Trying to Hide a Secret £20,000 Debt is as Tricky As it Sounds! (:#)

Hi Fellow DFWs and Casual Lurkers with lots of advice! :D

So, I'll try not to make this post too lengthily, but it's difficult to explain how I managed to wrack up £20,000 of debt (not including the car finance or mortgage).

Long story short - I'm a nightmare with money. I'm such a general nightmare that at times in the last 25 officially years as an adult, there have been times when I've slept in my car, moved in with my mum without really telling anyone, including her that that was what I was doing and have on several occassions been at the point of - not being suicidal, but thinking about suicide To be clear, I've never been at the point where suicide has been an option.

Luckily for me, I found someone and got married. He is unaware of this. He knows I'm a nightmare, and he knows I have a couple credit cards. The amount he thinks I owe is around £16,000 short of what it actually is. Now, I'm sure any readers of this post will immediately respond, "TELL HIM!!" So, I'll get this out of the way by saying, I absolutely will not and cannot tell him. The reason I'm here, is because I think I can repay my debt and I'm after some encouragement to get that done and have an outlet so I feel like I'm committing it to it here if that makes sense. 

I had my lightbulb moment on 24th January 2022 when my outgoings are now definitely more that my incomings.

I've been thinking and intending to clear my debt seriously since I got married in 2014. At that time, my debt was about £6,000. So, I thought I'd start crafting and selling to clear this £6,000. £2,000 spent on various supplies, I was then £8,000 in debt and had a load of stuff I couldn't sell!! I had a child, went on maternity leave and starting gambling through the night to pay my debt off.... (genious!!) That could have been really bad!! Fortunitely, I just about came away after 12 months of that about even, so still £8,000 in debt. A fews years later, it had crept up to about £10,000 and I realised I needed to really do something about this persistent debt. I took out a consolidation loan - you know where this is going now don't you?! I paid off the cards and within a few months starting using them for bits and bobs. I discover I have ADHD about this time and so now I understand my impulsive behaviour which at least has stopped me loathing myself and explains why I find it difficult to keep jobs. I'm good at getting jobs though, so I dont't generally have an issue with unemployment, but unfortunitely, I usually get to a crisis point around Autumn and so am out of work for Christmas which means, because I'm starting something new in the New Year, I pile Christmas onto the credit cards that I had cleared thinking I'll pay it off when I'm back to work. That's been 4 Christmases in a row now, so that's where the £20,000 has come from.

Here is my summery:

Total Debt as on 24th January 2022: £20,512.78

I have managed to get it down a bit by paying off my minimum payments, checked for a tax overpayment (got £475!!) saving the change, mystery shopping, spending less on my groceries, and payment off whatever I can, so the current state:

Zopa: £6780
Barclaycard: £6201
Tescobank: £3472
Very: £1423
Next: £657
Fluid: £366

Total: £18899

Using the website What's the Cost, I'm hoping to be paid off by April 2024, but going to commit to December 2024.

Thanks for all the inspiration in sharing your own stories, I have had read quite a few and what some of you have achieved, is incredible.

I'm trying to decide which of these to commit to paying off. Very is a staggering 49.9%, so it should be that, but would I get a boost by clearing Fluid (which is still high at 30.5%) quickly!? The other thought is to pay Very with the cards which are all lower interest, but I've come a cropper to that old chesnut before! 

I'm tackling VERY! They can poke their overpriced catalogue and ridiculous APR. I'm going to Mystery Shop, Complete Surveys and Opinion Polls, and Sell stuff to FREEDOM!

(Wish me luck - I will obviously need it!)

C xx
November 2023

I'm always in it, it's only the depth that varies....

Current debt: £10,806.75
Debt free date April 2025 (though expecting this to come forward)


«13456725

Comments

  • poppy811
    poppy811 Posts: 540 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Sadly no choice here, you have to bite the bullet and tell your husband,  Maybe contact someone like Stepchange so you can present him with a plan.  Best of luck and well done for strarting to tackle this
  • Amber1980
    Amber1980 Posts: 85 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper

    Meant to say you’re not a failure you’re brave for getting this out there x
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,292 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    So, what is your plan for next Christmas?  Because it reads like you need one!
    Good luck - do you still have the craft things? Because selling them as supplies might work.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • CMD79
    CMD79 Posts: 751 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Amber1980 said:
    Here to say hi and good luck!
    You are doing the right thing by taking charge of the debt and only you know your situation and how much you want to share with your husband,I know plenty of people won’t agree with you keeping a certain amount of information from him but you are a grown woman who is capable of knowing what’s best for now,you never know you might decide to tell him at some point when you’re feeling better about things,you sound very low and hard on yourself,it’s so much harder when we are struggling emotionally to feel good about anything,I also struggle with my mental health and have made decisions I have regretted over the years but if you can get yourself into a better place emotionally everything will feel better.
    You haven’t done anything terrible or unfixable,please be kind to yourself and well done on starting the diary, you can do this,one day at a time.
    Sending positive happy thoughts to you 😊😊

    Thank you. Yes, I know that information will be difficult to understand. If I told him, we would get divorced, the house would be sold and I could pay all my debts off overnight. But I'd lose my daughter. 

    Thanks for the positive thoughts xxx
    November 2023

    I'm always in it, it's only the depth that varies....

    Current debt: £10,806.75
    Debt free date April 2025 (though expecting this to come forward)


  • CMD79
    CMD79 Posts: 751 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    poppy811 said:
    Sadly no choice here, you have to bite the bullet and tell your husband,  Maybe contact someone like Stepchange so you can present him with a plan.  Best of luck and well done for strarting to tackle this
    I am going to contact Stepchange, yes. I can't tell him though.  :'(
    November 2023

    I'm always in it, it's only the depth that varies....

    Current debt: £10,806.75
    Debt free date April 2025 (though expecting this to come forward)


Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.1K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards