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@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 30th Jul 15, 1:30 PM
    • 682Posts
    • 2,797Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Battling Debt and Mental Illness — and (hopefully) Winning!
    • #1
    • 30th Jul 15, 1:30 PM
    Battling Debt and Mental Illness — and (hopefully) Winning! 30th Jul 15 at 1:30 PM
    Hi everyone

    I've been lurking on the Debt-Free Wannabe forums for ages and thought it was high time I joined in. I'm also hoping that having my own diary will motivate me to keep going — I've been reading some of the other diaries on here and feel inspired.

    About me: I'm 31, single, unemployed and living with my parents. Ain't life great? After many years of mental illness, I can finally see a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. I have depression and borderline personality disorder as well, but my anxiety is my biggest obstacle at the moment.

    I got into debt partly to fulfil a lifelong dream and get a BA and an MA. I lived at home while I was studying, but travel expenses and book buying take their toll. As did my chocolate bar habit and learning to drive... I was also prone to compulsive spending (still am, but less so since I have more of a handle on my mental health issues) and made many ridiculous decisions.

    The upshot is that I ended up owing several thousand pounds to my parents, over £6,000 on my credit card and a £2000 overdraft. I gradually reduced my debt a little, then was helped by a £2000 inheritance when my grandmother died. However, I was also struggling to keep a car on the road and my beloved dog died a couple of weeks before my grandmother, which was a horrible shock and led to me buying a new dog to give me a reason to live. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's true. My old dog kept me hanging on during the dark times and I couldn't face life not only without her, but without any pet of my own.

    Anyhoo, I was struggling to pay £60 a month interest on my credit card and make overpayments every month. I slipped into putting more unnecessary purchases on the credit card because I thought "what difference will it make?" I had a LBM at the end of June 2015 and realised I needed to do something drastic.

    Since I couldn't get a loan to pay off my credit card, let alone what I owed my parents, I hatched a plan for my parents to take out an unsecured loan for £13,000, covering the £7000 I owed them and my credit card balance. I did the maths and realised it would take me 5 years just to pay off my credit card, without paying a penny back to my parents, if I continued as I was. If my parents took out a loan on my behalf, I could clear the whole debt in 6 years. My parents agreed that taking out a loan was the sensible option — especially as it would relieve them of being £7000 out of pocket. My credit card balance is Nil and, strangely, I'm not even tempted to spend on it.
Page 38
    • scubaangel
    • By scubaangel 13th Oct 18, 2:09 AM
    • 6,478 Posts
    • 10,423 Thanks
    scubaangel
    I'm not going to be around until after Sunday now so GOOD LUCK and enjoy yourself.
    It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.
    Sir Terry Pratchett
    Find my diary here

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5135113
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 13th Oct 18, 7:34 AM
    • 4,249 Posts
    • 36,430 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    I think you really should print your post and use it to remind you when things aren't feeling good - it's well written and completely true.
    December in the Tardis #16 nsd = 8 New life = new debt
    DFD #1: 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 15th Oct 18, 3:48 PM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, guys

    So... the half marathon. It was pouring down, which was a bit of a shock when we spent all summer trying to train around ridiculously hot days. Apatt from not being used to feeding cold and wet, we haven't had to negotiate puddles (including loads of very deep ones) or slippery leaves. Then, when I was wiping rain off my glasses before the start, the arm snapped off. My eyesight is terrible, so it left me effectively blind and I had to rely on my mum to guide me. She wasn't brilliant-- I nearly ran into a metal bollard!

    But we kept going and finished in 2:59:51, smashing our 3 hour target by... 9 seconds!

    I'm feeling pretty proud of myself (and very achy). I managed to tick off another goal for the year and reminded myself of how much I enjoy running. Before this year, I was mainly a treadmill runner with occasional outdoor runs, but this has been reversed. Though the treadmill may come into favour more often if the weather is cold and wet It didn't go as planned, but we ran the first 6.5 miles without walking, which was unexpected, and while I wish I was lighter by now, I'm glad I shifted nearly 5 stone before the race.

    My next body/fitness goals are strength-based: I turn 35 next May and would love to celebrate by doing 5 pullups (though 10 would be amazing), a handstand (preferably freestanding) and the splits (any which way, but would love to be able to do both legs forward and straddle). It would be so cool to be able to do all of that! I set the bar a little high with my last 2 birthdays (Machu Picchu and skydive), but these are, likewise, goals which I doubt my ability to achieve. Plus they cost nothing, so won't get in the way of my financial goals

    I'm giving myself a rest from diet and exercise, apart from dog walking (which was rather slow today), until tomorrow. Then I will get to work on ending this year in the best shape I can.
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
    • misstara
    • By misstara 15th Oct 18, 5:14 PM
    • 2,962 Posts
    • 21,016 Thanks
    misstara
    Well done on completing the half marathon especially half blind

    Loving your next body/fitness goals, I'm also 35 next May and you've inspired me to think about what I want to achieve by then
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £0
    New flat debt Jan 2017 £2302.75 Now £455.62 (80.2% paid)
    Car debt Nov 2017 £797.68 Now £755.40 (5.3% paid) + monthly payments £146.82 12/60
    Emergency fund - £7/£1000. Car fund - £20/£1000.
    Mini Targets in December
    Exercise target - 6/16. Groceries target £103.93/£220. NSD target 9/15.
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 15th Oct 18, 6:21 PM
    • 4,249 Posts
    • 36,430 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Congratulations! Hope you're enjoying a very well deserved rest today
    December in the Tardis #16 nsd = 8 New life = new debt
    DFD #1: 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • scubaangel
    • By scubaangel 16th Oct 18, 2:16 AM
    • 6,478 Posts
    • 10,423 Thanks
    scubaangel
    Amazing job! Pity about your Mum not being a great guide runner. The weather was awful wasn't it, I got so cold waiting for the start in London, it was a wave start event so seemed to take eons to get started (was about 30 minutes from the first people crossing the start to my wave starting). Thankfully for me it dried up after the first mile or so, then drizzled on and off for about 6 miles before turning torrential again at about 10 miles (I just remember thinking why couldnt it wait another 30 mins so it would have given me a boost to get finished quicker!). Mine was a couple of minutes slower than last year but felt so much harder thanks to the weather - my last was in November so cold but it wasn't freezing and dry. Hardly moved today, far too tired as although I didn't drink much I was up later than I planned on Saturday at the Oktoberfest, plus getting out of the flat means stairs and frankly I refused to go down stairs until tomorrow!
    It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.
    Sir Terry Pratchett
    Find my diary here

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5135113
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 16th Oct 18, 12:25 PM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks everyone I'm aching less today, thank goodness!

    Congratulations scuba -- especially after Oktoberfest the night before

    I'm not planning on running another half marathon any time soon, but would like to keep running and improve my speed over 1-7 miles. For now, I just want to run because I quite like being able to and it helps my mental health.

    "Accidentally" spent £80 on Amazon today and yesterday, though it's all connected to my fitness goals... My scales are on their last legs, so I ordered a new set. They claim to measure body fat, muscle mass and a bunch of other things, which would be handy to track (yes, I know they're not 100% accurate, but should give me a little more indication of my progress, especially as I focus more on strength/resistance exercise). Also getting resistance bands to help me do assisted pullups, push up bars to help me progress with various calisthentics exercises and a book to help me stay motivated. Do I strictly need any of it? Nope, but everything will help me towards my fitness goals.

    Completing the race has highlighted how important my health and fitness goals are to me. I'm glad I can do things which would have seemed impossible at my highest weight and the worst points of my mental illness, but I want to be able to do more. I want to feel really fit and strong. It helps me to feel mentally fitter and stronger.

    So maybe I'm making excuses, saying spending money on new clothes and stuff related to exercise is an investment, but I genuinely believe it. I'm also saving over £500 a year not having Pepsi Max every day and goodness knows how much on buying less junk food, so it counterbalances (if not outweighs) the extra expenses associated with getting slimmer and fitter.

    Perhaps it's not very mse to say so, but I will be happy to continue as I am, money-wise: repaying recent spending, putting a little back into savings (ideally getting back to pre-Arvon amount of £600 in rdf) and taking a little off the loan now and then. That will mean ending the year in a better financial situation than when it began, which is more than I have managed for years. Of course, financial goals will be a priority in 2019, when I won't be dropping so many dress sizes (I assume I will be a 10 at my goal weight and doubt I can/will want to be any smaller) and won't be spending anything on skydives or Arvon courses
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 17th Oct 18, 11:20 AM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Paid rent plus £71 of recent spending to my mum today. Still owe £220.50 from recent spending, because she didn't work out how much I owed her for over a month and my dog had new food, which we buy in bulk. £150 of that is the super big clothing spend in Tesco a few weeks ago, nearly a third of which was the anorak.

    My spending continued last night, when I realised only one of my current sports bras actually supports me while running or doing gym classes. I ordered two for £32 and hope they will be effective -- they're high impact, so should be fine. I was reluctant to bite the bullet anc get new sports bras, because I will probably (hopefully) need smaller ones after 3/4 months, but I realised it's ridiculous to scrimp on something which affects my exercise and comfort during workouts to such a high degree. Even replacing my size 18 t-shirts with size 14 made a huge difference, which I didn't expect, because they stay in place better during exercises and actually help me move better.

    I'm feeling a little flat this week. It might be partly physical exhaustion from the half marathon, but I think it's more mental: having achieved a goal which has been one of my priorities for so long is fulfilling, but I also tend to feel a bit "so what?" It's hard to explain, because I am proud of myself and I have plenty of other goals to turn my attention to, but there's a bit of a slump.
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 17th Oct 18, 5:43 PM
    • 3,722 Posts
    • 20,950 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Well done on the run and on the slow and steady weight loss. Your fitness is hard earned and to be commended. It's common to feel a bit deflated after achieving a goal.
    Emergency fund 127/1000
    NSD December 5/31 AFD 2/10, SFD 0/10
    IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN
    • scubaangel
    • By scubaangel 19th Oct 18, 7:20 PM
    • 6,478 Posts
    • 10,423 Thanks
    scubaangel
    I've felt the same, like you say we've achieved a goal and are going to be physically and mentally more tired than we expected - I've had a tough week at work which hasn't helped and I've ended up being in a foul mood which I've had to work hard not to take out on my team!


    For now I think we need small targets and baby steps until we're fully recovered - I know its not quite the same since he races events but the OH says you need as many days recovery after a run as there were miles in the run!
    It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.
    Sir Terry Pratchett
    Find my diary here

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5135113
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 24th Oct 18, 8:37 AM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, guys I feel a little better this week, but my mood usually dips in winter and I'm dreading feeling worse after the clocks change.

    Paid rent plus £70.50 of recent spending to my mum today. Still owe £150.

    Paid £18.93 off cc to bring it down to a round £220.

    I bought a Fitbit at the end of last week, hence the cc balance. However, I didn't buy the most recent or expensive model It's already helping me, because I trust it more than online TDEE calculators -- I exercise quite a bit, but most of my day is very sedentary, so I have no idea what activity level I should choose. It's especially important atm, because I'm experimenting with a lower calorie deficit (ie eating more) and don't want to vastly under- or over-estimate how much energy I use.

    It should also help me with my mental health, because it tracks my sleep (turns out I'm getting a decent amount atm: 7 hours the past 2 nights and 8 on Saturday!) and has a "relax" feature which guides you through slow breathing for 2 or 5 minutes. I used it last night, when I had a bad bout of gastritis for the first time in ages, to keep calm through the pain. It worked very well.

    I'm also using hourly reminders to get up and move around, which will hopefully help me physically and mentally. Most of my day is spent sitting: writing, studying, reading, watching tv, etc. so it's easy to not move for a few hours at a time. I know I spent £127 I didn't strictly *need* to, but I think it's already helping me feel better and will be well worth the cost.
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 31st Oct 18, 7:32 AM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Paid £70 off cc -- now £150

    Had gastritis for over a week now, though it eased off at the weekend. It's horrible and gets worse when I eat anything vaguely healthy. Crisps are the only thing I can digest with no problems. Fizzy drinks help ease it a little. Feels like I'm having to go back to my bad habits just to get through the pain.
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 31st Oct 18, 10:36 AM
    • 1,712 Posts
    • 9,450 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    A wee tip on the fizzy drinks... use sparkling (fizzy) water and fruit juice to make a healthier alternative and it saves money too
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 31st Oct 18, 8:01 PM
    • 4,249 Posts
    • 36,430 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Hope you feel better soon ABA.
    December in the Tardis #16 nsd = 8 New life = new debt
    DFD #1: 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Dimps_123
    • By Dimps_123 2nd Nov 18, 9:25 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    Dimps_123
    Wow! I've just read your entire diary over the last couple of days. All I can say is what an inspiration you are. You have done so well. I am in awe of all the changes you have made over the last few years. You have been completely honest with your struggles and I think you should be extremely proud of your achievements.


    xx
    DIMPS
    Working towards being debt free June 2022
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 2nd Nov 18, 3:05 PM
    • 1,712 Posts
    • 9,450 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Hope you're feeling better missus.

    I am off on a weekends' YOMP with a few mates (and our dugs) early tomorrow morning 'til sometime Sunday afro...
    Somewhere away up the North West Highlands... don't worry, we're prepared for Arctic conditions and even the dug has her own sleeping bag and kit
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 8th Nov 18, 12:04 PM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks guys

    Dimps -- wow back at you! I'm very touched (and impressed) that you read this whole diary. I sometimes look back at the first page, but find it difficult to read more, especially as so many things haven't turned out as I had hoped/assumed/planned -- though that's not necessarily bad, since I've done things I never thought I'd get around to actually achieving

    I still feel awful, stomach-wise. Went to the doctor last night and he said there are 2 main possibilities, the first of which is gastritis. So I have a prescription for an antacid tablet to be taken daily for a month. If that doesn't work, it means the other possibility is most likely: gallstones. I think my symtoms align better with a severe case of gastritis, so I'm hoping that's the culprit.

    My diet is atrocious in health terms, but I'm eating what I burn (on average), so shouldn't gain weight. The fizzy drinks don't bother me so much, because I always have no sugar versions, but the crisps amd pther processed food are frustrating. Every time I eat anything approaching "nitritious" my symptoms get worse, which is ridiculous. So on balance, I would rather have junk food and keep it down...

    Gastritis is making life challenging, but my mood isn't too bad considering it usually gets worse in winter. Have made it back to gym classes on Friday and this week, exercising through the pain. The exercise doesn't make it worse; it just means I'm not sitting with my heat pads on my stomach. Certainly helps my mood though.

    I'm doing NaNoWriMo and aiming to finish my novel draft by the end of this month. I got ahead in the first couple of days, but have fallen behind. Hopefully I can get into the groove and churn out loads of words -- they don't have to be good!

    Submitted my first OU assignment 4 days early last week Got the first for the other module due on the 29th and have covered all the material, so am slowly getting started on that.

    Had the first team meeting for AGES yesterday at the mental health organisation I volunteer for, which was good. I have missed seeing everyone and one of the staff has come back from maternity leave, so it was extra-fab to see her again. My paid role should be starting soon, because they had good news re one big funding application and the ball is starting to roll...

    Feeling a bit sorry for myself this week and have very recently discovered Gilmore Girls, so I bought the complete DVD boxset to cheer myself up. Hence my cc balance, while less than it was, has only gone down £47 to £103. I also entered a short story comp last week, which was covered by £5 from GTM.

    It feels very un-MSE to say so, but I'm not going to worry about my finances for the rest of the year. I'm not going to go crazy and spend loads, but neither am I going to deprive myself or pressure myself to pay more into savings/debt repayment. My sole aim is to clear the cc and keep it cleared at the end of each month. Well, that and repay recent spending borrowed from my parents.

    Finance will be a priority next year, along with work in general (writing and new role in art project) and study. I also want to continue to lose weight and work on my fitness, especially strength. I'm not planning to do anything in particular next year, but it would be nice to boost my fun fund so I have some money available if I want to do something (I quite fancy ghost hunting and sometimes writing talks/workshops crop up). I might be tempted to do a race or two, if I can convince my mum... I think my 2019 goals will be about reinforcing good, healthy habits in all aspects of my life and leaving space for magic to happen
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
    • Lucifa73
    • By Lucifa73 8th Nov 18, 1:08 PM
    • 7,501 Posts
    • 9,803 Thanks
    Lucifa73
    Aha I found you! Uncanny sais you might be a fellow Wrimo-er! I'm way behind on words but I'll get there


    I have read from the start of your diary. You have come so far! Your aims for the rest of 2018 and aspirations for 2019 sound great. I have subscribed and will be wishing you well!
    Tesco CC 020718: £3502.86/240918: £3172.14 9.44%
    Surveys 2018 cashed £14.84/cleared £21.45/pending £0.90... (plus 600 YouGov points...)
    2018 challenges: 50ps challenge:£19.00 5ps challenge: £4.10
    SPC 2019 #073


    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 15th Nov 18, 8:09 AM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Thanks, lucifa I'm also behind on word count, but hopefully it's salvageable!

    Stomach still hurts, but have been able to drink a bit more for the past couple of days. Still overeating, but trying to stop now I've been taking medication for a week and things should be improving. Had a really bad day on Sunday, for no apparent reason, which seemed to strain my stomach even more. Missed gym classes this week, but hoping to go back tomorrow.

    Paid all but £10 off cc, so that's under control and I can pay my mum for some recent spending (and rent arrears) next week.

    Got 98 for my first OU assignment, which is a relief, but hyper-aware that the one due in 2 weeks is for s harder module and is a more challenging assignment in general (longer, more complex, etc).

    Just trying to keep up with everything around/inbetween the worst episodes of stomach pain...
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 21st Nov 18, 8:41 AM
    • 682 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    AspiringButAnxious
    Cleared last £10 off cc, paid my mum rent for the past 4 weeks and £40 of recent spending. Now owe £170.50 from recent spending, plus my dog's annual vaccines, which he had last Thursday.

    Found out that I will be working 24 hours a month from December to July. I'm glad it's happening now and feeling pretty excited, but I'm also nervous. I hope it will help me build some confidence so that I can find more work and improve my mental health so I can do more hours. It would be incredible not to have to rely on working tax credits.

    My stomach still hurts, but I have been to gym classes on Friday and Monday. Also planning to go tonight. Got my eating under control since Sunday, so hope to lose the 6lb I have gained over the past 4 weeks of gastritis. Hoping at least half of it is down to bloating!

    Struggling to get going this week, but need to buck up because I have an assignment due a week tomorrow. Also want to win NaNoWriMo, which is looking unlikely atm but is possible if I work hard.

    I've realised that despite working towards/achieving some of my goals, I still feel stuck. Nothing seems to really change. Guess it's because I'm dissatisfied with a lot of things in my life and disappointed that I haven't seen more improvements, especially in work, finances and mental health-- which are obviously connected.
    Rainy day fund — 210/1000 Emergency fund — 1019/1500
    Loan — 560/19,300 = 2.9% Fun fund: 1/100 Credit card balance — 0
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

147Posts Today

2,209Users online

Martin's Twitter