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So close to debt freedom... preparing for what's next
in Debt free diaries
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I've done some research over lunchtime today on debt-related charities to support so will post that in a moment.
So, which charities are making a difference?
Stepchange do a massive amount, not only advising people but also campaigning. I can't work out how to donate, or if they need or want donations.
Mind would be a good place to support, as the connection between mental health and debt is so strong (Money and mental health | Mind, the mental health charity - help for mental health problems)
I came across the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (Home | Money and Mental Health Policy Institute - a charity founded by Martin Lewis) which does a lot in research and campaigning on these issues. Not clear if they'd value small donations!
There seem to be some brilliant local charities too - such as this one, in Leeds: Money Buddies - Free Debt and Budgeting Advice - Leeds. They look like they give all sorts of help to people, including help writing to creditors... They also have a donate button!
And obviously for moments when people feel really alone with debt (most of us on this forum have been there...), Samaritans are fantastic.
I guess I want to find a balance between supporting charities that actually give advice and support to people struggling with debt, charities that research into the effects of debt, and charities that campaign on behalf of people in debt (some of these do all three). I'd be really interested to know if anyone had any thoughts!
Meanwhile, back in my current financial reality, I did a big shop earlier today including some stuff needed for Christmas, and aced the vouchers/discount! So I went under budget and have transferred £7.20 to my credit card!
Credit Card 2 - £13,481.47 £12,985
Total debt - £19,731.46 £17,885
Emergency fund £930
it is really nice to read how you are structuring your time and thoughts, post-debt!
Thinking about your aims and objectives post debt is a good idea. Saving is an obvious one. We rarely took on debt even in our twenties (except for a mortgage) due to an aversion to it probably because of my occupation at the time (mortgage arrears counsellor for a high street bank) so always used a formula of all spare money being split into short term savings for holidays, household good replacement etc, medium term savings for new car, home improvements or long haul holiday and long term savings for early retirement and paying off mortgage and helping our children through university and on to housing ladder. Thinking about how much spare money you will have when the debt is gone and planning for the future can be as rewarding if not more so as clearing debt. What you don’t want to do is to up spending mindlessly just because your budget won’t be as tight.
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Save £12k in 2023 Challenge #8 £12,000/£7500
The 365 day 1p Challenge 2023 #1 £667.95.00/£205.00
The 365 £1 a day Challenge for Christmas 2023 #43 £1000/£600
Ethical investing looks hugely complex... but if I have the sense that my money is doing something good in the world while I save and invest (not funding damage to the environment - and also not profiting from other people struggling with debt!) that would be amazing. Anyway, I've got three or four months to figure this out!
And I look forward to cheering you on as you head into freedom from debt! I honestly can't believe I've reached this point, but if I can, you can!
In time, I could really imagine volunteering with the CAB or an equivalent. I'm not quite there yet - too caught up with my own stuff still. I really want to make something meaningful out of my experience and my journey. When I'm feeling fed up, I feel frustrated with myself for wasting so much money on debt - it just feels pointless and meaningless. But if I can bring something to others, then that gives it all a bit of meaning.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment!