I can't do anything with just yet, energy is fixed till September, phone contract is for another year....

    Basically my one option to saving myself is to get a job in Cardiff. But I am stressed that I will get a bad reference from this job, I am stressed that there is no job I can cope with, I am scared. Scared. Scared. Scared.

    I just have to be brave and try to keep my head above the waters.

    It will be extremely tough. But maybe it will all make a good anecdote, or if I can get a bit self serving maybe it will all be good content for my eventual book.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 12:12 PM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    Well, in better news I just bought £40.13 of presents on Amazon for 13p after using all the vouchers I had earned.

    I have decided I am going to try and find a way to go back to my Dad's house for his birthday in August and/or visit my Sister in November for my niece's birthday for free. I am planning this based on I know Tesco Club Card vouchers can be exchanged for megabus tickets, and my sister could be reached by megabus (she lives in Norwich) whereas my Dad would be a bit trickier.

    I want to use all my resources this year. I want to be as inventive as possible with my money, the tiny, tiny amount of it I have.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 12th Jun 17, 1:01 PM
    • 543 Posts
    • 961 Thanks
    reality_check
    £250 is a lot for food for 2 people when on a tight budget, I think it could def come down to £200 and have £50 left over.

    Buying things like a whole chicken as oppose to chicken breasts, have pasta a few nights, egg based things like omelettes, try a lentil bolonsaise, buy mince and split it up into portions and bulk out with grated carrot and lentils, buy the veg on offer, stick to fruit like apples and bannas, buy the big tubs of natural yoghurt as oppose to branded individual ones. Make a big pot of soup for lunches and try making sure you have enough leftover from dinner to do a lunch the next day by putting extra veg on your plate with your dinner.

    Cleaning products, all you need is bleach and a bottle of flash/supermarket version multipurpose spray for floors etc and dilute into a big bottle as oppose to buying the ones at £1 each. I admit I spend a lot more but if I had to cut back I would. Also buy washing powder and fabric softener from places like home bargains. I actually buy all cleaning/washing stuff branded but do from there as so much cheaper.

    I am rubbish at not spending on my debt/impulsive purchases, but the one thing I am good at is cooking from scratch, and making healthy meals with a budget. I mostly shop in Lidl and Sainsburys. There is def scope there for improvement.

    Hope you feel better soon xx
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 1:21 PM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    £250 is a lot for food for 2 people when on a tight budget, I think it could def come down to £200 and have £50 left over.

    Buying things like a whole chicken as oppose to chicken breasts, have pasta a few nights, egg based things like omelettes, try a lentil bolonsaise, buy mince and split it up into portions and bulk out with grated carrot and lentils, buy the veg on offer, stick to fruit like apples and bannas, buy the big tubs of natural yoghurt as oppose to branded individual ones. Make a big pot of soup for lunches and try making sure you have enough leftover from dinner to do a lunch the next day by putting extra veg on your plate with your dinner.

    Cleaning products, all you need is bleach and a bottle of flash/supermarket version multipurpose spray for floors etc and dilute into a big bottle as oppose to buying the ones at £1 each. I admit I spend a lot more but if I had to cut back I would. Also buy washing powder and fabric softener from places like home bargains. I actually buy all cleaning/washing stuff branded but do from there as so much cheaper.

    I am rubbish at not spending on my debt/impulsive purchases, but the one thing I am good at is cooking from scratch, and making healthy meals with a budget. I mostly shop in Lidl and Sainsburys. There is def scope there for improvement.

    Hope you feel better soon xx
    Originally posted by reality_check
    I agree, that on paper £250 for two people sounds like an awful lot. Last year we were living off £168 a month!

    I'm afraid that although your suggestions are very good, they do not apply to us as if anything I am an own brand snob (I won't buy branded if an own brand is available), we eat mainly vegetarian meals, I check the cost per 100g of every single thing I buy and we don't buy much in the way of treats.

    Yes, there would be ways of cutting it down, but we are hindered a bit by OH being quite fussy so whereas I could live off lentils for 1000 days, he dislikes them.

    The thing is the £250 a month covers everything from medication, food, a small bit of alcohol, cleaning products, shower gel, deodorant, washing powder, drinks etc. If you can buy it in a supermarket it comes from the budget.

    Please don't think I am dismissing your suggestions, I do love finding ways to save on the budget, and I do feel a bit inadequate knowing that Jack Monroe did it on £10 a week, I'm sure there is something that could be eliminated from the food budget, but for me we set the budget at £200 this year and were routinely going over the budget by up to £50 a month.

    I'll admit I have started buying Gin, but when I say that I buy a 1 litre own brand bottle and it lasts me about 6 months, so I'm not exactly glugging it down.

    Maybe I'll do a SOA of one month's food shopping costs and what we bought so that you and anyone else might be able to offer suggestions. I'm sure there is something staring me in the face. I just don't know what.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 1:22 PM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    The other thing is I don't really want to restrict the budget too much as I don't want OH to 'suffer' food wise just because I've been incompetent with money when he hasn't been.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • jvr
    • By jvr 12th Jun 17, 1:26 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 990 Thanks
    jvr
    Absolutely agree on the food, can be a good way of saving a large amount of money. I do think you need to be careful leaving no money for yourself. Seeing friends can be done cheaply but usually need a bit to be able to even just go out and sit and have a soft drink. That is part of looking after your mental health it isn't a total luxury. I may be totally out of order here but I can't understand stretching yourself to repay your OH when your in this position and the counselling is so important, can you not reduce that a bit while you get yourself better and hopefully in a position where you can move jobs to save on travel etc. and then repay more. I hope that didn't sound rude I just feel right now taking care of yourself and having the counselling but not isolating yourself is so important.


    Take care
    Credit Cards: £6646.68
    Christmas Savings:0
    General Savings £82
    Car Savings (MOT &Insurance) 0
    Debt Free date: July 2019
    • jvr
    • By jvr 12th Jun 17, 1:39 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 990 Thanks
    jvr
    Must have cross posted - make sense in budget if includes all that stuff
    Credit Cards: £6646.68
    Christmas Savings:0
    General Savings £82
    Car Savings (MOT &Insurance) 0
    Debt Free date: July 2019
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 12th Jun 17, 1:55 PM
    • 543 Posts
    • 961 Thanks
    reality_check
    What do you buy that's branded? Things like pasta sauce? Make your own it's cheaper...I am only loyal to Robinsons squash - because my daughter claims to not like anything else, and I do like Heinz tomato soup that I maybe have very occassionally, but can eat cheaper, and also Warboutons bread. I buy branded cleaning and laundry products mostly, but sometimes supermarket own for some things like bleach. Anyway, I'm sure you know all this can be done, I just think having no money to spend on yourself is not a good route to go down and this seems the only way to reduce your monthly outgoings if everything is all locked in for a year. I would cancel your Labour membership, only £3 odd but every little helps. Also your mobile is this tied into a contract? xx
    Last edited by reality_check; 12-06-2017 at 1:58 PM.
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 3:12 PM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    I buy very few branded products, marmite being one. I'm more a smart price/savers/value/everyday/basics type of girl. I feel guilty if I buy a product that is still supermarket own brand but the one up from value.

    My phone contract will end in a year's time. It is a smart phone, but not a top of the range one and certainly not an i phone. I'm not the most tech savvy person, but I do think having a smart phone is useful for money/voucher making apps. I'm not particularly fussed about brand/model/provider, I like whoever is the best value for money. I will look into this in a year's time.

    The labour membership I have debated so much. I have come so close to cancelling it. I won't really go into my reasons as I don't want to open up a conflict or debate, believe what you like everyone, support who you like, I will just say at this moment in time it is important to me and I will only cancel it if I absolutely have to. If it comes to that stage then it will absolutely go, my loyalty must be to my wallet above all else.

    I don't really have anything worth selling left. I am pretty much down to the books which either can't be sold or it would really pain me to sell. I've never had the money to buy anything of worth. I might get £100 for my camera but to be fair it is a great model and I use it every week.

    The things is, I know I haven't really mentioned it but I am doing a No Spend Year this year, I haven't really mentioned it because all I would be saying really is 'I didn't buy anything', So I haven't been buying 'things', just social costs.

    Yes, I know people like Michelle McGagh went a whole year without spending/buying anything, but I just want to explain that I haven't been buying 'things' for two reasons.

    1) it means there is not a lot left I can cut out since I am not buying it in the first place.
    2) it might mean that I can survive on not having any money?

    The trouble is I am getting very mixed messages from the OH.

    On the one hand he wants the money I owe him back by the end of the year, on the other hand he is willing to spend potentially more than that on CBT for me and not need it back at any particular time.

    On the one hand he seemed to act like I was being wilfully decadent when I suggested I had a bit of disposable income each month, and on the other hand he keeps saying 'want to see this band?/go to the football?/go out for a meal?' and I have to say 'I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY MONEY FROM NOW UNTIL THE REST OF THE YEAR'

    I think we need a serious talk or some ground rules.

    The future doesn't particularly look good to me right about now.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 4:37 PM
    • 1,395 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    Florence J
    More things which may explain the high costs of our household/food shopping.

    I love cooking and whilst I wouldn't say I'm an expert I at least know my way around a recipe.

    OH doesn't cook. He is unconfident rather than incapable, he doesn't do anything more adventurous than a pasta meal (and he doesn't really like pasta). For him he likes meals that are simple or can just be heated up in the microwave so he likes pots and tins and packets and things like that.

    OH used to work in Bristol too, and when he did we had an arrangement that I would always have dinner ready for him when he comes home, because he would get home at 6.45pm.

    Now that I work in Bristol OH is supposed to be in charge of the cooking during the week. More often then not I get home starving, find he hasn't made anything, and then I hastily make something as I feel like I am going to eat my hand if I don't get something in me quickly.

    For me the week is about surviving, and as much as I love cooking I will lose all enthusiasm for it during the week as I want to claw as much free time out of the evening as I can.

    OH also has to cook for himself once a week because he does a painting course, which means he needs a tin/microwave meal as he won't have the time or inclination to do anything else.

    There's only two things I won't eat-meat and tinned macaroni cheese. I can accept the 'meat' is kind of a big one, but OH won't eat

    -bacon, lamb, all fish other than scampi, eggs, yoghurt, beans, most pulses unless well hidden, lentils, garlic, too much onion, he doesn't like pasta sauces made out of chopped tomatoes as he says they are too bland, so even if I buy a basics own brand sauce that still costs more, he doesn't like most pasta dishes unless they are smothered in beef or cheese (such as lasagna, macaroni cheese and spag bol).

    He also doesn't like eating the same thing, or similar things, too close to each other. So I have to come up with 7 wildly different meals each week, or if we are going to eat rice twice that week then they have to be far apart.

    This causes a lot of problems.

    We tend to only go out for dinner if it is a natural part of our social plans (such as we are meeting friends for a meal), and we have a takeaway about once every two months-if that-and it's usually to celebrate something.

    We do buy alcohol but neither of us are big drinkers. I say at most, such as it is a very lively social week, we would drink about 4 times a week. It is usually around the 1-2 times a week mark.

    I know perhaps I shouldn't be this principled on a budget, but since I don't eat meat I try to make sure the meat OH eats is as ethical as I can trick myself into believing it is. If we are feeling flush and OH wants red meat then he will have flat iron steaks as they are cheaper than sirloin steaks.

    I try to make sure we have some 'free from' snacks in the house and some long life soya milk as I have two close friends with very serious dietary needs. And I feel if people indulge me with my pescetarianism then I should accommodate their needs.

    OH eats a lot of chocolate. He 'needs' his treats (I say needs, what I mean is he pouts if he doesn't have them). He also drinks about 2.5 pints of milk a day.

    And yes, our guilty pleasure is we drink coke zero (I drink a Tesco own brand version) and what's more we drink cans!!! You don't have to tell me how expensive that is compared to bottles. But we shop around for a deal and we are both of the opinion that we only buy it once a month so if it runs out that's it till next payday.

    I also include the delivery charges in the food budget breakdown, as neither of us drive or live near a big supermarket, so we are reliant on local shops and small supermarket stores which are more expensive.

    I'll admit one thing that drove me crazy was OH likes microwave rice but I have managed to convince him that the more 'manual' stuff is just as good. But again we need some of this in stock so that OH can make himself a quick meal when needed.

    At least I can say we don't buy already chopped veg or grated cheese.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jun 17, 8:17 PM
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    Florence J
    I have just returned from my initial consultation with a counsellor and I feel like it may be the start of a good thing. I feel a lightness I haven't felt in a while.

    Let's see what the future brings.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 13th Jun 17, 8:43 PM
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    Florence J
    The s*** has hit the fan
    I went to my Doctor today. I was in tears.

    My Doctor has signed me off work for 28 DAYS!

    I have told my boyfriend's parents about all this finally (I work in the same department as his Dad), they were shocked, a little bit peeved and annoyed, but ultimately wished me good luck in getting better.

    Tomorrow I will have to ring up my line manager, explain the situation and face the humiliation, and possibly have to hand in my notice, or be fired.

    This is the lowest I have ever felt. This is the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to me. I am in shock. I am desperate. I am having a full blown mental health breakdown.

    I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. But I am stressed beyond all measure.

    I want to leave my job but I don't want to be fired if that makes sense.

    Please help me, I'm drowning.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 13th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
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    Purplemumof2
    Hugs Flo, you obviously need the rest or the Doctor wouldn't have signed you off.

    Please look after yourself

    Pmo2 xx
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
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    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 13th Jun 17, 9:02 PM
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    Florence J
    Hugs Flo, you obviously need the rest or the Doctor wouldn't have signed you off.

    Please look after yourself

    Pmo2 xx
    Originally posted by Purplemumof2
    Thank you. I am just so scared about what tomorrow will bring.

    I think this is the most critical my mental health has ever been.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1850.88/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4746.99
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Jun 17, 11:03 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    I think you need to take care of yourself.

    You talk a lot about what your OH wants and needs and HI is right £250 is a lot to spend on food for 2 people if it leaves you with absolutely no disposable income for yourself. Personally I would be leaving him to cook his own meals if he is that fussy he won't eat the same thing two days running or not eat it if there is no meat.

    I also do not think your OH should be questioning why you need some personal money. It is your money and he has willingly lent you money but is psychologically pressing you to pay it back even though money is incredibly tight. In other words he is using emotional blackmail to make you feel guilty about wanting to keep some money back for yourself. I cannot imagine this is helping your anxiety disorder.

    Your doctor has signed you off due to stress. Are you now in a position to be able to access counselling through the NHS if you are off work? This may mean you are not beholden to your OH to pay for counselling as borrowing from him seems to be giving you more problems than it is solving.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 14th Jun 17, 5:15 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Florence, your OH sounds like a nice guy, but it doesn't sound like he maybe understands your finances properly. If he 'needs' treats, and he has disposable income, why on earth is it coming out of a joint food budget that leaves you with no spending money?

    More urgent is your mental health. Do you have counselling or medication lined up? I hope you're not just going to be at home for 28 days. You don't have to tell your employer what the signing-off is for, I don't think (someone can correct me I don't know UK employment law) if you have a certificate. You certainly don't have to have a long conversation which justifies your position. You are taking medical leave on the advice of a professional. That's all. It's not your fault, it's not a failing in you, it's a thing that happens: people get sick and they need to heal.

    Please keep checking in with us I'm worried about you.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
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