Forum Home» Debt-Free Wannabe» Debt Free Diaries

LonelyRat's (not so lonely) Road to Riches

New Post Advanced Search

LonelyRat's (not so lonely) Road to Riches

edited 1 May 2018 at 9:19AM in Debt Free Diaries
594 replies 40.8K views
lonelyratlonelyrat Forumite
566 posts
500 Posts Second Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
edited 1 May 2018 at 9:19AM in Debt Free Diaries
Hello everyone :) I have been posting for a few months now over on the general Debt Free Wannabe board but have decided what I'm wanting to do seems more like a Debt Free Diary, so here I am! :o

I started trying to tackle my situation in June with around £7,500 of debt and no clue what to do about it. I made a basic, confused, sort of plan to tackle it and got cracking... I managed to make a tiny dent but wasn't doing particularly much and still felt completely overwhelmed. One night, after a few (read: many) wines, a desperate internet search for "help, debt" brought me here. I began reading through other people's threads and started to get a better idea of what I should be doing (hello snowballing - how had I not heard of you?!). In August I got the balls together to post my first thread. I got some good advice, began to feel more motivated and focused and, above all, started to feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel :)

There are a number of reasons why I want to start this diary. Most importantly I feel like it will help me be more accountable for my actions. I've made a series of poor decisions which have led me to the money mess I'm in now. I need to unlearn bad habits and by writing everything down and checking in a few times a week I'm hoping to start reprogramming myself.

Some general info about me and my life:
I have just turned 27 *shudder* and am partnered up with OH. We have been together a few years and live together with his parents in Bonny Scotland. A few months ago as we used to rent a flat together but really couldn't afford it so we've moved in with his parents to reduce outgoings and get this debt busted with the ultimate aim of saving towards a deposit (something that seemed completely unattainable even just a few months ago). I work in a dead end customer service role at a bank and he is a student who is currently in his last year of study (hallelujah)! :o

Hobbies for me include drinking wine, but I am attempting to cut this down and have gone sober for October. Hopefully I can carry it on indefinitely!

I got paid yesterday so money has been allocated to where it needs to go and here are my most up to date balances:

Current Debt / Debt at first DFW post

Overdraft 1 £950 / £1950
Overdraft 2 £83 / £450
Loan £472.29 / £770
Santander CC £2744.45 / £2770.90
Very BNPL £263.98 / £288.98
Capital One (1) £0 / £404.25
Capital One (2) £0 / £179
Barclaycard £0 / £390

Total Debt £4513.72 / 7203.13

If anyone is interested in my short journey so far it can be found here:
Total Debt : ?? / ??


  • Poor_Single_ladyPoor_Single_lady Forumite
    1.5K posts
    Hello and welcome! :hello:

    Hope the diary helps.
    Please do join the alcohol cutting down thread (whenever you are ready). It is genuinely amazing. xxx
    2017- 5 credit cards plus loan
    Overdraft And 1 credit card paid off.

    2018 plans - reduce debt
  • UncannyScotUncannyScot Forumite
    2K posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Photogenic
    Hello and welcome :D
    Well done on making a good start to your DFW diary.

    Feel free to join in and visit folks diaries on here. You don't have to post about finances and debts all the time either ;)
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
  • HiddenidenityHiddenidenity Forumite
    5.4K posts
    Echo the others :D

    You've made a brilliant start already! :D

    Following from the sidelines to cheer you on x
  • edited 18 October 2017 at 9:02PM
    Rachel24Rachel24 Forumite
    214 posts
    edited 18 October 2017 at 9:02PM
    Following you lonely rat. Good luck in your journey. I’m in bonnie Scotland too!
  • 117pauline117pauline Forumite
    741 posts
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Posts
    Wow, is all I can say.

    You have paid off a significant percentage of your debt by yourself. Your plan might not be perfect but it sounds like you are learning each month.

    Just a few musings from me.....

    Your boyfriend I presume was half responsible for the debt and so should be paying you all the returned deposit! Sorry, that might sound harsh but if you support him then he should be doing the same. I am pleased to read he will pay the £83 DW debt - please take it!

    Your boyfriend's parents sound wonderful. Welcoming and supportive which is great. But as a step parent, can I make a suggestion? Perhaps each month you can make/buy them a special meal to show you appreciate them. I know that means extra spends but will make everyone feel better about the situation.

    SOAs are works in progress as you will learn each month. EH's suggestions are on the button as usual.

    You mention uncertainties in a couple of your posts. Debt makes it worse unfortunately but you have made a fantastic start reducing your debt. Having an Emergency Fund will help reduce your reliance on credit.

    Finally, I think that when you have a bonus or overtime, you should plan in some treats for yourself too. They don't have to be large but you need to feel your hard work is rewarded.

    Good luck with the flight. By the time you are up in the air it will be time to go down again and then you will see your family!!

    I hope you stay within your budget whilst you are away.

    Take care
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
  • lonelyratlonelyrat Forumite
    566 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Hello everyone! Thanks for all the supportive messages - feeling a bit teary if i’m being honest! Overwhelmed but in a good way for once :)

    Having somewhere like this where there is a whole community there to help one another is really uplifting and makes me feel like I’m not alone in this. I think debt can feel so isolating - the logical part of me knows that I’m not alone in it… a quick browse of any number of news websites and there’s regular articles on increasing consumer debt, but it just doesn’t seem real. People don’t talk about it enough I think.I know I haven’t told any of my friends at work about the extent of the mess I got into for a fear of judgement :( SIlly really!

    Hey PSLady! I definitely will head on over, just need to get the guts for it! What originally started out as just a casual wine or two turned into a bit of a dependency. I think I was drinking more to deal with stress but it’s a bit of a vicious cycle really. I spend money on wine because I’m stressed, I’m stressed because I have no money - and round and round we go! It’s been going on for a long while as well so there’s a whole mindset I need to break. October is going good though. No slip ups which is amazing… there was a part of me that really thought I would fail, but I’ve surprised myself! This is why I’m planning on continuing for November and on wards if I can. I don’t want to go back to where I was. I just started reading through your diary… I have to admit I got to page 10 or so then took a bit of a break but I will come back to it! I’m extremely impressed by your dedication. I’m going to endeavour to post with your regularity!

    Hello UncannyScot - love the name! I will definitely be visiting other diaries. I will be subscribing to everyone to cheer them on. Also i’m a bit nosy if I’m being totally honest and I do find reading through what other people are doing/ paying pretty interesting. I’ve been lurking on my commute for a good few months now (ew, that sounds creepier than intended)!
    You don't have to post about finances and debts all the time either ;)

    Bold idea haha! I’m sure I do have other interesting things to talk about so I’ll try and bring some other, more exciting, things to the table. I’ve been so consumed with thinking about this debt… I’m getting less so the more I pay off. I feel with each payment a weight is slightly lifted off my shoulders and I get a bit of myself back. :T

    Hello Hiddenidentities and Rachel24! Thank you for the encouragement! Rachel24 I’m sure I subscribed to you a wee while ago but I don’t think I’ve been getting emails… I think I must have mucked something up with my settings. I will go have a poke around in a bit and see if I can get it sorted. Are you still having luck with Prolific? I only get 1 or 2 surveys every few weeks. They pay well but they’re so few and far between!

    Hiddenidentities well done on beating the gambling! That’s honestly so impressive… I obviously don’t have all the ins and outs but still massive kudos to you! For me it’s all booze, I hope I can be successful in the same way you’ve been. I do wish I had studied something psychology related at University… I’m so interested in how our mind works in getting us addicted to things and how it’s so damned easy for some of us and other people are totally fine. I haven’t read through your thread in it’s entirety yet (7am starts this week have got me knackered) but I shall be fitting you in on the commute ;)
    Total Debt : ?? / ??
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    71.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Happy shiny new diary :)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "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.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • lonelyratlonelyrat Forumite
    566 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    117pauline - thank you for the comments. I appreciate your musings!

    You are right - he was jointly responsible for the debt that’s built up over this year (the loan and OD1 were all me though). He has been helping recently, as soon as he got his first student finance payment he transferred me £200 and he’s given me £350 of the deposit. He would give me more if he had any to spare…. With him having funds coming in each month things are getting a lot easier though and things that once fell on my shoulders (food shops etc.) are now being split which is a lot easier for me. It wasn't until July (when I properly began trying to get this all sorted) that I actually told him the extent of my debt. I hadn’t, necessarily, previously hid it on purpose, it was just something I pushed to the back of my mind and did not discuss. I let it stress me out in secret so he didn’t know how bad our situation was. Once I actually told him the amount, began budgeting and discussing my worries with him he’s been very supportive and he's making changes to his behaviour too.

    He found out he’s getting an additional bursary payment this month as they had miscalculated something so I think some of that will be coming towards me which is exciting. The way I see it is he’s contributed a lot since he’s had money again and things are being split evenly now so I’m happy. I am aware that a lot of frustration came through in my original post but at that point I felt like I was sinking into quicksand and didn’t see any way out. I may have been trying to allocate blame away from myself subconsciously as well. Obviously his lack of income for those months was difficult but if I had taken charge of my finances and budgeted better we could have managed without this mess.

    Oh his parents are the best, most supportive, wonderful people. They treat me like one of the family completely and I feel very, very lucky. With regards to my family it's just me and my Dad so having his big family as well is really lovely. I do want to do more to help them. We are starting to pay the bills for the household but other than that there's not much we can do really (in a few months rent will be getting paid as it’s far too cheeky paying no diggs). His mums got some health problems and his dad is a nurse and works variable shifts so taking them out for a meal wouldn't really be feasible BUT she loves a fruit loaf so stocking up on them may be a solid sign of appreciation! (Just kidding! In all seriousness me and OH will need to have a brainstorm to see what more we can do to give back to them).

    The SOA will be getting done this month for definite. I dug out a budgeting diary I had bought my OH a few christmases ago - never been used, unsurprisingly. This is going to be my go to this month. I will dedicate up to 15 mins when I get home from work on what spends have been done. I need to figure out where the random odd pounds are going and put a stop to it. Once the SOA is done I will welcome peoples feedback!

    With regards to uncertainties I can definitely be a bit of a debbie downer and I have a fair few wobbles. I’m hoping that the reduction in booze will help my mental health. I used to be on SSRI’s but went off them and haven’t been to the doctor in about a year and a half so that’s something I’m planning on working myself up to soon as I do think I need to discuss my mental health. Healthy mind hopefully healthy purse!

    The emergency fund has been started. There’s just 20 quid in it the now but it’s a start and ideally there will be no more emergencies until it’s built up!

    I do plan on doing some overtime this month. In hindsight I should have added that to my list (I just LOVE a list). I think I will take what you said on board and maybe try and treat myself to one or two things (within reason) with a portion of the additional money.

    Thanks for the well wishes with regards to the flight… I will make it through just feeling a wee bit nervy about it. Like you said it’ll be up and down before I know it and I’ve got a book and my OH transferred me £10 so I could pay for window seats - silly I know, but for some reason being at the window makes me feel less stressed out and I am trying (in vain) to justify it as it isnt expensive as the train... that's ok right? RIght?! ;)
    Total Debt : ?? / ??
  • lonelyratlonelyrat Forumite
    566 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    That’s enough of a ramble for now - I promise future posts will be less lengthy

    Hmmm not the best start! God I could ramble for Britain :rotfl:
    Total Debt : ?? / ??
  • Rachel24Rachel24 Forumite
    214 posts
    I’m rubbish at updating my diary lonelyrat so it’s more than likely I just haven’t updated it and that’s why you haven’t updated it. I’m rubbish with mine but I love reading everyone else’s it keeps me going and makes me motivated to not get in more debt. You are doing amazing and with only one income. It’s going the right way Hun xx
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support