Spent 4 years pretending it's all OK

Bewildered, confused, terrified that will lose everything we have worked so hard to build up. Over 70 K unsecured debt and 28K owed to family. Have been self employed for 10 years but business gradually gone down hill in recession. partner went back t o work, on good salary 47K but not enough, plus some money still coming in from business/part time jobs. Have 3 years left of independent school fees (yes we could pull child out but it would destroy him - please don't judge), older child about to go to university and we won't be able to provide much support. Talked to debt charity earlier this year and wrote to some creditors but not all - kept thinking things would improve but they haven't yet, so now need to do the rest - wish I had listened and acted fully 6 months ago. Better late than never I guess. Desperately looking for a job but too stressed to produce good applications. Sleep deprivation and now relationship problems. Have a decent house but don't want to downsize as have elderly parents with health issues who will need our support and probably move in with us. Health beginning to suffer. Don't know how we got ourselves into this state - well educated, professionals, feel totally ashamed, so keep up the pretences with everyone that everything is hunky dory. So sad and depressed.
Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/02/17 £66,600=8.18%PAID
Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300 Jan17£180,700>OCT17 £170,200
Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes:)
Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
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Comments

  • Hi NOA, Just want to say you are not on your own. There's plenty of people on here in a similar situation to you. It's that lightbulb moment of realisation when you know you have to accept that there is a problem with the level of debts and need to do something about it. Have you thought about contacting one of the debt charities, Stepchange or National Debtline to discuss your options in confidence? If you don't want to speak to anyone you can do the Debt Remedy on the National Debtline 'My Money' app instead, which will help you decide what to do. I used both and am so pleased I did because they helped me set up manageable payment plans with all creditors. I feel so much better and can sleep at night. Like you, I spent years in denial trying to keep up appearances, but all the while getting more and more in debt. It can happen to anyone. Well done for posting, you have taken that really hard first step. All the best. HB
    Feb 2014 to now
    Unsecured debt at highest £56,511/now £9,328 83% paid. :)
    Mortgage £85,342/now £28,846 66% paid
    2018 overpayment total - £5,500
    Mortgage and debt free by August 2020
  • NoOneAround
    NoOneAround Posts: 1,822 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Thank you Historybuff, for your words of support.
    I did speak to one of the charities a few months ago anonymously and took some advice but didn't act fully - it's so hard as we have always had a fantastic credit record - borrowed lots earned lots paid it all off quickly etc, but the economic climate in the last few years really knocked us back. I am trying to build up the courage to ring and admit defeat and ask for help. Tomorrow, first thing.
    Have to because my family is falling apart.
    Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/02/17 £66,600=8.18%PAID
    Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300 Jan17£180,700>OCT17 £170,200
    Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes:)
    Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
  • Hi no-one around

    Just want to send my support and echo History Buffs words too. There are lots in same position you are not alone.

    You've had your lightbulb moment, you will get through it. Definitely talk to one of the organisations HB mentions. I read lots on here about people coping and there are so many ways to make ends meet.

    BTW have you talked to the school about a bursary? You should do, if you haven't yet.

    Good luck and keep going. :T
    OSWL (start 13st) by 30Jun20 6/10
    £1/day Xmas'20-62 £214/£366 saved
    Grocery Challenge Jun £742/£320 spent
    Homeowner wannabe by July 2020 - WooHoo!!
    Starter Emergency Fund £1000/£1000 saved
  • NoOneAround
    NoOneAround Posts: 1,822 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Thank you Supersaver 1000, it is heart-warming and so encouraging to have people read and take the time to reply - maybe there is someone around after all? It has been so hard not to be able to talk to people, easier to open up here.


    We stopped eating out, rarely have coffees out, packed lunches, and weekly shopping down from 150/week to 70-80 for family of 4 (all effectively adults. Reduced house insurance/utilities etc, and only have outings on Tesco vouchers etc. Children don't get pocket money and both have been brilliant - don't ask for anything much and aren't into fashion/latest gadgets (well they are but don't ask for them!). I used to get a bursary when both were in private schools but my older child went to state sixth form so I now have to pay full fees for my younger child as our family income is borderline and house has some equity. Might ask them again perhaps, I do a lot of voluntary work for the PTA and raised over 2K for the school.


    Thank you again.
    Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/02/17 £66,600=8.18%PAID
    Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300 Jan17£180,700>OCT17 £170,200
    Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes:)
    Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
  • brizzledfw
    brizzledfw Posts: 7,302 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Hi :wave:

    We have all been in the proverbial one way or another. Owning up to the issues is the first step, so congratulations ;) Talk to the charities ASAP, but also post an SOA. There will be loads of support for you on these threads...honest! :)

    Keep going. It will be OK I am sure

    X
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal :D
    Winter 17/18 Savings Rate Goal: 25% [October 30%] :T
    Declutter 60 items before 31.03.18 9/60 ** LSDs Target 10 for March 03/10 **AFDs 10/15 ** Sales/TCB Target 2018 £25/£500 NSDs Target 10 for March 02/10 Trying to be a Frugalista:rotfl::T
  • Hello :)


    If there is one thing I have learnt from these boards is that it is possible to solve debt problems.

    It really is.


    I know that can sound a bit trite but people here do amazing things to get themselves straight, the advice is endless and the ideas and challenges are very helpful.


    You can get control of this. You really can


    keep posting, keep asking


    and sleep XXXXXX
    Nevertheless she persisted.
  • edpvito
    edpvito Posts: 46 Forumite
    Hi, if you have a decent house, have you thought of airbnb to make a bit of extra money? £40 a night soon adds up...
    Debt [STRIKE]06/14[/STRIKE] 09/14 : [STRIKE]MBNA: £252[/STRIKE]
    AMEX: [STRIKE]£1283[/STRIKE] £615
    Northern Rock: [STRIKE]£3300[/STRIKE] £2500
    Santander Overdraft (at pay day):[STRIKE] £1200[/STRIKE] £1000
    Swedish Tax Office: [STRIKE]£428[/STRIKE] £1000
    Debt free goal date: 06/15
  • NoOneAround
    NoOneAround Posts: 1,822 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Thank you brizzledfw + BuffyTDS + edpvito
    I am amazed at everyone's friendliness and that you are taking the time to read.


    StepChange are brilliant. Cried a lot, but we got there in the end.


    I need to cancel direct debits now and move them to the basic account I set up months ago but which I never transferred all my payments to because I felt disloyal to the bank I have been with for 29 years. By not listening last time (I really thought business would pick up) I have wasted another 1000+ in interest to them. StepChange just spelt it out that while I keep making minimum payments they are making £ profit from my situation.


    I have been hosting international students for 5 years to make extra money -it is what has kept us going, but that has also gone quiet this term, so no one staying at the moment. I run the business when there is work, have a part time seasonal job as bank staff in a school, have done paid review writing, and do weekend science demos when work is available. Also tried various direct sales companies, but none of it generates enough income, hence need to try and get a salaried job again.


    Thanks for your support ... just feel a bit stronger today.
    Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/02/17 £66,600=8.18%PAID
    Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300 Jan17£180,700>OCT17 £170,200
    Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes:)
    Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
  • brizzledfw
    brizzledfw Posts: 7,302 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    edited 28 August 2014 at 1:34PM
    Well done on feeling stronger and on speaking to SC.

    Do post an SOA (statement of accounts) - it will help and you will get good advice.

    We now have a lodger..do you? Remember the first £4800 p.a or so is tax free. We also had a foreign student for 3 weeks this year.

    Other ideas (some of which we do already and some of which are on my Autumn list!)

    - thinking about making all the family Xmas presents yourself - food, drink, crafts etc - and setting a strict budget for kids
    - what can you sell or rent out? We, for example, have a motorhome we can rent out. Certainly covers its costs. Hit EBay. Amazon..if it ain't nailed down, sell it :)
    - meal plan everything so there is absolutely NO waste. It cuts out impulse buying too. No convenience food - cook from scratch.
    - keep a spending diary of everyone's spends and income. A note book will do, but an app or PC software is probably easiest to crunch and report from. Assess your weak spots too..mine are holidays, food and alcohol :o
    - Do a budget NOW. ASAP... :)
    - do surveys to earn vouchers for Xmas and other presents
    - start exercising to drive those positive endorphins and make sure you sleep and remain healthy..even a few runs will do..
    - see if you can pick up a few hours work from home..virtual PA? Transcribing? Coldcalling? Anything will do and make sure you feel you are getting things in order... appreciate need to get a salaried job, but you need to do something this week, this month and getting a permanent job may take time

    Have to dash now but hope this helps :grouphug: (thats a dodgey group hug from us all, by the way! :D) And...sorry to nag, but have you called the school/its charitable trust yet?
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal :D
    Winter 17/18 Savings Rate Goal: 25% [October 30%] :T
    Declutter 60 items before 31.03.18 9/60 ** LSDs Target 10 for March 03/10 **AFDs 10/15 ** Sales/TCB Target 2018 £25/£500 NSDs Target 10 for March 02/10 Trying to be a Frugalista:rotfl::T
  • NoOneAround
    NoOneAround Posts: 1,822 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Thanks Brizzledfw, a really useful list. and thanks you for the group hug - it brought a smile to my face!


    I don't have a lodger full time t the moment but we have had rental income of between 2K-9K from students in the last 5 years but usually somewhere around the 3-4K mark. Nothing at the moment though so need to make more enquiries.


    Thanks for nagging - I didn't call today but school starts again on Tuesday next week and I will make an appointment to see the bursar. The general rules are that if you have one child in in private education unlikely to get bursary if household income more than 50 K, but I will ask I promise.


    I have started adding more detail to my budget so will post that when ready.


    I do cook from scratch and in bulk when I can, the only convenience food I buy occasional is supermarket pizza when on offer. A meal for 4 costs £4-6 max. I have a teenage son who eats through mountains at the moment!


    We have only spent £50 max on presents for birthdays for the children, much less at Christmas, and nothing on each other. Spend minimal on clothes for children - only when needed. I have spent very little on clothes for me (only buy in sales, and only what's needed). Several years ago agreed with my siblings that we would only buy presents for children at Christmas and birthdays and not for each other etc to keep costs down. I have been pretty frugal with everything and cut out holidays abroad etc, we have not been away for the last two years.


    My weakness is education............ and that's why we are in the situation we are in. However I keep saying to myself I have only 3 more years to see my son through to 16, then he can go to state 6th form as my daughter did. I realise this is where people might think I am being stupid, but I come from a working class background, my parents worked night and day to put us through university, and all five of us did well. I am doing what I think is best for my children to give them the best possible chance in life - I see it as an investment in their future and don't want to compromise on this - will do whatever it takes to keep that going.
    Too tired tonight to keep going now. Tomorrows task - post budget here.....................
    Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/02/17 £66,600=8.18%PAID
    Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300 Jan17£180,700>OCT17 £170,200
    Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes:)
    Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
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