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Hows your debt been this year?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by enigma23, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. enigma23

    enigma23 New commenter

    Hello all,
    Last year at this time I followed a very supportive and positive thread on people getting their debts down, and I just thought I would start this again to give hope to people that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    Following a split, house sale, debts incurred in 2007, I finally decided, in June 2010 to get on top of my debts, no matter what this did to my personal life, social life relationships or lifestyle. Indeed, my obsession with working spare hours in a 2nd job and working tutoring as a 3rd job has cost me two relationships but I feel for my long term future it was a sacrifice i am willing to pay.
    In June 2010 this is how it stood.....
    2.5k overdraft
    1.5k overdraft
    8k Credit card 1
    4K Credit card 2
    6k Car loan
    As of December 2011, after much soul searching, sweat and toil, working 6 days a week for a few months on end, this is now where I am at.......
    5k overdraft gone
    1.5k overdraft gone
    4k credit card gone
    6k car loan down to 1.5k
    8k credit card down to 3k
    That means, as I reassess my financial outlook this morning as a review of the year, I have cleared 20k plus. Believe me it hasnt been easy, and my life has completely stopped in the meantime. I have lost out on opportunities and relationships that could have been very fulfilling, but I am happily looking forward to 2012 as the year that I end my debts - then the life will finally be able to start!
    The recession (and threat of losing my house if I couldnt sort my debts out) has made me sit up and take notice of where I am. I know for some people, circumstance dictates that they cannot make such adjustments but I just wanted to let everyone know that it IS possible and achieveable to see an end to debt. I have learned to live within my means and reassess what I spend my money on and am confident that I can live happily and relatively comfortably in the ongoing recession (given the amount of money I have paid back and was shelling out on interest payments).
    How have others been getting on? Would love to know. Dont lose faith! stick at it!
    Merry Christmas from Enigma x
  2. enigma23

    enigma23 New commenter

    I meant 2.5k overdraft, which takes it to 15k plus paid back.
  3. I'm where I aimed to be.
    Overdraft - £1300 paid.
    Store card - Paid
    Loan from friend - Paid
    Have Mortgage and a loan secured on the house that will both run their terms.
    Mortgage only has four years.
    For the first time ever I have done Christmas without getting in debt for it.
    BUT, I have to say this has been more good luck than good management.
    May be/will be a different story if I lose my job next year, which is a real possibility as schools merge and redundancies are on the cards.
  4. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    Congratulations - doesn't seem enough for such a great achievement.
  5. Big Congrats. That is a tremendous achievement. Any top tips?
  6. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    That is brilliant! [​IMG]
  7. Well done! I bet you feel SO much better for lightning that load, don't you?
    I'd say the moral of the tale is not to get into debt if you can possibly help it.
    Over the years when I was working I took out loans for cars and had credit cards and when I retired I had to repay them from my lump sum, quickly, knowing my income would be much reduced. Since retirement I have done all in my power only to spend what I have, and if I can't afford it, I go without it.
    I am trying to teach my (grown up) children that lesson. There is an initial joy in having what you want, when you want it, but the newness of 'things' fades...and the repayments have to be made for years down the line.
    It's bad enough having a small income. If I had debts as well I'd be so miserable. I am not buying presents this Christmas. I hated having to tell family that, but I'd have serious debts if I did. As it is, the washing machine has gone kaput and the cat is off-colour/not himself and needs the vet to examine him. Why do these things happen in December? My car bit the dust earlier this year too...and I am telling myself that being without debt is what it's all about. I could borrow money but I'd worry myself sick about repaying it.
    I am learning about going without. It's not nice to be forever scrimping and making ends meet, but I do know it's a whole lot better than living beyond my means and being in debt.
    Well done again enigma. It'll be lovely for you when your hard-earned salary is for you to spend and enjoy once your debts are cleared.
    P.S Dipsue....fingers crossed that your job will be safe. My sister (in the public sector) has just learned that she is going to be made redundant next year, at the age of 55. She was hoping to carry on working for a bit longer..
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    My finances, for one reason and another, have been an absolute disaster for many years with debt being a major problem (the OP is an amateur in comparison). One of the most worrying things about my heart attack earlier this year was realising that, had I not survived, my son would have had to sort out the horrendous mess my finances were in. Thanks to the help and support of a friend it is now manageable and I should be able to finally clear my feet next year when I'm able to sell up and downsize. With luck I may even be able to take early retirement at the end of next year or, at worst, in 2013.
    I suspect that the constant stress and worry of debt contributed in part to me having a heart attack in the first place.
  9. We don't actually have any debts now. This year we finished paying off the car loan. Also, after my FIL died, my hubby's share of the inheritance paid off our mortgage. We managed to clear the mortgage after only 7 years, but only because of the inheritance! It does feel good to have paid all these debts off and it means we have more disposable income every month (we are now managing to save a lot more too).
  10. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    I hadn't read about your heart attack Seren, sorry to hear that!
  11. Congratulations on getting your debt down - not easy. To be honest when I read your opening post I felt really uneasy about anyone having that level of debt so you have done well to tackle it and succeed.
    That being said I don't have any debt at all - well at my time of life everything has been paid off like the mortgage, the kids have gone and I never spent on credit cards or store cards anyway.
  12. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    Well done you people for reducing such massive debts, it must have taken enormous work and sacrifice. I am terrified of debt and luckily have only ever had my mortgage to fret over. Wishing you all a healthy financial New Year x
  13. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Congratulations OP. Reducing your debt that quickly is a real achievement.
    Things are looking good for us on the debt front. Downsizing when we moved house has reduced our mortgage significantly. We should be able to pay it off in the next few years.
    I hate being in debt. My parents only ever owed their mortgage. That is about the only thing Mr BS and I ever disagree about. He firmly believes that he had to borrow because his earnings were so low. I firmly believe that he could have lived without the things he borrowed to pay for!
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Don't want to sidetrack the thread too much, veni, but I'm fine now... a shiny wee stent, an interesting assortment of meds, a few weeks off work, a couple of stone off, some exercise and sorting out my life-style and bob's your uncle! I'll be around for another two or three decades! [​IMG]

  15. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    Well, when you put it like that, why can't everyone have one! ha. (Not sure what a shiny wee stent is, but it sounds painful!). Hope you have a good xmas then! [​IMG]
    Going back to the OP, I have decided this is the year is going to reduce my debt. Two trips to University and irresponsible lending with the (imagined) certainty that i would die young anyway have built me up a sizable debt. Now i'm hitting 30 and realising it probably wasn't such a good idea (and that i may live to pension poverty), i'm determined to pay off what i can this year.
    I'm ignoring my student debt (not even sure what this is now £20,000 maybe).
    My immediate worries are
    Credit card: £1300
    Overdraft account £2000
    New student overdraft (with no interest) £1400
    Loan £5000 (low interest 7%)
    So, now i just need to have a teaching job! I have a temp office one but it's only until January...eek.

    Good news- yestderday got a check for £600 from Tax man!
    Parents have sold their house and are giving me 'some money', although this will go towards a car for teaching jobs, there may be some left over for credit card clearance.
    I do feel slightly guilty about being 29 and hoping for money from my parents to help me out, however many people i know who don't have debt and say 'oh, i never get in debt, i wouldn't dare', are the very ones who have had their lives subsidised by theuir parents in terms of driving lessons and car aged 18, university paid for and now house deposit.

  16. enigma23

    enigma23 New commenter

    Hi Veni (and others!)
    I am 30 this year and it has been a rocky ride with the debt. Like Seren and others have said, I am absolutely happy to be over the debt (nearly) and I have learnt many lessons over the time that I have had it.
    I never realised the mental (not just financial) pressure that it puts you under. At the height of my stresses I was up at night trying to think of ways to make money from nothing! Totally unrealistic.
    I am looking forward to relativly crass (as per normal) Xmas with family, but It will be nice to know that next year, for the first time since i left COLLEGE, any money that I earn will be my own - I cannot wait for this feeling.
    Like I put the in OP, I was prepared to basically put my life on hold until it was sorted - I have forgone many exciting opportunities but I am now delighted that I am going to be facing my 30's with no debt at all.
    I hope all other posters can see that there is an end to debt, however far away it may be.
    Arched Eyebrow - Yes! its a fantastic feeling and I actually look back on it now and realise that I would have been facing financial ruin had I not have taken action. The 18 ish months that it has taken, sometimes working 6 days a week with NO social life hasnt been exciting but more of a necessity. I am looking forward to being able to spend a little on myself as well as being able to save because, if the debt and this recession has taught me anything, it is that, when my back is against the wall, I can survive on a small amount and that much of what I was spending previously could easily have been moved from 'must have' column to 'would like to have' column. Its a great feeling - I am looking forward to saving a good sized amount every month so that If I would like something for my house, then I do not have to go into debt to buy it.
    My only regret is that it has taken until I am 30 to realise this and change my habits - I am much stronger mentally and realise that much of my early spending was down to my split and trying to make myself 'happy'.
  17. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    Really pleased for you enigma, you've worked hard for it, and achieved an enormous amount in a short period of time. You will appreciate money more now that it's yours you're spending rather than a faceless credit card. 30 is still young as well, imagine how many more years are going to be debt free!!!
  18. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Well done to the OP for your efforts there.

    We managed to knock the remains of our mortgage on the head by cashing in a faltering late 80s endowment policy just before the market crash of 2008, so we got lucky.

    We don't owe anybody anything at present, and it's a good feeling, but we've had to economise a lot in the last two years due to changed working circumstances and reduced household income.

    We're now trying to help our youngest's boyfriend out of his low pay/debt spiral - we've taken him in as a lodger and we're only asking for a minimal sum towards household bills so he can pay off his creditors and hopefully accumulate some savings. Then he might be able to afford to move nearer to our youngest who's likely to settle in the South East after Uni.
  19. enigma23

    enigma23 New commenter

    It is a great feeling indeed. Most of my debt was built up early in my 20's just trying to get ahead, as stupid as that might sound.
    A wonderful feeling and gives me real optimism and positivity in a world thats full of generally gloom and doom at the moment.
    Best wishes to all trying to reduce their debt - there is an end to it all, promise you.
  20. enigma23

    enigma23 New commenter

    Hi knickers

    You won't get yourself into that space again- because you won't let yourself! Be strong and think about your mental health and how much calmer and destressed you feel compared to when you had 15k to pay off.

    Money worries drove me mad and contributed to a very negative and depressive outlook for me for many years but I have promised myself that I will no longer be allowing this to happen.

    Am thinking about you - Merry Xmas!

    Enigma x

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