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# 141
KONG
Old 27-03-2012, 9:51 AM
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Congrats and well done! Now use your money wisely and save up! But dont forget to live life also and feel free. Sometime money can get you stuck!

Big hugs from Denmark!
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# 142
Kerfuffle
Old 27-03-2012, 4:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by January20 View Post
Kerfuffle, I started this diary rather late in the day on my debt free journey so I am concerned you will not find very much info about how I did it, so here is a post to try and tell you:

First, I have been a single mum to my dd for about 12 years now, and my career path has been bumpy - even more bumpy than my road to DF (@GReenSaints ) For these reasons, it has taken me so long (nearly 6 years to get debt free) as I didn't have lot of money, and sometimes wasn't paid everymonth, and I didn't want my dd to do without too many things, so being DF took a back seat occasionally (but perhaps it is like a weight loss program - better to be slow and effective than fast and put all the weight/ debt back on?).

I discovered this site just before Easter 2006 but it took me until August 2006 to get my LBM. At the time, I was sinking fast into debt and I acquired a default that is a painful reminder of those days.

I took control of my finances: initially, I created a spread sheet for all my debts with balance, interest and repayment plans.

I then created a spreadsheet with all my outgoings ie all the regular bills, but it also lists my income (and back in the day the CTC and CB). I worked out how much I had to spend after all the bills were paid. At the beginning, I had 2 loans, 3 credit cards and 1 large bill for roof repairs (not my choice: management company)

In the years that I have been on MSE, I have spent a lot of time reading stories of people in debt, people in much worse debt than me, how they got out of it, etc. I got comfort from knowing I wasn't on my own. I learned tips and how to be really in control of my situation.

I started making more use of the online facilities on my current account. I now check my account every day or every other day. I need to know what goes in and out, I can't rest if I see a transaction I don't recognise so for this reason, I also save all my receipts and I have another spreadsheet for all my spendings, separated into categories: foods, toiletries and household stuff, petrol, car repairs, clothes, entertainment and general spending. I never buy anything without thorough research first. I buy second hand if I can ie books, I always buy second hand books.

The mistake I made: I should have started a diary much earlier but the truth is I was ashamed to be in debt. I told no-one in real life, my dd has just found out, and I think I started to come clean on MSE towards the end of last year, when I could see the end was near.

THE END
(not like me to write such long posts lol)

I may start a mortgage-free diary at some point, but there will be some changes in my work in the next few months, and I have been assured I would know my fate by the end of May so until then I will just relax a bit and save some money! And carry on writing on this diary and on GreenSaints' diary too.
Hi January20

Thanks for the post. I've read through your diary and it has been a great read, easy to follow as for the majority of the time there's only been one conversation to follow. There were plenty of times I felt I could have jumped in with ' I know just how you feel', such as BC's interest rate jacking, and how it feels like the banks are constantly trying to s c r e w us over.

It's been like reading the back of a book when you know what's going to happen but you don't know how it's going to get there, so at the begining of March you were talking about 'maybe' making a final payment at the end of March, but as I knew you'd already managed it it was a nail-biting finish to see how you did it

I've been following MSE for a few years and enjoy reading the diaries, I currently have some debt, and once it's gone I'm going to tackle the mortgage, so I hope you stick around so I can follow the rest of your journey.

I think when I get to the point of overpaying my mortgage I'm going to initially set mini goals, such as saying that in 2013 I'm going to pay xx amount extra off the mortgage, and see how it goes from there. I want to build some savings at the same time so it can't all be about the mortgage

Anyway, good luck with the rest of your journey.

Debt Free Date 31.5.13
MFit - T3 # 162
2014mfw# 137 MF goal 02.02.2020
To overpay the mortgage 7 / 81 months (7000.00)
Just because a lending institution says you can afford to borrow some money, doesn't mean you should Only buy NEEDS not WANTS SPC#579
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# 143
January20
Old 27-03-2012, 9:38 PM
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GreenSaints, I think I am going no-where and I would definitely make sure you could follow me if I did

Kong, good advice from Denmark. I think I did live a little whilst paying my debt and that's why it took so long for a relatively small amount compared to the mountains I've seen people on here tackle. It's finding the balance now isn't it? Being DF makes me feel free - a great weight off my shoulders!

Kerfuffle, I know what you mean about following only one conversation. I've given up on diaries and other threads before because they move too fast for me. I don't always have the time to read a lot, never mind follow enough of a story to then post a reply! I hope you - and the other posters of the last few days - will keep posting on my diary - if only to save poor GreenSaints from boredom!
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
"The road to DF is long and bumpy" GreenSaints
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# 144
Kerfuffle
Old 27-03-2012, 11:12 PM
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Hi January20,

I'll certainly keep bobbing in from time to time to see how you're doing. Reading your diary the last couple of days has inspired me to pay a little bit more than I was originally going to pay to BoM&D as I took your example to stretch myself a little bit out of my comfort zone.

As you say in your previous post, a lot of getting rid of debt is about keeping a balance, you've got to have a life, but not so much of one that your debt doesn't reduce. But whilst reducing your debt making sure you still have a life to stop you from slowly and steadily going mad.

So here's hoping I got the balance right when I paid a bit more than I was going to.

Debt Free Date 31.5.13
MFit - T3 # 162
2014mfw# 137 MF goal 02.02.2020
To overpay the mortgage 7 / 81 months (7000.00)
Just because a lending institution says you can afford to borrow some money, doesn't mean you should Only buy NEEDS not WANTS SPC#579
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# 145
January20
Old 28-03-2012, 12:31 PM
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Stretching myself a little I have 2.82 left in my current account! Payday is on Friday though, my mortgage payment came out this morning, and I have a bit of cash in my purse so should be ok but still, talk about sailing close to the wind!
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
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# 146
GreenSaints
Old 28-03-2012, 10:52 PM
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I assume you have an overdraft just in case? Wouldn't like you to be charged for being over your limit for less than a day!
Debts - 1% at a Time! Member #198
Progress since 01/01/14 - 6,925.21/8,731.92 (79.31%!)
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# 147
January20
Old 29-03-2012, 6:46 PM
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Oh yes I have an overdraft! I also know that there are no bills coming out of the account until tomorrow (spreadsheets ARE useful lol!). I don't like using my overdraft because I get charged interest and even if it's a few pennies it annoys me! I need to get my mortgage payment changed to the 1st of the month instead of the 28th (which is before payday) but that will probably require me to pay 2 mortgage payments from the same salary, so perhaps that should be my first aim since being debt free: saving up for an extra mortgage payment! I think I'll make that my first goal!
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
"The road to DF is long and bumpy" GreenSaints
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# 148
January20
Old 31-03-2012, 8:50 AM
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Default In debt again!

Well, not really but I have just received my yearly service charge and again, although I do love my flat, I am reminded why I so want to move into another property: 643.93 20+ more than last year! When I first moved into the block, it was 350 (but that was nearly 12 years ago). And what do I get for that?

- The communal areas are cleaned regularly and well (until somebody hires a contractor and they make a mess everywhere!)
- The light is on all night in the communal area - and we have safety light during the day. (I would prefer a system where we put the lights on as we need!)
- The grass is cut (for people from the neighbourhood to come and let their dogs pee on It's an ongoing battle. They say it's council property, we say it's private property. One day somebody is going to get my bill shoved in their face )
- Various insurances, communal windows cleaned, various repairs and a contingency fund for future decorating work)

I have within 30 days to pay it. I have the money, but is not leaving my account for another 29 days!

Action plan:
- In the summer, I will do all the decorating jobs that need to be done. I will save up for carpets too. Get the flat ready to go on the market.
- In october, my defauts drops from my account. I will see what kind of mortgages and properties are available to me then. My dd and boyfriend are planning to move out at some point so it might be a good time for me too. Or they could move with me!
- I have been paying an extra 50 of my mortgage for a while now. When my work situation is resolved, I'm hoping to be able to pay more than this, although it's not the first time that work have promised me great things and they haven't materialised. Not putting my hopes up.
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
"The road to DF is long and bumpy" GreenSaints
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# 149
GreenSaints
Old 11-04-2012, 9:28 AM
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Hey,

How are you doing?

I'm making a list of all the things that need doing in our house, but it's going to be costly and time consuming! If only I knew a plasterer! Can you go out with one do I can get discount?

We're overpaying on the mortgage too (been here nearly 8 years and haven't really made a dent in it) Would like to clear off 6k this year, would be nice to get 10k, but that's wishful thinking!
Debts - 1% at a Time! Member #198
Progress since 01/01/14 - 6,925.21/8,731.92 (79.31%!)
Debt Cleared since January 2011 - 30,506.53
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# 150
January20
Old 11-04-2012, 3:40 PM
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Oh if you were up her in the north-east, I could get you a really good plasterer! ( and no, I didn't go out with him lol)

I have some work to do in the flat too but there is no point until my dd, her bf and their cat move out. I also need new carpets and a new sofa and that's not a good idea with a cat around! Most of the work is cosmetic: new coat of paint etc. It will keep me busy when I find myself alone.

I'm finding myself a bit lost at the moment because I'm not striving to pay off my debt which is good, but I have no firm plans for what I'll do in the future as I don't know my fate come September. I'm on holiday too at the moment but don't want to spend a lot of money, so am not going too far from home and am avoiding my "expensive" friend!

Anyway, it's still a good time, it's nice not to have to worry about debt, am thinking about opening an ISA but then wondering whether it's worth it as I plan to put any spare penny into my mortgage, although of course I don't know if I'll have any! Waiting game! That's why I haven't posted on this diary lately.
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
"The road to DF is long and bumpy" GreenSaints
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# 151
GreenSaints
Old 25-04-2012, 1:28 PM
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Just popping in to check you haven't gone awal with your new found debt freedom! :P
Debts - 1% at a Time! Member #198
Progress since 01/01/14 - 6,925.21/8,731.92 (79.31%!)
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# 152
January20
Old 25-04-2012, 9:18 PM
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Hi GreenSaints,
No, I've not gone awol. I'm biding my time, trying to keep my impatience at bay, until I can hatch a plan for the future. And that means, I need to wait until one of the places where I work tell me what they want me to do next academic year! Then I can have a 12 months plan (hopefully)

I've also had very little to say lol! I've been working hard and been too tired. It's just like I didn't have a Easter holiday!

How are you? You haven't been posting on your diary either, have you? (been checking up on you girl )
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
"The road to DF is long and bumpy" GreenSaints
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# 153
GreenSaints
Old 27-04-2012, 8:59 AM
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When do you find out about your work?

Ah, touche! I haven't been posting, because I'm so miserable Also, like you, I don't have a huge debt to chase now (ignoring my student loan and BOM loan)

I did however have to take my savings (114) and put it in my current account Thanks to the tax man taking an extra 100 a month from me

But I'm forcing myself to keep up the higher payments on my overdraft (will be clear in July) so I'll have an extra 220.75 every month

So, I'm depressed and skint. It's like a year has gone by and nothing has changed
Debts - 1% at a Time! Member #198
Progress since 01/01/14 - 6,925.21/8,731.92 (79.31%!)
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# 154
January20
Old 27-04-2012, 5:24 PM
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I don't know when I will find out about work, but I know it should be before the end of July.

Have you got tax arrears too? I have and the taxman is supposed to take about 50-60 a month extra from me. Why can't they get it right in the first place? They have all the info they need about my work!

It will be brilliant when you have cleared your overdraft! Not long to go!

There is a certain down feeling after paying off one's debt isn't there? I'd focussed on that for nearly 6 years. I was a bit lost at first. Thankfully, I'm so busy at work at the moment, I don't have time to think! (I make up for it with weird dreams at night lol!)
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
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# 155
GreenSaints
Old 02-05-2012, 1:38 PM
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Hey,

Sorry for my delayed response.

Yep tax arrears of 1000! I don't even know how this happened and neither do they (they don't give me a straight answer)

The next thing I am currently excited about is my house renovations. My share save comes to an end in a months time which will totally cover plastering my whole house, new doors, skirting and architrave! So I'm focussed on that. I was going to 'give' that money to my mum, but if I do, I'd only need it back to pay for the work! :P

How about you? Have you managed for your DD, her BF and cat out yet? :P
Debts - 1% at a Time! Member #198
Progress since 01/01/14 - 6,925.21/8,731.92 (79.31%!)
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# 156
January20
Old 05-05-2012, 6:56 PM
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My turn to apologise for the delay in replying!

There has been a step forward regarding my work, but it could only be to have proven to my boss that I can do the job well. It's not bringing me forward to getting a better position yet. Still I had a challenge, I had to prove myself and I did, so I am happy with that for the moment.

My DD, The Boyfriend and The Cat are still living with me. I love the company but I dislike the disruption in my life. I like to live in a clean and tidy environment and they don't! My dd has always been messy! Even The Cat is at it now! lol! Anyway, they won't be able to move out until The Boyfriend (who happens to be a very nice guy) gets a job, and in this recession it's not going to be quick is it?

So all my plans of decoration the flat again, of getting a new sofa (with a cat?!!) have to be on hold. I have to learn patience. And save up some money. Everything is SO expensive though!

My tax arrears are about 650. They are going to take the money from me throughout this tax year. Just as well. In the past, they would have demanded the money there and then, and charged interest for late payments, even though it was their mistake! In my case, it's because I have 2 jobs, and they take tax on my main salary and not the other. And of course my main salary is never the same, because I never do the same hours 2 months in a row, so it must be too complicated for the computer to work out!
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
"The road to DF is long and bumpy" GreenSaints
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# 157
GreenSaints
Old 15-05-2012, 2:23 AM
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Hey,

I can't sleep, so I thought I'd check in
Debts - 1% at a Time! Member #198
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# 158
January20
Old 16-05-2012, 4:46 PM
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Oh, I nearly didn't see your post! Nothing to report really... not yet... things look like they are moving forward at work but I won't say anything to anyone (apart from dd) until I have signed my contract.

I'm just exhausted today. Woke up tired because I had a late tea as I went to the pub (non alcoholic drinks only ) with a friend. I should know better ie have tea first and then a couple of alcoholic drinks
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
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# 159
January20
Old 04-06-2012, 9:44 AM
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And before you know it, it is June already! This year is going at such a pace!

There has been some progress. I have finally been given written confirmation of my hours for September, and have been able to hand my notice in at my other job. It is very weird to have 1 job only! The last time was probably in the early 90s. It feels like I'm putting all my eggs in the same basket, but most people are in this situation aren't they? And I had to make a choice, a decision as to what was best for my future.

I'm still not sure what my salary will be, but I have a fairly good idea, and I have made a couple of financial decisions:

I have my car tax and mot as well as my car insurance to renew before the end of this week. I have the money for the all of this, (provided there are no repairs running into thousands after the MOT), but it's in my current account, which I don't like very much. So, I have opened an online savings account linked to my current account and have decided to save separately in there every month to cover all those yearly bills that keep creepy up so regularly If I save 135 a month, that will cover my tv licence, car tax, mot and car insurance.

My second savings account will become a holiday/personal allowance account. At the end of each month, if there is anything left in my current account, it will be transferred in there on payday. I don't spend much on holidays. I usually visit my family or I spend money on day trips and this can be controlled very easily with packed lunches, picnics etc. In September, any "round" hundreds will be transferred from my second savings account into my long term savings account. I've decided to try and build a substantial saving pot - just in case.

It looks like my dd, boyfriend and cat will be with me for the foreseeable future, so I will delay my house redecoration and purchase of a new sofa. In any case, my oven has packed up as well, and I'd always said that I would look at having a new kitchen fitted when that happened as mine is very, very old. Need to save up for that though. In the meantime, I will buy a mini-oven, and use the old oven as (much needed) storage. Knowing me, if the mini-oven works out as well as I expect, it may be a (long) while before I do anything about the kitchen lol! I'm heavily influenced by Frugal Queen and her blog where she often mentions her mini-oven (and even takes it on holiday abroad it seems )
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
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# 160
January20
Old 07-06-2012, 6:13 PM
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It's very unusual for me but I have spent a lot of money this week. I'm on holidays and this has coincided with my dd having a couple of days off. This is also very rare so we spent some time shopping. I took her out for lunch twice, bought some stuff to make some home-made wine (my new hobby) bought some clothes (3 tops, 1 pair of jeans and a much needed handbag) and paid for my MOT and car repairs (61 so not too bad). Very nice couple of days.

I still have to renew my car insurance and my breakdown cover :-(
(will do that tonight).
LBM: August 2006 12,568.49 - DFD 22nd March 2012
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