A lifetime of debt, or a lifetime of shame?


First post here and for some reason I feel quite emotional. You see, as I know lots of people experience similar but I feel huge shame. So much shame, it consumes everything about me. 

£24k in debt, divorced, rocky relationship, 2 kids and about 4 stone of ineffective eating habits to overcome a stressful job for the last decade. 

I am so close to applying for bankruptcy but the only thing stopping me is the shame attached to it. I have a Debt Management Plan which is paying off £25 a month! It is going to take me 83 years to pay that off at this rate. So I think to myself, get a second job but this has always been the answer. I have addressed my spending and now keep within my budgets. I actually managed to save £35 towards Christmas last month (a first for me) and I didn't take out credit last Christmas so small steps are being achieved. But when will this end. The constant feeling of judgment from those around me and the sense that I am a complete failure??

Anyway, I don't have any questions right now but I wanted to post something, anything. Mainly, I just wanted to say hi to others who might have some idea of how I feel. 



  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 8,091 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Hi, I think we all understand how you feel.

    You have already made great progress by accepting you have a problem, and doing the right things to turn your financial life around. I'm impressed that you have managed to start savings towards Christmas. I started saving for known future events after I met my partner 11 years ago. Now I can pay everything on time, and have don't have to worry about the cost of Christmas.

    I had £12k of debt plus a £30k mortgage and managed to clear both of them in 10 years or so. I was lucky though, as I had a better paid job, so didn't need to take a second job, although I did think about it. If your job is currently stressful, then adding more work on top is unlikely to make things better for you.

    I am inclined to think that things will change for you - you are likely to get pay rises here and there, and if you do as I did, which was to spend most of any payrise on clearing more debt, and just spend a little bit on myself and my family, you will start to eat away at the debt more quickly. I think it's important that you treat yourself, your partner and your family ocassionally, otherwise what's the point?

    Another thing to realise is that you don't have to make big decisions immediately. You can take time to discuss it with friends and family, and ask for advice here if you need it.

    One of the hardest parts of dealing with debt is that it takes time. We all struggle to keep going  while feeling like we are climbing a mountain and that the summit is never going to come into sight, but it will. Just keep doing the right thing, and you'll get there.  
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • doingitanyway
    doingitanyway Posts: 8,883 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Mortgage-free Glee!
    edited 1 March 2023 at 3:35PM
    A lovely response from @tacpot12 I hope it helped.

    I had £24,000 of debt. I cleared it in 2 years. I had to take an extra job for some of that time. I am/was on a small income and did it solo.It felt insurmountable at the time but it came to an end.

    In answer to your question posed as the title of your thread, the answer is neither. It takes time but you can deal with the debt and be free of it.
    If you have built castles in the air, your work should not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

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