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@.

    • Amatheya81
    • By Amatheya81 19th Oct 10, 12:55 PM
    • 528Posts
    • 2,029Thanks
    Can I have a life while clearing my debt?
    • #1
    • 19th Oct 10, 12:55 PM
    Can I have a life while clearing my debt? 19th Oct 10 at 12:55 PM
    Hello All,

    I've been on MSE on and off for a while now and in the past 2 years I've gone from 23k debt to 17k but that has been a heck of a struggle.

    I've cut out nearly all of my hobbies (Gym etc) because I couldn't afford them any more. I rarely go out and if I do it's to something free. I can't remember the last time I spent money on clothes or shoes, I've reduced the cost of just about everything around my hous by changing suppliers etc. I'm even conssidering getting rid of Sky which was my last remaining luxury But despite this I'm still only just keeping my head above water by the skin of my teeth!

    My main problem is my load with Lloyds which costs me over 350 per month! This will be paid off in just over 2 years (it was a 5 year loan) I have in the past thought about trying to refinance this but I'm over half the way towards paying it off and I know that if I can just get over this hurdle life will be sooooo much easier as I could easily pay off my remaining debts while still being able to "live".

    My problem is that because I have this goal in mind and I know I will remain in this situation of not being able to do anything until then and I've got into a habbit of repeatedly saying "2 years and then I'll be able to ..." and I feel like I'm wishing my life away!

    I don't really expect anyone to be able to help me with this or have any solutions but it would be nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels like life is passing them by while they deal with their debt.

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 26-10-2010 at 10:55 AM.
Page 1
  • Little Vics
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:09 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:09 PM
    gosh - I know how you feel. We cut out all our 'fun' but realised it would drive us mad, so have compromised on the following:

    we subscribe to Love Film and get 2 DVDs a month. We're watching a TV series at the moment because we think it's better value for money - you get more 'viewing time' per disc than a film!

    we have a small budget for pub drinks, and normally go to a local pub quiz once a week. We're pretty good, so sometimes win money/drinks from it

    we have 1 take away/meal out a month, on pay-day-Friday

    All in all, it's about 50 a month, but it does keep us sane. We've got the money by cutting down on other things, and I think the compromise is worth it.
  • KingElvis
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:18 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:18 PM
    Dump the Sky TV, you'll feel better not putting money into the Dirty Digger's already huge bank account.
    "We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now!"
  • savingcaz
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:30 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:30 PM
    well done on dealing with 6k of your debt already.

    I know what you mean, we feel like we don't have any luxuries too, we have sky though on their basic package and that does us. we also subscribe to love film for 3.99 a month which gives us 2 discs per month like little vics we've got a few tv series on there.

    One thing we have done recently is set up a 'come dine with me' plan with friends. We take it in turns to cook once a month, we all have children so they come with us, play for a bit then go to bed then we have a gorgeous 3 course meal. there is 3 couples so we are all cooking once, which means over 6 months we will be paying for 2 meals each. It is spread out though so my hubby is cooking next month, then i'm cooking month 5. It means at least once a month we are together with our friends, good company and nice food and it don't cost the earth. To make it a bit more fun we are all putting 10 in a pot (as and when we can) and then the winner will get 60 to spend on themselves. - we are doing the whole scoring thing!!

    your doing really well can you post a SOA to see if we can help you anymore?
    was Proud to be dealing with debt! LBM 12.09.09 23,157.76, 28/03/11 12.827.07 Not quite sure on debts now as kind of gone by the wayside but back on form now! Will edit as i figure them out
    Hsbs CC 5313.73 Overdrafts (3) 3173.84, Marks and spencer CC 0 AA CC 3400.18
    • psychopathbabble
    • By psychopathbabble 19th Oct 10, 1:33 PM
    • 5,860 Posts
    • 38,828 Thanks
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:33 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:33 PM
    I know the feeling, except I want to be debt free by the end of 2011. It's so hard and I do slip up quite a lot (3 big holidays this year and at least 4 weekends away) but I really am trying to focus on how much I can do after I've got rid of this weight around my neck, I want to travel and work on cruise ships but I can't do any of this really until I've paid it off. It's so hard but I have said next year is a quiet year, except maybe 10 days in cyprus but that will be staying with my friend and only if i can get cheap flights, everything else will have to wait for a year!

    Good luck x

    Became Mrs Scotland 16.01.16 Became homeowners 26.02.16 Baby girl arrived 27.10.16

    Debt Paid = 5704.30/12,185.99 (46%paid off)
    • podperson
    • By podperson 19th Oct 10, 1:40 PM
    • 3,061 Posts
    • 7,908 Thanks
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:40 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:40 PM
    I do know how you feel, it does sometimes feel like we have no luxuries at all, very rarely go out, never buy new clothes or anything, we have cable tv but on the basic package as it's basically free with the phone line. We do try and have a little treat and then for our sanity but it's more a mse one, eg instead of going out for a meal we'll get a takeaway in, instead of buying a new dvd or book I'll go to the second hand or charity shops. It is hard sometimes but I try to keep thinking that it's not going to be forever and I'm going to appreciate luxuries so much more when I can afford them and I won't feel guilty about having the odd treat. You have done so well to clear 6k already and you should be really proud of yourself.
  • Beencounting
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:46 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 10, 1:46 PM
    Stick with it Amatheya, you're doing and have done really well! I'm going through the same process and feelings at the moment and feeling like life is passing me by, but we'll all get there in the end with perseverence.

    As others have said, allow some little 'luxuries' to keep you sane, we have sky and a small sub to lovefilm too, which helps.

    Keep smiling!

    Full LBM 26 Sept 11
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 19th Oct 10, 7:08 PM
    • 57,949 Posts
    • 238,380 Thanks
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 10, 7:08 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 10, 7:08 PM
    Just wanted to pop in & say you are doing so well.
    Keep plodding!
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. MFW 2018. No 144
    • Lottebear
    • By Lottebear 19th Oct 10, 7:24 PM
    • 784 Posts
    • 3,606 Thanks
    • #9
    • 19th Oct 10, 7:24 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Oct 10, 7:24 PM
    This why many of the people on here do little things like surveys, so they can spend that little bit of money on themselves
  • frugalastic
    Hey Amatheya,

    This was a very honest post and one I think most of us can relate to. Can you find hobbies that cost little or nothing? Writing poetry, drawing, etc - you can feel amazing when you've accomplished something, and yet it didn't cost you a cent. Or, you could find a hobby that you feel passionate about that you actually get paid for! (You know, like making crafts for sale, etc.)

    Just keep slogging away...and remember that every day, week, month you're getting a little bit closer to your goal, and you'll never find yourself in this debt-ridden situation again!

    Take care,
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 19th Oct 10, 9:02 PM
    • 7,035 Posts
    • 41,501 Thanks
    determined new ms
    Hi Amatheya (cool name by the way ) this it seems be me is a common problem with dealing with debts. I definately agreed with "allowing" a small amount for entertainment & getting creative with it to make that small amount stretch out as far as possible. So orange wednesdays (split between 2 that 4 in my neck of the woods ) signing up for the free screenings and getting free cinema tickets, come dine with me is a cool idea, I'm about to start a philosophy group, couple of drinks and some food for thought, take up running, learning about something ur really interested in. Oh I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea.

    This time last year I was crying on my bed one night because I was really fed up with it all & a couple of nights later it was my oh I've tried to see it as a challenge so I still get to do the things I want to but at a fraction of the cost

    Oh I'd also say don't socialise with ppl who are terrible with money its very infectious
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling 2017 3016.55/Roadkill 8.73
    Wombling 2018 145.73/RK 0.04
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 19th Oct 10, 10:46 PM
    • 7,035 Posts
    • 41,501 Thanks
    determined new ms
    I think about ppl less fortunate than me all of the time, I work with vulnerable ppl who are more often than not on benefits/a low income with disabilities. My oh is from Brasil & has seen poverty like I can't imagine, in fact some of his family members are extremely poor. However I live in the country I do & have the income I have, there's much suffering in the world, every body has their own struggles. However everyone deserves the right to live their life as free from suffering as they can
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling 2017 3016.55/Roadkill 8.73
    Wombling 2018 145.73/RK 0.04
    • kittypimms
    • By kittypimms 19th Oct 10, 11:39 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 262 Thanks
    Massive well done on paying off so much already!! Not much to add, apart from to agree with someone above about "free" hobbies. My favourite thing to do in any spare time is to take my dogs out for a long walk with one of my friends who is a photographer. I also volunteer at a local rescue as a dogwalker, and spend a lot of time socialising and gossiping with all the people there (and getting excercise walking the hounds!!). Much better than the gym for me- and all the free brews you can drink!

    Like the Lovefilm idea too- I didn't realise you could get packages that cheaply- thanks!!
    • podperson
    • By podperson 20th Oct 10, 2:06 PM
    • 3,061 Posts
    • 7,908 Thanks
    I think at the end of the day it is about trying to find a balance that you can live with. A lot of us are on extremely long term plans and while it may seem in principle that you shouldn't have any 'little luxuries' then most people would struggle to live a completely bare bones existence for a number of years. You say you don't have sky, that's fair enough, but am sure you must do something for fun or entertainment that costs you money. Some people choose to pay a smallish amount to sky which helps keep them entertained when they can't afford to go out. I think it's great that you don't have any debts but since you don't know the circumstances behind most people on here getting into debt then perhaps it's not very fair to judge.
    • misscousinitt
    • By misscousinitt 20th Oct 10, 2:29 PM
    • 3,613 Posts
    • 20,875 Thanks
    My suggestion would be to keep Sky - and carry on as you are. Take heart and advice from the other posts and maybe try a different 'free' hobby from time to time so you don't get board.

    If you get rid of Sky you will only end up resenting the situation more.

    Turn your thought of 2 years time into a positive and not a negative. Write a list of things you would like to be able to do in 2 years time with your budget and keep thinking of how close you are really to your first major milestone.

    Hope it all goes well.
    Mortgage Free x 1 03.11.2012 - House rented out Feb 2016
    Mortgage No 2: 89, 489.14 (20.06.2018)
    OP's to Date 6000

    Renovation Fund:736.95;
    Nectar Points Balance: approx 2.50 (after microwave purchase
    • Sharon87
    • By Sharon87 20th Oct 10, 2:48 PM
    • 3,554 Posts
    • 3,036 Thanks
    I'm trying to be debt free, but find that its really difficult doing it with everything I want to do! I've overspent massively this year. I went on my first holiday in 5 years - only 3 nights in Rome, but still it cost quite a bit as I had to get new passport.

    I feel I should be enjoying life rather than paying off debts, I'm only 23 so I want to do stuff before I get too old lol. For example I've got about 10 music gigs planned this year, some only cost 10 or less though. I don't have a secure job which is my problem. I work short term contracts, so sometimes I'm claiming job seekers.

    It's difficult trying to be debt free and actually have a life lol. Although I did save 3.99 on cancelling Lovefilm, as I had no time to watch them, probably with all the gigs I went to!! lol
  • climbgirl
    The trick is to find ways of treating yourself and having fun that don't cost anything. Are you really getting that much value out of sky? Could you not ditch it and watch things on the iplayer instead? I really don't see the attraction to sky either, it seems to me to be full of repeats!

    Anyway, some ideas for free things to do:
    • I think you mentioned the gym - look for free exercise groups in your area. My doctor's surgery has a running and walking group that meet once a week. If you can't find one, put up flyers yourself and start one!
    • Find (or start!) a book group. Or a dvd group. We've started a little movie club with a group of friends. Once every couple of weeks we all pile round to a friend's place and watch a DVD. We either make dinner or get in a takeaway depending on how rich we're feeling! We've started swapping dvds too so it feels like you're seeing something new but it costs nothing
    • Volunteer - at an animal shelter, an old people's home, whatever there is in your area. You'll find it very rewarding and it costs nothing
    • Have friends over for dinner instead of going out - it doesn't have to be expensive, most people appreciate being cooked for. The "come dine with me" concept is a great idea
    • Find a local craft group if you're into that kind of thing. Most areas have groups that meet every week or fortnight and will teach people basic skills for free. There can be costs involved but it doesn't have to be expensive.
    Just start being a bit creative about your fun time - it doesn't have to cost money! If there aren't any groups in your area doing whatever it is you want to do, start one! I bet you'll find there's loads of people into the same kind of thing once you start looking.
    • edd247
    • By edd247 20th Oct 10, 4:28 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 578 Thanks
    Have a look at the competitions thread, its keeping me occupied through my long haul to being debt free.
    Here's hoping we win what we want and want what we win!!!.

    My Jan 2011 wins: 250 white stuff Fashion clothing vouchers. Thanks WALWIN

    QUIT SMOKING on 4 Jan 2011, feel free Nag me about how im getting on.
  • Little Vics
    I forgot to mention volunteering - we 'give' 2 nights a week to a local cause we're passionate about. In the winter it has the added bonus of us not having to put the heating on in the evening because we're out the house! That 2/7ths saving adds up!
  • money_honey
    I feel the same - my husband and I are trying really hard to stay focused and think about the end goal of paying off debts, it is hard to go without but you definitely aren't the only one. For us, our 'luxury' is Virgin tv although we are on a more basic package than we used to be. We'll treat ourselves to a takeaway every now and then and the occasional cheapish night out although we plan each month in advance and if we want to do something like that we try to cut back on our food shopping etc to pay for it. I'm hoping we can be out of debt by the end of next year but it does get hard to keep up the motivation.

    When we first started trying to pay off our debts we were still spending quite a lot and in fact ended up putting even more on our credit cards, so now I've done a monthly spreadsheet which we're religiously sticking to and I've written down the dates when various credit cards will be paid off so we have a goal to work towards.

    Anyway you're not alone in your situation!
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

3,833Posts Today

10,207Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Just sent a text about postgrad loans. My Swype text auto-corrected it to pothead loans. Does it know something I don't?

  • Are you an overdraft prisoner? How to escape it! My new blog on ways to get rid of your overdraft...

  • RT @bbc5live: .@MartinSLewis joins @annaefoster from midday to answer your money saving questions. ???? 08085 909 693 ???? 85058 Or post your q?

  • Follow Martin