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  • FIRST POST
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 8th Jan 18, 9:16 PM
    • 1,893Posts
    • 11,183Thanks
    Florence J
    Flo 2.0
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:16 PM
    Flo 2.0 8th Jan 18 at 9:16 PM
    Hello everyone!

    It is a new year and a new diary.

    My previous diary, entitled 'Flo's Debt Free Diary' started on 6/12/15 when I was about one bad decision away from financial ruin. I didn't realised what it was called at the time, but it was clear I had had my 'Light Bulb Moment'.

    My credit card and overdraft debt at that point was £5150. I prioritised paying off my debt but by the end of 2016 after 4 months of unemployment it had crept up to £5196.92.

    In 2017 I tried a different tactic. I stopped spending. I stopped myself buying 'things' and instead could only spend money on the following approved categories (outside of standard bills and the food budget):

    Postage and Packaging
    Clothing Maintenance (dry cleaning, reheeling shoes, fixing clothes)
    Social
    Homeware
    Work Expenses
    Travel (Day to Day)
    Travel (Visiting)
    Gifts
    Health

    I was not completely perfect and did end up buying things from the 'contraband' categories. BUT in 2016 my spends on 'stuff/things' was over £2000 and in 2017 it was £400.

    This strategy worked and I was able to pay off over £3000 of debt, which was a combination of the credit card debt and some money I owed my long suffering OH. This included clearing my £1000 overdraft.

    Because I have now paid my credit card bills for this month I can say my credit card debt is now....

    £3935.

    It is spread across two 0% balance transfer cards, but I am half way through my offer period with them, so I have 11 months left on one and 12 months on the other. I am not optimistic I will clear the balance before the time ends, this is because so far I have been extremely cursed on the job front.

    So, onto the job situation.

    I am 28 years old and I have never had a full time permanent contract role.

    I got into debt because of years of zero hour contract jobs I couldn't seem to get out of (but to be fair no one was forcing me to spend money on clothes either). For the last 2.5 ish years I have been primarily working at a University on various fixed term contracts.

    I am currently working through a temp agency and I may have this role I am currently in for 3 months.

    I am relatively intelligent, very hard working, but I have the confidence of a diseased pigeon and rarely have the guts to make an application and frequently look at job advertisements and tell myself I cannot do the job.

    In 2017 I started a role I thought would be my dream job. It turned out to be a nightmare and I was signed off work for 4 weeks with stress, anxiety and depression. Mental Health will be a big talking point on this diary. Although I returned to the role I was effectively let go when my probation period came up.

    I pretty much have the debt busting thing down. I know what to do, and I am going to live the 'no spending' (for the most part) way of life until my debts are paid. But I am on minimum wage, so will earn less than £1000 a month and will have to be strict with budgeting.

    I also owe my OH £1814 which has to be paid back this year. This is made up of money I borrowed off him when I was out of work for 2 months at the end of 2017 so that I could pay my bills.

    So once again my debt is back to about £6000.

    I am starting a new diary because I do feel like a new person, I feel like I have finally found a way to live frugally and my mental health is better then ever.

    My goal this year is to save up an emergency fund. This will be very difficult.

    I wanted to be debt free before I am 30, but I am not sure if that will happen.

    New Year, New Diary, New Flo.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
Page 3
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 3rd Mar 18, 11:12 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    Thank you for all your comments, I would do a multi quote but there are a lot as it has been a wee while since I last stopped by, so let me assure you if you have commented, I have read it, and I have appreciated your response.

    OH and I had very different upbringings financially. His Father is an Accountant, his mother a Midwife, so well paid jobs. There was never a single second in his life when he could be said to have struggled financially. His parents respected hard work though, so although it wasn't really necessary he was greatly encouraged to get a part time job whilst living at home, which he did.

    Me, on the other hand, where do I begin? For the first ten years of my life I lived in a relatively stable house with two parents. I was from a large family. My Dad had 2 teenage daughters from his first marriage, and he and my mum had 4 kids if you include me. My Dad owned a small building and decorating company, my mum was a part time teaching assistant. We lived in a nice area, probably a bit beyond their means, and having 4 kids didn't help. For the first ten years of my life we were a low income family, but survived, and took advantage of good deals. I didn't feel deprived.

    Then, long story short, my mum descended into alcoholism, my Dad's business went bankrupt, my parents split, my Dad brought us up, he became unemployed by the time I was 13 and we lived on benefits for about 3-5 years, I can't quite remember when he found work again.

    I was the free school dinners, uniform grants from the school kind of kid. I frequently went without birthday or Christmas presents from my Dad, I knew not to expect them.

    I have been almost completely financially independent since I was 16 in some ways. I was lucky in that my Grandparents gave each of their grandchildren £3000 when they turned 16, meaning I could pay my deposits for University.

    At University I eventually ended up working two part time jobs to make ends meet, and still I felt I had a lot less then everyone else. I was the only person in each house I lived in that wasn't getting any financial support from their parents.

    My OH has never struggled for anything financially. Financially I have struggled for every single thing in my life.

    I don't want to sound like I am playing the world's tiniest violin for sympathy, but this is an example I think might sum things up.

    I have recently bought a dressing gown (with vouchers). It is the only dressing gown I have ever owned in my life.

    My OH has always had dressing gowns, in fact he has one in our house, and one at his parents house for when we stay over.

    I barely had PJ's growing up. For most of one term in Year 6 (when my mum's drinking was bad) I slept in my school uniform. Dressing gowns were an unnecessary purchase, that would never have been considered at any point in my life. Maybe no one will understand this but dressing gowns were always seen as some sort of 'rich person's item' to me, it's not like you actually need one, but a lot of people have them, or seem to, maybe I just hang out with a lot of dressing gown fans.

    Even though OH and I set budgets for Christmas and Birthday's he will always spend more on me though.

    To be honest I can handle just about everything he has set money wise, apart from the whole not supporting me if we have children and I am a stay at home mum. Maybe he wasn't being serious about that? I agree with what everyone had said in that that will be discussed heavily before we even consider having children.

    In terms of the part time job situation. I have applied and interviewed for a certain retail store, which if I'm honest doesn't really line up with my ethical beliefs (but in general I am against the concept of Fast Fashion across any store), but I am yet to hear back.

    It is 8 hours, so 4 sat, 4 sun. I think my limit in terms of jobs would be that sort of hours, I think I could just about cope with that. Or maybe my enthusiasm for being able to pay off my debts by the time I'm 30 would keep me going.

    And to go back to what you said (I think) JVR, yes, I definitely do more housework and cooking, especially the washing up, and always have done, and particularly did so when out of work. I think I definitely put his needs ahead of mine, I do the chores so that he can get on with things. Again I once approached him with the idea that this work has a monetary value, but I think you can guess his response.

    I don't want to sound like I am brainwashed, but he is a nice guy, I think we just are wildly different when it comes to money.

    What does annoy me is he seems incapable of doing anything for himself. I am fiercely independent and do everything for myself (it's for this reason I know I would be a terrible manager as I am incapable of asking anyone for help or delegating tasks) and if I so much as shift on the sofa I get a barrage of 'Can you get me a glass of water?/Can you fetch my laptop charger? Can you turn off the dining room light?' and I'm just like...???? If you need those things doing why haven't you done them yet?

    We have some sort of division of tasks in that I do the majority of the cooking during the week and on Sunday's OH cooks the main meal.

    I'm not really allowed to watch the shows I like if he doesn't like them when he is around either...

    Ok, so it sounds very much like an abusive relationship, but I hope I would know if it truly was.

    I don't know what to do really, I have never been this in love with anyone, and I do feel that OH well and truly has my back and will support me through anything, and something I am absolutely sure of is he loves me, but yes, I'll agree, there are a lot of problems in our relationship.

    I think the reason why I respect some of OH's financial decisions, is because I suspect if I was in his situation I would be the same...maybe. I don't know. I kinda feel guilty if I have something and someone else doesn't. I talk about wanting to be the richest person in the world so I can give all the money away and save the planet. I would be ashamed of myself if I was well off financially and someone I loved was struggling financially and I didn't help them.

    Maybe we are not the same.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 4th Mar 18, 9:49 AM
    • 115 Posts
    • 259 Thanks
    Magpie100
    There is a lot to unpick in your post below - I hope it helped typing it out. I'm sorry that things were so difficult for you when you were younger - that kind of thing does stay with you, and it is hard to leave it behind.

    I don't think your relationship with your OH is at all healthy, but I respect that this is a Moneysaving board and you may not want relationship advice. I actually think that you are dependent rather than independent. You are in a situation where you somehow owe your OH £23000. As you point out, this is a lot of money. You say this was from when he supported you when you were out of work, but unless you were out buying cars, clothes and having expensive trips away without him surely this is mostly made up of rent and bills? And these costs have been, and gone. If he truly loved you I can't help but feel this sum of money would have been 'wiped' from the slate of your relationship. How does he expect you to pay this back? How do you expect to pay it back?

    I get the feeling that this money is weighing you down, and you feel immense guilt about it which affects how you behave in the relationship. It sounds like everything is on your OH's terms, and you don't feel you can push back against it because of this huge sum hanging over your head. It is not normal to have someone dictate what is on the television all the time, and the division of labour in your house sounds far from fair.

    I just can't see how you can practically pay this monry back, especially given your mental health issues. I am saying this not because I want to upset you, but because the longer this goes on the more entrenched you will find yourself in this relationship. I can't help but feel that a full time job would at least mean you are more in control of your own destiny - you would be earning your OWN money, and would control your own future. At the moment your life is lived at the whims of your OH. I cannot fathom how someone would want to live in mould and damp when as a couple you could afford to move.

    I appreciate that there is no easy, obvious solution to the issues you have posted about and I hope I haven't overstepped the mark. But you need to drastically change something in your life. I am not unsympathetic about the MH issues you have posted about, but the longer they go on without support or intervention the more entrenched they will become. Anxiety in social or work settings is not unusual - we all suffer from it to some degree. I do think you really need to push on and get a job and stick with for a while. Full time, part time, it doesn't matter. You can't at this stage afford to have too many ethics, either. I'm not saying you need to go and sell arms or cigarettes, but you are already limited in what you will consider.

    I hope I haven't upset you by typing this. It is hard to see a way forward, I know. I believe you can do it, but something inside you has to shift. We will all be here listening and supporting. Best wishes, M100 X
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Mar 18, 7:22 PM
    • 54,098 Posts
    • 214,488 Thanks
    beanielou
    I am not sure I think he actually does have your back from what you have said.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 4th Mar 18, 8:24 PM
    • 1,922 Posts
    • 11,805 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    The more I hear about your trials when you were younger Flo the more I feel for you.

    I think Magpie's post is brilliant and really touches on so many of your issues. A lot to mull over there.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Mar 18, 8:46 PM
    • 54,098 Posts
    • 214,488 Thanks
    beanielou
    We will support you all the way.
    Take care of you.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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.
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 15th Apr 18, 12:15 PM
    • 115 Posts
    • 259 Thanks
    Magpie100
    How are things, Flo?
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 15th Apr 18, 9:11 PM
    • 1,922 Posts
    • 11,805 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Yes hope all is ok Flo.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 24th Apr 18, 3:53 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hello all, I am home from work with a cold today and have a bit of time to come on here.

    Magpie100 - thank you for your comment, it was insightful and lovely and considerate and very kind and warm. Thank you.

    Thank you everyone else who has commented, such as you SSG and Beanielou.

    The 'sort of' arrangement OH and I have in regards to paying back money is we will both save for a house together, but when/if we buy a house together we will pay for it equally and the mortgage equally but I will make 'overpayments' on the mortgage to bring down the debt to the value of my debt to OH, at which point we will then contribute equally.

    My OH paid for my bills when I was either not working or under working and couldn't afford them. But he did also pay for my social outings and clothes and other random crap I bought in terms of me running up debt on credit cards when I couldn't afford the payments. He is not completely guilty and I am not completely innocent. Yes, sometimes I do think maybe he could be so kind as to let go of some of the debt since if he didn't help support me then he would not have had a girlfriend living with him, but in other ways I did spend selfishly on myself.

    On to other news.

    A lot has happened since I last posted. I got the job at the certain discount retailer which may or may not begin with a P and have been working 7 days a week since the 5th of March, with the exception of Easter Sunday (store closed), 2 days of Annual Leave, and today with illness.

    As a result of this OH has been making more of an effort with the housework and whilst some tasks like the washing up always seem to be done by me, I can ask him to hoover the whole of the downstairs and he will whilst I am at work.

    I have cleared a debt of £70 to my Sister I have owed her since something like 2012/13, I paid back £300 of the £1800 I have to pay back OH by the end of this year, and I bought one of my credit card balances down to under £1000.

    As I have paid one of next months CC bills already my debt is now:

    Mr L CC = £950
    Mr T CC = £2690
    OH 2018 Debt = £1500

    TOTAL = £5140 (of which CC debt is £3640)

    This year has been very slow with paying back debt but now with Job 2 and a pay increase at Job 1 I can finally make head way.

    I have over £150 in my savings account, something I haven't had in an extremely long time, but I do need to buy a new laptop soon as mine is 7 years old and takes a very long time to do anything so that may disappear.

    In general I am very, very happy.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 24th Apr 18, 7:17 PM
    • 54,098 Posts
    • 214,488 Thanks
    beanielou
    Good news on the debt repayments & the job.
    Keep plodding
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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.
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 24th Apr 18, 8:27 PM
    • 115 Posts
    • 259 Thanks
    Magpie100
    you are very welcome, Flo. xx Well done on your new job - you sound like you are working hard and earning consistently, which is what i think you need.

    i can't type much i'm afraid as wearing a wrist splint as i have tendonitis (i discovered today!) and need to rest my hand. but i wanted to say well done and keep going. i really hope you have turned a corner and you already sound much more confident. xx
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 25th Apr 18, 8:31 PM
    • 1,922 Posts
    • 11,805 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Congratulations on your job Flo - as Magpie says you sound a lot more happy and positive and well done on the debt clearing and your savings account.

    Also glad to hear that OH is helping out at home - makes a difference when you are both working to muck in together.

    Keep it up!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 26th Apr 18, 4:49 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    Well, things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

    I have lost my Monday to Friday job. I have been off since Tuesday and I went to the Doctor today to see if I was well enough to return to work and the Doctor took one look at my throat and said 'Boy that's red' and started swabbing it and wanted to sign me off for an extra week and I immediately was like 'Nooooo' as I knew it would be bad.

    I had 6 days off work between beginning of Jan and end of Feb at this job with IBS related symptoms, I had quickly picked up on the fact that where I work is the sort of place where unless your leg has fallen off they expect you to be tough and come in, but I am weak.

    So this suspected viral throat infection didn't go down well despite the fact there was almost 8 weeks without a sick day in a row, and now I have lost my job. It was an agency job so I can see it from their point of view, they need reliable staff.

    All in all it could be worse, I do at least have some form of income in my weekend job, though if I have to call in sick this weekend that is going to go down badly given I only started on the 10th of March, I might be able to pick up overtime during the week.

    And I did see my dream job advertised this week, maybe it is a sign of some sorts?

    At least I will have time to come on here and lose weight.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 26th Apr 18, 8:47 PM
    • 54,098 Posts
    • 214,488 Thanks
    beanielou
    Sorry to hear that you are unwell & your jon news.
    Take care.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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.
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 27th Apr 18, 1:25 PM
    • 898 Posts
    • 1,882 Thanks
    Kitten868
    Hello Flo,

    It's been a while. I think over all you are doing better over all since last we spoke.

    I don't think your oh is wrong. He did support you unfalteringly through the bad times. He never said no more money or you shouldn't have xyz. Plus I thought you were the one who totalled it up. However, I do disagree with some of his points. I can't have a career or work full time as I need to be around for our children as he is not here for months on end. I can't work nights as there's no adults here and any childcare would be more than I earn. I work as many hours as I can. Ours is a household income - we both bring in as much we can and try to make it cover what we need.

    I think keep doing the weekend job until you run out of steam. You'll get a new temp job mon-fri soon enough And you're really cutting your debts down to size. Try and get as close to paying the debts down as small as you can then quit. Don't keep it to upgrade the house or over pay the mortgage.

    And apply for the dream job!! Xxx
    Loan 1 £5900/£8000
    Loan 2 £3900/£5800
    Total £9800/£13800 29% PAID
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 28th Apr 18, 12:15 PM
    • 1,922 Posts
    • 11,805 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    I'm so sorry to hear about the weekday job Flo - and after things were going so well. However you can't take chances with your health.

    I'm echoing what kitten said in that you'll get another temp job soon and keep plodding away at the debt!

    Did you apply for the dream job?
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
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