How much debt??!!

I heard on the news that the average UK household has around £13,000 of debts, not including their mortgages. The idea of being that much in debt frankly terrifies me. I occasionally put the odd small thing on a credit card, transfer it to a 0% interest card straight away, then pay it off as soon as possible. I’m talking three or four hundred here though, not thousands! 

I suppose this didn’t really surprise me that much though. I do wonder, if you are on an average kind of salary with average expenses, how do you pay that amount off? I guess you start being frugal and reining it in at some point or you go under. I would worry how I would cope if interest rates went up, or if I became ill and my income dropped. I will never get into that much debt!

We had a few hours in the garden yesterday as it was so mild. It really needed it. We have been really neglectful due to lack of time. We found a whole load of leeks that we had forgotten about so pulled the lot up. They were quite small as they hadn’t been thinned out enough but are usable. I feel a big pan of leek and potato soup coming on! It was nice to get out and dig. We did that instead of going for a walk but I’m sure it burned off a few calories.

We have finally found a lodger. She is moving in next weekend and only wants Monday to Friday, which suits us fine. That will boost the bank account a bit. Hopefully I can focus on saving money rather than getting into debt!

12 thoughts on “How much debt??!!

  1. Sam

    Congratulations on lodger. In US student loan debt is killing young people. Also medical debt. So much is not just bad shopping habits so scarier yet. Where do they tighten the minimum budget? Frugal sites are a blessing. Great use of your found produce.

  2. Frugal in the Valley

    It does me too. I was once in $45k debt, some my own stupidness, some stupidness inherited from an ex. Now no debt, except my mortgage, but I love my house so much I really don’t care. Have a fab day.

  3. Sue Cuthbert

    We have no debts so someone else must have our £13,000 worth!

    Many years ago when we first married we bought a record player on HP (That’s hire purchase for anyone under 55!) It was probably around £30……….my mum had a fit! Don’t start your married life in debt she said. We kept in credit after that – mums had a lot of influence back then

    1. shoestringjane@outlook.com Post author

      You’re right – that is an estimate so some people must owe crazy amounts!

  4. Louise Houghton

    I knew that is what you were going to say when I saw the title of your post.! It is an horrific amount of money. I think somebody else must have our 13k, too! The only time we really use our overdraft is in the run up to Christmas and we generally manage to pay it off by the end of February. We don’t have a credit card. I should say that we are mortgage free because we sold a business to buy our last house with cash and were able to do the same with where we are now. I do feel for people in debt, but I must say that the culture of having to have what you want NOW does now help and there is a lot of it about.

  5. Mrs G

    We don’t have a mortgage – but do have a 5k loan for the kitchen (@2.2%). DD is only 19 and already has just under £18k of debt – £9k tuition fees loan and £8700 maintenance loan (she gets the full loan due to our earnings and would have qualified for almost £5k of that as a grant until the rules changed :(. And this is only Y1 of Uni life! 🙁 🙁

    Mon-Fri lodgers are an ideal arrangement (my husband has been one a few times when he contracts away from home) – you get your house to yourself for the weekends, which is your r&r time anyway, so you get to be able to do that in peace 🙂

    1. shoestringjane@outlook.com Post author

      I may be wrong but I think they excluded student loans from that average. My daughter has a loan too but I’m not worried about it as the repayments will be so low until she is earning a decent salary. Her degree has already made it possible for her to land a great first job so is a worthwhile investment.

      1. Mrs G

        I would have thought they’d exclude student debt but the report I was listening to (on the Beeb) said it included it (which did surprise me) – in which case the average may well rise – daughter is expecting £70k after 4years (to include PGCE). Eldest son wants to be a doctor, so his will be worse

  6. Margaret Powling

    Yes, I heard about the average household has £13,000 of unsecured debt. It’s an horrendous amount. I’ ve never had a credit card and when husband was at work (he’s been retired for many years) he had one, but it was so that he could pay his air fares and hotel bills and restaurant bills when he was oversees, and this was kept totally separate from our own money.
    But we’re very fortunate, we have sufficient on which to manage, others aren’t in this fortunate position, often in low-paid work or on benefit and yet goods and food are the same price for everyone. It pays to learn about money early in life, if financial management isn’t being taught in schools instead of physics and chemistry, then it should be.

  7. Kristie

    Congratulations on finding a lodger! That will be a nice source of income. And your efforts to renovate the sitting room are now put to use.
    Have a great week and keep posting the blog updates.

  8. Lily cat

    This time last year I would have been shaking my head and tutting at some people’s debt but now i am someone with a lot of debt. I suffered some severe mental health problems meaning I was signed off from work, my company does not pay sick pay so it was credit or not eat and lose my house which would have only added to my problems. And yes I know in an ideal work I would have an emergency fund but I just don’t earn enough to do that. But now being even more frugal to pay it off and doing my best to stay well.

    1. shoestringjane@outlook.com Post author

      Best of luck with that. It’s hard to accrue the amount you would need to get you through several months of bills should something bad happen. I certainly don’t have that kind of contingency fund. Best of luck clearing your debts and staying well

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