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    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 25th Feb 17, 7:12 AM
    • 167Posts
    • 470Thanks
    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 5
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 14th Mar 17, 11:12 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    Thanks, I know I will get through it. It just feels so bloody scary at the moment.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Mar 17, 11:30 AM
    • 7,149 Posts
    • 38,037 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Yes I definitely think tackling the anxiety is vital now. You've done so well on the financial stuff, now you have to turn your attention to yourself and looking after you, as well.

    Hope it goes well at the Docs.

    Also totally agree with what DS says about the "spare" 900 too - I reckon if you plan it carefully and don't go too far from home you could definitely do a family camping trip for 300 for easter. Think about planning ahead for easy meals to cook on your own cooking facilities to remove the temptation for eating out, and research free things to do so you still have a bit of a budget left for ice creams!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 14th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    So I went to the doctors. I now have some medication which will apparently help to reduce my anxiety and panic.I have also been offered a referral for counselling.

    It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation really. I don't know if my financial issues have led to my mental health issues, or if my Mental health issues have made me react badly to my debt situation. Who knows. I suspect that I am probably more prone to these issues than I care to admit.

    Today has been a more positive day. not perfect but better.

    I have still done the snowball calculator again, putting in my 'worst case scenario' figures if I am not able to get any more 0% at the end of year, and whilst it will obviously cost me some interest, the debt will still be serviceable in a reasonable time frame. I really hope that I as start paying chunks off, better rates become available to me.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Mar 17, 8:10 PM
    • 3,420 Posts
    • 5,742 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I think as the debt reduces Dan you will feel less anxious. Try not to worry about what will happen 9 months from now. If you are able to stick to your plan of 2k per month the debt will have gone down by 18k. Won't that be great? A third will be gone and you will be starting 2018 with your debt in the 30s!!
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 15th Mar 17, 12:15 AM
    • 359 Posts
    • 2,459 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    So I went to the doctors. I now have some medication which will apparently help to reduce my anxiety and panic.I have also been offered a referral for counselling.

    It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation really. I don't know if my financial issues have led to my mental health issues, or if my Mental health issues have made me react badly to my debt situation. Who knows. I suspect that I am probably more prone to these issues than I care to admit.
    Originally posted by worriedDan
    It's almost certainly both. Anxiety and self sabotage tend to go hand in hand: when I'm anxious, I procrastinate, and then I get more anxious and more self loathing, and the cycle continues. I used to drink the anxiety away, you can guess how well that went. I couldn't begin to address the anxiety until I was sober, but getting sober didn't fix the anxiety. I had to do both.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if spending money is a self soothing habit for you, because your high income and ability to spend reassure you that you're a worthy person and assuage your anxiety. Then the debts have brought that illusion crashing down, and had more of an effect on you than most people because the money was already tied to your emotional well being.

    You can't treat the anxiety and ignore the money problems, but getting rid of the debts alone won't fix the underlying issues around money and identity. Do both, and you'll look back on this period as the best thing that happened to you.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    1 May 2017 $222,634.29
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 15th Mar 17, 8:17 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    First med taken this morning. Lets hope that things start to improve now. Desperately want to start feeling better about things now. This black cloud needs to go!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th Mar 17, 10:15 AM
    • 7,149 Posts
    • 38,037 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Anxiety is a devil of a thing. Something I found really helped was actually taking it by the scruff of the neck (as it were) and telling myself that enough was enough, I was going to sort it. I used that Scottish NHS site I mentioned before which was absolutely excellent - worked through the steps they suggest, and in fact still use them now when things get a bit much - but generally speaking within a week of starting working through their programme I felt like a different person. It gave me the tools to rationalise things (not easy when your head is busy going "aaarghhhhh!" about everything) and to challenge my thought processes too.

    As for which caused the situation - it honestly doesn't matter now beyond needing to be aware that you have a tendancy towards anxiety and mental health issues. Over time you will learn what your triggers are, but for now be wary of creating something else to be anxious about. The knowledge will come - don't focus on "needing to know" right now.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 15th Mar 17, 11:23 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    Thanks EH. You talk a lof of sense.

    I have also been referred for counselling. I am going to take whatever is offered!
    • Money Rollercoaster
    • By Money Rollercoaster 15th Mar 17, 12:10 PM
    • 245 Posts
    • 582 Thanks
    Money Rollercoaster
    Whilst it's not great that you're still feeling anxious and stressed I think it is immensely positive that you've been to the doctor and sought some advice and support (that's more than I've ever managed!). I hope over the next days and weeks, you find you're coping better.
    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
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th Mar 17, 3:18 PM
    • 7,149 Posts
    • 38,037 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Yes - whatever helps is the key thing. Baby steps. Learn your strengths and also your weaknesses, and then learn to deal with the weaknesses - but do it all one step at a time.

    Oh, and the first thing that website taught me by the way was that no, I wasn't going mad, and no I wasn't going to make myself ill. That was two less things to be anxious about for a start then!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 17th Mar 17, 7:46 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    Had a really good evening yesterday and felt like I had really turned a corner. This morning I woke up early feeling rubbish. I couldn't get the ". I can't believe I owe fifty grand oncredit cards" out of my head. Feeling so very nervous about it and worried that I might not be able to fix it.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 17th Mar 17, 7:58 AM
    • 10,553 Posts
    • 67,797 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Do you think having visual reminders around the place might help you? Some people like affirmations, you could write down some that mean something to you, when in a positive​ mindset, then display them in places you see throughout the day.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • Money Rollercoaster
    • By Money Rollercoaster 17th Mar 17, 8:30 AM
    • 245 Posts
    • 582 Thanks
    Money Rollercoaster
    Why not go for positive countdown type notes ... cleared since LBM, cleared this month, expected to clear next month. Hey, as it's countdown you can even include a pic of Rachel Riley ... she does love those numbers!
    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
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 18th Mar 17, 11:44 AM
    • 6,963 Posts
    • 9,610 Thanks
    KxMx
    Had a really good evening yesterday and felt like I had really turned a corner. This morning I woke up early feeling rubbish. I couldn't get the ". I can't believe I owe fifty grand oncredit cards" out of my head. Feeling so very nervous about it and worried that I might not be able to fix it.
    Originally posted by worriedDan
    It is not nice, but absolutely okay to feel like that.

    You can't be strong and positive all the time & you shouldn't expect to be so then beat yourself up when you're not.

    The important thing is you pick up after a low spell.

    You have only just started tackling the debt and your mental health, please remember that, these things take time but you are certainly on the right path for both.
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 20th Mar 17, 6:44 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    So it's the start of a new week and I'm determined it's going to be a better one, rules for this week...

    No 'adding up' debt totals. It doesn't help me

    No stressing over my wife's small debts- store cards and overdraft. She is dealing with these so that I don't have to think about it

    Dont think about money all day everyday

    Stop beating myself up and remind myself that I can fix this

    Forget the total balance. It won't change if I constantly obsess over it

    Focus on next payment



    Let's see how this week goes
    • Money Rollercoaster
    • By Money Rollercoaster 20th Mar 17, 9:30 AM
    • 245 Posts
    • 582 Thanks
    Money Rollercoaster
    Hey, you've definitely been through the wringer with it all, but we're all wishing you the best with your DF journey. There will be up and down days (and weeks) but hopefully you feel like you're making progress, however slowly it might seem. It sounds (from your other posts) that the counselling is helping to an extent.
    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 20th Mar 17, 9:36 AM
    • 1,279 Posts
    • 1,387 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi Dan
    Its good to see you a little more positive. keep taking each day as it comes. As you said stressing yourself out over the totals will only make it seem harder. aim for small steps and small goals.

    You're doing great
    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
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 2:44 PM
    • 10,553 Posts
    • 67,797 Thanks
    Bobarella
    You sound calm and focused today. I hope your week goes well.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 21st Mar 17, 8:54 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 470 Thanks
    worriedDan
    This has been my best morning since the start of all this. Got up early and went for a run. Exercise definitely helps to clear my head. I slept really well last night. I am finding that I am not thinking about money last thing at night, although I still wake up thinking about each morning. Hopefully this will fade in time.

    Today I have got a really busy day. The plan is to just forget about the money stuff until next week when pay day arrives.

    I went for another long walk with my lovely dad last night. He has been my rock through all of this and has really helped to pull me through. He has reminded me constantly that my debt is manageable and that he is more concerned about my health. Last night he told me that he doesn't want to hear anymore numbers when we are discussing it as he isn't interested in what we owe. He has also urged me to not share specific details with anyone else ( I have a tendency to overshare and almost 'confess')

    I really feel like things are starting to pick up for me. I think that I really did hot rock bottom a couple of weeks ago. I still don't feel 'normal', but I am feeling a little better each day. I am really looking forward to the Easter break. We are going to head down to the coast for a few low cost days ( staying in a borrowed caravan). My aim is to not think about the debt at all during this break.
    • motivated
    • By motivated 21st Mar 17, 9:05 AM
    • 1,279 Posts
    • 1,387 Thanks
    motivated
    This has been my best morning since the start of all this.

    I am really looking forward to the Easter break. We are going to head down to the coast for a few low cost days ( staying in a borrowed caravan). My aim is to not think about the debt at all during this break.
    Originally posted by worriedDan
    Hi Dan its lovely to see you doing ok. It really seems like you have turned a corner and its great

    A few days away is a great idea. Enjoy it you deserve it.
    M
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