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
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 21st Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    • 56Posts
    • 62Thanks
    Slytherin
    DFD: Dread-free diary
    • #1
    • 21st Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    DFD: Dread-free diary 21st Apr 18 at 4:44 PM
    Here we go...

    Iím just under £28,000 in debt with unsecured loans, credit cards and overdrafts. Iíve got so little to show for this debt and itís incredible how blas! my attitude towards spending this money was compared to the the frantic obsession Iíve experienced when Iíve actually focussed on what Iíve done.

    Iíve spent probably 2 years depressed and anxious about the ever-growing debts. The moments of blind panic have been plentiful, as have the nights of no sleep while Iíve been wracked which a churning stomach.

    I was on the fence when I contacted Stepchange about a debt management plan. I wasnít really sure how I should feel. I knew I didnít have to feel ashamed or embarrassed but was it wrong to feel relieved? I just wasnít sure. But when my DMP didnít get off to the best start, I was again fraught with worry.

    And then one day, today I guess, I realised: what does worrying bring to the table? What does my stress solve? How much closer or even further away am I from my DFD by letting depression eat away at me??

    Maybe itís that the sun is shining and Iím having a totally nice Saturday without spending a penny in the park. But after so long, Iíve realised that staying positive will mean I have the same journey...Iíll just be happier. It seems so simple and maybe I am being naive, but Iíve decided now that Iím just going to be positive.

    Here are some of the positive things that are happening right now:

    * Iíve registered with Stepchange, agreed and a budget and a repayment plan. Itís a long haul but itís a plan, nevertheless.
    * My plan was slightly derailed but Iíve got online to review my budget and agreed a new date to start the plan. This has really reassured me.
    * When Iím not sure of myself, Iíve got access to a wealth of information right here on MSE, where I can learn from people who prove you can get out of the other side in one pieces.
    * Two of my debts have been sold on - NatWest to Westcott and Capital One to FredPay. I donít know anything about either of these companies but I logged into FredPay and was able to send an message explaining my new start date for repayments and the simplicity was comforting!
    * Iíve agreed a move with work which will hopefully slash my living costs. This mean less worry about repayments and possibly being able to may a little more each month.
    * Moving is a new start. Itís a chance to change my habits without people wondering why. Itís a chance to focus on new things I can do at home (like cooking properly) without people saying ĎNo, weíll just eat out!í. Iím not going to change, but Iím going to improve and thatís exciting.
    * I can leave all my negative memories and feelings behind. I can commit to attacking my debts with positivity and knowing that I donít need much to make myself happy, just the knowledge that I can make it happen.

    Happy diary writing, everyone. I wonít ramble so much next time*


    (*no promises).
Page 1
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 21st Apr 18, 4:45 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    • #2
    • 21st Apr 18, 4:45 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Apr 18, 4:45 PM
    Sorry for all the spelling errors. iPhone and fat fingers.... c!!!8217;est la vie.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 21st Apr 18, 6:02 PM
    • 1,975 Posts
    • 12,169 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 18, 6:02 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 18, 6:02 PM
    Happy new diary, and good luck with it all. The location move will hopefully help, get its easier to change habits without people commenting.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 21st Apr 18, 6:50 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 18, 6:50 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 18, 6:50 PM
    Thank you, redofromstart.

    And I couldnít agree more - I currently live in London which is very expensive but also, there is definitely an expectation about how you should live as a single person of my age. Itís so unrealistic for me right now. Iíve had my fun and itís time to move on.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 21st Apr 18, 8:26 PM
    • 57,444 Posts
    • 235,235 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 18, 8:26 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 18, 8:26 PM
    Happy shiny new diary
    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. MFW 2018. No 144
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 21st Apr 18, 10:58 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 18, 10:58 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 18, 10:58 PM
    This evening, I!!!8217;ve partly been watching old eps of Bake Off on my friend!!!8217;s Netflix (borrowing a password will save me about £70 a year!) but I!!!8217;ve also been roughly calculating what my salary will be without London weighting, researching travel costs in the local area where I!!!8217;ll be moving to and just generally imagining how my budget will be. It!!!8217;s all hypothetical at the moment as I don!!!8217;t yet have firm figures for wages and rent but it looks very positive! I think for the first couple of months, I!!!8217;ll be conservative with reviewing my DMP as I!!!8217;m expecting that I may need to buy some new house hold items etc and also, I may need driving lessons as I!!!8217;m in a good position professionally for a promotion but most of the opportunities require a driving licence. Regardless, I!!!8217;m confident I!!!8217;ll be able to pay more
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 21st Apr 18, 10:59 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 18, 10:59 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 18, 10:59 PM
    (Why do those numbers and exclamation marks keep appearing?!)
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 22nd Apr 18, 8:55 AM
    • 1,975 Posts
    • 12,169 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #8
    • 22nd Apr 18, 8:55 AM
    • #8
    • 22nd Apr 18, 8:55 AM
    (Why do those numbers and exclamation marks keep appearing?!)
    Originally posted by Slytherin
    Its an IoS thing apparently, go to settings, general, keyboard and turn off 'smart punctuation' and that sorts it. Turns it off for everything though.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 22nd Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    • #9
    • 22nd Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    Thanks for that, I've changed the settings now.


    Today and indeed the past couple/next couple of days have been NSD. I was basically !!!!!!ed out of nearly everything in my bank account by booking.com - tip for you: don't expect 'no prepayment and pay on arrival' to actually mean that! Not only did they leave me with just £30 in the bank two weeks before payday, they have been totally useless in helping me recoup the money. In fact, they have ignored all of my emails although the property in question have agreed to refund me.

    Thankfully, if there is ever a time to be skint then it's now. Gym is already paid for so I've spent a fair whack of my time there and loafing around in the sunshine at the park is also free. It's also been a good chance to use up food that's been in the freezer for a while.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 22nd Apr 18, 4:59 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    When the sun went in, I decided to have a bit of a clear out and have been going through a lot of the correspondence I have regarding my debt. It's a pretty terrifying pile of letters that I haven't looked through in a while.

    Quite a lot has changed since these started to arrive, though. I have actually realised that 3 and not 2 of my debts have been sold on.

    £2000 OD from Natwest has gone to Westcot.

    £3300 CC from Capital One one to Fredrickson.

    £5000 CC from Barclaycard to Arvato.

    The only creditor that hasn't sold anything on is Nationwide. I owe them about £15000 but I've noticed that part of that debt hasn't been added to my DMP so that's a job for tomorrow when I can get on to a desktop PC.

    This means I can get rid of a lot of letters and that stressful pile of papers is going to be a lot smaller. The debt is still the same but it feels like everything is starting to calm down a little. Yay.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 22nd Apr 18, 6:58 PM
    • 1,669 Posts
    • 9,074 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Hi sounds like you've had your LBM (Light Bulb Moment)

    Just over a year ago I was where you are...

    You'll find the folks on here to be VERY supportive.

    Looking forward to following your journey
    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.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 22nd Apr 18, 7:31 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    Thanks, Uncannyscot. I definitely feel like I've had a LBM. I'm feeling good.

    One of the things that panicked me was realising that I'm probably never going to be able to buy my own home because of my debts. Another LBM I had was realising: why do I even want a mortgage? Sure, it's a bit cheaper than renting but I'd only be saddled to it and I don't think I'll ever have kids so it's not like I'll need a house to pass on to them. Waking up to some of these things that I assumed I should want but don't necessarily want has really helped.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 1st May 18, 7:29 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    I've had a bit of a set back with my DMP. I massively understated something on my SOA which has now come back to bite my !!!!. My DMP might close now but I need to focus on the solutions rather than the problems - another call to Stepchange tomorrow to remedy this and hopefully start making smaller payments than planned (until August). If they say no... time to find a plan B.

    To keep my mind focussed, I'm dedicating the rest of the month to having a frugal May. With the exception of an unavoidable trip at the end of the month (family, so hopefully no big spends) I'm going to commit to being really sensible this month.

    I could also do with cutting back on junk food and booze, which are my go-tos when I'm feeling stressed or down. This is the month to do it.
    • nextyeartina
    • By nextyeartina 1st May 18, 8:48 PM
    • 723 Posts
    • 1,055 Thanks
    nextyeartina
    StepChange are understanding. Give them a call tomorrow and you'll probably find you won't need to go to plan B. Good luck
    The £1,000 emergency fund challenge #163 - £536.16/£1000
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 2nd May 18, 8:40 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    I rang them last night and the person I spoke to was pretty short with me to be honest, but I can't expect people to tiptoe around me.

    Basically, when I did my original budget I only put £500 for my rent as that is what I was actually paying. My boyfriend was contributing £250 and using it as a base for when he was in town (works remotely so didn't have a contracted tenancy himself as mainly lived in hotels Monday-Thursday). We broke up in January and he still paid for January and February but in March, said he couldn't. So I've got the responsibility for the full rent until I move out 16th July. I should have just mentioned my actual obligations but after 2 years, I've only ever thought of 'my rent' as what I was physically paying myself.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 6th May 18, 9:08 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    I tried to ring a Stepchange on Friday but didn't have enough time to do a budget review and it's not possible for this to be done online at the moment.

    I got a few letters on Saturday morning and these combined with the lack of progress on Friday had my anxiety niggling away. Added to the fact that it was after 12 on a Saturday and on the weekend of a bank holiday, I felt pretty hopeless. After a late night on Saturday, I really wanted a nap around noon today but my stomach was in bits and my mind in overdrive.

    I suppose good progress is that a year ago, these feelings consumed me for days at a time but now, after a moment of uncertainty, I knew where to go. I hit the forum and read through the DMP mutual support thread again. I also read the 11 years a slave thread which is so inspiring to me.

    A weight was lifted almost immediately. I decided what to do - made an action plan in terms of ringing SC on Tuesday to sort out my budget, get my installment paid and then I'll have a quick ring round my creditors to confirm what's happening.

    Time to get things done.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 7th May 18, 5:24 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    After a no spend day sunbathing on the common, I thought I'd get started on yesterday's action plan.

    Firstly, I've inboxed Fredpay since that is something I could do straight away. I love their online system for communicating. I think a lot of people who are anxious talking about debt would get help quicker if they could use that method! I actually had a reply from my last message which I had missed. It basically said they understood my request to start paying from August although recommended tokens to avoid Capital One reclaiming the debt and passing it elsewhere. I've explained that I hope to agree a reduced DMP payment to SC from this week and that I'll keep them updated.

    I've compiled the paperwork for Westcot, Arvarto and Nationwide and sealed it in an envelope in my bag so that I've got all the details. All of them are open after work so I'll probably head to the park if the weather is nice and get the three calls over and done with.

    I usually start work at 9am but have such a busy day (and week!) that I'm aiming to be at work for 8am when the Stepchange phonelines open. I can't really do anything until I've spoken to Stepchange so it will be good to do that early doors.

    If I could make some sort of payment - however small - then I think this would be a big boost for me.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 8th May 18, 3:06 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    I realised this evening (too hot to sleep!) that my goals are so short term. Obviously, my long term goal is to reach my DFD but I wanted some positive goals to focus on in the next year or two.

    I'm moving in about 2 month's time. I'm going to be lodging in someone's house but unlike houseshares in London, it's likely to be with a homeowner in a much smaller set up. This is an improvement on the house shares of 4/5 people I've previously had. However, I really want to live alone.

    I really believe if I can last about one year as a lodger, I should be able to get together the funds to rent a one bed flat in the area where I'll be moving to (generally, the costs for this are half or less than half of a single London room). Obviously, I'd have bills to pay for myself.

    I'm not obsessed with the idea of a mortgage - partly because my finances have resigned me to knowing I'll never get one but also because I've been hopeful that at some point in my life, I'll be in the position to travel and I wouldn't necessarily want to be shackled to a house.

    Very short term goal - correspondence as detailed in previous post.
    Near short term goal - get moved to new city.
    Medium term goal - live alone, get a promotion.
    Long term goal - debt free forever.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 8th May 18, 8:47 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    Update! Got on to Stepchange early this morning. Because I need to redo my whole budget and also add a debt where details were incorrect, they've suggested a token payment and then start again at the end of the month for a June payment.

    I spoke to Avarto who basically said that now they've have a Stepchange reference, they'll refer back to the original creditor (Barclaycard). Westcott weren't bothered at all, more or less said 'great, do as you please'.

    Annoying, Nationwide sent me a letter with the wrong closing time on so when I called, they'd already closed. This will have to rolllover til tomorrow.

    In terms of spends, I spent 45p on huuuge bottle of water which I've kept in the fridge at work and should last a couple of days. I then went to do my yellow sticker thing at M&S and got four meals for £8.
    • Slytherin
    • By Slytherin 9th May 18, 8:38 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Slytherin
    Nationwide closed before 6pm and when I rang at 8am today, they were also closed. I Tweeted them and they've confirmed collections is 9-5 and not 8-6, even though that's what's on the letter they sent. Annoying as I don't think I'll manage to ring them because of work. Wednesday is my busiest day so I'll have to try again tomorrow.

    Other than that and the fact that I got shampoo in my eye and it now resembles a red snooker ball, today should be a good day.

    Got an M&S granola pot for breakfast - reduced to 55p and an M&S Thai curry for lunch - reduced to 1.30. I'll just be having a sandwich for dinner so should be a NSD.
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

377Posts Today

5,200Users online

Martin's Twitter