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  • FIRST POST
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 7th Sep 17, 2:57 PM
    • 168Posts
    • 635Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Everything is possible if you try!
    • #1
    • 7th Sep 17, 2:57 PM
    Everything is possible if you try! 7th Sep 17 at 2:57 PM
    Hi all
    Newbie to the forum here. I'm ready to hold my hand up and say "yes, I have a debt problem". I'm also ready to do what I can to climb out of this debt-hole! (Hence the positive title!)

    So, a little bit about me - I live with my teenage daughter (who I shall refer to from here on as Kitty) and two real-life floofs who constantly demand food and attention.

    I've been dithering around in denial for months years, while slowly but surely the debt pile has accumulated. I was doing a really great job of ignoring this, until a few months ago, when I found myself doing the weekly shop on the credit card ("just to tide me over until pay day"), letting things creep up and up, and not repaying those little credit card payments which grew and grew, meaning that month on month just paying off the interest I wasn't getting anywhere.

    I took a long look at what I was spending and where. Admittedly I've been lazier than I should have been with regard to my finances, so I hadn't really bothered to shop around for energy, broadband, car insurance etc deals. I've started to rectify this, and have found cheaper car insurance, energy and broadband. I've also started my little black book for recording moneys in and out, and renewal dates for such things (and discovered that uswitch will save reminders on these too )

    I found this forum a couple of days ago, and your stories have inspired me to feel I'm not too old to get ouf of debt before I retire, and my debts, while a large looming cloud at the moment, should be manageable with some serious organisation.
    I've been having to take a lot of self-care lately, due to health reasons, but looking after finances so I'm not so anxious will be part of that.

    So, this is the beginning of my diary, and journey. Constructive comments and helpful tips are welcomed, but please be gentle with me, as I'm new to this.

    I do have a question for you all - I'm not currently on any DMP or anything. I spoke to a debt management company on the phone, and they recommended an IVA. For some reason the thought of this made me lose nearly a nights sleep and wake several times with severe anxiety chest pains! Hence, I'm trying being accountable to myself, and being open here I think will help, it seems an encouraging group.

    Current level of debt:
    Barclaycard: £15,000
    HSBC Credit Card: £3,000
    MBNA Credit Card: £2,400
    Overdraft (this gets maxed out every month without fail): £350
Page 10
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 14th Nov 17, 9:22 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,535 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    T&k as already said it takes time to get into the mindset of budgets, writing it down etc. I have been doing it since January but still find I have blips .

    Don't be hard on yourself as Pauline says you are getting used to a new regime with work etc , nobody died from an untidy house .

    The London trip sounded like a big success and quality time spent with DD .

    Hope you get sorted on Thursday .

    Cumbria.
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 14th Nov 17, 10:22 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 2,523 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Big hugs Tea. Lots of lovely words from everyone else.
    Just keep making progress. Small steps are still steps.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017 July : £36,800 8/100 Aug: £36,411.85 8/100 Sep: £35,945.66 10/100 Oct: £35,500 11/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 19th Nov 17, 7:29 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Back here to keep on track!
    Made enormous cottage pie the other day, there's still enough left for dinner for kitty and me another day.
    I had some friends to visit this weekend, so we played some boardgames last night then went for a lovely walk in the peak district today - weather was perfect for it. Quite chilly, but bright. We did similar a couple of weeks ago, so a couple of friends and I are going to try and make it a regular thing - we all have similar social anxieties etc , and getting out and about really helps us all (and taking a flask means it stays cheap!). We've already planned the next one! Begone Brain weasels!
    GP has changed dosage of medication, and signed me off work for the week.I have to go back for a review on Thursday.
    What with going out today, I've not done any kind of weekly shop yet, but as I'm not at work tomorrow I can do a meal plan and get to Aldi in the day.
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 19th Nov 17, 7:44 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 2,651 Thanks
    Nicnak
    I hope the new medication is better for you. A week off might be just what you need to help with everything.

    I love walking, just don't seem to be able to get out of the house so much anymore to do it. It sounds beautiful x
    September 6th 2017 start Updated 25th NOV 17
    Credit Card £430 now: £1181 Tesco Loan £7500 = £6700 Car loan £17,500 = £9,875 Total = £25,330 £17,756 EMF #252
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #170
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 19th Nov 17, 9:42 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 2,523 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Pleased you've been to the gp, try and get some mindfulness excercises in this week, it will really help with those brain weasels.
    Look after yourself, and don't think about work.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017 July : £36,800 8/100 Aug: £36,411.85 8/100 Sep: £35,945.66 10/100 Oct: £35,500 11/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 21st Nov 17, 12:22 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    So, off to play boardgames with friends today low cost entertainment!
    Made vast pot of chicken stew yesterday, so should be a no spend day
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 21st Nov 17, 3:30 PM
    • 8,214 Posts
    • 43,468 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Boardgames and walking sound like fantastic low cost entertainment options T&K - well done! Some great batch cooking there too - you've left me wanting cottage pie now though!

    Glad to hear you got signed off for a week - sounds like everything had just rather got on top of you, and combined with the medication being fiddled with had left you floundering a bit. Brain weasels indeed - Pippilongstocking on here calls it "washing machine head" which also describes it perfectly!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£656.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 21st Nov 17, 6:28 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 2,651 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Fab NSDs are great! x
    September 6th 2017 start Updated 25th NOV 17
    Credit Card £430 now: £1181 Tesco Loan £7500 = £6700 Car loan £17,500 = £9,875 Total = £25,330 £17,756 EMF #252
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #170
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 27th Nov 17, 10:51 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Slowly getting back on track. GP signed me off last week til 7th and reviewed medication. Hopefully this will be enough headspace!
    I have been trying some mindfulness, though at the moment its hard to close out the chatter.
    Food shopping was under budget this week, as Kitty has decided her new favourite thing is chicken stew. We had roast chicken Sunday, and I also bought a load of thighs at the supermarket to turn into stew. At least that's something I can make lots of cheaply.
    I have potential offers of other work. They wouldn't pay as much as I'm on now, but brain weasels might be better. Trying to balance this with debts to make the right decision.
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 28th Nov 17, 12:57 PM
    • 8,214 Posts
    • 43,468 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Take whatever from this that might help - but might you be overthinking the job thing? A new role - even within the same company, is ALWAYS stressful even if just from the point of view of there being unfamiliar processes and people to get used to. A role that we feel we've been coerced into is even more stressful of course as we lose the control in the situation too - but sometimes it does turn out to be a better option than we feared. I'm also going to say that whilst being signed off can sometimes be much needed, it can also be a double edged sword as the stress around a job can be made worse by the simple thing of fearing returning to it. Try to listen to the logical and rational side of your head and put the emotional stuff to one side perhaps, and see where that leads you? Have a (((hug))) anyway.

    Chicken stew....Mmmmmm - there's not much that smells better than that, is there!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£656.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 28th Nov 17, 2:26 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Thanks EH! I'm not going to jump anywhere overnight, I need to properly evaluate. There have been ongoing issues with work/health balance for some time. Driving 70 miles to the other site at least one a week is one of the parts I dread most.
    Sometimes it's good just to feel that there is an option!
    Chicken bones are simmering nicely into stock for the stew! The house does indeed smell lovely and comforting and welcoming!
    At some point I shall use some of this time to do some tidying too
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 28th Nov 17, 4:27 PM
    • 8,214 Posts
    • 43,468 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    There are ALWAYS options. I do wonder whether you will find yourself always wondering whether you gave up on it too soon if you're too quick to look for an alternative - but the flip side is that if you weren't particularly happy with the previous job it may be as simple as you're not suited to the company, in which case looking for an alternative might be the best thing. It's only time and a pro's and con's list that will tell you though! What is it you dread about the drive to the other site? Are there alternative routes that will make it better? Can you put together some music play lists that will help it pass easier maybe?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£656.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 30th Nov 17, 12:48 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    For the first time in over a week, I've actually turned on the computer so I can actually do this properly.
    Fancy phone stuff is all very well, but I find typing longer replies a little tedious, and hence haven't really interacted much. So here it is, T&K reporting in!

    EH - Probably do need to give the new thing a bit more of a chance, but at the moment even just thinking about it is inducing an anxiety kind of state. I've been with the company for 16 years, so it's probably not me being unsuited to them. I've seen them do to other people what they've done in this instance in terms of moving people around, changing from having site based to a central team of whatever. I've just never been senior/had the right kind of job for it to apply to me.
    I get quite bad vertigo and dizziness, and a visual sensory overload, which is why the distance driving is not so good for me. I didn't drive for about 10 months because of it at one point. Before I had this condition it wouldn't have bothered me, but now I find driving so mentally exhausting that I struggle in the evenings and/or the following day.

    Having a meeting tomorrow about possible p/t evening thing ... might just bring in enough to help get the debts down if I can manage to do it, though second job would get taxed loads.

    Not doing amazingly at spend-free days. Many of these are little things, like buying a pint of milk when I went to a friends house (they have teabags in stock, but don't actually drink it themselves, so I take milk).
    What I feel quite good/virtuous about? Had friends around to play boardgames - they got takeaway, Kitty and I had already stuffed our faces with stew. Investing in a large pot for stew a couple of months ago is really paying off, I can make us a weeks worth buy doing one lot of cooking (even with Kitty's double helpings!) Might have to do a different flavour next week. I think Tuscan bean stew is going to be next in the pot - lovely and warming now the weather has turned cold.
    I still need clean/valet my old car to sell now that work have given me the hire/company car. I think I should be able to get £800-900 which can cover some debt payments and a little christmas cheer!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Plush
    • By Plush 30th Nov 17, 1:33 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    Plush
    Not doing amazingly at spend-free days. Many of these are little things, like buying a pint of milk when I went to a friends house (they have teabags in stock, but don't actually drink it themselves, so I take milk).
    Originally posted by Tea&Kittens
    They don't have to be spend-free, right? they can be low spend. I plan spend free days too, but there is always something - and it's usually to do with my child. Like today - ran out of bread yesterday. I don't eat bread but DD does, so I can't claim an NSD but I'm only spending money on fresh bread today.
    current credit debt Nov-2017 £12800 @ 0% // initial debt Sep-2017 £14200
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 30th Nov 17, 3:09 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Very true, Plush! Now that I'm getting myself back together again, I shall try and plan to be a little more organised (e.g. I have milk at home, I could have decanted some for use at friends house).

    It's a friend's birthday today (being celebrated at a sushi place), so I will go and be social for a bit, but driving, so no drinking, and my plan is to just have a mini platter, which keeps costs down.
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 30th Nov 17, 3:59 PM
    • 8,214 Posts
    • 43,468 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Absolutely right - I blew a NSD earlier in the week for the sake of £2 - I needed toothpaste and hair conditioner, and remembered this at exactly the point where I was walking past £Land. Both were NEEDED - not just wanted, and I made sure I looked for the toothpaste tube with the most in it. (125ml rather than 100 or 75) as well. Sometimes it's the small wins!

    Good plan to take milk to your friend's next time though - or if you have to buy some, remember to grab the bottle and bring back with you, it can always go into the freezer if you don't need it right away.

    I also worked for a company for many years who essentially behaved quite badly to people. I watched them to do it to many others over the course of ten years, hating the fact that speaking up about it was made impossible, and of course eventually as I should have been able to predict, eventually it was my turn. Giving my notice in and getting out was the best thing I ever did - I have absolutely NO regrets about it, the only thing I regret was that I didn't do it soon enough.

    Good luck for the meeting about the P/T/evening job, but remember to balance off the loss of quality of life against the financial gain - especially in the light of the MH stuff.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£656.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 30th Nov 17, 7:19 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 2,651 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Hope the meeting goes well. Those essential spends are frustrating sometimes. I had to buy fuel today that I needed, but was frustrated it ruined a perfectly good NSD!
    September 6th 2017 start Updated 25th NOV 17
    Credit Card £430 now: £1181 Tesco Loan £7500 = £6700 Car loan £17,500 = £9,875 Total = £25,330 £17,756 EMF #252
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #170
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 30th Nov 17, 11:43 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Thank you all for assurances
    It does help!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 2nd Dec 17, 4:16 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    T&Ks things to think about:
    - whether to take on p/t evening reception 1 or 2 evenings a week. Bit of extra to help get the debts down vs. brain weasels!
    - I've got a load of jewellery making things. Make stuff and Etsy for a bit of extra money.
    - Re-evaluate spendings.
    - sell car as unnecessary outgoings in current work situation
    - yoga ... benefits (MH & physical) vs cost.
    - menu variety for frugal eating!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 2nd Dec 17, 7:18 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 2,651 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Good luck with the thinking. Sometimes writing down the pros and cons might help you see it for what it is.
    Anxiety can be a huge enemy for you, and certainly when it comes to over thinking things x
    September 6th 2017 start Updated 25th NOV 17
    Credit Card £430 now: £1181 Tesco Loan £7500 = £6700 Car loan £17,500 = £9,875 Total = £25,330 £17,756 EMF #252
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #170
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