Now is as good a time as any...

in Debt Free Diaries
10 replies 1.1K views
Hello all

I have enjoyed reading other diaries the last few months but now think it is time I concentrated on my own debts. I have been inspired by the stories on here of how well other people have done but also secretly a bit jealous of these people because they had their lightbulb moment before me :rotfl:

I can't remember the last time I wasn't in debt. There are no excuses, no chain of bad luck, no sudden illness or accident that stopped me from working. I just had the stupid mentality of, it's ok to use the credit card because I can afford to pay it back. So while that might be the case now, after reading some of the diaries on here it hit home to me that somewhere around the corner something could happen that would mean I wouldn't be earning a decent salary so these debts would be like a chain around my neck. My target is to clear the debts and have 6 months of salary saved up. If I get to 6 months, I will then aim for a years salary. After that I'll save for a holiday :)

So as the title says, now is a good a time as any to start clearing my debts. They currently stand at £11,861.26. Eek!! Have not admitted that to anybody, I don't think I even admitted it to myself until recently.

I earn a decent wage so can afford to pay these back but only if I am more sensible with money and cut back on treats and spending for the sake of it. No more takeaways just because I can't be bothered to cook, no more last minute expensive presents for people's birthdays because I've left it too late to even think about looking around for cheaper alternatives. No more accepting every invitation that comes my way. I am the only person who can change the way I handle money, nobody is going to wave a magic wand and sort it all out for me.

I have a store card which is only on £43.10, so I am going to clear that this week and cut up the card. It is for one of my favourite clothes shops but I realise now that if I need a store card to buy the dress/top/jeans I want, then I really can't afford to buy it. Even though it is a tiny debt, if I pay that off this week it will be good enough motivation seeing something at zero.

This week I am also going to find out the interest rates on the other debts to decide which one to tackle first.

So hello diary and anybody reading. I'll be back later this week to update the totals, interest rates and my plan of attack.


  • National_DebtlineNational_Debtline Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    8K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hello Poppet.

    Thank you for sharing your diary with us, I hope it goes well!

    Very best wishes,

    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
  • On the start of my new way of life I have had a cheap weekend. I decided not to go out & just ate food out of the house. I did take a walk on Sunday to get some fresh air & a bit of exercise. Apart from that I didn't do much & have not spent any money.

    I've got the interest rates for all my debts now and was surprised to find that it isn't the catalogue account that is the highest APR, but one of the credit cards. I am going to work out my budget for each month and see if I can make an overpayment this month to make a start.
  • Calling14Calling14 Forumite
    3.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Well you have made a start, it's hard going but sure it will be worth it in the end. Still trying to get there! Good luck with your diary and debt busting.
    LBM 13039 1.1.13 Now £0 Finally Debt Free
    Mortgage free Oct 2019:)
    EFund/savings £19750 10/1/22
  • Thank you Calling. I'm trying my best for sure.

    I had £90 cash on me and my husband gave me £70 this morning. Usually I would keep this in my purse and tell myself it is for emergencies, then waste it all on lunches, magazines and anything else that I convince myself is needed. But today I took it to the bank so will pay that on to the credit card as soon as possible.

    I have written the debt totals on a bright orange post it note and put that note in my purse so now every time I go in my purse to get a card or money out to buy something, the note reminds me of the debts so I have now started questioning all the purchases. I am hoping this will make a difference.:T
  • WelshWooferWelshWoofer Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    The post it note is a great idea - good luck!
  • Thanks Welshwoofer. It is helping, I almost bought something in Next the other day on my account card as I needed a birthday present for somebody. But I saw the post it note, put the bag back, left the shop & racked my brains for another cheaper idea.

    I checked some of my balances today. Most of them have stayed the same amount at the moment but one of the credit cards has decreased now. On 2 of my 3 credit cards I have the minimum payment leaving my account by direct debit and have now set up standing orders for an extra amount to be paid every month. I have set them low for now to see how I get on and will try to increase them or just make extra one off payments if I manage to get any extra money.
  • Good luck Poppet. Try YNAB. It didn't work for me to begin with, but now that I have tried again, it is really saving me money.
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • Well done on making a start. I also like the post it idea.
  • laurag89laurag89 Forumite
    728 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi poppet123,

    Didn't want to read and then leave without wishing you some luck!
    You sound very very similar to me, the expensive presents as a last minute option .... The temptation of buying anything and everything :) especially clothes, have to admit I once had a next account .... It was lethal as I love the place!!!

    Sounds like you have had the same exact lightbulb moment that I had! :) think I will use your post it note idea that is brilliant!!! :)

    I will be subscribing to this so I can follow how you get on!! X
    Total debt to pay: £14,071.41/ Remaining debt: £12,884.12: Amount Paid: £1,187.29

    Survey xmas 2018 savings: £10 / £150
  • claire1aclaire1a Forumite
    106 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'm slowly coming to the light bulb moment. I was getting really great at clearning off my debt but stupidly got another 0% credit card and started sticking my shopping and pertol on this so I could concentrate on my other debts and now theres £800 on it!!!!! :mad: so annoyed with myself!!!

    Hpwever... Have you thought about putting your highest APR debt onto a 0% transfer CC which should allow you more time to pay off the debts without it accumulating anymore interest? Money paid off debt is better then paying on interest!

    Good luck and looking forward to any tips you discover!! :T
    No longer Debt free
    EF - £525.27/£1000 New York £0/£1500
    SCC- £3000 SL overpayment £2500 M+D - £4000
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