Digging My Way Out Of This Mess

Number of adults in household........... 2
Number of children in household......... 
Number of cars owned.................... 1[b]

Monthly Income Details[/b]
Monthly income after tax................ 1950
Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
Benefits................................ 0
Other income............................ 0[b]
Total monthly income.................... 1950[/b][b]

Monthly Expense Details[/b]
Mortgage................................ 0
Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
Rent.................................... 480
Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
Council tax............................. 98
Electricity............................. 250
Gas..................................... 0
Oil..................................... 0
Water rates............................. 50
Telephone (land line)................... 0
Mobile phone............................ 12
TV Licence.............................. 0
Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
Internet Services....................... 45
Groceries etc. ......................... 300
Clothing................................ 100
Petrol/diesel........................... 80
Road tax................................ 27
Car Insurance........................... 20
Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 20
Car parking............................. 0
Other travel............................ 0
Childcare/nursery....................... 0
Other child related expenses............ 0
Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 35
Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
Buildings insurance..................... 0
Contents insurance...................... 10
Life assurance ......................... 0
Other insurance......................... 0
Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0
Haircuts................................ 30
Entertainment........................... 0
Holiday................................. 0
Emergency fund.......................... 0[b]
Total monthly expenses.................. 1557[/b]
[b]

Assets[/b]
Cash.................................... 0
House value (Gross)..................... 0
Shares and bonds........................ 0
Car(s).................................. 750
Other assets............................ 0[b]
Total Assets............................ 750[/b]
[b]
No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts[/b]

[b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
lowell ........................4219......20........0
cabot..........................4707......20........0
link financial ................3005......20........0
dwp ...........................8000......25........0
intrum justicia ...............1600......20........0[b]
Total unsecured debts..........21531.....105.......-  [/b]

[b]
Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
Total monthly income.................... 1,950
Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,557
Available for debt repayments........... 393
Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 105[b]
Amount left after debt repayments....... 288[/b]

[b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
Total assets (things you own)........... 750
Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
Total Unsecured debt.................... -21,531[b]
Net Assets.............................. -20,781[/b]

.......................................................................................................................................................................................

Figures above are about right - ive been on a self managed dmp for nigh on 8 years bringing balances down from 38k at its highest (that didnt include the dwp repayment which raised its head in recent years).  im now settled in an employed position working in financial services (yes irony not lost on me) and it's time to get myself sorted once and for all.  ive been making nominal payments over the years as have been made redundant twice in 5 years and job hopped a lot prior to this year - think 4 jobs in a year for 3 years running so had no sort of security and was loathe to put the payments up. 

debts caused as i kept all of us - my household was 3 of us me, partner and my son who is now grown up and living independently.  i also bankrolled my step kids (grown up with families of their own) when they got in financial trouble.  I got in this mess when mine and partners business failed and I carried on paying for everything as though the flow of money hadnt changed,  money mostly on credit cards plus a bank loan and an overdraft.  have one debt that has been discounted as unenforceable - i do the prove it letter every time the debt is sold on - which has happened multiple times over the years.   partner has clean credit as everything went in my name, he doesnt work but is looking (apparently) is aged 63 so im not holding out much hope that he will get anything.  the spending on kids/ grandkids has stopped completely - my son lives abroad and partners kids dropped us as soon as i stopped being an extension of their bank account.  stuff like petrol and food are put on credit cards which are in partners name and are cleared in full the following month before any interest becomes due.  

current debts stand that only lowell appears on my credit file - the others have dropped off due to how long this has been ongoing.  I get 80% partial settlement offers every few months from Intrum Justicia and plan to take them up on the offer when it comes thru next.  The debt with the dwp has been put onto a payment plan that is reviewed in 12 months time when i want to be in a position to make inroads into it but i need to clear some of the other stuff first

Advise needed as to best plan of action.  - big expenses that i can see coming up.  car is very unlikely to get thru the MOT or may do with a sizeable spend on it - lots of advisory notes last year and that comes due May (so comes out of next months pay packet) or if too much will go onto Credit Card and then ill clear it over the following month. 

Havent cleared these to date - partner wanted me to pay minimum amounts for the rest of my life on them so we have some disposable income/ life and up to now ive allowed that to happen.  My job is secure and im starting to make some commission every month (an extra couple of 100£ pm take home pay. 

My thinking is do the 80% partial settlement when it comes in - should be this month or next
then pick off the others with debt agencies one at a time and try and do partial settlements to get them cleared

yes i know im going to get the OH should be paying / contributing and thats not helpful.  hasnt really happened in the 20+ years ive been with him so not likely to change now and i dont have the effort/ inclination or motivation to try and make him now... 



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Comments

  • adben12
    adben12 Posts: 26 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Just wishing you luck on your journey x
  • Moneywhizz
    Moneywhizz Posts: 459 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    You are right that most people would say you should be getting help for your OH, but if you know that is not likely to happen, then you need to simply plan to pay off this debt the way that suits you. At the very least though, since he is not contributing he really doesn't have the right to advise you how to manage your money, especially when his advice to  not bother paying it off is very unhelpful.  My advice would be to adopt as frugal a lifestyle as you personally are comfortable with to get the debt paid off, whether your OH likes it or not. That may involve cutting back on some things he considers essential but really you are the one earning the money so you should be the one deciding how it is spent. One thing that you should consider is building some kind of emergency fund so that you don't have to use credit when something turns up. Obviously the car situation if the most pressing problem for you to deal with so trying to save something towards that would be your best option. Could you manage without a car in the meantime until you have some money saved?  It might also be a good idea to stop using credit cards altogether, they are not usually the best way of managing your everyday spending. Also you may find you can negotiate with your creditors to get more than an 80% reduction to settle your debts. I believe it is possible to get fairly big discounts. Hope that is not too much information all at once. Keep posting here and you will pick up plenty of tips for getting that debt gone sooner than you think. Good luck.
  • thanks for the suggestions and yes emergency fund is high on list of priorities - set up a standing order last night on the bank account to move across £100 every payday and want to get it up to £1000 and then review again. 

    the credit card use isnt a problem as i say its paid off every month in full so never incrues any interest and thats the only way OH 'contributes' financially so I'm not in a position to turn that away.  

    the car is a necessity - OH has elderly parents that we keep an eye on - both frail and living in their own home so either myself or OH nip over there once a day to make sure they are up and alive/ havent had an accident/ have eaten and so on.  public transport to there would be 2 connecting buses and around 1 hour 20 mins each way so undoable.  only use the car for that and shopping once a week - aldi and lidl all the way here cant remember the last time I stepped foot inside a 'normal' supermarket. 

    as to living as frugally as possible - ive lived like this for as long as me and OH have been together tbh, he's never contributed into the living expenses pot so I have worked to keep the roof above our head and food in our bellies (and not much else besides)  - havent been able to afford a holiday as a 'family' ie as when there were 3 of us living as a unit ever, I refuse to spend £ to take OH away though he hints that we should be able to get the money together to do so - never been on holiday with OH in the whole time we've been together.  Nights out are maybe once/ twice a year - mothers day for his mum (mine died a few years back) and a boxing day do with OH's family.  

    The spend on clothing is ad hoc - i replace what i need when i need it.  i work from home so live in jogging bottoms and a t shirt and OH doesnt get dressed till around lunch time every day so he doesnt get thru many clothes.  

    Groceries I've moved to doing a big cook up once every couple of months where i batch cook and fill the freezer with enough portions to last us for the next 2 months then its just top up shops every week for milk / fruit / veggies / t bags.  i do a list when i go shopping but invariably end up putting extra stuff into the basket.  

    Dental treatment for me is a must - i didnt go to the dentist for nigh on 10 years (wouldnt spend the money on it when my son lived at home) so have major issues that are being put right bit by bit.   The haircut bit is also non negotiable for me - i went almost 6 years without going to a hairdressers again because i wouldnt spend the money - i hacked at it myself/ clippered it all off and rocked a buzz cut and grew it out till i looked like a wild haired loony and i wont return to those days.  this is a bone of contention with OH as he views it as a waste of money but its non negotiable to me. 

    I'm planning to do a civil ceremony with OH - main reason to give me financial security (how romantic eh?)  OH has 2 defined benefit pensions that become payable when he is 65 - income from those alone is c28K and then he has a fully state funded state pension that kicks in the year after.  as it stands if he died tomorrow i would get nothing from these - by doing a civil ceremony i would be entitled to 50% payments for 5 years on his private pensions.  at least it would protect me a bit in my old age.  my personal pension provision is awful - less than 15k in private pension pots and my state pension i need another 3 years NI contributions to be fully funded - ive got another 16 or so years left of my working life so that will be achieved with no issues. 

    when i look at it all in black and white i can see what a mess my life is and how totally one sided it all is (and always has been).  im glad my son got away and built a life for himself and i regret living a life that he went without for.  i also realise that if i dont clear these debts once and for all i will spend the rest of my days on this earth just existing like i have done to date.  I cant do that anymore and its now time to get back straight once and for all. 
  • Hi my two pennies worth is get an emergency fund. Put money aside for car work etc. Once the emergency fund is done I would just enjoy your life and continue to pay the debts as you are. I imagine DWP may become more demanding, but for the others (assuming defaulted) I can't see any benefit to getting them paid off more quickly. Life is short, live it and enjoy it. Good luck on your journey. 
  • LeeXenon
    LeeXenon Posts: 249 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 25 March 2022 at 11:12AM
    Hi there,
    just wanted to say well done for coming along to the forums and good luck on your journey!

    I've just had a little look through the expenses tab and a few things I would do if mine reflected this;

    Internet (Cur: £45/mo) - Now TV are offering £19-£20pcm with £95 cashback from TopCashback on a 24 month contract, is this an option? Alternatively of course use the MSE comparison which may actually have better deals, but this is the one I'm currently eyeing up. Saving £240/yr.

    Clothing (Cur: £100/mo) - Again, not here to dictate how to live your lifestyle, but is this a need or a want? Could apply this to groceries potentially but that's a bit of a tougher one for me to comment on - A reduction to £25; Saving £900/yr.

    Water Rates (Cur: £50/mo) - When we had two in our household, we were paying approx £15-25 pcm, we are in Shropshire currently so from the outside looking in it does appear that you are paying quite a lot. This could just be your local rate, but are you on a meter? Often this works out cheaper.

    With clothing and internet recommendations you would save another £1,140/yr (+£95pcm) that could be used for an emergency fund or debt payments. This is just my outlook and take on your SOA if it were mine.

    Best of luck with your journey.

    EDIT:
    Just saw this in your post
    as to living as frugally as possible - ive lived like this for as long as me and OH have been together tbh, he's never contributed into the living expenses pot so I have worked to keep the roof above our head and food in our bellies

    If your living expenses were shared equally, your expenses would be £778.50, this makes your disposable income £1,171.50. If you were to up your payments to say £800PCM leaving you with £371.50 disposable for leisure, you would clear this in just over two years.

    £30,022.05 debt - Completed it mate! Debt Free 27th June 2023 | Diary

  • but are you on a meter? Often this works out cheaper.

    im not on a meter - thought about it but again listened to OH and didnt do anything about it - I'll contact my provider and see if its easy to arrange.  thank you :smile:
  • just grabbed the bull by the horns and arranged to go onto a meter - even at the top estimate of useage that should save me £23 per month -happy! 
  • Moneywhizz
    Moneywhizz Posts: 459 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    It sounds like you already know what you need to do to get this debt sorted, it is just a case of making up your mind to do that and sticking to your plan regardless what your OH thinks you should do with your money. Ironic that you are the one who has worked and kept things together all these years and he is the one who has a decent pension. Maybe he will finally contribute when he is 65. You should definitely get that civil ceremony sorted. You have a secure and well paying job now so I am sure you can make good progress and get yourself into a good position going forward. Definitely explore reduced full and final settlements. 
  • thanks for the comments and the suggestions - all gratefully received. 

    been to get my hair done - went to a new place and saved £8 from what i normally pay - so thats gone into emergency fund - i officially have an emergency fund for the first time ever in my adult life (does that now make me a 'proper' adult?)  anyway weekend is going to consist of cleaning/ housework, going out for a long walk as I want to make the most of the sun shining and it being quite warm out.  only shopping i need to get is some fruit/ veg and a bottle of milk so should be less than £20 hopefully nearer to the £10 mark. 
  • foxgloves
    foxgloves Posts: 11,074 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited 26 March 2022 at 12:01PM
    It is certainly an amazing feeling finally to have an emergency fund in place after a lifetime without one. I'd half-heartedly tried before the LBM whacked me firmly on the head, but I used it for 'emergencies' like more new boots, trips to the garden centre & tempting offers from upmarket cosmetic counters. My attitude to money is so utterly different from those days (actually over 2 decades of debt) & our emergency fund is now truly left in situe for genuine emergencies. We put money aside for all the foreseeable expenses....car maintenance, clothes, vet, etc.
    It must be difficult tackling the finances on your own. I turned against debt earlier than my partner, but when he saw me making good inroads into clearing my debts, he wanted in on the act & we joined our finances together & began operating as a team. I thought he would see budgeting as something which would prevent him doing things, but he didn't. He agrees with me that it actually facilitates rather than curtails & more importantly, put a stop to our endless borrowing & financing our lackadaisical habits by using the bank's money.
    Sending best wishes for your financial plans.
    F
    "For each of our actions there are only consequences" (James Lovelock)"For in the true nature of things......every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold & silver" (Martin Luther King Jnr)
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