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    • plush
    • By plush 20th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    • 39Posts
    • 144Thanks
    plush
    early 40s and not fabulous at all
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    early 40s and not fabulous at all 20th Sep 17 at 2:41 PM
    I'm not entirely sure how I ended up here... I don't mean the forum, I used it several years ago when I bought my flat and it's an invaluable resource. I mean with £14K credit card debt and nothing to show for it, and virtually no savings. Also single, mildly depressed and 15-20 lbs heavier than I should probably be.

    I don't understand why I'm unable to leave this vicious circle. I'm healthy - physically anyway - I have a healthy and happy child, family, some friends, a decent job, my own flat (mortgaged, but I'd pay more if I were to rent it, we're in greater London). Compared to many people I don't have big problems, yet I feel like s__t most of the time, don't sleep well, and plus I've started to feel really bad about the level of debt. last but not least, feeling super lonely and discouraged about dating and finding and partner.

    So I live well above my means even though my income is not that bad. Although I have been able to cut some bills, I'm lacking willpower when it comes to everyday spending. I tried to put my credit cards away but I failed. I go on too many holidays. I spend too much money on everything: clothes, shoes, haircuts, household things, concerts, theatre, etc. And I definitely spend too much money on food, on both groceries and eating out.

    I thought it would be a good idea to write here and check in once in a while, because I don't talk to anybody about my money issues. No one knows I'm in so much debt, not even my parents. And I should probably talk to my GP about my depression, as it's now affecting my general well being - I'm not sleeping enough, I'm eating too much in the evenings and I constantly feel tired and grumpy. I also stopped going to my weekly yoga class in an attempt to reduce spending, but that was probably a stupid move...

    So there. I need any help and advice I can get. And a big kick in the a__e...

    Thank you for reading.

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 04-10-2017 at 9:30 AM.
Page 2
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 20th Sep 17, 6:38 PM
    • 822 Posts
    • 4,136 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Hi and welcome
    As you can see, we are a considerate, non-judging and very helpful bunch here...

    I cannot add much else to all the good advice given here TBH

    I have also battled with depression and other demons in my life...
    For me two things have helped me to combat and defeat them;
    regular exercise and a focused, positive attitude.

    To manage my finances I now use a combination of excel spreadsheets and a OneNote Journal.
    These help me to both track spends and maintain my budgets.
    To make a little spare cash and build savings I do a few online surveys.

    You can do this, we will help you
    We are all in the same boat here
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • plush
    • By plush 20th Sep 17, 7:06 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    plush
    I have also battled with depression and other demons in my life...
    For me two things have helped me to combat and defeat them;
    regular exercise and a focused, positive attitude.
    Originally posted by UncannyScot
    Thank you!

    I have an irrational fear that going to a GP and admitting depression won't actually be good for me. Sort of - if I officially admit that I cannot manage anymore - everything will crumble in my life and there's no way back. I'm also scared that they'll prescribe antidepressants (I hate pills) and that I will end up paying for counselling. I'm not necessarily ashamed to talk to the GP about it, it's just that I always thought I was strong enough to deal with problems myself... with the help of friends, family, healthy eating and so on. I'm probably wrong...
    • plush
    • By plush 20th Sep 17, 7:07 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    plush
    Hi Plush the first thing i would do before anything is two things

    1) go see your gp
    2) restart yoga

    If your having any concerns re your mental health packing in exercise is the worst thing you can do. I won't go into the details here in depth but i have had mental health problems, the best advice i can give is above.

    Going to one yoga class pw week will release endorphins and serotonin that will help with your mood. Early on in the year i slipped a disc in my back and jaysus not being able to exercise for me was a nightmare.

    Think of it this way if your mood severely crashes what will it impact your family/work/finances etc etc you need to be well if you want to tackle the debt issues.
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Thank you. I know dropping yoga was a mistake. Having said that, I was paying too much for it, £13 per session. I can probably find another option that's cheaper.

    I just went for a run. I'm not a runner, but I thought it would be an inexpensive way to exercise. Did 3.3 km in 22 minutes, not all is lost. I hope I won't be in pain tomorrow! I'm thinking if I could do 2 runs each week of 5K each, plus one yoga class, that would bring me back to life without breaking the bank.

    I'm child-free until later tonight, and also had the entire day off as I had to go to my consulate to renew my passport - I've got dual citizenship). I wish I had more time for myself.. perhaps I can convince my child to run with me, or at least cycle alongside me. Easier said than done!

    Off to enter bills in the Spending Tracker. Thanks everyone for the kind words and suggestions!
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 20th Sep 17, 7:44 PM
    • 616 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Thank you. I know dropping yoga was a mistake. Having said that, I was paying too much for it, £13 per session. I can probably find another option that's cheaper.

    I just went for a run. I'm not a runner, but I thought it would be an inexpensive way to exercise. Did 3.3 km in 22 minutes, not all is lost. I hope I won't be in pain tomorrow! I'm thinking if I could do 2 runs each week of 5K each, plus one yoga class, that would bring me back to life without breaking the bank.

    I'm child-free until later tonight, and also had the entire day off as I had to go to my consulate to renew my passport - I've got dual citizenship). I wish I had more time for myself.. perhaps I can convince my child to run with me, or at least cycle alongside me. Easier said than done!

    Off to enter bills in the Spending Tracker. Thanks everyone for the kind words and suggestions!
    Originally posted by plush

    Do they not doing anything like you know you pay say 50 or 60 pounds and you get 6 classes for the price of 5 etc etc

    I can understand your comments totally re gp's and anti depressants, but i would still go chat with your gp and ask for counselling help or other options.

    Do not ever pack in the exercise, even if you can you can run a couple of times thats ace.
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 20th Sep 17, 7:51 PM
    • 616 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Do they not doing anything like you know you pay say 50 or 60 pounds and you get 6 classes for the price of 5 etc etc

    I can understand your comments totally re gp's and anti depressants, but i would still go chat with your gp and ask for counselling help or other options.

    Do not ever pack in the exercise, even if you can you can run a couple of times thats ace.
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    I found i was at my worst if i didn't exercise and eating healthy is very important to.
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £166.90 Survey Earnings YTD £535.12
    • plush
    • By plush 20th Sep 17, 8:09 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    plush
    Do they not doing anything like you know you pay say 50 or 60 pounds and you get 6 classes for the price of 5 etc etc

    I can understand your comments totally re gp's and anti depressants, but i would still go chat with your gp and ask for counselling help or other options.

    Do not ever pack in the exercise, even if you can you can run a couple of times thats ace.
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Pay as you go is £15, but I was buying 10-pack classes for £130.

    It's probably much cheaper to join the local community gym, it's something like £45 per month and there is no annual commitment. It's cheaper than paying £13 per class. I just need to check that they have a yoga class at at a time when I can actually do it (when my child is with my ex, that is).
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 20th Sep 17, 8:23 PM
    • 616 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    I have just changed gyms myself recently

    Social media is your friend shop around contact them see whats in your area.
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £166.90 Survey Earnings YTD £535.12
    • bubblycrazy
    • By bubblycrazy 20th Sep 17, 8:31 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    bubblycrazy
    The only thing I can add to the great advice is, don't stop posting! The people who fall off the waggon tend to stop posting for months and then come back and say oops. If you're feeling rubbish then pour it out on here because the support to continue will get you through.
    Your SOA is missing quite a few things so if you can get the recommended one to load at some point that will be more accurate.
    MFW - Original balance 28/08/2014 £52850
    Original MF date: 2049 Aiming for: 2025
    Balance 28/04/2015 £52250
    Balance 27/07/2016 £49990
    Balance 08/07/2017 £47999
    • plush
    • By plush 20th Sep 17, 10:12 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    plush
    @bubblycrazy: thanks.

    The SOA website is still down. Google says "This site may be hacked."

    My list is complete as far as bills and direct debits go. The rest of it is missing - food, fun, clothes, holidays, gifts and so on. On that - does it make sense to go back and look at past spending? I've installed Spending Tracker and created some categories and will start tracking everyday spending, then review monthly.

    Not sure if I need to enter the bills in the tracker app?! I have an Excel spreadsheet for those and I'm good at paying bills, I've never missed a bill. My bills account (Barclays) is always in green, I don't let it go into overdraft. All direct debits and SOs go out between the 26th of the current month and the 3rd of the next month, I made sure of that.

    My Halifax account and Barclaycard #2 need budgeting/tracking/cutting down spending.
    • bubblycrazy
    • By bubblycrazy 21st Sep 17, 11:04 AM
    • 140 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    bubblycrazy
    Yes you need to know what you spend on those things in a full year then divide it by 12. Looking back at previous spends will help give you an accurate figure.
    MFW - Original balance 28/08/2014 £52850
    Original MF date: 2049 Aiming for: 2025
    Balance 28/04/2015 £52250
    Balance 27/07/2016 £49990
    Balance 08/07/2017 £47999
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 21st Sep 17, 11:29 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 5,166 Thanks
    117pauline
    A SOA is simply your work in progress for the first year or so as you find out really what you spend.

    You describe your DD account as always in the green so you do have the willpower to get yourself sorted.

    When you are feeling ready, take a look back over the credit card statements to work out where the spending occurs. I have found that there tends to be an emotional cause/effect as well.

    What do you do for yourself? You mention yoga, running etc but what else gives you pleasure? Magazines? Join the library as most have emagazines as part of their services. Coffee and cake? Perhaps arrange to see friends and family for a walk, cheaper place for coffee etc etc.

    Choose one area and focus. And that dreaded C----- word is coming up in December so that will affect things too.

    Have a look at some of the on-line resources that might help you overcome some of your difficult feelings or at least help you find better ways to cope with them.

    I really wish you peace on your journey.
    Take care
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 21st Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    • 822 Posts
    • 4,136 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    The only thing I can add to the great advice is, don't stop posting! The people who fall off the waggon tend to stop posting for months and then come back and say oops. If you're feeling rubbish then pour it out on here because the support to continue will get you through.
    Your SOA is missing quite a few things so if you can get the recommended one to load at some point that will be more accurate.
    Originally posted by bubblycrazy
    Totally agree, don't stop posting.
    This is your diary / journal and it doesn't all have to be debt busting and finances etc.
    Put in whatever you want.
    I use mine that way and I find it helps to keep up contact with the good folks on here.
    We are a supportive community here but we cannot support folks if they're not here, IYSWIM...
    So, post... whatever and whenever... it really helps
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 21st Sep 17, 2:23 PM
    • 616 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Mine isn't always finance related and neither is my Scottish friends

    We are both mountain bikers, UC likes home brewing and is the next contestant on the British bake off. I chat re date exploits :-( lol

    Finance doesn't have to be the be all and end all of everything. I went some bad times with mental health a year ago I found this site helped me so so much.
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £166.90 Survey Earnings YTD £535.12
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 21st Sep 17, 3:10 PM
    • 8,199 Posts
    • 42,630 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    MSE Andrea has posted a thread with a link in it to another calculator that may help with putting together an SOA. Should be floating around on page 1 of the main DFW board somewhere.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 21st Sep 17, 3:18 PM
    • 8,199 Posts
    • 42,630 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Thank you!

    I have an irrational fear that going to a GP and admitting depression won't actually be good for me. Sort of - if I officially admit that I cannot manage anymore - everything will crumble in my life and there's no way back. I'm also scared that they'll prescribe antidepressants (I hate pills) and that I will end up paying for counselling. I'm not necessarily ashamed to talk to the GP about it, it's just that I always thought I was strong enough to deal with problems myself... with the help of friends, family, healthy eating and so on. I'm probably wrong...
    Originally posted by plush
    You know what - for some people the classic path isn't necessarily the right one. I DID go to the GP about it - terrifying though it was - and yes, she did want to put me onto anti-depressants, but I declined and said I wanted to see if I can work through things myself first. that was 10 years ago - I now have a huge fund of coping strategies to deal with various triggers, and I'm still not on tablets. Sometimes it's bad - but i know now that those times will pass. (Sometimes it's good and believe me I know that those times will pass too! ) but I've found my own way of dealing with it that suits ME. Someone said to me many years ago - when the black dog arrives, best take it for a walk in the sunshine and see if that helps - and that is most definitely something that DOES help - fresh air and exercise. That won't work for everyone, but it does work for some. Equally some folk find that a short course of Anti depressants can help them to find enough daylight to feel their own way forwards from there, while others realise that life is so much better on the pills their "right path" is to keep on taking them. There's no one size fits all solution - it's about finding what suits you and your needs.

    As for feeling your diary isn't right for here if it's not all debt-busting - blow that for an argument - I'm not even in debt any more and I've been posting nonsense on here for years!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • plush
    • By plush 21st Sep 17, 4:14 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    plush
    Thanks again everyone. Yes, I will stick around for a while, it's already been a very positive experience!

    Re the GP I'm giving it a couple of weeks to see how I feel. If I up my exercise level and sleep more I might be seeing things with different lenses.

    @117pauline: too many of the things I like to do are not cheap... the only exception is hiking.

    Had a busy one at work today and it hasn't ended yet. Took a late lunch at 3pm and it was free (provided by work), so that means I won't be spending anything today. I need to buy groceries tomorrow or on Saturday though and because I'm maxed out on the OD it means it will go on my CC. Pay date can't come fast enough...

    To do for tonight - cupboard inventory to see if I can skip/reduce grocery shopping until next week.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 21st Sep 17, 5:59 PM
    • 822 Posts
    • 4,136 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Mine isn't always finance related and neither is my Scottish friends

    We are both mountain bikers, UC likes home brewing and is the next contestant on the British bake off. I chat re date exploits :-( lol
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Thanks Scott

    Actually, i'd love to present Bake Off with Noel
    It would be absolutely MENTAL
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • plush
    • By plush 21st Sep 17, 8:01 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    plush
    It sounds more fun than my whining on here

    I've downloaded my Barclaycard #2 and my Halifax bank statements - where the bad spending happens. I filtered by date - 21 Aug - 21 Sep. It's worse than I thought. £296 on groceries alone. Now, that does include some toiletries. Most of it is Ocado (main shopping) but also Sainsburys and M&S - which are on my way home from work - easy top ups.

    My child does school lunches and eats dinner at her childminder and at her dad's on some evenings.

    I'm afraid to do the total for eating out and clothes. I might discover I'm eating my income. Literally.

    PS. We need milk and some fruit to last us until early next week.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 21st Sep 17, 8:19 PM
    • 822 Posts
    • 4,136 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    It sounds more fun than my whining on here

    I've downloaded my Barclaycard #2 and my Halifax bank statements - where the bad spending happens. I filtered by date - 21 Aug - 21 Sep. It's worse than I thought. £296 on groceries alone. Now, that does include some toiletries. Most of it is Ocado (main shopping) but also Sainsburys and M&S - which are on my way home from work - easy top ups.

    My child does school lunches and eats dinner at her childminder and at her dad's on some evenings.

    I'm afraid to do the total for eating out and clothes. I might discover I'm eating my income. Literally.

    PS. We need milk and some fruit to last us until early next week.
    Originally posted by plush
    Change your choice of supermarkets...
    I consider myself a bit of a foodie, I like good food.
    However, top price does NOT mean top quality.

    I shop mostly in AL dee Why

    A lot of folks shop there nowadays but I've shopped with them for years.

    Some folks think, oh that's the shop for poor people... so what
    I seen, mercs, Audis, BMWs, range rovers and even a frickin BENTLEY parked in their car parks
    Good produce at a fair price
    Switch n save
    No, I dont work for em
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • plush
    • By plush 21st Sep 17, 8:27 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    plush
    The closest ALDI is 1.7 miles away and I don't have a car, that's why I shop online. I believe the top ups are an issue.. also brands most likely. Will try to post my last grocery receipt here.

    I tried Tesco and ASDA and settled on Ocado. My friends say ASDA is cheaper than the other 2 but in my experience it wasn't. Plus, we live on the 2nd floor. Tesco and Ocado bring the shopping to my door. ASDA refused.
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