Ashamed

edited 10 June 2022 at 9:32AM in Debt-free wannabe
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D1rtyD38tD1rtyD38t Forumite
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edited 10 June 2022 at 9:32AM in Debt-free wannabe
I am an addict and I am addicted to spending.

Just short of £20k debt. 

For 21 years I have gone round in circles from one debt to another. Rescued by family on more than one occasion. But never fully getting over the urge to spend what I don’t have. Creating more debt that I think I can handle. I’m now at the point of you could say no return. 

I was 19 and my Dad who I adored sadly died. He too had suffered from addiction, what you would call a typical addiction- alcoholism. Buying things, lots of them was my way of feeling better.  I spent the next few years going from one debt to another spread accross various high interest rate credit cards and store cards. The debt was getting unmanageable. So the solution was loan to consolidate them.

You would think that I would have stopped at this point. I couldn’t. The urge was always greater. How can you avoid spending? Everywhere you turn there is a shop, another credit card offer on an advert, a shop assistant wanting you to get a store card. So the time came to consolidate my debt once more, another loan to pay of the one I had and to pay off my other credit suppliers. 

When I was 26 I met my husband. The never ending vicious debt circle continued, until one day I admitted what I had been up to. My husband and family were less than impressed. Another loan, this time in mine and my husbands name. Only it wasn’t enough to clear all the debt- I wasn’t honest. But I decided there and then it didn’t matter, I could clear what was left on the credit card myself by the time the loan ends. Wrong.

Since the loan was taken out the debt against my name has tripled and then some. Family losses, relationship issues, the pandemic have all sent me spiralling out of control. Household appliances bought, rooms decorated, furniture bought, fabric for my sewing hobby, holidays paid for all on credit, my credit.  0% money transfers taken advantage of- this was the big thing for me. Sucked in to being able to withdraw cash with no interest for up to 12 months. Then the interest rate rockets when you haven’t paid it off. 

You’ll be asking why, why don’t I ask my husband for half the cost of everything. The simple and honest answer is I was scared, he doesn’t like to spend money, he lives well within his means. It also felt good to be paying for holidays and nice things for us all by myself. It shows I love my husband. This was normal. You love someone you treat them. 

I’ve had a break down and had to seek help from my GP but even once I had settled my spending did not stop again, As I said spending makes me happy. Household appliances bought, rooms decorated, furniture bought, fabric for my sewing hobby, holidays paid for all on credit, my credit.  0% money transfers taken advantage of.

This month it has all changed, fear, heart palpitations and dizzy spells are taking over. Why? I have maxed out two credit cards, and just about my PayPal credit account. I have no options available to me. No one will give me credit or a loan unless it’s secured against the house that’s in mine and my husbands name. I can’t even get anything through updraft! The only option that has been offered to me is an IVA. I can’t go through debt management what will it do to my credit rating? I have cut back in everything I can to keep up and ensure I can still fulfil my obligations to the joint account I have with my husband. Our mortgage is up for renewal in one year and I’m petrified of the consequences because of my spending habit. 

It’s taken 21 years of going from one debt to another and it has finally caught up to me. Most of you will be reading this and perhaps thinking it’s my own fault, I deserve to feel the way I do now and yes you will be right. However this addiction is real, the feeling of euphoria when I spend is real and the downer is real when I realise I have done it again. The shame is real. It’s an addiction I can’t tell my family about I am so ashamed. I’m so scare this could be the end of my marriage and the relationships with family members. 

I haven’t shared my story to get sympathy I know I don’t deserve a great deal. I can’t go on feeling like this. I need a future and my future can not contain debt. No more, no more spending to feel happy. My husband, my family are enough. They are my happy. 

They say money can’t buy you happiness. I have found this out the hard way.

Help! 😭 Am I the only one to be so bloody stupid all the time?


Thanks for reading.

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  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
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    No, we've all done it too in one way or another - it's why we're here. Welcome to the family, this board is very friendly and non judgemental. What's your plan to start getting rid of it then? Once you have a plan you will start to feel better. The "I've been stupid" feeling takes slightly longer to deal with. 
  • D1rtyD38tD1rtyD38t Forumite
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    My plan was to clear my credit cards with a loan from updraft- high interest rate but still lower than what I’m paying on my credit cards. It was my last option. To be honest I don’t have a plan now. I’ve looked at everything and now I’m just stuck. The only way out seems to be an IVA. I really can’t admit what I’ve done to my husband. 

  • edited 10 June 2022 at 8:44AM
    CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
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    edited 10 June 2022 at 8:44AM
    Try posting on the main board (Debt free wannabe) and see what advice they can come up with rather than here on diaries. 

  • D1rtyD38tD1rtyD38t Forumite
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    I just have but it’s been blocked! Ooops! Not my day 😩
  • MisslayedMisslayed Forumite, Senior Ambassador
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    @D1rtyD38t I've asked the forum team to move your post to the Debt Free Wannabe board. Lots of kind, knowledgeable and non-judgemental folk will help you through this. 
    I’m a Senior Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Competition Time, Site Feedback and Marriage, Relationships and Families boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] All views are my own and not the official line of Money Saving Expert.
  • D1rtyD38tD1rtyD38t Forumite
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    Thanks @Misslayed it looks like it has worked. 
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Hi there,

    The starting point is NOT to take another loan. That is the way to more debt.

    The other thing to really get your head round is that this is just debt. How you deal with it depends a lot on your family circumstance and things like whether you have any debts in joint names. But it is manageable.

    Feeling ashamed is a good thing if it motivates you to clear up the problem, and a bad thing if it prevents you sharing your problem, or leads you to push to overcompensate by trying a solution that's not really sustainable.

    You will need advice from a debt charity who can discuss the various options. You'll almost certainly need to tell your husband in time, if only to explain why you aren't splashing out anymore.

    And because the two of you need to work together to develop a sustainable family budget. You could do that anyway in preparation for the sort of economic shocks that are affecting all families?

    We'd suggest you put up a Statement of Affairs; detailing your actual rather than aspirational expenditure, and debt.

    SOA Calculator (lemonfool.co.uk)

    It's one of the things that will be asked for if you use any debt solution. But we can suggest bits you've missed or query sums where you've possibly over or under allowed.

    For free debt advice, contact either : StepchangeNational DebtlineCitizensAdviceBureaux.

    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • edited 10 June 2022 at 10:28AM
    sourcratessourcrates Forumite
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    edited 10 June 2022 at 10:28AM
    Repaying the debt is the easy part, there are numerous solutions available to help you to do that.

    The hard part is to stop yourself from running up the debts again, as all the debt solutions in the world won`t help if you rinse and repeat this harmful behaviour.

    So really, there is no way to sugar coat this, you have to want to get out of this vicious cycle in order for it to work, and it all starts with that SOA posted on here (don`t forget to format for MSE, when prompted).

    Debt remedies are mainly determined by your available disposable income, and your personal circumstances, so if you get the ball rolling, we can advise you on which direction to take.
    Ex MSE Board Guide.

    More than a third of IVA`s fail....fact.
    Could A Debt Relief Order help you ?
    Never pay a fee for a Debt Management Plan.
    For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.
  • D1rtyD38tD1rtyD38t Forumite
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    Thanks all so far, I know I need to tell my husband at some point but I really can’t bring myself to do it at the moment. In my head I’m aiming to get a solution (not another loan) and have the solution work. My debt issue will mean a cut back on everything including family holidays and most things family related- my family will end up being punished because of me. Going to look in to step change. I have been told by one person I have spoke to that getting an IVA won’t impact on my mortgage- she was very keen and said things like just stay with your current mortgage provider and your husband will never know. I looked in to it all further and what she told me was not at all like it says on here. 
  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite
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    D1rtyD38t said:
    Thanks all so far, I know I need to tell my husband at some point but I really can’t bring myself to do it at the moment. In my head I’m aiming to get a solution (not another loan) and have the solution work. My debt issue will mean a cut back on everything including family holidays and most things family related- my family will end up being punished because of me. Going to look in to step change. I have been told by one person I have spoke to that getting an IVA won’t impact on my mortgage- she was very keen and said things like just stay with your current mortgage provider and your husband will never know. I looked in to it all further and what she told me was not at all like it says on here. 
    It is true that no further credit checks are done if you re-mortgage with your current provider, however, an IVA is a form of insolvency, any joint financial products you share with husband, will be affected by that insolvency.

    In year 5 you may be asked to re-mortgage, there will be court paperwork, your arrangement will appear on your credit file, you will also appear on the insolvency register, the man would have to be deaf, dumb and mute, not to realise something was going on, this is not the kind of thing to keep secret from the one who shares your life, as they will find out.

    A better option is to use a form of debt management, wear by you tackle one main debt at a time, and try and settle each for as little as possible, working your way through each debt as and when money allows, that way there will only be defaults on your credit file, not brilliant, but to be expected, no insolvency, no court paperwork, no real hassle, and no real need to tell husband if you don`t want too.
    Ex MSE Board Guide.

    More than a third of IVA`s fail....fact.
    Could A Debt Relief Order help you ?
    Never pay a fee for a Debt Management Plan.
    For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.
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