Money wasting fool, advise needed

Hi all, this is my first post but I have been reading the fine threads of moneysavingexpert for about 1yr, mainly on cheap things to buy!
I have always had some sort of debt and have generally been able to keep on top of things. This said, 10yrs ago I entered a CCCS programme for £3500 as I was 18 and thought companies were giving away money, I quickly found out this was wrong. The debt was paid quite quickly and eventually I was able to start applying for credit again..
Roll forward 10yrs and I have amassed about £20k of debt, partly loans & partly creditcards(i'll post details later), things got bad about 2yrs ago and I turned to drink, having a few cans a night to block out the problem(very bad mistake). Basically my borrowings have always been to repay an existing debt and like a fool I have not always repaid what I expected to and so slowly it has crept up and has now got to the point where my repayments are exeeding my salary and ive just started to miss a couple of payments.
As well as the drinking and care free spending, the fact I moved into rented accomodation with my partner 8mths ago really bumped up my debt as I truely could not afford it but love for my woman came first. She currently does not know how much I owe out, she thinks about £10k, the stress of this and the hurt I dont want to cause her is killing me, on top of this I have a skin problem which gets worse with stress. On top of this the good holidays ive had, have made a big contribution to my spending.

I know im a fool and when I think about how much I actually owe I go into panic mode and think how the hell did I manage it. Advice to anyone with developing debt is sort it out ASAP dont let it control your life.

I have been reading up on solutions, I already know about CCCS from past experience and have been reading about AVI's but dont quite understand them and the link below says there is no cost involved.

My other alternative is colsolidate, but who would want to lend me more money!

I would welcome any advise and am particularly interested in what IVAs are, I am thinking about CCCs as they are a tremendous charity, the only problem there is my auntie works for them for another 5weeks until she has a baby and i'd prefer her not to know incase the shock quickens the birth!

Thanks to all who reply


  • James240
    James240 Posts: 16,387 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    Although i cant help at all im sure there are many Money saving experts out there that are going to be able to help you all the best mate
    Savings Total so far for 2023: £8,062.58
  • Squiffy
    Squiffy Posts: 173 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Well, like you I feared telling my partner.

    But I did it on Saturday morning, and it is a huge weight off my shoulders.

    She was obviously shocked and disappointed, but hasn't blamed me in the slightest. Quite the reverse, her support has been incredible.

    And tackling these debts should be a lot easier now that she is on board and knows that we need to economise.

    It won't do you any good in the long term to keep this a secret. You will find it impossible to tackle the debt if she is unaware of the need to save money, reduce going out, reduce fancy holidays, etc.
  • If you're talking about IVAs (Individual Voluntary Agreements) then I think you'll find fees are always charged. The trick is to use a company that doesn't charge an upfront fee as if you pay an upfront fee and your proposal is rejected :( you won't have lost any money.

    Whichever company you use be prepared to pay several thousands (at least) over the course of your IVA. I think the CCCS and Payplan both recommend Shaws.

    Hope this helps
  • jen_jen_2
    jen_jen_2 Posts: 1,032 Forumite
    an IVA is a form of insolvency - that you dont have enough money coming in to cover whats going out. If you are considering this its because you want to avoid bankruptcy or more specifially one of the consequences of bankruptcy that you will lose an assest, for most people this comes down to their home. as you live in rented accommodation will bankruptcy maybe be a better option. post a few more details here and im sure their will be lots of MSE's to advise. Also CAB offer same service as CCCs if you need to avoid auntie

    The only other 2 things i want to say are
    1. tell your partner you wont be able to keep up payments etc otherwise and she is more likely to help you with the stress rather than add to it
    2. look at why you spend too much and get into debt - will you have this problem again in another 10 years or have you begun to change your attitude towards money and spending (harsh i know) see the Old Stylers for tips.
    Ready to Go Go!
  • Thanks for your comments so far. Below is a guide as to what I owe/spend & what I earn.

    Income month balance
    Salary £1,100

    natwest o/d 0 £1,193
    natwest load 180 £1,878
    natwest cc 25 £413
    citi loan 120 £1,200
    citi cc 70 £2,100
    capital one cc 25 £200
    virgin cc 25 £4,000
    Firstdirect loan 180 £7,000
    Firstdirect od 0 £500
    Egg CC 100 £4,000

    Othere expenses
    Rent/bills to joint acc 300
    Shopping 75
    Dinner at work 60
    Contact lenses 15
    Cataloge(not all mine) 30
    Mobile 45
    Socialising 200

    With all that I would currently need £350 extra to cover the monthly costs.
    The rent/bills actually needs raising slightly, I know i can save on the dinners at work, I receive £80 back a year from ther lenses, the mobile im gonna change the tariff as I can ring from work, use home phone and msn to contact people and yes the socialising could be decreased. I do live out of my means and I know this and have faced upto it, one other thing I need to stop is drinking(im not an everyday drinker now), when under influence bad decisions are made usually costs money! When shopping now we try to bargain hunt, go to the cheaper shops ie Jack Fultons, friends staff shop.

    So from looking at this is there any guidence you nice MSE can give a sinking fool. I am about to ring my bank to see if they can help but failing this im thinking about seeking help from payplan or CCCs.

    Thanks all
  • Doh! they should be 2 columns of figures the monhly 2 the left and outstanding on the right, you can just make it out. I forgot to mention im also learning to drive currently £17.5 per week, my test in july and im also using girlfriends car to learn in.
  • fast_track
    fast_track Posts: 78 Forumite
    With an IVA you would need about £200 surplus income over expediture each moth for creditors to accept the agreement, with payplan you will need about £100pcm for them to help. Otherwise its CAB for smaller monthly amounts or, if you can raise the money for the fee, bankruptcy may well be the option.

    Good luck
  • Hi,

    Firstly you are not alone, the truth is most of us with debt can't even remember half the stuff we've bought or spent it on! I was the ultimate live for today and I know what it feels like to have it all staring you in the face and wanting to forget it - whatever the method.
    I'm no help on the options to take once you can't pay as I haven't been in that position, but you're in the right place as there are many people here that can help with impartial advice.
    As stated in one of your posts above, you know you have to change how you live. I've had to reduce spending on just about everything, but my life isn't worse for it, just different - and it soon feels like habit to spend less (you also value the things you can buy much more).
    Good luck, keep posting x
    Quit smoking 18/08/07
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