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    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 30th Aug 18, 11:12 PM
    • 155Posts
    • 337Thanks
    jools1985
    Never too old to learn
    • #1
    • 30th Aug 18, 11:12 PM
    Never too old to learn 30th Aug 18 at 11:12 PM
    You know when you wish you could turn back the clock and not be so stupid? Well that's how I'm feeling right now.


    I have around 56,000 in unsecured debt which is truly shameful. It's all on credit cards and it built up purely by my own stupidity. I had a gambling addiction which I am so ashamed of and ran up many thousands of pounds of debt to feed my addiction. My last bet was almost 9 months ago and I really feel that with the help of Gamblers Anonymous I've kicked the habit this time. The only person who knows about this (other than people who may read this diary) is my lovely partner (we don't live together but I am waaay to old to have a boyfriend ) who I confided in last December. His support has been amazing, he could have walked away from me but he didn't.



    The debt is not all down to gambling I've also been too free and easy in booking holidays and going out with friends.



    I have a very significant birthday coming up frighteningly soon, when I'll be 60 and I hope to retire in 6 years time when I'll pick up my state pension.



    I've well and truly had my LBM and phoned Stepchange this morning. As everyone on here says it does feel like a weight has lifted from me but at the same time I feel really quite sick with the worry of the next few months and dealing with creditors.



    The lady on the phone said I should ring all the creditors and tell them I'm dealing with Stepchange. Well I'm too much of a scaredy cat to do that so I've written to them instead. Letters to post tomorrow. I have actually written to them all in longhand - using my very best writing, tongue just sticking out of the side of my mouth in concentration. I don't have access to a printer other than at work, and I'd be mortified if anyone I work with saw anything on a printer - they are notorious for jamming and I was catastrophising about the letter being caught up and seen by someone else.


    My debt free date should be in 5 years and 11 months time - eek 1 month before retirement, talk about cutting it fine. In reality I'm hoping it will be way before then as my mortgage only has 22 months (and payments) to run. When that is repaid I'll have an extra 768 a month to save or pay off my debts.



    So here goes day 1 of my new more sensible and hopefully calm life - at least once I've got over the hurdle of the DMP being set up and dealing with the creditors. A diary seems like a good way to keep me focused on the task in hand.



    Sorry about the long ramble
Page 2
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 13th Sep 18, 2:44 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 1,340 Thanks
    Willing2Learn
    My monthly email from the MSE credit club was waiting for me when I woke up this morning. My actual credit score has improved. Of course it doesn't show any missed payments yet. It's made me feel a bit flat as it has been improving in recent months. I'm expecting it to do a sharp nosedive after this month. I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter, bt still...........
    Originally posted by jools1985
    There were other letters advising about returned direct debits and inviting me to set up new ones.

    The worst one was from RBS also acknowledging my breathing space letter and advising me they would not suspend interest but would not charge any late fees before 7/10/18. I was hoping they'd suspend the interest but it seems it is not to be. I've had that account since 7/7/97 (it said so on the letter) This is the month I've ever missed a payment. Never even been late before. It's made me feel quite sad.....
    Originally posted by jools1985
    Of course, you could look at this from the opposite perspective and view the progress you have made with pride.

    I mean, you have addressed and continue to address your gambling.
    You are in the process of setting up your DMP. Which is essentially a gentleman's agreement, to honour your debts. You are, after all, only amending your original contractual terms to one that is affordable, given your circumstances. That has to be something to feel good about
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 13th Sep 18, 4:35 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    Thank you so much W2L. Your kind words of encouragement made me cry, but yes you are right. It is all progress made and progress which will continue
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 14th Sep 18, 3:15 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    Today's activity in my quest to become debt free - sent a letter to RBS for a copy of my credit agreement. The date of agreement is 7/7/97. Let's see what comes back.



    Again I wrote the letter out by hand - it feels so old school now and popping a postal order in with the letter is even older than old school
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 15th Sep 18, 7:43 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    Ho hum another Saturday and the 3rd out of the last 4 that I've working. I'm supposed to work just 1 in 8 Saturday's but we are short of cover so I'm doing it (again). I don't get overtime for it, just a day off during the week instead. I do get a Saturday premium payment of around 20 though, so I'll have an extra 60 pay at the end of the month - it all helps.
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 24th Sep 18, 7:50 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    A few things have happened over the last week or so.


    Barclaycard have suspended my account. Latest online statement shows they have not added any interest or late frres this month.


    New MBNA statements (2 cards) same as Barclaycard


    RBS have charged interest and a 12 late fee. I have had a response to my CCA request - they are gathering the evidence and will be in touch in due course. They have sent my Postal Order back as they do not charge for this service.


    I ave sent my Direct Debit mandate and other paperwork back to Stepchange. I've asked them not to start the DMP until December. I initially rang to ask this and the nice lady said that would be fine. I've put a covering letter in with the Direct debit etc asking the same thing.



    Had a stressful week as my mum was admitted to hospital as an emergency. She is 84 doesn't eat. She is very weak and has had a raft of tests and scans. She is waiting to be assessed by the mental health team. Despite feeling very under pressure I have not gambled which is exactly what I would have done in the past - good progress for me.


    I've turned 60 - free prescriptions woo hoo!
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 24th Sep 18, 11:06 PM
    • 508 Posts
    • 3,340 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Wishing you a Belated Happy Birthday.


    Hope all goes as well as possible with your Mum/


    Take care of yourself. X
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • GlendaSugarbean
    • By GlendaSugarbean 25th Sep 18, 6:22 AM
    • 269 Posts
    • 1,937 Thanks
    GlendaSugarbean
    Sorry to hear about your Mum, but well done on not gambling. You really are cracking this
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 2nd Oct 18, 10:18 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    Time I updated this diary.


    Not a lot happening on the DMP front. Just waiting for it to be set up. I've asked SC to delay taking the first payment until December.



    I got an unexpected overtime day last Saturday so I was very please about that. It will go a long way towards paying my 6 monthly water rates due later this month. I'm on a water meter. Maybe I should ring the water company and see if I can pay monthly. Don't know if this is possible as what I pay twice a year is after the meter has been read.



    15.50 was payable and withdrawn this morning from Topcashback - all from daily clicks. That will go to my EF once it hits my bank.



    My mum is still in hospital. She's had a big internal bleed and has had a blood transfusion and a raft of tests. It's all very worrying. It's also costing me a lot to see her multiple times a week. I reckon about 10 in fuel and toll costs each time. It's something I just have to go with though.


    Today marks 10 months without gambling.......
    Last edited by jools1985; 02-10-2018 at 10:20 AM.
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 2nd Oct 18, 12:32 PM
    • 508 Posts
    • 3,340 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Congratulations on 10 months of not gambling... that's a big milestone so kudos to you.

    Hope things improve for your Mum, sending healing thoughts. X
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 6th Oct 18, 12:06 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    I had an email from Stepchange advising my DMP is all set up and ready to start in December. My online banking showing the diret debit is there and ready to collect. I am feeling very calm about it all now and sort of excited to start driving this debt down.



    My mum is improving rapidly now. She'll be in hospital over the weekend and probably until Tuesday or Wednesday next week, but the tests they have done don't show anything 'sinister' which is a huge relief.



    So all in all things are picking up
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 6th Oct 18, 1:23 PM
    • 508 Posts
    • 3,340 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Really pleased tp jhear that your Mum is on the mend, it must be a fantastic relief for you.

    Brill news that your SC is now set up. You are doing really well , and everything is sounding positive, which is great!
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 7th Oct 18, 8:21 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    Another unexpected overtime shift for me today - a full 8 hours so that along with the 8 hours I did last Saturday will more than pay my water rates bill. Overtime is very rare so to do 8 hours 2 weekends running will be a great boost at the end of the month.



    I got my 6 monthly water bill in yesterday - 147. I need to get in touch with the water people to see if I can pay it monthly. If not I'll start putting away 25 each month for the next one in April.


    I really must stick to my budget.....and I will
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 8th Oct 18, 11:10 AM
    • 508 Posts
    • 3,340 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Great news on the overtime. Hows your Mum doing?
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 8th Oct 18, 9:24 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    Great news on the overtime. Hows your Mum doing?
    Originally posted by Chrystal

    Thanks for asking Chrystal. She is getting stronger and is eating at long last. Her weight had gone down to 5 and a half stones as she just didn't eat. Doctors have put this down to severe depression. Mum had been looking after my step dad at home and for the last 4 years he's had Altzheimers. He finally went into a care home in June as my mum was just too frail to continue. She has been wracked with guilt ever since and just seemed so sad.



    A DVT was found during a scan 2 weeks ago which was a shock for us all. She had another CT scan today while I was visiting her in hospital. Timing was good as I was able to go with her and wait for her while she being scanned. Hopefully the blood thinners they have been giving her are working to disolve the blood clot. She appears so much better in herself and is taking an interest in other things for the first time in such a long time. Really hoping she's turned a corner.....
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 8th Oct 18, 11:58 PM
    • 508 Posts
    • 3,340 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Oh Bless her. That must have been really difficult, both for her and you. The only good thing about Alzheimers is that, hopefully, they aren't aware of what's happening, but I can understand the feeling of guilt - I've cared for my disabled husband for the last 20 years and the feeling of responsibility can be overwhelming.
    Keeping my fingers crossed that things continue to improve. ((hugs))
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • pidge04
    • By pidge04 9th Oct 18, 6:30 AM
    • 498 Posts
    • 1,393 Thanks
    pidge04
    Just read your diary and I want to say I am full of admiration for you .. for no gambling and for getting your DMP in progress. Well done. Sorry your Mum has been poorly. Good luck to you!
    CC1 2400/422 CC2 3000/2269 CC3 600/0 LOAN 13,000/5008
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 11th Oct 18, 9:34 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 337 Thanks
    jools1985
    A bit of a mixed day for me today. My mum was expected to be discharged from hospital yesterday, then today but when I rang at 11am they said she has a chest infection so is staying in. I didn't go to see her today. I go one day, my sister goes the next. It takes about an hour to get there and back again and it's becoming exhausting for all of us - my poor mum included. She is so bored with it now.


    The good news is the scan she had 2 days ago shows that her DVT has disolved so that's a relief.


    Whilst I was on the phone to the hospital I heard a 'thud' of post landing on the hall floor. Oh oh I thought bet that is all from creditors. I was right, apart from a letter from Sky offering me a reduction to go back to them (I kicked them into touch in favour of Freeview via my telly) the rest of my post was from credit card people. There were 2 other items too. I will come to them in a bit.



    So.....MBNA x 2 and Nationwide have both agreed the payment offered via Stepchange. There was also a cc statement from RBS - no interest or late fees charged this month woo hoo. I had another letter from RBS - notice of Default telling me to pay up by 26/10/18 or they will terminate my agreement - bring it on I say. I think this is a warning that they will default me. Not too sure if it is the actual default or a threat of default. The main thing is thanks to avidly reading this forum I am no longer afraid of such letters.



    I also had a 'reminder' from Santander that they are increasing the interest rate on my Santander credit card to 23.something%. I intend to post it back to them reminding them that I have already told them by post and by phine that I have rejected the increase and they cancelled the card. It's all immaterial now anyway due to the DMP.




    The other 2 bits of post were - a lovely card from a friend who had missed my birthday afternoon tea out. The card also had a 30 Debenhams gift card in it. I was quite overwhelmed. People are so kind and I so blessed with my friends.


    The final piece of post was an NHS envelope. It contained my invitation to paerticipate in bowel cancer screening and contains a little kit to ahem smear poo with little sticks provided and put on a little card thingy over 3 days. It also has an envelope to return the 'samples' in. I suppose this is the only time to legally send $h1t via the Royal Mail .......Now I'm not knocking this at all and will certainly 'participate'. I'm all for having any health checks offered.


    A mixed day with mixed post indeed........
    Last edited by jools1985; 11-10-2018 at 9:38 PM.
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