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Self-doubt - what will happen after DFD?

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Self-doubt - what will happen after DFD?

edited 19 May 2009 at 7:11PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
18 replies 6.7K views
DebtoxingDebtoxing Forumite
67 posts
edited 19 May 2009 at 7:11PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
Hello all,

Does anybody else feel like they are wishing their life away - just constantly counting down to the next target, the next payday, the mythical debt-free-date? I feel that if I stop fretting about spending for even a few hours, then everything will fall apart and the debts will start mounting again. I am constantly reading books or articles on the Internet about saving money, or mentally working out my current debts, or musing on how to bring the DFD forward, or analysing my spending diary.

This is all well and good for now - I've been unusually determined (for me). I feel like a charging bull - head down, eyes shut, steaming straight for that finish line by being as stingy as I can possibly be. But what happens when I get there?

I can't sustain this lifestyle forever, I know I can't. I don't even want to! I can deny myself restaurants and cinema trips and junk food and family days out and sweets and new clothes for a set period of time, but not forever! But as soon as the debt is paid off, what is going to stop me (and more pertinently, my other half!) from going back to those bad old (but sorely missed) habits? Where will my willpower come from then?

I'm already making plans for all the things I want to spend our money on when the debts are paid - taking the children to Lapland for Christmas; taking them to DisneyWorld when they're older; putting money aside for them; possibly paying for them to go to private school; paying the mortgage off early so that DH can retire at 55; have that long-awaited double jacuzzi installed in the bathroom - the list is endless and all horribly expensive! I just have a terrible suspicion that we will feel so liberated by having no debt that we will dive straight back in and make all the same mistakes again.

So my question is: How can I trample on my profligate, spendaholic alter-ego once and for all, when I don't necessarily need to any more?! Has anyone else had this problem? Any hints and tips would be gratefully received!

Thank you!

L.

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Total debts at LBM (04/11/08): £39,000 approx.
Total debts now: £17,377.76 all at 0% interest
Debt-free date: June 2010
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Replies

  • DawalkaDawalka Forumite
    77 posts
    I totally get where your coming from, I worry a bit about this too!! and I guess each person will be different.

    I know through the pain this has put my loved ones through that never again will I get into debt, I will be too scared to hurt them again and lose their trust. I hope this is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow, buit who can tell what the future holds for any of us? I guess its a bit like an addiction, and thus you need to take it one day at a time, allow yourself a treat, but make them just that, occassional treats, 1 holiday a year, 1 takeway a month, one clothes purchase a month. If you budget for the treats then there is no harm in them.

    Not much help I guess, but didnt wanna leave you hanging!

    Good luck with your DFD :beer:
  • newlywednewlywed Forumite
    7.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Ask yourself how long you have survived without the item and then you can prioritise things that way.

    Personally, I'm planning on never getting another credit card so whatever I spend money on, hopefully it will only be out of savings I already have.

    As soon as i'm debt free I'm going to be saving most (but not all) of the current debt payments. That should give us a bit of treat money (by not saving the full amount) and then the rest is saved - for a holiday (as soon as I get a passport).

    Then after that, I'll decide what to use the savings for.
    working on clearing the clutter
  • I've been debt free for a year now and it's a great feeling.

    I've recently been made redundant and previously I would have been filled with dread but now it's ok. After paying back the debt we saved for a wedding (Oct last year) and then saved 6 months worth of essential expenditure. Hubby still has a job and all expenses can be paid using his money alone. Neither of us are feeling a huge financial strain and we're still managing to save and overpay the mortgage.

    None of this would have been possible if I hadn't repaid my debt.

    I'm not sure what to advise you really but I can say that my experience of the debt made me not want to ever be in that situation ever again. You can have the jacuzzi bath but save up for it instead of getting it on credit. I definitely enjoy things more now they are paid immediately rather than later and at a much higher cost.

    You've only been debt busting for 6 months so maybe you need a few more months of "pain" before the lesson is learned :confused:
    Debt at LBM (March 2006): £30,000 :eek:
    DEBT FREE SINCE APRIL 2008!!!! YIPPEEEEEE!!!!!
  • DebtoxingDebtoxing Forumite
    67 posts
    Thanks for your replies. I think you're right - we just haven't suffered enough (yet) to make getting into debt again the terrible no-no that it really should be. We haven't hurt anyone apart from ourselves and we never reached a point where we couldn't make payments or risked bankruptcy - we just finally decided to get on with it and pay our debts off after years of ignoring them.

    Maybe just having the discipline not to apply for credit cards or loans or overdraft facilities will do the trick. I have really come to resent paying interest charges over the last few months, so maybe that will be enough to stop me incurring any more! And I like the idea of budgeting for treats every month after all this is over - that way we won't feel deprived, but hopefully won't go overboard either.

    I know that was probably quite obvious to everyone else out there, but you've all given me the confidence to realise that I probably can avoid going into debt again without being insanely obsessive about it forever. So thanks so much for your help! :T

    L.
    x
    Total debts at LBM (04/11/08): £39,000 approx.
    Total debts now: £17,377.76 all at 0% interest
    Debt-free date: June 2010
  • DawnWDawnW Forumite
    6.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    From my experience, it depends on how / why you got into debt in the first place. For example was it because you spent lavishly on clothes, furniture, cars, holidays etc on easily obtained CCs and loans, overstretched yourself on a mortgage, MEWed, ie, the 'because I'm worth it' syndrome, or was it simply because it costs so much to live & bring up kids, or you lost your job, became ill, disabled, split up, had to be a carer etc? You need to think about why it happened. If the latter case, it may well just pass with time and a different life stage. If the former, well, the choice is yours and yours alone.

    For me (I am probably much older than most of you on here), it was bringing up 3 kids on OH's low wages - my youngest is 26, and childcare was not available then, at least where I lived, unless you were either rich, or a social services case (no offence intended to anyone who receives help from social services - it was a different time), and OH's work hours did not make my working possible. Also, no tax credits, or anything like that were available. So, we got into 15K 's worth of CC debt. It was a struggle; we could not afford hardly anything new - furniture, clothes, anything. Shopping was often jumble sales and charity shops, and things that people threw out. And then, when my youngest child started school (remember she is 26 now) I went to uni, got a degree, got a decent job and paid it all back, every penny. And vowed that I would never be in that position again. And I haven't. We now own our own house, have savings, and no debts. We are still pretty frugal - we only eat out about once a month if that for example (but then I really like cooking), hardly ever 'shop' except for necessities, are not really into holidays (my job involves lots of travel, including overseas - holidays for me consist of being at home). Our house is slowly getting done up as and when we can afford to pay cash for it. Oddly, it seems that our old second hand and thrown out furniture and household goods are now considered quite stylish and desirable, maybe even quite valuable.

    One added bonus is that two of my children are very organised indeed on the cash front , though in very different circumstances - the other one though not quite so, but then he was never very organised on any front, bless. But he is a great Dad, and we help them out where we can.

    Having said that, we have never been in some of the awful situations that people on here sometimes describe :eek: even though when our kids were small, people on benefits regularly got more than my very hard working OH earned (he works on a farm). We have always had enough to eat (even if it often had to be 'stretched' in various ways, see the OS board for tips if interested), and been fortunate that we have always lived in really nice rural locations, though often in cold, damp accommodation that would now be condemned if council etc.

    I guess the moral is, it is really up to the OP and whatever they decide to do.

    Good luck, whatever it is!

  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
    25.9K posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Debtoxing wrote: »
    Hello all,

    Does anybody else feel like they are wishing their life away - just constantly counting down to the next target, the next payday, the mythical debt-free-date? I feel that if I stop fretting about spending for even a few hours, then everything will fall apart and the debts will start mounting again. I am constantly reading books or articles on the Internet about saving money, or mentally working out my current debts, or musing on how to bring the DFD forward, or analysing my spending diary.

    This is all well and good for now - I've been unusually determined (for me). I feel like a charging bull - head down, eyes shut, steaming straight for that finish line by being as stingy as I can possibly be. But what happens when I get there?

    I can't sustain this lifestyle forever, I know I can't. I don't even want to! I can deny myself restaurants and cinema trips and junk food and family days out and sweets and new clothes for a set period of time, but not forever! But as soon as the debt is paid off, what is going to stop me (and more pertinently, my other half!) from going back to those bad old (but sorely missed) habits? Where will my willpower come from then?

    I'm already making plans for all the things I want to spend our money on when the debts are paid - taking the children to Lapland for Christmas; taking them to DisneyWorld when they're older; putting money aside for them; possibly paying for them to go to private school; paying the mortgage off early so that DH can retire at 55; have that long-awaited double jacuzzi installed in the bathroom - the list is endless and all horribly expensive! I just have a terrible suspicion that we will feel so liberated by having no debt that we will dive straight back in and make all the same mistakes again.

    So my question is: How can I trample on my profligate, spendaholic alter-ego once and for all, when I don't necessarily need to any more?! Has anyone else had this problem? Any hints and tips would be gratefully received!

    Thank you!

    L.

    Perhaps you need to ask yourselves (possibly as a family) why you equate material things with pleasure, and fun with happiness - these are not the same thing at all. A lot of the treats you mention are fleeting experiences, rather than opting to spend your hard earned cash on something with a lasting value. What about a family hobby? :confused:
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • DebtoxingDebtoxing Forumite
    67 posts
    Ahhhh...those fleeting experiences!

    I can do without holidays for years at a time - I'm not the jet-setting type. But DH and I went to Orlando in 2002, and we are still living on the memories of the incredible time we had there - we loved every second of it. We swore that when we had children we would take them there and make some magical childhood memories for them. And spending Christmas in Lapland is something else that I dream of being able to do for my children - a happy memory to last them forever. It's not fleeting when you look at it like that.

    Most of our debts just accumulated over 14 years of spending more money than we were earning on everyday stuff and being careless about it. We've never gone in for brand-new cars or expensive holidays (we've been abroad together twice in 17 years, and one of those was a school trip to Italy - DH is a teacher!). I don't go to the hairdresser or indulge in any new-fangled beauty treatments. We don't drink or smoke. I've been wearing the same pair of shoes for three years, and I object to spending more than £10 on a single item of clothing - and this was all BEFORE the LBM! We liked going out to eat, but we don't exactly have expensive tastes - a Wimpy always suited us fine (or Pizza Hut on special occasions!). And even before we had children, we didn't do that more than a couple of times a month.

    We liked buying nice stuff for the house, DVDs & XBox games, doing DIY, treating the children etc. and the money just seemed to trickle away. I guess a lot of the trickle was caused by interest on the loans though - maybe without that, we'll be able to afford our previous lifestyle again! :rotfl:

    Family hobbies...hmmm. We went for a walk together on Sunday -does that count?! I'd appreciate some ideas! DH can't cycle or swim or do anything too energetic due to botched operation a year ago; DS1 is almost five and has the attention span of a flea; and DS2 is 8-months-old.

    I've just realised something quite fundamental about myself. You are right. Fleeting experiences are easier to provide than ongoing, lasting projects. My son has the attention span of a flea - but so do I! I am just being lazy, using money to provide occasional treats for my family and disguise the fact that I am a disorganised, hopeless mess the rest of the time.

    Damn. I'm going to have to change deep down properly...that's a lot harder than sticking to a poxy budget for a few months. HELP!!!

    _pale_
    Total debts at LBM (04/11/08): £39,000 approx.
    Total debts now: £17,377.76 all at 0% interest
    Debt-free date: June 2010
  • DaffykjsDaffykjs Forumite
    413 posts
    I know what you mean. Having had a bad month this month and lapsing a bit, I think it was the kick i needed to get back on track. and who knows i may need the odd 'kick' again once in a while in future. just to remind myself not to get in this situation again and not to stop paying attention to it all! it has made me miserable for a long time and now i finally feel in control. I am quite worried about slurging when i reach my dfd but to be honest by then I'm hoping this lifestyle will have become so natural to me and I will no longer feel the need. and will think more about the splurges and only splurge with money that is there and available.

    I no longer understand credit cards or why i ever had them except to get myself in debt. and i truly believe i will probably never have one again!

    bring on the dfd challenge I say!!!!
    DMP Mutual Support Thread Member No 261
    Debt at start of DMP (Jan 2009) = 46,147.86 Now = 36,826.98
    DFD = [STRIKE]Jan 2014[/STRIKE] May 2013 ([strike]60[/strike] [STRIKE]52[/STRIKE] 41 payments to go)
    NSD:Nov 12/12:jDec 9/10 Jan 5/10
    Slowly but surely
    :coffee:
  • Dinah93Dinah93 Forumite
    11.3K posts
    Bake Off Boss!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I got into debt because I saw my wage as this huge sum of money that could buy all kinds of treats. I became debt free last month and the first thing I did was draw up a budget so that my new found 'wealth' didn't trick me again! Now we put £250 a month into a trips and holidays account, and have a staggering 13 different savings accounts, 8 of which are for piggybank banking to help us budget.

    All the money you throw at the debts now, you need to work out how you're going to spend/save this once you get debt free and read all of Martin's articles on budgetting, it takes a bit of getting used to but I think the stabalisers can come off my DF-bike soon.

    D x
    Debt January 1st 2018 £65,773.65
    Debt November 1st 2018 £55,564.51
    £10,209.14/15.52% paid off
    Met NIM 23/06/2008
  • ixwoodixwood Forumite
    2.6K posts
    Being debt free doesn't mean less money to spend, it means you have more.

    People post their SOA's and half their money is going on debt interest. Debt is bad. The "good debt" and "bad debt" thing is complete rubbish. All debt is bad and makes you poorer (mortgages are the least worst, but still bad!).

    It's the modern form of slavery and generally what keeps poor people poor.

    Saving and avoiding debt sounds boring for some reason and half sharp people say "You only live once" as a justification for debt. Exactly, you only live once, so don't sell yourself to someone else!
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