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    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 8th Jan 18, 9:16 PM
    • 1,889Posts
    • 11,156Thanks
    Florence J
    Flo 2.0
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:16 PM
    Flo 2.0 8th Jan 18 at 9:16 PM
    Hello everyone!

    It is a new year and a new diary.

    My previous diary, entitled 'Flo's Debt Free Diary' started on 6/12/15 when I was about one bad decision away from financial ruin. I didn't realised what it was called at the time, but it was clear I had had my 'Light Bulb Moment'.

    My credit card and overdraft debt at that point was £5150. I prioritised paying off my debt but by the end of 2016 after 4 months of unemployment it had crept up to £5196.92.

    In 2017 I tried a different tactic. I stopped spending. I stopped myself buying 'things' and instead could only spend money on the following approved categories (outside of standard bills and the food budget):

    Postage and Packaging
    Clothing Maintenance (dry cleaning, reheeling shoes, fixing clothes)
    Work Expenses
    Travel (Day to Day)
    Travel (Visiting)

    I was not completely perfect and did end up buying things from the 'contraband' categories. BUT in 2016 my spends on 'stuff/things' was over £2000 and in 2017 it was £400.

    This strategy worked and I was able to pay off over £3000 of debt, which was a combination of the credit card debt and some money I owed my long suffering OH. This included clearing my £1000 overdraft.

    Because I have now paid my credit card bills for this month I can say my credit card debt is now....


    It is spread across two 0% balance transfer cards, but I am half way through my offer period with them, so I have 11 months left on one and 12 months on the other. I am not optimistic I will clear the balance before the time ends, this is because so far I have been extremely cursed on the job front.

    So, onto the job situation.

    I am 28 years old and I have never had a full time permanent contract role.

    I got into debt because of years of zero hour contract jobs I couldn't seem to get out of (but to be fair no one was forcing me to spend money on clothes either). For the last 2.5 ish years I have been primarily working at a University on various fixed term contracts.

    I am currently working through a temp agency and I may have this role I am currently in for 3 months.

    I am relatively intelligent, very hard working, but I have the confidence of a diseased pigeon and rarely have the guts to make an application and frequently look at job advertisements and tell myself I cannot do the job.

    In 2017 I started a role I thought would be my dream job. It turned out to be a nightmare and I was signed off work for 4 weeks with stress, anxiety and depression. Mental Health will be a big talking point on this diary. Although I returned to the role I was effectively let go when my probation period came up.

    I pretty much have the debt busting thing down. I know what to do, and I am going to live the 'no spending' (for the most part) way of life until my debts are paid. But I am on minimum wage, so will earn less than £1000 a month and will have to be strict with budgeting.

    I also owe my OH £1814 which has to be paid back this year. This is made up of money I borrowed off him when I was out of work for 2 months at the end of 2017 so that I could pay my bills.

    So once again my debt is back to about £6000.

    I am starting a new diary because I do feel like a new person, I feel like I have finally found a way to live frugally and my mental health is better then ever.

    My goal this year is to save up an emergency fund. This will be very difficult.

    I wanted to be debt free before I am 30, but I am not sure if that will happen.

    New Year, New Diary, New Flo.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
Page 3
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 3rd Mar 18, 11:12 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
    • 11,156 Thanks
    Florence J
    Thank you for all your comments, I would do a multi quote but there are a lot as it has been a wee while since I last stopped by, so let me assure you if you have commented, I have read it, and I have appreciated your response.

    OH and I had very different upbringings financially. His Father is an Accountant, his mother a Midwife, so well paid jobs. There was never a single second in his life when he could be said to have struggled financially. His parents respected hard work though, so although it wasn't really necessary he was greatly encouraged to get a part time job whilst living at home, which he did.

    Me, on the other hand, where do I begin? For the first ten years of my life I lived in a relatively stable house with two parents. I was from a large family. My Dad had 2 teenage daughters from his first marriage, and he and my mum had 4 kids if you include me. My Dad owned a small building and decorating company, my mum was a part time teaching assistant. We lived in a nice area, probably a bit beyond their means, and having 4 kids didn't help. For the first ten years of my life we were a low income family, but survived, and took advantage of good deals. I didn't feel deprived.

    Then, long story short, my mum descended into alcoholism, my Dad's business went bankrupt, my parents split, my Dad brought us up, he became unemployed by the time I was 13 and we lived on benefits for about 3-5 years, I can't quite remember when he found work again.

    I was the free school dinners, uniform grants from the school kind of kid. I frequently went without birthday or Christmas presents from my Dad, I knew not to expect them.

    I have been almost completely financially independent since I was 16 in some ways. I was lucky in that my Grandparents gave each of their grandchildren £3000 when they turned 16, meaning I could pay my deposits for University.

    At University I eventually ended up working two part time jobs to make ends meet, and still I felt I had a lot less then everyone else. I was the only person in each house I lived in that wasn't getting any financial support from their parents.

    My OH has never struggled for anything financially. Financially I have struggled for every single thing in my life.

    I don't want to sound like I am playing the world's tiniest violin for sympathy, but this is an example I think might sum things up.

    I have recently bought a dressing gown (with vouchers). It is the only dressing gown I have ever owned in my life.

    My OH has always had dressing gowns, in fact he has one in our house, and one at his parents house for when we stay over.

    I barely had PJ's growing up. For most of one term in Year 6 (when my mum's drinking was bad) I slept in my school uniform. Dressing gowns were an unnecessary purchase, that would never have been considered at any point in my life. Maybe no one will understand this but dressing gowns were always seen as some sort of 'rich person's item' to me, it's not like you actually need one, but a lot of people have them, or seem to, maybe I just hang out with a lot of dressing gown fans.

    Even though OH and I set budgets for Christmas and Birthday's he will always spend more on me though.

    To be honest I can handle just about everything he has set money wise, apart from the whole not supporting me if we have children and I am a stay at home mum. Maybe he wasn't being serious about that? I agree with what everyone had said in that that will be discussed heavily before we even consider having children.

    In terms of the part time job situation. I have applied and interviewed for a certain retail store, which if I'm honest doesn't really line up with my ethical beliefs (but in general I am against the concept of Fast Fashion across any store), but I am yet to hear back.

    It is 8 hours, so 4 sat, 4 sun. I think my limit in terms of jobs would be that sort of hours, I think I could just about cope with that. Or maybe my enthusiasm for being able to pay off my debts by the time I'm 30 would keep me going.

    And to go back to what you said (I think) JVR, yes, I definitely do more housework and cooking, especially the washing up, and always have done, and particularly did so when out of work. I think I definitely put his needs ahead of mine, I do the chores so that he can get on with things. Again I once approached him with the idea that this work has a monetary value, but I think you can guess his response.

    I don't want to sound like I am brainwashed, but he is a nice guy, I think we just are wildly different when it comes to money.

    What does annoy me is he seems incapable of doing anything for himself. I am fiercely independent and do everything for myself (it's for this reason I know I would be a terrible manager as I am incapable of asking anyone for help or delegating tasks) and if I so much as shift on the sofa I get a barrage of 'Can you get me a glass of water?/Can you fetch my laptop charger? Can you turn off the dining room light?' and I'm just like...???? If you need those things doing why haven't you done them yet?

    We have some sort of division of tasks in that I do the majority of the cooking during the week and on Sunday's OH cooks the main meal.

    I'm not really allowed to watch the shows I like if he doesn't like them when he is around either...

    Ok, so it sounds very much like an abusive relationship, but I hope I would know if it truly was.

    I don't know what to do really, I have never been this in love with anyone, and I do feel that OH well and truly has my back and will support me through anything, and something I am absolutely sure of is he loves me, but yes, I'll agree, there are a lot of problems in our relationship.

    I think the reason why I respect some of OH's financial decisions, is because I suspect if I was in his situation I would be the same...maybe. I don't know. I kinda feel guilty if I have something and someone else doesn't. I talk about wanting to be the richest person in the world so I can give all the money away and save the planet. I would be ashamed of myself if I was well off financially and someone I loved was struggling financially and I didn't help them.

    Maybe we are not the same.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 4th Mar 18, 9:49 AM
    • 103 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    There is a lot to unpick in your post below - I hope it helped typing it out. I'm sorry that things were so difficult for you when you were younger - that kind of thing does stay with you, and it is hard to leave it behind.

    I don't think your relationship with your OH is at all healthy, but I respect that this is a Moneysaving board and you may not want relationship advice. I actually think that you are dependent rather than independent. You are in a situation where you somehow owe your OH £23000. As you point out, this is a lot of money. You say this was from when he supported you when you were out of work, but unless you were out buying cars, clothes and having expensive trips away without him surely this is mostly made up of rent and bills? And these costs have been, and gone. If he truly loved you I can't help but feel this sum of money would have been 'wiped' from the slate of your relationship. How does he expect you to pay this back? How do you expect to pay it back?

    I get the feeling that this money is weighing you down, and you feel immense guilt about it which affects how you behave in the relationship. It sounds like everything is on your OH's terms, and you don't feel you can push back against it because of this huge sum hanging over your head. It is not normal to have someone dictate what is on the television all the time, and the division of labour in your house sounds far from fair.

    I just can't see how you can practically pay this monry back, especially given your mental health issues. I am saying this not because I want to upset you, but because the longer this goes on the more entrenched you will find yourself in this relationship. I can't help but feel that a full time job would at least mean you are more in control of your own destiny - you would be earning your OWN money, and would control your own future. At the moment your life is lived at the whims of your OH. I cannot fathom how someone would want to live in mould and damp when as a couple you could afford to move.

    I appreciate that there is no easy, obvious solution to the issues you have posted about and I hope I haven't overstepped the mark. But you need to drastically change something in your life. I am not unsympathetic about the MH issues you have posted about, but the longer they go on without support or intervention the more entrenched they will become. Anxiety in social or work settings is not unusual - we all suffer from it to some degree. I do think you really need to push on and get a job and stick with for a while. Full time, part time, it doesn't matter. You can't at this stage afford to have too many ethics, either. I'm not saying you need to go and sell arms or cigarettes, but you are already limited in what you will consider.

    I hope I haven't upset you by typing this. It is hard to see a way forward, I know. I believe you can do it, but something inside you has to shift. We will all be here listening and supporting. Best wishes, M100 X
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Mar 18, 7:22 PM
    • 51,470 Posts
    • 199,633 Thanks
    I am not sure I think he actually does have your back from what you have said.
    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***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 4th Mar 18, 8:24 PM
    • 1,682 Posts
    • 10,149 Thanks
    The more I hear about your trials when you were younger Flo the more I feel for you.

    I think Magpie's post is brilliant and really touches on so many of your issues. A lot to mull over there.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings for Retirement! - £0
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Mar 18, 8:46 PM
    • 51,470 Posts
    • 199,633 Thanks
    We will support you all the way.
    Take care of you.
    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***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
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