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  • FIRST POST
    • jvr
    • By jvr 3rd Oct 16, 11:17 AM
    • 297Posts
    • 1,029Thanks
    jvr
    Changing habits, wanting freedom
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 16, 11:17 AM
    Changing habits, wanting freedom 3rd Oct 16 at 11:17 AM
    So finally looking at starting a diary, need something to keep me on track! So debt stands at 5,481.43 was originally about 6,000 6 months ago. It’s a mixture of spending due to buying our first house and not adjusting to me being on a much lower income down about 10,000 a year.
    So I am 27 and live with my OH and two dogs and one cat. We want to think about having children soonish and the debt needs to be gone. Complications are due to the fact my OH is
    from SA, every two years we have had about 2,000 to pay out for visa’s we also have to send money back to SA to family over there. Luckily the next visa in 2.5 years time will be for citizenship but could cost about 3,000.

    1 year ago I quit my well paid but horrendous job and started working in admin and a horrifying low wage but without any of the stress. I’m a bit bored now but love my team and organisation so hopeful that I can change my role within the team and have it be a bit more interesting and more money!! Between me and OH we earn just under 40,000 a year so where the hell does it go!?
    Things holding us back – my OH is terrible with money (not that I am perfect) although he is getting better its hard. We also both smoke….. Switched to role ups and have halved the costs but still for our bank balance/ health and hope to have kids we have to stop this. My mental health is also a bit of a problem with on and off depression and anxiety making things tricky.
    I control our spending except for OH’s allowance which he often runs out of far too early considering how much he gets. For last 3 months have stopped putting anything on cards, have redecorated down stairs without making more debt and have paid off about 100 a month. Also started a savings account for Christmas and OH’s car insurance next year in hope to not spend ages paying debt just to get back into it when a big bill comes along! Did all the switching energy suppliers etc to save money but just seems to end up in black hole. Also started cycling to and from work which saves on bus fair and is good for health!
    Other big expense is I am have driving lessons at the moment which is holding back the debt repayment and feeling frustrating but has to be done if hope to get this other job ~(and just because in life it is good idea!!)
    Been reading lots of diarys and found so many people inspiring yet I still seem to run through money with nothing to show for it…. So hoping this will keep my on track!


    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
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    Last edited by Former MSE Jessica; 30-05-2017 at 2:32 PM.
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
Page 14
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 9th Jun 17, 1:36 PM
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    • 44,115 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Got to bed at 6.00 am this morning, so once I've caught up on sleep, housework and clearing the backlog of normal life which has been on hold for seven weeks - I'll be back, at last.

    Good to see you're still seriously thinking about how to tackle the debt issue, JVR, even if I haven't got the spare brainspace to put anything in words yet. Hang on in there.
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 9th Jun 17, 3:25 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    jvr
    I didn't stay up all night - although I was tempted but just kept waking up to check!
    So this week been a bit spendier as not had a kitchen ... and the dog destroyed the microwave.. seriously!! but kitchen is now useable again
    Will be going for a drink tonight down the road but arranged to meet another friend for parkrun tomorrow so I can't have more than one glass of wine which saves me pennies and a hangover... then will go buy paint for the kitchen, we have an amazing recycled paint place so will go there and save a fortune.
    Otherwise it is just painting this weekend I think and relaxing after a very long week at work.
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    • jvr
    • By jvr 16th Jun 17, 11:56 AM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    jvr
    So decided I would update early and be honest about my debt. We paid off the credit cards nearly £2000 and then put car insurance and remortgage costs onto my overdraft...I have now done money transfer to put these onto our credit card and added OH's debts so its not all increases its just now an absolute total of our joint debt........... my plan is from August to pay £250 off the debt a month which would take me till July 2019 if I made some overpayments. This allows us to put aside for MOT and for insurance which will go into my M&S account for bills.... absolute pain even with internet banking so I can guarantee its safe once in there! Until January 2018 we will also be putting £300 towards our trip to South Africa. This money is going to my building society account that you need to visit the bank with a book to get the money out.... my dad keeps this book as it also has OH's next visa application money in. So the plan after South Africa is to keep putting £200 in their and have that for savings for future car.
    I have also set debt repayment lower as will have some general savings money in an easy access account for house work/ mini trips whatever were doing the plan is to have a plan we actually stick to.. So although the number looks like we went back to square one and then took a few steps further back I'm feeling pretty positive and OH seems really on board. I said this week we had to live out of the freezer and he has actually done it! Normally its oh this would be nice with that i'll pop to he shop but nope!
    Last weekend was spendier than planned as bet some friends for drinks but it was lovely - not finished painting yet but the floor has been delayed so can get it done this weekend.


    Debt free date down as july 2019 but hoping I could push that to dec 2018!
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 19th Jun 17, 9:00 AM
    • 1,543 Posts
    • 11,993 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Good luck with it JVR. You've got a well thought out plan in place.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    NSD (5/15)
    • jvr
    • By jvr 21st Jun 17, 8:53 AM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    jvr
    So my pay day today yay! Due to pay rise I got the backdated pay from 1st of may so a nice wage this month.... money has been shuffled into bills account, the new food and money account, me and OH spending money accounts and saving account for general savings and upcoming wedding. Plus 300 set aside for floor which is now being done next Monday (must finish the painting of the ceiling before then!!)


    So as long as I stick to the budget all looking good (debt repayments are on OH's pay day) not drastic this month hopefully £150 from cheques for mortgage repayment and £100 from our account and then it will be 250 from wages each month after that...


    food shop arriving tonight and got my breakfast and lunch with me, sun is shining and I'm feeling positive
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 22nd Jun 17, 8:34 AM
    • 1,543 Posts
    • 11,993 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Ahh payday, the best day of the month.

    It's just a shame how quick it disappears.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    NSD (5/15)
    • jvr
    • By jvr 5th Jul 17, 10:15 AM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    jvr
    Well best laid plans and all that......... I think OH is going to quit his job.
    He is under so much stress and getting ridiculously anxious. He has docs appointment today which is major step forward for him dealing with things but I think it shows just how bad things have got that he is willing to go. I'm certain would be signed off sick just not certain he will be willing to go back. If he doesn't he can grab and easy bar job that's not a problem but would mean a huge drop in income. If could not go to South Africa we would manage but I think for his mental wellbeing that's not an option. So I'm worried about money, about him about everything really and hoping I can hold things together. No point doing new budget till I know ish where we stand just will try have minimum spends.
    Feel bit lost.
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    • JWPopps
    • By JWPopps 5th Jul 17, 11:01 AM
    • 197 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    JWPopps
    Oh JVR, I'm so sorry to hear that

    Look - you can only do what you can do. If your husband's work is taking such a toll on his mental health then he can't afford to stay there - no pun intended. And equally, for your own mental wellbeing (and probably physical health too), you can't afford to put yourself through all this stress!

    I know it's really hard to see where to turn when you're trying to pay off debts, eat healthily, manage a social life *and* help carry the load of your other half's emotional needs, so I really hope you can find a way to be kind to yourself!!!
    Credit Card Debt: £984.02
    Loan Debt: £7,069.90
    Savings: £21.90



    [B]PAYDBX 2017 - #19 : 41% paid 3445/8280[/
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 5th Jul 17, 11:36 AM
    • 1,495 Posts
    • 8,348 Thanks
    Florence J
    Oh JVR, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband.

    As you know, I know all too well what it is like to be anxious and stressed by work and to be signed off sick because of it.

    I wish I could think of something to say, I wish I knew of some advice I could give, but JWPopps is right, you can only do what you can do. Just take each day as it comes (that's both you and hubby).
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1173.32 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
    • jvr
    • By jvr 5th Jul 17, 12:23 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    jvr
    Thanks Popps and Flo, really appreciate your messages.


    I played with my spreadsheet and being careful with money we could still save for south Africa keep up minimum payments on cc if he was in minimum wage job which has made me feel bit better.
    I think the physical reactions to the anxiety is what is really worrying him and making him go to the doctor, I am more worried about what has been going on mentally to cause that.
    I knew he was having a hard time, I just underestimated it, he wanted to just quit few weeks ago and I got mad saying I support him leaving but he has to have something else in place, which is what I have always said. I didn't realise quite how bad things were and wish I had sat and really talked to him. I offered to go to the doctors tonight with him which he wants me to, hopefully it means I can make sure he tells them absolutely everything.
    I have told him not to worry at all about finances with job, we would work it out and I'm determined that it shouldn't factor in at all for him. If needs be I can turn to family for help but when in that state he needs total freedom to get better, that doesn't mean spending money!! If hes off he can help make cheap meals to keep food bill down
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 5th Jul 17, 2:00 PM
    • 1,495 Posts
    • 8,348 Thanks
    Florence J
    I just want to say something about the various medications that are possible to take with depression/anxiety/stress. I'm not sure if your husband wants to try medication, I know so many don't, but the way I see it is if you have a pain in your heart say, and the doctor prescribes you medicine, you take it don't you? So why would it be any different in you have a 'pain' in your mind. But I know some people have a block on taking medication that is for mental health, I personally would try anything to get better.

    There are beta blockers which block the physical symptoms of anxiety, so you take them when you are experiencing things like an elevated heart rate or shaking, because you don't feel the physical symptoms that come with anxiety this makes you feel calmer and more able to cope.

    And then there are anti depressants, but maybe it won't get to that stage yet, I think the doctor may usually start someone off on a low dose of citalopram, and then if things get worse they will up the dosage, and if things still don't improve from there then you may be prescribed fluoxitine. This is another name for prozac, but don't let that scare you, the reason why you may have heard of prozac is because of it's popularity and to a certain extent it really does work.

    I say a change of job is probably the best thing, but I thought I would talk a little about various medications. I think to a certain extent a person can learn to manage their mental health through other non medication ways, and the reason why doctors are so quick to prescribe pills are because sadly their resources are limited and pills = cheap and quick whereas counselling which is so much better = long and expensive.

    Good luck and love to both of you.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1173.32 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
    • jvr
    • By jvr 6th Jul 17, 11:08 AM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    jvr
    Thank you - I thought would be totally against any medication as he's funny even taking painkillers, but maybe shows how bad things have got!
    I went in with him to help him explain, he got very anxious at idea of going. Doc was really good and has signed him off for three weeks, given him info about cbt to look at longer term dealing with stress. He suggested he look at longer term if job is suibtable or not and gave him an anti anxiety that has side effect of drowsiness to help with sleeping then he has to go back in few weeks. Feel relived that bit is done and emailed his manager to tell her not heard back yet.
    Things are also not going well with the boy my mum looks after but that is another long tale - really worried about my mums mental health.
    Doesn't rain but it pours
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 6th Jul 17, 11:25 AM
    • 457 Posts
    • 1,201 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Jvr, maybe the three weeks off may do him the world of good and give him chance to reevaluate things. Mental health is defiantly important and one to look after. It's good that you're supportive and attended his appointment. You're both managing it well together which is a bonus.

    I hope your mum is okay.

    It's alot for you to cope with but just remember this is temporary, it will soon pass.
    • NoOneAround
    • By NoOneAround 6th Jul 17, 2:03 PM
    • 1,490 Posts
    • 7,199 Thanks
    NoOneAround
    Hi Jvr,
    Haven't been on here much recently but just had a quick catch up.
    Sorry that things are so tough at the moment. It is really good that Oh has admitted his thoughts about work, at least you can both deal with it now, however hard it seems. Mental health and well being is vital, everything else can wait. And you have the added worry of your mum trying to cope too - so much going on. You are doing really well juggling it all.

    NOA
    x
    Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/04/17 £67,262=7.25%PAID
    Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300Jan16 £190,800 Jan17£180,700
    Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes
    Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
    • JWPopps
    • By JWPopps 7th Jul 17, 2:11 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 1,030 Thanks
    JWPopps
    Just want to add my agreement with everyone that it's really good news your OH has the time to recuperate a bit, it sounds well-needed!

    As for your mum, I'm sorry to hear that too - really hope she's ok.
    Credit Card Debt: £984.02
    Loan Debt: £7,069.90
    Savings: £21.90



    [B]PAYDBX 2017 - #19 : 41% paid 3445/8280[/
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 8th Jul 17, 10:13 AM
    • 4,365 Posts
    • 44,115 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    That all sounds as though you're having an extremely stressful time to be honest, JVR.

    I'm glad your OH's been signed off work and has been prescribed something that will ease his anxiety and hopefully help him sleep more easily. All that's very good.

    It's early days in his recovery but I'd suggest the following things, rather than waiting to see if things improve and then dealing with the fallout if they don't. Dealing with fallout is harder than taking steps to prevent it happening in the first place, and there are very simple things you can do.

    Alcohol disrupts sleep. The less both of you drink at the moment, the better.

    If your OH and you have already worked out that you could survive on minimum wage, that's fantastic, but it's far from ideal. Is it the work or the company he's currently working for that has led to the stress? Whatever he does for a living would probably be better paid and takes advantage of his unique skillset, so would it not be helpful to see if there's anything available out there in his line of work if it's just the current set up that's the problem? I'm not suggesting he should change jobs, but I am suggesting it would be a good idea while he's off work to see what else would be available. Are there any agencies locally that might be worth contacting?

    I also had a slight attack of the vapours reading this line in an earlier post:

    I have now done money transfer to put these onto our credit card
    Originally posted by jvr
    I'm not sure how much of your debt is on your credit card, but that's about the most expensive way to have debt. Overdrafts aren't glamorous but they're a lot cheaper than credit cards unless you can find a 0% deal, which I hope you have, and diary it for transfer before the deal expires. If you don't, or your situation changes and you can't, the interest rate will cripple you. As you know. I'm just reminding you.

    No point doing new budget till I know ish where we stand just will try have minimum spends.
    Feel bit lost.
    Originally posted by jvr
    These two things are related. You will not feel lost if you are prepared for the most likely outcomes. I strongly suggest you do several budgets:
    • a 'worst case scenario' budget (you in work, your OH out of work),
    • a 'next best case scenario' budget (you in work, your OH in a minimum wage job)
    • a 'best case scenario' budget (you in work, your OH in a new job at a realistic wage for his skillset and experience) and
    • have another look at your current situation with both of you earning what you currently earn, in other words fresh eyes on why the debt isn't reducing, and if it is, why it isnt' reducing faster.
    I don't know how you calculate your budget, whether you use something like 'You Need a Budget' or whether you do it on the back of a fag packet or a spreadsheet you've designed yourself but whatever the format is, you need a great deal of information at your finger tips so that you don't feel lost.


    While you have rising debt and an unstable income I think you need to focus on getting out of debt as fast as possible, paying down as much as you can on the higher interest debts so that the situation is improving all the time.

    Realistically, I think you need to re-examine whether saving to go to South Africa is costing you extra interest on debts you can ill afford while your husband's work situation is so tenuous.

    It's all very well telling your OH not to worry about money, but that means you are taking on all the responsibility of trying to make everything work out, and that while you're also concerned about your mother's mental health. I am concerned that your stress levels and money things will snowball very quickly if you're constantly taking on other people's emotional stuff as well as the debt issue.
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 12th Jul 17, 12:55 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,029 Thanks
    jvr
    Thanks Chandelier ……. the time off seems to be doing wonders for him!
    NOA…. Thank you it was huge for him to admit there is a problem so I am actually feeling relieved.
    Thanks, Popps…. Mum is under a lot of stress at moment now the youth offending team are involved she actually seems to be getting some support which she hasn’t got from the social workers but we shall see. (btw I have friends who are social workers in case anyone things I am just being harsh, I know how difficult the job is but these ones have been truly terrible)
    Thanks Honey, so he has chosen not to take the medication so far but is doing much better and actually speaking positively about going back as they have made some changes. He has also switched to non-alcoholic drinks which is HUGE!!
    It is all on 0% now but this will change so see my plan coming up….
    Whatever else SA is a must, If needed I would skip it again but OH hasn’t been in two years and it is effecting him as his family and friends can’t afford to travel here.
    You made a really good point about me telling OH not to worry about the money, realised it’s my go to thing of ‘don’t worry I will take it all on’ and then when I can’t it gets me down and stressed. So, I have come up with a plan and now I need to get OH on board.
    Basically, I read the no more Harvard debt blog and it really struck a chord with me, yes I could live comfortably and pay off over two years as long as nothing major happened but that means I have no freedom during that time and it doesn’t go a long way to changing my attitudes to money which I still think relies on ‘treats’ and a belief that it takes money to have fun.
    I really want to change this and get the freedom I set out a year ago to get and let’s be honest have got nowhere with.
    So, starting the 21st July and lasting 10 months, I want to save, make, sell off to get £9,000 this being enough to pay off the debt and SA. Now this will not be easy as now we are paying £250 to debt a month and I’m looking at having £900 set aside each month for debt and SA. Will go through all accounts and starting point when have a chance so I can see exact amount I need but this is the plan. The other part of the plan is to still socialise and do more fun things during this time…. But with a lot less spending money
    I have started a clear out to declutter so car boot sale may make £80 otherwise not much to sell that I don’t need, so will look at any bills or anything im willing to sacrifice for 10 months etc. Extra money I could earn £100 a month would drop it by £1000 over that time. The idea is that this is not going to necessarily be a way I could or want to live forever but maybe would teach me some lessons.
    Now to enthusiastically get OH on board
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!


    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Jul 17, 7:35 PM
    • 1,495 Posts
    • 8,348 Thanks
    Florence J
    I think you can set anything you put your mind to.

    I am doing a 'No Spend Year' on 'things' so I am not buying clothes, shoes, dvds, jewellery, books, cds, records, magazines, accessories, homeware items or anything that is a thing/takes up space. I can spend money on socialising-like a meal out or drinks-or on gifts for other people, or postage and packaging, or health related things or normal grocery/household shopping-but that is all I want to spend my money on.

    Have I religiously stuck to it? No, but my total spends on 'banned items' this year are less than £100. I have used Shop and Scan to buy clothes with vouchers, costing me just 38p in money, I have embraced the local library as it is like seeing my Amazon basket come to life, and I have been able to socialise with my friends at the drop of a hat because the money has been in my account because I haven't spent it on anything.

    I don't say any of that in a 'holier than thou' way, but I got into debt because I had a shopping addiction, and now I don't buy anything, and I have decided that after this year I may ease up-but only slightly-as I plan to live this way until my debt is cleared.

    What I'm trying to say is you will be surprised by what you can achieve when you give it your all, and I have every confidence that you will succeed. You have already put in the hard work so you can achieve whatever you set out to now.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1173.32 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
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 14th Jul 17, 9:21 AM
    • 4,365 Posts
    • 44,115 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    So glad to hear your OH is on the mend.

    I think that's about as sensible as you can get, and good luck with it. The sooner you get rid of the debt, the less interest you'll pay, so it ends up being the cheapest way to deal with it too. Well done and good luck.
    Keeping it AF
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 17th Jul 17, 9:22 AM
    • 1,543 Posts
    • 11,993 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Hey JVR.

    You sound more determined that ever. I agree with HB, the sooner the debt is gone the better. It'll help you financially and mentally. For me there was a constant grey cloud hanging over me with regards to my debt and I felt such a lift when I paid it off. You've got that to look forward to.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    NSD (5/15)
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