All posts by flostick

Hi, I am Flo. By December 2015 I had amassed nearly £6000 in credit card and bank debt. Whilst this isn't the highest amount of debt a person can have, the minimum payments made up a substantial amount of my income and I was about 2 steps away from a financial meltdown. In 2016 I got serious about paying my debts and ended the year....in more debt then ever!!!!! (Well, I was unemployed for four months of it) That is why in 2017 I have decided that I will have a No Spend Year, with the aim of tackling my debts first. However, I also suffer extremely badly from Social Anxiety, and have decided that this year I can spend money on seeing all the friends I was too panic stricken to see last year. Join me as I navigate 2017 with my debt and my social anxiety. I hope to combat both. I live in Cardiff, Wales with my boyfriend who has quite sensibly (given my debt levels) stopped me from having a pet cat. I love spreadsheets and play football. My three loves in life are budgeting, cooking and writing, so this combines all three. If you are socially anxious read about how I am too. If you love cooking then stop by and watch me try to combat food waste. If you love spreadsheets and household budgeting then stop by on a Sunday when I do a weekly financial review of the week.

Everything Must Go

The title says it all.

My bookshelves are even more depleted, they are anorexic.

We have an entire shelf clear on the DVD bookcase.

I have rounded up the last few remaining items of value.

Everything Must Go.

Well, not everything. My Haruki Murakami books will be safe until the end of time.

But I am now down to the books and DVDs that either can’t be sold through a site like Ziffit or We Buy Books, or at this moment in time I am not willing to sell, while I still have a shred of hope that I may survive the oncoming storm.

I don’t know what is going to happen next. I don’t know how I am going to survive as a mentally incapable person who got their dream job only to fail immediately. I don’t know how I am going to survive as someone who is petrified of answering phone calls and hides from the smallest of interactions with strangers.I don’t know how I am going to survive, all I know is that one way or another I will. I have to.

And to top it all off the washing machine has now broken

Yes, and I am blaming the boy for this.

He decided to experiment with the dryer function as it is too hot to use the radiator to dry clothes and we don’t have a washing line in the garden because-ahem-the boy broke it last summer.

I was not in the house to supervise as I was doing the food shopping and exploring the local area to feed my new money making app ‘Job Spotter’ and when I came back I decided that the simultaneous flashing lights on every part of the washing machine were probably not because the washing machine was getting its groove on. Opening the door to be met with an ‘oh s***’ of water hitting the floor made me realise it was very unhappy.

I told the boy and he spent a good 90 minutes trawling the net for guidance from the washing machine’s company website, chat service, our letting agency’s maintenance issues reporting site before he eventually called our letting agency, who then said they would try to contact the landlord but as it was after 5pm on a Friday we aren’t holding out much hope that things will even be looked at before Monday.

So part of our weekend might involve going to the local launderette.

I feel fine, until I remember I have potentially irreversibly f’ed up my life and then I get scared and panicky.

 

I Can’t Get Excited

Today I had my initial consultation with Mind.

It was good but I was left with more things to deliberate over.

My anxiety is picking up again. I seem to have left the uncontrollable crying stage behind, but I am still scared and panicky about the next steps.

Whenever I get like this my instinct is to tackle my debt, smash it in whatever way I can, so that I can feel like I have done some good.

My credit card and overdraft debt stands at:

£4756.99

Naturally that £6.99 is annoying me, so I may just take that off a credit card.

I am also desperate to throw some money at my overdraft.

BUT I don’t know what my income this month will be like, so I can’t throw much at my debts until I know for sure.

I am scared and not sure what to do. I am even considering selling all my books!

It’s All Downhill From Here

Summer Solstice.

The longest day of the year.

The end of next week marks the halfway point of the year.

It’s all downhill from here.

BUT, the phrase has two meanings. And they contradict each other.

In one way you can say that it means things are going to get worse.

On the other hand it could mean the hard part is over and things are going to get easier.

So my summer of discontent, my anxiety, my debt, my employment prospects…they could go either way.

Yes, I know that every situation in the history of the world will go one way or the other as that is the way the world works, but I’m musing here, leave me be.

Either this is the rough leading to the good, and I will finally get the help I need, I will finally get answers, and I will find employment that doesn’t make me break out in metaphorical hives.

Or, this is the end of good times. Harsh times are ahead.

I guess a lot of it will depend on what I do next, and how I approach things.

For a long while I have been thinking so fondly of the upcoming autumn that I have confused myself and I think it is September.

At first I thought it was a longing to get a bit more hygge, or just to get out of the heat, but maybe, subconsciously, I am looking for this year to be over. To begin again.

What difference does one day make? Why is it we all feel the psychological boost from the calendar switching from December 31st to January 1st? The belief that we can finally fulfil our potential?

I don’t know, but why wait till then? Why wait another 6+ months to feel that I can begin again?

The future is now.

 

 

It Was a Bright and Sunny Day

My anxiety, which had slightly subsided, has come back with a vengeance.

I am scared about what I have done to myself, and my job prospects, and my relationships with people.

My anxiety hits my chest and causes heart palpitations so I suddenly become very aware of my heart beats.

I just want to run away and hide.

Things are going to get worse before they get better. That seems to be my catch phrase.

 

Financial Review of Week 24

Last week was a very, very difficult week for me.

This is how the money was spent.

DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus tickets = £9.60 (lots of appointments to go to)

SOCIAL

(this is the category where the food and drink I bought attending appointments falls into, when I am feeling better I will relegate this spending to the category regarding contraband purchases )

Drinks x 3 and cereal bar = £6.03

TOTAL DISCRETIONARY SPENDING£15.63

 

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING SPENDING

Ready meals x 3 = £5.78 (incapable of cooking last week)

Milk and Bread = £2.58

Ice creams = £2

Many fruit and bread = £5.59

Pies, Freezer Pops, Milk = £4.04

Hay Fever Tablets and Bleach = £1.24

Listerine = £2.50

Pizza, Lasagne, Spaghetti x 2, Mayonaise, Toilet Cleaner, Chilli Tin, Sweet Potato, Potatoes, Cucumber = £9.91

TOTAL FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING SPENDING = £33.64

TOTAL SPENDING LAST WEEK = £49.27

I have been running on empty financially for a long time.

Something has to change.

 

 

 

Am I Allowed To Be Ok?

I have moments where I forget the horrors of Wednesday (and I don’t just mean in regards to my own personal situation, but also about the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy).

When those moments are happening I feel, dare I say it, normal?

Which, once I’ve acknowledged that I feel ok, is usually enough to bring on the panic and paranoia.

Because if I have moments where I feel ok, then am I well? Did I imagine all the years of anxiety, depression and stress?

Which then leads me to worry, which makes me ill, which makes the problem worse.

The Doctor has told me to go out, see friends, have and savour a coffee, get regular exercise, feel the sunshine on my skin.

Mental Health is not like another illness. It often has no obvious sign, not in the way a broken leg does at least.

The things that help make mental health better are not usually the things you would tell a sick person to do, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t as essential medicine as a pill or a syrup would be.

I need to give myself permission to be happy, to get better, to not suffer.