Can I have a life while clearing my debt?

Amatheya81 Posts: 530 Forumite
edited 26 October 2010 at 9:55AM in Debt-free wannabe
Hello All,

I've been on MSE on and off for a while now and in the past 2 years I've gone from £23k debt to £17k but that has been a heck of a struggle.

I've cut out nearly all of my hobbies (Gym etc) because I couldn't afford them any more. I rarely go out and if I do it's to something free. I can't remember the last time I spent money on clothes or shoes, I've reduced the cost of just about everything around my hous by changing suppliers etc. I'm even conssidering getting rid of Sky which was my last remaining luxury But despite this I'm still only just keeping my head above water by the skin of my teeth!

My main problem is my load with Lloyds which costs me over £350 per month! This will be paid off in just over 2 years (it was a 5 year loan) I have in the past thought about trying to refinance this but I'm over half the way towards paying it off and I know that if I can just get over this hurdle life will be sooooo much easier as I could easily pay off my remaining debts while still being able to "live".

My problem is that because I have this goal in mind and I know I will remain in this situation of not being able to do anything until then and I've got into a habbit of repeatedly saying "2 years and then I'll be able to ..." and I feel like I'm wishing my life away!

I don't really expect anyone to be able to help me with this or have any solutions but it would be nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels like life is passing them by while they deal with their debt.

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  • Little_Vics
    Little_Vics Posts: 1,516 Forumite
    gosh - I know how you feel. We cut out all our 'fun' but realised it would drive us mad, so have compromised on the following:

    we subscribe to Love Film and get 2 DVDs a month. We're watching a TV series at the moment because we think it's better value for money - you get more 'viewing time' per disc than a film!

    we have a small budget for pub drinks, and normally go to a local pub quiz once a week. We're pretty good, so sometimes win money/drinks from it

    we have 1 take away/meal out a month, on pay-day-Friday

    All in all, it's about £50 a month, but it does keep us sane. We've got the money by cutting down on other things, and I think the compromise is worth it.
  • KingElvis
    KingElvis Posts: 4,100 Forumite
    Dump the Sky TV, you'll feel better not putting money into the Dirty Digger's already huge bank account.
    "We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now!"
  • well done on dealing with 6k of your debt already.

    I know what you mean, we feel like we don't have any luxuries too, we have sky though on their basic package and that does us. we also subscribe to love film for £3.99 a month which gives us 2 discs per month like little vics we've got a few tv series on there.

    One thing we have done recently is set up a 'come dine with me' plan with friends. We take it in turns to cook once a month, we all have children so they come with us, play for a bit then go to bed then we have a gorgeous 3 course meal. there is 3 couples so we are all cooking once, which means over 6 months we will be paying for 2 meals each. It is spread out though so my hubby is cooking next month, then i'm cooking month 5. It means at least once a month we are together with our friends, good company and nice food and it don't cost the earth. To make it a bit more fun we are all putting £10 in a pot (as and when we can) and then the winner will get £60 to spend on themselves. - we are doing the whole scoring thing!!

    your doing really well can you post a SOA to see if we can help you anymore?
    was Proud to be dealing with debt! LBM 12.09.09 [STRIKE]£23,157.76,[/STRIKE] 28/03/11 £12.827.07:eek: Not quite sure on debts now as kind of gone by the wayside but back on form now! Will edit as i figure them out
    Hsbs CC £5313.73 Overdrafts (3) £3173.84, Marks and spencer CC £0 :) AA CC £3400.18
  • I know the feeling, except I want to be debt free by the end of 2011. It's so hard and I do slip up quite a lot (3 big holidays this year and at least 4 weekends away) but I really am trying to focus on how much I can do after I've got rid of this weight around my neck, I want to travel and work on cruise ships but I can't do any of this really until I've paid it off. It's so hard but I have said next year is a quiet year, except maybe 10 days in cyprus but that will be staying with my friend and only if i can get cheap flights, everything else will have to wait for a year!

    Good luck x
    Became Mrs Scotland 16.01.16 :heart:Became homeowners 26.02.16 :heart:Baby girl arrived 27.10.16 :heart:Baby boy arrived 16.09.2018
  • podperson
    podperson Posts: 3,125
    First Anniversary First Post
    I do know how you feel, it does sometimes feel like we have no luxuries at all, very rarely go out, never buy new clothes or anything, we have cable tv but on the basic package as it's basically free with the phone line. We do try and have a little treat and then for our sanity but it's more a mse one, eg instead of going out for a meal we'll get a takeaway in, instead of buying a new dvd or book I'll go to the second hand or charity shops. It is hard sometimes but I try to keep thinking that it's not going to be forever and I'm going to appreciate luxuries so much more when I can afford them and I won't feel guilty about having the odd treat. You have done so well to clear 6k already and you should be really proud of yourself.
  • Stick with it Amatheya, you're doing and have done really well! I'm going through the same process and feelings at the moment and feeling like life is passing me by, but we'll all get there in the end with perseverence.

    As others have said, allow some little 'luxuries' to keep you sane, we have sky and a small sub to lovefilm too, which helps.

    Keep smiling!

    Full LBM 26 Sept 11
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 89,273
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Just wanted to pop in & say you are doing so well.
    Keep plodding!
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 2021****
    "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.
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    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
  • Lottebear
    Lottebear Posts: 794
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    This why many of the people on here do little things like surveys, so they can spend that little bit of money on themselves
  • Hey Amatheya,

    :) This was a very honest post and one I think most of us can relate to. Can you find hobbies that cost little or nothing? Writing poetry, drawing, etc - you can feel amazing when you've accomplished something, and yet it didn't cost you a cent. Or, you could find a hobby that you feel passionate about that you actually get paid for! (You know, like making crafts for sale, etc.)

    Just keep slogging away...and remember that every day, week, month you're getting a little bit closer to your goal, and you'll never find yourself in this debt-ridden situation again!

    Take care,
  • Hi Amatheya (cool name by the way :D) this it seems be me is a common problem with dealing with debts. I definately agreed with "allowing" a small amount for entertainment & getting creative with it to make that small amount stretch out as far as possible. So orange wednesdays (split between 2 that £4 in my neck of the woods ;)) signing up for the free screenings and getting free cinema tickets, come dine with me is a cool idea, I'm about to start a philosophy group, couple of drinks and some food for thought, take up running, learning about something ur really interested in. Oh I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea.

    This time last year I was crying on my bed one night because I was really fed up with it all & a couple of nights later it was my oh :o I've tried to see it as a challenge so I still get to do the things I want to but at a fraction of the cost

    Oh I'd also say don't socialise with ppl who are terrible with money its very infectious
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Womblng 2020:
    NSD Jan 2/18 YTD: 2
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