Trans girl in a financial hole looking to juggle my way out.

I need to keep myself honest with what I'm spending, what I'm paying off, what credit I'm using. I got into serious financial trouble maybe 5 years ago, and I'm coming so close to the end of a debt management plan but I've taken out loads of other credit in the mean time and it's becoming unmanageable again. I don't want another DMP, I have had no missed payments on my credit record for around four years and I want to fiercely protect that but with the current cost of living crisis my outgoings are often more than my incomings.

This means that I am still having to use credit, to move around what I'm spending to make sure that I can afford to make payments to everyone. Things will be getting better once my debt management plan ends at the start of next year and I just need to survive until then. So I need to keep careful track of every penny and where it goes. Because otherwise I end up thinking things like 'oh there's still £20 left on this credit card before it hits the limit, I'll just get a takeaway and it's fine.' Clearly it isn't fine.

I am looking for a part time job to help ease this pressure but am having trouble being hired. I need to continue to pay off everything, I need to continue to pay for my medication (am on the waiting list for the NHS gender clinic but this is YEARS long and am having to pay privately in the meantime and I cannot stop this). I am also undergoing laser hair removal for my face, which I feel like I can't stop until it has reached a manageable level, and will shortly be starting vocal training for my voice because hormone therapy sadly does nothing for this. I consider these transition related costs non negotiable as transition is literally saving my life. I appreciate that sounds overly dramatic but this is how important this is to me. 

My plan is to post here as often as possible to track my exact spending. My outgoings aren't the same month to month, as I need to pay for blood tests every third month, need to pay for a prescription the following month, and I get a month off paying for this stuff before it comes round to blood test time again. So it's difficult to work out a debt free date, especially as all my credit cards are still active.

Here is my current list of debts. The tappily debt gets paid off in full as soon as I get paid, and will slowly increase with interest until then. 

Stepchange debts: £834.05
Aqua credit card: £2410.90
Zable credit card: £348.72
Vanquis credit card: £148.98
Post office credit card: £290.56
Ocean credit card: £483.90
Zopa credit card: £385.26
Paypal credit: £899.40
Bamboo loan: £1036.41
Tappily balance: £189.78

Total debt: £7027.96

Here are my outgoings. The credit card payments are estimated as they vary each month.

Internet: £30.00
Phone: £5.50 (I won't have to pay this for around 5 months as I just switched from a much bigger contract and they are taking my final payment off the future payments)
Rent: £625.00
Subscription cost for gender service: £30 (this is awkwardly every four weeks rather than monthly)
Water: £38.00
Gas: £30.00
Electricity: £74.00
Council tax: £126.00
Spotify: £10.00
Pet insurance: £6.00
Flea treatment for cats: £8.00
Laser hair removal for beard hair: £70.00
Debt management plan payment: £166.00
Bamboo loan payment: £69.10
Aqua credit card: £160.00
Zable credit card: £17.50
Vanquis credit card: £15.00
Post office credit card: £15.00
Ocean credit card: £30.00
Zopa credit card: £20.00
Paypal credit: £40.00

Total outgoings: 1585.10

The three monthly blood tests cost approximately £150.00. The medication is around £140 every three months.

My income:

Salary: £1460.00
Additional payment from Dad: £50.00

My Dad wants to pay this to me every month to help with my medication costs, which is amazing. A drop in the ocean but amazing.

So total income: £1510.00

So there is a shortfall each month of £75.10 before I even take into account the tappily balance being taken, or take into account any grocery shopping.

I have applied for universal credit for which it looks like I am eligible for around £26 a month but I'm waiting to hear back about that. 

So this is where I am juggling things about. Paying off credit cards, but then putting other things back on the credit cards to make everything add up. I need to increase my income, and I really do need a part time evening and weekend job. It would solve all of my problems. I have five more payments I think on my debt management plan until that is done and I'll get another £166 every month which solves the shortfall. I shouldn't need too many sessions of laser hair removal before that is fine and sorted (and I don't consider this a luxury I consider this a necessity) but I really want to start vocal coaching with the money saved from that at around the same time that concludes.

The good news is that I have rounded the credit card payments up, so when it comes round to paying them again on payday, they aren't going to be as high as that. But right now there is no room for overpayments.

My current balance in my current account is 0.85p. I have £6.50 in cash in my pocket, and I think I have mostly enough food in the flat to last me until payday, but need a couple of little bits like eggs and dish cloths so that will mostly go on that. 

I appreciate that things are going to be getting worse before they start to get better. But if I monitor things carefully I can try and limit the damage as much as I can until I find a part time job, and the debt management plan is paid off. And of course if I can limit the amount I use these credit cards to the absolute minimum, as those balances reduce the payments will also reduce. My work is also giving us an additional payment of £500 in December to help with the cost of living, and I am praying for the government to give more support although they are dragging their heels on this. 

I want to do everything I can to protect my credit rating. It is terrible right now due to credit utilisation but there have been no missed payments for a long time. I want to avoid any debt solutions that will lead to defaults or anything negative showing on my report. I hope that I can achieve this but I appreciate the difficulties that are ahead of me. 

I will try and post daily if I can to monitor my spending. There will hopefully be a string of no spend days coming up, but then payday will be complicated. Because I have to pay for my medication this month. I also have a pride celebration to go to, but the tickets are already paid for and we are going to drink supermarket drink before we go inside to save money. I also have a birthday at the start of next month and am hoping for a small amount of money from my Dad (usually around £30) which will cover the pride drinks. But I think I might have to cancel my water and electric direct debits this month, and set them up after payday again to give myself the wiggle room for medication costs.

Please wish me BIG luck getting through the next few months and then bringing all this debt DOWN!



  • Hi lovely! 

    Good luck on your debt-free journey. I have subscribed to this thread and look forward to hearing about your updates ❤️ 

  • Yankee24
    Yankee24 Posts: 37
    First Anniversary First Post
    With those non negotiables, get rid of Spotify, pet ins and flea treatment.  Treat them if they get anything. Unpopular opinion, but I am not a fan of animals if you can’t afford them.  Something has to change. 
  • Wishing you loads of luck on your journey! you can do it! 
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 911
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Good luck! That's a tight spot, but your first step is great, laying out all of your outgoings and incomings.

    Two small things that I'm doing.
    First, surveys on Prolific Academic are getting me something like £25-30 per week. There's a waiting list you'll be put on, I was on the list for around 3 weeks.
    And I'm starting bank account switching. Look at Martin's guide. I've set up a new "burner" account with Starling Bank, and have put two of my regular DDs onto that. I'll soon switch that account to one of the banks offering a £100-150 switching bonus, leave that a couple of months and switch again. It's looks a relatively hassle-free way to bring a few quid in 
  • Council Tax £126.

    Do you live alone? If so have you got the single persons discount?

    Is the tax paid over 10 months?  you can ask to pay it over 12 months if it would help.
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • Yeah I live alone but I missed a couple of months payments so now the direct debit is higher even paid over 12 months sadly. I do already have the discount applied unfortunately.
  • Yeah I live alone but I missed a couple of months payments so now the direct debit is higher even paid over 12 months sadly. I do already have the discount applied unfortunately.
    OK Thanks for explaining.
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 911
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    I'd agree that you should probably reconsider Spotify. 
    Also, take a look at your water bill. I live alone, have a meter and pay 15.50 per month for water. If you live alone a meter is almost always cheaper than non-metered water costs. Though I appreciate different regions vary. And I shower rather than take baths.
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