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  • FIRST POST
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 4th Dec 17, 4:32 AM
    • 8Posts
    • 19Thanks
    LardLad
    £34610 debt vs. $1.47 cheque
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 4:32 AM
    £34610 debt vs. $1.47 cheque 4th Dec 17 at 4:32 AM
    Up on the side of the fridge I have my most recent royalty cheque (check) from my publisher. It's a hefty $1.47 for Q3 of 2017. That's worth £1.09 to me. Aside from the fact the bank charges to convert it would probably swallow the whole thing up.

    And on the other side of the battle is the £34610 I have racked up in debt. This consists of 3 credit cards, Paypal, 3 store cards and a Zopa Loan.

    My main job keeps the wolves from the door, and whilst the debt is high, nothing is maxed out and so I just need to up my additional sources of income to start chipping away at it.

    Just a couple of problems with that theory - I've been here before and whilst it got fixed, it didn't stay fixed. And secondly, I had a heart attack just over two months ago. Am now back at work full-time but barely have any energy left in the day to do anything else. Opted to do my cardiac rehab at home but despite an encouraging start and a shedload of weight loss, it's all gone a bit stale.

    My goals are thus
    - Get some additional income streams
    - Get back into my cardiac rehab routine

    Am hoping this diary will give me the focus to do that as I do tend to lose a lot of hours these days.
Page 1
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 4th Dec 17, 7:47 AM
    • 4,866 Posts
    • 9,190 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:47 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:47 AM
    Has the debt accumulated when you were off sick or did you have a problem with overspending before your heart attack?
    3 days to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    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
    • BettyBoof
    • By BettyBoof 4th Dec 17, 11:47 AM
    • 242 Posts
    • 1,504 Thanks
    BettyBoof
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:47 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:47 AM
    I'm sorry to hear about your heart attack, it must have been scary.

    It sounds like you're ready to make some headway. What sort of books do you write?

    Good luck with your debt-busting and recovery!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Dec 17, 12:44 PM
    • 49,085 Posts
    • 182,328 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 12:44 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 12:44 PM
    Sorry about your heart attack.
    Even if you can only do a little of your cardio rehab each day it will help.
    Take care.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 4th Dec 17, 8:54 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    LardLad
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:54 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:54 PM
    Tough day today which has left me in a bit of a predicament. I work with caring people, incredibly caring people who deal with some of the most challenging and damaged members of society. But sometimes the caring nature becomes stifling. There was a significant amount of people (all of them well-meaning and I feel terrible even writing this) who told me today in sincere terms that I looked terrible and should go home, swamping me with heartfelt coffee and offers of biscuits and cake (even though I can't touch the sweet stuff). In the end I was so brainwashed by the concern that I did go home early - waited til all the 'proper' work was done and just missed a meeting that I could miss, but I need to find a way - without offending my colleagues, of asking them to leave me the hell alone. Previous workplaces consisted of colleagues who wouldn't have urinated on my smouldering corpse if I'd begged them to, but this place really gives the biscuits/tea/cake/coffee and reinforces my skewed worldview that I am sort of only half-alive after the heart attack. I am grateful for their concern but it is suffocating and dis-empowering me - any ideas on how to field this one will be gratefully received...

    Moving onto the whole point of this diary and two big steps jumped in getting back to calmer waters, my bank this month introduced a totally baffling set of revised overdraft charges which by my initial cackhanded calculations would have had me paying three times my previous OD charges. To this end, I have kept a chirpy chunk of cash in there to stop me going overboard, but looking at the expenditure for the rest of the month, I am far better off using it to slay the remnants of two store cards (Jacamo is around 25% which reeks, and the Buy Now Pay Later I used last year at Very was about to expire and would have resulted in an extra £270 in interest being levied). So I bit the bullet and paid them off in full. Meaning I'm down to £33680 total debt and will just have to be very very careful with the current account so it doesn't dip down into overdraftland.

    Haven't got much wriggle room on the credit cards but might look at the feasibility of chucking £1000 onto a 0% BT. More research and number crunching needed on that, but it feels good to start being back in control.

    Too knackered for any exercise tonight but I am hopeful the morning will bring some inspiration.

    And to briefly answer the couple of queries - the debt was racked up over a few years - most of it justified (remote family involves a lot of transatlantic travel/car hire) and some of it utterly frivolous (mini-breaks) but most of it memorable. And that's a good thing. Regarding the books - avant-garde / postmodern / experimental stuff that 20 years ago I thought was 20 years ahead of its time. I was wrong. Amazed to still be getting royalties through. This was all in the days before e-books, my publisher did want me to sign over the electronic rights but I decided not to and I could therefore reissue the whole lot on Kindle if I so chose. Or I could try writing some new stuff and not live off the carcass. I also have a whole lot of music to put out via Bandcamp but that is also very niche and won't make me much. My son tells me Twitch is the way forward, as I am apparently so spectacularly bad at gaming people would flock to my channel to scorn me - this idea does not sit well with my already rather damaged self-esteem. But if needs must...
    • EscapingTheAlarm
    • By EscapingTheAlarm 4th Dec 17, 9:17 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    EscapingTheAlarm
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:17 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:17 PM
    Hi LardLad. It sounds like you've had a tough time of it lately but I reckon you'll probably agree that when something like that happens, it makes you appreciate the smaller things in life a lot more and so I'm sure that this time, once your debt is cleared, it will be gone for good!
    Can you speak to your colleagues openly at work? Perhaps you could explain to them how difficult it is for you when people openly express concern for you and then they might take the hint without you having to be too direct!
    Good luck with it!
    ETA x
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 5th Dec 17, 3:55 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    LardLad
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 3:55 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 3:55 AM
    I was so pumped up to pay off two store cards that I relied on an approximate figure for my outgoings this month. Having dwelt on it for a few hours I've finally laid it all out on the spreadsheet and have managed to leave myself £235 short for the rest of the month. It's not the end of the world but does show me exactly why I am the sort of mug punter who the banks love - I'll pay off card X thinking I'm being smart in saving interest but then incur charges on account Y for doing so. My prediction for January also shows a deficit of almost £500 so it is time to start upping the income.

    I don't have any of the squashable (food, entertainment etc) amounts coming out of my bank account so it's v. difficult to cut expenditure - pretty much everything is fixed or already negotiated for the time being (mortgage, insurance etc).

    Time for some more coffee and to see what isn't nailed down that can be sold.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 5th Dec 17, 9:11 AM
    • 632 Posts
    • 3,589 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:11 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 9:11 AM
    Good luck with it. If I was you I'd get the existing books onto Kindle PDQ as they may help plug that deficit. Live off the carcass, and then piggyback the new stuff off the back of it.

    Can you have a chat with your line manager - appreciate all the concern but really want to focus on the job. Added benefit that it reassures your manager.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 5th Dec 17, 10:28 AM
    • 2,221 Posts
    • 10,270 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:28 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:28 AM
    But sometimes the caring nature becomes stifling. There was a significant amount of people (all of them well-meaning and I feel terrible even writing this) who told me today in sincere terms that I looked terrible and should go home, swamping me with heartfelt coffee and offers of biscuits and cake (even though I can't touch the sweet stuff). In the end I was so brainwashed by the concern that I did go home early - waited til all the 'proper' work was done and just missed a meeting that I could miss, but I need to find a way - without offending my colleagues, of asking them to leave me the hell alone.
    Originally posted by LardLad
    I identify with so much of your post but especially the above. I have a split work history, so part creative and part charity work. I too work with the same people as you and have the same dilemma. I feel constantly smothered and disempowered. I have LEAVE ME ALONE feelings often. I don't have a solution. Yet.

    I think facing up to your situation takes guts. Looks like you have them so that bodes well. Good luck. I'll be checking in here to see how you do
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,475
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 5th Dec 17, 5:40 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    LardLad
    Spoke to a few people today (including some of the smotherers) and they all promised to keep an eye out and let people know I would let them know if I was in trouble. It was all done diplomatically and I had to fake the smile a lot of the time but overall today was far less sympathetic. Phew.

    My forthcoming deficit of £235 galavanised me into action, some of it has had immediate effect (rechecked EE and found my bill is £10 less this month), got reimbursed from petty cash for 2 trips over the river - £5, and some of it slightly longer term - 96 miles mileage claimed for, tax rebate for the last 5 years union subscriptions applied for, and clarifying a rebate due to me from Vodafone. None of these will be through til the new year but they would have stayed on the ethereal to-do list if I hadn't got back into the moneysaving swing of things. I even went and stupidly signed up to one of those PPI reclaiming things - I'd gone it alone years ago following the templates on here but got rejected by the Ombudsman - was hoping maybe the Plevin ruling would have reopened my case but my own research shows that my loan was too old to be affected. When the PPI robot called me back I promptly came to my senses and blocked the number but no doubt my email inbox will be swamped.

    And the best bit of news today was that I got some exercise done this morning. Not much, but enough. And it felt good. And managed a whole day at the asylum without joining the inmates or falling asleep on the job.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 5th Dec 17, 6:10 PM
    • 14,180 Posts
    • 76,289 Thanks
    GDB2222
    Hi

    Sorry to hear about how ill you still are. I put it that way because you really need to prioritise the cardiac rehab and weight loss above everything else. You only get the one chance at life, and this is it.

    I wonder whether the anxiety about juggling the debts is so bad for your health that you should give up on that (the juggling)? I don't know your overall financial situation, but if you don't have much in the way of assets, perhaps you should look towards bankruptcy or an IVA? The people I knew who filed for bankruptcy all found it was a blessed relief from the worry about their debts.

    Edit: At least you have got your exercise done this morning. I am about to go out now for a walk, but it's dark. Why didn't I prioritise having my walk in the daytime?
    Last edited by GDB2222; 05-12-2017 at 6:13 PM.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 6th Dec 17, 5:51 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    LardLad
    The morning coffee sures tastes better having done another chunk of my daily exercises. Feels good to be getting back on track. Just need to find a way to up my step count during the working day.

    In money news, I'd never realised quite how loud piggy banks were until just now when I managed to incur the wrath of my family (and possibly the whole street) by emptying out our silver pig. Was looking for some 20s but there's only 5s left - about £3 of them, so together with the £5 petty cash yesterday and the £10 reduction in the EE bill, I now only need to find £217 to avoid going down Overdraft Avenue.

    Inspirational speaker day at work today. Hopefully they will inspire me to do 10000 steps.
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 6th Dec 17, 7:16 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Good luck on your debt-free journey LardLad. Glad your colleagues have listened re the smothering, it's great to work with caring people but I agree, it can get a bit much sometimes. Hopefully they'll stick to it!
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 6th Dec 17, 11:22 AM
    • 14,180 Posts
    • 76,289 Thanks
    GDB2222
    The morning coffee sures tastes better having done another chunk of my daily exercises. Feels good to be getting back on track. Just need to find a way to up my step count during the working day.

    In money news, I'd never realised quite how loud piggy banks were until just now when I managed to incur the wrath of my family (and possibly the whole street) by emptying out our silver pig. Was looking for some 20s but there's only 5s left - about £3 of them, so together with the £5 petty cash yesterday and the £10 reduction in the EE bill, I now only need to find £217 to avoid going down Overdraft Avenue.

    Inspirational speaker day at work today. Hopefully they will inspire me to do 10000 steps.
    Originally posted by LardLad
    Can you get a 45 minute walk in at lunchtime? It's difficult to get the steps in at this time of year, because the days are so short, but I find that I need to set aside around 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes for walking. I can make up the rest of the 10,000 steps just walking around my home/office.

    Could you try getting on the bus one stop away from home and getting off a stop early? Walking round to see colleagues, rather than picking up the 'phone?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 6th Dec 17, 11:51 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    LardLad
    Today's served me to remind me how far away from normal I currently am. A staff training day with a keynote speaker and by 10.00am I was already nodding off. And it wasn't that I'd had a late night, or that the subject matter was boring, or that the presenter was dull. It was none of those things and yet I could not stay awake. It was a constant battle, I had to keep getting up to leave the hall and go to the bathroom to splash my face with water. Thankfully I was sitting amongst supportive colleagues who understood my behaviour wasn't intentionally disrespectful but it's really quite dispiriting. So I spent all day fighting a battle that I wouldn't really have expected to fight until I was of significantly more advanced years.

    Money news is no more positive. The fiver from petty cash has been taken by DW and her and the kids demanded takeaway last night. So I sullenly trundled down to the chippy. And still didn't manage to get past 6000 steps all day. Hopefully tomorrow will bring brighter skies.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 7th Dec 17, 8:23 AM
    • 14,180 Posts
    • 76,289 Thanks
    GDB2222
    Is the sleepiness just since the heart attack? Have you had a test for sleep problems?

    Do you discuss the financial position with your DW, so she understands and supports your concerns?

    Is there more your family could do to support you in your diet and exercise plan? Could DW and you go for walks together, for example?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 9th Dec 17, 5:47 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    LardLad
    Been a rough couple of days health-wise but soldiered on. Managed 11 hours at work on Thursday which is the first time I've done that since before it all went pear-shaped. Not that I'm paid hourly or anything so it's hardly a cause for celebration, but it at least shows I'm getting some resilience back. The weight is going in the right direction and I'm agonizingly close to a big milestone. If I can get to it this month (especially this month!) it will be a massive psychological hurdle overcome. And all of this, the weight, the debt, the health, will be so much easier to deal with if I can get my head back into a positive mindset. And this diary really helps with this.

    With regard to the family, there are onboard as much as I need them to be. Circumstances conspired to put my health scare into the background - the kids lost their grandmother recently and also one of DS's best friends lost his Dad suddenly a month ago. My kids are aware I need to lose weight but I don't think they really get why - and to be honest I don't want them carrying any burden of stress around them.

    My plans for the weekend are to research e-book options and to get an exercise routine I can do every evening - as a morning person this is hard for me to take but I don't have the energy to function in the daytime if I've worked out, plus it should help my sleep doing things late at night.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 9th Dec 17, 10:05 AM
    • 632 Posts
    • 3,589 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Did you do any exercise before the heart attack? In the sense of do you know what you enjoy?
    • MeenaM
    • By MeenaM 9th Dec 17, 12:25 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    MeenaM
    hi there and welcome, takeaway requests in my family are the bane of my life! so expensive and most of the time a disappointment in taste !
    In reference to the bank over draft fees etc could you look to switch banks and get a cash incentive? I recently have switched to the B account with Yorkshire and will get £250 for doing so

    anything you can sell on ebay?

    good luck
    Sealed Pot 11. #199Next£1170Barclays Credit Card £4891.20/4781.15- 0% ends April 2019 virgin 0% ends july 2020 £4138 4096.20AA Credit Card £860 629- 0% ends Dec 2017 Sainsburys Credit Card £521.27-511.80 0% ends Feb 2018 AIM TO BE DEBT FREE JULY 2019
    • LardLad
    • By LardLad 11th Dec 17, 3:49 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    LardLad
    Yay! Massively positive weekend and I'm feeling good about the impending Monday. Broke the 10000 step mark on both Friday and Saturday and even managed 8000 yesterday. A lot of yesterday's steps were spent trudging in the snow with the kids and managing to find enough energy for two snowball fights. It just felt amazing to be doing something 'normal' with the kids and not be gasping for breath. Nice for the endorphins and adrenaline to get an airing. Weight-wise the trajectory remains downwards and I can't recall making any bad financial decisions this weekend which leads me to declare it a success!

    Managed to put three of my books out onto Kindle as well, and will have to spend some more time on the writing projects after Christmas, getting the promotional aspects in place and then maybe doing some more writing which is the only bit I enjoy. Oh for a manager.

    To briefly answer the two previous queries - 1) favourite exercise - I have a love/hate thing with running (5k/parkrun) and would love to go back to hating it again, plus rowing, cycling, boxing, weights. Not averse to the crosstrainer / treadmill either. 2) banking - won't rule out a switch but I would be lucky to get another account that gave me the facility of a 3k overdraft. I don't ever want to use it again but just knowing it is there does take away some of the day-to-day fear of the what-ifs... As indeed would a sensible amount of savings in an instant-access account. Another lightbulb moment, just there when I was least expecting it. The magic of MSE.
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