Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Debt - really can't believe the mess we are in

(82 Posts)
Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 11:29:19

It all seemed so lovely when we got together but the combinations of two failed marriages, debt from first marriage, me leaving work for ages due to sick child, and lack of common sense means that on an income of about 75k we are unable to even do spontaneous trips to the cinema. Not looking for sympathy , but is anyone else. In a similar boat?

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 15:53:23

Gawd! 60k worth of debt OP. We have £0 debt. Granted we don't have a mortgage. Although somehow I'm glad we don't. We try our hardest to live within our means.

I think you and your OH really need to sit down and talk about it. You NEED to budget to clear the debt. No ifs, no buts. You NEED to budget.
Budgetting can be fun. Well, it is for me!

Would you consider doing extra/odd jobs or selling unwanted stuff on Ebay or do a few car boot sales? That could help you considerably depending on how much spare time/stuff you and your OH have.

When you eventually clear your debt perhaps cancel your overdraft if you have one and keep only one credit card with a minimal credit limit for unexpected emergencies/purchases. Alternatively you could save up a rainy day fund.

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 16:21:47

I do agree that dh should accept help but I can't force him so I'm working with what he will accept. I have a spreadsheet of all outgoings and I've cancelled or changed everything that isn't essential. We need insurance as we don't have lump sums to cover disasters - life, car etc and I change these often.
I think that sometimes it's a gritting your teeth and paying it off thing - I will look at the suggested threads as I have run out of ideas now.
Emin I do understand that guilt, and the fact you can't go back and redo things. I'd have budgeted a lot earlier on with hindsight,
Thank you for the kind words: it's nice to say stuff anonymously sometimes.

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 16:23:18

Gecko, sorry. Yes I will be doing boot fairs when it's sunny. I hate them but it is useful and handy to have cash. I am looking forward to July when I will have paid a card off and can have another look at where to target next.

issimma Sat 04-May-13 16:30:42

The frugal queen blog is inspirational and full of ideas. She paid off a shedload of debt and is now repaying her mortgage. I couldn't live as frugally as she does, but it's a useful resource.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 16:33:49

I'm doing a spreadsheet for dh now to see what the hell we are actually paying out! there seem to be some wierd direct debits that neither of us can understand! We have spoken to virgin and cut down on our phone and internet bills and cancelled the evening papers - so have so far saved £19 a month already. I left the gym, as wasn't using it, but I refuse to let him leave as it's the only thing he does. Insurances are a sod, but vital i guess. We recently had a broken boiler which would have cost about a grand to fix, but we were insured. Also, we do have 2 cars, but they are both worth under £500 each and to sell one would really be a waste of time. The tax on them both is small as are the insurances. It can all be done - I'm sure.

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 16:37:41

The spreadsheet is invaluable. I am ashamed at what we are paying in debt each month though. All at minimum except one which I am chucking money at until its gone and then I will start the next one.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 16:40:57

yep, our (my sad) debt repayments are around £200 a month which may sound small, but on an income of £2200 a month between us it's a lot really. DH only works part time which is an absolute bugger - the job is good but he jobshares with someone - who won't leave grin it would be ideal if he could do it f/t. he is constantly looking for extra work, but it's not easy. Arghhhh.

Badvoc Sat 04-May-13 16:42:56

I sympathise op.
We weren't doing too badly and then we bought a money pit of a house and we now have no savings and owe £7k on cc just on things like new boiler, new roofing, new windows...sigh. We also owe our parents money too and are paying back £100 to each every month.
We are both using our overdraft each month, but I have got mine down from £800 to £250.
I have no idea what would be the best idea for us...I sometimes think a personal loan (good rates ATM) so we could cut the cc up would be the way to go.
Sigh.
I wish dh would sit down and do a budget with me, but he sees it as a criticism of him.
It really isn't.
It's just bad luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 17:53:14

Your DH sounds like he needs to get real, quite frankly. £60k is a huge amount of money to owe and it's ridiculous to expect you and a spreadsheet to do it solo when there are agencies that could potentially help you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 17:54:36

You may not be able to 'force him' but his head in the sand approach is unreasonable. There's nothing to stop you making an appointment yourself.

ihatesonic Sat 04-May-13 18:10:39

Actually, the spreadsheet way can work. I was left with a HUGE amount of debt following divorce and have managed to reduce it from £25k at the start of 2012 to £18K now. I found it motivating seeing the amount go down which I updated every month. I managed to do it on a low wage and with three kids.

Shamefully, I once worked in debt management so didn't want to go to a management company.

It does take time but it can be done. Good luck!

weakestlink Sat 04-May-13 18:16:30

We have about the same £60k debt due to a combination of recent house renovations (unsecured loans) and credit card debt we've run up through being irresponsible!!
We can afford all our monthly commitments (loans obv fixed then cards a little over min payments and most on 0% deals).
Our annual income is a bit over £100k and we have a small mortgage so now we have addressed the issue and stopped spending we are able to pay about £4k/ month towards our debts so we are seeing it reduce fairly quickly.
I have not got any outside help like you I have a spreadsheet and basically work on the principle of paying off the most expensive debt first and ensuring all c.cards are cleared before the 0% deal ends (or find new deal if not possible!).
We are living fairly frugally with our main expenses being petrol and food. We won't be going on holiday this year or next and we have put any more home improvements on hold.
So you are not alone! I just hope I will never get into debt again...!

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 18:26:21

Sorry If i miss anyone as I really do appreciate the replies. Badvoc, cogito, forgot the blardy money pit house factor. I will ring actually, I keep thinking there is a magic solution which I'm missing.
Really anti getting consolidation loan, I think it just rejogs the debt and I need to grit my teeth and take control of the money like a job.
Weakest link - crap isn't it.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 18:45:21

Please please don't take this the wrong way, but I could weep at thought of having £100K salary. We just need to be earning arund £40K between us to be able to breathe and straighten it out a bit! I totally get that the more you earn the more you spend, so as I say, please don't think I'm doing that 'sniff, you earn so much, what is tyour problem' grin

weakestlink Sat 04-May-13 18:55:28

The thing about earning a lot is other people's expectations!

Eg.
Ppl asking why we're not going on holiday as if its shocking :O
Ppl expecting extravagant gifts from us at birthdays/Xmas etc
Stuff like that - I have grown a very thick skin recently!

Also psychologically seeing a healthy bank balance but not being able go shopping/out for dinner etc but I console myself that we've had our fun hence being in this mess!!!!!

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 19:02:29

people seem to think we're incredibly well off too! It's cuz we speak posh!! To be honest, if we didn't have this debt hanging over us and Dh was full time we would be ok. Horrible though having to not be able to just, as you say, book a holiday, or go out for a meal, or just go 'shopping'. Stiff Upper lip and all that though - mustn't let 'them' know sad

Badvoc Sat 04-May-13 19:08:47

Weakest.....yes. Me too.
I got my family to do secret Santa last Xmas! smile (pils would never agree)
We go on hols for a week in the uk whilst our friends go to New York, Caribbean etc.
We don't go out, have take aways.
I also think that somehow there must be something I am missing too, but it's actually more to do with the fact that my grocery bill has gone up 30-40% in the past year, fuel, utilities....everything has gone up sad but wages have not. Dh has not had a pay rise in 3 years. And I can't get a job.
Just hope that things get better.
Because we really can't cut back anymore without getti rid of my car - and I really don't want to do that. We wouldn't get loads for it anyway - maybe £2k? And it would really affect my job hunting prospects.
Sigh.
No easy answer sadly.

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 19:10:20

Emin I think it's totally okay to think that, I was shocked that Martine mccutcheon went bankrupt on her earnings - trouble is you get to a state slowly where extra earnings go on debt and you need to earn that level to sustain the debt.
Yes to both the expectations, and the frustration of not just popping to the cinema on a rainy day or getting a takeaway etc. I had a serious crash this week and dh couldn't even justify getting me a bunch of flowers ( I'd have been cross!)

weakestlink Sat 04-May-13 19:21:42

flowers all round I think!!!

We have really suffered with the rise in food and fuel prices. Even with being careful where we drive we spend £600/month in fuel and I drive a hybrid!!!!! I have cut food down to £80-100/week from £200++. We are lucky to have a small mortgage on a low interest rate as this really takes the pressure off.

I dream of 2015 most nights.....

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 19:28:14

It's quite funny really - the last two years our holidays have been in fancy cottages on the 'North Norfolk Coast' ( v trendy around our way) what people don't know is that my mum has paid sad I hate this poorness and sort of go a bit <tinkly> about how ''shabby chic' we must be grin

ArtemisKelda Sat 04-May-13 19:29:58

I can also recommend MSE, their debt free wannabe board was a lifeline when we were badly in debt. We managed to pay the lot off without hurting our credit ratings. Thanks to MSE support, we have a small, manageable debt (car loan) and are mortgage free. It took a couple of years of v v v thrifty living but it is doable.

Good luck flowers

weakestlink Sat 04-May-13 20:02:33

I have recently discovered Amazon Subscription which is saving me a fortune on nappies / night nappies and wipes.
It also means I never run out as they are shipped out automatically so save me from spending £2.98 on a packed of wipes at the village shop when I've forgotten to buy any blush!
Only useful if you have little people really though!

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 20:39:33

For us, losing the cb was awful - that was my school uniform and emergency cash, I'm sure that has crystallise ld for me the need to pay this off ASAP

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-May-13 06:20:13

Consolidation borrowing is only one solution and, of course, it has to be carefully managed. However if you've got money outstanding on a credit card costing !7% APR and a bank loan is nearer 7% then it has to be considered. There are many other solutions to cut your costs, some more drastic than others. As accommodation tends to be one of the bigger single expenses, have you considered moving house to something smaller/cheaper?

Badvoc Sun 05-May-13 06:38:22

I have looked into that cogito, but it would only save us about £150-200 per month (we are on a fixed rate deal) which for us isnt worth the trauma of moving again, and knowing our luck we would probably have the same issues in the new house that we have had here sad we have spent so much money on this house, dh would never move now!
Afaik our cc is on a 0% deal ATM til nov so no way it could be cheaper really, butnwemjust dint seem to be paying much off.
I am now shopping at aldi/asda to try and get the food bill down.
Try not to drive if I can help it.
Get the dc clothes from e bay and supermarket sales (got some great stuff for ds2 off e bay...couldn't beleive it!)
The only "luxury" we have is cable tv and I am pretty loathe to get rid of that and tbh it's not that much as its a package with phone and BB.
We have redone all our insurances etc and saved over £50 per month doing that.
I am dreading the summer tbh...our holiday, a wedding to go to and then 2 lots of school uniforms and shoes to buy.
We have just paid £250 for ds1 to go on a school residential trip which has not helped!
Am hoping by Xmas things will be more in an even keel.....<hopeful>

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now