Wednesday, 27 July 2011

So Frustrated!!!

Why is it that I can't catch a break with trying to get my debt sorted?  Yeah, sorry, this post has nothing to do with food and healthy eating at all, just venting my frustrations at how hard it is to dig yourself out of the money pit, and how no-one will cut you a break.

Everytime I try and find a way to make my situation better so I can pay back my debt quicker, I take a step forward and end up sliding straight back again.  This time it's because the interest free credit card that work set up for me, has been set up wrong, and is less than no use to me.  It was set up with a £500 credit limit, and was supposed to be increased as soon as it was activated, so I could transfer a balance from one of my existing cards.  But I've just been told by our relationship manager here at work, that cards can't have the limit increased within the first 6 months.  So I have a card with a 12 month interest free period on it, but I can't have the limit increased to anything usable to make a transfer until 6 months into that.  6 months! What fucking use is that?

Additionally, I still don't qualify for a loan.  So I'm still stuck scraping by trying to make the minimum payments and chip away at the balance where I can.  I know it will get better.  I know I could be a hell of a lot worse.  But I'm not making any decent headway at the moment;  I'll be lucky if I pay £2k off my £22k balance this year.   Which at the rate I'm going would mean another 10 years after that to get the balance paid down.

Ok, ok, that's just unrealistically pessimistic.  Because I know that what's making it such a slog at the moment is that I'm losing more than half of my £500+ repayments a month to interest.  That's just sickening.  And yes, as I slowly claw the balances down, that interest portion will become less and less.

But the truth is that I'm scraping by in my day-to-day living to keep afloat right now.  I can't keep up my lifestyle as I'm used to it.  I know that's the problem, that I've been living beyond my means for probably 10 years now, and I don't know how not to.

So what lies ahead for me is this:  either bumping and scraping along on my current budget, with frustratingly slow repayment and an agonising amount of interest being paid, or some serious decisions to make positive changes to my lifestyle.  Changes, that let's face it, I don't really want to have to make.  The biggest of those is to give up my beautiful flat and move somewhere shared and cheaper.  I could save £100's a month doing this, but it's scary.  I love my flat - it's comfortable, and pretty and perfectly located.  And it has private parking and a bike store.  It's completely convenient.  Moving somewhere else will mean sharing my space with a stranger, and fighting for car-parking spaces on the street.  A longer commute to work.  And a less well-appointed surroundings.

Holidays have already been given up, I just can't afford them.  I already sacrificed my car for the cheapest option I could find, and although I admit that has turned out pretty well in terms of economy, I miss having a decent sized engine.  Next to go might be my shiny mobile phone.  My contract is up for renewal next month, and I'm wondering about just sticking with my current iPhone with the cracked screen for the foreseeable future and going SIM only.  That would be another £15 a month saved. 

There's not many other bills I can easily give up - my gym is pretty crucial to my health and weight-loss, and I already have a pretty cheap one.  My contact lenses are non-negotiable.  As is my Weightwatchers subscription.

I would say I don't know where to go from here, but I do and it makes me anxious.  I just have to bump along for the next couple of months making the best I can of it, and then I'll have to bite the bullet and look for somewhere new.  The only other thing that could save me right now (apart from the extremely unlikely possibility of a lottery win) is a promotion and pay-rise, but I don't think there'll be one in time to save me.

It's time to knuckle down, people, and pay the piper.


Hetty said...

Having had a similar amount of debt in the not too distant past I completely understand your frustration. You've done a lot already to take charge of your situation. It just all seems so slow and an uphill struggle at the beginning but eventually things gain momentum and get easier.
Could you find a flatmate to move into your current place so you get to stay there but halve the costs?

starfish264 said...

Thanks - it's actually really good to hear that from someone who's been there. I know it, logically, and that there's nothing to do but keep chipping at it, and look for the opportunities where they arise, but since none of my friends have been down this path ahead of me, it's kind of uncharted territory and though they try to understand, I guess they don't really get how I ended up here in the first place and how hard it is to dig yourself out.

Sadly, my current flat is a one bed, so short of miraculously hooking up with someone who wants to move it, I'll have to go elsewhere. To be fair, I've been keeping an eye on Gumtree periodically, and I do see some really nice looking flatshares coming up from time-to-time, so I think it'll be a case of bide my time and jump on the right one. Luckily, I'm not quite at the panic stage where I just have to dive in head first, since I am scraping along as I am, so fingers-crossed that something good comes up!

Ta for the moral support though - tis much appreciated!! x

Linz M said...

I also have a similar amount of debt at the moment (in fact it's probably even more...) which I am trying to chip away at. I know how frustrating and daunting it can seem.

I was lucky enough to be able to get a loan to pay off a few credit cards - which although it doesn't reduce my overall debt, it does reduce my monthly payments (from £900 a month down to £300). Maybe by the time I am 40, I'll be debt free.... yikes.

Are there not any other 0% credit cards you can apply for or cards like my Barclaycard which offer a fairly reasonable life of balance rate?

It's a shame you may need to move when you are happy in your current flat, so I will keep my fingers crossed you can find somewhere else equally as lovely x