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    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 21st Jul 17, 2:03 PM
    • 77Posts
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    Goingroundincircles
    Third-Life Crisis
    • #1
    • 21st Jul 17, 2:03 PM
    Third-Life Crisis 21st Jul 17 at 2:03 PM
    Hi everyone,

    So it would appear I am having a third-life crisis.

    Although we've been aware of our massive debt for a long time (having been in debt since being offered my first credit card by the bank at 18) it has really hit home this week how much we owe and how long it's going to take to pay off. Throw in the looming 30th birthday, the ticking biological clock, the desire to travel and experience new things, the pressures of having a 'successful job', trying to keep in touch with family and friends, trying to maintain a clean and tidy house plus look after myself - ARGH.

    The running theme through all of these things is money and our lack of it.

    I have been a long time moneysaving lurker. Trying to do things to reduce our outgoings. I feel we're at a point where we can't reduce things anymore and actually the thing we need to take control of is our YOLO spending. Our attitude towards money has always been that 'You Only Live Once' and there's no point being 'the richest man in the graveyard' so enjoy life while you can. Unfortunately that has meant years of overspending to the point where we are now paying around 1500 towards debt each month. That 1500 could have been paying for holidays every month if we hadn't wasted so much money over the years. And I suppose by wasted I mean on throw away items and food.

    Anyway, having done our snowball last night and seeing another 5 years of paying 1500 towards debt each month, I decided this is the time to really take control and do something about it. No spending 20 in the Co-op when you only went in for milk. No buying clothes that really weren't needed (and probably rarely worn).

    I'll post our SOA asap and any help would be appreciated.

    That's all for now.
Page 5
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 26th Feb 18, 11:08 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    You are correct. These HP deals or PCP deals for cars are expensive and inflexible. The cheapest way to buy one if you haven't saved or have one to part exchange is to either use a 0% credit card or low rate personal loan. Given the amount of debt you have already though I am not sure that is an option. Have you approached the dealer you used to see if there is a way of either making it cheaper or for clarification of when you can get out of the deal?

    I think it was Nik Nak who bought her way out of one of these car deals.

    I honestly think getting out of it asap is the best idea and getting a fairly cheap car using 0% credit card or savings or low rate personal loan if any options open to you. Can you manage without a car?
    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
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 27th Feb 18, 8:00 AM
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    Magpie100
    Well done, Goingroundincircles!

    You've gone from saying 'Car was a mistake but no point investigating it cos it's done now' to finding out what the actual situation is and the options available. It may be the options available don't help you much at the moment, but you have lost NOTHING by knowing exactly what they are and where you stand. I know it's hard to face up to past mistakes like this - it feels easier to just 'park' that decision mentally - so well done on going and FINDING OUT about it all.

    Now - what to do? You say you still have 8 months of the contract to run before you reach the halfway point. Good. That gives you 8 months to try and find a way round this. My view is you need to do all you can to get out of this contract. You just can't afford this level of car with your level of debt. Sorry. And as you have correctly identified you wiull be stuck on this PCP/HP merry-go-round indefinitely if you don't find a way out.

    I hate to suggest this, but is there any way family would lend you say 1-2K to buy a cheaper car outright? Or, could you keep your ear to the ground and see if anyone in your family is making murmurings about having an old car they want to get rid of? It might seem in the realms of wishful thinking, but 8 months is a good chunk of time to ask around. Even I probably wouldn't suggest you go car-less with a newborn (I am assuming your OH's van wouldn't be suitable for all three of you). I know owing money to friends and family is fraught with difficulty, but only you know oyur relationships and what might or might not be possible.

    I agree with enthusiaticsaver that it might be worth approaching the dealer, too. Can you downgrade the car for cheaper payments going forward?

    Whatever happens, you have drawn a line in the sand and now you know exactly what you owe and what you don't. Now we need to try and find a solution.
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 28th Feb 18, 6:58 PM
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    Goingroundincircles
    Thank you for your thoughts enthusiasticsaver and M100. Well the motoring board has been an eye opener! It seems that actually my best option is to continue with the payments and then look to pay the balloon at the end with either a 0% card or low rate loan. That way the car is mine and I can keep it until it no longer goes! Considering it's a 2 year old Polo this should be a very long time! Apparently that's the best way to make these PCP work for you.
    By the time the balloon payment is due in Aug 2020 we will have finished paying off both of our loans (Jan 2020 and May 2020) so will be in a position to either save that 400/322 respectively or to put that towards credit card debt and have a good finance option available to us in the Aug.

    Either way we are not in a position to be able to end the contract now so have some time to ponder the options! At least I now know what options are available to us
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 28th Feb 18, 8:09 PM
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    Goingroundincircles
    February Round Up
    Thought I'd do a little round up at the end of each month keep of track our progress. This month has been a little slow due to only getting my bum in gear after the start of the month and already having to cover an income shortfall. Hopefully the numbers have gone down though! Next month I'll be able to show how much the debt has reduced.

    Lloyds - 2880
    Halifax - 2374
    Barclaycard 1 - 6194
    Barclaycard 2 - 9192
    MBNA 1 - 6158
    MBNA 2 - 3340
    MBNA 3 - 3932
    MBNA 4 - 2115
    MBNA 5 - 3746
    Mum - 1695
    Tesco Loan - 9300
    Sainsburys Loan - 8398
    TOTAL - 59,324

    We've made lots of little changes and accepted it will take a long time before it looks like it's making much difference, but mustn't get disheartened and give it all in!
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 2nd Mar 18, 1:30 PM
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    Magpie100
    Well done on finding out about the car! At least you now know exactly where you stand. I really feel for you because it is such a lot of money to pay for a Polo - but you know that already. At least you now have a plan in place for 2020, and that will come round fast, I'm sure. Whatever you do, please don't take out a new deal for any other car! I'm so glad you posted on the motoring board now - you now have a plan and can 'park' that expense for the time being.

    No, don't get disheartened. You are at the turning the debt tanker round point - once you can get a bit of momentum going that will really help. You need to be watching everything like a hawk, though. Any progress on dropping the payments to your mum to free up some cash for higher-rate cards?
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 2nd Mar 18, 1:59 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    It will take a while to start making any impact on the debt. My guess is you have been in debt close to 10 years or more given you are 30 now so reducing and eventually clearing it will not be quick. At least you are not adding to it though. If your mum is able or willing to let you reduce your payments to her that would allow you to address the credit cards with the highest interest rates.

    I still think you may have to consider getting rid of the car and getting a much cheaper one. Is it big enough to carry the pushchair?
    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
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 12th Mar 18, 3:51 PM
    • 77 Posts
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    Goingroundincircles
    M100 - I have had a chat with my mum, she does need the 100 at the moment as she's trying to save for a new bathroom and kitchen. She did say if things get tighter we can look at it again though. She supports us in so many ways that I don't want her to think we aren't grateful, so I'm happy with that for the moment.

    enthusiasticsaver - luckily we did try the pushchair in the boot before MIL bought it, the first one we tried didn't fit! Why do they make them so big?!
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 12th Mar 18, 4:15 PM
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    Goingroundincircles
    Can't believe we're nearly half way through March, where has the time gone?!

    Interesting month so far...

    Good:
    - Have made a bit of money selling things so that's going straight towards the debt
    - Have managed to keep all food shops in budget so far
    - All savings pot are still intact at the moment

    Bad:
    - Husband has spent all his diesel/spending money for the month already
    - Vodafone are beyond useless and hadn't updated our plan AGAIN, so after another high bill and 2.5 hours talking to them I cancelled the contract early

    So, in regards to the last point I need some advice! The contract will end on 4 April with a 57 early termination fee (we're recouping this cost by selling old broken phones). I know it was silly to end it early but I cannot stand having to deal with their incompetent staff anymore. And another 2 months of high bills would have been nearly 57 extra anyway. We do need a new phone as my OH's is broken and not making his work life easy. I'm thinking an iPhone 6s so it is a slight upgrade on our current iPhone 6. At the moment I've found deals for around 26pm with a small upfront cost which we could pay using cashback. BUT is this the most sensible MS way of doing it??

    Also, if anyone has any suggestions on the OH point, I'm all ears!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Mar 18, 5:22 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    The only thing which made my OH think about what he spent was for him to have a personal budget and joint account made untouchable as only for bills, salaries in and transfers out to various pots. OH and I each have a personal spends account. No bailing out although I have to say we use a cashback credit card for diesel and food so if this is the reason for your OH overspending our method wont work. Hobbies was my OHs downfall so the personal spends account worked for that.

    IPhones are so expensive so is there no way your OH would use another type of phone? I balk at paying contracts now on phones and prefer to buy the phone outright and go sim only. Not apple though as they are overpriced.
    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
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 13th Mar 18, 7:07 PM
    • 111 Posts
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    Magpie100
    Hello Goingroundincricles,

    Well done on having a chat with your mum. Another thing that you don't need to waste more time thinking about - clears some head space! And well done on your wins this month.

    Now...to your 'Bad' list. Petrol - why has there been an overspend in the diesel category? (I'm not being facetious!). You need to know why. Is it because the diesel budget isn't enough? Is it due to unexpected trips this month? Is your OH spending the diesel bit of the budget on other stuff? You need to understand why halfway through the month you are in this position, and quick! If he is spending the diesel money on other frittering things then you really need to stop it quickly. Diesel has to be a priority, presumably, so he can work. You aren't in a position where you can just pull extra from somewhere else. At the worst, he is not going to be able to get to jobs to earn money if he doesn't have fuel...

    And the phone...I don't know much about phone deals, but I would second not going for an iphone They are so expensive, and I just don't think with your level of debt you can justify it unless you find a really good deal. And you especially shouldn't be upgrading at this stage! And I mean really good deal. And then your OH would need to have it as his Christmas and Birthday present.

    I know you'll hate me for the above! But I feel as if wanting an upgraded iphone is a mental step back in everything you have done so well on so far. What does he need it for that a different, cheaper phone can't do?

    Keep on keeping on, though! All progress is good progress.
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 14th Mar 18, 11:05 AM
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    Goingroundincircles
    So we have a joint account where the bills etc are paid from and each have a personal account which I put that month's fuel money and spending (if there is any). OH's fuel obviously does vary from month to month depending on where he's working so I do need to keep an eye on that, but this month he's spent it on hobbies! I honestly don't know what goes on in his head sometimes. I've told him he'll need to find the money to get him through the rest of the month by selling something/earning it some other way. Hopefully that will make him think before he does the same thing next month. I'm not perfect and we are trying to massively change our habits, so it won't happen overnight but..!

    Phones! I will actually be having the phone (OH will have my current one) and the plan will be his. Here are my thoughts on getting an iPhone 6s:

    - I'll be stuck with it for at least another two years so in my head it fees sensible to go for something slightly newer?!
    - I use my phone as my camera and am very into my photos, therefore the camera quality needs to be good.
    - For the same reason I want to be able to easily upload/back up the photos to my laptop. OH has always had android phones and trying to get photos onto the laptop is a nightmare. Plus every time the phone is broken/upgraded everything is lost.

    I just had a look at the Google Pixel 2 which is supposed to have a very good camera, but it's more expensive than an iPhone 6s. You can buy the iPhone 6s for 430 with a 10pm sim on a 1 month contract. So I was thinking we could use our emergency fund/maternity savings and then pay it back to the pot over the next year. Or is that still a silly idea?

    I know you'll hate me for the above! But I feel as if wanting an upgraded iphone is a mental step back in everything you have done so well on so far.
    If everyone agreed with my thoughts and decisions I wouldn't need to be here!!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Mar 18, 11:59 AM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    I have been looking for phones myself and the google pixel has a good camera as does the iphone 7 But even I am balking at paying it and am tempted to go for something cheaper even though I can afford to pay it upfront. While you have such high debt and no savings I really think not waiting for these expensive gadgets is what got you in this mess.
    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
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    I also think using your maternity pay or emergency fund for a luxury which a top end phone is is very silly. I think you are also in a certain amount of denial as to how much it will cost when you are on maternity leave and the baby arrives. Even silly things like hospital parking costs if you are in for a while.

    Like Magpie I don't want to come down too hard on you when you are trying but every so often a glimpse of your thinking appears which got you into 60k of debt so I cannot keep quiet. Can you sell stuff to buy a new phone?
    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
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Mar 18, 12:08 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Ok I see you are looking at the iphone6 which is better than the 7 but 430 is a lot unless you have loads of savings.
    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
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 14th Mar 18, 12:47 PM
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    Goingroundincircles
    I had a look at Carphone Warehouse to get an idea of what else is out there. It looks as though even the 'cheapest' phone which meets our needs (memory/data) is still nearly 25pm. Am I missing something?
    I think perhaps we'll get a rolling monthly sim only contract to start on 4 Apr when Vodafone ends and wait until something feels like the right decision. At the moment I feel like I am literally going round in circles!
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 14th Mar 18, 1:56 PM
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    Goingroundincircles
    Just had to take myself for a walk as I was getting worked up about our situation again. Feel much better now. I have to remember that what's done is done and all I can do now is make the best decisions going forwards. Stressing about the past won't help.
    Also just had an email confirming a 75 refund for a purchase last year which I complained about. A small win for the debt pot.
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 15th Mar 18, 8:13 PM
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    Magpie100
    See - your walk to clear your head and put things on hold resulted in a money karma visitation with the arrival of the 75! You should go for a walk more often...

    More seriously, I am glad you are taking the iphone advice in the spirit it is intended. We have all made mistakes - I didn't get the name 'Magpie' but not picking up shiny things once too often. It is hard. But alarm bells do ring at the thought of you using some of your maternity fund to pay for a new phone. It's the tip of the iceberg - next month it'll be something else you just have to have. Every you spend now is going to shortern your time on maternity leave. and let's be honest - it's quite difficult these days to find a phone that DOESN'T take decent photos. You don't rely on a camera for your living - it's not a good justification for an upgrade in my view.

    The situation with your OH and his spending is concerning me. I feel that you are doing all the work behind the scenes to keep the plates spinning, and I'm not sure he sees how precarious your position is. I am not sure what he expects to happen if he can't buy fuel to earn money and all because he has spent money on his hobbies. Saying that, your decision to tell him he has to fund the shortfall is the right one. Please try not to bail him out, no matter how tough it gets. If he learns this lesson now it is far better than when the baby arrives. I feel like all the solutions to your problems are left to you to find and he is just going through the motions. Only you can know the truth of it, of course.

    We're all here, listening and supporting. M100
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 16th Mar 18, 1:33 PM
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    Goingroundincircles
    I wish every time I went for a walk 75 would appear

    You totally hit the nail on the head with the OH, M100! I do all the life admin around here so, although I can tell him we've overspent and there isn't enough money to pay the bills, he doesn't really understand all the work that I do tracking and moving and magic-ing up money. I try to explain it to him and show him the spreadsheets but it's not quite the same.

    Interesting day yesterday! The bad news is that we had to take the pooch for an emergency trip to see the surgeon as his leg isn't healing. They did a minor op, which luckily cost us nothing as it was under the umbrella of the large sum of money we recently paid for his surgery, but said that might not be the answer and he may need some explorative surgery in 4 weeks time. I'm guessing that wouldn't be free
    The good news is that the OH has been offered a contract with a company fitting kitchens for some big high street names I don't want to get too excited just yet, but his daily rate could be going up by 50 more than he's currently charging and there's enough work to keep him busy until September already. This could mean an extra 800pm for us which would make a MASSIVE difference to our debt balance and quality of life. He's starting on Monday so we'll see how the next few weeks pan out. In the meantime, it's MS business as usual...
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 16th Mar 18, 3:38 PM
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    wishingthemortgaheaway
    That's great news about hubby's contract. Not so good about the dog though.

    Is he likely to up his spends because he's earning more each day?
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = 400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s 34,750.
    Jan 18 14/100 Feb 15/100 March 18/100 April 19/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 1600ish/2,500
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 22nd Mar 18, 7:38 PM
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    Goingroundincircles
    Hi wishingthemortgageaway, I control what goes into his spending account so in theory the same rules will apply as they do now. if he spends it all in the first few days then that's it for the month! Although I'd imagine you're right, in his head he'll have more money! I plan to use it for better savings pots and more debt repayment though so we won't really see the extra money. If it does happen!
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