Positive stories about debt and improving self-esteem

in Debt-Free Wannabe
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  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Hello everyone, thank you so much for all the replies, I really appreciate it.

    It's so good to hear from people who have been in debt and come out the other side - what a great self-esteem boosting moment when that happens.
    It's also great to hear from the people that are still in debt and have a plan to pay it off and are well on track for doing that. It sounds like feeling in control is really contributing to feeling better about debt (having better self-esteem about it) and It's encouraging to hear that paying off debt can feel like a game, can be made fun, in a way.
    I'm hearing themes of 'be organised/make a plan'; 'keep going'; 'focus/be grateful for what you do have'. These three things are going to be my mantras!! Thank you all for these.

    I'm going to look through the Debt Free Roll of Honour (posted above - thanks taff) but if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you all as well...
    ...How do you deal with feelings of low self-esteem/failure, in the moment (whilst you're working through the debt)? So you've got your plan, you're paying it off, but then a friend asks you to go out (and you have to say no), a family member tells you about their really expensive holiday (you're pleased for them, but also sad you will never be able to afford that etc)... how do you cope day-to-day with feeling like the odd one out because you're in debt? How do you cope with feeling like a failure and with people 'getting' that you just can't do x or y? I'm trying to tell myself that my personal worth isn't defined by my bank account...that I'm a human being and we're all equal. But it doesn't feel like that. It feels like people with money are 'better' than me.

    Does it come with time and pracitce? Should I do more focusing on what I can be grateful for (I write a daily grateful list, but maybe I need to write one twice a day!!).
    Thank you for all your help.
    Sx




     Debt = £8017/£8017 (100% paid - cleared 26th August 2020) Boiler Fund = £2500/£2500 (100% saved - 26th August 2021)Emergency fund = £0/£2000 | 3 months bills cover = £1500/£3600 (42% saved) | Mortgage  = £127352/£132,469.00 (3.86% paid)

  • OnebrokeladyOnebrokelady Forumite
    5.8K Posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Great topic for a post 😊
    I used to envy the people going on holiday when I couldn't or buying other expensive things that I couldn't until I realised that most of them can't actually afford these things. They are buying them with credit, so although they might look like they are rolling in it the reality is often very different, I have friends who go away a couple of times a year but they pay for it with their credit card and then spend months paying for it afterwards, or they have a fancy car but it's bought with credit and they are forever worrying about keeping up with the payments. You can't see this because people rarely share their financial problems,so to you it looks like they are living the dream while you are not

    I am in debt but I'm now paying it off via a DMP which I found out about here. It's given me the ability to slowly pay back why I owe while also having a life. I still get to do something's I like such as horse riding  and I can go for the odd day out or meal so long as I budget for it.I spent years not keeping an eye on my money and felt terrible all the time, I was permanently on edge wondering if I had enough money in the bank to pay my bills. I'm now in control of my finances and it feels really good, I know I still have debt but it's being sorted and I'm no longer overwhelmed by it.

    I started a diary on here to record my journey, it's morphed into just a daily diary of what I get up to with some financial bits thrown in every so often but it keeps me on track. I have learned how my mood affects my spending habits so I know to keep an eye on my mental state. I have learned that after the first fizz of excitement when buying something there is almost always a comedown if it's something I didn't need so shouldn't have bought, knowing this is enough to stop me buying unneeded items in the first place but if I slip up I just return the item in question.

    Ive also learned to value experiences over things, unless something is needed and practically useful I don't buy it ( apart from books 😀but I have a kindle so get free ones or 99p ones ) 
    I'm happy and content now most of the time so far as my self esteem goes. I do suffer with depression which has been a factor in my spending habits but now I know how this affects me I can take action to channel myself into a non spending way of feeling better ,so whereas before I would have gone out and bought some clothes or other item I will now go for a walk or do some gardening or a hobby instead 

    I would definitely recommend reading the Debt Free Roll Of Honour, I read it from the start when I started my DMP and it truely inspired me, also check out some of the diairies because a lot of them are really inspiring too 


    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £4,316 Now Owed = £13,301.77
    Emergency Fund = £1000 Xmas savings = £800
    House Fund = £700
  • Newstart3Newstart3 Forumite
    73 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I'm still in debt, but facing up to it and having a plan, has allowed me to see the bigger picture.  I used to think about the future, as in the next few months. Now I'm thinking of longer term financial planning and buying a house as an investment doesn't seem like a dream any more.  Also it's amazing how self discipline in one part of your life, can also creep into other parts such as work.  I feel so much more focussed thanks to this forum and the support of its members.
    German philosopher, Johann Goethe said;

    "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy,
    The chance to draw back,
    always ineffectiveness.
    Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, 
    There is one elementary truth
    The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
    And endless plans;
    That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
    All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
    A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
    Raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
    Which no one could have dreamed would come their way.
    Whatever you can do or dream you can,
    Begin.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
    Begin it now"
  • NaomimNaomim Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Great topic for a post 😊
    I used to envy the people going on holiday when I couldn't or buying other expensive things that I couldn't until I realised that most of them can't actually afford these things. They are buying them with credit, so although they might look like they are rolling in it the reality is often very different, I have friends who go away a couple of times a year but they pay for it with their credit card and then spend months paying for it afterwards, or they have a fancy car but it's bought with credit and they are forever worrying about keeping up with the payments. You can't see this because people rarely share their financial problems,so to you it looks like they are living the dream while you are not

    I am in debt but I'm now paying it off via a DMP which I found out about here. It's given me the ability to slowly pay back why I owe while also having a life. I still get to do something's I like such as horse riding  and I can go for the odd day out or meal so long as I budget for it.I spent years not keeping an eye on my money and felt terrible all the time, I was permanently on edge wondering if I had enough money in the bank to pay my bills. I'm now in control of my finances and it feels really good, I know I still have debt but it's being sorted and I'm no longer overwhelmed by it.

    I started a diary on here to record my journey, it's morphed into just a daily diary of what I get up to with some financial bits thrown in every so often but it keeps me on track. I have learned how my mood affects my spending habits so I know to keep an eye on my mental state. I have learned that after the first fizz of excitement when buying something there is almost always a comedown if it's something I didn't need so shouldn't have bought, knowing this is enough to stop me buying unneeded items in the first place but if I slip up I just return the item in question.

    Ive also learned to value experiences over things, unless something is needed and practically useful I don't buy it ( apart from books 😀but I have a kindle so get free ones or 99p ones ) 
    I'm happy and content now most of the time so far as my self esteem goes. I do suffer with depression which has been a factor in my spending habits but now I know how this affects me I can take action to channel myself into a non spending way of feeling better ,so whereas before I would have gone out and bought some clothes or other item I will now go for a walk or do some gardening or a hobby instead 

    I would definitely recommend reading the Debt Free Roll Of Honour, I read it from the start when I started my DMP and it truely inspired me, also check out some of the diairies because a lot of them are really inspiring too 


    This ☝️ exactly.  I have a similar post in my diary about being jealous of the school mums who appear to have it all but it wasn't until I started clearing my debt I realised they are probably all using credit too.  It's also true that it's rather taboo for people to talk about their debts. My close friends know I am paying off debt so I now feel comfortable saying, sorry I can't afford to do x,y,z and they respect that. To be honest, most of my friends are in the same position so if we do arrange something we always try to get cheap prices, coupons, discounts.

    Naomim 
    Credit Cards
    NOV 2019 £33,220.42
    Dec 2021 £24,651.53

    Tilly Tidy 2022 Total £0
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
  • delta13delta13 Forumite
    320 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    seventh88 said:
    ...How do you deal with feelings of low self-esteem/failure, in the moment (whilst you're working through the debt)? So you've got your plan, you're paying it off, but then a friend asks you to go out (and you have to say no), a family member tells you about their really expensive holiday (you're pleased for them, but also sad you will never be able to afford that etc)... how do you cope day-to-day with feeling like the odd one out because you're in debt? How do you cope with feeling like a failure and with people 'getting' that you just can't do x or y? I'm trying to tell myself that my personal worth isn't defined by my bank account...that I'm a human being and we're all equal. But it doesn't feel like that. It feels like people with money are 'better' than me.

    Does it come with time and pracitce? Should I do more focusing on what I can be grateful for (I write a daily grateful list, but maybe I need to write one twice a day!!).
    Thank you for all your help.
    Sx
    I was never in a large amount of debt, but was consistently owed around £2k for nearly 5 years and lived in my overdraft since I finished uni. Everytime I chipped away at the debt, something would come up and I would need that money again. It was incredibly demoralising, especially as I was in a low paid job that barely got me in the black (and that would normally only last a few days).
    It's really difficult to be open about money and debt as it's seen as such a taboo subject, but I promise that talking about it really does help and only after being honest to my housemates and friends that it got easier - they then understood why I sometimes said no to parties/ events, or that the reason I would leave early (or join later) would be because I couldn't afford the whole thing. They were incredibly supportive and that honesty meant we could talk about money problems openly thereafter. Like someone mentioned earlier- all those holidays they were going on? Paid for by credit. The lavish nights out on payday? Meant beans on toast for a week before the next one. Talking meant we were in a position to help eachother in little ways when we needed it or whilst we got ourselves on track - cheap dinners at home, movie nights instead of cinema outings, walks in the countryside with picnics rather than pub meals etc.

    The way I got out of debt was a bit drastic - I quit my low paying job when I had nothing else lined up - and whilst it was incredibly hard and scary, looking back I know it was the right thing to do. I was barely surviving on the wage I was getting, the commute was horrible and it was a dead-end job. Quitting without nothing else to fall on was risky but it then meant I had the time to really look for a job I really wanted , and I found one that paid nearly 50% more, was a walkable distance and had career prospects . (FYI I am not advocating anyone doing this. I was lucky and had the support of my friends and housemates to fall back on whilst in the transition period of 3 months - I know not everyone has that)
    I then opened a new current account, with no overdraft facility. My wages got paid in there, and all my direct debits etc transferred to the new account. It's crazy how much having that one account always in the black had a huge effect on my mental wellbeing! Although I still owed the banks money, because it was going into an account that was always in the positive, it felt like it was "my money" that I'd earned rather than "money I owed", and that helped me start to feel good about money again. 
    I also set up a standing order of £5 a week to pay my debts, on top of the minimum I owed. It ensured that the amount I owed was reducing more than just the interest/ fees, and after a couple of months I increased my standing orders to £7.50 a week, then £10 a week etc etc. Seeing the debt in a separate account reduce gradually boosted my confidence and made me even more determined to reduce it.
    Save £12k in 2021 #76 = £10101.96/ £10,000 (101%)
    3-6 month Emergency Fund Challenge #42 = £542/ £5000 (10%)
    SPC14 #41

  • ohdearhowdidthathappenohdearhowdidthathappen Forumite
    999 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    Debt free diaries are always a good read. 
    Also, if you're on insta, look for some of the financial gurus' pages eg Dave Ramsey etc, they always have inspiring stories of people that have paid off tens of thousands.
    If you can, I'd be honest and say 'I'm on a tight budget at the moment, how about doing x,y, z instead'.  With regards to what others are doing, buying etc you'll be in the best position possible to maximise your financial freedom once you're debt free.
    Most people I know living 'better' lifestyles than us are living on credit, which I don't envy.  
    Good luck, hope your debt busting goes well :)
    Debt Dec '18 £45393. Debt free June 2020
    New savings goals: House renovations £10000/£10000 - complete 09/21, FFEF £5000/£10000
  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Great topic for a post 😊
    I used to envy the people going on holiday when I couldn't or buying other expensive things that I couldn't until I realised that most of them can't actually afford these things. They are buying them with credit, so although they might look like they are rolling in it the reality is often very different, I have friends who go away a couple of times a year but they pay for it with their credit card and then spend months paying for it afterwards, or they have a fancy car but it's bought with credit and they are forever worrying about keeping up with the payments. You can't see this because people rarely share their financial problems,so to you it looks like they are living the dream while you are not

    This is such a good point. I must remember this more. People have occasionally said it - I remember a woman at work going on this dream 4 week honeymoon to Australia (I heard her saying a year later they were still paying for it); and another friend who I thought was doing quite well because she was renting out her other house said she has stuff on credit cards and on finance.

    I agree about the fizz of the excitement wearing off after a purchase. Hard to remember when I'm bidding on something I think is 'cheap' on ebay!! But I need to write this down and put it somewhere I can see it! I hear you on depression - I've had that too, it's so tough - a huge well done to you on understanding your mental state more and giving yourself things that will help in the long run (and keep you managing your debt). Well done on all your organisation and your positive spirit. Sx
     Debt = £8017/£8017 (100% paid - cleared 26th August 2020) Boiler Fund = £2500/£2500 (100% saved - 26th August 2021)Emergency fund = £0/£2000 | 3 months bills cover = £1500/£3600 (42% saved) | Mortgage  = £127352/£132,469.00 (3.86% paid)

  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Newstart3 said:
    I'm still in debt, but facing up to it and having a plan, has allowed me to see the bigger picture.  I used to think about the future, as in the next few months. Now I'm thinking of longer term financial planning and buying a house as an investment doesn't seem like a dream any more.  Also it's amazing how self discipline in one part of your life, can also creep into other parts such as work.  I feel so much more focussed thanks to this forum and the support of its members.


    Really encouraging to hear this (that self discipline has crept into other areas of your life and that the forum has helped with this). I agree, I'm already finding it helpful reading posts from others in similar situations. Huge well done on all your financial planning. Sx
     Debt = £8017/£8017 (100% paid - cleared 26th August 2020) Boiler Fund = £2500/£2500 (100% saved - 26th August 2021)Emergency fund = £0/£2000 | 3 months bills cover = £1500/£3600 (42% saved) | Mortgage  = £127352/£132,469.00 (3.86% paid)

  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Naomim said:

    This ☝️ exactly.  I have a similar post in my diary about being jealous of the school mums who appear to have it all but it wasn't until I started clearing my debt I realised they are probably all using credit too.  It's also true that it's rather taboo for people to talk about their debts. My close friends know I am paying off debt so I now feel comfortable saying, sorry I can't afford to do x,y,z and they respect that. To be honest, most of my friends are in the same position so if we do arrange something we always try to get cheap prices, coupons, discounts.

    Naomim 
    Thanks @Naomim, it's good to hear that your friends are supportive and respect what you can and can't do. Most of mine are the same, I just still find it hard saying it - but I guess that will come with time and practice. Thanks for sharing, it's reassuring to hear I'm not the only one who feels jealous of what others can do. Sx

     Debt = £8017/£8017 (100% paid - cleared 26th August 2020) Boiler Fund = £2500/£2500 (100% saved - 26th August 2021)Emergency fund = £0/£2000 | 3 months bills cover = £1500/£3600 (42% saved) | Mortgage  = £127352/£132,469.00 (3.86% paid)

  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    delta13 said:

    It's really difficult to be open about money and debt as it's seen as such a taboo subject, but I promise that talking about it really does help and only after being honest to my housemates and friends that it got easier - they then understood why I sometimes said no to parties/ events, or that the reason I would leave early (or join later) would be because I couldn't afford the whole thing. They were incredibly supportive and that honesty meant we could talk about money problems openly thereafter. Like someone mentioned earlier- all those holidays they were going on? Paid for by credit. The lavish nights out on payday? Meant beans on toast for a week before the next one.
    Thanks @delta13, and well done on what you achieved in clearing your debt - I was in a similar position a few years back in low paid work and just never really getting above the breadline. I've quoted that section above, because it's a really key point I need to remember - as others have said too - so much of what we 'see' other people doing, hasn't been paid for with cash, so much of it is borrowed and they can't afford it.

    It's good to hear how supportive your friends have been and I think with time, I hope, I'll get used to talking about it and saying it. I'm just finding it hard at the moment. Thanks for all your kind words. Sx

     Debt = £8017/£8017 (100% paid - cleared 26th August 2020) Boiler Fund = £2500/£2500 (100% saved - 26th August 2021)Emergency fund = £0/£2000 | 3 months bills cover = £1500/£3600 (42% saved) | Mortgage  = £127352/£132,469.00 (3.86% paid)

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