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  • FIRST POST
    Dinah93
    The Ultimate Incentive natters on. Part 9
    • #1
    • 7th Dec 12, 12:42 PM
    The Ultimate Incentive natters on. Part 9 7th Dec 12 at 12:42 PM
    Wow, 9th diary. You'd think we'd have mastered this personal finance thing by now.

    Five years ago my new boyfriend set me a challenge – clear your debt and I’ll move from Ireland to England when it’s all gone. So began a manic year in which I eventually cleared £16,456 of debt in 250 days (or £65.82 a day if you want to break it down like British Gas when they call trying to flog you radiator valve cover). He moved to England, we got engaged, we bought a house, we got married, we spent the first year of married life living in the barely habitable house, we finished doing the house up, I fell pregnant, we had a very exciting (with lots of hospital admissions!) 6 month pregnancy before our little Pea arrived at 28+0 weighing 1lb 15oz, we spent 4 months trapsing around Northern hospitals before the happiest day of my life when we finally brought her home. Pea has been home over 4 months now and apart from being an absolute titch is a gorgeous, happy baby.

    On October 10th 2011 we'd just discovered we were expecting, and while we knew we were back in debt from the house purchase, wedding and renovation we had no idea how much debt really, we estimated about £15,000. On the 10th October 2011 we had £27,925.76 of debt. Exactly one year later we had £7622.13. That works out at £55.47 a day we cleared, despite a challenging pregnancy, spending 4 months at the hospital with Pea, and being on maternity leave. We paid off almost exactly our take home salary during that period, and still paid our bills, mortgage, and everything else. To say we're chuffed with how far we've come in a true best of times/worst of times year is an understatement.

    Pea does have ongoing health issues normal babies don't face, and we've been advised to keep her out of nursery until she's at least 2. Regardless of this she very much needs 1 to 1 care at the moment that a nursery could not offer. So it's unlikely I'll actually be going back to work at the end of maternity leave, whether this means applying for an unpaid sabatical or applying for voluntary redundancy we don't know yet. Either way it's unlikely I'll have a wage again for quite a while after my last maternity pay in November.

    To that end I've adapted the business I was trying to set up, and opened an online shop and facebook shop (please have a peek). It's been going a week now, and I've had 9 orders, which I'm thrilled with, and I really hope I can continue to grow. I made the decision to donate 10% of all my profits to charity, as while we might be skint, there are always people worse off than we are, and we would also like to give back to some of the charities that helped us when Pea was tiny.

    In a dream world we'd like to have the last of our debt cleared by Pea's first birthday in March, but I think it near impossible with the fact that our wages no longer meet our outgoings. So I'm going to settle for her due date birthday - 18th June 2013. A link to the first diary and all the subsequent ones are found below.

    The Diaries

    Diary 1: The Ultimate Incentive to get debt free, can I do it by New Years?
    How I cleared £16,456 of debt in 250 days (£65.82 that works out at!), leading to my DFD of the 24th April 2009. My Ultimate Incentive to clear the debt was that my boyfriend (known here as NIM, Naked Irish Man, poor fella was nicknamed by the girlies on my thread and it kind of stuck, he's not always naked, honest!) told me he would move to England from Ireland when I cleared my debt. I actually cleared more debt than I had take home pay in the same period, through doing a lot of little extra income earners mostly online. If you're fighting for ideas on how to clear your debt, this diary is chock full of suggestions.

    Diary 2: The Ultimate Incentive worked! Now onto phase two...
    My second diary, where NIM has just moved to England, and we start to save up for a house

    Diary 3: The Ultimate Incentive proposed! Buying a house, wedding and staying debt free
    My third diary, after NIM has proposed and we're faced with the task of saving for a house and a wedding, in the space of a year, and staying debt free.

    Diary 4: The Ultimate Incentive proposed! Time for an ultimate challenge...
    My fourth diary, where I set myself a challenge I failed miserably at and never really got started due to lack of time. Moving swiftly on from this one!

    Diary 5: The Ultimate Incentive to have an amazing 2010
    Where we started out with the best of intentions, underestimated the cost of our wedding and renovating the house and ended up solidly back in debt - but had an amazing wedding in the process

    Diary 6: The Ultimate Incentive to get debt free...Dinah & NIM go head to head.
    Our first year of married life, where we've nattered a lot but not really made any progress whatsoever on clearing the debt. We never did go head to head, we work much better as a team.

    Diary 7: The Ultimate Incentive Threadies go all out
    Bit of a Girls Gone Wild title, but this was a challenge where we all tried to clear/save £1000 over what we normally would, and the very lucky Cinny thrashed us all into submission. This was part of NIM & I's first year of marriage where we did things his way and tried to have balance... our debt grew.

    Diary 8 - The Ultimate Hard and Fast Debt Clearing Mission
    Where we find our we're expecting Pea, we report on how the pregnancy falls apart, and the early days of Pea. A few money updates on how we manage to clear £20k in a year, but mostly our focus is on our family.
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
Page 40
  • Lara44
    Yes I'm afraid it's the yukky old nicotine type gloss that I have on the skirting boards in the cupboard I just realised I didn't take any before pics, which was a bit silly! (Hope my closet reveal won't be a huge disappointment, hehe).

    Birdie, don't you like glossing? It's my favourite kind of painting. If I lived closer I'd certainly come and give you a hand. It's all about the masking tape skills. My OH is such a perfectionist, he'll be all like 'ooooooWOoooo' if I do a mistake. So I like to make it all perfect to show off.

    Glad to hear you had some good time off. It's so nice to just chill out at home and do relaxing local stuff. The wine and beer sound nice.

    Wendz, good to hear about the invites! Exciting that your wedding is getting so close now.

    Sorry to hear about the cold Dinah. Hope Grace is getting better, and NIM's hand too.

    Shrimpy, it's so stressful moving, I'm not surprised you're feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything else that's going on. I'm glad you've got your parents coming over to give you some TLC. Definitely take the opportunity for more rest and relaxation. Or alternatively you could write my PhD and I could rest on your behalf?

    Glad that you are getting so much more of your deposit back. Landlords can be such scoundrels. I had one nice one though, she was Northern Irish too. We did have to shampoo the carpets and do a bit of cleaning, but otherwise she gave us all our deposit back.

    Nice to hear about the little ones Flower and CMD. And all your plans too Cinny
  • Dinah93
    Great news about getting on the pampers trial Dinah - as you say it all helps and they might send you some more I dont use them simply because boots and asda ones are cheaper and just as good.
    I am having trouble with Noah in his pushchair as well but thats because he wants to walk everywhere now which takes an eternity, doesnt help that hes so nosey either!

    Invites look great Wendz
    Originally posted by Flower08
    Grace is desperate to be out and walking too... shame she can't walk yet!

    Take a look at the Ergo baby carrier, Dinah. It's a bit pricey but according to my Crunchy mother friends, it's one of the best. It's what OH and I are planning on getting instead of a pram when we have our Bambino Comes in some seriously cute patterns too!

    Hope you're feeling better soon, Grace too and that NIM's hand isn't too badly injured! What on earth did he do?! Good luck with your running too
    Originally posted by Cinny91
    Just looked it up but it won't work for us, we have a babyhawk mei tai and Grace screams blue murder when you put her in it, she likes to be able to see what's going on around her (plus it's really uncomfy in a snowsuit, her legs just don't go far enough apart). So we need something forward facing, whether that's worn on the front or back.

    They think he did it at football when he took a tumble. Good news is it isn't broken, bad news is he has torn something so it's in a splint for a few weeks.


    In a funny way it's nice to hear of Grace having a normal cold and not have to be admitted to hospital or anything! Not so much the screaming though
    Originally posted by Tete en l'Air
    It's really good. Although it's a runny cold not a blocked nose so it's a lot less worrying.

    How did I miss Lara's post?! Sounds like you're crazy busy! Can't wait to see the results at the end of the month. Why does white gloss go yellow anyways?! If it's to do with smoking I'll give OH a royal telling off (although he smokes outside, I've seen the scary NHS adverts!) We have patches on windowsills where it's happening.
    Originally posted by Cinny91
    Have you seen the new tumour adverts? They freak me out, I don't smoke and I can't watch them. Then I discovered my cousin's husband is the creative director behind them so now I force myself to watch them even though there is no good reason for me to.

    I think you are doing amazingly well with the debt repayment Dinah. When you are DF will you be able to live on NIM's wages or will you still need a second income?
    Originally posted by clearmydebts
    On paper we'd be about £200 a month short, in reality to live the lifestyle we want without having to say no to meals out, or panic if the car needs £200 of work doing etc I'd like to be bringing in another £1000 a month, but that's getting back to working half time really.
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
  • Birdie85
    Eww I hate the new anti-smoking adverts, if I was a smoker they'd make me feel ill about what I was doing to myself!

    Lara, I really don't like glossing! I don't have the patience at all and manage to end up with it looking streaky, blobby and there are always hairs (from both the brush and my head!) stuck in it too!
    Overcome the notion that you must be ordinary. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary!

    Declutter Challenge: 80/300
    Ultimate Losers Challenge: 4/30
    Destash Challenge: 33/100
  • Pilchard
    Hi everyone

    Haven't been on for a few days due to work etc. I have been very good trying to de-clutter, though and have some stuff that is going on Music Magpie when the send the labels - a load of CDs and DVDs and only totalling to £5.47 On the plus side it's better to get it in than spend it out and it's getting rid of stuff that didn't even go at a car boot sale! I also put a load of stuff on Amazon but took it off when they added the charges - good grief, I would have ended up paying for people to take the stuff so looks like it's the charity shop instead.

    Next Monday is OH's birthday and I would usually have gone out and spent loads of money I don't have on him. This year I have bought a couple of bits but I've also printed off some free love tokens to give him and I'll make a little thing to put them in (that's the technical term!). I have also got some pictures of his dad (who died last month) and am going to create a sort of montage in a frame for him. I'm hoping he'll like them and they'll only cost for the frame.

    Just catching up with other stuff....I can't watch those nicotine adverts. My mum is a heavy smoker and when she lived in a house she'd smoke in the kitchen with the back door open. It was awful but at least bearable. Now she lives in a flat and has stopped going outside for one so the place stinks. When I cleaned her windows they had nicotine on them
    Dinah and NIM hope you and Grace are all feeling better, and you Shrimpy.

    Birdie, I've just seen your signature, Dejunk 2013....can borrow that idea, it's fab?

    Lara I'll keep you in mind when we (finally) start decorating sometime this year....there's plenty to gloss in this house
    Let's start again (really need a kick up the bum now)
    Virgin CC £9793.71
    [CENTER][FONT=Comic Sans MS]
  • Lara44
    Hehe I could have a little glossing sideline on the go

    (Might need it after my PhD finishes )
  • Birdie85
    Well if you fancy a trip to Yorkshire Lara I don't mind being your guinea-pig for your portfolio! I'll pay you in cheese scones and hugs!

    Pilchard, the photo montage sounds like a lovely present for your OH, I'm sure he'll love it. Once you've done it you'll have to post a photo in the Room of Wonder!

    I've been pretty lax with my dejunking for the past couple of weeks but of course you can join in with the challenge. I did do more spare room crafty stuff sorting on Saturday, just need to add it to my list (when I find the notebook with it in...) and rejig the total in my sig! Also just had a brainwave for some extra storage in the wardrobe as we're wasting a lot of space ATM so I'm going to take out the look-nice-but-actually-good-for-nothing shelves and baskets and get one of these and put it in there instead to use for clothes (t-shirts, pjs, undies etc) and accessories. It's not pretty but it'll be hidden behind the wardrobe door and it'll be useful!
    Overcome the notion that you must be ordinary. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary!

    Declutter Challenge: 80/300
    Ultimate Losers Challenge: 4/30
    Destash Challenge: 33/100
  • Lara44
    Quiet in here today. Anybody got any plans for the weekend? It's me, the PhD and the cupboard I'm afraid, in a writing-sanding-cleaning frenzy We are planning a Harry Potter film and a little bit of booze for this evening though. OH and I are well overdrawn this month already, so no galavanting. Maybe we will meet up with our friends and their sweet children for a bit tomorrow too.

    I forgot to say I got a slow cooker two weeks ago with the last of my Christmas money. Anybody else use one? So far I've only cooked a Jamie Oliver chilli, but it was really nice. Beef bourguignon (sp?) is brewing in there now. It better be nice. Cooking at breakfast makes you think about dinner the whole day long!
  • Birdie85
    Sounds like a decent weekend Lara! For me, it's a friend's birthday party tomorrow night, but other than that we've got no solid plans. Going to try to convince OH to take me out for a nice breakfast on Sunday.

    I haven't got a slow cooker but I'd love one. We're going to have a bit of a kitchen clear-out and try to make some room for one as I'd love to come home to a proper cooked meal every night without having to spend ages making it when I really don't feel like it! Hope your dinner is as nice as it sounds! There's a thread over on OS all about slow cookers, might be good for ideas?
    Overcome the notion that you must be ordinary. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary!

    Declutter Challenge: 80/300
    Ultimate Losers Challenge: 4/30
    Destash Challenge: 33/100
  • Dinah93
    £9 into the savers ladies and Poolies.

    Woke up feeling really upbeat this morning, then my mum called and stropped about everything including how there is no point in anything as she's doomed to die at 80 like her parents... seemed wrong to point out that even if she does there is no point writing off the next 27 years.

    For no reason I can fathom work have paid me £135 again this month, this 'unpaid' maternity lark isn't too bad!

    Managed to get about 20 bits on ebay over the weekend, would have liked more but NIM had a busy day shooting and rugby watching yesterday so I had Grace so couldn't do much. Stayed up a few hours after NIM trying to get as much done as possible.

    Have done a bit of money shuffling to try to pay off the Amex, we were over £1000 short but now £792.72 short. Technically I can borrow £250 from an overdraft, and I have £45 coming in from Music Magpie but that still leaves us £497.72 to find by 9th March. Grace's DLA and child benefit come in just after the bill is due, so I could probably borrow that off mum for one week, leaving us only £115 to find...I have some bits on ebay but unless everything sells I doubt I'll make that much..... will have to get a thinking cap on. Urgh, hate being so short of money we have to shuffle it like this.

    Going to have a big ambitious list day.
    1. Clean bathroom.
    2. Finish putting photos on NIMs digi frame.
    3. Sit down with NIM and re-do Grace's passport application start to finish.
    4. Hoover all downstairs
    5. Get 2 loads washed and hung out
    6. Send some recent photos to both parents in law
    7. Find NIMs Virgin airmiles number and order Tesco points to it
    8. Put card in envelope to send back to hotel
    9. Put in GR MS order
    10. Check all Amazon prices are up to date

    Having a workout day off as I've been pushing it hard recently and my legs are paying for it.
    Last edited by Dinah93; 25-02-2013 at 9:07 AM.
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
  • clearmydebts
    Wow Dinah! You are bright and breezy this morning. Fair play to you! I am the opposite - a bit doom and gloom like your Mum.

    On a positive though, we are now under 22k. Thought I would be under 20k at this stage but life definitely does throw obstacles at you on the debt free journey.
    Total debt: Dec '12 £24,790 £6,580
    House deposit: €25,800/€30,000
    Emergency savings: €200/€1000
  • Dinah93
    I know, can't believe I'm feeling positive, I've got a very very scratchy throat, want to cough every second of the day and night, and had yet another poor night's sleep, plus the whole robbing Peter to pay Paul makes my head and heart hurt, but might as well use this energy while I have it.
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
  • beccie
    For no reason I can fathom work have paid me £135 again this month, this 'unpaid' maternity lark isn't too bad!
    Originally posted by Dinah93
    Not sure how maternity pay works but when I took a 6 month unpaid career break I got approx £100 a month back. Turned out it was because the PAYE tax system makes the assumption when deducting tax that you will be earning that salary for the entire year so when you don't, some tax is owed back.

    Hope that not-very-technical explanation makes sense!
    Debt at LBM Apr 2010 £28,767 Debt free as of Nov 2013
  • Dinah93
    Aye I think it's tax, it's a lovely unexpected bonus any which way.
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
  • clearmydebts
    I know, can't believe I'm feeling positive, I've got a very very scratchy throat, want to cough every second of the day and night, and had yet another poor night's sleep, plus the whole robbing Peter to pay Paul makes my head and heart hurt, but might as well use this energy while I have it.
    Originally posted by Dinah93
    Defo use all that energy while you have it! I can relate to the poor nights sleep. Evie had her MMR on Thursday and she hasn't slept the past 2 nights. Luckily I went to bed at 9.30pm last night because from 1.45am until 6.30am (when Max got up) I had barely any sleep Am hoping she will sleep tonight. I am used her and Max having 11/12 hours sleep a night!

    Is Grace teething?
    Total debt: Dec '12 £24,790 £6,580
    House deposit: €25,800/€30,000
    Emergency savings: €200/€1000
  • Dinah93
    Doesn't seem to be, but in the last 10 days she's completely reverted to wanting a bottle between 3 and 4am, she hadn't wanted that for about 2 months, but then when she wakes at 6 she doesn't want the bottle at all.... this morning she was retching when she could SEE the bottle, didn't even get it near her mouth!
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
  • Dinah93
    Also in exciting family news NIM and I decided we're going to take her swimming for the first time on her birthday, so have ordered her a little wetsuity thing to keep her warm and floaty, and a ring with a seat in, will be good for Greece too (did I mention we've booked it?!)
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
  • clearmydebts
    Also in exciting family news NIM and I decided we're going to take her swimming for the first time on her birthday, so have ordered her a little wetsuity thing to keep her warm and floaty, and a ring with a seat in, will be good for Greece too (did I mention we've booked it?!)
    Originally posted by Dinah93
    Aw that will be lovely. I didn't think she would be allowed to go swimming with the risk of other people at a public pool so that's great that she can! My 2 love the water. I need to learn to drive so I can bring them more often!

    Oh and well done on booking Greece. Lovely to look forward to the sun! Did it work out fairly reasonable in the end?
    Total debt: Dec '12 £24,790 £6,580
    House deposit: €25,800/€30,000
    Emergency savings: €200/€1000
  • Birdie85
    Exciting news about booking Greece! Have you worked it out to be nice and affordable? Hope Grace enjoys her first holiday!
    Overcome the notion that you must be ordinary. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary!

    Declutter Challenge: 80/300
    Ultimate Losers Challenge: 4/30
    Destash Challenge: 33/100
  • wendz86
    Exciting news about Greece Dinah! Wghen is it you are going?

    Enjoy the swimming, Poppy loves it although havent taken her for ages.

    Had quite a nice weekend. Got Poppy's passport pics taken and she was actually quite co-operative. Just need OH to get it signed now at work. Also had a look at suits at moss bros for the wedding. Need OH to go back when he has shoes to try on then he can pick so the best men and dads can go get measured.
  • Dinah93
    Aw that will be lovely. I didn't think she would be allowed to go swimming with the risk of other people at a public pool so that's great that she can! My 2 love the water. I need to learn to drive so I can bring them more often!

    Oh and well done on booking Greece. Lovely to look forward to the sun! Did it work out fairly reasonable in the end?
    Originally posted by clearmydebts
    Her favourite consultant said she can once she's 9 months adjusted, which is pretty much bang on her birthday, so seemed a nice treat.

    Reasonable-ish. It's going to be about £1150 for the three of us excluding the train up to Edinburgh, so a bit more than we hoped, but we get 11 days away and it'll be a nice relaxing time somewhere we've never seen.

    Exciting news about booking Greece! Have you worked it out to be nice and affordable? Hope Grace enjoys her first holiday!
    Originally posted by Birdie85
    Exciting news about Greece Dinah! Wghen is it you are going?
    Originally posted by wendz86
    Not until the end of May, but it's given me a goal. The weight loss has hit a major plateau recently, despite watching what I eat religiously, so I'm hoping to be able to get bikini ready in 3 months :s
    Ultimate Biggest Loser Weight Loss: 15.4lb/44.4lb
    Soulie's Craft Challenge 2015 0/15

    January debt clearance £225/£1205

    Met NIM 23/06/2008 Engaged 23/08/2009 Married 03/09/2010 Baby girl born 26/03/2012 - 12 weeks early Baby boy born 13/06/2014 - 11 weeks early
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