what shall i do?

I have had my share of financial ups and downs. Here are a few thoughts.

What is it doing, most are barely earning anything. If you look at what a pension is supposed to do, paying a house off is a much better prospect. Basically is your pension going to perform better than your house? Probably not. I would not worry about the pension at the moment and keep the house. (Pensions and buying houses are actually very similar. Paying off the mortgage gives you the "pension" of a free house). Silly to let go of a great investment of a house (long term) and keep a crap investment of a pension. This is assuming it is a standard pension you can opt out of, some state schemes are a better deal.

Can you earn more money? Any option to get promoted or jump accross to a better job, perhaps use the year at your parents to study? I made a very radical career change at the age of 40 which involved a lot of study while I had a family and two kids to support. Just you to look after living at home sounds easy!

Most people who have been in a relationship tend to get into another one fairly soon after, once they have got over it. You seem to assume you will not by what you say. Why not look at it on the assumption you will?

Social Life
Think out of the box. Social life need not cost money. Instead of sitting in a pub, work behind the bar. Why not get a job behind the bar at a local golf club. Meet lots of possible new partners and earn money and have a social life. Taylor this to whatever you can do or are looking for.

Have a real good look at your mortgage and see if there are better options out there. Are you in a fixed rate that will soon drop out to standard rate? I have a mortgage which dropped by £350 per month recently when it did this. Try seeing a broker (dont pay any fee to them) to see if they can find a product that costs you less.

Great to have them but really they need you to be in a stable position and to then put aside the requrement to fulfil them. Get the foundation sorted and then build the dream. Dont mix the dream in with getting the foundation in place.

I hope this makes sense and there is something in there that helps.

Good luck. Things do get sorted!


Senior Member
Get a part-time job at night 2-3 nights a week or more if you can. Pay off your debts, build up some savings then review your dreams and plans after a year. And don't forget to help your parents around the house in return for your board and lodgings.


Bird Saviour
I'm not worried about my debt. i've already moved back to my mums and i've got a plan to pay it off within 12 months, so don't get too hung about that part of my problem... i've already done that worrying for you, been there, done it, bought the t'shirt and now i've got a solution i'm not hung up on it so much, i can see light at the end of the tunnel and i know in 12 months i'll be in a better place.

What i'm depressed (if that's the right word) is about it my options after. i just feel stagnated. i do know that i'm rich compared to 90% of the world's population, i tell myself that all the time, and considering how much financial poo i'm in, i'm probably one of the most upbeat people i know.

the reason i don't think i will meet anyone is because basically for the last year of my life, when my debt has been at its worst, all i have done is go to work, come home and pay the bills. i never went for a year things were so bad. before that, i have not been able to afford to go on holiday for the last 3 years, even a weekend away, and the debt has built up through pretty much general living expenses and the odd night out. I do know that some social things are free, but not that many. yes going out on my bike, but i do that most of the time anyway. i've pretty much got used to not spending money to entertain myself, and i'm pretty good at it.

But what i know is, that to not get in this mess again, after a year at my mum's i will pretty much have to go back to my flat and go back to not going out, and just staring at 4 walls and a tv again. Quite frankly, the thought is doing my head in.

i feel like i'm 39 and all i've done is been stuck in crap relationships and never done anything. There are no good memories either, perhaps my rides to Paris, but i feel like that is about it. Now I'm just wondering whether a mortgage is worth it???

o yea, the reason i dont get another job is because i work miles away and i'm tired when i get home from work, and also i cycle to work 2 or 3 times a week and i don't want to give that up, especially as it's cheaper to get to work when i cycle. i don't want to give my job up because the company i work for is good pay for what i do and i've pretty much got a job for life with them (opportunities to move round in the business)

i've basically just had this immense feeling in the past few days that my life is slipping away and before i know it, i will be 60 and will not have done anything i wanted to do. and i feel like i want to do it now while i'm young (ish). i know when i go back to my flat i will not be able to even afford weekends away and i'm certainly not gonna meet anyone stuck in my flat. i feel claustrophobic all of a sudden.


Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Meanwood, Leeds
Things do get better. It's a matter of hanging on in there and trusting that there are opportunities to be had - you just need to be able to spot them.

Going from some of my single female colleagues' experiences at meeting new faces at minimal cost, try:

  • Rambling
  • Ceroc dancing
  • Local cycling club/CTC group
  • Book clubs
  • Conservation volunteering
  • Amateur dramatics
  • Choirs

None of them have come away empty handed though they maight have had to explore several activities on the list :ohmy:

Have look in your local library there's normally notice boards with details of local clubs and societies.

At thirty nine there's still lots of living to do. I'd try not to dwell on what might not be and focus on making things happen for minimal outlay. Don't bother agonizing with the half full/half empty glass view points. Find a glass that's the right size for you and keep it filled. When it starts to overflow on a regular basis get a bigger glass :thumbsup:


Bird Saviour
o yea, the other problem is i'm not actually sure i want to meet anyone, because i feel like that is part of the problem where i've not actually done anything. e.g spent years in an abusive relationship and then years with a really nice guy but he didn't ever want to do anything, so i feel like it was a bit wasted. Seem to have bent over backwards to make things work with people, only to be left on my own and i feel pretty disillusioned about that too. i just want to get out there and explore and see the world and i'm hoping it will open some doors.

maybe i'm just going through a phase? mid-life crisis? and i should wait til my year is up before i decide.


Buggi - for a cheap holiday in the past I've done Working Holidays with the National Trust. You have to do some conservation work for them but there's usually a good group of people so it's a good laugh, and most importantly it's a change of scene. If you chose one fairly local you could even cycle there and turn it into a mini tour. It's £90 for the week but that's full board apart from the day off. Something like that could help keep you sane until you're back on your feet.

Have you looked at the forums on moneysavingexpert.com? There are tips for making money for free such as on cashback sites and there are loads of people on the Debtfreewannabe forum in the same situation as you who could offer support and motivation.


buggi said:
o yea, the other problem is i'm not actually sure i want to meet anyone....Seem to have bent over backwards to make things work with people, only to be left on my own and i feel pretty disillusioned about that too.
There is no obligation to rush out and start up another relationship, it can wait until you are good and ready; and this might be a good time to start putting more value on yourself and what is important to you, rather than other people's expectations.

You do need a group of friends, of course, but socialising needn't cost money. Get out on that bike, for instance. Or go Woofing http://www.wwoof.org

maybe i'm just going through a phase? mid-life crisis? and i should wait til my year is up before i decide.
Just an episode, which is all part of life's rich whatnot. The needle will swing back again.

Anyway, 39 is not old. I've done lots more fulfilling things in the 20 years since then than I did in the 20 years before and I expect to be still ticking things off right up until The Final Bike Ride.
You sound as if the whole relationship, debt, mortgage thing is rather on top of you.

Loads of people break up with partners but then meet someone new. You seem stuck in the way of meeting people from when you were in your teens (the whole going out thing) OK you need to go out of the four walls you are in but not "go out" and sit in a pub until someone happens to chat you up.

Sort out and target some things that you would like someone to have as an interest, and then go and do that thing. You will be fighting them off with a stick.

Alternatively, loads of people are quietly meeting people on dating websites these days. It is so common to find breakups nowadays, you are not left with the dregs!

There really is a ton of free opportunities out there.

You seem a bit on a downward spiral and the house may be a bit of baggage from the past. Break out of the spiral.


Married to Night Train
Salford, UK
buggi said:
o yea, the other problem is i'm not actually sure i want to meet anyone,
That's not a problem - that's an advantage! Enjoy being 'free'. I've more or less decided that being single is alright - no one else to bother about, my life is my own. Yeah, if someone came along (someone I liked, obviously), I wouldn't turn them down, but it's not my life's ambition to meet someone.

Get your debts sorted, and meanwhile, think properly about what you want to do, and how you might do it. Then once you're in a situation where you are paid off, you can have a plan ready to get out of your rut, or whatever.


Hi Buggi, things will pick up, it just will take a while.
I second the advice to check out the Motley Fool, they have a dedicated Dealing with Debt board: http://boards.fool.co.uk/dealing-with-debt-50079.aspx
and a Comfort Cafe: http://boards.fool.co.uk/comfort-cafe-51065.aspx
There boards are frequented by fools that are from a financial background and will offer loads of practical advice.
Usually one of the first things they ask you to do is post a statement of affairs (SOA), which is basically all your incomings and outgoings. This will give you an idea of whet you can get rid of or change for a better deal etc for example get rid of SKY, change to PAYG mobile instead of contract etc (apologies if you have already done this) and is a solid basis for budgeting.

I'd say get a 2nd job, even if you say you are too tired after work. When I chucked my useless lying cheating b*r steward of an ex-fiancee I had to take on a 2nd job to pay the defecit in rent and bills (a couple of hundered pounds a month). I worked full days Saturday & Sunday and one evening a week (with only 1/2hr between jobs). I did this for nearly 18 months (and one month worked 37 hrs in my P/T job as well as working my day job). It was very tiring, but it served a purpose as I managed to earn enough to get by and buy a house (which funnily enough costs less in a mortgage then the rent),and shortly afterwards a new full time job that paid more).
I then, despite not needing to, got a P/T job in the local corner shop to get to know the locals where I moved to. This helped pay for me to build a driveway. From that I got offered a job in one of the local pubs to cover the Xmas period. Didn't need the money then either but it was extra cash and getting to know the locals again.
I managed to squeeze in the odd social night out too. You come rather adept at time management and prioritising.

Short term pain for long term gain as they say.

With regard to the flat, if you can keep it (good investment for retirement, or getting higher up the housing rung). If it's going to be a hassle get rid once you are out of negative equity. There is no shame in renting and in some ways you are less tied down renting (for example far easier to up sticks and get a job in a different part of the country if you are renting).


Cycling is fun ...
Lots of good advice, I don't have much to add ... except for the "meeting people" thing ... don't get hung up on meeting a new partner (or not wanting to meet one). You might just find new friends who appreciate the same things you like to do, such as cycling :biggrin:.
People are moving around the country quite a bit with new jobs etc, and they will be looking for new friends in their new town, so you won't just meet those you are "left over" as somebody put it ...

Less sitting about feeling you are missing out on life if you have places to go and people to see (when you are not busy earning money to clear your debt...).

I agree with others that if you stick with things and sort them out, you'll feel much better afterwards and free to move on, rather than running away from it all (tempting as it may seem at times).

Just my 2p - good luck with it (or rather, make your own luck!)




Legendary Member
Nr Cambridge
Buggi have you thought of going on a date with longers? He seems an aimiable sensible fellow who is also on the hunt for a suitable partner/companion. You would at least have lots in common, sharing your passion of cycling, no doubt being able to bore each other silly with tales of your bottom brackets and discuss endless pannier configurations. You might even decide to go on a trip together .....

Just a thought :thumbsup:.


Bird Saviour
Randochap said:
You only live once. Some people not even that.

See, if i'm honest, this is what i want to hear ;)

sod the debt, go bankrupt
sod the relationship and the flat, travel the world

i blame my doctor for this mid-life crisis. i was quite happy paying off my debt and planning on going back to my flat until she so very kindly reminded me i am only a year off the age where i could start the menopause. WTF!!!! am i that old?????????????? At nearly 39 i'm suddenly realising i'm not the 24 year old i am inside my head. i need freedom.

it's a mid-life crisis yea???
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