Positive stories about debt and improving self-esteem

in Debt-Free Wannabe
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  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
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    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 :)

    Thanks so much, I'll definitely be checking out the debt free diaries - and maybe think about keeping my own, it sounds like it's really helped some people. It's true that a lot of people are living on credit 'behind the scenes' and we just don't see it or talk about it enough. Time and practice will help me remember this I think. 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)

  • OnebrokeladyOnebrokelady Forumite
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    Naomim said:
    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 
    I have actually told my close friends all about my situation. I felt it would be easier that way, not one of them have judged me ( to my face anyway ) and two have said they were proud of me for doing something about it and also having the guts to be honest about my situation, they will arrange nights out for times as close to payday or just after and they know if I say I can't afford it that I won't go. I thought invitations might dry up if they kept asking me out as I just made excuses,this way they know if I can included it in the months budget I will go and if I can't it's nothing to do with not wanting to go out but to do with my  money, whenever we go out it's usually for a meal and we always try and find a special offer so it's a cheap night out, none of my close friends are rolling in it so they like a bargain 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
  • OnebrokeladyOnebrokelady Forumite
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    seventh88 said:
    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
    I think a lot of shopping for me is the thrill of the chase, I decide I need something and I am consumed with that need until I have it in my possession then !!!!!! the need is gone and I am full of regret. I'm now trying to channel that need into saving money and it's working quite well,I now don't want to spend unless I really can't avoid it, I saved up for Christmas last year and I really struggled to start spending the money on actually presents. I have an emergency fund but I really don't like to use it for anything and if I do I try to replace the money I've used straight away. I like seeing that lump of money just sitting there, two years ago it would be gone now. I currently want  new flooring in the communal areas of my house and my emergency fund would cover the cost of it right now, two years ago I would have just used that money and worried about it after. I am saving for flooring which will take a while but if it's worth doing it's worth saving for first 
    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
  • ThatKissThatKiss Forumite
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    The big thing for me was the feeling of always being "skint" because I had debt hanging over me, despite not struggling for cash on a month-to-month basis, and treating myself to new clothes or whatever pretty regularly - I'd never been a saver!

    I probably didn't look skint to anyone looking at me and my lifestyle, but I certainly felt it. I was paying minimum payments and kind of bumbling along, at one stage thinking I'd had my lightbulb moment and putting more into paying off the debt as a result. After a year I'd only knocked off about £1k so clearly that wasn't working. I resolved to not transfer anymore balances and increased my payments massively from what I could comfortably afford to an amount that gave a real feeling of discomfort. Best thing I ever did.

    Now I really was skint and feared running out of cash on a monthly basis. I learned to say no to social events even under pressure and told my friends that I was paying down my credit cards. They understood, and as each month went by with a large chunk coming off the balances, it felt like a load lifted.

    The cards were finally paid off earlier this year but I'm not out of the woods yet - the balloon payment on my car is due shortly, and I'll be doing a money transfer to cover some of the cost of that, and then pay it back over the rest of the year - however I have been able to save the rest of the payment in advance which wouldn't have been possible previously, so taking the steps to pay down debt when I did has already literally paid off, and means I'll be completely debt-free (mortgage apart) by the end of 2020.

    I now feel in complete control of my finances for the first time. Come year end I won't owe anything and know that I am now capable of being a saver. I can plan my spends and now have the patience to hold off until I can actually afford things in advance rather than paying on card and scrambling to pay it back - and if I do use credit it's in a planned and controlled way. Most importantly I know that going forward I won't be scrambling to pay annual bills like car insurance etc as the money will be sat there in advance, which in turn means the perpetual feeling of being "skint" has largely gone.
  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
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    I thought invitations might dry up if they kept asking me out as I just made excuses,this way they know if I can included it in the months budget I will go and if I can't it's nothing to do with not wanting to go out but to do with my  money
    Really great to hear your friends have been so understanding of this, and that you've found a way to budget for some joy whilst still saving and saying 'no' sometimes too. I think it's important to let yourself have 'something' if you can, because I find (for myself) that there's a bounce back effect if I don't. like if I say no I'm not going to go on any nights out, I would end up having a massive splurge on three or something, whereas if I just plan a cheaper one in, it's better to 'let myself' if that makes sense.

     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
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    I saved up for Christmas last year and I really struggled to start spending the money on actually presents. 
    Ha ha ha this is brilliant!!! What a turn around!! I hope to be able to say the same too! I agree with the short term on spending things...I get a buzz and then it's gone after a while, and you just want the next next thing...there will always be 'something' and you'll never be done. It helps me when I try and spread things out and just buy one great (but small!) thing that I love and wait a while before the next one.

     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
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    I now feel in complete control of my finances for the first time. Come year end I won't owe anything and know that I am now capable of being a saver.
    What a fantastic feeling that must be!! Well done you!! Really positive to hear that you were able to make the switch from spending to saving - and you sound so much more on top of things.

    I'm in that stage now - trying to make large payments each month to clear my debt and just not spending much else at all. That's the thing that make me feel so 'skint' - there is just so little to play with once I've done the debt payments - but like you say, it's temporary, and once you work at it - it does pass.

    Hope I can be saying the same as you in time!

     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)

  • ThatKissThatKiss Forumite
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    seventh88 said:
    I'm in that stage now - trying to make large payments each month to clear my debt and just not spending much else at all. That's the thing that make me feel so 'skint' - there is just so little to play with once I've done the debt payments - but like you say, it's temporary, and once you work at it - it does pass.
    The one thing I worry about is whether it's gone too far the other way - whether I now feel guilty about spending anything excess so try to avoid it, but at the moment I'm putting that down to the savings I'm making for the balloon payment as everything I spend now is more I'll have to pay back later if that makes sense. Then again, I guess it becomes a natural pause before spending money which can only be a good thing.
  • MajoggyMajoggy Forumite
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    I've been in some form of debt one way or the other since my first year at University. When I graduated I had 5k of CC debt. Years later it had become 10k. All to do with gambling.

    3 years ago I had enough. I've been working 6/7 days trying to clear it, as well as save money towards a house deposit. A few months I paid off the last of my debt and we should be completing on our first flat at the end of a month.

    In many ways I was lucky. Getting on top of my gambling is different from having to constantly borrow to keep food on the table. I was young enough (29) to be able to turn things around and unlearn behaviours relatively quickly. I don't have any kids. But the things that made the biggest different for me was - living by spreadsheets and making a plan. I have a totally different relationship with money now and I am proud of myself for digging myself out of debt.
  • seventh88seventh88 Forumite
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    ThatKiss said:
    The one thing I worry about is whether it's gone too far the other way - whether I now feel guilty about spending anything excess so try to avoid it, but at the moment I'm putting that down to the savings I'm making for the balloon payment as everything I spend now is more I'll have to pay back later if that makes sense. Then again, I guess it becomes a natural pause before spending money which can only be a good thing.
    That makes sense. You're doing so well! Thanks for the motivation. x

     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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