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  • FIRST POST
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 17th Feb 17, 1:45 AM
    • 95Posts
    • 178Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Getting out of this debt sharknado
    • #1
    • 17th Feb 17, 1:45 AM
    Getting out of this debt sharknado 17th Feb 17 at 1:45 AM
    Over Christmas OH gathered together the paperwork for his various chunks of debt and revealed that his total unsecured debt comes to a horrifying figure of £73500.

    We are 6 weeks into an 8.5 year journey, although I'm going to do my best to trim that down where I can. I'm currently struggling to sleep but keep reminding myself that no one has died and we won't starve. I think a diary will help to keep me on track and help me feel I'm not alone. Sharknado is the most ridiculous horror film I've seen, but has a happy ending and it brings a smile to my face to think that OH and I, like Fin' and Nova, will emerge triumphant in the end. Hence my diary title (and I couldn't think of anything Inspirational! )

    Jan 2017- Credit cards- £73,500 Loan £23,900 Total £97,400
    Jan 2018- Credit cards- £58,000 Loan £18,500 Total £76,500
    Jan 2019 Target - £28,000 (or less!) on credit cards Loan- ticking away on schedule
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 26-01-2018 at 11:32 AM.
Page 4
    • motivated
    • By motivated 7th Dec 17, 6:46 PM
    • 2,560 Posts
    • 4,195 Thanks
    motivated
    Well I didn't get the job It would have made such a difference to our finances and I am desperate to get back to work. I'm not really surprised though, I feel like I've lost the ability to speak any sense as a 'professional' person rather than a mum as I've been out of work for 3 years and probably spoke a lot of rubbish in the interview. I feel I would do pretty well if I could only get the chance to do the job.

    And I can't see how everyone else doesn't spend well over £1000 on Christmas- I must be doing something wrong. All in all not a good day!- I'm putting this here as I need to crack on and put on my brave face for the world and will hopefully look back at this one day when we're out of debt and remind myself what a long hard slog it was so I am never tempted again.

    I went to an amazing Christmas food and gift fair last night (to keep a friend company) - there were beautiful things everywhere and people buying armloads of stuff. I resisted but it made me feel a bit rubbish. It's probably just my hormones. At least there were lots of free tasters.

    Ugh, enough self-pity- all are first world problems.
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber
    Hi Emma
    Sorry about the job but maybe it wasnít meant to be. The right job is out there for you and will come along soon Iím sure.

    As for the way youíve been feeling about the Christmas fair, I can relate to that too. But just think how many of the people with armloads of stuff could actually afford to buy it all. I bet not all of them. Been there, done that.

    Keep that brave face on and keep plodding. Itís so hard but will be worth it in the end. Imagine the feeling when you come out the other side. Thatís what Iím looking forward to. I will probably be 105 when it happens but hereís hoping
    M
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    LBM £82,590 Jan 17/£78,634.91 Feb 18
    Short term goal £1148.73/£1796 / PDBX 18 # 31 - £1423.52/£5,000
    52 week challenge VSP # 8 - £100
    SPC # 91
    / Save a penny a day 2018 # 02 - £25.00
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 7:00 PM
    • 3,393 Posts
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've had to move a big credit card balance as the 0% deal was about to expire. The plan is that, if everything stays on track, OH's bonus (if he gets it- he won't know until the start of January) will pay a big chunk off this one but I can't afford to let it revert to 18.9% as that would cost £275 per month in interest alone! The balance transfer fee was 1.9% which isn't great though.

    Current position: £59,280 owed on 8 debt (credit) cards.

    I'm going to start properly snowballing the credit card balances in January as I haven't really done this so far because I've been trying to manage the 0% deal end dates to save money on interest. But, especially as I should be earning (fingers crossed), we're going to start paying them off smallest to largest balance and make 2018 the year we really turn the corner.

    2017 positives:
    Credit card balances reduced from £73,500 to £59,280 (it feels so slow though)
    Kept out of our overdraft for 11 months straight now and have reduced our overdraft facility to £1000
    Loan: switched to a two year one at lower rate - will save over £1300 in interest
    Budgeting: started using YNAB and have budgeted properly for first time ever, including increased costs due to DD1 going to uni. (And DD1 has managed without having an overdraft or taking out a credit card ).
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber
    £73500 to £59280 doesn't sound slow to me Emma, that's an amazing achievement .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 7:03 PM
    • 3,393 Posts
    • 21,433 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Well I didn't get the job It would have made such a difference to our finances and I am desperate to get back to work. I'm not really surprised though, I feel like I've lost the ability to speak any sense as a 'professional' person rather than a mum as I've been out of work for 3 years and probably spoke a lot of rubbish in the interview. I feel I would do pretty well if I could only get the chance to do the job.

    And I can't see how everyone else doesn't spend well over £1000 on Christmas- I must be doing something wrong. All in all not a good day!- I'm putting this here as I need to crack on and put on my brave face for the world and will hopefully look back at this one day when we're out of debt and remind myself what a long hard slog it was so I am never tempted again.

    I went to an amazing Christmas food and gift fair last night (to keep a friend company) - there were beautiful things everywhere and people buying armloads of stuff. I resisted but it made me feel a bit rubbish. It's probably just my hormones. At least there were lots of free tasters.

    Ugh, enough self-pity- all are first world problems.
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber
    Sorry about the job. Maybe some voluntary work would help? It is hard to get back into the job market when you've had time off.

    I know it's hard sometimes not to buy lovely things, but I see it as me versus the shops. If I walk out without buying anything then I win .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 9th Dec 17, 8:58 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Ah, thanks so much for dropping in to cheer me up Hairy and Motivated- I'm back to normal today
    If it's me versus the shops I'm definitely winning more than I did last year!

    Hairy- yes, I thought volunteering might be good- over the last few weeks I've been sorting out something which is fairly relevant to my old job skills and am due to start in the new year- it all seems to take so much time though. Of course it won't pay the bills but will hopefully help me brush up my skills, get some confidence back and be useful.

    I know what you mean about being 105 when we're out of this Motivated, it's a shame that debt and payments to children at uni aren't tax-deductible, that would make a big difference.

    Mind you when I first posted in February our DFD was 8.5 years away. We've really cut everything and moved debts around so 10 months on it is currently 5 years away. DD may go to uni in Autumn 2019 which would push costs up by probably £300+ per month but I WILL be earning by then so should still be in a better position overall.

    As far as uni goes, I saw in the papers yesterday that some national audit guy thinks the same as me (with probably a bit more evidence!) That the drive to get so many 17 and 18 year olds to sign up to 30 years of debt with no financial advice and follow courses that in some cases make the student LESS employable than an 18 yr old with A levels, would be mis-selling if a financially regulated product.

    DD2 is thinking of studying non-vocational Arts subject and I really doubt it is worth the money to be honest.

    DD1 (who is doing a vocational course) has friends doing Arts subjects who have 4 hours of lectures/tutorials a week, will finish the 'year' in May and pay £9250 plus £7000 rent!! I reckon they get around 100 hours contact time per year- that is some hourly rate, and lectures often have large groups of students sitting there.

    Anyway, it will be up to DD2 but perhaps we won't have to pay uni costs for her. Though it would only be fair to give her the same overall as we're giving DD1, but perhaps she could use it to help start a business or towards a house deposit.

    2018 will be an interesting year.
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 9th Dec 17, 9:11 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    I've just done the transfer to my new B/ Clyxesdale account which is the last condition I had to meet to qualify for the £250 switch bonus - I think it'll be paid in January but will be a big help after Christmas.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 9th Dec 17, 1:45 PM
    • 5,705 Posts
    • 11,287 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I think the reductions you have made this year are brilliant. More than £14k repaid which is amazing. Sorry you didn't get the job but keep trying. The £250 switching bonus will come in handy too. Just try and keep your Xmas spends as low as possible. I am debating not bothering with crackers this year. It seems an expensive waste of money and landfill for a few paper hats and the tat or usual stuff you get inside. We have also decided not to go overboard with drinks this year. A bottle of prosecco and a nice bottle of wine rather than the usual bottles of spirits, cocktails etc.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • JimM284350
    • By JimM284350 9th Dec 17, 2:22 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    JimM284350
    Hello Emma, OH's are challenging especially if they are blokes like me. Just finished our DMP with StepChange. After a messy-ish divorce and me being brave and ignoring everything I ended up with £64,000 in unsecured debt. Not great as I then met my lovely now wife six months after the split. I didn't want to worry her about it either.

    I would love to say I had a flash car and champagne lifestyle to show for it but no, most of my debt was essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul, just borrowing more on cards, using them at cashpoints and even using credit card cheques (terrible idea) to pay for things where people wouldn't / couldn't take cards.

    Big issue is the basic wiring in my head, hunter gatherer bit. We can't ask for help, we don't like sympathy and we certainly don't discuss feelings with friends. We all hate asking people 'how are you?' if their response is likely to be anything other than 'fine'

    So, I finally went to the bank and said 'I just need to extend my overdraft' It was £10,000 already and maxed. The person at the bank, a very sensible lady of a certain age said. NO. I was shocked. She then used very matronly language and showed me where I was a dream for a lender totalling up all the interest I was paying out anything up to a £1,000 per month in interest alone.

    She put me in touch with StepChange (CCCS at the time) - rang them from the bank so I had no choice as I would no doubt of put my head firmly back in the sand.

    They were fab, job 1, moved banks, listed everything with them and all the lenders agreed to the IVA.

    Job 2 - I have paid as much as I could afford and 7 years later its now all gone, debt free.

    Did my credit rating get hit. No. All debts are listed as satisfied and my ClearScore rating is 472 out of 700 which is not by any means terrible. Why it is still ok is that everyone got their money, nobody wrote off any debt, they all moved debts to other firms (still owned by the banks) but its done.

    All the banks lost was the interest earnings, every penny they lent me they got back, bless them.

    Horrible to worry and he needs to speak to StepChange, they understand our wiring and use the right words, much nicer than locking up all the worry in a little box and getting busy with other things e.g. hobbies and running. Proper bloke stuff...

    Any part-time income will of course be a bonus, good luck and I am sure you will do fine
    • motivated
    • By motivated 9th Dec 17, 3:05 PM
    • 2,560 Posts
    • 4,195 Thanks
    motivated
    Hello Emma, OH's are challenging especially if they are blokes like me. Just finished our DMP with StepChange. After a messy-ish divorce and me being brave and ignoring everything I ended up with £64,000 in unsecured debt. Not great as I then met my lovely now wife six months after the split. I didn't want to worry her about it either.

    I would love to say I had a flash car and champagne lifestyle to show for it but no, most of my debt was essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul, just borrowing more on cards, using them at cashpoints and even using credit card cheques (terrible idea) to pay for things where people wouldn't / couldn't take cards.

    Big issue is the basic wiring in my head, hunter gatherer bit. We can't ask for help, we don't like sympathy and we certainly don't discuss feelings with friends. We all hate asking people 'how are you?' if their response is likely to be anything other than 'fine'

    So, I finally went to the bank and said 'I just need to extend my overdraft' It was £10,000 already and maxed. The person at the bank, a very sensible lady of a certain age said. NO. I was shocked. She then used very matronly language and showed me where I was a dream for a lender totalling up all the interest I was paying out anything up to a £1,000 per month in interest alone.

    She put me in touch with StepChange (CCCS at the time) - rang them from the bank so I had no choice as I would no doubt of put my head firmly back in the sand.

    They were fab, job 1, moved banks, listed everything with them and all the lenders agreed to the IVA.

    Job 2 - I have paid as much as I could afford and 7 years later its now all gone, debt free.

    Did my credit rating get hit. No. All debts are listed as satisfied and my ClearScore rating is 472 out of 700 which is not by any means terrible. Why it is still ok is that everyone got their money, nobody wrote off any debt, they all moved debts to other firms (still owned by the banks) but its done.

    All the banks lost was the interest earnings, every penny they lent me they got back, bless them.

    Horrible to worry and he needs to speak to StepChange, they understand our wiring and use the right words, much nicer than locking up all the worry in a little box and getting busy with other things e.g. hobbies and running. Proper bloke stuff...

    Any part-time income will of course be a bonus, good luck and I am sure you will do fine
    Originally posted by JimM284350
    What a lovely, inspiring post. Thanks for sharing. I too am in wayyyyy over my little head and itís posts like yours that make me even more determined to trudge on.

    See Emma we will be helping each other to hobble over the finish line and we will share a nice glass of bubbly. Stores own band of course, we are in debt you know
    M
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    LBM £82,590 Jan 17/£78,634.91 Feb 18
    Short term goal £1148.73/£1796 / PDBX 18 # 31 - £1423.52/£5,000
    52 week challenge VSP # 8 - £100
    SPC # 91
    / Save a penny a day 2018 # 02 - £25.00
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 10th Dec 17, 7:10 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Hi Jim, thanks for taking the time to share your experience. It's so inspiring to hear from someone who's been there and come out the other side. And the wired differently thing makes perfect sense and rings very true..
    My OH is also a runner and didnt really have anything major to show for the debt- he had just been using credit to top up everyday spending. He still doesn't find it easy to talk about though is committed to getting out of debt (hence I"m on here and he isn't). I found Stepchange great when I first realised our situation- they were so non-judgmental and positive- we're also determined to pay back every penny we owe.

    What an incredible achievement!- I can't imagine how fantastic you must feel at the moment!

    Keeping going for 7 years is so impressive and really gives me confidence that we can get there too in the end.
    It must be great to have money coming in that you can choose how to spend instead of knowing it's already spoken for by the credit card companies.

    Enjoy your debt-free life
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 10th Dec 17, 7:15 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    M- bubbly sounds good
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 17th Dec 17, 10:47 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    One week to go until Christmas and I'm nearly sorted, but not quite. DD1 is back from uni and DD2 has finished at school so the house is noisy again which is lovely but my food bill has gone up.
    Just about to cook brunch- sausages, bacon, tomato, scrambled egg (with smoked salmon), porridge and toast- delish! An occasional treat in our house.

    I haven't, and won't have paid for anything on a credit card but am still struggling to keep to my budget. I think more than anything this year, Christmas spending is a real challenge for me. The money really doesn't seem to go far when buying for the girls and I end up worrying if they have enough/ the same as each other etc. Then entertaining when people come to stay gets pricey and the people generally want tp do things and even paying for a coffee and cake for 8 or so people is £50. And I'm still dreadiing saying no to pub meals etc. after Christmas walks -I don't want to be the party pooper.
    I've managed to track down some cut price theatre tickets for over the Christmas break and our guests can pay for the ice creams for everyone
    I do like Christmas but can't wait for January when I feel in more control again.
    • motivated
    • By motivated 17th Dec 17, 11:25 AM
    • 2,560 Posts
    • 4,195 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi Emma

    I can definitely relate to January arriving and starting afresh. As for Christmas being expensive I told my two that I wonít be overdoing the prezzies this year as Iím cutting back a little. They were both fine with it as I would normally think I hadnít bought them enough as their prezzies only looked a small amount. Anyway this year I have been stern with myself and not been tempted to buy for the sake of it.

    Maybe from January you can set aside some money each week/month for Xmas and work from there once you add it all up maybe at the end of November. I found it a Godsend this year.

    Well done for not touching the CCs too a massive achievement there Iíd say.
    X
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    LBM £82,590 Jan 17/£78,634.91 Feb 18
    Short term goal £1148.73/£1796 / PDBX 18 # 31 - £1423.52/£5,000
    52 week challenge VSP # 8 - £100
    SPC # 91
    / Save a penny a day 2018 # 02 - £25.00
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Dec 17, 11:52 AM
    • 3,393 Posts
    • 21,433 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I know what you mean about Christmas spending straining the budget Emma, and socialising is a killer .

    My budget has felt a bit out of control since early November thanks to visiting a relative with cancer in London and then a wedding in the midlands. And now Christmas . Food is going up and up in price at the supermarket and as you say, coffee and a cake can set you back a big chunk when it's for lots of people .

    It is hard and I don't know what the answer is. You can either fess up and say "I cannot afford to go out for lunch/coffee and cakes" and be a party pooper (and then sometimes someone insists on paying for you and you can't enjoy it due to guilt and shame) or you go and try to keep the costs down .

    DH and I try to avoid socialising which involves cafes, restaurants etc. We prefer to say let's meet at the beach/nature trail etc and take a picnic, but this is problematic in the winter when it's cold or rainy .

    I don't think your DC will mind if you say you're spending a bit less on presents this year, as they are old enough to understand the realities of life.

    I do think that it can be worth being a bit of a hermit for a while though to really get control over the debts and free yourself from that burden
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 30th Dec 17, 9:51 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Hello diaryworld - I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

    Things are returning to normal in the Micawber household - the house guests have gone, leftovers nearly eaten and no more expensive trips out to pay for.
    OH was paid early, a week before Christmas, but for the first time ever, we put it into a different account and only transferred it into our current account on his 'usual' payday which was yesterday. So the current account looks quite healthy, no credit cards were used, and OH is hoping that January will bring his first work bonus in a long time.
    So all is looking relatively good, Well, apart from the tiny little detail of £59000 outstanding on credit cards! (But better than the £73500 we had last January).

    We're going to go "gazelle intense" for 2018 (Dave Ramsey) and set ourselves the ambitious target of paying £30000 off the credit cards by January 2019.
    Initial Plan:
    me- getting a job and putting 100% of my wages to the debt, at least £1000 monthly (12,000)
    OH- pulling out all the stops at work and trying to get 2 decent bonuses next year (6,000 total?- no idea yet)
    OH- putting 100% of his payrise ( extra £250 per month starting January) to the debt (3,000)
    'Standard' monthly cc payments 9,000
    Total: £30,000

    And this assumes our old high mileage cars limp through 2018 unscathed.



    I'm starting the 'clock' on January 1st week one, £0 paid, and will keep track of the total paid off week by week. Week 52 target - £30,000 !!
    • AdventureWanted
    • By AdventureWanted 30th Dec 17, 10:27 AM
    • 366 Posts
    • 1,176 Thanks
    AdventureWanted
    Hi, you!!!8217;ve done really well in reducing your debt so far. Good luck with your 2018 debt target.
    • Rachel24
    • By Rachel24 30th Dec 17, 10:26 PM
    • 120 Posts
    • 443 Thanks
    Rachel24
    Hi Emma just read your diary. You!!!8217;ve done so well and looking forward to you paying that 30k in 2018!!
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 1st Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Week 0 Jan 1
    Paid in Week 0 - £0
    Total paid for 2018 - £0
    £ to target - £30,000

    Happy New Year!
    It's Year 2 of our debt paydown and I'm doing a debt snowball for the first time, planning to pay off £30,000 in total this year.
    Year 1 was all about getting my head round our debt and juggling balances to avoid being hit with huge interest charges, but only 1 of our cards has a 0% expiring in 2018 so I'm going for it this year. Our total debt (credit card and loan) reduced from £93,500 to £76,500. Credit cards reduced from £73,500 to £58,000.

    I've listed the cards we have below (using affectionate nicknames ) and will pay minimums on all and throw the surplus at the card with the smallest balance.

    1. American Distress £1250
    2. More Bl**dy Nights Awake card 1 £2500
    3. They're Your Master card £3700
    4. Tox-co £4500
    5. More Bl**dy Nights Awake 2 £4900
    6. Sin-tan-debt card £5000
    7. Martin Lewis card £7100
    8. They're Your Master card 2 £11,500
    9. American Distress 2 £17,500
    10. Loan Wolf £18,500

    CC total- £58,000 Loan -£18,500 Total -£76,500

    My plan is to update the amount paid every Sunday and the individual debts monthly to keep on track.
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 01-01-2018 at 11:22 AM.
    • ChasingSunshine
    • By ChasingSunshine 2nd Jan 18, 8:19 AM
    • 118 Posts
    • 949 Thanks
    ChasingSunshine
    Sounds like a you have a great plan in place and are all set for 2018. Love the card names btw.
    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 5th Jan 18, 1:18 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 242 Thanks
    Working Mum
    Dave Ramsey's approach is wonderful! Nice and sensible with the benefit that it really works!!
    I have slightly less debt than you guys but I am divorced and flying this debt free plane solo!
    I feel sure you have the right attitude and approach to make 2018 a debt busting year!
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 7th Jan 18, 7:35 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Thanks Chasingsunshine - as well as a bit of fun, the card names remind me what they actually represent and will hopefully help keep me on track. You see so many happy smiling faces on the adverts it's easy to forget the debt sentence they're selling you.

    Thanks for dropping by, good luck to you for 2018 as well!
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