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    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 25th Feb 17, 7:12 AM
    • 167Posts
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    worriedDan
    Dan's desperate dash towards solvency
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:12 AM
    Dan's desperate dash towards solvency 25th Feb 17 at 7:12 AM
    Hi everyone,

    After posting on the DFW board, I have decided to start a diary. My earlier posts can be found here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5601202

    In a nutshell, we 55K in debt with not much to show for it. I have reached a point where something HAS to be done to sort out this awful mess. I do all of our finances and whilst my wife always knew that were in lots of debt, it has only been over the last couple of weeks that I have really started to discuss it with her.

    I put together a budget that would realistically allow us to clear the debt in about 3 years. I sat down with m wife and shared it with her. She was fully on board and agrees that we need to clear the debt before we turn 40 ( 3 & 4 years away for us)

    I still haven't said "we owe 55K" but I have shared with her the rough payments that we will make and the timescale. All of the statements are also there for her perusal and I offered to make her a list of what we owed - she declined. This was the worst part for me and I feel so much better having opened up our communication. My plan from this point onwards is to keep a check that we are both following our budget. I am also going to sit down with my wife every few months and do an update on how we are doing. I don't want to keep talking about the total balance though. It makes me feel physically unwell. Noone else knows about our debt and our friends and family probably think that we are doing well!

    The good news....

    We are able to throw about 1750 at our debts each months. Most are 0% so the majority of this comes off the balance. We take home just under 4.5K between us.

    We have 13K saved. This is saved with my wife's family ( complicated situation that I won't go into on here) . In theory I suppose that this makes our 55K debt 43K. We are not going to use the money to pay debts, not right now anyway, however the psychology of knowing that the money is there is a real help to me.

    I have set our budget so that after all bills and debt payments, we have 200 for food, money to cover diesel, kids clubs, emergency savings and 300 for 'fun' I think that this is realistic and doable. I cannot see a reason why this should fail. This new budget starts from next payday - early next week.

    I still can't believe that we owe such a large amount of money. I struggle with the total figure and am desperate for it to go down!!!!
Page 4
    • Money Rollercoaster
    • By Money Rollercoaster 9th Mar 17, 7:57 AM
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    Money Rollercoaster
    I'm pleased to hear that your conversation with your Dad went well.


    What you have to remember is that you need to try and achieve some normality soon. I still think some timely therapy or intervention might help.


    It's going to take you three years or so to clear this debt and that will take commitment, however it cannot be your only focus during that time. You have a family to enjoy, a job to perform and likely countless other things you need to pay more attention to. Set your budget and make sure you're working to it by all means, but do not let the debt dominate your life for the next three years or I fear that you'll miss out on the much more important things in life.
    Living Life @ 174 BPM >> CC Balance (0%) -3,565.99 - Target DFD Dec 2017 >> Loan (Car) (3.1%) -19,803.74 - Target DFD Nov 2020
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 9th Mar 17, 8:11 AM
    • 167 Posts
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    worriedDan
    You're totally right, it is the shame and guilt that is getting to me the most. Speaking To my dad has helped enormously though
    • Money Rollercoaster
    • By Money Rollercoaster 9th Mar 17, 8:18 AM
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    Money Rollercoaster
    Well, if you aren't managing to get on top of those feelings of shame and guilt, don't you think that you could benefit from some proper support to help you do that? After all, if you're earning so darn much, you need to make the most of the health service you are supporting so well ...


    Seriously, don't let life pass you by. Grasp the nettle and get an appointment.
    Living Life @ 174 BPM >> CC Balance (0%) -3,565.99 - Target DFD Dec 2017 >> Loan (Car) (3.1%) -19,803.74 - Target DFD Nov 2020
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 9th Mar 17, 11:42 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    I just read a really interesting article about how acute financial stress can create symptoms similar to PTSD. I can definitely relate to some of the points in the article. I am acutely aware that many many people suffer terrible experiences that pale my debt problem into significance, however is what I am dealing with at the moment.

    The article talks about denial - I have definitely been guilty of this. Even now, 3 weeks in, I still find it unbearable to add up the grand total. My dads advice -"don't add it up! Concentrate on paying the 2k a month off it and it doesn't matter what the exact balance is. Think about it less and stop obsessing over ever small detail"

    I expected my dad to be shocked at the level of debt we are in but he really wasn't. In his opinion, we could be 100K in debt and still fix it with 2k a month payments. This makes sense and I really needed to hear this reaction. Again, this is me seeking validation from others.

    Being able to post all of this on here helps a great deal
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 9th Mar 17, 1:08 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Dan. Your dad sounds fab. A very sensible man too. He's right - if the total debt scares the living daylights out of you then just focus on that 2k a month.

    i will say this.......it's still early days for you.....just three weeks in and you are doing marvellously well. You sound like a different man, a lot more relaxed and positive.

    Just stay positive and focussed but don't forget to enjoy life along the way.

    Summer Is on its way, bringing lots of opportunities to get out and about in the great outdoors without breaking the bank. Get out there and have some free or low cost fun with your family.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 9th Mar 17, 1:27 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Your dad sounds very supportive. I would focus on paying off that 2k per month and not add the balance up constantly. Maybe once every 3 months just to make sure that interest is not scuppering your repayment plans.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 9th Mar 17, 3:47 PM
    • 7,144 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    Suggestion - as said above, and from your Dad, ignore that scary big figure, and instead, look at the first single debt that you're hammering. For now - right now - THAT is your goal and your focus, nothing more. That might make the situation feel less overwhelming.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 9th Mar 17, 11:11 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    Tonight I have eaten and and actually enjoyed my food! I haven;t eaten properly for the best part of 2 weeks and I am the best part of a stone lighter! (every cloud....)

    I can really feel the fog lifting now. I am thinking more rationally and seem to be obsessing less.

    I am definitely taking the advice to ignore the overall debt figure for now. I am actually going to ignore it for a year I have decided. I have my debt snowball set up so this wil be my monthly focus.
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 10th Mar 17, 8:51 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    So, the plan for today is.... no calculations, no adding up, no overthinking about money. I want a normal day today!!!!
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 10th Mar 17, 3:08 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    After a decent day I am starting to feel a little low about things. Had a great chat with a colleague about my situation and she gave me some perspective on things. I do desperately want to have a decent weekend this week
    • motivated
    • By motivated 11th Mar 17, 11:12 AM
    • 1,262 Posts
    • 1,385 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi Dan

    your mood will be up and down at times and I hope you have a stress free weekend. It will do you good to not think about finances for a while.

    The sun is shining here today. If you are lucky enough to have the sun maybe a nice walk will help take your mind off things.
    M
    I have arrived in DMP Land and I like it. I may stay a while
    April 2017 82,590 - 80.102.88 - DFD July 2024 April 2024

    Short term goal 220/1723.27
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 11th Mar 17, 12:05 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Second this.... .. get out into the big outdoors, take your family to a Park, have a go on the swings, kick a ball around. Have some fun, blow the cobwebs away.

    If it's raining put your wellies on and go out anyway.....go puddle jumping.

    There are lots of fun things that are free or cheap. Take a look at your local "What's On" guide.

    Some ideas for you to think about.......

    Cheap cinemas tickets, swimming, museums, art galleries, libraries, little farm/petting zoos, family Bike rides, walking in the country, maybe even cheap camping weekends now and again......in the summer of course. If it's only for one night you don't need a load of fancy equipment.

    One thing you might consider.............

    Maybe an annual membership to something like the National Trust or a zoo that is reasonably local to you. You can go as many times as you like then, take a picnic.

    Dont put your life on hold whilst you debt bust, get inventive and have some inexpensive fun.

    Do you have anything to sell........if you can do a couple of car boot sales over the summer the money you raise can go towards your "fun fund". Make it a family occasion, take a flask and some eats. Car boots are great fun and you can raise a surprising amount.

    We used to do one about three or four times a year, averaging about 100. The kids came too and loved selling their unwanted stuff. Whatever money they made they could keep.

    2 Bonuses from this ...it helped them stop hoarding and kept the house from getting overrun with their toys and general detritus plus they could buy new stuff with the money they "earned".

    It made them feel very grown up and independent.

    You will get there. It's good that you are feeling better.

    PS Cheap seaside holiday breaks......look out for the Sun Newspaper deals. They do them about three times a year, usually either a three or four night break. Really good value.
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 12th Mar 17, 7:01 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    So this weekend has actually been ok!!! Went out with my wife for a drink last night. It was nice to get out and just sit and chat about general stuff, without the weight of my finances on my mind.

    I felt a bit blue this morning, but then I have always found Sunday's depressing! We popped out to get our food shopping for this week. We actually checked the fridge/freezer to SEE WHAT WE NEEDED!!! This is such a change of mindset for us!! We ended up spending just 28 in Aldi. We have enough food for meals for all of next week. I will just need to replenish milk and bread midweek.

    I have just looked at where we are moneywise this month. We have 556 to last us until pay day. Out of this we just need to buy food the for the last week of the month, some diesel and after school clubs fod DS. This should leave us with about 400 'spare'. I have paid off 1600 so far this month so this extra money will be split with half going toward debts, and the other half being saved.

    I am actually really pleased with how we have managed this month. We weren't really prepared for this change of life up until about 3 weeks ago so we started the month with our usual financial hangover from the previous one! We also had to have the car MOT''s and serviced last week, costing us 200. I have had to pay 67 bank charges out too - this will not happen again now that we are in our 'new life'. so next month should be even easier.

    We have redone our budget for April. After all bills, 2K debt repayments, food, fuel and after school clubs we are left with about 900. We need to think carefully about what we do with this money. Do we pay loads more off the debts. Do we save it? Do we allow ourselves a couple of nights away camping over Easter??
    • Money Rollercoaster
    • By Money Rollercoaster 12th Mar 17, 7:24 PM
    • 244 Posts
    • 581 Thanks
    Money Rollercoaster
    You shouldn't have any spare! ... Get it paid off the cards


    Just think how awesome it would be to have a month when you've paid 3k off ... it'll totally mess with your spreadsheets and projections, average monthly debt repayments and so forth! Wunderbar!
    Living Life @ 174 BPM >> CC Balance (0%) -3,565.99 - Target DFD Dec 2017 >> Loan (Car) (3.1%) -19,803.74 - Target DFD Nov 2020
    • motivated
    • By motivated 12th Mar 17, 9:03 PM
    • 1,262 Posts
    • 1,385 Thanks
    motivated
    So this weekend has actually been ok!!! Went out with my wife for a drink last night. It was nice to get out and just sit and chat about general stuff, without the weight of my finances on my mind.

    I have paid off 1600 so far this month
    Originally posted by worriedDan
    This is nice to hear, some quality time spent not talking or worrying about debts

    1600 This is an amazing amount, you should be proud
    I have arrived in DMP Land and I like it. I may stay a while
    April 2017 82,590 - 80.102.88 - DFD July 2024 April 2024

    Short term goal 220/1723.27
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 12th Mar 17, 9:23 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    You shouldn't have any spare! ... Get it paid off the cards


    Just think how awesome it would be to have a month when you've paid 3k off ... it'll totally mess with your spreadsheets and projections, average monthly debt repayments and so forth! Wunderbar!
    Originally posted by Money Rollercoaster
    Thanks M R

    Not sure we will ever quite make 3k in a month but from March payday it will be 2k a month, every month. I take your point about not having any 'spare' money, I am going to do a few other things too, such as cancel our car breakdown cover, get a cheaper quote and pay the one off annual payment in order to free up the money that we are currently paying monthly, I want to do the same with house and car insurance too, so I need to build up a pot to facilitate this.
    • triple choc chip
    • By triple choc chip 13th Mar 17, 12:51 PM
    • 793 Posts
    • 2,759 Thanks
    triple choc chip
    We have redone our budget for April. After all bills, 2K debt repayments, food, fuel and after school clubs we are left with about 900. We need to think carefully about what we do with this money. Do we pay loads more off the debts. Do we save it? Do we allow ourselves a couple of nights away camping over Easter??
    Originally posted by worriedDan
    Well, I would recommend you do all three. Don't forget to 'have a life' during this journey, it's not boom or bust, starve and binge. It's essential to have fun too and if you're not getting more into debt, putting cost of fun onto c.cards, it's affordable and you should do it for the well-being of the family unit. Well done so far
    Life's greatest satisfactions: Getting the last laugh, having the last word and paying the last instalment.
    Debt Free since 6.8.13
    Saving for Xmas 2017 #3: 233/650 35.85%
    Emergency fund 1k - House deposit 26.9k
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 14th Mar 17, 10:35 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    taking a trip to the docs this morning. I have realised that my anxiety and stress levels need to be dealt with properly. It's been nearly a month, and whilst I am feeling better overall, I am still struggling to deal with the emotional/stress aspect of my terrible debt.

    I am hoping that the doc can either prescribe something to calm me down, or refer me to someone who can help me sort my head out.

    There is nothing else I can do financially as I have already got a good debt busting plan in place. I just need to sort ME out.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Mar 17, 10:40 AM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Well, I would recommend you do all three. Don't forget to 'have a life' during this journey, it's not boom or bust, starve and binge. It's essential to have fun too and if you're not getting more into debt, putting cost of fun onto c.cards, it's affordable and you should do it for the well-being of the family unit. Well done so far
    Originally posted by triple choc chip
    I think a balance can be struck. Why not 300 to each, save, debts and spend on days out? This is a long road and you need to learn how to live more frugally but that doesn't mean not spending anything.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Mar 17, 10:46 AM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 5,698 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    taking a trip to the docs this morning. I have realised that my anxiety and stress levels need to be dealt with properly. It's been nearly a month, and whilst I am feeling better overall, I am still struggling to deal with the emotional/stress aspect of my terrible debt.

    I am hoping that the doc can either prescribe something to calm me down, or refer me to someone who can help me sort my head out.

    There is nothing else I can do financially as I have already got a good debt busting plan in place. I just need to sort ME out.
    Originally posted by worriedDan
    You have a good plan in place Dan and a supportive wife and family so you have everything going for you. In time this will seem a distant memory but you are doing the right thing sorting this out now while your son is young. I think maybe this must have been preying on your mind for a while now and you are learning to live differently. Never easy but hopefully your doctor will help.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
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