How did it get to this? Again!!!

edited 28 November 2016 at 12:56AM in Debt free diaries
11 replies 1.5K views
Georgiegirl2012Georgiegirl2012 Forumite
539 Posts
edited 28 November 2016 at 12:56AM in Debt free diaries
When I say how did it get to this - again. I lie. I don't think it's ever quite been like this before. I moved this time 3 years ago, downsized, paid off all my loans and credit cards and was in a really good position. 3 years later I am approximately £16.5k in debt and I am about to take out a debt management plan with StepChange debt charity, which were suggested by the collections dept of the Halifax bank.

I dont think I have ever been as scared in my life as I have these past few weeks with all those letters coming through my door. And after half a dozen phone calls in work from the bank and a letter from the building society telling me, halfway thru the month, when I get paid on the last day of the month, that they could not take my mortgage payment I realised it was time to take my head out of the sand and face the harsh reality that if I don't admit I have a problem with my spending then I will be living in a tent on the motorway roundabout.

I have sat down today (well, technically it was yesterday if you are on GMT), and worked out exactly what I have. And if I pay all my basic bills (not including overdraft and bank charges and the like) I have about £150 with which to feed and clothe myself and the cats (although if truth be told they aren't that fond of being clothed).

Signature will be changed asap

So here I am - feeling every so slightly ashamed of myself for letting it get to this, but feeling very much better about it all than I was this time last week.
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Replies

  • monzmonz Forumite
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    good luck x
    Debt (1/9/14) £6,702.11 Debt free (30/11/2016) mortgage port- £70,077.82 and mortgage £126,517.39 o/s currently
    Debt - £17,190.83 (29/7/22) now (19/8/22) £16,688.80
  • MistyMountainTopMistyMountainTop Forumite
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    How did it happen again? What were the circumstances? Is there a plan in place to make sure it doesn't happen anymore?

    I am not trying to be confrontational, I am genuinely curious as I have been in the same situation - paying off all my debts only to run them up again after being 'good' for a short time. I hit rock bottom before I changed my ways and stopped spending more than I had coming in, but even now I find it a struggle to say no to something I really want but can't afford. I still have so much to learn... :o

    Here to subscribe and cheer you on!
  • brizzledfwbrizzledfw Forumite
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    A number of us have been where you are..you'll get the support you need on here (as I hope you already know)

    xx
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  • How did it happen again? What were the circumstances? Is there a plan in place to make sure it doesn't happen anymore?

    I am not trying to be confrontational, I am genuinely curious as I have been in the same situation - paying off all my debts only to run them up again after being 'good' for a short time. I hit rock bottom before I changed my ways and stopped spending more than I had coming in, but even now I find it a struggle to say no to something I really want but can't afford. I still have so much to learn... :o

    Here to subscribe and cheer you on!

    A combination of things I suppose - a total lack of awareness of how much money I have available, lack of budgeting, trying to pay all my bills, loan, credit cards etc and then living on what's left, living in my overdraft, old sick cats and the subsequent vets bills, which although insured, doesn't cover it all - resulting in increased premiums, depression and the "a little bit of what I fancy will cheer me up", disorganisation so making lunch then forgetting to take it to work with me so having to buy stuff, etc. the list goes on and on.

    As for preventing it happening again -help from StepChange, and all of you, and a wee bit more self control than I've used in the past. And the sheer terror of what could happen if I don't sort it out.

    So today, after sitting down yesterday and working it all out propery, I rang SC again, got it all down accurately, followed their advice and cancelled the DD for my borrowing payments, and opened a new basic bank account with no overdraft, no credit card and no cheque book.

    And then went to my mothers to discover she had had a fall, had been on the floor for at least 5 hours, so spent the rest of the day with paramedics and physios, doctors and nurses. And have left her in the hospital. She is mostly ok, but they just want to keep an eye on her.

    So got home about 10.30 and bought KFC on my way home (lift with brother in law because I do not drive), but me old ma paid for it, so that's ok.....:A:A
  • MistyMountainTopMistyMountainTop Forumite
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    I'm sorry to hear about your mother, I hope she's ok!

    It sounds like you have a much better understanding of your situation and with Stepchange helping you, it's unlikely you'll run up debts again once the current ones are paid off. Getting outside help and advice was the best thing I ever did. It was the CAB that sorted me out and showed me that my lifestyle wasn't sustainable, as I was living completely paycheck to paycheck and didn't see how precarious my situation was.

    I think that's what changed for me - knowing that it would have only taken one tiny setback to have it all tumbling down. I do have much more self control now, but sometimes the old "I want it and I want it now" me comes creeping back. I have to remind myself that what I really want is an emergency fund and a house of my own, and buying things I don't need will only put these things off for even longer :o
  • Well, me old ma is back from the hospital. Was at her house from about lunchtime yesterday trying to get it a bit sorted for her - she got home about 9 and I left about 10pm. Came home and pretty much fell into bed. Which is very good for not spending money.

    Went back again today, missed the physio and she has no idea what he said. Went to collect her tablets - normally they are delivered, and popped into the pound shop and picked up a sealed tin for saving towards next Christmas with the Xmas 2017 challenge. Went back to my mother's, visited my housebound auntie who is my mother's sister and lives next door to her. Got home about 7, completely exhausted. And back to work tomorrow.

    But on the plus side, my mother does give me pocket money for being such a good daughter. So rather than frittering it away, which is what I have been doing with it, I will put most of it aside. And if I want coffee and cake, or lunch with a friend, or a magazine, or a new "something", I will take it from that money. Just have to remember I can't do all the above in one week.
  • EssexHebrideanEssexHebridean Forumite
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    A combination of things I suppose - a total lack of awareness of how much money I have available, lack of budgeting, trying to pay all my bills, loan, credit cards etc and then living on what's left, living in my overdraft, old sick cats and the subsequent vets bills, which although insured, doesn't cover it all - resulting in increased premiums, depression and the "a little bit of what I fancy will cheer me up", disorganisation so making lunch then forgetting to take it to work with me so having to buy stuff, etc. the list goes on and on.

    As for preventing it happening again -help from StepChange, and all of you, and a wee bit more self control than I've used in the past. And the sheer terror of what could happen if I don't sort it out.

    So today, after sitting down yesterday and working it all out propery, I rang SC again, got it all down accurately, followed their advice and cancelled the DD for my borrowing payments, and opened a new basic bank account with no overdraft, no credit card and no cheque book.

    And then went to my mothers to discover she had had a fall, had been on the floor for at least 5 hours, so spent the rest of the day with paramedics and physios, doctors and nurses. And have left her in the hospital. She is mostly ok, but they just want to keep an eye on her.

    So got home about 10.30 and bought KFC on my way home (lift with brother in law because I do not drive), but me old ma paid for it, so that's ok.....:A:A

    Firstly, sorry to hear about your Mum - that must have been a heck of a shock to walk in and find. Hope she's OK.

    On the subject at hand however - remember that feeling of sheer terror. Remember QUITE how scared you've been. When you're tempted to spend outside of your budget, remind yourself how that felt, and why you never want to be back there again.

    On the subject of budgets - have you got one? Could I suggest a couple of useful tools for you perhaps - the first is to post your SOA in here - firstly so that we can take a look, and see if there is anywhere you can make savings that you may have missed, and secondly, and to some extent more importantly, so that you have it written down in black and white - you are accountable to it then, and should you stray, you have to admit to yourself that it's happened, and why. And yes, I do mean to yourself - the fact that it would be public, on here, is actually less important than you learning a sense of responsibility to yourself. I'm also going to suggest a spending diary - so you can track where the odds and ends are going.

    Misty talks a lot of sense above - think about your long term objectives and what you want from your life, and put steps in place to make that happen.

    Good luck! :T
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  • So today I have posted my paperwork off to SC.

    In addition, last year I was part of the lottery syndicate in work. So paid in £104, and yesterday received my share of the winnings - £15.00. I have decided not to take part next year. And invested in a pair of 10mm knitting needles (£3.80) so I can knit a chunky scarf for my sister for Christmas, with chunky wool/yarn I already had.
  • CP2016CP2016 Forumite
    105 Posts
    Good job on getting the paperwork sent GG2. There's sure to be a wobble or two at the start but I'm sure it will settle down and you'll be able to get on with getting debt free.
    “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
    Wiliam Morris
  • MistyMountainTopMistyMountainTop Forumite
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    I'm glad your mother is ok, it's always so scary when something happens to a parent!

    Good on you for getting the paperwork sorted. Once I had done mine and the phone calls stopped, I realised just how stressed I had been whenever the phone rang! I had stopped answering it which was probably not the right thing to do, but I didn't feel able to face the bullies on the end of the line. Now I am much stronger and if someone does call, I don't let them intimidate me. I laughed at someone who was demanding money a while back - it's not that I wasn't taking the situation seriously but I asked them if I had no money, exactly what was I going to pay them with? They put the phone down quickly after that...

    I stopped buying lottery tickets as well. Every now and again I check my numbers to see what I could have won - a dangerous game but my curiosity can get the better of me. Over the last year I would have paid £104 and won £20. Not a very good return on my money. There is still a part of me thinking I could be missing out, but that's what sells tickets.

    The knitting needles were a good investment, and you'll be able to use them over and over. I don't know how often you knit but if you decide to buy more needles, it's worth checking in the charity shops. I often see very good quality needles going for as little as 10p.
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