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    • hopelessand
    • By hopelessand 9th Oct 18, 6:10 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 4Thanks
    hopelessand
    I donít know where to start
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 18, 6:10 PM
    I donít know where to start 9th Oct 18 at 6:10 PM
    This is my first time here so please excuse me if Iím not sure on the etiquette! I could just really do with some help and guidance on what to do, my debts are out of control and I donít know where to start, Iím crying writing this as itís gettung me down so much.

    Iíll explain the background first so you might understand how I got here, Iíve two small children and work full time so essentially Iíve been working to pay childcare costs for nearky 6 years now, this will be reducing from next year when the 30 hours kicks in for my youngest, but at one point I was paying nearky £600 a month on fees, we have no one else who can help with childcare.

    I currently owe about £20,000 across credit cards. The end is in sight as I have a loan which is finishing in December and as mentioned my nursery fees will reduce to approx £100 in April when the 30hours kicks in but at the minute I just feel so down about it all, I canít take my children out on my days off because I have no money and Iím just grumpy with them because itís constantly on my mind.

    If anybody has any words of wisdom I would really appreciate it. Thankyou.
Page 1
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 9th Oct 18, 6:29 PM
    • 1,623 Posts
    • 1,228 Thanks
    Willing2Learn
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 18, 6:29 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 18, 6:29 PM
    hi hopelessand, welcome to the forum

    Firstly, well done on managing your childcare costs with your employment. You have done well to balance the books, while repaying your loan and (hopefully) maintaining at least minimum contractual payments on the cards.


    Why not complete a Statement of Affairs (SOA), so that the good people here on MSE can give targeted support and advice? If you are going to complete your SOA, can you please remember to click on the 'Format for MSE' button at the bottom of the form. Thanks.

    An SOA will also prove beneficial to you, as it is a great tool to help manage and set a workable monthly budget.


    http://www.stoozing.com/calculator/soa.php
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • hopelessand
    • By hopelessand 9th Oct 18, 7:18 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    hopelessand
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 18, 7:18 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 18, 7:18 PM
    Thankyou, I’ve just tried to do that but I couldn’t seem to upload it from my phone, I’ll outline it here anyway.

    Monthly income £1337
    Nursery fees £355
    Wraparound school fees £100
    Sky(includes mine and husbands mobile, internet, landline and tv) £100
    House insurance £16

    My husband and my finances are still separate so he pays all other household bills.
    I currently owe £10000, £4500, £3100, and £2400 on credit cards and pay £240, £120, £115 and £90 as the minimum payments. I’ve never missed a payment on them.
    My loan has two more payments and then is finished so will free up £155 a month.

    The problem I have is I’m making the payments then having to use the cards to live as I have no cash left over.

    My husband doesn’t know the extent of my debt, he is aware there is some but just not how much
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 9th Oct 18, 7:31 PM
    • 1,623 Posts
    • 1,228 Thanks
    Willing2Learn
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 18, 7:31 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 18, 7:31 PM
    Okay. So you are not sharing equal responsibility for childcare costs, Sky and all other household bills? When you are doing the SOA, ideally your budgetary income and expenses need to be shared. Who pays for groceries, haircuts, birthday presents, Christmas presents, holidays, insurance, etc? I would imagine a lot of it gets shared. If you are able to do your SOA on a pc or tablet then it will be really beneficial to you, when planning your 'post-loan' budget.
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • DebtFreeDreams
    • By DebtFreeDreams 9th Oct 18, 7:50 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    DebtFreeDreams
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 18, 7:50 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 18, 7:50 PM
    I don't really have anything to add. I just wanted to give you a hand hold and tell you how amazing you are. I am currently taking a 'career break' as childcare costs are crippling. I actually found out yesterday that they will be offering 30 hours free childcare in my area which means I can go back to work a year earlier than planned. It was such a relief. It's so tough. You either end up back in work and skint or stay at home skint. Those babies are worth every sacrifice though.

    Take every bit of advice you can get and soak up every bit of information you can get your hands on.

    You CAN do this and it WILL get better. Good luck!
    3/9/18 Total Debt: £10,381.41
    7/9/21 Debt Free Goal
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 9th Oct 18, 10:00 PM
    • 7,209 Posts
    • 15,708 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 18, 10:00 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 18, 10:00 PM
    So it appears your salary has been just about enough to pay your debts and cover childcare. Is that how the debt arose?

    Is your credit history ok? Are the credit cards on 0% deals? If not, can you start to move them over?

    Are you in contract with Sky? If not can you negotiate a reduction?

    The positives are that you are about to get £155 back from January when the loan is gone then a further £355 when your DD gets her free hours. That is an extra £510 per month.

    I would use part of the income to pay for whatever you normally pay re food, entertainment, so you can stop using the cards. I would put some of it in an emergency fund and the rest pay off the most expensive debt.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • hopelessand
    • By hopelessand 10th Oct 18, 7:03 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    hopelessand
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 18, 7:03 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 18, 7:03 AM
    The debts arose from when I had two children in nursery, my eldest is in school now so itís dropped a little bit the debts have increased.

    In contract with sky until December, Iíll have to try and negotiate with them then but I doubt I will get it much cheaper as that is for both mobiles, landline, internet and tv.

    Nursery fees will reduce to approx £100 next year, the 30heís is term time only so they average it out so youíre still paying every month.

    I have tried to get a 0% card but was refused, I think itís becayse my credit usage is high, Iíve never missed a payment.
    • hopelessand
    • By hopelessand 10th Oct 18, 7:05 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    hopelessand
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 18, 7:05 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 18, 7:05 AM
    Also I pay at lot less than my husband towards the household, I’m reluctant to join finances as he doesn’t know the extent of my debts plus I don’t want my issues to affect his credit score
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 10th Oct 18, 7:59 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 3,558 Thanks
    fatrab
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 18, 7:59 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 18, 7:59 AM
    Hi and welcome to the forum

    I think one of the first things you need to do is be completely honest with your husband. He must be aware that you're stressing out about this (or at least know something is wrong) and like you say, you're being grumpy with the kids so I'd guess you might be grumpy with him too?

    If he can give you a little financial assistance for a month or 2 it will let you get out of this vicious circle with the credit cards. You need to stop spending on them straight away and I'd say this is your best option.

    Then cut them up. I know it's a hard cycle to break and the thought of not having them seems scary but until you make that decision to break away from them things are never going to change. I have been there. I had £28k on cards at one point (in 2013). I'm down to £3k now on a 0% card for 3 years paying £100 month so it'll be clear at the end of the 0% term.

    If you can get out of this loop now, think how much better things will be once the loan is paid and then the 30hr childcare kicks in!

    Best wishes
    You can have results or excuses, but not both.
    Challenge - be 14 Stone BY XMAS!

    • ExFitty
    • By ExFitty 10th Oct 18, 5:22 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ExFitty
    I am sorry to learn of your current financial position. First you need to be honest with your husband. Second you need to approach a Bank or Building Society about consolidating all your debts at the best possible interest rates, go to Citizens Advice for assistance if necessary. This could bring monthly payments down.
    Third and most important - Enjoy your children. Find free places to take them, relish letting them jump in puddles, climb trees, kick leaves around, build snowmen. This time goes past so quickly and you do not want them to remember 'grumpy' mum. They are still young and will not care whether you spend a fortune on them at Xmas - or just wrap up hand me down & charity shop finds. My kids are at college but we still have a 'tradition of at least one charity shop present for Xmas' usually books, to remind us all of when times were harder
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 10th Oct 18, 6:29 PM
    • 789 Posts
    • 2,089 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Welcome to the forum!

    It seems you may have had your lightbulb moment and the reality of it all has kicked in which may seem scary to you but there is a lot of help an advice available to you.

    I am another who agrees it may be best to open up with your husband about the true extent of your debts, but take your time and think of the best way to approach the subject. I am sure it will be of great relief and like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. He may even help you out for a short period whilst you get back on your feet.

    The credit card cycle is vicious and a hard one to break, it takes a lot of discipline to do this. As a previous poster has suggested, cut them up or put them out of reach (some people choose to freeze them LOL).

    I would advise against trying to consolidate all your debt into one loan. Your credit utilisation is already high and lenders would not be favourable as this. Plus it is quite common that people consolidate their debts and end up using their credit cards again and before they know it, they are back in the vicious cycle once again and attempt further consolidation attempts.

    It is time to address your debt properly and compare it with your income/outgoings and see where savings can be made to go towards your debt repayments.

    If worse comes to worse, it may also be beneficial to contact a debt charity and see what they suggest but I am suggesting this as a last resort i.e. if your minimum payments are clearly more then you can afford so a solution such as a debt management program (DMP) may be one option. However that is yet to be decided, there are pros and cons to every suggestion made. From what you say you are just about making them and haven't missed a payment yet.. but how long can you sustain this for?

    First things, first, complete and accurate budget/statement of affairs listing all your income/outgoings and write down each debt and the interest rate it is occurring along with the minimal payments.
    http://www.stoozing.com/calculator/soa.php

    Next google search for the 'snowball 'calculator method (whats the cost) and list your debts and how much money you are able to pay towards them. This will provide you with a plan of what debt to tackle first whilst paying minimal to others, so on and so forth. This may give you a proper plan of where to head next.

    As you say, one loan is soon to end freeing up other funds that can be thrown towards the debt.

    Now if you still seem to be struggling and can't figure out a way to target these, then contact a charity such as stepchange and seek advice from them. As I touched on earlier you may choose to go through them for a DMP and pay a set amount each month that is spread across all creditors. Yes, you're credit file may be trashed for 6 years but if you set a realistic budget you could pay them off within a set time frame, minus the interest. The question is, do you really see yourself needing credit again, now you have found yourself in this position?

    Another idea is to save up an emergency fund, even if it starts out small at £500, it is there just in case and anything is better then nothing. When you have freed up some funds, you could allocate a set amount towards the debt each month and maybe try to save a little along the way for unexpected costs.

    Those are just a few options.

    The children need your presence, not presents. Once nursery fees become lower, you will have more breathing space regarding funds. You can always reassess your situation at different points along your journey.

    Another useful thing may be to read through some of the DFW diaries on here or the challenges. There are lots of friendly faces around and we are all working towards the same thing.

    Good luck !
    Last edited by Chandelier.; 10-10-2018 at 6:35 PM.

    Chandelier.
    Current Debt: £550.

    Check out my Diary
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 11th Oct 18, 7:27 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 3,558 Thanks
    fatrab
    I'd also advise you not to go for a consolidation loan, it doesn't end well in the majority of cases.
    You can have results or excuses, but not both.
    Challenge - be 14 Stone BY XMAS!

    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 11th Oct 18, 9:57 AM
    • 781 Posts
    • 1,048 Thanks
    anna_1977
    In contract with sky until December, Iíll have to try and negotiate with them then but I doubt I will get it much cheaper as that is for both mobiles, landline, internet and tv.
    .
    Originally posted by hopelessand
    With regards to Sky - cancel the lot and then get x2 SIM only contracts, about £5-10 each I would imagine. BB can be £29 with Bt at the moment and they have great cashback offers and gift card rewards. You don't need the TV, it's a luxury you can't afford at the moment.

    Do try and post an SOA on here, people will point savings out that you may not have thought of.

    I know it's daunting but speak to your husband, you can't carry on like this....

    Good luck
    x
    • Lauralou79
    • By Lauralou79 12th Oct 18, 8:03 AM
    • 250 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    Lauralou79
    Hi welcome to the forum.
    You will receive solid advice from the people here. Please don't use consolidation a lot of us can vouch that it doesn't work, although it sounds like you may have issues obtaining more credit anyway. Contacting debt charities will also help as they can advice the best course of action.
    Good luck but things can improve in time.
    • tealady
    • By tealady 12th Oct 18, 4:43 PM
    • 2,858 Posts
    • 3,504 Thanks
    tealady
    Hi
    Another vote for talking to your husband
    After all they are YOUR children (his and yours) so you need to be working as a team to support them (not just financially).
    I would suggest you find a time to sit down together and work out a joint budget, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up things, just find the cheapest option.
    I would suggest you post an SOA with all your joint income and outgoings so the wonderful peeps on here can help you with how to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer money budget.
    Good luck.
    Proud to be an MSE nerd
    Judge people by their achievements, not by their mistakes
    • Dragonfly1
    • By Dragonfly1 14th Oct 18, 1:59 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Dragonfly1
    With regards to Sky - cancel the lot and then get x2 SIM only contracts, about £5-10 each I would imagine. BB can be £29 with Bt at the moment and they have great cashback offers and gift card rewards. You don't need the TV, it's a luxury you can't afford at the moment.

    Do try and post an SOA on here, people will point savings out that you may not have thought of.

    I know it's daunting but speak to your husband, you can't carry on like this....

    Good luck
    x
    Originally posted by anna_1977

    Just to add to this - Broadband can be had for £13.99 per month at the moment including Line Rental (OneStream). Virgin SIM Only plans often have Flash Sales - Currently £7 for 2GB data.

    2x £7 SIMs
    1x £13.99 Broadband
    =£27.99.

    You can scrap Sky and save £73/month whilst watching Freesat/Freeview which is perfectly adequate.

    Remember you need to give them 30 days notice of leaving. So if your contract ends on 14th December, tell them on 14th November so that you do genuinely stop paying in December.

    I'll leave the rest to the experts on here though Best wishes to you.
    Last edited by Dragonfly1; 14-10-2018 at 2:01 AM.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Oct 18, 8:39 AM
    • 7,209 Posts
    • 15,708 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Spending on the cards is making the problem worse. You need to stop using them for this situation to improve.

    Your husband obviously does not cover everything apart from the things you mention above so what are you spending in addition to the fixed costs? Food, travel costs, children's clothes, entertainment, gifts? If he was paying for everything the debt would be reducing after your eldest got her free hours then started school and obviously it hasn't.

    If you are not financially linked I would look into defaulting and doing a DMP to get the interest frozen. Have you phoned stepchange? Your husband will need to know this though so you need to talk to him. Carrying the burden of childcare costs, especially with 2 is what has got you in this mess and they are his children too so this should have been a joint problem. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • CommuterRevenge
    • By CommuterRevenge 15th Oct 18, 3:45 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    CommuterRevenge
    How are things going?
    I cannot claim any more knowledge than others.
    I had a supportive partner that helped me see the error of my ways, and helped reduce my debt, I hope yours is too.
    As well as the full information that others have requested, I think a couple of quick wins might boost your confidence and make you feel you are making headway.
    1. Did you apply to just one company to consolidate you credit cards or quite a few. If only one, it would be worth trying a couple of others.
    2. Working on the biggest downward, and you look like you have made headway there with child care and credit cards. Maybe Sky? We moved from Sky to Amazon Prime, as when we looked at it, we were spending £60 and still watching mainly BBC, ITV etc. Took a bit of getting used to be but we like the saving money I guess you'll have to tell your husband first.
    4. We now buy our phones. (Wife and son). we've now all got Motorola G5 variations as they come with hardly anything loaded on. My wife broke hers, it was an old Moto G2. She's had it 4 years and it cost £125 new. That is £2.64 per month. THe SIm only with EE is about £14.99 per month. Ive just bought a MotoG5 16GB 3GB M on on Amazon Warehouse for £109, that was labelled as Very good condition. there is not a mark on it that I can see. Down from £143.95 new.
    I'll add more as it progress, I don't want to overwhelm you any more than you are.
    If the starting to sort this out, as someone who has been there, doesn't relieve the stress, then please see your doctor. They can help.
    I wish you every success, and hope you will update us.
    • shiny76
    • By shiny76 15th Oct 18, 4:53 PM
    • 455 Posts
    • 485 Thanks
    shiny76
    Just to add to this - Broadband can be had for £13.99 per month at the moment including Line Rental (OneStream). Virgin SIM Only plans often have Flash Sales - Currently £7 for 2GB data.

    2x £7 SIMs
    1x £13.99 Broadband
    =£27.99.

    You can scrap Sky and save £73/month whilst watching Freesat/Freeview which is perfectly adequate.

    Remember you need to give them 30 days notice of leaving. So if your contract ends on 14th December, tell them on 14th November so that you do genuinely stop paying in December.

    I'll leave the rest to the experts on here though Best wishes to you.
    Originally posted by Dragonfly1
    If you can find the right deals you can achieve 2*sim-only deals (500mins/5000texts/2GB data) + landline + broadband + Sky TV* for £32 - possibly less.

    * obviously excludes any sports/movies packages
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