I can't quite believe it's got this bad



  • Hi Talheedin,

    To echo everyone else well done for addressing the problem :T , you've done the hard work by admitting to it.

    Have you thought about transferring the balances on your most expensive credit cards over to the cheaper ones? You need to check first if they charge you fees for transferring balances but even so you may still save money.

    I would also reiterate the suggestion that you shop online. Whenever i shop online i spend at least a tenner less than when i'm in the shop because the product isn't there in front of me tempting me to buy it.

    Your food bills do seem rather high, I would suggest that you shop at local greengrocers and farm shops and farmers markets as produce is a lot cheaper and fresher and keeps for longer thus saving you even more money.

    Also don't buy fruit and veg that has already been sliced and diced because these are far more expensive than buying the produce whole.

    You don't mention anything about your family's eating habits but if you tend to eat a lot of processed and highly refined foods try and cut back and make food from scratch because this works out cheaper too.

    Again I don't know anything about your family's eating habits but have you considered a bread maker? I was given one a few months ago and have spent about £6 on ingredients and haven't bought a loaf for about 4 months - thats a saving of £10 and with a family your size the savings will be even bigger.

    When it comes to switching your energy suppliers try Equigas & Equipower (https://www.ebico.co.uk). They are a not for profit energy supplier set up by a charity and because they don't make a profit they in theory should always be cheaper than rivals. To make a proper comparison use https://www.energyhelpline.co.uk (don't use USwitch as they don't include Equigas and Equipower in their comparisons because they won't pay Uswitch commissions).

    I really do emphasise the opinion that you shouldn't consolidate your debts into your mortgage. In order to buy my own house I did that and entered into a mortgage where I owe £15k more than the house is worth and whilst I at least have my independence (couldn't cope with living with the parents anymore at the grand old age of 27!!), I do live in a certain amount of financial fear as iv managed to rack up another £1150 of card debt through overspending on furniture etc.

    Good luck with everything
  • Talheedin,

    You have been given some great advice and support; I hope you are taking note of some of it at least.

    I’d go on to suggest you ditch the savings and use this to service your debt but it has already been mentioned.

    I’d suggest that you totally ditch the Sky subscription at the earliest opportunity, and invest in a Scrabble board from a thrift or charity shop. (The first part of this suggestion has again already been mentioned – I added the last part myself ;) )

    I’d suggest that your House insurance is too high, but you have been burgled so I’m not sure how much this has affected your premium – it would certainly be remiss of you not to shop around – Tesco is offering half price until 6th August so at least get a quote.

    All these suggestions are well meaning and very helpful and are the nitty gritty of how to solve your problems. What I think you also need is to take strength from the support you have garnered here, and try your very hardest to be as positive as you possibly can. And with your admission that you could be tempted to spend when it isn’t necessary, you’ll need all the support you can get!

    In one of your early reports, you mentioned that you run to work a few times a week when the car isn’t needed. I think this is great, and the exercise will help you keep a healthy body and mind, in turn nurturing a healthy outlook on other aspects of your life. You need to feel good about yourself to start tackling the problems; you need to know when you start doing this, you are going to win.

    With this in mind, and along with your reports about how the spending diary is working out for you, maybe you could make a wall chart for yourself. This could be a 2-sided thing, with part of it dedicated to your running to work and your aim to improve your times for the benefit of your health, but alongside this, the bigger race/hurdle/marathon you are running of trying to reduce your debt. Looking at the good progress you are making on a wall chart along the way might be just what you need in the tough times to keep you on the right track.

    All the best,

  • paulfoel
    paulfoel Posts: 5,819 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    spud30 wrote:
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    That would last us at least 4 months.

    How many of you?
    Cymru am Byth !!! :j:j:j
  • spud30
    spud30 Posts: 16,872 Forumite
    paulfoel wrote:
    How many of you?

    2 adults, 2 children, a very large dog and several moggies :D
    Is it better to aim for the stars and hit a tree or aim for a tree and land in its branches :think:
    Loves being a Wonderbra friend :kisses3:
  • How on earth can you spend £600 per month on clothes? That's obscene!!!

    I suppose if you're not strapped for cash then it's fine but anyone who has the slightest problem with debt should not be even thinking about spending this much.

    My sister has 3 children and a partner (makes 4 children really!), her children are 19, 6 and 2 and she doesn't spend half of that money even though the 19 year old refuses to wear Primark etc !

    I can't believe people spend that much on bits of material! Am I a scrooge?!
    Ken Livingstone is my mother
  • Hi

    I was just wondering it you have explained to your older kids about the situation your in? Kids can be remarkably helpful when they know whats going on and therefore how to help.

    Once my sister's kids knew about the debt, the bills came down (lights were turned off etc) Birthday Present costs came down and they didn't moan or pressure for anything new. It also helped with the stress in the house as the whispering stopped as there was no longer any need.

    I don't say tell them everything but just enough for them to get the outline. Whilst it's not good for them to be frightened there is middle ground and by explaining the outline it may take help take away the pressure you feel about stopping their savings etc. (Hopefully you have stopped by now)

    Good luck -
  • Chocmonster7
    Chocmonster7 Posts: 2,606 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    How on earth can you spend £600 per month on clothes? That's obscene!!!

    I know this is all about saving money but I think you need to spend out on an eye test.

    The poster said they spent £60 a month on clothing, not £600.
  • mandyc
    mandyc Posts: 160 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I think it was £60 per month not £600!!!
  • spud30
    spud30 Posts: 16,872 Forumite
    paulfoel wrote:
    Just out of interest, we spend about £100 a month on gas/elec since its gone up in price !!!

    Also, our food/clothes bill is about £600 a month for two adults and 1 toddler !!!!

    Nope, he defo said £600 on food and clothes :eek: :eek: :eek:
    Is it better to aim for the stars and hit a tree or aim for a tree and land in its branches :think:
    Loves being a Wonderbra friend :kisses3:
  • mrsb2100_2
    mrsb2100_2 Posts: 27 Forumite
    I'm a first time poster, so here goes. Your message has also made me think about what I've been desperatley trying to ignore, but I cant. At a rough count, we owe about £70k unsecured ... £153k on the mortgage too, which is on a fixed rate, due to end at the end of next year. Scariest thing though, is my OH dosent seem to want to face up to reality! I think it's absolutely commendable that you can all accept responsibility for your actions. Though I can accept it, my OH is not quite ready to admit defeat and face up to the mountain of debt we've accrued. Maybe in the next few days, after some strong words. Unbelieveably, total payments on 3 credit cards total about £700 give a take a few quid. Plus, £450 other unsecured loans. And, £1130 on mortgage payments (3 in all ...) for the next 22 years. Why do these people insist on throwing money at us???????/ :mad:

    One thing though - doing balance transfers on cards. We've done this ... people in our position just end up with another 'free' card to use, plus higher repayments (although lower interest) which we still cant afford. And, even worse, an increase on your credit limit, because you settled the bill early on the other card. :eek:

    Oh well - I guess another sleepless night is in order before we accept that we can no longer afford it!

    One final thing - and this might make you laugh - I used to work as a collector for one of the Finance Companies that wont stop interest straight away. I was one of the collectors who would recommend the National Debt Line too when the Company refused to allow payment plans. You really would think that knowing both sides, I'd know better, huh?!

    Well done to all of you who have faced up to the inevitable. :T
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