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  • FIRST POST
    lihar
    Help - addicted to spending
    • #1
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:08 PM
    Help - addicted to spending 16th Jun 09 at 12:08 PM
    Hi

    I know I'm not alone but I cant stop spending and my credit cards are out of control. I know I need to make this change to my lifestyle and i cannot sleep and feel sick and anxious all the time because all i keep thinking about it the balances i have outstanding. I want to stop and although I am not ready to tell my boyfriend/family/friends, I want to tell someone, someone anonymous who might be able to offer some advice on where to start. I wanted to go to a financial advisor but they cost more money than I'll ever have available and I don't know what to do.

    I'm panicking.

    Can someone logically please tell me where to start? I hope there's hope to get out of this :-(
Page 1
  • epsilondraconis
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:13 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:13 PM
    Hi Lihar, well done for posting on this thread - this will help more than the credit card thread.

    The first thing you will be asked to do on here is to provide a copy of your statement of affairs (SOA). This is basically a list of all of your income and expenditure. People will then be able to give you a lot of support as to how you can reduce your outgoings. See the link below.

    http://www.makesenseofcards.com/soacalc.html

    Good luck - the first step is sometimes the hardest...
    • Tixy
    • By Tixy 16th Jun 09, 12:15 PM
    • 31,062 Posts
    • 39,469 Thanks
    Tixy
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:15 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:15 PM
    Hello Lihar - you can tell us all about it - its much easier to confess all to people you can't see. Plus we have all been in similar situations so you won't get judged on here.

    Do you know how much you owe to everyone? Do you open your letters?

    If not first place to start is to set aside a few hours and collect up all the unopened post & post you havn't dealt with.

    Then get yourself a cuppa and open every letter and sort into piles for each debt.

    Then take a little break (it can be depressing). Once you come back to it sort the piles into date order so you have the most recent statements/threats/demands at the top of each pile (emergency chocolate might be needed at this point)

    Once you have got that info sorted you are in a position to compile a financial statement of affairs. Use this link
    http://www.makesenseofcards.com/soacalc.html
    Complete as much info as possible and choose format for MSE at the bottom of the page and post on to here.

    This is a difficult step but until you know how much you owe and how much you are overspending by then you can't begin to tackle it.

    We will be here to support you and once we see your situation we should be able to offer advise as to how to tackle things (warning -this will probably include cutting up credit cards - but trust me this is liberating!!)

    Pah financial advisers not required when you have the DFWs behind you!

    And the best words of advice DON'T PANIC!!
    Last edited by Tixy; 16-06-2009 at 12:17 PM.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give

    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • lihar
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:54 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:54 PM
    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 337.5
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 52.5
    Electricity............................. 10.5
    Gas..................................... 7
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 12
    Telephone (land line)................... 6
    Mobile phone............................ 90
    TV Licence.............................. 6
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 3.5
    Groceries etc. ......................... 120
    Clothing................................ 200
    Petrol/diesel........................... 325
    Road tax................................ 10.5
    Car Insurance........................... 29
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 20
    Car parking............................. 15
    Other travel............................ 20
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 15
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 18
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 15
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 30
    Haircuts................................ 30
    Entertainment........................... 130
    Holiday................................. 50
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1552.5


    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 162000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 600
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 162600


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts

    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    credit cards...................5400......160.......0
    Total unsecured debts..........5400......160.......-


    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 1,470
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,552.5
    Available for debt repayments........... -82.5
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 160
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -242.5

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 162,600
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -5,400
    Net Assets.............................. 157,200
  • lihar
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:57 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:57 PM
    hope that ive done that correctly. I do open my letters, i only told my dad i needed to borrow some money. He lent me £6000 and i used £2000 i inherited to pay off some other debts. I can pay my dad back min £150 a month. I forgot to add that into my sheet. Im so aware of it all but at the same time burying my head in the sand.

    I had some ideas like getting the train to work and putting my car as a second leisure option. I also thought about a second job but then i realised that will become obvious to people that I'm in debt (ie close family and boyfriend). I actually feel so good just having put that down. But I've a long way to go and just feel dizzy about where to start.

    Thanks so much so far for replying.
  • lihar
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:58 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 09, 12:58 PM
    oh and i used the £6000 to pay off the other 9 credit cards i had and i cut them up immediately. Its just the remaining cards (3 accounts, 1 with a card, 2 i never activated the cards, so they are just amounts which im paying interest on) that I have.
    • Tixy
    • By Tixy 16th Jun 09, 1:06 PM
    • 31,062 Posts
    • 39,469 Thanks
    Tixy
    • #7
    • 16th Jun 09, 1:06 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jun 09, 1:06 PM
    Hi - are these expenses just for you - do you live alone?

    The mobile phone bill is huge - even if you use it loads you should be able to get it cheaper than this - have a look online at the different packages available, you should definatley be able to cut this to £50 if not more.

    Clothing costs - £200 per month is a lot. If you have been spending this amount for sometime then you must have wardrobes full! You really need to cut this right back for a few months (literally only buying essentials) then when you re-instate it aim for say half this amount.

    Petrol is very high (especially compared to other car costs). Is any of this work travel and do you get paid fuel allowance? If its all private then can you reduce the journeys you do at all. Definatley look into the price of travelling by train (look at season tickets) and compare to the fuel cost.

    If you can cut down on your entertainment a little as well you should free up enough money to at least show as breaking even.

    Any chance of earning overtime at your current job? Are you likely to be getting any increases in salary anytime soon?

    You don't seem to have a huge amount of debts you just need to cut back on some of the extra spending whilst you start to clear it.

    Good luck
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give

    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • LabLover
    • #8
    • 16th Jun 09, 1:16 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jun 09, 1:16 PM
    If youre spending that amount of clothes then you should have a wardrobe full. Make yourself a capsule(is that how to spell it ?) wardrobe and sell the rest on e-bay that will give you some cash fast to stick on the most important debts.
    Can you car share ? That way sharing the cost of petrol etc?
    When I was in a bit of debt I thought about getting a second job but the tax man would take most of what I made so it was a bit of a no win situation.I just ebayed all my excess clothes.
    £90!!! for your mobile? can this be reduced if you went else where?
    These are just a few suggestions, youve came to the right place , everyone on here is amazing !!!
    x
    Thanks to MSE for making it possible for me save to buy my new flat , yay !!
    Gorgeous baby boy born 7/7/11
  • Raini
    • #9
    • 16th Jun 09, 1:58 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jun 09, 1:58 PM
    Hello Lihar You really have done the right thing by making a start on tackling your debt There are lots of freindly people on here that will give you good kind advice. It's not clear if you live with your OH or not? But the stress of trying to keep all of this secret appears to be already getting to much & my advice is be honest, even if it's just to your OH for now. Then you need to look at how you can earn more (maybe overtime? or ebay?); what you can save (clothes, petrol,etc) and then snowball & overpay as much as possible and then you need to look at why you're spending. It'll be hard but might help you stay in control in the future.

    Good Luck & Hugs x
    Mortgage: Jun 08 £155300~Repayment Made: £4300~Remaining: Mar 10 £151000
    DFW Nerd 1190
    • mum2one
    • By mum2one 16th Jun 09, 2:09 PM
    • 16,154 Posts
    • 60,024 Thanks
    mum2one
    Just a flying stop, but just wanted to say well done on the 1st step, like anything its always the hardest to take the 1st step.

    I've been exactly in ur position re cards and in all honestly this is the 3rd time I've got in a mess, 1st 2 were smaller debts and my parents bailed me out, this time this relates back to 2002 when I found out I was pregnant, my wages dropped as I went off sick, then ssp, and then depression, (its all on 1st post of my debt free thread), and then hit the credit cards, and know exactly where your coming from.

    I've had 2 lightbulb moments (all comes to must pay off debts), but didnt have the motivation, and did the favourite thing, bury head in the sand, its 3rd and final time, and I wouldnt of been able to do it without the support from people on here and a lot of help, ok my debt free date 2015, but its a goal.

    Will pop back and have a look at ur soa and see if theres any suggestions.

    well done xx
    Tackling the debt free life one day at a time xx
    RIP Dad, - Always love you, - He was 1 in a million xx
  • Burlesque Babe
    glad you hopped over from the CC board

    OK - my thoughts

    Groceries etc. ......................... 120 For how many people? If 2, this is a good figure, if for 1, it can be reduced to well under £100 with meal planning and cooking from scratch. The Old Style board can help you with ideas.

    Mobile phone............................ 90 - wow!!!!!! I don't spend this in a year on PAYG! Please swap to PAYG if you can or else just stop using unless in emergencies. Call your provider and ask to swap to the lowest tariff

    Clothing................................ 200 Huge amount to be spending every month. Don't spend a penny for 6 months other than on undies. Go through your wardrobe and ebay or car boot everything you don't wear.

    Petrol/diesel........................... 325 OUCH!! Your petrol bill is more than your rent? Can you find work closer to home - this is an enormous amount to pay in fuel for an income of under £1,500

    Car Insurance........................... 29 have you used compare the market etc to see if you can swap to a cheaper provider? Also, check out quidco, a cashback service to usein conjunction with changing insurance of any type

    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 18 As above

    Buildings insurance - you have 0 ?

    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 30 A lot to be spending every month. Start using the grabbit board, vouchers, buy in the January sales
    Haircuts................................ 30 Again, a lot to spend every month. Hair only grows half an inch a month. Consider having done every 2 months and check out your local hairdressing training college provider. I work for one and the learners are well supervised and some cut better than so called expert salon stylists - a cut and blow dry is £4.50 where I work.
    Entertainment........................... 130
    Again, a big chunk of money to be spending every month. Sadly, it will have to come right down to £20 or so if you are serious about clearing the debt

    Holiday................................. 50 is this already booked?



    Your debt total in comparison to your income isn't huge to be honest and I reckon with getting rid of all the overspend and really working hard you could clear this in a year or so. Even the clothing budget alone would give you over 2 grand off your debt if you didn't spend any more money for 12 months, sold your excess clothing and then used some of that income to buy anything you really needed.


    I think it's a very do-able debt free journey without too many hard sacrifices to make - go for it - you'll really be glad you made the effort
    "Stay Wonky"

    Become Mrs Pepe 9 October 2012
  • Nitha
    As someone who also has a loan from the bank of dad, that has definitely been incentive to stop using the cards. I've cancelled every card bar one which I use for one bill and pay off in full (just to essentially rebuild my credit rating). Everytime I want to buy something I just think of my dad and it stops me straight away.
    Taking baby-steps
  • lihar
    thanks, i do live with my other half, so the bills and rent are basically my half. my holiday has already been booked for August, so i have to commit to that. I think you are all so lovely to take the time to give me advice. I feel inspired. I really think that ive done the right thing to tell someone and feel encouraged to get this straight. Currently because of my spending i literally have £3 left, so i'll have to use my credit card to get things like petrol, which i will need. But i wont be socialising anymore this month and will really analyse my pay packet when i next get it.

    it is true, i feel very guilty and think of my dad almost every time i use my credit card, thinking that he loaned me the money he worked hard to earn. so by stopping spending the guilt of that will also go.

    I really cant face telling my other half just yet. I know maybe I should but i just really dont want to. I want to be able to get this a little bit under control. I cant balance transfer my credit cards as I must be a "stay away from" customer, so i think i'll have to pay off the smallest one first, i read somewhere on here.

    I will re-read the suggestions and really set about doing something. Will keep you posted and be honest about wobbly moments because if im not plannign to tell anyone, then i will definitely be needing some more support i think.

    Sadly i cant earn overtime where i am and am registered on lift share but no takers, so i think train and cutting back are my solutions here. Or look for a new job near my home.

    Thanks again!
    • tallyhoh
    • By tallyhoh 16th Jun 09, 7:55 PM
    • 2,161 Posts
    • 2,228 Thanks
    tallyhoh
    Dont leave it to long before you speak to your OH, make a plan of action & then tell him. You can always reassure him that you are sorting it.

    It will be much worse if he finds out (& he will, trust me) before you have said anything.

    Having got that out the way, nearly £300 on clothes & mobiles! WOW!
    Tallyhoh!

    Stopped Smoking October 2000. Saved £21,840 so far!
  • Burlesque Babe
    I feel inspired. I really think that ive done the right thing to tell someone and feel encouraged to get this straight. somewhere on here.
    Originally posted by lihar
    Honestly - it could be the best thing you have ever done My advice (as kind of part of the furniture around here ) would be to start small, don't think you can tackle everything on day 1. Read around the threads. Say hello on the DFW daily chat and getto know us all.

    -start a spending diary. This can be a bit of paper, a notepad, anything to record every penny you spend on 'stuff' like magazines, coffee, chocolate etc

    - have a look at the Old Style board for ideas on meal planning and cooking from scratch. Some inspirational people over there who can stretch food to amazing lengths

    - See the journey as an exciting challenge to tackle and beat rather than a worrying situation. It won't be long before you end up being excited about getting CC bills because you have a little bit extra to pay off them. Sad, but true

    - log on here regularly - I mean really regularly to keep yourself motivated. OK, you'll then never leave, but that isn't the worst thing in the world.

    - See it a bit like a battle plan or trategy to put together and then take it day by day. Join a few challenges if you fancy it.

    Good luck
    "Stay Wonky"

    Become Mrs Pepe 9 October 2012
    • mum2one
    • By mum2one 16th Jun 09, 10:19 PM
    • 16,154 Posts
    • 60,024 Thanks
    mum2one
    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 337.5
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 52.5 - can you get that spread over 12months not 10,
    Electricity............................. 10.5
    Gas..................................... 7
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 12
    Telephone (land line)................... 6
    Mobile phone............................ 90 - that has to reduced, can you do sim only plan when contract up - in theory £30 should be plentiful
    TV Licence.............................. 6
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 3.5
    Groceries etc. ......................... 120
    Clothing................................ 200 - do you really need to spend £200, I'm on the £100 year challange for clothes, reduce to £50 month maximum
    Petrol/diesel........................... 325 - how come so much
    Road tax................................ 10.5
    Car Insurance........................... 29 - can you change at renewal and go through cash back sites
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 20
    Car parking............................. 15
    Other travel............................ 20
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 15
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 18
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 15- maybe search at renewal, cash back sites
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 30- reduce even if its by £10 month, go to thrify thread
    Haircuts................................ 30 - extend the time inbetween, make last 6 weeks, so in 3 months instead of 3 hair cuts have 2 save £10 per month
    Entertainment........................... 130 - this needs to be reduced - try £90 pm,
    Holiday................................. 50
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1552.5

    Assets
    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 162000 - your paying rent, but you have a house, sorry am I lost
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 600
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 162600

    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts
    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    credit cards...................5400......160.......0
    Total unsecured debts..........5400......160.......-

    Monthly Budget Summary
    Total monthly income.................... 1,470
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,552.5
    Available for debt repayments........... -82.5
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 160
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -242.5
    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 162,600
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -5,400
    Net Assets.............................. 157,200
    Originally posted by lihar
    I've put a few suggestions in blue, by just cutting the haircut by £10 pm, cut the clothes budget by £150, £10 on both haircuts and £10 on presents, and £40 on entertainment, thats £220 saved, more than enough to clear the debts.

    The main things are the phone bill, and petrol, there the main issues I would say need adjusting and the debts would be reduced asap.

    x
    Tackling the debt free life one day at a time xx
    RIP Dad, - Always love you, - He was 1 in a million xx
    • Crazy Jamie
    • By Crazy Jamie 17th Jun 09, 8:45 AM
    • 2,151 Posts
    • 2,074 Thanks
    Crazy Jamie
    Just focusing on the mobile phone bill, but that strikes me as one of the easiest things to cut down on, because chances are you're simply not on the best deal for your usage. I'd suggest that you make a topic in the Mobile Phones forum about cutting that monthly spend. State who you're with, what contract you're on (if any), what phone you have, and what your monthly usage is (including data charges in you use the internet on your phone). We should then be able to find a better alternative for you to cut that down. If you don't want to post that information or don't feel comfortable enough making another topic, just PM me with that information and I'm sure I'll be able to give you some specific suggestions, be it by finding you a better alternative or through other tips.
    "MIND IF I USE YOUR PHONE? IF WORD GETS OUT THAT
    I'M MISSING FIVE HUNDRED GIRLS WILL KILL THEMSELVES."
    • poorandindenial
    • By poorandindenial 17th Jun 09, 10:55 AM
    • 4,072 Posts
    • 5,285 Thanks
    poorandindenial
    Hiya hun

    I am a reformed spendaholic, looking at your SOA we had one thing in common - clothes. I also was obsessed with cosmetics and toiletries and between these I was probably spending 300-500 a month and up to £1500 from time to time.

    I ended up doing a year of pretty much cold turkey on spending and then have been more lenient with myself since then.

    If you look at my signature you can see how bad I let things get before I took action to sort out my situation.

    I now have control over what I am paying back and I do go and spend from time to time (clothes are quite important to me and after a year of cold turkey I was looking seriously dated and tatty) but I am endlessly amazed at what I can find in my wardrobe that is still verty much servicible from a condition AND style point of view and I often talk on here about my excitement when I have 'shopped' from my own wardrobe and I can't remember the last time I paid full price for something.

    Good luck to you in getting a handle on this, the things that worked for me were:

    -keeping a spending diary, both a reality check and a deterrant
    -allowing yourself a cash allowance per week - I used to give myself £70 a week to cover EVERYTHING except rent, council tax and utilities but the amount is obviously to be based on your own circumstances
    -posting on here for advice and support (you are already doing this )
    £34,547 (Dec 07); Current debt: £zilch (Debt free December 2010)
    Sealed Pot #389 (2010=£133)
    • slig
    • By slig 17th Jun 09, 11:52 AM
    • 397 Posts
    • 608 Thanks
    slig
    Re telling your other half, why don't you set youself a date on which to tell him, perhaps a month or two away? That gives you a deadline by which to sort out a strong plan of action. It won't feel so bad telling him if you know that you're in control of your finances. In fact you might be itching to tell him by then, so you have someone to share things with - how you've reduced your debt free date by a month, how you've had four NSDs (no spend days) in a row, how you haven't bought new clothes for a month, etc. This debt busting gets quite addictive, just to warn you .
    Deposit fund £10,565.08 Target £15000

    Debt at LBM (17/10/08) £5727.61 Debt free date 31/08/09
    • jessegee
    • By jessegee 17th Jun 09, 7:46 PM
    • 105 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    jessegee
    I feel for you, having been through the same thing myself

    One thing I learnt is, why are you addicted to shopping? You dont have to say what is missing in your life outloud to anyone but yourself, just be totally honest, no one will hear, and it might suprise you!

    Hope you have a great holiday, I saved a whopping 300 by saving 5p's in a big jar that I had to break

    Best of luck and follow your dreams!

    jessegee
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