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  • FIRST POST
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 30th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    • 58Posts
    • 77Thanks
    Plain Jane
    University Challenge x 2
    • #1
    • 30th Jul 17, 9:04 PM
    University Challenge x 2 30th Jul 17 at 9:04 PM
    Hi everyone, you all seem such a friendly bunch and I've been reading some of your diaries for a long time. I thought it was time I joined in and added my own diary for some help and encouragement.

    My name is quite boring but I haven't got a very creative mind today so may think of something better at a later date.

    So my title says it all really. Our DT (darling twin girls) were born 19 years ago in September. So you'd think after the shock of having two children at the same time we would have thought that at some point they will reach the age where they could well want to go to uni!

    No not us, we lived each day as it came getting ourselves into a mountain of debt without a thought for the future. In 2002 this debt reached £66k - LBM number 1 came along. We entered a dmp and spent the next 12 years scrimping and saving. In 2014 my dearest and lovely Dad passed away. The worst thing that has ever happened to me. About 6 months later his inheritance arrived and the first thing we did was pay the remaining £23k off our debt. The relief was amazing, it's such a shame something bad had to happen to get there.

    The remaining money we used to update the house as it had not had much love. So you think lessons learned we are free of debt apart from the mortgage. Oh no, I obviously thought we were invincible. The children were older and still talking about uni but we hadn't lived for so many years and all of a sudden credit was available to us. We went on holiday a couple of times and had weekends away, spent very unwisely on a day to day basis and bought shoes, clothes and everything else we thought we could afford now but really we couldn't.

    So here we're are, girls hopefully getting into uni in September, upset about having an empty nest all in one go and £40k back in debt.

    I've spent the last month overhauling the budget but nowhere near to the point that some of you do - I think you are all amazing. I have chopped small things out which have added up and the next thing to go is our storage unit where we dumped everything after losing 3 parents and a sister in quick succession. We cannot afford £172 a month for this. So my diary is all about cutting down, minimilising and hopefully losing weight along the way as I think these things can go hand in hand.

    Hope you've all had a great weekend and looking forward to talking to you all.

    PJ
Page 1
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 30th Jul 17, 9:15 PM
    • 879 Posts
    • 5,114 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    • #2
    • 30th Jul 17, 9:15 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Jul 17, 9:15 PM
    Hello and welcome
    Join in, read, comment and ask us anything... we are happy to help
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 30th Jul 17, 9:22 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    • #3
    • 30th Jul 17, 9:22 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Jul 17, 9:22 PM
    Welcome look forward to your diary unfolding. Had 2 children at university so know the costs that can be incurred.
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 30th Jul 17, 10:35 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    • #4
    • 30th Jul 17, 10:35 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Jul 17, 10:35 PM
    Thanks to you both.

    I would be so grateful to hear about the Uni costs. At the moment we will be £400 in the hole every month just on accommodation if their plans come to fruition. They are both intending to find jobs in their chosen towns which I hope will help but I'm working on the understanding that we will be funding it and any extra will be gratefully received.

    They both have cars for which we have loans outstanding, we pay the costs on those too apart from petrol. We also pay both mobile bills. I have said this cannot continue. It sounds like we are flush with money which we are not we just wanted the best for them I suppose. Hence the £40k in debt. I had help with cars when I was younger. DH did not though - he had to fend for himself at age 19 as his parents moved away so he thinks I'm too soft.

    I've worked out when the loans will be repaid and as they happen I will add those monthly amounts to clear down the debt.

    Our boiler broke last month so we have just had a new one on 0% finance - I think this is where I started to panic about money.

    I've set myself reminders to:
    Daily -
    Clear a box from our storage unit - Divide to keep, throw, sell
    List an item on fleabay or local Facebook sites
    Put odd pennies away on bank account and from purse
    Look after budget and reconcile daily
    Taking a serious look at the food budget which everyone seems to think is a never ending pot

    I'm going through the ppi claiming route at the moment and putting that aside for accommodation deposits as well.

    Here's to the next three years - ouch!! X
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 30th Jul 17, 11:31 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 1,629 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    • #5
    • 30th Jul 17, 11:31 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Jul 17, 11:31 PM
    God your diary is worrying me I have a 14 year old who plans to go to uni lol

    Re divide/throw/sell plan have a look at the following sites

    Www.ziffit.com and webuybooks.co.uk and lastly music magpie all will buy books/cds/dvds/xbox or playstation games etc they dont charge any postage.

    My dealings with fleabay unless its a brand new dvd or cd etc your will get bot all in the way of money for the item and you have to pay postage. These guys you list your stuff they send you a postage label, you go to the local collect plus place then your done.

    Join topcashback or quidco its another way to bring in a few extra pennies, anything you do online theres pennies to be made. (See my signature)

    Check this link out too an extra way to bring in a few pounds if you have the time, i would recommend opinion outpost and prolific academic.

    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/make-money-surveys
    Last edited by Scott_Weiland; 30-07-2017 at 11:35 PM.
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £167.28 Survey Earnings YTD £552.88
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 31st Jul 17, 8:51 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    • #6
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:51 AM
    • #6
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:51 AM
    Hi Scott

    Thanks for your advice I'll look at this tonight when I get home from work. I have done my cd's through music magpie so that's a start. I've also signed up to prolific but nothing has come from them yet. DH has boxes of books he needs to go through so the book site sounds ideal - it's just prising them out of his gripping hands that'll be the problem.

    Any further advice would be appreciated - head is definitely out of the sand!
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 31st Jul 17, 7:43 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    • #7
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:43 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:43 PM
    Quite a productive day today:

    Took dogs on 3 walks (they still have energy!)
    Listed some Dr Who memorabilia on all the local FB sites - if they don't go then will look at the book selling sites
    2 washing loads
    Big win - had 4 PPI letters offering a total of £966.00 - the company we use will take nearly half but we would never of done it on our own so it's a win in my book. This will pay for accommodation deposits at Uni.
    Paid off £200 to my Halifax card with a balance of over £5k.
    Went to gym after work
    DH is cooking tea and one of the DT's will wash up.

    Then catching up on all your lovely diaries.

    PJ
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 31st Jul 17, 8:13 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    • #8
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:13 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:13 PM
    My 2 both lived at home when they went to university which as a lone parent was the only way they could do it. The extra expenses for my daughter who is a nurse were books and travelling. As nurses start work before buses start, so a car was a necessity. They even have to pay for uniform up front, but she did get a bursary every month frugal as it was. My son also had travel costs. They both worked during university years my daughter when not on placement did shifts as an auxiliary on the ward she was training on. Her and her now husband bought a house during her last year at university. They have both been fortunate to leave with no debt. It is different for your children though as the fees arel a lot more.
    I think food needs to be well budgeted for when they are in halls . It's all a learning curve I guess.
    Your children are very lucky you are able to support them so well .
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 31st Jul 17, 9:49 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,966 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #9
    • 31st Jul 17, 9:49 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Jul 17, 9:49 PM
    Happy shiny new diary.
    MY DS had to pay his own way.
    So your DD's are very fortunate.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 1st Aug 17, 7:40 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks both - the reality is we haven't really been able to support them so we are in debt again. They know the score, our help can't go on. One of them has a summer job in a cafe in our town - she's on min wage but loves it and is saving towards Uni. The other one works on odd events at a local famous stately home but they are drying up now.

    I have listed 2 items on EBay and local sites today.
    Had to get petrol so £45 plus £3.95 for lunch at DD's cafe - been promising for ages I would go in. Spent 40p on 2 cups of hot water from works tea trolley - bring my own tea bags. No credit used though.
    Been to the gym.
    Walked dogs.
    Put a whole 5.44 from odd balance in current account to savings pot wahey!!!

    Really enjoy reading through all your diaries for inspiration.
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 1st Aug 17, 7:52 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Also signed up to Opinion Outpost - I've not been eligible for one survey yet - infuriating!!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 1st Aug 17, 7:58 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,966 Thanks
    beanielou
    Maybe time to rethink your contribution to their university accomodation costs?
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 2nd Aug 17, 12:55 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 1,897 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Reading with interest. I have one DD who is due to start uni in September. She is working over the summer at a local shop and I have encouraged her to put away 50% of her wages so that she has a buffer for uni. She has spent a bit of money last week, but on 2 books from her "essential reading list" and some items from her materials checklist.
    It's a funny time isn't it? So proud of my DD for having worked hard to get onto her course but really not looking forward to her moving, even though I know
    I had a great time during my degree years and I'm sure she will to.

    Are your DTs going far?
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 2nd Aug 17, 2:59 AM
    • 725 Posts
    • 4,714 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Welcome Jane! If you've managed to rack up 40K in debt in around two or three years, it sounds like there might be more of a shortfall in income than you think? That's a bit more than just buying some new shoes, unless your holidays were very extravagant - it might be that your day to day expenses exceed your income. Certainly, I thought that our household income left us with almost $2000 a month after the necessities, and I used to therefore spend without tracking it - but once I budgeted in all the annual/occasional costs like MOT and school fees and Christmas and house repairs and vet bills (I could go on!) it turns out that we have nowhere near that, and were overspending every single month without feeling like we were being extravagant.

    Start with an SOA (sticky at the top) and get a sense of what your actual real position is. Getting rid of the storage unit is a good plan, but you need a holistic strategy, not just chipping around the edges. Good luck!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    November 2017 - $216,000.00 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 2nd Aug 17, 5:10 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Thanks Armchairexpert and Honeysucklou2.


    It is a strange time, I am dreading them going - in some ways I wish it was all done and dusted as half our household will be gone in one go and I am dreading 'the day'. One is going to Loughborough only 50 minutes away and the other is going to Bath 2.5 hours away. I am adding something to their uni box every week with the shopping - this week it was a scrubbing brush!! DT1 who is working at the caf! has been doing just that, putting 50% of her earnings away. DT1 is putting a bit away every time she works at an event but there is no day the same.


    As for an SOA - you would all be horrified at such things as our mobile phone bills, car insurance and grocery costs - although I am trying to get them all down. I.e. our gas and electricity is £126 per month - all my friends are shocked at this as we don't seem to use that much. We had a new boiler two weeks ago so I hope that will go down. Next time the mobiles come up for renewal they will not be replaced on contract but sim only. I am learning but I obviously didn't learn in time even though we have been through all this before. I really annoys me that we have nothing major to show for any of this - well I have 6 new crowns, a new boiler, 2 2nd hand cars - but no real fun in that!!


    Tonight I will be getting on with a bit more budgeting and using up little bottles of toiletries that I have been gathering for years (DH travels quite a bit for work).


    Have a lovely evening x
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 7th Aug 17, 6:40 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    I've not been on my diary since Thursday - how time flies.

    It's been a mixture of spends since then - I went to Wales to visit my sister at the weekend so in some ways cheap as we stay with her but we always treat her to a meal out. Also there was the petrol cost of around £30. So all in all around £100.

    On the plus side I sold two items on Ebay totalling £11 (wow!!!) but very chuffed I have at least made a start on the decluttering. It was great taking them off to be posted and out of the way. I will post two more items tonight but maybe on the local FB sites as clothes tend to sell well on those.

    Nothing new on the PPI front and DD's still going out for credit cards and loans. Will do a tot up on 25th (Pay day) to see if I can break under the 40k mark - fingers crossed.

    Onwards and downwards!!
    • Plain Jane
    • By Plain Jane 12th Aug 17, 9:40 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Plain Jane
    Busy and productive day today!
    Finally moved out of our storage unit and given the weeks' notice. Put all MIL and nephew's stuff into a much smaller unit that they will be paying for. Sold a few items whilst down there, an old bureau and filing cabinet. The tip had a few visits and the charity shops. What is left is in the garage and I am going to put up for sale in the next few week - apart from DH's tat he won't part with but I'm working on it. Need to watch the minimalist documentary again on Netflix to try to make him see sense.

    I listed a table on chairs on fleabay as well.

    Keeping all funds made in a purse at the moment and hope to get enough to pay some towards the girls' uni accommodation deposit. Small steps.

    Looking forward to the end of the month when I can work out if our debts have come down, I really hope so.

    I think our budget is very tight as Armchair Expert thought. Have had to look at groceries big time - this week it was a mixture of Aldi and Tesco - don't laugh but I'm a Waitrose girl at heart so this is very good for me!! Spent £67 on food this week for 4 of us plus 2 dogs so hoping that will see us through till Friday. 2 weeks till payday 😣😣😣
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Aug 17, 10:07 PM
    • 4,837 Posts
    • 9,136 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    There is only 18 months between our daughters so we had two years of them both being at uni at the same time and four years of uni assistance altogether. This was before the fees went up to the extortionate level they stand at now. I went from working part time to full time to help cover costs.

    Presumably your girls qualify for the full maintenance loan? We made a contribution to our girls accommodation costs but did not pay it all. I agree with armchair expert that having built up debt twice you must have a serious overspending issue. Do you and your DH both work full time?
    2 weeks to go until early retirement in December . Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 12th Aug 17, 10:30 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 1,629 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Thanks Armchairexpert and Honeysucklou2.


    It is a strange time, I am dreading them going - in some ways I wish it was all done and dusted as half our household will be gone in one go and I am dreading 'the day'. One is going to Loughborough only 50 minutes away and the other is going to Bath 2.5 hours away. I am adding something to their uni box every week with the shopping - this week it was a scrubbing brush!! DT1 who is working at the caf! has been doing just that, putting 50% of her earnings away. DT1 is putting a bit away every time she works at an event but there is no day the same.


    As for an SOA - you would all be horrified at such things as our mobile phone bills, car insurance and grocery costs - although I am trying to get them all down. I.e. our gas and electricity is £126 per month - all my friends are shocked at this as we don't seem to use that much. We had a new boiler two weeks ago so I hope that will go down. Next time the mobiles come up for renewal they will not be replaced on contract but sim only. I am learning but I obviously didn't learn in time even though we have been through all this before. I really annoys me that we have nothing major to show for any of this - well I have 6 new crowns, a new boiler, 2 2nd hand cars - but no real fun in that!!


    Tonight I will be getting on with a bit more budgeting and using up little bottles of toiletries that I have been gathering for years (DH travels quite a bit for work).


    Have a lovely evening x
    Originally posted by Plain Jane
    Have a look at these guys for your gas and electric my aunt and uncle recently swapped to them and there direct debit dropped from 95 per month with eon to 55 pm with these guys.

    http://www.iresa.co.uk

    It does not pay to stay with one supplier and pay over the odds.

    I have just switched to these guys and my direct debit has gone from 28quid down to 17.50 :-)

    Don't forget if your going to do a switch go via quid co or top cashback then through a price comparison site then its a money win win, cashback and a price saving.
    Last edited by Scott_Weiland; 12-08-2017 at 10:49 PM.
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £167.28 Survey Earnings YTD £552.88
    • Dorastar
    • By Dorastar 12th Aug 17, 10:44 PM
    • 1,764 Posts
    • 15,245 Thanks
    Dorastar
    Well done for starting the diary and looking at the budget, it's awful when you do it but then when you start making plans and seeing small changes in the numbers it helps. My dd is 16 next month so we need to start thinking ahead a bit but with our current debts it won't be easy.
    Mr T 14567.64 Bank 6056.16 Mortgage £160,000
    Emergency Fund £854.29 Blanket squares 29/60
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