It begins today..

in Debt free diaries
20 replies 1.9K views
I’ve been worried about my debt for a while but it’s recently gotten out of control and I’ve had some really low moments. I had another recent set back and it’s given me a massive wake up call that changes need to made and I have to do something about it.

I don’t want to go in to too much detail about how I’ve racked up the debt as I’m very embarrassed and ashamed but I’m hoping writing and updating this will keep me motivated and on the right path. 

It’s all credit card debt and my total today is £32,449.46.

Seeing that number is terrifying and I’m disgusted in myself. 

Because this has all just become a big realisation I’m still in a really down place where I feel so disappointed in myself but I’m trying to see the positive that I’m facing it and want to make the right changes and move forward.

The minimum I’ll be paying each month is £400 but I’m going to try and make savings elsewhere to pay extra bits off aswell as selling old and unused clothes on Vinted. 

I’ve set myself a short term goal to have my debt under £31k by the end of June. I’m hoping setting these little stepping stones will help me. 

Send all the positivity my way please and any hints and tips you have to pay things off or raise extra bits of money will be much appreciated. 

Total Debt March 2023 £32,449.46


  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
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    Don't waste energy and head space being disgusted with yourself, spend the time figuring how you're going to fix it instead. Working out a realistic monthly budget and then sticking to it is a good place to start.  
  • edited 10 March at 9:34PM
    shell16shell16 Forumite
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    edited 10 March at 9:34PM
    Well done on your first post. There is no need to feel disgusted with yourself. You have made the first step which will change your life. Being on here is a real positive. 

    First thing is to complete an SOA if you feel comfortable doing that. There maybe something on there that we can see that would help you.  You also need to set up an emergency fund so that you do not add further to credit, pay minimums on debt until you get your EF together.  Then get your bank statements for the last 3 months to check your spending. Use 3 months worth of figures to complete an accurate budget. Make sure you stick to it. 

    If you can side hustle to generate extra cash to use towards debt payments. Try survey sites, these can be a good source of additional money to pay towards debt. 

    Try to keep motivated and determined and I promise you will get there!

    Good luck
    Shell x
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  • debtfreedreamer23debtfreedreamer23 Forumite
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    I woke up today feeling a little lighter and I think that’s because I shared my story on here.
    I also feel more motivated than ever to get myself out of the situation I’ve put myself in. 

    Just to give you an overview of my credit card mess;
    Halifax 1 £12,029
    Halifax 2 £3244
    MBNA 1 £12,094
    MBNA 2 £400
    Tesco £4662

    All apart from Halifax 2 are interest free, some of Halifax 1 and MBNA 1 are due up on the summer but MBNA 2 is 12 months and Tesco is 18 months. 

    From my post seeking help with my debts, people have advised to throw any extra at Halifax 2 and try to get rid of that asap, which is what I plan on doing.

    Im going to have a good look through my clothes this weekend and see if anything can be sold and also look at some outgoings such as sky and mobile phone to see if any savings can be made anywhere. 

    Wish me luck! 
    Total Debt March 2023 £32,449.46
  • WinterWarriorWinterWarrior Forumite
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    Some debt plans advise on targeting highest interest first and some go for the snowball method, which is hammering the smallest debt first with minimum payments on the rest. Each time you pay one off you then move all your efforts the clearing the next smallest. I like this method as the win of reducing your list is really encouraging. So for instance you could wipe that £400 card off in a month or two, with minimum payments to the rest, then you’d only have 4 to think about, not 5, cut up and cancel the £400 card once it’s clear and start hammering Halifax 2. Have a look at Dave Ramsey and see what you think? He is a bit ‘American and churchy’ and I don’t like how he pushes to combine finances with married couples as that doesn’t always work and is a personal choice, but he does talk sense about paying down debt,
    However you do it, I know you’ll do it well. Extra good luck. 
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  • debtfreedreamer23debtfreedreamer23 Forumite
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    I will take a look thank you! 
    Total Debt March 2023 £32,449.46
  • edited 11 March at 1:58PM
    sparks_2023sparks_2023 Forumite
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    edited 11 March at 1:58PM
    If you are targeting the £400 credit card first ( or the interest baring £3244 card ), perhaps consider a grand gesture of cutting that one card up now.

    That will define it separately from the the other cards - in a sense it will stop being a credit card and will become a target to chip away at.

    I've done this with 2 of my 5 cards and I definitely no longer think of these 2 accounts as credit facilities but as bill accounts that I need to get to zero as soon as I can ( after some other debts are sorted out first ).
  • debtfreedreamer23debtfreedreamer23 Forumite
    18 Posts
    10 Posts
    I think I’m going to target Halifax 2 first. 

    I had a pre planned lunch today and saved my first £20 by not having an alcoholic drink. Paid this straight off the card when I got home. 

    Made myself a note in my phone so I can keep a track of the additional payments I’m making, hopefully all the small bits will add up. 
    Total Debt March 2023 £32,449.46
  • edited 11 March at 3:44PM
    MarticoMartico Forumite
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    edited 11 March at 3:44PM
    Nice start, I'm sure they will add up.
    Each to their own, and whatever works for you, but I agree that's the one to target right now if you've still got 12 months interest free on the 400 one.
  • warby68warby68 Forumite
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    I think I’m going to target Halifax 2 first. 

    I had a pre planned lunch today and saved my first £20 by not having an alcoholic drink. Paid this straight off the card when I got home. 

    Made myself a note in my phone so I can keep a track of the additional payments I’m making, hopefully all the small bits will add up. 
    That's a great idea - when you make a conscious decision to do something which saves money, put that saved money straight to debt and keeping a record should be a good incentive too. £20 here and there soon adds up.

    |I agree that the guilt and disgust do you no good. Its identifying the behaviours, whatever they are, and fixing them. You do need to stay aware of them to keep on track but leave the beating yourself up behind.New life ahead - good luck
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Ambassador
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    Glad to see you have started a diary as you will get some great support on here from people in the same position.  All the little savings make a difference so you have made a good start. The amount is high but hopefully that has given you the push to change your spending habits.  As Halifax 2 is the only one you are paying interest on I think it is sensible to push any extra money you have on to that card.  Check out the PAD threads.  Some people are very enterprising on how to make extra savings to clear debt.  Lots seem to do well on survey earnings and selling things is always a good earner.

    I look forward to seeing how you get on. 
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