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  • FIRST POST
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 14th Aug 17, 4:24 AM
    • 53Posts
    • 126Thanks
    SusieT78
    SusieT78 Debt Free Diary
    • #1
    • 14th Aug 17, 4:24 AM
    SusieT78 Debt Free Diary 14th Aug 17 at 4:24 AM
    Hello all,

    I'm quite new to MSE. I have another thread where I was asking for debt advice on the main board, so I won't duplicate my posting, but the details are here for anybody interested:
    forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5694050 (I can't link to it as I'm a new poster)

    In summary, I've got myself into a mess with debts that I can no longer afford to pay the minimum payments for, so currently my debt free date is 113 years away (that's if the creditors agree to freeze interest, if not it will be even longer). But, circumstances do change and I hope in the future mine will change for the better and that a debt free date 25 to 30 years may be achievable. At the moment I'm not sure of how I'm going to clear the debt but I've decided to start a diary to record steps I'm taking to reduce outgoings and increase income so I can pay my debts off quicker.

    I've been reading some of the debt free diaries and have found them inspirational with a lot of good advice for the other posters, so even if nobody replies I've decided to write one to keep myself motivated and record my day to day plans. Since I started the other thread I've found that starting to write things down is making me feel less stressed about my situation and helping me think a bit more clearly.

    So far I plan to reduce outgoings by:
    • Sticking to my budget religiously
    • Meal planning / finding low cost recipes / making extra portions so we have homemade 'ready meals' in freezer (to stop the temptation to order takeaway / go to a family friendly pub for tea to eat, as I'm guilty of doing this far too much in the past)
    I plan to increase my income by:
    • Doing surveys for Paypal vouchers - to cover the cost of birthdays/Xmas (any recommendations for good Survey companies appreciated - I've signed up to Swagbucks and MySurvey)
    • Getting a part time job once my youngest child starts school in September 2018, or if I could find a company that offers zero hours contracts where you don't need to agree your working hours until a few days in advance I could start work sooner (partner works fulltime unsociable hours, shifts and often doesn't find out what he's working until the week before, we have nobody that could help with childcare and paying for childcare would wipe out any wages), or if there is any genuine work from home opportunities I could do once the kids are in bed of an evening. I need to look into this once I've let all the creditors know I am in financial difficulty.

    My current unsecured debt is approx £45k
    I owe a relative £1k
    My remaining mortgage is £39k
    Total debt August 2017: £85k
Page 2
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 24th Aug 17, 4:38 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Yesterday met up with a relative and their kids and we all headed to the beach about 90 mins away, so used more petrol than normal, but took a picnic (would normally just pop into a chain pub for lunch). When the kids asked for ice creams I told them we had ice cream at home so they could have some when we got in (would usually have just bought them some if asked). They all had a lovely time and it's making me feel reassured that they will still have a fun childhood even if we can no longer have the holidays, meals out and treats. It was lovely watching them squeal with delight jumping in the waves.
    Total spend yesterday was £4.69 on groceries (mostly for picnic) and £22.58 on petrol. There's enough petrol left to get my partner to work and back a couple of times though.

    I needed to do a top up shop of perishables and some cleaning products today, but took a list and stick to it mostly. I'm actually thinking "do we need it" rather than "I want it" when I'm going shopping now. Total spend today was £23.91.
    This means I've only got £39.78 to last the next 6 days but at least being aware of that means I'm less likely to overspend as I have been doing up til now.

    I've been keeping going with the surveys, but not been able to do a cashout on any of them again yet, although I'm getting very close. Nothing has hit paypal yet.
    I'm enjoying the PA surveys the most, they are different and more interesting than others and seem to be better paid too. I'm struggling with the MySurvey website, seems to be on a go slow, but I'm not sure if the issue is at their end or just my computer.

    Running totals:
    August groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £80.86/120.64 (pro rata for 11 days)
    August Petrol: £22.58/£35.48 (pro rata for 11 days)
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £0
    2017 Quidco cashback: £1.07
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 24th Aug 17, 5:28 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Well, no sooner had I updated than I got the email saying the Swagbucks Mastercard was ready, so used the self-invoicing method and £4.63 has arrived in Paypal - the Birthday/Xmas fund is underway!
    And I've just hit the £5 payout on MySurvey so I've requested that to Paypal. I'm still waiting for my earlier request to hit Paypal but once it all starts coming through the fund should soon start growing.

    Running totals:
    August groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £80.86/120.64 (pro rata for 11 days)
    August Petrol: £22.58/£35.48 (pro rata for 11 days)
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £4.63
    2017 Quidco cashback: £1.07
    Last edited by SusieT78; 24-08-2017 at 5:55 PM.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 25th Aug 17, 7:30 AM
    • 2,104 Posts
    • 9,737 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    All sounding good and positive
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,525
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 25th Aug 17, 10:59 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 1,529 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Your not going to just build that in paypal and leave it there ie the birthday/xmas fund?
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £167.10 Survey Earnings YTD £535.12
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 27th Aug 17, 5:18 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Your not going to just build that in paypal and leave it there ie the birthday/xmas fund?
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Hi Scott. That was the plan, so I don't touch it, then it's there to use when it's needed. Would you recommend something different instead?

    ***********************

    Managed to get quite a few surveys done on Friday on all 3 of the sites I'm using.
    Requested £5.80 from PA Friday morning, there was a 2.9% + 20p fee, and £5.44 arrived in my Paypal Friday afternoon, very impressed with the speed. I've also got over £5 pending approval on PA already too.
    £5 previously requested from MySurvey has also arrived in Paypal yesterday.
    I also requested another £5 Mastercard from Swagbucks yesterday.
    At this rate the kids Xmas toys will be covered, which is a relief. I'm not bothered about getting presents myself but I don't want the kids missing our because of my stupidity.

    Another £6.17 got confirmed in Quidco, so today I've requested that be sent to my bank.

    My friend came over again on Friday evening, I cooked a pasta dish so it only cost pennies making an extra portion and we watched a film once the kids were in bed. I'm quite happy socialising at home.

    Spent £5.18 at the local shop on Friday.
    Managed a NSD yesterday.
    Spent £6.98 on groceries including some birthday cards today, so that's £27.62 left in the groceries/toiletries/cleaning budget to last me until 1st September.

    I've also applied and been approved for a basic bank account where I hold no debts (an account I already have, that I was planning on switching to, has the same parent company as one of the credit cards so I can't use that now). I will need to start the process of moving all my direct debits over shortly.
    I've still not actually written to my creditors yet, I want to get everything set up with the new bank account first but I managed to make all the minimum payments this month.

    Running totals:
    August groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £93.02/120.64 (pro rata for 11 days)
    August Petrol: £22.58/£35.48 (pro rata for 11 days)
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £15.07
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 27th Aug 17, 7:22 PM
    • 2,104 Posts
    • 9,737 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    so that's £27.62 left in the groceries/toiletries/cleaning budget to last me until 1st September.
    Originally posted by SusieT78
    Well done on the budget and on the NSD too.
    If you are happy socialising at home it will help you get to your target with your sanity intact
    Have a good evening
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,525
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 29th Aug 17, 11:19 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 1,529 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Hi Scott. That was the plan, so I don't touch it, then it's there to use when it's needed. Would you recommend something different instead?

    ***********************

    Managed to get quite a few surveys done on Friday on all 3 of the sites I'm using.
    Requested £5.80 from PA Friday morning, there was a 2.9% + 20p fee, and £5.44 arrived in my Paypal Friday afternoon, very impressed with the speed. I've also got over £5 pending approval on PA already too.
    £5 previously requested from MySurvey has also arrived in Paypal yesterday.
    I also requested another £5 Mastercard from Swagbucks yesterday.
    At this rate the kids Xmas toys will be covered, which is a relief. I'm not bothered about getting presents myself but I don't want the kids missing our because of my stupidity.

    Another £6.17 got confirmed in Quidco, so today I've requested that be sent to my bank.

    My friend came over again on Friday evening, I cooked a pasta dish so it only cost pennies making an extra portion and we watched a film once the kids were in bed. I'm quite happy socialising at home.

    Spent £5.18 at the local shop on Friday.
    Managed a NSD yesterday.
    Spent £6.98 on groceries including some birthday cards today, so that's £27.62 left in the groceries/toiletries/cleaning budget to last me until 1st September.

    I've also applied and been approved for a basic bank account where I hold no debts (an account I already have, that I was planning on switching to, has the same parent company as one of the credit cards so I can't use that now). I will need to start the process of moving all my direct debits over shortly.
    I've still not actually written to my creditors yet, I want to get everything set up with the new bank account first but I managed to make all the minimum payments this month.

    Running totals:
    August groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £93.02/120.64 (pro rata for 11 days)
    August Petrol: £22.58/£35.48 (pro rata for 11 days)
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £15.07
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    Originally posted by SusieT78
    Draw it down and put it in a savings account, or pay it to a family member if you cant trust yourself not to spend it.
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £167.10 Survey Earnings YTD £535.12
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 31st Aug 17, 7:48 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Well done on the budget and on the NSD too.
    If you are happy socialising at home it will help you get to your target with your sanity intact
    Have a good evening
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Thank you. Hope you've had a nice few days yourself.
    It seems my friend would like to make coming over a regular thing, so that's good, I don't feel like I'm missing out by not going out.

    Draw it down and put it in a savings account, or pay it to a family member if you cant trust yourself not to spend it.
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    I do need to have a think about setting up some specific savings accounts. The places I tend to buy Xmas presents from do usually take Paypal though so I'm thinking maybe I'll try and build Paypal up to about £200 and then anything over that maybe transfer to a savings account. Interest rates are so low at the moment I don't think it would make much difference on smaller amounts.

    ************************************************** *****
    Hope everybody on MSE has had a lovely bank holiday.
    We just spent the bank holiday visiting different relatives and always taking a picnic with us so we weren't tempted to attempt to eat in a pub/restaurant/fast food place.
    I've ordered a chequebook for one of my bank accounts where I have no debts, ready for making CCA requests.

    The Xmas/Birthday fund is coming along nicely. £4.63 requested from Swagbucks received into Paypal.
    I've completed a couple of surveys on Prolific Academic in the last few days and requested £15.59 to be sent to PayPal (after 2.9% + 20p fee). I've had an email saying one of the PA researchers has awarded me a £1.50 bonus - the average time for the study was longer than they put on their estimate so they feel I was underpaid, so that's a lovely extra. And I've requested another £5 payout from MySurvey.

    In the last few days I've spent £26.51 on groceries, so only £1.11 left to last until tomorrow, and I've spent £11.29 on petrol so I'll have to pray what's in there gets my partner to work and back,and then I can fuel up in the morning when my budget resets.
    I found it quite hard sticking to a strict budget, but I did manage it for the 11 days and I'm just hoping that's it's a bit easier when spreading it out over a whole month. It's certainly made me realise how much money I've been spending without even thinking about it in the past few years.
    I'm also very aware that sticking to a budget is just the start, that alone isn't going to help me repay the debts, but at least by the time I do have more money coming in and can make a start at repaying the debts I should be well accustomed to sticking to a budget.

    Running totals:
    August groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £119.53/120.64 (pro rata for 11 days)
    August Petrol: £33.87/£35.48 (pro rata for 11 days)
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £19.70
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 31st Aug 17, 8:15 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 1,529 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Its your call but your mad leaving it there, always make the most of your money even if its only a small amount.

    Its dead money sitting in a savings account, next if your paypal account was hacked bye bye money. I work for a bank i have seen it happen :-(

    They take 5 mins to open.

    http://www.postoffice.co.uk/savings-accounts/online-saver
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £167.10 Survey Earnings YTD £535.12
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 2nd Sep 17, 12:18 AM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Its your call but your mad leaving it there, always make the most of your money even if its only a small amount.

    Its dead money sitting in a savings account, next if your paypal account was hacked bye bye money. I work for a bank i have seen it happen :-(

    They take 5 mins to open.

    http://www.postoffice.co.uk/savings-accounts/online-saver
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Good point, I didn't even think about Paypal getting hacked, thanks Scott.

    ************************************************** ********************************
    I had a £7 off a £50 spend voucher for Tesco so placed an online order for delivery this morning to cover all toiletries and cleaning products for the month, plus enough value pasta, rice, beans and passata to see us through the month as they're good value at Tesco. Managed to spend £61.79 after the voucher had been taken off, but I find it cheaper to order online and pay for the delivery with Tesco because if I had gone in personally I probably would have spent a lot more. At least I stick to my list online and the money off voucher more than covered the delivery charge.

    I shouldn't need to buy anything other than food and a couple of birthday cards with the remaining groceries/toiletries/cleaning budget now this month. I'm hoping by doing it this way will keep me out of Tesco for the rest of the month, as I plan on food shopping in Aldi and Iceland.
    I've made a weekly menu plan for the first time in ages, I was hoping by planning in advance and making a list that I'd spend less.
    Over the next few weeks I want to get 3 different weekly menu plans together, so that there's a good variety of meals and then I can rotate the menus each week. On each weekly menu plan I have written the recipe and at the bottom the shopping list needed for all the meals. Hopefully this will mean that in weeks to come I don't even need to think about what to put on the shopping list because it will be done for me, plus I'll have a good idea of how much I'll be likely to spend in advance.
    I'm looking forward to trying out some new recipes over the coming weeks too.
    At the moment I'm finding the budgeting an exciting challenge rather than a chore, I hope it stays that way!

    Then I went to Aldi, list in hand, stuck to it religiously and still managed to spend £78.81. My shopping filled an entire conveyer belt. The worst bit is, I didn't have to buy many of the things on the original list as I already had them in (I have most herbs, spices, stock cubes and sauces already in my store cupboard and I took the list into the kitchen before shopping to cross off anything not required).
    Day 1 of the new month and I've already spent 41% of the budget. I thought cooking from scratch was supposed to be cheaper! I think I'm going to have reduce the amount of meat used in the "with rice" dishes and make this week's meal plan stretch to 10 days instead, repeating a couple of the meals. I also think the amount of snacks like crisps, chocolate and biscuits could possibly be reduced so I've hidden some away from where they're usually kept and hopefully that means we can stretch the snacks to 10 days too.
    There was 4 things on my list that Aldi don't sell and have no suitable alternative for, so I will have to spend a little more this week at some point.
    But, as long as I spend less than £60 a week for the next 3 weeks then we should come in within budget.

    I've put some petrol in the car too, it was almost running on fumes to get to the petrol station.

    The good news is £20.60 of previously requested cashouts have arrived into Paypal so the Birthday/Xmas fund has doubled overnight, it goes to show that doing the surveys soon adds up.
    I've also requested another £6.70 to be paid from PA.

    My friend came over again, I cooked a curry for us all and we watched a film once the kids were in bed so I'm still very much enjoying life even though I'm not going out.

    Running totals:
    September groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £140.60/£340
    September Petrol: £20.01/£100
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £40.30
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 2nd Sep 17, 10:35 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Today was a NSD.
    I've also tweaked the meal plan so it will stretch to 10 days, using items I know I've mostly got in already, so minimal extra shopping will be required.
    The next full weekly shop will be Monday 11th September.

    Tonight's dinner was a new chicken recipe and it was delicious so it's been repeated on this week's meal plan.

    I've requested another £4.63 (£5 Mastercard) from Swagbucks

    Running totals:
    September groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £140.60/£340
    September Petrol: £20.01/£100
    September NSD: 1/30
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £40.30
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 3rd Sep 17, 11:35 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Another NSD today.
    I've also made my meal plan for the week commencing 11th September including the recipes and shopping list, which is very organised for me.
    The snack rationing is going well as I'm the only one that knows we do have other snacks hidden away.
    All quiet on the surveys front, but I suppose most of the market research firms close at weekends. I have had 1 PA survey this weekend but it was only 70p.

    I appreciate this is probably the most boring diary on the forum, and I haven't actually paid of any debt yet, but writing everything down is definitely helping me be more organised and it's making my head feel much clearer.

    Running totals:
    September groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £140.60/£340
    September Petrol: £20.01/£100
    September NSD: 2/30
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £40.30
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 4th Sep 17, 6:02 PM
    • 2,104 Posts
    • 9,737 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I appreciate this is probably the most boring diary on the forum, and I haven't actually paid of any debt yet, but writing everything down is definitely helping me be more organised and it's making my head feel much clearer.
    Originally posted by SusieT78
    I did this too. I began my diary in January but I did not start reducing debt until March/April. I think this debt process needs some time to get your head straight. I now realise I was reducing spending and stopping the debt from growing first. You will soon start to reduce debt at your own pace.

    Oh and don't discount your NSDs it shows you are changing your mindset
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,525
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 6th Sep 17, 12:07 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    I did this too. I began my diary in January but I did not start reducing debt until March/April. I think this debt process needs some time to get your head straight. I now realise I was reducing spending and stopping the debt from growing first. You will soon start to reduce debt at your own pace.

    Oh and don't discount your NSDs it shows you are changing your mindset
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Thank you for your lovely reply. It sums up perfectly where I am at the moment.
    I think I just need to remind myself that one day our circumstances should change for the better and if I'm very good at budgeting when that happens then any extra income can all be thrown at the debts as I'll be used to living within my means.

    ************************************************** *****

    I've had one more NSD, which is just as well as yesterday was a big spend day getting school uniform and shoes sorted and a top up shop for perishables and non prescription medicine.

    School uniform and shoes spend: £56.50 and there's still a few more uniform items I need to get this week. Also, both kids need new non school shoes too as their old ones have holes in and their feet have grown so further spending is likely this week. Clothing/shoes savings pot was only at £30 so currently has a negative balance of -£26.50, but this should average out over the year.

    Top up shop spend: £18.61 (£12.20 was medical). I'll keep the medical stuff in with the grocery spend for now, but if I'm struggling towards the end of the month I'll take it out of the prescriptions pot. I've managed to spend 47% of the groceries budget in the first 6 days of the month, which is quite worrying but as I don't need to do another weekly shop until 11th September, it still leaves me with about £60 a week, which should be doable. Reading the diaries alot of people spend a lot less for a family of 4, but I'm not sure if they are including toiletries and cleaning too in their budgets.

    I've put another £9.99 of petrol in the car too. What's in there now needs to last until the 10th/11th September if we're going to stay within budget.

    The £6.79 from PA has arrived into Paypal and the £4.63 via Mastercard from Swagbucks, other than that is been a quiet few days on the survery front across all companies I use.

    Running totals:
    September groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £159.21/£340
    September Petrol: £30/£100
    September NSD: 3/30
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £51.72
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 8th Sep 17, 4:32 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    I've managed 1 more NSD this week.
    I have also spend another £13.44 in Aldi on perishables and £3.99 at the pharmancy for medication - this time the medication is coming out of the prescriptions pot.
    I think I'm going to have to stick with 10 day menu plans rather than weekly shops in order to stay within budget.
    The new recipes I've tried have all gone down really well, so I'm looking forward to trying some more. I've really got my passion for cooking back since starting budgeting. I'm trying to do at least one new recipe per week.
    The kids were really complimentary about a casserole I made, but I noticed they picked out the meat bits and left the veg. I was hoping by having the veg in with the meat they would eat it but no such luck!

    Another £4.63 requested and received from Swagbucks and a previously requested £5 has been received from MySurvey to go towards the Birthday/Xmas fund. I still need to sort out getting a savings account to transfer it all to.

    Running totals:
    September groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £172.65/£340 (51%)
    September Petrol: £30/£100 (30%)
    September NSD: 4/30
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £61.35
    2017 Quidco cashback: £7.24
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 9th Sep 17, 10:59 AM
    • 2,104 Posts
    • 9,737 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Menu plans are a great help in tackling debt.

    If you blend or grate the veggies in dishes that works better, so for burgers grate in or blend other veggies then mix in, makes the meat go further and the kids eat more veggies. Win.Win.

    You are doing great. Enjoy the weekend
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,525
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 13th Sep 17, 10:42 AM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Menu plans are a great help in tackling debt.

    If you blend or grate the veggies in dishes that works better, so for burgers grate in or blend other veggies then mix in, makes the meat go further and the kids eat more veggies. Win.Win.

    You are doing great. Enjoy the weekend
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Hope you had a good weekend yourself

    Menu planning is definitely helping me only buy needs not wants. It's also made me realise how much money we have wasted on food in the past, and how much we've thrown out because we've not used it up and just bought fresh stuff instead. I just used to buy food and replace food without thinking, I estimate we've been spending around £600 a month on food up until now , which is shocking, plus we used to have takeaways on top of that, which is why so much food go thrown out. Takeaways have stopped completely now, we can't afford them, and with all the new recipes I've been trying we're not missing them either.

    I think I will go down the grating in vegetables route. I do a lot of dishes in sauces to be served with rice/pasta, but they tend to not eat the sauce and just eat the rice/pasta and meat,, but hiding veg in burgers is a great idea. I did make some cauliflower bread as a base for homemade pizza and my youngest didn't notice and ate it all, thinking it was a normal pizza, so I'm going to see if that trick works with the older one, but it may not as the older one has issues with texture and cauliflower bread is very soft.
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 13th Sep 17, 10:44 AM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Hope everybody had a good weekend!
    We met up with a friend and her children, she had a pass for a local playcentre which would get all the kids in free so that was a nice treat for the kids.
    Then we went to see relatives and the kids were spoiled with loads of chocolate, so they were happy.
    I've only managed 1 more NSD since last time I posted. I do seem to do a lot of top up shops, but only things that are on my shopping list, so, I'm trying a new tactic. I've been and bought a load of frozen meat from Iceland this morning, and this afternoon I'm doing my perishables shop in Aldi, but will get some frozen chicken fillets too as they're better value in there. I should then have enough meat to last to the end of the month. I'll only need to top up on perishables then. I'll meal plan around what meat I have left for the rest of the month. I'm hoping doing it this way keeps me within budget.

    It's been a bit quiet on the surveys front, but weekends always are.
    I did take part in an online focus group (off the back of a previous survey I did) and got a £15 Amazon voucher for that though.
    I've also requested another payout from Quidco of £8.96

    Running totals:
    September groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £229.06/£340 (67%)
    September Petrol: £58.48/£100 (58%)
    September NSD: 5/30
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £61.35 plus £15 Amazon voucher
    2017 Quidco cashback: £16.20
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 13th Sep 17, 1:55 PM
    • 2,104 Posts
    • 9,737 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I have just discovered Iceland. If you spend £35 they deliver so I am planning to buy lots of frozen fish and veggies for the freezer.

    Sounds like you are making major steps forward on the food budget. Well done.

    There is a time at the start when you look back and feel angry with past you for the waste and decisions that were not in your best interest. Try not to dwell. You are doing great now. That's what matters. A writer I admire Maya Angelo says 'Do the best you can until you know better and when you know better, do better.'

    You are doing better. Keep going.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,525
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • SusieT78
    • By SusieT78 13th Sep 17, 2:58 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    SusieT78
    Thank you doingitanyway. I find your posts very inspirational, both on my thread and on your own. You seem to perfectly understand what I'm feeling.
    I'm less angry with myself than I was at my lightbulb moment. I was stupid with my finances but I can't change the past, only try to do my best with the future, which I'm at least trying to do.

    Since this morning's update I've been to Aldi and spent another £45.09, which leaves me with £65.85 to last the next 2 and a bit weeks. But, as I won't need any more meat £30 a week should be perfectly doable.
    I think I'm going to join in with the Grocery challenge on the Old Style board next month, with the aim of knocking £10 a month off my shopping. Then hopefully in 6 months time my shopping budget will be reduced to £280 a month and I can start making some headway into debt repayments.
    It will be a challenge as if I'm honest I'm struggling with a budget of £340, but it's early days. I've just bought what I wanted when I wanted without much thought up until last month, so at least my mindset has changed and I'm tracking every penny, and I'm determined to come within budget, don't really have much choice!

    I also got a couple of surveys done on MySurvey this afternoon so have been able to request another £5 payout, but I don't add it to my totals until it arrives in Paypal.

    Running totals:
    September groceries/toiletries/cleaning: £274.15/£340 (81%)
    September Petrol: £58.48/£100 (58%)
    September NSD: 5/30
    2017 Paypal Birthday/Xmas fund: £61.35 plus £15 Amazon voucher
    2017 Quidco cashback: £16.20

    Time to go and pick the eldest up from school. I wish the weather would make it's mind up, we've had bright sunshine, hail stones and torrential downpours today, all within minutes of each other. Tempted to go in the car, in case it rains again, but that won't help with my petrol conservation plans!
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