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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.

AntoinetteCosway Sat 04-May-13 14:53:26

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

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