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    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 6th Feb 13, 11:42 AM
    • 183Posts
    • 551Thanks
    oh my life...... Light Bulb moment.
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 13, 11:42 AM
    oh my life...... Light Bulb moment. 6th Feb 13 at 11:42 AM
    Well, I am posting for the first time and starting a new thread all in one - I joined yesterday and am I so hoping that doing this will help to keep me on track with facing and resolving my debt.

    I am ashamed and embarrassed - both at the debt and at how long it has taken me to face up to being in debt and deciding to address it - I'll have to say it quickly though 21620 - to credit cards.
    God, if I can press the post this button after typing that I shall be going some.

    I oculd come up with loads of reasons about why I am in debt - all valid and real - but it doesn't take away from the reality of having to pay it back. I am a single mother with two children, I work full time in a good job, and I have spent too much, way too much.

    Oddly the children and I don't live some high flying life, no racks of clothes and shoes from designer shops or anything like that - just years of spending over my budget on food, petrol and the big one, trips away. One of these trips was due to my father dying and I needed to go overseas to deal with arrangements suddenly, and took the children - all went on the cards.

    I have tumbled recently - poor health, which gave me time to reflect (or wake up you might think), panic (still), contemplate dark things and get very depressed - and now started antidepressants. They are just starting to work and lift my mood, and I want to try and get a plan into place to deal with my awful debt and take a new attitude to it.

    I have a mortgage, and good equity (though the bank said no to me borrowing against the house last week - that added to my spiral of mood) - House is worth about 200K and my mortgage is 114K. Also turned down for a loan from Sainsburys bank, which I wanted to consolidate my debts with. Instead I am left with credit cards totalling 21600 (I owed approx 22500 in December, but managed to pay off the Christmas mad spend, but living on thin air this month.)

    So - shall I write out my debt?

    Halifax - 6830 0% til Dec
    Natwest - 2419 0% til Sept
    M&S - 5730 0% til June and another at Nov
    MBNA - 6632 5.9% for life of balance
    Nationwide - 9 (yes only 9!)

    = 21620

    Tesco - approx 423 which will be paid off on my pay day - 27/02/13

    I've rung a financial adviser who was kind but had not ideas for me as my mortgage provider and Sainsburys turned me down flat. I also spoke with National Debt Line - who were very kind and also reassured me that as I have no 'prioirty debts' my house is safe.

    I have always paid everything on time - always met minimums plus a bit more, and have never had a DMP, CCJ or any formal action against me. Mortgage is paid and essential bills all on DD's.

    My Credit rating on Experien is all Green - just lots of it. I don't really understand why I haven't been ok'd for a loan to consolidate it all - but it leaves me with having to do that credit card shuffle thing (which I have been doing for years and screwed up completely by always adding more debt to it.)

    SO my resolution is to live to a budget.
    Pay off the debt - I think it is going to take me 7 years () - I aim to pay approx 350 a month (plus that Tesco bill next month - will be another very tight one, but I can't bear the idea of not doing it).
    Keep my job and sanity and work on my mood.
    Hug my kids and get them involved in saving money.
    Find ways to live and have fun that do not cost money.

    My ex husband may be about to reduce child maintainence and also my eldest will stop getting Child Benefit soon - that plus losing the Council Tax single person rebate as my daughter hits 18 - will add up to losing about 300 per month I think. I have to somehow adjust to that change as well as keep paying off the debt.

    Does anybody know what happens with Child Benefit with two children once one leaves full time education - How much does it reduce to?

    Gosh, I fel like I have been really self indulgent writing this all out, and I guess it doesn't make for very original reading, but I am so hoping that keeping this forum diary will help me stay on track, and I would welcome any ideas from anyone.

    Wish me luck!
Page 20
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 7th Feb 18, 12:07 AM
    • 183 Posts
    • 551 Thanks
    Hi Magpie and Hairy Hands

    So sorry to have not posted, I have been in an hole and felt very low most of January and so far this month but have turned a corner. What a stressful thing life is and it seems to get to much for me routinely. However, this time has certainly had something to do with being a woman of a certain age - how powerful blasted hormones are!!

    So money and debt. Arhhh. I am plodding in the right direction. Bit of a blow this month as all the hours of overtime I did in December never got paid so I am battling with payroll to pay it before the next monthly pay date as I need it for the trip (I am going, hormones almost made me cancel it and I would have got absolutely nothing back, so I am glad to have not done that) - I got very cold feet, anxious and panicky about going alone but have pushed through that and now think it will be very good for me. I think my health is such that if I do not do these things now I might not be in great shape later on which would prevent it.
    Debt is getting me down. I do congratulate myself on sticking to my plan, but gosh it is hard. I have almost certainly decided to sell my house and rent in the summer, move closer to work as the travel I do is really wearing me down. And I would pay the debt off. Rent 6-12 months and then buy something small. I will be pleased if I can get my debt below 30000 before I sell as I will feel I have achieved addressing my spending habits, at least to a point where I will have repaid around 25% of my debt. Psychologically that means something I think.

    Cost of living is a pain in the proverbial. Every which way we turn. But I am cutting back often and even now I can see more places I can trim. It is just such a drain at times and I long to not be thinking of credit card balances.

    I will get back to posting more regularly now I am feeling a bit better. I spent January in a state of catastrophe! Ridiculous really, measured steady steps and I think I have proven I can do the self DMP so far.

    Things to be grateful for:
    Job that gives me enough income to by and large make ends meet.
    The love of friends and my children who have got me through this recent tough time.
    HRT!! :-)

    Hope everyone faring ok and getting through these blasted dreary months of the year x
    Last edited by MiMi66; 07-02-2018 at 12:13 AM.
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: 4533/4974; NW loan: 8498/10097 - 3.4%; M&S:5102 /6502; VIRGIN: 6614/ 7096; Halifax: 8565 /9485;
    33312 / 38154 Amount pd off cc 4842
    DFD 01/04/2022 48/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - 73587/ 107K
    Mtgage2 - 12629/ 19K [B]Overall M'gage 86216/B]
    Overall Mortgage and debt - 119528/(127451 30/08/17)
    • Erickem
    • By Erickem 7th Feb 18, 4:19 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Just wanted to say hello, wish you good luck and good health and say that I'll be subscribing...
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 7th Feb 18, 5:40 AM
    • 183 Posts
    • 551 Thanks
    Just wanted to say hello, wish you good luck and good health and say that I'll be subscribing...
    Originally posted by Erickem
    Thanks Erickem! Nice to know people read my small offerings. Always happy to have ideas of money saving as well.
    And wide awake at 4.20 this morning. Just not on!!
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: 4533/4974; NW loan: 8498/10097 - 3.4%; M&S:5102 /6502; VIRGIN: 6614/ 7096; Halifax: 8565 /9485;
    33312 / 38154 Amount pd off cc 4842
    DFD 01/04/2022 48/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - 73587/ 107K
    Mtgage2 - 12629/ 19K [B]Overall M'gage 86216/B]
    Overall Mortgage and debt - 119528/(127451 30/08/17)
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 8th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 248 Thanks
    Hi MiMi,

    Good to hear from you! Sorry January has been so tough. I found it awful, too. Am day-by-day feeling a bit better and desperate for Spring now. I've really had enough of the cold, dark mornings.

    You've survived the worst of winter now though, so hoping your renewed determination will keep you straight. Annoying about the overtime but presumably you WILL get it at some point very soon?

    Positives: You have stuck to your self-DMP even though it has been hard. This is absolutely crucial if you are going to take a big step like selling your house. I know it is draining thinking about credit cards and money every single minute of every single day, but I think it is a process you HAVE to go through to confront your spending habits and change them. Are you finding some things becoming easier?

    When is the trip? And what is your budget for it (nosy, I know, but it might help focus you to have it all written down here). And is it worth doing a new SOA for the new year so we can see what's what? I am such a taskmaster!

    There are crocuses in my garden and next will be the snowdrops. In a month things will feel very different, and so will you. xx
    • MiMi66
    • By MiMi66 3rd Mar 18, 1:07 AM
    • 183 Posts
    • 551 Thanks
    Hello all and lovely Magpie100 - well what a few days of quite remarkable weather - in some ways it makes a person feel very small doesn't it - like the planet and the climate forces really are so much greater than anything we face. still enough romancing about snow and wind - back to reality - debt.

    I am not happy with myself these last two months - I have slipped, and feeling bad about it. I am not sure I can write much about it right now, as I just feel a bit disgusted with myself. I am in the middle of a mini wake up call. Does this happen with people on self managed DMPs I wonder.... It is not irreparable damage, but certainly tells me what happens if I take my eye off the ball. I will update my figures at some point - just spent the last hour with a pen and paper and spreadsheet going OMG...

    So back in the saddle I go.....

    On a good note - I have the money aside for the spending money for the trip in two weeks time, plus a bit to get some essentials for the trip (torch, pair of trousers) and the overtime finally did get paid - whew. I got taxed such a lot though so depressing - why don't they go after big corporations instead of people like me. I have 900 aside of which will cover spending money, visa, overnight meal costs in London and food and a bit of fun in Cambodia and Thailand. Many of my meals are covered but I have dinners to buy there but I understand is is very inexpensive. I am not a big drinker at all, so this shouldn't eat into my pennies to much. Fingers crossed I might even come home with some to throw at the debt.

    Does anyone else think this is an unfair situation? If you have one person households or a single earner supporting children - and you go above 40K or so you start getting heavier tax of 40%. Two parents, or two earner households can earn 39K each (78K together) and never pay higher rate tax. Single parents are so heavily punished if they try to get ahead - to earn the money that a family might enjoy. Anyway - maybe I on my own with it but it does feel lousy to see so much of my overtime just sucked away, while friends in partnerships have a much better time of it. Can't beat the system that seems to enforce through taxation that marriage or being partnered up and working is given a bonus, over a very hard working single parent.

    Anyway - grumble over.

    So - I have to take back to the shop (sound familiar?) a neck cushion- to TKMaxx - bought for the flight and several 10 hour bus journeys I have coming up. It was 10 but I will return it because I saw I have 21 pounds on my Boots card that I didn't realise was there - haven't been into Boots for months, and I was happily suprised when I saw that there this week. They have a neck cushion there, and though it is 15 - I would rather spend my points than my cash (or card- see guilty....).
    I also have a 8.75 voucher from Holland and Barratts which I am going to use to buy disposable compostable wipes to take with me! excellent as I will be a grubby little mare I think and I didn't relish taking ordinary ones which would take gosh knows how many years to breakdown in the warrior to the end.

    I have kept thinking about selling the house and am stumped with what to do - have decided to hold off all thoughts til I am back and reevaluate it then. Just seems to be a difficult time for moving and having any sense of the future. It would help a lot with my tiredness by cutting down on work driving, but I am anxious that in a way I would be giving up my home security to pay off the debt. Hard to know what is right to do.
    My lovely son is off to uni in September and is getting very excited - growing up more and more each day. And my daughter may well be home for a few weeks/months after finishing her degree this spring/summer - I'll be glad to have her home but I know that really she has launched well and truly and that it will only be a pit stop at home. I wonder at what point do parents stop making sure they have a bedroom for adult children to come home to? I'd love to think I would always have space for the kids and that in part makes me nervous to sell my modest three bedroom house in case I can't get something like this again. So I flux between sell or get a lodger and while the kids are coming and going that feels a bit tricky. Maybe September?

    Hmmm. So my commitment to myself needs a bit of reinforcing.
    Budget - once I am back I will review it all and do a new SOA -so much has gone up hasn't it! I've been okish with food shopping, nipping and paring it down but still need to be more consistent with that. Tiredness and lack of time tends to screw it up.
    I have some overtime booked for April, not as much as before - but in all honesty I could not keep up that level of overtime - I would collapse and it would be not worth it. I am doing a few hours later this week.

    Isn't it a strange thing debt - it comes over me in waves of disgust and sometime in wonder as in 'how did I do that to myself!' There is man on here who posted a year or so ago that he had done an 11 year DMP, paid off 103K in unsecured debt. Humbling that he managed that without completely cracking up. He posted just after making his last DMP payment. Can imagine that thrilL.

    So I am going to go and do the dishes - yep at 1 am, and then to bed, and I am not going to cry about slipping up - I am just going to take a deep breath and make myself refocus and crack on with it. I can still do it in under 5 years, so that is what I am focusing on.
    Hope people don't think I am too much of a fool.
    MiMi66 01/10/17 NWCC: 4533/4974; NW loan: 8498/10097 - 3.4%; M&S:5102 /6502; VIRGIN: 6614/ 7096; Halifax: 8565 /9485;
    33312 / 38154 Amount pd off cc 4842
    DFD 01/04/2022 48/55 payments to go!
    Mtgage1 - 73587/ 107K
    Mtgage2 - 12629/ 19K [B]Overall M'gage 86216/B]
    Overall Mortgage and debt - 119528/(127451 30/08/17)
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 3rd Mar 18, 10:17 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    Hello MiMi,

    Popping in to say hello - I have subscribed and will be following
    Just wanted to say that I am glad you are taking the trip. A temporary change of environment can be so beneficial to give your mind something else to occupy itself with for a while!
    Jan 2017 CC debt 37,800.21: 29,399.52 / 8,400.69
    Mar 2018 Other debt 7,693: 5,680.84 / 2,012.16
    Debt 22.97% PAID
    Emergency fund 350/1000 DFD March 2022
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 3rd Mar 18, 1:31 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 248 Thanks
    Mimi - I was wondering the other day how you were getting on! Good to see you back posting. Sounds like things have been tough - this is always such a grim time of year as we all cling on desperately for spring. Sorry to hear things have been dicey on the money front - but do update us when you feel up to it. No judgement here - this is a long, slow, slog and there will be times when you go backwards. No one thinks you are a fool - if you are, we all are.

    Great that you have the costs of your trip covered, though, and it sounds like a break is just what you need. Even if you haven't been perfect the last couple of months you have had a plan to pay for the trip, and executed it. The neck-cushion saga made me laugh - I would do exactly the same! But I bet five years ago you wouldn't have bothered exchanging it.

    Re your point on taxation - I completely understand what you are saying and it does seem unfair. But, we live in a world FULL of imbalance and inherent unfairness across all of our institutions. Knowing that doesn't help when you look at your payslip, I am sure. But wasting precious and limited time and energy fretting about something which you just can't control is perhaps a waste of both those things. Your diary is the place to rant about such things, for sure, but I hope you are not dwelling on it too much. Far better to focus on what you CAN control. If you started to think about all the external factors that influence our lives you'd start to go mad. well, I would.

    I think when you come back from your trip is definitely a good time to post up a new SOA, and revisit the house decision. There is no need to think about any of it while you are away. I like the idea of reinforcing your commitment to yourself - which is exactly what you are doing. You are are doing this for YOU, and try not to think too much about external factors.

    I would love to go to the places you are going so do make sure you tell us all about it. And I hope the break does you the world of good. M100
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