Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 6th Dec 15, 12:18 PM
    • 1,559Posts
    • 8,783Thanks
    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 32
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 2nd Jul 17, 11:59 AM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hi Florence
    I am back from holiday, and hpjust wanted to say how much I feel for you with your social anxiety

    I am sure you can take a friends with you to such meetings if it would make it easier

    I LOVE the idea of donated food cafe

    My counsellor also helped me realise I give so much of myself to others I have nothing left in the tank for myself

    But she told me I should have at least 30 mins a day to focus on me, some of the things I choose are reading, dog walking, baking (due to slimming world i give it all away, but it fulfils my creative need and my nurturing of others
    Another is going through my clothes to put on eBay - and planning my test shop hopefully I will have enough to stock (hand dyed yarn and yarns gifts) to open I am going for mid July,

    I think you should write things to go into a treat jar
    So bubble bath, coffee and a good book out, get a thermos mug make coffe take a book and go sit in the park and people watch remember if you make eye contact smile at others, take a sketch book rather than something to read, paint your nails plan a romantic meal, see how cheaply you can make it you could have loads of things one of my favourites is put on my favourite radio station and plan to dance to the 3rd next track so totally random
    Every time you do something that is difficult for you have a treat pull out a suggestion at random xxx
    Originally posted by Aaleigha
    Some lovely ideas. Thanks for sharing
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    It's worth remembering that your boss has to check in with you to make sure you're ok - it might feel they're scrutinising you but they're duty bound to do so.

    I know it's easy to say but please don't worry about that.

    Have you tried telling people when you begin to feel anxious? A lot of people suffer with it. If you said to a friend that you were feeling anxious - would this help? An opportunity to air your feelings may diffuse your reaction
    Originally posted by Lucylocks
    Thank you everyone.

    I haven't been as honest about my anxiety in the past but am aiming to be totally upfront about it now. The problem is I don't like attention, I don't like people 'feeling sorry for me' and I don't want any special treatment. WHICH IS STUPID, because I need all of those things, I need consideration for my mental health and anxiety. It's not about people feeling sorry for me or treating me specially, it's that I just need to have my needs met.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • Aaleigha
    • By Aaleigha 2nd Jul 17, 12:31 PM
    • 394 Posts
    • 2,620 Thanks
    Aaleigha
    of course its about having your needs met (took me ages to recognise that) I became a people pleaser to try to validate myself - but that doesnt work

    try to work out exactly what your needs are and then break them down into the smallest units you can get those you trust to help you work on one little area at a time - we need to do some of the work ourselves - but I do know how hard it is to approach people xx
    NSD AUGUST - 4/19 no spend days this month

    started a zero budget to save as much as I can
    2761 to date
    • Aaleigha
    • By Aaleigha 3rd Jul 17, 6:10 PM
    • 394 Posts
    • 2,620 Thanks
    Aaleigha
    just checking in

    wondering if you are getting counselling
    I have been in counselling for 2.5 years my counsellor is brilliant she does some clients on a reduced sum and charges me half at £20 now as I am on ESA my husband has been brilliant and paid for this for me - but I would have managed somehow if I had known how positives the results would be - I still have social phobia and bipolar and always will - however I am able to go out now with my daughter or husband with me - or a good friend - and can now wander off on my own for a bit in busy towns as long as I am not surrounded by too many people - next step is to go out on my own - would be doing that this week apart from bit of a family emergency with mother in law - if you can find a counsellor that will work in such a way PLEASE TRY IT also in my area there is a charity that gives counselling on a what you can afford basis - a friend pays just £5 as your doc if there is something in your area - really hoping the weekend was good to you xxx
    NSD AUGUST - 4/19 no spend days this month

    started a zero budget to save as much as I can
    2761 to date
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 3rd Jul 17, 8:53 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    just checking in

    wondering if you are getting counselling
    I have been in counselling for 2.5 years my counsellor is brilliant she does some clients on a reduced sum and charges me half at £20 now as I am on ESA my husband has been brilliant and paid for this for me - but I would have managed somehow if I had known how positives the results would be - I still have social phobia and bipolar and always will - however I am able to go out now with my daughter or husband with me - or a good friend - and can now wander off on my own for a bit in busy towns as long as I am not surrounded by too many people - next step is to go out on my own - would be doing that this week apart from bit of a family emergency with mother in law - if you can find a counsellor that will work in such a way PLEASE TRY IT also in my area there is a charity that gives counselling on a what you can afford basis - a friend pays just £5 as your doc if there is something in your area - really hoping the weekend was good to you xxx
    Originally posted by Aaleigha
    Thank you, I am having counselling, I've not long returned from my session. It was good. I am finding it very helpful.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 6th Jul 17, 8:44 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    So this week I have been concentrating on money making and I have gone a little survey crazy.

    I have been experimenting with taking supplements, and it could be a placebo affect but they seem to be having a bit of an affect on my mental health.

    Some things have definitely improved, I am noticing that I am getting less worked up with anxiety about things that would previously have crippled me.

    I am not looking forward to going back to work. That is a clear fact. I will look forward to not worrying about money coming in. And I am again less worked up about the fact I will have to go back to work.

    Part of me is wishing for the year to be over, because by the end of the year my contract at work will have ended, and my debt to OH and my overdraft should be cleared by then.

    Also I will get to see Queen.

    Things are ok. Some things regarding my mental health have improved, some have stayed as bad, but it hasn't got worse.

    I am a bit anxious as I am going away for a few days on holiday with OH, his parents, his sister and his sister's friend and I am worried I will get anxious or that I will panic because being in social situations or on holiday-things that any sane, rational person would be enjoying-put me under pressure to be that sane, rational person who enjoys things. Which is just the thing to set my anxiety off. So I can't win. I am scared my mind will betray me again, but at least my OH's family know about my anxiety and mental health now, so that gives me the freedom to be less 'on show' and more honest about how I feel. I need to be honest. I can't hide it.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • Aaleigha
    • By Aaleigha 7th Jul 17, 9:30 PM
    • 394 Posts
    • 2,620 Thanks
    Aaleigha
    you have been doing so much thinking - good thing
    what supplements are you taking I found vit d3 (and took calcuim) and b vits to be particulary helpful - also upping the foods I ate with tryptophan in them

    eating a good balanced diet will help

    as for a holiday, yes I too would dread any sort of holiday where you have to be social - hence me going to the middle of wales and walking in the forest and hills. But being outside your comfort zone may prove to you how strong you are becoming - you sound much better than you did

    as for the polls yes I too have had a week like that - also sold stuff on ebay - I am soon going to get to the point where I need to loose more weight so I have more to sell
    one of the other ladies at SW bought me a gift card this week - because according to her - she can afford it and I deserve it for my kindness to her when she started and I am inspiration - well I was stunned she has in effect paid for my next 12 weeks - I know this lady is wealthy - but I said I could not accept - and promptly got told I would offend her if I didnt -
    that has save me 50 so that has gone to the debt as has 57 pound from ebay so very happy with that so far

    you are so determind thank you it helps

    have a great holiday and remember at the hard bits - THIS TOO SHALL PASS but I am sure as you are amongst people you know they will make it as easy as possible for you
    H xx
    NSD AUGUST - 4/19 no spend days this month

    started a zero budget to save as much as I can
    2761 to date
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 11th Jul 17, 11:07 AM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    Thank you Aaleigha,

    The weekend was perfect, absolutely fine, I was perfectly capable mentally and had a great time and feel recharged.

    I am still not looking forward to going back to work but I am not consumed with anxiety about it like I was at this point last week.

    It feels like the bad thoughts are still entering my mind, but now there is a champion baseball star in there who when they see the bad thoughts coming is able to hit them back out of my brain rather than have them ricochet around my mind, causing me anguish.

    It is my last day of freedom today, I will ring as much from it as I can.

    I am currently very happy, take care all.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 11th Jul 17, 12:51 PM
    • 614 Posts
    • 1,180 Thanks
    reality_check
    It sounds like the time off has done you the world of good – onwards and upwards.

    Hope your first day back went well xx

    p.s thank you for the congratulations!
    25/01/2016 £18,675.63
    Current debt: £8,450
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 15th Jul 17, 11:51 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    I feel like a new person.

    I feel like I have been hypnotised or had a good lobotomy. I feel so different.

    There was a point earlier this year when I said that I was the happiest I had ever been, and I don't want to get too excited but I feel not too dissimilar to that now.

    I went to a food festival today and it involved being in a large crowd and I didn't feel the littlest bit phased or anxious.

    I don't know where this has come from, but I am enjoying it.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 16th Jul 17, 8:29 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    It is Sunday night. In the past I used to get the 'Sunday Night Blues' on Saturday morning and I would get more and more worked up as the time counted down to my 6am alarm on Monday morning and get more and more anxious and more and more depressed.

    Now it is a mild 'it would be nice to have more time at home' kind of feeling.

    I know this week will be tougher as it will be my first full week since going back. But I am currently feeling so strong. I have the urge to commit to more things and take more on and I have to be so careful as I always have this urge to be some sort of 'super woman' and do everything under the sun and it is that idea that gets me repeatedly into trouble when I collapse under the strain of everything.

    So I will be cautious. I will just do my counselling on Mondays, my twice monthly volunteer sessions, and I am planning on starting running again. I want to run a half marathon in my University town next March, to raise money for mind. This is because during my time off I became obsessed with reading sports biographies and beginners guides. Running is for me an almost purely mental sport. If I am feeling upset I can probably still do a cycle, but if I am in even a little bit of a bad mood then I can't run, not even a little bit.

    So for me to achieve at running is almost like a sign I have conquered my mental health.

    This is why I want to do it.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 22nd Jul 17, 6:20 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    I have had a lovely week at work which ended on Friday with me feeling #winning YES i put a hashtag in here to emphasise my point!

    I'll admit my mood dipped on Wednesday because I started feeling really nauseated and in pain at work and cancelled my cinema plans with OH which was very wise as I spent the entire of Wednesday evening throwing up in my largest mixing bowl whilst watching Neighbours. I went to bed whilst it was still light outside. I was worried because I was scared I would have to call in sick to work on Thursday and I felt I couldn't because it would have been a real situation if the week after I return from a 28 day absence I call in sick. (I am not saying my line managers would have made me work if I was ill-they have been great-or that they wouldn't have believed me, this is just how I felt about the situation)

    Luckily, I woke up on Thursday bizarrely hot, but recovered.

    I had a great night out with friends last night and I am getting better at telling people what has happened to me and how I am. I have always tried to hide it (even when the way I have been acting makes it painfully obvious I am struggling) and I'm not saying it is easy to tell people I have had a mental health crisis and that I have mental health problems, but I am getting better at it.

    I have approximately £2.55 and whatever is in my sort-of sealed pot to last till Thursday which is payday, but here is the problem....

    My 28 day absence off work due to my mental health has meant I have gone over my allocated sick days for the year at my employer. This means almost the entirety of my 28 day absence will be at half pay, as I have run out of statutory sick pay days.

    My pay day this Thursday will be severely reduced.

    And with counselling costs, the debt payments I want to make,my season ticket to work, saving for Christmas, paying back OH, I leave myself a tiny disposable income each month, and I have NO savings, so I pretty much allocate every penny of my wage each month to my various expenses.

    I don't have much room for error.

    OH has said he is reluctant to lend me anymore money, which is fair, that's not saying he won't - he won't leave me to struggle unnecessarily - but I can appreciate bailing me out all the time doesn't solve the problem.

    We have come to an agreement that certain valuable items I own, or things that belong to me that OH covets, will now be his (so if we split up they will be his) and I don't have to pay rent this month (it comes out of his account) and to be clear that is an amount of money that I will never have to pay back - because OH has got the money back in things like my camera and my....X Files Boxset.

    I have arranged to come into work slightly later on Thursday so I have a little bit of time in the morning to do damage control about my finances. I have to buy my month's season ticket for the train that day so I will need a hefty wodge of dosh in my account to cover that.

    So that is the situation.

    But let's reflect on this.

    This is my 1500th post on MSE forum. I have come so far since then. I am a completely different person for the better regarding my finances. I can't do anything about how bad I was in the past and my present is a bit iffy, but I know I have the makings of having a golden future. I may not be debt free by the time I am 30, but it certainly won't have been because I didn't put in 100% effort

    I used to be so embarrassingly bad with money that I went into an un-arranged overdraft usually more than once a month. That hasn't happened since December 2015. Not once. Not even by a penny.

    I have wombled over £1000 this year alone.

    I was able to save the money in a sealed pot to give my best friend £100 for her wedding.

    I haven't used a credit card in around about 8 months.

    And it had to blow up in my face a bit, but I am finally getting the help I need for my mental health and I think it is working.

    Just keep swimming Flo. It will all work out in the end.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • Aaleigha
    • By Aaleigha 22nd Jul 17, 7:06 PM
    • 394 Posts
    • 2,620 Thanks
    Aaleigha
    Sorry I went missing
    holiday and came back to toxic MiL (even DH says that about his mother)

    I have come back to reading your very very positive posts

    now as soon as you are settled into work - give it a month of feeling settled and you will be in the right place to tackle the debt again - but like with phased return to work do a phased return to debt busting
    NSD AUGUST - 4/19 no spend days this month

    started a zero budget to save as much as I can
    2761 to date
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 23rd Jul 17, 8:03 AM
    • 1,755 Posts
    • 7,986 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    so nice to read you are doing well right now
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/July 2017=7,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 23rd Jul 17, 9:55 AM
    • 3,237 Posts
    • 27,908 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Fantastic news Flo - pleased that things are on the up for you. Hang onto these good times.
    NSTAugust #13 NSD 4/15 RYSAW17 #1 £472.63 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 30th Jul 17, 8:00 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    I am feeling a bit down, this is because it is my time of the month and I always suffer mood wise when that happens. There is a condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder which I once went to my doctor about because I noticed that I always felt suicidal and that the world was ending around my period. It's difficult to diagnose and since I clearly have mental health problems anyway it is hard to say if I have that as well, or just suffer badly around my period.

    So even though I had a good week at work and left triumphant on Friday, my brain is choosing to latch on to moments that passed with no drama at the time, but which are now being blown all out of proportion and for the first time since returning to work I am feeling the same sort of anxiety feelings.

    I know this is caused by my period, but at this moment in time I can't quite convince myself to disregard these feelings.

    The anxiety I do feel now though is a fraction of what I felt towards work before I went on sick leave, so that is a good thing.

    I have an unquenchable thirst for some reason. I suffer from this a lot. I think I have dry mouth. No matter how many pints of water I drink I am still desperate for a drink.

    I only feel relaxed when I am doing something towards my debt. If I do anything else I get anxious.

    I am ok, but like everyone on the planet I would rather not be going to work tomorrow.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 6th Aug 17, 9:24 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 8,783 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hi everybody,

    Things went very well this week. I feel happy and all is going ok. I had a good week at work and feel better.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1257.28 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: £4519.44
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 6th Aug 17, 9:35 PM
    • 1,755 Posts
    • 7,986 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    So pleased for you Flo. This is good to read. I hope you have a another good week coming up
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/July 2017=7,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,684Posts Today

6,288Users online

Martin's Twitter