Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    Too scared to work out what I owe - **19/11**
    • #1
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:13 PM
    Too scared to work out what I owe - **19/11** 19th Feb 06 at 8:13 PM
    I know I'm probably not alone in feeling too scared to sit down and work out all my debts but I don't know how to snap out of it.

    I desperately want to make changes to my life, all the usual stuff I gues - buy a place, get married, be able to afford a holiday instead of putting it on a card but I've been buring my head in the sand for so long, I am scared of the total figure once I add it all up. I am scared it will be totally beyond what I ever imagined and that I won't ever be able to re-pay it. To make matters worse, every month my salary goes in and then I am overdrawn within a couple of weeks. Feels like a vicious circle and I can't see how I will ever be able to re-pay anything.

    It doesn't help that my OH is not good with money either and that has led to us having a huge overdraft (not sure how much but I'm guessing about 3,000). Whenever I try to talk to him about us sorting our finances out, we end up arguing. Not blaming each other as such but we just don't agree on how to manage our money.

    I'm sorry for posting such a depressing post. I joined the forum a couple of weeks ago thinking it will help as I have no one I can talk to about money worries but I already feel a failure as I am still not doing what I am supposed to.

    Last edited by moozie; 19-11-2006 at 1:26 PM. Reason: Last update date
    Leason learnt
Page 1
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 19th Feb 06, 8:28 PM
    • 16,770 Posts
    • 110,485 Thanks
    • #2
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:28 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:28 PM
    Well done Moozie, you've taken the first step which is really important.

    Maybe if you started by writing down everyone you owe money to, but don't put in the amount? Then gradually fill in the balnks. then do the same for OH - write down who you know he owes to, then add others, then gradually fill in blanks.

    Hopefully if you an show him what you've done, and come up with suggestions as to how you can manage the debt, it may help him do the same. maybe when he sees the figures it will shock him into being constructive.

    Good luck to both of you.
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = 0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
  • d11wtq
    • #3
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:29 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:29 PM
    I'm in exactly the same boat. I hadn't been paying my bills for around 5 months... hadn't even opened the letters out of pure worry. Once it gets to a certian point it becomes almost impossible to face it.

    Don't ask how I decided to do it but last week I opened a letter because I could see that it was printed on green paper through the little window. It was a letter stating intent to take me to court unless I made an initial payment and set up a standing order. Luckily they accepted a 30 initial payment which I paid online. I still have some arrears I'm unsure of the exact amounts of and how much my creditors will accept monthly but I know it's more than I can handle (Halifax and Egg).

    I joined this forum today to discuss how to sort this out.

    Since I've been discussing my situation in a thread here entitled "Feeling depressed and need advice on reducing payments" I've received some excellent advice. I've also heard about PayPlan who can help me out too.

    Bottom line... you're not alone Talking openly here will make you feel better too. Do work out what you owe though... if you speak with payPlan first you should feel better before you do so because you'll knwo there's someone to help

    All the best of luck with getting back on top of your situation feel free to speak over PM/IM by the way... I'm not an expert but I'm in the same boat.
    • Alleycat
    • By Alleycat 19th Feb 06, 8:34 PM
    • 4,478 Posts
    • 3,695 Thanks
    • #4
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:34 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:34 PM
    I agree with Ali, just take things a step at a time. As you say you are always in the red after only a couple of weeks, you could start by trying to reign in the spending. Start by writing out all your income and outgoings such as food, bills etc. You can post them here and people will help you work on reducing them. Once that is more in control, you will hopefully begin to feel more empowered and can work on the debts.

    I found it helped to have a plan. A spreadsheet with all our outgoings, when they were due etc really helped to make me feel in control rather than the other way around and being controlled by the banks. Once I had that we tackled the debts. Shifting some onto 0% card, getting OH (as he's the one with the not so rubbish credit rating) to swap to lower interest loan. As we had done the budget first, we knew how much our monthly repayments could be.

    Its a wonderful feeling to know that at the end of the month there will be some money left over to spend on stuff. We are actually having a holiday this year!!!

    Anyway, good luck and there are plenty of really helpful and supportive people on this board!
    "I've fallen down a hole" - said in best Monty Python voice-over.
  • magentadreamer
    • #5
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:34 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:34 PM
    Take a deep breath and think of the day you will be debt free, the day you walk into that travel agents and the only reason you put that holiday on the plastic is cos you don't want to walk around town with that much cash in your hand bag!

    What I would do is set aside a time with your OH and get together all your financial stuff together and tot it all up. Then look at every thing else you spend money on -mortgage/rent/council tax gas elec food etc - use the budget planner on here to see what you need to put. You'll need to proritise your debts -eg morgage/rent council tax must be paid. Look at the APR's of all cards etc and target the highest one's first.

    If you're feeling very brave list all your outgoings and incomings on here -you'll be amazed at the help you'll get. Sometimes you can cut back by just swapping over utlities/insurance/ditching Sky etc.
  • dmb37
    • #6
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:34 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:34 PM
    Hi Moozie

    Writing down your debts is very scarey But if you want to do something about them you need to face up to it now !

    Speak to someone who can offer FREE financial advice. You have made the first step...........

    Dawn xx
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
    • skintchick
    • By skintchick 19th Feb 06, 8:46 PM
    • 14,668 Posts
    • 23,339 Thanks
    • #7
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:46 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Feb 06, 8:46 PM
    HI Moozie - don;t be scared. I know it seems frightening, but once you get over the shock of the figure, then you and we can start sorting it all out.

    We're a great community here and between us have so much experience there's nothing we can't sort out!!

    A big hug to you sweetheart cos you are low, and a virtual handhold from me as you work it all out.

    Love and hugs xxx
    DFW Nerd Club member 023...DFD 9.2.2007
    married 21 6 08 Angel babies' birth dates 3.10.08 * 4.3.11 * 11.11.11 * 17.3.12 * 2.7.12 My live baby's birth date 22 7 09 I'm due another baby at the end of July 2014!
    • highguyuk
    • By highguyuk 19th Feb 06, 9:11 PM
    • 2,701 Posts
    • 827 Thanks
    • #8
    • 19th Feb 06, 9:11 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Feb 06, 9:11 PM
    It'll be ok in the end ... have a look at peoples signatures. Everyone is in it together!

  • Old iron balls
    • #9
    • 19th Feb 06, 10:08 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Feb 06, 10:08 PM
    I found the not knowing the worst part.
    Even after it turned out I owed more than I thought, I felt better as I had a figure to look at and a target to work towards.

    Its just something that we all have to do.

    Good luck !
    Debt at highest 16k+
    Debt at lightbulb moment 14,800
    Current debt 6336
    Cleared 4206 in November 05 How ? Bye Bye PPI
  • D&DD
    Hi Moozie well done for posting and welcome to MSE you will find there are a lot of us on here who did the same thing as you so dont be worried noone will judge you,you have taken a very brave step so when you feel ready jump in with both feet and let us know how we can help just have a look at my siggie I knocked a load off my debt since starting on these boards there are some very knowledgable folk here and while I don't know bu**er all about money I can still offer moral support as can a lot of MSErs
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Marketing Manager
    • ceegee
    • By ceegee 20th Feb 06, 9:16 AM
    • 842 Posts
    • 618 Thanks
    First rule of something (?).....know your enemy!! Only when you know what you are up against can you do something about it. It's scary, but when you have totalled it all up then you can work out a solution for tackling it....with lots of help from here, of course! Go on, be brave.....we're here to catch you if it's that shocking that you feel like falling down.
    "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........"
  • kathfisch
    Hi moozie!
    You should be proud of yourself for what you have achieved, you have recognised that there's a problem, joined the forum and asked for help. Those are often the hardest bits!! Give yourself loads of credit for doing those things and just think, working out the total you owe won't be worse than what you've already done. I agree, in fact, that when you know the amount and have a plan in place it is actually a huge weight off your mind. There's no fear like fear of the unknown!!

    If you have lots of unopened letters etc that you can't face, take it one step at a time. Find all the letters, maybe sort them if you know who they're from. Then set aside an evening to make a start. Buy yourself a file and some dividers to keep things in order once they're opened!

    I really can recommend taking a deep breath and facing things. Look through your letters, phone creditors etc, and write down the balance of all your debts (also find out interest rates etc while you're at it). Then write it all down, add up the total and let your reaction be whatever comes naturally. You might feel shocked, scared, angry or even relieved. Whichever, it will pass and you will probably find a lot of motivation to sort out the problem. I say that I recommmend facing the total because it is often the thing that really kicks people into action.

    Best of luck and (((hugs))) from me, let us know how you get on

    Don't stress, relax, let life roll off your backs. Except for death and paying taxes, everything in life is only for now... Avenue Q
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 003 Proud to have become debt free... and striving to keep it that way
  • moozie
    I'm really overwhelmed, thank you
    After posting my very depressing post last night, I literally cried myself to sleep. I know that's not the most constructive thing I could have done but I woke up feeling a little relieved this morning. Your comments really helped me feel less alone in this miserable situation I am in. Thank you.

    On the way to work this morning, I made a list of everyone I owe money to. The list goes like this:

    Barclays account overdraft (don't use this account anymore but overdraft is outstanding, guessing about 500)

    First Direct account overdraft (this is where my salary goes into and is overdrawn a couple of weeks later)

    Barclays joint account overdraft (don't use this account anymore but overdraft is outstanding, guessing about 3,000)

    Alliance & Leicester joint account overdraft (this is where all our bills get paid from and is probably overdrawn now)

    Halifax credit card (on DD for min amount)

    Barclaycard (on DD for min amount)

    Freemans catalogue (pay min amount every month)

    BHS store card

    Sainsburys loan (paid by DD every month)

    Tesco loan (paid by DD every month)

    Looking at this list, even without the amounts I owe, makes me feel even more stupid and more of a failure. But, I will put in the amounts when I get home from work. I just hope I don't give up half way through opening letters and getting all the figures together.

    Also planning to talk to OH tonight. It would really help me to know he's there for me and that he will try to help with the 2 joint accounts. Fingers crossed we won't argue again!

    Thanks for all your support
    Leason learnt
    • loopylass
    • By loopylass 20th Feb 06, 12:29 PM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 601 Thanks
    Hi moozie

    I just want you to know that a problem shared is a problem halved and i know it can be depressing sorting out how much you owe but by taking little steps and talking to others it really does help because your not alone
    good luck i will be thinking of you
    Denice xx
  • D&DD
    Well done Moozie you're doing great! My OH has more of a head in the sand attitude than me so dont worry if he can't help we're all here and some of these guys really know their stuff they'll sort you out and we'll cheer you on all the way
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Marketing Manager
    • Alleycat
    • By Alleycat 20th Feb 06, 12:38 PM
    • 4,478 Posts
    • 3,695 Thanks
    Well done Moozie

    You've made a start which is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Try and take things slowly if you feel yourself starting to panic. Getting your OH involved should take some of the strain off yourself as well.

    I would say the next step would be to start listing what you owe, your current monthly repayments, the date they are due out and what the apr's are. You can then input that into a spreadsheet, either homemade or there are ones lurking on here. I will try and find a link somewhere. Martin's spreadsheet is good, but I found it rather overwhelming and made my own simpler version. Not as detailed but I find it easier to manage.

    Once you have done this you can maybe make a start on your day to day expenses, bills etc. See what if any spare cash you have and where it is currently going.

    Anyway, just thought I would say again
    "I've fallen down a hole" - said in best Monty Python voice-over.
  • kathfisch
    well done on what you have done so far and keep it up!! Let us know when you've got the totals and good luck with talking to your partner about it
    Last edited by kathfisch; 20-02-2006 at 3:22 PM. Reason: spelling!!
    Don't stress, relax, let life roll off your backs. Except for death and paying taxes, everything in life is only for now... Avenue Q
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 003 Proud to have become debt free... and striving to keep it that way
  • in*the*red
    Hi Moozie

    Just look at the progress you've made in less than 24 hours! Imagine what progress you can make from here on now you're taking control!!

    Well done

    • Frugal Fox
    • By Frugal Fox 20th Feb 06, 3:33 PM
    • 964 Posts
    • 1,184 Thanks
    Frugal Fox

    For a start - do not berate yourself. You have said - publicly and thats a huge step! that your finances are in a state. Well done.

    You have begun to list all the 'people' that you owe funds to.

    You have saved masses in the 2 savers club!!!! Clearly you have will power!

    You are amongst friends - true people who have been where you are now, and you will be inspiration for those not yet ready to face their problem.

    Those of us who are 'Debt Free Wannabe's' ALL started somewhere. I started in October 2005. We've all been there, loads of us are still on the way - and a heady few have got there.

    "A simple life freely chosen is a source of strength. Do not be pursuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford." Quaker Faith & Practice 1.02.41
  • southernscouser
    Hi moozie.

    I think maybe the uncertainty and the unknown could be causing you more stress than you realise! When you know what the problem is you can start fixing it, but if you don't know what it is you don't stand a chance!

    Total up everything you owe. Cry if you want, get angry if you want, scream if you want. But then sit down and realise this is the start of a better life!

    We will do all we can to help you work out an action plan and help you get your head round things.

    I remember when I first joined and posted a full SOA (state of affairs). I felt so ashamed you would not believe! Even though no-one knows who you are, what you look like etc, I know it isn't easy but it is the best thing I ever did!

    Have a look at this thread and then postback here and we will advise you as best we can!

    Good luck and remember you aren't alone.

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

87Posts Today

1,155Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Have a great Easter, or a chag sameach to those like me attending Passover seder tomorrow. I?m taking all of next?

  • RT @rowlyc1980: A whopping 18 days off work for only 9 days leave! I?ll have a bit of that please......thanks @MartinSLewis for your crafty?

  • RT @dinokyp: That feeling when you realise that you have 18 days of work and only used 9 days of your annual leave! Thanks @MartinSLewis h?

  • Follow Martin