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  • FIRST POST
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 6th Dec 15, 12:18 PM
    • 1,602Posts
    • 9,077Thanks
    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 33
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 4th Oct 17, 8:08 PM
    • 1,602 Posts
    • 9,077 Thanks
    Florence J
    To up date.

    My contract is not being extended. My last day is 26/10/2017.

    My manager gave me the option to resign instead of failing my probation and being dismissed. I don't know if it was the right decision or not but that is what I have done. Part of me thinks I may have been shanghai'd in some way, but I don't know.

    I have been feeling very stressed. I am very confused about what to do.

    This is going to sound ludicrous, believe me I know, but deep down I have this belief that I will only ever be able to get a job at my current place of work and I will certainly never get a full time job in my home town. This is because I believe the universe wants me to suffer.

    My quality of life has suffered so much. I don't know why, as I actually take more flexi time in this job then my previous roles, and I don't go to my football sessions anymore, but I seem to have no time left to myself in the evenings. I have had to ban TV/DVDs/Catch up shows (other than the news) during the week as it is the only way I can fit in the basic life skills such as washing on a semi regular basis.

    And yes soon I will have plenty of time as I will be unemployed. But I think the problem will still exist because I am convinced this is the only place that will ever hire me.

    Aaargh. Well, like I said. I have one 'up' and one 'down' post.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1623.56 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2953.21/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £1120.95/£1120.95
    October 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4163.86
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 5th Oct 17, 8:37 AM
    • 672 Posts
    • 1,407 Thanks
    reality_check
    Sorry you aren't being kept on in your job, but I think that was good of your manager to give you those options. I know this is a debt free diary and you want to pay off your debt but I think maybe you need to put this on hold for the moment. Call everyone up, don't just start missing payments, explain the situation and see what the bare minimum is they will accept...i don't know if you can do this but worth ago, or seek advice from this board/debt charities.

    With work, I know a job to you is important, but why don't you try charties? I know it is working for free, but I think maybe this would be good for you? Help you to feel worthwhile and that you are making a difference? Surely loads of places need help....places that feed the homeless/food banks etc?

    If I were you I couldn't handle that amount of travelling for work, and especially the expense. Maybe take any job in your area? Places like supermarkets are hiring for Chrsitmas staff right now so this would be my first port of call. It might not be the 'dream' career you want, but a job is a job and will give you back time, which money can't buy. But I know I'm not you, so whatever works for you. Good luck xx
    Starting debt £18,675.63
    Current debt: £8,250
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 5th Oct 17, 9:55 PM
    • 1,602 Posts
    • 9,077 Thanks
    Florence J
    Sorry you aren't being kept on in your job, but I think that was good of your manager to give you those options. I know this is a debt free diary and you want to pay off your debt but I think maybe you need to put this on hold for the moment. Call everyone up, don't just start missing payments, explain the situation and see what the bare minimum is they will accept...i don't know if you can do this but worth ago, or seek advice from this board/debt charities.

    With work, I know a job to you is important, but why don't you try charties? I know it is working for free, but I think maybe this would be good for you? Help you to feel worthwhile and that you are making a difference? Surely loads of places need help....places that feed the homeless/food banks etc?

    If I were you I couldn't handle that amount of travelling for work, and especially the expense. Maybe take any job in your area? Places like supermarkets are hiring for Chrsitmas staff right now so this would be my first port of call. It might not be the 'dream' career you want, but a job is a job and will give you back time, which money can't buy. But I know I'm not you, so whatever works for you. Good luck xx
    Originally posted by reality_check
    Thank you for your lovely response.

    I told my OH's parents that my contract was ending (I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not but I work in the same office as my OH's Dad) and they have told me not to worry, and they even offered to support me. But I will not let that happen.

    I volunteer at a food bank. I have been looking at charities for jobs.

    I'll admit there is a chance I may have made a mistake, but I did a benefits calculator check for the scenario of if I was to sign on when I become unemployed and apparently because I live with my OH, who has a good job I would be entitled to about a tenner a week. Boo.

    I know there will be an influx of retail work soon, and I am seriously considering it, but I am anxious about customer service work due to my whole 'being afraid of conflict and people' thing. I'm not one of those people who thinks retail/customer service is beneath them, nothing like that, I mean somehow I worked in that field for 10 years. I have never been rude to a customer, even if they, maybe, would have deserved it. I am incredibly anxious round people and I'm worried my health would deteriorate.

    If you look back over the last two years I have taken on jobs that I knew would be unsuitable/difficult for me due to my anxiety and I have severely struggled with all of them. One I had to leave, and then there is this one and we all know what happened in this job.

    I haven't had the option of taking on a job that would be good for me. I have taken jobs I was actually dreading just because they were all that was available to me.

    I don't know if this qualifies me as being disabled. It's hard enough accepting that my mental health is severe without having to accept the fact it may be a disability for me.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1623.56 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2953.21/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £1120.95/£1120.95
    October 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4163.86
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 5th Oct 17, 10:05 PM
    • 1,602 Posts
    • 9,077 Thanks
    Florence J
    In terms of my debt, yes I still have debt, but my debt is spread across 2 0% balance cards which means my minimum payments each month amount to less than £50 a month. I pay bank charges on being in my overdraft, but my overdraft is now £80 (it was £1000 in January) and my bank charges will now only be about £7 until I pay off that £80.

    I'm not saying I shouldn't try to limit my bills as much as possible, but my debt repayments that I have to pay each month amount to £57 at most. I wouldn't say my debt is the least of my worries, but when the debt repayments minimum is so low, I would rather scrimp on the food budget and still make those payments. Maybe I am too proud.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1623.56 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2953.21/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £1120.95/£1120.95
    October 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4163.86
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 6th Oct 17, 8:12 AM
    • 672 Posts
    • 1,407 Thanks
    reality_check
    That is ridiculous!! £10 a week!! The system is one extreme to the other, so many people have ruined it over the years! I didn't think that at all about you thinking you were better than anyone, sorry if it sounded that way, I forgot you have said loads about not dealing to well face to face/conflict, and let's face it the general public can be idiots, a lot!

    What about....dog walking?! My dog walker is £10 a walk, he does 2 a day and has about 8-10 dogs per day! Or put a gumtree ad/print leaflets saying you will do ironing?! That way you are you're own boss, still earning...just a thought! My daughter done both of these and made money! The dog walking she found harder to get dogs but had 4 a day! Was only when she was off uni one summer so couldn't last forever. Then with the ironing she made her prices so cheap she got loads! Then realsied she hated ironing and made up excuses and had to return half of it - don't copy her lol She also decided to do cleaning...this is a girl who is so messy and I make her bed every morning and she is 20! Anyway she got a job for a man who wanted a one off full clean...she told him £50 thinking he would haggle, he never! I told her she wasn't to go alone, so I went with her, his house was spotless! In the end I ended up doing all the cleaning and she was hopeless, so good job it wasn't dirty, she thought it was great but I told her to get the ad down as I wasn't doing it again!

    Take time to relax this weekend, have a bath, read a book, go a walk...look after yourself xx
    Starting debt £18,675.63
    Current debt: £8,250
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 8th Oct 17, 9:45 PM
    • 1,602 Posts
    • 9,077 Thanks
    Florence J
    Thanks RC, don't worry, what I said wasn't directed at you. I get the feeling there are people out there who feel some jobs are 'beneath them', like cleaning or customer service or something like that. I think I feel that way because of my dad. During the years when my mum had left us and my Dad went bankrupt and we lived on benefits, he was saying something about trying to find the right work. I suggested he try getting a job at B&Q because he used to run a building and decorating business and he just looked at me disdainfully and was like 'Florence, I have a bachelors of science degree' and I just thought (but would never say because we were all terrified of him) So what? What has that got to do with anything? We are living in poverty and you are too proud to work a job you feel is beneath you? Suck it up!

    So I don't feel that certain jobs are beneath me, but I know now that I would severely struggle with any more customer service then the barest minimum. I know that dealing with conflict is a life skill and it will never be avoided completely, but the averages of dealing with conflict more frequently then I can manage are greatly increased the more customer service a role is for me.

    I feel positive, to an extent. I am a cockroach. I have survived so much I can probably survive more.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1623.56 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2953.21/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £1120.95/£1120.95
    October 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4163.86
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 10th Oct 17, 5:38 PM
    • 1,602 Posts
    • 9,077 Thanks
    Florence J
    In other news I may be appearing on TV.

    I was filmed today (for about 20 seconds) for a BBC Wales show called X Ray, which is a consumer/magazine show and it was in relation to the food sharing/anti food waste app OLIO. The show X Ray is going to do a feature on food waste and they were making a meal with items they had collected off OLIO users, I was one of those users.

    So that was interesting. It should be broadcast at 7.30pm on BBC Wales on the 23rd. If you fancy finding out what I look like have a gander.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1623.56 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2953.21/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £1120.95/£1120.95
    October 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4163.86
    • Lumanous
    • By Lumanous 19th Oct 17, 9:49 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 297 Thanks
    Lumanous
    Intrigued by the app - thanks for sharing, I'm going to check it out

    Hope all is going well with you - just a quick stop in but hope to catch up on your diary properly soon

    No, my username is not a typo
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