HELP in drowning and can't see a way out

I don't know if this is the correct place to post as it's my first post, sorry if it is.

I've buried my head in the sand for about 15 years if not longer.

We have been so foolish in the past and I'm so so sick of living so anxious everyday.
To cut a very long story short I have lived with a gambling addiction most of my life, I'm 36 now. I used it as a way to escape my thoughts and past for so long and it's spiralled way out of control.
Luckily after years of trying I have finally battled the addiction and haven't gambled for nearly 1 year but it has taken until now to face the true reality of the debt. I have also quit smoking so I have to give myself a pat on the back for quitting my addictions , I am now mentally ready to face these problems.

My hubby has been my rock but also hasn't helped by burying his head too but we are in this together .
I really don't want to go bankrupt as I would like to buy a house in the future.
My question is will I ever get out of this debt? I'm trying so hard to remain positive but it also hard when I look at all these numbers
Sorry for the long post but it's the 1st time I've ever opened up about it other than my hubby.






Household Information[/b]
Number of adults in household........... 2
Number of children in household......... 2
Number of cars owned.................... 2

Monthly Income Details

Monthly income after tax................ 1200
Partners monthly income after tax....... 2460
Benefits................................ 0
Other income............................ 136
Total monthly income.................... 3796


Monthly Expense Details

Mortgage................................ 0
Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
Rent.................................... 350
Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
Council tax............................. 103
Electricity............................. 65
Gas..................................... 65
Oil..................................... 0
Water rates............................. 44
Telephone (land line)................... 0
Mobile phone............................ 65
TV Licence.............................. 13
Satellite/Cable TV...................... 45
Internet Services....................... 0
Groceries etc. ......................... 280
Clothing................................ 20
Petrol/diesel........................... 200
Road tax................................ 25
Car Insurance........................... 80
Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
Car parking............................. 0
Other travel............................ 0
Childcare/nursery....................... 100
Other child related expenses............ 60
Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 10
Pet insurance/vet bills................. 25
Buildings insurance..................... 0
Contents insurance...................... 12
Life assurance ......................... 0
Other insurance......................... 0
Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0
Haircuts................................ 0
Entertainment........................... 0
Holiday................................. 0
Emergency fund.......................... 0
Overdraft charges....................... 20
Netflix................................. 7.99
Total monthly expenses.................. 1589.99



Assets

Cash.................................... 0
House value (Gross)..................... 0
Shares and bonds........................ 0
Car(s).................................. 6000
Other assets............................ 0
Total Assets............................ 6000


No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


Unsecured Debts
Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
Settee.........................1000......27........0
Loan...........................10000.....250.......0
Tesco card.....................5000......50........0
Hmrc...........................600.......50........0
Virgin card....................5000......100.......0
Barclay card...................15000.....370.......0
Rbs............................2154......35........0
Loan...........................1000......50........0
Mom and dad....................2000......220.......0
Tesco loan.....................8000......272.......0
Very...........................1000......50........0
Virgin card....................5000......100.......0
Total unsecured debts..........55754.....1574......-



Monthly Budget Summary

Total monthly income.................... 3,796
Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,589.99
Available for debt repayments........... 2,206.01
Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 1,574
Amount left after debt repayments....... 632.01


Personal Balance Sheet Summary
Total assets (things you own)........... 6,000
Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
Total Unsecured debt.................... -55,754
Net Assets.............................. -49,754

Replies

  • pidge04pidge04 Forumite
    779 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary
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    I'm so pleased you are here and I hope you find your diary really helpful here. There's lots of great advice given here and other people going through the same or similar things. I can see several big positives - you haven't gambled for a year - that's brilliant! What an achievement. You've quit smoking which shows a lot of determination and willpower which you are now going to apply, I reckon, to reducing your debts. You must be made of strong stuff! Your husband has been your rock and you are in this together - another big positive. GOOD LUCK!
    CC £4,012 left to pay (was £5400).
  • pidge04pidge04 Forumite
    779 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary
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    PS Do you know what the interest rates are for your debts? How would you feel about getting some advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or somewhere like StepChange?
    CC £4,012 left to pay (was £5400).
  • SocajamSocajam Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Looking at your debt, you cannot afford cable/satellite TV or Netflix - 45.00 + 7.99 = 52.99
    It there any way you could reduce the amount you pay on mobile - is that for 2 phones or 1?
    Could you ask your mom/dad if you could take a break and use that money to get get rid of the lowest bills starting with : Hmrc...........................600.00
    With the 220 + 7.99 + 45 + 50 = 322.99 - you could pay off the Hmrc in 2 months.
    Then move to the Settee....1000......27.00 - 322.99 + 27 = 349.99 - the settle is gone in 3 months.
    I know how people prefer the highest amounts first, but if you tackle the lowest, it gives you a feeling that you are finally getting somewhere and ease the pressure a bit.
    Settee.............1000......27.00
    Hmrc................600.......50.00
    Loan............. ..1000......50.00
    Very............ ...1000......50..00

    Total = 177.00 freed up. If your parents are not in dire need for the loan repayment, add the 220 + 177 + 35 = 432.00 and tackle the RBS, which could be paid off in 4-5 months.
    You also need to get rid of overdraft charges, that's another 20.00
    You and your husband if you are not doing so, get moving on taking your lunch to work. Cook enough food and save some for lunch the next day - huge savings here.
    It is going to be a long road, but it is doable with determination. Good luck.
  • Lrc2000Lrc2000 Forumite
    3 Posts
    Thank you so much for your replies
    I feel so relieved to finally talk out, I know it's a long road ahead but I'm absolutely determined to get out of it.
    Thanks pidge04 I appreciate your words of encouragement, not sure the interest amounts and I will contact CAB for advice too.
    Thanks socajam I'm tied into virgin for a while and that does include internet too which my teenager would not do without, when it's up for renew I will see what deals I can get on it. The mobiles is based on our contracts ending next month and that will be for 4 contracts 2 x phone and 2 x sim only which is the cheapest I could find for all 3. I can't really ask his mom and dad as it's is a loan they took out for us very kindly 4 years ago so 1 year left, it was to help us get debt free but I hadn't dealt with my addiction at the time so unfortunately it was pointkess. I will look at the very and HMRC and that will free up £100, worse case is in 1 year time the loan to them finish and a few other things too. Also we both have chances for payrises which will definitely help. He works an hour away from home so he is trying to look at working form home 1or 2 days a week will will save £10 a day with childcare and petrol. I have started the last few weeks to make dinner for work as like you say was costing a fortune but with our head buried didn't realise the impact it was having. I know we can get through it with lots of determination. In 4 years by the time I'm 40 I would like to be debt free. I have quit the biggest thing in my life which is gambling and I know if I can do that, I really can do anything.

    If I did pay off the loans or settle earlier by paying more off do I not get penalised?

    Again thank you for taking the time to reply :)
  • Lrc2000Lrc2000 Forumite
    3 Posts
    What makes me sad is we are on a good wage between us so absolutely should not be in this position , it also makes me so guilty to know it is all my fault. So glad I was able to beat this awful addiction, just wished id done it sooner. Also does anyone know how to take my mind off it? I think about this 24\7, 4am before I got to sleep last night and I think about it all day. I suffer with anxiety which I'm on medication for, I know it's there and I'm sorting it out but I don't want to be reminded of it all day and let it consume my life as I know it will impact my health as I have hashimoto thyroiditus and stress really negatively impacts it.
  • edited 25 April 2019 at 10:30AM
    foxglovesfoxgloves Forumite
    7.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    edited 25 April 2019 at 10:30AM
    Lrc2000 - It might not feel like it at the moment, but there are some positives here. You haven't gambled for a year & you've quite smoking? Well, you can stop beating yourself up right now because those are both very difficult addictions to overcome, so accept a pat on the back for those achievements.
    Another positive is that you have a good monthly income.
    For a while, now that your anti-debt lightbulb has pinged on, you will feel bad that you have got into so much debt despite earning a decent income. I know a bit of that feeling - back in the Spendy Decades, we reached over £30K of debt despite two full time professional salaries. Since our own LBM, & becoming debt-free (apart from our mortgage of course, which was additional to the 30k of consumer debt), our employment sector has been very badly hit by the government's 'austerity' cuts & I took redundancy. Despite this halving our income, we have barely noticed any change to our lifestyle at all. I have mentioned this in my own DFW diary, because it can only mean that back in the Spendy Years, we must have been frittering away the equivalent of my entire salary!! You sort of go through a bit of a shock to the system when you first decide to change. It won't help if, as you say, you also struggle with anxiety. I had a couple of years of that myself many years ago, & I do understand that it can be hard to shut worrying thoughts out of your head. I think you will have to keep telling yourself, out loud if necessary, "I am now on the right path to sort this out". I have just been through an incredibly stressful two years & I did wonder if my anxiety disorder would come back, but it didn't, I know that I have a tendency when stressed to replay worst case scenarios over & over in my head & catastrophize, but I've found that what helps me is to interrupt the intrusive thoughts by telling myself firmly, "I will deal with this when and IF it happens". Not all worries by any means actually come to fruition, so you just make yourself more stressed & unhappy fretting sometimes about what turns out to be very little.
    On a practical note, have a think about your spending, get bank statements out if necessary & think about regular 'money leakages' which can be plugged fairly immediately. For us, the shockers were takeaways (at least one a week), coffee shops (God knows how many a week!) & popping out to buy expensive sandwiches on work days. Can you believe when I worked it out, we were spending about £2000 a year on work lunches because we cba to make packed lunches! We've made pack-up, either sarnies or leftovers or home made soup ever since. Another one for us was grocery shopping. We were spending way too much for just one couple. Now we spend between £50 & £60 a week on our groceries, which includes all cleaning stuff, loo rolls, laundry powder, etc, cat food & basic toiletries such as soap. Our bad habit was to do a 'big shop' (always spent too much) but then to spend even more by popping out to do 'top-up shops' 2 or 3 times a week because we fancied something different or hadn't really planned our shopping list properly. Now we meal plan every week, cook from scratch & make sure our shopping list is a good'un.....all supplies checked first, eat as many meals as possible from what we already have in the freezer, etc. The big things like cutting out unnecessary bills - I've seen people on these forums who are in big debt but pay for both Netflix & Amazon, or a huge TV package or eye-wateringly expensive mobile contracts - cutting those & changing suppliers to get better deals is all important, but the little things all add up too. Every time you make a saving, throw that money at your debt......that's what we did when we were paying everything we owed off. I did all sorts of little things.......£10 worth of 20p pieces saved in a jar? Pay an extra £10 off a credit card. You do a brilliant meal plan & spend £20 less at the supermarket than you budgeted for? Pay it straight off a debt.
    It became a challenge for me. Every extra £ knocked off a debt felt like a £ nearer our debt-free day. You'll find that it becomes a challenge, as your mind-set changes. It won't be easy or quick - that's the huge downside of debt.....it can be racked up pretty quickly & takes a while to pay off.
    The fact that you've knocked smoking & gambling on the head shows you are strong enough to make the right spending choices too.
    I wish you lots of luck,
    F x
    "Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only the moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake".
    Sir Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626 (Philosopher & statesman)
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Board Guide
    12.8K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    The soa needs to be more detailed really and include money for entertainment, presents, emergency fund etc as I guess you do not really have more than £600 spare every month.

    An emergency fund is essential to stop you adding to the credit when you have an unexpected bill.

    You need to put the interest charges in to the soa and include the overdraft. The overdraft is potentially repayable on demand so unless some of those debts are very high interest rates I would tackle that first.

    I don't think bankruptcy is an option as you have 2 cars which you would have to relinquish as they are worth more than £1k each presumably. Also you have an income which does cover the repayments. I think it is sortable but it requires some discipline and strict adherence to a budget by you and your OH.


    There are lots of ways you can save as foxgloves has said but it will be a long hard slog. My suggestion to avoid thinking about this 24/7 is to set a realistic budget. Organise direct debits/standing orders for debts/bills. Start saving into an emergency fund and review either weekly or monthly. Aim for no spend days as much as possible and put things in place to stop you spending (don't take cards with you, make lunches at home, meal plan, budget supermarkets and don't buy anything on impulse). A spending diary is a good tool to stop you spending out. As the debts get repaid the anxiety will cease. Needless to say put things in place to stop you going back to gambling/smoking as these are undoubtedly the source of much of your debt.
    Early retired in December 2017. Debt counsellor for a High Street bank in a previous life.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected]
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