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  • FIRST POST
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 25th Jan 16, 3:39 PM
    • 687Posts
    • 1,483Thanks
    reality_check
    Reality Check...
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 16, 3:39 PM
    Reality Check... 25th Jan 16 at 3:39 PM
    I need to start writing this diary while I have the motivation to do so! I have been a lurker for a while and reading all the diaries inspire me and I always think "I wish I could sort out my debt" well....today is the day!

    I have buried my head in the sand for too long and it really is time to get a reality check!

    I have done a quick total of my current debt and it is as follows:

    Credit cards: £9817.86 of a possible £13300
    Overdraft: £1857.77 of a possible £2500
    Student loan: £11600.85
    Loan from family memeber: £7000
    Mortgage: £68213.30

    Total: £98489.78!!

    Credit cards and overdrafts are my main priororty, student loan is automatically deducted from my wages and family loan doens't need paid back ASAP, but would rather get that paid sooner rather than later.

    I live with my daughter and 2 dogs, I will list my incomings and outgoings later today....I have tried to cut back to the bare essentials, but a lot of my recent debt has come from renovating my house and generally living beyond my means and going a bit OTT at christmas!

    I am hoping this diary will help hold me accountable for my spendings and get me on the right path to living debt free!!

    Fingers crossed!! xxx
Page 1
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 25th Jan 16, 4:00 PM
    • 687 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    reality_check
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 16, 4:00 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 16, 4:00 PM
    My monthly wage does vary due to my student loan and how much commission I have earned the month before as I pay national insurrance the following month on the previous months earnings. My basic wage averages at around £1100 and my commission can be anything from £0-£1200 but averages at around £650.

    My outgoings are as follows:

    Mortage: £392.39
    Council tax: £95.00
    Gas & Electric: Unsure as I have just switched to British Gas from paying quarterly with Scottish Power, I estimate £80.00
    Virgin: £36.13
    Specsavers (contacts): £15.00
    Boiler innsurance: £9.62
    Netflix: £6.99

    I also have high pet costs due to not having insurrance anymore (long story!) and after a trip to the vet on Friday my dogs medication every 4 weeks will be £235.48 plus special food and normal dog food coming in at £69.72 every 4 weeks, this is a new monthly outgoing of £305.20!

    So far: £940.33

    I will make a budget for food costs as right now we eat out a lot, order in a lot and I buy fresh ingrediants daily when I am making dinner...I need to meal plan and budget! I will also calcualte miles to work to work out a petrol budget....

    xxx
    • rachie_2011
    • By rachie_2011 25th Jan 16, 4:54 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 318 Thanks
    rachie_2011
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 16, 4:54 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 16, 4:54 PM
    You've made one step in the right direction already! Good work... I'll be checking back to see how you're getting on. Until then... stay positive and keep thinking of where you want to be!
    Work in progress... £2,784.43/£5,825.79
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 25th Jan 16, 9:17 PM
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    reality_check
    • #4
    • 25th Jan 16, 9:17 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Jan 16, 9:17 PM
    Thanks Rach, I am going to have to do something if i want to be debt free, i've been in debt all my life, nothing major but always living the fur coat no knickers lifestyle...I'm 34 in a few months you would think i'd have learnt before now!

    I've made a list of what I have in the cupboards, which isn't much as i tend to cook fresh, but i've had a look and i think i can get by with £20.00 this week for shopping....I am hoping i can learn to get by on £20 a week so £80 a month with a further £20 for cleaning stuff, washing powder, dog treats....£100 - i can only try and amend as i go along!

    I have worked out petrol for the week to work to be £4 each day so 5 days at £20 and another £20 for evenings/weekends...hoping won't be that much as i don't really go far!

    So, thats an extra £200 onto my monthly spends..... on top of £940.33 thats is taking me to £1140.33....basically my wage with nothing paid into my debt.

    My commission in sales is never certain and we are always told not to depend on it, but for the past 3 years in the job I have never not earned anything, so I am hoping for £500 a month (any extra is a bonus to pay off debt!) £400 towards debt and £100 spending money....I hopefully won't be buying much/doing expensive things, but i need to be semi realistic...

    My daughter is 18 and at uni, she has a part time job and generally doesn't ask for much - it's me who always buys her things and go over board on her Christmas/Birthday....I always have but until i get my finances on track i really need to calm down!

    Before i had this 'light bulb moment' i stupidly decided to change my less than one year carpet in the hall and repaint it all....its cream, but i want grey - stupid things like this contribute to my debt! I have changed my carpets 3 times since moving in less than 3 years ago, i am aware this isn't normal, but i am always paranoid with dogs! my dog done the toilet as an accident when ill at christmas time and i went completely over the top and ripped the carpet up as days later i was still convinced i could smell dog pee....so i do have to get the carpet! I also need to go through with painting as i have big grey test patches all over the place! I will need to go have a look at more samples though as i don't think i will be going for the farrow and ball paint as planned!

    Anyway i am going on a bit much in this post, tomorrow i will have a look at how to see what debt to pay off and how long it will take me...

    Until then i am off for a long soak in the bath with a large glass of wine - i should actually make it a small one as my wine of choice is Oyster bay and at £9ish a bottle that is half the food budget so there won't be anymore wine being bought for a while....

    Night diary xxx
    Last edited by reality_check; 01-03-2016 at 1:42 PM.
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 26th Jan 16, 4:01 PM
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    reality_check
    • #5
    • 26th Jan 16, 4:01 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Jan 16, 4:01 PM
    Been busy at work and not had a chance to look at the snowball calculator to work out my debt free date! Got some emails today to say that a few returns will be going back onto my credit card in the next 5-10 working days!

    I have a barclay card with a balance of £5859.89 but £3100 is interest free until 2017, but i am currently paying 18.9% interest on £2759.89...

    My returns will be ASOS £461.48 and John Lewis £54.00 so that's a good chunk coming off the total of £515.48 bringing me to £2244.41 - won't update until it has come though.

    I also have a cheque for £29.99 to pay into my bank, so when that clears will use that to bring me down to £2214.42!!

    I have £500 cash to withdrawal from my commission, it annoyingly gets paid into an account that you cant pay credit cards with even thought it is a debt card! So i will go to the bank tomorrow as I get paid on the 15th of each month and its just been sitting in that account while i am paying interest on a credit card...need to get my finger out!

    This all does sound like a ramble but I feel more organised putting thoughts from my head into print!

    xxx
    Last edited by reality_check; 26-01-2016 at 4:05 PM.
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 27th Jan 16, 11:12 AM
    • 687 Posts
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    reality_check
    • #6
    • 27th Jan 16, 11:12 AM
    • #6
    • 27th Jan 16, 11:12 AM
    checked my barclays card this morning and now interest has been applied the balance is actually: £5,927.19 so minus the £3100 interest free i need to pay £2827.19 ASAP as this is what is costing me the highest amount of interest. I have checked my commission account and i have £900 in there so better than i thought, will take out £300 over the next 3 days as that is the limit and with £100 from current account even thought this is technically not even mine and it is my overdraft, but it means i can get a good chunk of £1000 paid on Friday!

    Bad spending news is last night, i went out for dinner! A local tapas does a great deal on a Tuesday where all tapas are £2.50 - great deal IF you have money! It did end up costing £20, all because I couldnt be bothered cooking/going to the shops then my daughter put it in my head and before i knew it i was eating paella!

    I did pop into Lidl on the way home and spent £18...but got a great amount for my money, normally i shop in Morrisons, but it is so expensive in comparrison. Got lamb mince, x2 packets of chicken, whole chicken and vegetables and some fruit. With every meal i make i am going to try and make a "ready meal" for the freezer so that times like last night i always have something to eat.

    I have £25 in my purse at the moment, i am hoping i have enough food to last for a week my car is running on empty so will need to put in £20 and Ideally i dont want to touch the £5....

    Have the vet on Friday and looks like the weeks trial of medication for my dog is working, so will need to pay for Fridays consultation plus the meds...

    My home insurrance is up in a few days, will do a few comparisons to try and get this cheaper.... and will probably put it onto a credit card as I still have some money on interest free so makes sense (sort of) rather than add onto my overdraft which will in turn charge me. Its all really robbing Peter to pay Paul!

    Really need rid of this debt as I should have money left each month if i wasn't paying minimum payments/debt busting to live debt free!

    Still have the carpet to pay for which is £820!! This doesn't include underlay on the stairs only on a few landings, i live in a townhouse so there is a good bit of carpet needed but I may get a quote from elsewhere... I have just always went to this local independent carpet shop as I like the man!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 27th Jan 16, 3:32 PM
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    reality_check
    • #7
    • 27th Jan 16, 3:32 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Jan 16, 3:32 PM
    My sister has called to ask for a loan of £200, its for a car repair and she is as hopeless with me with money, always asking as if i have money but she does pay it back....eventually! She said i will pay back on the 7th, so just need to wait and see! xx
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 28th Jan 16, 8:34 AM
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    reality_check
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 16, 8:34 AM
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 16, 8:34 AM
    Living day to day is so expensive! had to pay £3 for a birthday in work, £1 for a charity football card and then i was popping into my mums on the way home and she asked me to bring her in some milk and a newspaper so that was an unaccounted for £1.60 on top of my £20 petrol which i ended up having to put the £21.60 onto a credit card as never had enough cash! I will put the £20 cash into the bank of Friday so that it is not in my purse. I have £2.65 in change in my purse - i am hoping to keep this in there aslong as possible!!

    The vet is this evening not tomorrow so this will be a pricey visit, but i will need to put this onto a card rather than overdraft... i dont know if there is any logic in this, but seems the best way so far!

    I currently have 3 credit cards, all interest free apart from £2827.19 on Barclays the £3100 in 0% until August next year.... I have one that is 0% until January 2017 which after tonights vets trip will probably have around £2000 on it... and then I also have an M&S credit card which after i pay for paint and carpet will have around £3000 on it and interest ends in August this year!

    As soon as Barclays is paid which i am hoping is by the start of April, I have 4 pays to tackle M&S which at £750 a month is semi achievable, providing i dont have any unexpected things happen....which i will! Worst case I have to pay interest for a few months on a low balance....that's the plan! The old me wouldn't even try and pay any of it off and just have the plan of switching the balance to another interest free card!

    I really find this therapeutic putting my thoughts onto paper even thought it is probably all a big ramble to anyone else!

    Lunch is with me at work today, food in the fridge for dinner so other than the vet i hope i dont need to spend a penny more!!

    xxx
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 28th Jan 16, 11:55 AM
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    reality_check
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 16, 11:55 AM
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 16, 11:55 AM
    another collection in work of £1 for another charity football card. i need to start saying no! there is always some form of collection going on it seems!

    i did used to spend £5-6 a day in work on lunch, can of diet coke, bottles of water and we have a starbucks so often went there daily! will be stopping this on my debt busting mission, plus coke and coffee cant be good for me! if you bring your own cup you have access to free tea/coffee so i will be on the green tea and making use of the free water machines for the near future aswell as bringing my lunch in with me!

    I am trying to write my daily spends on here to help keep me on track!

    I also really need to do a home insurance comparison at some point today.

    Best get on with some work xxx
    • note3
    • By note3 28th Jan 16, 1:04 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    note3
    hey, I see you've just started a diary too...snap! It's quite empowering to write it officially down isn't it? I'm hoping it'll keep my spirits up to see my achievements. Good luck with your journey too
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 28th Jan 16, 1:45 PM
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    reality_check
    Hey note, yeah I just started it - going to go have a little read at yours now! These diaries are addictive and time consuming, well for me anyway! But i enjoy them and they motivate me to get on with things!

    You will never believe i have just made £2 for a raffle in work to win a hamper for Burns day (even thought its been!) it is never normally as frequent as it has been! I have also just put 50p onto my card in work to buy a twirl to have with a cup of tea, from now on I AM NOT BRINGING MY PURSE TO WORK!!! xxx
    • note3
    • By note3 29th Jan 16, 7:59 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    note3
    Work is lethal! I often go in with lunch and get talked into nipping out and getting something...not good! I'm on maternity leave at the mo so when I go back it'll be different as I now know exactly how much money I don't have to do this!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 29th Jan 16, 10:18 AM
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    reality_check
    It really is - the purse won't be coming with me in future or I will just need to keep it in my bag and be a bit firmer with saying no!

    I am £191.27 lighter after a trip to the vet last night. I have a week and a half of food, and 3 weeks of medication.

    I plan on spending my weekend cleaning and organising my spare room that I am in the process of turning into an office for my daughrer, it has recently been decorated and new carpet, but the desk needs built and it has become a bit of a dumping ground so need to sort that out.

    Food in the fridge and a bottle of wine chilling, so I am hopefull for a ZERO spend weekend....thats the plan anyway!

    Off to check my accounts and see if my returns have hit yet.... fingers crossed!!

    xx
    • note3
    • By note3 29th Jan 16, 10:29 AM
    • 288 Posts
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    note3
    Ouch that's a painful vet Bill.! Hope returns are showing now as guessing you need to see a positive about now!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 29th Jan 16, 12:26 PM
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    reality_check
    ASOS and another Topshop return has been refunded back onto Barclays, I rounded the figure from current account with £2.17 so now the balance with interterst is sitting at £2200.

    Forgot to take out £300 from my bank yesterday so will today and then again tomorrow morning and get the £900 paid into my bank and then transfered over, with hopefully another £70 from current account and the £30 cheque I have bringing me to £1200 and with my sister (hopefully!) pays me on the 7th I will pay the £200 off and that just leaves me with £1000! I am very happy with what I am able to pay in the first month!!

    The old me would have 100% ignored the interest and paid minimum payments and classed the £900 as my own money or potentially I would have researched a new 0% interest card!

    Feburary I won't be paying as much as I won't have any refunds going back on plus my Feb commission is only £300 because that was from sales from the end of Dec/Jan sales I was off for 2 weeks at Christmas and when you don't work there is obviously no potential to earn commission.

    My aim is £500 a month so I am hoping to be able to have £100 left over from my wages as council tax doesn't need paid in Feb and I will need to try and come in under budget with food/petrol or try find something to sell!!

    I am so tempted to buy lunch in work, Friday is fish and chips in the canteen in work - but I will resist and go and heat up my soup and have some fruit!

    xx
    • note3
    • By note3 29th Jan 16, 2:31 PM
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    note3
    Lol funny how once your view changes you realise how much...what you've said about how you'd have spent the cash before and just paid minimum off card is exactly what I'd have done too whereas now we know to pay it off card instead!

    The 500 a mth is an excellent target! I'll be envious and impressed if you manage it as I'm hoping for about 50 to 100 a mth until I run out of stuff to sell...haha
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 29th Jan 16, 3:24 PM
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    reality_check
    I know, I just hope this mentality sticks! I've never actually tried and failed to pay back debt, I've always just thought 'awww its only money, can balance transfer' and always been in my overdraft and act like it's my own money! If i see -£2100 available £400 I don't think I owe £2100 I think ohhh what can I by with £400?! I am 34 in a few months, I really need to get a grip and have a bit of savings behind me!

    My £500 a month is only possible IF I earn commission, if not I can just about survive with minimum payments. £50-£100 is still great, just think the old you wouldn't have bothered and just continued spending away lol anything we put towards debt is a step in the right direction!

    I am off to have a read of your diary! xx
    • note3
    • By note3 29th Jan 16, 5:08 PM
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    note3
    Lol you're so right! I had overdraft if about 1200 before and constantly lived in it so 2 days after payday I was back in minus but I always saw as mine not as owed money. Thankfully I've finally got rid of overdraft and refuse to get another as that's another slippery slope for me with debt
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 30th Jan 16, 7:47 PM
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    reality_check
    Have managed to not spend a penny today, due to the fact i've not been anywhere apart from the park with the dogs, so not even a penny on fuel! The heating has been on full blast due to being so cold!!

    Walked to the bank this morning and paid in £900 - realised I have lost debit card so waiting on a new one so can't make any payments to my card! I did pay the £900 in the branch into Barclays account so my new balance of what needs paid on Barclays is £1270.01 - this is what is currently costing me interest.

    Been tempted in the last hour or so to order a takeaway, for along as I can remember if I don't go out I have a takeaway on a Saturday night and quite often or not Friday night too! But I am going to make some pasta, put garlic bread in the oven and watch The Voice when it starts.

    Realised I havent budgeted for beauty/hair/make up.... I have plenty make up/skin care for the next few months but I do have expensive taste in this area! I actually really need a new mascara but Boots had offers on at christmas when you bought 2 products you got £5 worth of points, so I know I def have £15.00 and probably a little more on my Advantage card, and mascara is one of the products I am ok with changing up, so the usual £25 YSL one will be on hold for the foreseeable future!

    I spend £85 every 6 weeks getting my hair cut and coloured, but as I walked to the bank today I read the sign on the windows and my hairdresser offers a dry cut for £12...I actually have some hair dye at home so I will DIY it myself...will try hold off until pay day before going for the cut.

    I also spend £12 every 4 weeks getting my eyebrows threaded and tinted - it is £5 threading, £5 tint and I leave a £2 tip...I do not know why I tip as the girls are really rude, but I go as they are great at what they do! You can make an appointment, turn up on time, they always run behind and just take drop ins so even thought you are on time they may have agreed to someone just before you get there so really need to budget about 45 minutes to be in there for a 15 minute job.....Anyway the point of this is, I bought dye a while back to tint myself as the tint only really lasts a week or so and I planned to top it up, never got round to it, so next time I am going in with £5 and getting them threaded only.

    I also spend £27 (£25 plus £2 tip) getting gel nails every month of £42 if I get toes done too... this also has to stop. Last year I bought all the kit, lamp, nail polish etc, spent over £150 so that me and my daughter could do at home - I done it a few times and it was great, I am just too lazy! But if I want gel nails done, this is how it will have to be right now!

    Another rambling entry but I like clearing my head on this. Off to finish off dinner and settle down on the couch with a big ice cold glass of wine and my pasta! xxx
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 30th Jan 16, 10:24 PM
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    reality_check
    TV is crap, in bed already with iPad, cup of tea and ready to read a magazine - wild Saturday night in my house! My daughter and her friend are in the process of getting ready to go out....couldn't think of anything worse....I must be getting old!

    I have been thinking of how I am going to need to put my home insurance on a credit card in the next few days as it is up for renewal... I don't know if I should be chucking all I have at debt because I am going to be in the same position when road tax and car insurance and MOT are up because I don't budget for them....

    I might need to create a savings/emergency fund as part of me always using credit cards for things like that is because I never budget for them! I don't want to keep putting everything on the remaining interest free cards as they aren't going to be interest free forever and I don't plan on balance transfer/having to use them again in the future!

    As part of my Christmas my daughter bought me a subscription to Ideal Home magazine, good job as just looked at the price of £3.70 and I can't be buying that out my £25 shopping budget, thats a days food lol

    Hope anyone who reads this is having a more exciting Saturday night than I am!

    Night diary xxx
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