THE ULTIMATE UPDATE – Being debt free!!

Firstly everyone, so so sorry I have been off the radar! Work has been crazy. I was working crazy hours and my health was seriously suffering.
In fact I was frequently off work with exhaustion as it had gotten too much. I was arguing with my boyfriend repeatedly and I was in yet another spiral of depression…..this time not debt related.
So…..with the help of my wonderful director, I bit the bullet and quit. Work settled so I didn’t have to take it to court (I had a case for bullying in the work place) 
And………..with that settlement I paid off the remaining £3,000 of my debts!!! I am finally debt free!!!!! It is an amazing feeling. I also think it is a mixture of shock and happiness that I have finally did it.

I still have my emergency fund and as long as I am careful with my cash I shouldn’t be in too much trouble!!

My life has changed so much compared to last year. I can’t believe it. I feel I finally have control over my life and it’s a great thing……my boyfriend also proposed last week!!!! Which is about as amazing as being debt free 🙂

So now I feel like the girl who has it all! Supportive fiancé, looking to put together a house fund to buy a house/flat, debt free and finally (although I can hardly believe it) I feel normal for the first time in a very long long time. 

Ok – I don’t have a job but I am interviewing loads so sure something will come up soon and yes, my credit file is hideous but that will change in time…….I finally feel I have made so much progress and I am almost showing the demons inside of me that I am a great person and I am worthy of living.

What a hell of a debt journey but I am so so proud that I got here. Thanks everyone for helping me on my debt journey and I will keep you posted on how I plan to stay out of debt.

…..guess I better look to changing my name……I am no longer drowning in debt!!!!

DDLG xxx

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What a difference a year makes……

So, it is just under a year since I started this blog and a lot has happened.

This time last year I was dreading pay day! Every month I would get paid but my debt repayments were more than my salary!! So I literally only had access to my salary for less than 7 hours. I would see it enter my bank account before it disappeared again!!! I was selling everything on EBay, trying to figure out how I would pay my rent and how I would eat for the month – I was living in my own self-inflicted hell.

Scarily enough, I was also due to go to my friends wedding last August and my card declined when I tried to pay for the hotel! As I was already at the venue my friend lent me the money but I has horrified!!

Unfortunately……it took till September 2014 to actually make a change to my ways but wow – what a journey!

I now earn a lot more which has made a massive difference to my life. I have signed up to a debt repayment plan and put over £1,000 to paying back my debt every month. I have now moved in with my ex-back together with-boyfriend and so now my living expenses has dropped considerably and I am also able to save into my ’emergency fund’ every month.

Things have definitely changed!!

So with any luck….I should still be on track to being debt free by the end of the year!! 

However, my downfall is that I have not been as frugal as I used to be. I now buy a lot of fresh fruit and veg and usually get it from expensive supermarkets rather than the little local shops like I used to. This is mainly down to convenience but I need to stop!

I also used to be a lot more careful with what I spent my money on and I feel too reckless now. I almost feel that I have had my crazy few months and I now need to get back on my frugal journey!!

So with that in mind, I am now planning to shop in Aldi and Lidl again, I am also going on a sugar detox to get rid of my cravings to sugar, I need to slow my life down a bit and get back into my running. I currently run/gym once a week so need to step that up a bit.

I need to stop reckless shopping and try and put more cash into my emergency fund/debt repayments/house fund.

Although, I am now in control of my money and it is an amazing feeling. I am taking my life forward and I can’t believe how different my life is from last year!!

I didn’t think I could do this but it just goes to show that making small little differences and pushing forward even with the set backs will eventually start to make big waves.

I just hope that by this time next year debt will be a distant memory and I will never let debt taken control again!

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My Credit File

So whilst I am hell bent on paying off my debts by the end of the year. It has also occurred to me that I need to work on my credit file as well.

I signed up to Experian last month and have updated all my information online. I have also contacted all my creditors to ask them to update my file. 

My credit report is now showing as ‘poor’ rather than ‘very poor’ and I am only 91 points from getting ‘fair’.

I have also contacted Experian to ask them to add that I am on a debt management plan on my credit file. 

Whilst I have no interest in getting credit again any time soon. I do one day want to try and get a mortgage so need to put the work in now.

I can’t believe how much my life has changed since last September. I am now so much better with money. After reading rich dad, poor dad I always make sure I pay myself first and then pay bills and put the rest into savings. 

I am no longer living pay day to pay day and the world seems so much easier.

I have had a few set backs along the way and am having therapy and on anti depressants but I feel I can get through everything now and yes, I needed to deal with my depression but I am finding it easier when I am in a stable home life.

I am finally feeling that I am beating debt! That it is not winning over me and it’s great no longer drowning in letters and phone calls. 

Everytime I see a payday loan advert it makes me sick but it is better than 2 years ago when I thought it was the only way I could pay my rent.

What a difference 9 months makes…………..

DDLG x

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Resolution update June 2015

I am just reading through my last posts and thought I would update on where I am. 

I was feeling a bit low today and then realised how far I had come. This debt journey is finally going in the right direction!!

The ashes of my little pooch sit on the bookshelve alcove and I think of her everyday! I am still doing this for her. 

Jan resolutions are:

I will get my perfect job, one that is permanent and career driven (my contract finished end of Jan)

[I have everything I asked for – it’s more responsibility, really hard but the career prospects are fantastic!]

I will pay off all my debt (£13k)

[I have paid off £3,000 since January and plan to increase that to over £1,000 a month now to reach my 2016 target]

I will have the beginnings of my house deposit (£6k+)

[This one is a bit behind but hope to get something together by 2016]

I will celebrate my 30th happier and proud of my achievements (May)

[I did!! I celebrated in style and even a power cut couldn’t bring me down!]

I will have a £2k emergency fund

[I have just achieved this! I know it should go to my debts but I need to have a fund in place as well]

I will stop living payday to payday

[I have! Finally! And it’s a great feeling! – I finally feel in control]

I will start being more positive and stop punishing myself for getting into debt, not being where I want to be in life and putting too much pressure on myself

[I forget this a lot but still striving to be nicer to myself and feel I am getting there – it will take time]

I will go to the gym 3 times a week at least (it’s free with my job currently but if not with my new one then will try to run 3 times a week)

[I do have gym membership but have been so busy with work I have not had time to go. However I am running at least once a week. However next week I aim to get back on it]

I will take better care of myself (hair cut etc) however not to pay expensive hairdressers, beauty therapists

[I am taking better care of my grooming…..and I am continuing to eat well – I even got a nutribullet for my birthday to help with that but work is leaving me pretty tired so once that calms down I should be able to control my mood better]

So all in all – I am very happy with my current situation and think I am achieving my resolutions nicely.

Reading through them again has also given me momentum to keep going!! Here’s to an another productive 6 months!!!

DDLG xx

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6 months into 2015

Wow – I can’t believe it has been 4 months already… The past few months have absolutely flown by. 

My last post I was discussing loads of change about to happen in my life and wow has my situation changed!!!!

My dream job has actually been the craziest rollercoaster! It is a great step up! A Lot more money than I was on before but with that comes a lot more responsibility and a lot more work. I have worked crazy hours and pretty much have had all three meals in the office for the past three months but now the crazy deadlines have been met and I have hired in my new department I know things are going to get easier!!

Also, by having all three meals in the office means I have hardly had a social life (saving money) and work have paid for my dinners (saving more money) – I do not recommend this life but it has been good for paying off more debt.

On top of that, life with my ex-now-current boyfriend has been going great. He asked me to move in and now ‘contribute’ to rent which is basically his way of saying – “pay more towards your debt then save for a house.”

So as I say….loads has happened in 4 months and I am now putting so much away to get out of debt quicker and hit  my end of 2015 deadline.

I can’t believe how much everything has changed but just by making sure I take control of life I feel better in myself and am moving things around to build my future.

I am now just trying to build my credit rating and make sure I am paying everything correctly! I am making sure my life never goes back to the way it was!

How is everyone else’s journey going? Sorry for being out of the loop for so long! Am back and look forward to getting back on the blog/twitter train 

DDLG xx

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A change of attitude

Hello!

So it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted and it feels like it’s been an age.

I am still waiting on my my new job but today I was officially given the start date of next Monday! Thank Goodness!!

I have been a month without pay and am struggling but weirdly I have handled it really well.

I have been having therapy every week and in last week’s session it was highlighted that I have issues with isolation and tend to isolate myself from situations which I am not comfortable with.

I have been working on that this week and realised that the first time I broke out of isolation was writing this blog.

I need to be more aware of my actions and so that is what I am trying to do. I am also making sure that I ask for help when I need it rather than be too proud and trying to handle everything on my own.

And with that I have spent the past few weeks looking into asking for help rather than spiralling into fear and being anxious for the future.

I now have my dream job and I feel the world is my oyster.

The only member of my family that I speak to now is a long lost cousin who also removed herself from my family years ago. It’s great having her as a support unit and also feeling that I have a real family. She really is a pillar of strength and a remarkable woman. I am so glad I have found her and think I make a positive impression on her too.

And then as they say things happen in threes…… Dream job, dream family and it may look like I could have my dream man back.

My ex from over 2 years ago has always been in the shadows since we broke up. We broke up cause I was so secretive over my debt and my depression that I put him through a lot and by the end neither of us could cope.

Throughout all the problems with my family, my dogs illness and my depression and therapy my ex has been there to talk and check how I am and now things in my life look to fall into place we spoke about where we were in our lives. We have decided to give it another go!!!!

I have always loved him and can’t believe this could be it! We are taking it slow and seeing where it goes but I feel life has given me a second chance.

I have always regretted that my debt and depression choices had broken my relationship and even though we don’t know what will happen I would rather we broke up for incompatibility than for debt!

I refuse to let debt rule my life for another second! And now feel that the universe is helping this happen.

Again, 2015 is proving to be the best year ever. I have chosen to take control of my life and by taking back control I feel like I am managing the depression more than I ever have before.

Whilst this month won’t be a payment to my debt I will have to pay out double at the end of March to cover it and get on track to be debt free by 2015!

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Month 2…..2015

Hi everyone,

After all my positive posts sorry I have been off the radar. I had a bit of a wobble a couple of weeks ago and been working on keeping upbeat.

So, I had my interviews and they went well but my temping work fell through, got a couple of knock backs and then the one job I really wanted kept stalling which left me questioning what I was going to do…..

I also started freaking out as my emergency fund is non existent and I just thought this could be another massive pot hole on my debt journey!! How can I pay debts when I can’t pay my rent!!

So the term stressed has been an understatement! However I have managed to hold it together and whilst I have been stressed out I have managed to keep the depression under control.

So what’s happening now???……

Well I have now been offered the original job I was holding out for!!

It is a more senior role, a great career move and …….(wait for it)……… A lot more money!!!!

So I should be starting that job next month and as long as I am careful next month and I haven’t missed the cut off day I should still be able to pay all my bills (just about).

My landlord also asked to replace the boiler last week so my housemate and I had to leave the flat for two days. He paid us back two days rent (approx£120) so split between two has been awesome! I needed that £60! Also made me feel sick that I pay so much in rent but that’s London life I guess.

So with my new salary I have already started planning for it. I am going to continue living to my current budget and in April’s pay (1st full salary) I am putting the extra into the saving account as my emergency fund.

After that (May onwards) each month I am going to put £1,000 towards my debts (more if I can manage it) and £300 into savings. It will be tight but I want to be debt free by the end of this year and I am continuing the MSE challenge throughout 2015 so I can continue on my non spend days and no excess spending.

My mindset has changed. A higher salary just means more money to go to the debts and savings. I will hopefully try and negotiate some final settlements in 6 months or so to see how I get on as well.

So as you can tell from my post, I am still positive. I am nervous that I am still waiting to start work and am questioning – will I actually be able to do this job (it’s so senior!) but I am hopeful for the future and know as long as you have a positive mindset anything feels possible.

I have also cut out junk food from my diet which has definitely helped with my mood but have just started the health kick and will give you more of an update on that later in the month.

Good luck on all your journeys and keep me posted on how all of you are getting on. I love reading all your blogs.

DDLG xx

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2015: Getting stronger every day!

Hi folks!

So a bit scared of speaking too soon but this year has started out amazing!!!

I did say that I would be more positive and less harsh on myself and wow! It’s really changed everything.

I am 18 days in and all of my friends have told me how great I look [and that isn’t me bigging myself up] I am no longer stressed, on the verge of tears or getting angry over the smallest of things. The difference is crazy!

I am officially unemployed from last Friday and I am not worried at all. In fact, I have got out there talking to my contacts and my positive attitude and passion in my job has actually secured me 4 interviews this week!!! One being a final round for a role which I would never have believed I would been good enough to get last year!!

It is true that positivity breeds positivity!! I have even been offered temping work (at higher than my salary) to tide me over the next few weeks before I start my permanent role.

I can’t tell you how different my life is to 4 weeks ago and it’s funny that a lot of it is to do with my mindset. I just hope I can keep this up.

I actually think it is all about control. I have felt so terribly out of control over the past decade and because I couldn’t control my finances everything else seemed to be falling apart.

Now I have a grasp (somewhat) on my money everything else seems easier to deal with and I believe in myself again. I believe I can get through this and that I am good enough for my job, that I deserve to have such amazing friends and especially that I do deserve a place in this world.

My therapy sessions have been going really well and I have finally been able to get to the bottom of my self-hatred and it’s to do with my family. I have tried to cut them out of my life and continue living but the fear that they will find me and all the put downs I have had to endure throughout my life with them has really taken its toll. Now I have spoken about these things out loud and know I have the support from my therapist I feel I can get through this. I had been hiding some dark secrets from her but this year I decided to tell her everything and wow – it feels like a massive weight has been lifted. I no longer feel I am trapped by my childhood or bullied by parents.

I have always held in how I felt about things and in fact even when I couldn’t manage my finances I felt I had to deal with it all by myself but this blog, my therapy and debt counselling has shown my that talking is the best medicine.

I have seen a lot of friends this month and have aired any secrets I was holding and I think it has brought me and my friends closer cause they have seen behind the mask and realised I am vulnerable and need their support as much as they need mine.

I am also on MSE forums doing the January challenge and this year so far I have only spent £112! And had 10 (will be 11 today) Spend Free Days. My friends are on board with me and so when we catch up we do tea or wine at each other’s houses and no longer evenings out. I work to meal plans and I am hoping to keep this going as much as possible throughout 2015 so I can pay so much more of my debt off and be debt free by 2016!!!

Oh and something else to look forward to….. I have been asked to be my best friend’s maid of honour!! I am over the moon and so grateful she asked me.

To those of you that have read my first post I can assure you I will be attending this wedding!! I will make sure I am never in the financial position that I was in last September!!!

And if everything I wrote earlier in this post wasn’t enough to look forward being the MOH has smashed it out of the park!! I have been friends with this girl since we were born (literally! She was born 20 days earlier than me) and is like my sister.

……Well isn’t this post a turn of the books. I never in a million years expected to feel this way in my life!! I don’t think I have ever felt this calm, collected and happy.

To those of you also on your debt journey my best friend said to me that every day I should strive to be richer. Whether physically or mentally. Best piece of advice I have heard! At the moment I am both – I hope you are too.

How’s 2015 starting out for everyone else?

DDLG xx

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Hello 2015!! New year, new me and all that jazz

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year!

December was a bit of a write off for me. My absolute world came crashing down the day the surgeon gave me ‘3 months’ till I would have to say goodbye to my little pup.

As the days went on she deteriorated rapidly but I thought maybe I could at least keep her until Christmas…..instead I had to bring the date forward to 13th December.

The days that followed were somber and I still can’t believe she has gone. 2014 has been hard to say the least. I have never felt so alone. Firstly losing my grandma, then my depression and debt spiralled and then finally having to make the decision on my pooch…she was my family, my rock, my baby, my best friend.

However, in this deep, dark hole the past few weeks something in me has changed. I have realised that this has all happened for a reason and for the first time I feel that I am in control of my life again.

It sounds cheesy but rather than curling up under my duvet and crying I have decided that I need to sort my life out and start taking responsibility for my actions! I am thirty THIS year and need to stop feeling like I have lost control as one bad thing after another happens. I need to stop being a victim of life.

So this year 2015 things are going to change! I tried to keep within budget but with crazy vet bills I am pretty poor (no change there). However my attitude and actions leading up to 2015 changed:

I asked my friend who once trained to be a hairdresser if she could cut my hair off. I now have a smart long bob instead of long scraggly hair, I bought hair dye and died my gray roots (yes I have been going gray since I was 18).
I have painted my nails and am wearing make up again. These all sound like small things but they are making me feel better and more positive.

I have decided that if I don’t have anything nice to say I will keep quiet. No more irritable bitching I am not even allowed to think it. When someone knocks into me on the tube, when someone does something hurtful I will tell them (if it’s a friend etc) that I am upset but no more snide remarks or wasting my time being upset or annoyed by someone else’s actions. I am looking to the positives starting now.

With my new look and new mindset I am working hard to change things. I am not going to win the lottery, I am not going to find a bundle of money pushed through my letter box one morning but I am going to start working hard to get where I want to be in life.

I used to say ‘one day’ to the dog…..one day when I buy a house, one day when I have the perfect job, one day when I am not in debt….well she never got to see that ‘one day’ and so I am making sure that I never take anything for granted again and that I am always aware that the end is never too far away. I lost too much of my time with her cause I was always chasing something and she sat by my side the whole time waiting patiently for my attention. So this year I am doing it all for her!

I will get my perfect job, one that is permanent and career driven (my current contract finishes end of Jan)
I will pay off all my debt (£13k)
I will have the beginnings of my house deposit (£6k+)
I will celebrate my 30th happier and proud of my achievements (May)
I will have a £2k emergency fund
I will stop living payday to payday
I will start being more positive and stop punishing myself for getting into debt, not being where I want to be in life and putting too much pressure on myself
I will go to the gym 3 times a week at least (it’s free with my job currently but if not with my new one then will try to run 3 times a week)
I will take better care of myself (hair cut etc) however not to pay expensive hairdressers, beauty therapists

These are a lot of resolutions but I believe easily achievable and will all contribute to helping me save money, keep me fit, healthy and subsequently happy.

My depression is still there but given all I have been through with my dog I haven’t once thought about ending it myself. Which is a big breakthrough. In fact it has made me more sure I want to continue in life and prove I can achieve all the things I said I can do.

Here’s to a positive 2015!! Where things are really set to change, debt to be erased and my life to really start again…on the right foot!

Look forward to achieving our resolutions together fellow bloggers and readers. I know we can all do it!!!!

Xx

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When you realise money isn’t everything

To those of you following my posts you would know that things were getting better and I was managing my cash flow……but in the light of Christmas I have been cruelly reminded that money (& debt) isn’t everything.

My dog has had issues for a few months now and being 12 she is constantly struggling with arthritis and now Disc Disease. After a lot of appointments with the vet I was referred to the surgeon and today has been the moment of truth….

She is on 3 super strong painkillers and at her age the surgeon has told me the operation will be too much for her and with little results.

After thinking about it for a while I have agreed with the surgeon…the next question was – what is her quality of life?

As I write this post my dog is laying on the floor asleep. All she does is sleep and in terms of mobility I can walk her for 5 mins then she falls over. I carry her pretty much everywhere.

The pills she is on keep her personality and I know she loves me so much as I do her but I can’t see what life she has when she can barely walk, on 3 painkillers to stop pain and yet still limping and falling over. She has no control over her hind legs and every 8 hours I have an alarm to give her the next pill.

But… She is my world and those moments where she is coherent are like gold! I couldn’t bring myself to do the ‘deed’ today. I instead asked what the next step would be and the surgeon has given me 3 months of pills as he said realistically that is all I have.

Next step is paralysis ….anyone that has a dog and/or has been through this will know this is such a hard decision to make and I keep asking myself who am I to play God in this situation.

I keep thinking back to my grandma in February of this year. She had a brain tumour and I watched her deteriorate over 6 months. It was one of the most horrific things I have ever witnessed. I don’t want to do this again and so want to make the decision but then I look at her and think that she isn’t ready yet.

And so to the headline of this post. I get low about money a lot and for the first time I felt on top of it…. But the vet bills and medication for this month has left me unable to pay my monthly payment to my DMP.

It’s not an ideal situation but if I am honest my dog is more important than money and if anything at this time of year it’s loved ones that I am grateful for.

As I have said before, I don’t have family so my little pooch is my life. I know I will have to make the decision soon but at the moment if she isn’t in pain I hope I can just keep her comfortable for a little while longer.

Just like my grandma and now my little dog it’s scary how much you take loved ones for granted and all too quickly they are taken away.

I promise I am going to sort out my priorities and yes, whilst debt is so important to overcome so are the ones who enrich our lives. I can’t put a price on the love for my dog but will cherish these memories and the last few we are going to have every day!!

At this magical time of year hold your loved ones close and enjoy this festive time together.

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