does it make you feel?

Until recently I've never been in debt. I have always managed to survive (just) by careful budgetting and general skinflintiness. However, helping out someone in need a few months ago has left me with a debt of approx £1500. This is hanging over me like a huge lead weight. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up, the last thing I think about before I go to sleep and it is the background to all my thoughts during the day. I used to look in on my internet bank account every day, but I don't go near it now.

I read a post recently (paulw, I think it was) and his debt was so huge and so insurmountable that he had gone beyond the point of worrying about it. What I was wondering was how do other people feel when they are in debt? What physical and/or emotional effects does debt have on you?
:snow_grin"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........":snow_grin


  • I am waiting an appointment with CCCS in February as I have debts of £21000 & it is absolutely devastating. Its all I have been able to think about for years in every waking moment, last night I was in floods of tears. I wish I could not worry about it but it has taken over my life to an unhealthy extent.
    I have nothing to show for the debt it has been through taking out consolidation loans just to pay the bills & feed & clothe my family there are 5 of us & all my adult life I have been on a low wage in an expensive part of the country to live.
    I know I could have done better with my budgeting in the past & now I am angry & totally disappionted in myself.
    I wish the black cloud over my head would lift & the sun would come out again.
  • loubie_lou
    loubie_lou Posts: 1,368
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I feel like I can't make plans for the future :mad:

    I have to pay my debts off first before I can save up for a house deposit or go travelling. It's pretty crap really!
    But with the advice and stories on this board i'm well on my way to doing it :j
    In debt no more!
  • Kevicho
    Kevicho Posts: 3,216 Forumite
    Not very good, i try to channel it poistively by making me more determined to clear it off and giving me the incentive to change by bad spending habits
  • dinkylou
    dinkylou Posts: 727 Forumite
    For me I guess its a bit of a rollercoaster.

    I'm not in as much debt as some people on this site but I still need to get rid of it.

    Sometimes I feel sick at the amount I owe and worry myself sick about how long it will take to pay off, but then sometimes I tell myself to stop worrying and start living.

    These are the not so clever periods when I buy the things I want and go out as much as I would like to, without stressing too much about the cost.

    I never really go mad with spending, but its after these times when I feel the excessive guilt and can't sleep at night for worrying.

    I guess a balance is needed somewhere but I am certain that my attitude has changed.
  • bank_of_slate
    bank_of_slate Posts: 12,922
    First Post Combo Breaker
    When I was spending it made me feel good (or so I thought!)

    Now I'm paying for things that I can't even remember, I see the money that comes in and know that we wouldn't be paying so much out a month if it wasn't for my stupid spending.

    However, what's done is done. I can't stress about that which I have no ability to change, so all I can do is look at what I CAN change, stop the needless spending and pay everything off!
    ...Linda xx
    It's easy to give in to that negative voice that chants "cant do it" BUT we lift each other up.
    We dont count all the runners ahead of us & feel intimidated.
    Instead we look back proudly at our journey, our personal struggle & determination & remember that there are those that never even attempt to reach the starting line.
  • It makes me feel conflicted. I needed the loans to get my degree, but at the beginning it made me feel sick to think about it, so I put away the minimums into a savings account until my deferrment expired. I paid the minimums for a little under a year, before I realised just how much I'll save in interest by snowballing. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have saved the money, I would have started paying it off early.

    I hate owing any money at all, but it feels great that I'll be able to pay them off 7 years early :j
    I'm an American living in Oxford using the exchange rate to my advantage. (As of 4 Oct 2006: 1USD=1.88GBP)

    Debts at highest November 2004: $29,464.51 _pale_

    26 June 2006: Down to $17,701.27
    Private Student Loan: $3,073.61 (7.83%)
    US Federal Student Loan: $14,627.66 (5.3%)

    4 October 2006: Down to $11,622.66
    Private Student Loan: PAID IN FULL!
    US Federal Student Loan: $11,622.66 (5.38%)

    Debt Free Date: 27 September 2007, my 25th birthday!
  • I think I am older than all of you and we are about to retire. I was brought up in the old school of `making do` so we have never had extravagent holidays, plasma tv`s and so on. Money has gone out on hobbies such as horses etc

    We were bringing up 3 children on one salary and our mortgage payments were difficult and then the interest rate soared to 15% and that was very scary. That was when I started to write all expenses down and we literally did live on beans and tomatoes from the garden.

    Over time I did take out a loan here and there and was always glad to pay them off. Nowadays the tv is full of these consolidation loans which suck people in and trap them into ever spiralling debt.

    Now to get to the point of the OP: I am not in debt but I am scared to get in debt. We will soon be on a small income but there will still be unavoidable outgoings. We downsized and have bought all the bits that will make life comfy but shock, horror the safety net has been eaten into greatly.

    I realise that I have turned the OP around somewhat, but debt at a young age is surmountable, at an older age it isn`t. The thought of debt is enough to give sleepless nights to some
  • skylight
    skylight Posts: 10,716
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Home Insurance Hacker!
    Please dont flay me alive here!

    I do not have a problem with it. We owe about £35k (from £38k before I found this place!)

    I have never lost sleep over it and have never been upset by it.

    Thats partly of because its who I am. I am a much more practical person and whats the worst thing that could ever happen too me because of debt anyway?

    Also is partly because the absolute worst thing nearly did happen - DD1 (Step Daughter) nearly died and things were put much more into prospective. Life is far more important.

    Now, none of this means that I don't care about my debt - I/we do. Its being paid back - by us as we ran it up. But I do not see my debt as the be all and end all of life.

    We still have holidays (cheap ones - courtesy of Mr Tesco and self catering!) and the kids dont miss out on their clubs (most are free via school anyway and I only have to do an extra hours overtime a week to cover the other) becuase we wont let them down the same way we let ourselves down.

    But I cant go travelling - would love to be able to save up for the year out I never took once the kids have left home. Would love to buy a bigger house (I would kill for a dining room). But these things have to wait.

  • I swing between two feelings on this one.

    The first is despair and shame, I feel guilty for putting myself in this position and not taking responsibility for my actions before now.

    The second is much more positive, i remind myself that i am aware of the situation and doing something about it, like getting a part-time job, making an appointment with payplan, because even if they can't help me, i can through the process help myself.

    Number two is winning at the moment, but sometimes one wins like this morning when I could not sleep, one thing I know for sure is that i would be a lot less well off without all the support I get on here!
  • My debts annoy me because I know I can’t really do anything as such before I clear them. I want to go back to uni but this time make sure I have enough or a reasonable amount saved to not take out a loan, save for a house deposit etc but I can’t even think of these things before my debts are cleared. :mad:

    It is frustrating but most days I try not to stress about it because it just isn’t worth it. I’m paying it back bit by bit and every month I mark off the balance I owe and feel a lot happier counting down the months until I am debt free. :D

    Life is for living and I’ve been there and done that on the whole living like a pauper worrying about money and debts, it just isn’t worth it, I was not only making myself unhappy but also others around me. I even ended up in hospital due to stress and nearly died because my chest muscles were not contracting and it stopped me breathing, my hair started falling out, I lost 3 stones in 6 weeks, messed up my uni exams and started smoking and drinking a hell of a lot more. I think what made the situation worse at the time was I owed such a miniscule amount in the grand scheme of things compared to others such as my boyfriend’s cousin who owes near the £30k mark but still he is living life to the fullest and there was me stressing over a small sum of probably less than £4k. I can only say that now looking back on things but I remember at that time I had no support from my family, my partner wasn't working and I was in between jobs, couldn't afford to eat or pay the rent, it was not a good time. :(

    There are a lot of interesting things you can do on a budget, not every time you go out do you have to spend money to have a good time which is how I used to think. :o My current debt is basically due to recurring credit, I’ll pay off a card in full and then use it for the month and then pay it off etc. Thankfully I have a good job now and I will clear my debt once and for all and cut up all my cards but a few years ago, that £4k debt seemed a massive amount for me to contemplate paying off. I can understand the stress behind debt and how it affects people’s lives. What often makes it worse is when you have nothing or little to show for it. :(

    Think positive and be happy, life is too short :)
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