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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?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 04-May-13 12:40:45

Are you getting any help getting on top of your debts? There are several free debt advice services if you're finding meeting your commitments overwhelming.

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 13:19:01

No, dh is really against any kind of management plan so it's me and a spreadsheet! I have googled and got some tips, and I've now worked out when we should be able to clear it- 60k though. hmm

noisytoys Sat 04-May-13 13:25:03

We are in a similar position. Joint income of 23k, unsecured debt of 25k it's a grind. Fingers crossed it isn't forever though. Never signing another credit agreement again it is too easy to get into and too hard to get out of

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 13:30:26

Yup us too! we are on about 32 before tax between us, and are absolutely buggered. DH had to go grovelling to dd school as we cannot pay any more 'voluntary contributions' at the moment. It is so humiliating. the thing is, it is basic 'living' at the moment. Everything is paid - but nothing is left sad Mortgage, bills, food, council tax - our take home is just over the 26K so we get no help whatsoever. It's heart breaking at times. In fact I am really concerned for DH mental health as he is getting himself into a terrible state about it all. I have tried to point out that we are up to date with everything, we are not at a foodbank yet, but he feels a failure.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 13:31:23

oh we do have debts (not inc mortgage) of about 12K - I royallly cocked up with cards and feel so guilty sad

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 13:31:42

Noisy, I keep thinking that, the more you consolidate the debt the longer it lasts. Although we have to pay for the car so I've shifted some of the cc debt to an interest free card to free up some space for the car costs. Can't think of anything else to cut, need Internet for work. Noisy, do you have a plan?

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 13:33:40

Emin, the cards are awful, so easy to sit on minimum payments. I've chosen the smallest one and if I throw money at it it will be gone by July. I can only think in small steps as it is too terrifying otherwise.

noisytoys Sat 04-May-13 13:34:20

My plan is plod along and hope for the best (and hope the DCs stager their growing so they don't both need new clothes at the same time). We can afford the basics food, flat, bills etc and the rate we are going it will be paid in full in 6 years so there is light at the end of the very long tunnel smile

maras2 Sat 04-May-13 13:40:02

Try Martin Lewis's of good advice for all sorts of money problems.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 13:40:52

We've managed to negotiate no interest on a few and simply don't use any at all now. A couple (yes you Mr 'I love the people' Branson) refuse to drop the interest and are more difficult to get rid of . grrr. The thing to remember is that if you have negotiated repayments and suddenly come into a little money, if you offer them a sum less than what you owe, they will probably accept it. We could get rid of all of them for about 8 thousand if we had it!

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 13:43:44

Emin, does that affect your credit rating?
Noisy, sounds like my plan.... We just need to get in a place to pay for extras like servicing and emergencies

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 13:48:26

well, it has a bit already - although we have neve ever ben late paying anything, the fact that we have had to ask for help negotiating has affected us a bit, but on the whole, showing responsibilty has not stopped us for example, changing mortages or getting joint account overdrafts.

JourneyThroughLife Sat 04-May-13 13:58:09

Yes, I also have HUGE debts. It has affected my credit rating so I can't get credit at all. It all came about due to failed marriage, no pay out (no house, nothing, had to start again and try to feed/educate 2 teenagers on no money) - ran up huge debt just paying for it all. Eventually went to a company who did all the work for me - contacted all the creditors, worked out small repayments, gave me lots of advice such as change my bank account first before setting up repayments. Once that was all done (it took about 6 months to sort out) I then took over everything myself so that I wasn't doing it via the company.

Since then I have continued on very low payments. The debt is still HUGE. I doubt whether I'll pay it off even when I'm 80 and in a nursing home. However, the children have left home, I have changed jobs and now work in employment where my accommodation and bills are paid by my work. When a couple of the credit companies tried to "up" my payments and put a "charge" on my property, they couldn't because I don't own a property...

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 13:58:22

Oh that's good to know. We finally get back to repayment and off fixed interest only in September so we could look around then.

Viviennemary Sat 04-May-13 14:06:42

I'm quite cautious probably too cautious. But there are some quite good books on getting out of debt. I think you should follow a fixed plan. Why not ring up your local Citizens Advice Bureau and ask them to be referred for debt management. There used to be a voluntary agency who did debt management free of charge but not sure if it's still exists. I think a fixed plan is the way to go.

I would highly, highly, highly recommend Dave Ramsey's 'The Total Money Makeover'. It's on Amazon. He also has a podcast you can listen to for free. He's the American version of Martin Lewis and really makes everything seem simple and achievable. He's very inspirational. We have saved £8000 in 7 months on pretty low salaries by following his advice.

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 15:01:23

Good advice already, thank you
! Will have a look on amazon later and google CAB

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 15:02:08

Good advice already, thank you! Will have a look on amazon and google CAB

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 15:15:12

Apart from our mortgage that is now paid we have never had any debt since being married. No cards, loans, buy now pay later etc.

Before I am lynched, its because when we were first together over 20 years ago now I suffered from mh issues and was agoraphobic. We ended up with lots of debt like rent, phone, other utilities and there didn't seem any way out.

I know this is hard for anybody going through this, but I would firstly advise contacting all companies to pay off the minimum amount per month and also paying those with the highest interest first.
I have lots of sympathy, not everyone is good at handling money, some get into trouble through no fault of their own.

OP and others, you will come out of this alright and on the positive side you will learn so much and it will never happen again, because you won't let it.

Good luck.

Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 15:20:45

More than, no lynching here! I will be teaching the dcs about this stuff - dd is already really sensible and saves for things she needs. Glad you managed to get out of it originally

specialsubject Sat 04-May-13 15:31:21

if you have got 60k in debt it is time your husband grew up and accepted help and a management plan. With your joint incomes it should be perfectly manageable but it sounds like you really must get help.

no-one is born knowing how to manage money. It is never too late to learn.

good luck.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 15:37:23

I am absolutley hopeless managing money - I'm not ashamed to say that! At work, I am repsonsible for an annual budget of 100,000 but manage that perfectly, it's just my own money I struggle with. I hid these debts from dh for ages until I just couldn't cope any more - understandbly he went ballisitc, but we had to sit down and work through it sad Now we pay off, as I said, the cards as much as we can. It is making us struggle though - and I really can't forgive myself for that. I really do believe I've learnt my lesson now and I hate that he is making him self ill because of me sad This month has been awful and he is really struggling with the situation.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 15:37:48

sorry, I rambled on a bit there - it's just not good right now sad

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 15:41:43


It is so easy to manage our money now. If we don't have the cash in the bank we save up. There is never temptation not even one of those sofa deals that pretend not to be credit. I know it will never happen again and thats what makes it so easy.
I know you aren't looking for sympathy but you certainly have mine. If I think about all those years ago my stomach is in knots, as yours probably will be.
You will get through this and it will make you stronger. You do need to look after yourselves and get savvy with the vouchers, free gifts, competitions etc and then you can have an occasional treat without the cost.
The credit crunch and scrimper threads on here are good.
Look after yourselves. x

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.
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 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!

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.
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>

MrsWolowitz Sun 05-May-13 06:47:19

I have heard about this organisation on Money Saving Expert and have a bit if experience of them in RL and they are very good and totally free. Don't let the name put you off, you don't need to be interested in church and in fact they don't even mention it.

Hope you get it sorted. Money worries are terrible.

JakeBullet Sun 05-May-13 07:21:24

I feel for you OP, relationship breakdown left me in a hell of a mess and my credit rating is crap. I am now on benefits ...although hoping that I will be back at work within a few weeks.
Everything has gone up, petrol, food, all is hideous.

Delayingtactic Sun 05-May-13 08:12:12

I got DH and I into heaps of debt, uncontrolled cc spending, overdraft and bank loan which defaulted - actual genuine error on their part but it had gone to debt collectors so there was nothing they could do. I felt sick with stress and worry and absolute guilt.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel - credit cards are almost all paid (two months until clear!) and our largest debt (my loan) has gone from £28000 to £7000. In a weird way it was actually more helpful for it to have gone to debt collectors, I don't pay interest and they have been surprisingly really flexible about increasing or decreasing payments as needed.

I have the most impressive spreadsheet - it tracks everything and automatically updates various things so I know to the penny how much we have free to spend on little things like food over the month. At least the absolute guilt has stopped.

Nerfmother Sun 05-May-13 08:17:45

Loads of really helpful advice and stories. Thank you. I am going to look at the links this afternoon, and work out what else is doable.

Badvoc it sounds like you're doing really well cutting costs. Without meaning to sound harsh though, can I suggest something about the cable?

TV-worth anything from £100+ I'd guess?
TV licence-£120 a year approx
Cable-£50?? a month-ish?

It all really adds up. One of the best things we did when we were cost cutting was get rid of our TV altogether. We now don't have to pay for a TV license, we can still watch stuff (not live ) on the laptop on I player/4OD, and we're saving a fortune. We also don't have the TV on in the background every evening eating electricity and we're getting more quality time together as a family, which is a great side effect! It's really worth looking at.

fisherflyer Sun 05-May-13 08:27:30

I have heard good things about CAP too MrsWolowitz. I was in terrible debt a couple of years ago and I got help through CCCS (now named Stepchange) which I preferred as they did it all over the phone rather than a home visit.

I had over £60k in debt and was paying over half my income on just the minimum payments, hardly making inroads towards the debt at all. They helped me get it written off through bankruptcy, which is a massive relief to me - I feel so much better off as I didn't have to pay anything towards the debts after that so I was able to keep all my income. Have been discharged a year now and am able to afford those little treats again. My credit rating is shot for the next few years, but by the time I asked for help, I was getting turned down for consolidation loans anyway, so I actually don't think it's made it any worse than it was.

It makes no sense to try to pay off the debt yourself without seeking advice. You often end up paying more as the support agencies can help you get the interest frozen, or ask the credit companies to accept a lower settlement offer than the whole debt. Some people are reluctant to ask for help as it does affect your credit rating. But chances are, it's going to be pretty poor if you're in that much debt anyway.

uggmum Sun 05-May-13 08:29:40

I would recommend 'stepchange' debt charity. They are brilliant and their website has lots of self help.

Badvoc Sun 05-May-13 09:26:38

Antoinette..yes that's true. It does mount up doesn't it? Like the car too I guess...ins, fuel, mot etc.
I do find I use the cable a lot though, things like catch up, recording programmes I can't watch, and the kids use it too. I think I would have a revolution on my hands if we got rid of it smile
Plus our (old) laptop is on it's last legs, so would need to get a new one to benefit from iplayer etc.
For me it's about completely changing the way I think about and spend money.
I will check out the stepchange website, thanks.
Thing is, I am not bothered about going out, having nice clothes, going abroad etc but I do worry that soon it will affect the dc and what we can provide for them and whether they will be able to take advantage of school trips etc sad
So I have to do something.
Ideally by Xmas I want to not be using my (free) overdraft at all. And kept in budget for Xmas gifts. And have a savings plan in place for 2014.
Easy, right? smile

Badvoc Sun 05-May-13 09:27:52

I think I need to get me a spreadsheet! smile

Nerfmother Sun 05-May-13 10:00:46

Our spreadsheets are: outgoings and grand total so that each month I know how much is left for fuel. Then a spreadsheet updated each month with every debt balance and totals at te bottom.

eminemmerdale Sun 05-May-13 11:16:33

Just watching the news - apparently 43% of people are using cards or savings to do the food shopping sad In a way, that makes me feel better - so many people (squeezed middle) in the same situation.

Badvoc Sun 05-May-13 12:31:22

Yes I saw that too.
I wonder I'd the govt care tbh...

Nerfmother Sun 05-May-13 13:29:26

Yes, I'm not surprised. I pay gas and electric on one of the cards hmm

This is the link to the Debtfree Wanabe board on MSE. They are a great bunch of folk and are really supportive and have lots of ideas for getting extra cash to pay down the debts.

Also bung your details in the Snowball Calculator and see how quickly youcan pay down your debts.

Nerfmother Sun 05-May-13 18:09:59

Thanks rants. Am off tomorrow so will try the snowball one first

Badvoc Sun 05-May-13 19:29:01

I went on the stepchange website (would recommend) and in some ways it was good news...we are not late on any payments and (apparently) have Osage money left over each month but its sobering to see all your debts in one place.
£8k is a lot sad
It also did mention selling the car,(our only asset) but dh won't hear of it and as we live in a village it will be handy for job hunting.
All I see for the rest of the year is money needing to be spent sad
Holiday (uk)
Family wedding (just dh and I going)
Then back to school and uniforms etc

We have about 6-7k debt not inc mortgage and secured loan (with them it's about 88kshock) that we managed to fall behind on payments when DH was made redundant in 2010. We have bitten the bullet and entered into a debt management plan. It was the best move I have made (I made the decision as DH buried his head in the sand about it all) we now shop at Aldi and get clothes etc from eBay where possible. Any spare money I find lying around is saved in a pot and we meal plan and save extra portions left over in freezer boxessmile we now have a small amount of disposable income and can put some aside for little luxuries. With debt I have found pride to be an enemy as it stopped me from being practical and sorting out the finances earlier... It's horrible, the helplessness of debt...

Nishky Sun 05-May-13 19:53:46

I am at the other side of paying off debts after about 8 years- it is hard but you will all get there.

I actually enjoyed parts of regaining control - the first Christmas I paid for in cash/debit card rather than credit card gave me a massive thrill. Even though the presents were slightly smaller.

Good luck. It can be done.

leaderscorp Thu 09-May-13 05:50:28

Have you consulted an expert about debt already? I think you should see one.

Nerfmother Thu 09-May-13 22:11:38

Leaders, no, dh won't do a debt plan etc. tbh, by looking at the links on here , and facing reality, it's a case of head down, pay it off for the next four years, and hope we both keep our jobs. I spent too long til recently looking for a magic answer and juggling bits of cash around. Now I know exactly what we owe I have a plan...

Amilliondifferentpeople Fri 10-May-13 07:34:37

I've downloaded that total money makeover recommended earlier. Interesting....

Hope it's useful amillion. Ignore the God stuff (unless that's up your street) and the advice is very sound. He's a bit controversial in that he recommends paying debts from smallest to largest rather than from highest to lowest interest, but his argument is that it gives you a psychological boost to pay off whole debts more quickly which is worth more than the money saved by doing it the other way.

Nerfmother Fri 10-May-13 09:48:59

That's what I'm doing antoinette - it's much nicer to reduce the number of debts and not just the overall total

Amilliondifferentpeople Fri 10-May-13 10:12:30

Yep the god but killed it a bit for me, and I also thought it was unusual to consider building savings whist you have debt.... But as you say, it taps into the psychology of debt.

Yep, and you're only supposed to save a mini emergency fund (£1000 -or dollars, probably!) while doing the debt snowball, then go back to it and bump it up to a proper one once you're debt free.

Nerfmother Fri 10-May-13 17:18:20

Weird that's kind of my plan before reading it. Maybe the paychological tactics will work better for me.

Murtette Fri 10-May-13 23:27:04

Nerf - when you say you chose the "smallest one", what do you mean? The one with the smallest amount to be paid off? Whilst I can understand the psychological benefit of knowing that one is done, it would be better if you could pay off the one with the highest interest rate first as that is the one costing you the most.

Xenia Sat 11-May-13 07:55:19

I think most debt advisers would say your list of priority should have at the top which organisation is likely to make you homeless first rather than trying to pick off paying off smaller ones first so the number of organisations owed reduces although if you are not at a point of being made homeless or bankrupt then psychologically tackling smaller ones may help.

Given the sum I had to pay my ex on our divorce (I earn more) the debt was £1.3m. I wonder if anyone has been at my level.... So in a bigger way like some on this thread I have been paying that off.

Nerfmother Sat 11-May-13 09:03:55

Murtette, I know that makes financial sense but the biggest one is 12k on a card and the smallest 1300, so I would rather get rid of the smaller ones so that the list of creditors reduces.
Xenia, nothing's in arrears, all of it is unsecured credit, so no risk of homelessness, just no fun as we can't enjoy our income.
Doubt you will find anyone with 1.2 million to pay!

lateSeptember1964 Sat 11-May-13 16:11:34

A Dave Ramsey disciple here. You need quick wins to have the psychological strength to beat the debt. List all your debts smallest to largest and start paying the smallest. As Dave says just do it his way. Your priority is food, light, shelter. Listen to his podcasts there really motivational. I got hooked about 16 months ago and were debt free apart from the house, and I will start overpaying this by September.

lateSeptember1964 Sat 11-May-13 16:15:19

Wow debt free apart from the house looks funny written down.. Also spreadsheets are the key. Nothing fancy just a straight forward excel. Every payday sit down and write your budget and use the envelope system.

Nerfmother Sat 11-May-13 22:10:28

That does sound lovely. Well done, something to aim for

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