• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Personal Banking difficulties


Senior Member
East Sussex
How do other people find managing money? Two years ago I was in a fairly comfortable position financially with a good job and savings as a young professional. That was before ME, and perhaps desperately spending thousands on Test and treatments in the hope of staying at my job position.

Now I find myself in a position where I have a baseline £0 in my account, but thankfully still have the support of my family, and my Dad can provide an amount that I can use each month for food, supps, and whatever else is termed as a living cost with ME.

I don't have an Overdraft on my account which means that whenever I go into the red, I am getting fined £5 a day for being overdrawn. I have racked up huge charges unknowingly, on days when I haven't seen the warning message I receive and haven't had the energy or focus to do 'banking'. I don't really have the energy to go to the bank and negotiate an overdraft and reversal of fees - so I generally just find myself in a bit of a pickle - it's a nightmare.

Thankfully at this stage I don't have a family, house, bills to pay for. But it just makes me super aware of the strains that older folk with ME must go through. And the impossible task of managing finances, not to mention the added stress that will exacerbate symptoms - this is the side of things that the public just don't know about, isn't it crazy?

I have applied for PIP/ESA in the UK, but don't feel I have much chance of getting anything since I am between a 3-4/10 on the scale. This is despite the fact that I have worked for 3 years and have paid taxes - it's infuriating.

Can anyone provide any advice on finance management? or explain how they cope? any top tips for debit/credit cards/overdrafts etc?


Senior Member
The other side.
How well you cope basically depends on if you have enough money coming in to meet your needs.

I used to be in the same position as you, banking wise, constant charges on accounts for late payments etc. Infuriatingly they would bounce a payment for a couple of quid (literally) and then charge me £15 for doing so.

There are accounts which don't impose charges, nationwide building society do one (flexbasic) is the one I use.

Other than that make everything direct debit (or standing order if you can get them to agree to it), try and avoid using anything that can have a variable direct debit, junk credit cards and put all your routine outgoings, and incomings on a google calendar, so you can easily check what's going in and out, and thus, hopefully, see if any problems are about to occur and take action.

Before I started this approach I got into serious problems, mainly because of making minimum payments (now everything is set to 100% payments but it's very rare I actually use a credit card these days), late payments (personal banking can be problematic if you're bed/housebound), and sheer bloody mindedness (when all of the constantly growing bill is fees). I ended up having to take out a debt relief order as it reached the point where my admittedly low income didn't meet the bills.

These days I have a "relative" check no problems are likely to occur every few weeks (they have access to my accounts and google calendar), but at the end of the day if your income isn't enough............you're going to have issues.
Last edited:

Invisible Woman

Senior Member
I had a relative go through a fairly extreme crisis a number of years ago. Then we discovered that she hadn't been managing her finances at all. She racked up a ridiculous amount in bank charges etc.

Another relative and I jointly tackled the problem. Luckily for my relative when we sorted out the benefits she was entitled to and council tax discount etc she did have enough to live on with a little bit extra ( not much mind).

Most importantly when we spoke to the bank in her behalf we got all of the outstanding charges and interest (which were considerable) cancelled. We thought we'd have a real fight on our hands but the bank were really helpful.

If you have someone prepared to take this on for you, you might find some of you debt being wiped out.

Having a sit down with someone clear headed is a great way to get to grips with what's going on and how you can manage what little you do have. Someone who'll help keep an eye on things as @Wonko mentioned is a great idea.

But I would definitely see if you could get some of those charges cancelled and maybe even refunded.


Moderator Resource
Southern California
I use Quicken to stay on top of my finances. I do my check book on my computer so I know how much money I have and don't have to guess ;) They have a mobile app now which I don't use (wrong generation I think!) but some may find it helpful. Also, it can sync with your bank account so hopefully you can stay on top of things. (though I haven't used this feature either)