what gave you your lightbulb moment



  • My lightbulb moment was when the day after I got paid I had NO money left. Wages go in last day of month, all bills come out the first of every month. I owed so much in bank charges that a few direct debits bounced back and I realised I would have to survive on what I had in my purse until the end of the month when I got paid again.

    Never, ever again will I be in that situation. I never used to check my bank balance, assuming that all the direct debits I had set up to pay my creditors would be ok even though I was earning far less than what my bills were. Oh I was so silly but like I say, never again will that happen! I'm proud to be dealing with my debts and although I'm having quite a bit of bother with one of my creditors I know that I will be ok!
  • pm2326
    pm2326 Posts: 1,096 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    MIne was today when I realised like many others that I have maxed my overdraft and have no way of getting my hands on any more cash until payday which is 10 days away. I have £1.90 in my purse and thats it.

    Luckily I have food in the cupboards and managed to get a loaf of bread for 75p reduced from £1.39 at the supermarket earlier. I dont however have enough cigs to last me so once the 8 left in the packet have gone thats it ... nowt like forcing myself into giving up!

    If I'm honest I knew I was heading for this for a while now, think i just thought the day would never arrive.
  • kacy1988
    kacy1988 Posts: 217 Forumite
    my lightbulb moment was yesterday.
    my washing machine died and i dont have any money to get a new one. i have about 2k in debt - that doesnt seem to be shrinking, a 3 year old and i'm 4 months pregnant.
    i dont even know where to start with reining everything in but i have to. my wages went in today and i cant spend any of it as the bills come out on the 1st and theres only just enough to cover everything. i have a freezer and cupboard full of food luckily just need to get milk/bread/ fruit between now and the 8th (3.5 weeks away) i have £20 stashed for that.
    i just dont know where to start! or how i'm going to be able to afford a washing machine.
  • *emc*
    *emc* Posts: 8 Forumite
    I have just joined, but lurked for a while.

    My LB moment was a couple of weeks ago. Until recently, I was paying for a rental washing machine that I no longer had. I was scared to phone the company and say that I no longer had the machine (it was rented when I was a student and we left the house without taking it. Landlord was a horrible, horrible man and wouldn't let us get back in). Until last week, I had my head in the sand and just kept paying for it. Anyway, all sorted now. I have a final payment to make next Thursday - payday, then it will be done :j.

    I have a MBNA credit card that I try and pay double the minimum payment on, but am paying £70 interest each month and £30ish in payment protection. I have cancelled the payment protection today. I also have a student overdraft which was £2000 at the start of the year and is now down to just over £900 (I think).

    I aim to pay off these debts in a year, then try to pay off the mortgage a few years early.
    Mortgage December 2010 - £71,209.83
    Target for 2011 - Overpay by £2000

  • My LBM was in January 2008. My son (then 15months old) was ill, so I had to take him to an out-of-hours doctor. I didn't drive (hadn't taken lessons), was on my own (son's father walked when I was pregnant and left me with £thousands of debt!) and only had enough cash in my purse for one taxi ride (to the out-of-hours doctor). The phone op (from taxi company said they'd accept card payments (I also had a bit of dollar in my bank a/c to pay for second taxi by card)....but....

    when taxi got to the doc's, the driver's card machine didn't work. And after the doc saw my son, I was then told I had to take him on to hospital. I had to phone my brother to come pick us up, take us to the hospital (and then drive us back home) and from that moment, I swore I'd sort my finances/life out, for my son's sake. Not being able to drive my son to the doctor and then the hospital was the crappiest feeling ever, and I felt like the worst mom in the world.

    I promised myself that by the time I hit 30 (July 2010), I'd be driving, debt free (or mostly debt free!) and a student nurse. I managed to pay £6K of my debts in 2008, got my driving license in June 2009 and cleared another £3K. In Sept 09, I moved back in with my parents. In Feb '10, I started my nursing course. My DFD was Sept 10th this year. Next step....not flunking my course, getting a lot of money saved up, paying for wedding (budget wedding naturally!), saving for house deposit.

    Here's a good money saving tip....check out charity shops for clothing yourself/your kids (I buy any clothes I need from there...apart from undies and shoes). e.g. today I found myself a lovely cashmere jumper (Anya Hindmarsh or whatever her name is) for £8. It's lovely and warm and I can always ebay it if I get fed up of wearing it. You can also use them for buying pressies....I kitted my bloke out with a great capsule wardrobe's worth of clothes last year for his birthday. If I had bought the clothes brand new, they would have cost me hundreds.:T
  • just wondered, whats happened to make you think, enough is enough, i need to get out of this situation.

    mine was when i had arrears on scottish power and didnt know what to do. i came home one day and they had yellow tape over the door as they had forced their way in while i was work and i came home with my son to find they had changed my locks.
    spent 3 hours wandering round asda in tears as it was pouring, bought my son a 79p sandwich while we sat there waiting for them to come back down to give us the new keys

    absolutely horrific, i swear i will never be in that stupid situation again.


    Your post really struck a chord with me.... I know that my Mum really struggled with finances when I was growing up and I can only remember snippets as she tried to shield us from it, but I do remember the fridge being empty a lot and how sad she was about us not having everything she would have wanted to be able to give us.

    By taking control of your finances, you are providing your Son with the stability he needs and a happy parent is what all children want.

    Good Luck with everything!
  • System
    System Posts: 178,092 Community Admin
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    edited 20 October 2010 at 11:48AM
    My LBM came just over a year ago when I had maxed out all my cards and overdraft and then couldn't get any more credit! The days of easy credit and moving money around from card to card were over and I was up the proverbial creek without a paddle. I knew I was in debt but had no idea it was as bad as it was because I'd never looked at all my debts collectively. It was almost £27k all in and although I did have some things to show for it, certainly nothing like what I should have.

    I've been slogging away ever since to pay it all off and every month is always tight but at least now I know how much I have available on all my cards at any one time, and it's always a thrill to see the total debt creeping down each month.
  • Percy1983
    Percy1983 Posts: 5,244 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I wanted to propose to the women I love and thought I should at least sort it/tell her before I ask her to make such a big decision.

    She said yes and its almost all cleared now.
    Have my first business premises (+4th business) 01/11/2017
    Quit day job to run 3 businesses 08/02/2017
    Started third business 25/06/2016
    Son born 13/09/2015
    Started a second business 03/08/2013
    Officially the owner of my own business since 13/01/2012
  • My LBM was when in 2007 the card companies started hiking up interest rates - specifically MBNA going from 18% (high enough in itself) to 34.9%. As the minimum payment was interest + £5 that was enough to totally blow my knife-edge finances out of the water.

    Luckily I was able to transfer the MBNA debt to fixed rate elsewhere and, thanks to the LBM, realised that I had to get my debts down fast before the next crisis came along.

    I decided to snowball my cards and it was a heck of a struggle at first but I've managed to keep it going and now, while I still owe too much, at least I know the gap between what I HAVE to pay and what I CHOOSE to pay is much wider. I'd say though it'll be another couple of years until I'm comfortable with my level of debt (i.e. could survive if I lost my job), and another two after that until it's gone altogether.
    Long-haul Supporters DFW 120
    Debt @ LBM (October 2007): £55187
    Debt Now (April 2014): £0
    Debt-free-date: [STRIKE]July[/STRIKE] April 2014 :j:j:j
  • Well my wife and I decided enough was enough about three weeks ago. My monthly activity seemed to be robbing Peter to pay Paul and worrying!

    Every month I was wondering how we were going to get through the next month - bank charges alone were costing us around £150 per month alone.

    After being awake most of one particular night I sat down at work the next day and did some surfing on the internet and after looking at some of the forums and advice I decided enough was enough!!!

    That evening when I got home I told my wife that I have had enough of our current existence of working hard for nothing except stress - the last few weeks of Septemer my wife and I didnt even eat properly we were that skint; and saved what money we had for fuel for the car to get us to work.

    Sitting down with our figures we had run up debt of over £80k between us!!! :eek: Roughly 40k each.:eek:

    We are now with CCCS and hopefully things will improve -time will tell but I do feel better already.

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