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  • FIRST POST
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 25th Jan 16, 3:39 PM
    • 687Posts
    • 1,484Thanks
    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 3
    • note3
    • By note3 8th Feb 16, 9:35 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    note3
    Oh what a shame about your dog though like you say...he had a good innings and didn't suffer

    Write off this bit of financial binging as a coping mechanism but don't let it continue as that's a potential slippery slope. Back on track now ��

    Edited to add: the question marks on my post was an angel emoticon but it hasn't shown up that way!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 12th Feb 16, 8:53 PM
    • 687 Posts
    • 1,484 Thanks
    reality_check
    Ended up at work on Monday, and then had to stay off the rest of the week...I am never ill but I have felt horrific all week! Feeling much better now after plenty rest!

    Budgetting hasn't been great but hasn't been the worst....

    New carpet ordered for the hall came in at £858!! Had to buy more paint at £24.00, my car needed 2 new tyres, just bought reclaimed ones and got both for £40.... My car was a total disaster and I spent £20 on a valet - not very MSE but 1. i was ill and 2. I couldn't do as good a job so I am justifying it.... Spend £7.50 on recorded delivery of a mobile phone!! I am going to try and claim the cost back as wasn't my fault it was faulty!! - the phone was bought before I decided to sort out the mess I am in! I went out for lunch with a friend today and was a deal on and cost £9.99! I also opted for water as its the drinks that then make these deals not great value and I didn't notice a difference so if and when I go out this is my new plan....I did spend £15.50 on flowers for my friend I had lunch with for her birthday....and i then spent £38 in Lidl and do not plan on spending another penny on food for the next 7-10 days I hope as I didn't really need half the stuff I got today.....

    When I write it down it does all seem a bit spendy!

    On a positive, I called Virgin and complained about a letter saying they were upping my bill by £3.58...I only opened it the other day, but they had sent it Nov/Dec last year, so my Feb payment has been taken but I managed to reduce my bill down to £27.99 had previously been paying £36.13 and £39.13 this month!

    I cancelled my boiler insurance of £9 something a month as the renewal came in at £11.98....I haven't called them out all year so just going to wing it and hope for the best.... might take it out at the end of summer when we go back into winter.....

    Forgot all about my contacts appointment last week! Need to rearrange and get an up to date prescription and look into getting them cheaper online....

    Need to look online at credit card and bank balance as don't have a clue what they are at the moment, too scared to look! Will do it tomorrow. My daughter has given me £1500 which I am paying her back over 3 months - this is money in her bank she got from her 18th and is using this summer when she goes away but means I am not paying any interest on Barclays or on my overdraft!

    Think I need to look at a balance transfer for M&S as I am sure that card is close to hitting the £4000 mark soon and not £3000 as planned and paying my overdraft off wasn't something I actually considered as debt for some strange reason even thought its one of the things that charged me the most monthly!!! So I need to look at how I can pay everything back on 0% - thats a job for tomorrow!

    Off to watch the film Bridesmaids with a cup of tea and family bag of Malteasers! xxx
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Feb 16, 9:47 PM
    • 1,699 Posts
    • 9,576 Thanks
    Florence J
    Have enjoyed reading this, through the ups and downs. I look forward to hearing more of your journey. I hope you enjoy Bridesmaids as it is a great film.
    • note3
    • By note3 13th Feb 16, 2:25 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    note3
    Oh dear, right lady I've gotta say it...yes, it does seem a bit spendie at the mo! You need to force yourself to focus...you can do it!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 16th Feb 16, 2:51 PM
    • 687 Posts
    • 1,484 Thanks
    reality_check
    You are right Note, I need to get back to how determined I was a few weeks ago! Nearly had a mini meltdown the other day and ordered clothes online because was feeling sorry for myself! Thankfully I never!

    Hi Florence thanks for reading it, I feel like i write a load of rubbish lol I hope to have a lot more ups than downs!

    Yesterday was PAYDAY!! Got paid a little more than expected as I wasn't taxed as much or paid as much national insurance as my commission from the month before was a lot less (we pay the tax and NI the month after we've been paid) so a total of £1696.15.

    Checked my accounts and some have went down but still some have went up since I started! But at least at the moment everything I have is 0%.

    Barclays £5079.25
    M&S - £3964.52
    Santander - £2400 (it actually is a bit less but not far off the £2400 limit, I have since frozen the card and don't have online access so going with this!)
    Daughters money - £1500
    Total: £12,943.77

    That is the immediate debt that I want paid back ASAP! I have decided to aim to pay back £700 a month which should take me 19 months - IF i stick to this, £700 is the ultimate aim but I want minimum £500.

    So, basically I am starting my debt free journey again from today....ROUND 2!

    Most of my direct debits have come off for this month, just waiting on £50 Barclays minimum payment, £6.99 Netflix and £27.99 from Virgin. I have also made a separate account of money I am paying my daughter back with and that currently has £500, I have made a petrol account that currently has £100 and I also have a food budget of £60.

    After all of that bank balance is currently: £601.98 I have taken off the ddeb that will be coming off so if I can stick to budgets and no unexpected disasters I will be able to make a good over payment/start an emergency fund...still not paid up my mind on what I will do!

    I am going to start filling this in every day to help keep me on track!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 16th Feb 16, 6:45 PM
    • 687 Posts
    • 1,484 Thanks
    reality_check
    Been catching up on a few diaries - this really motivates and inspires me, need to get back to doing this! Had felt fed up and feeling sorry for myself since feeling ill - but thats gone!

    I've also decided I need a £1000 emergency fund. Clearly I don't know better than Dave Ramsay/everyone on here who have managed so much with their own debt. With my wage I should be able to live debt free, but the main reason (apart from living beyond my means!) is not having money for when things are needed/go wrong! I will probably need to use the money for my car insurance...which I need to find out when it is, April/May I think??? but at least I will have something to contribute rather than the usual credit card solution....

    Any extra money from my food budget or petrol budget and any money left in my bank I will use to build up an emergency fund...I might do 50/50 to emergency or debt just need to wait and see!

    I am also making a £50 Christmas saving budget.

    I forgot to add in i've added a monthly spend each month...a dog walker! £10 a walk and my dog is going out 2 days per week. My mum has offered to pay one week - he is her furry grandchild after all, and my daughter has said she will give me £20 a month....I feel bad taking the money, she is a student with a part time job and she actually pays my £18 p/month phone bill....but i've decided to take her up on the offer, she has a great disposable income, always out and buying stuff so this will teach her to budget! We will just need to see if I actually get my £20 lol
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 16th Feb 16, 6:49 PM
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    reality_check
    p.s I made one of my favourite dinners tonight and it is so cheap! Costs pennies and it's delicious!

    All it is is 3-4 cloves of garlic, dried chilli and olive oil - fry for a few minutes making sure garlic doesn't burn and then mix in spaghetti and some finely chopped fresh parsley on top. We had it with some garlic bread and was lovely. Sometimes I have with prawns but tonight had just as it was. Good job i've no one to kiss tonight with the garlic consumption!
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 16th Feb 16, 8:10 PM
    • 4,132 Posts
    • 22,416 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Well done on starting Round 2 of the debt clearance project!!


    I have mentioned this on loads of diaries lately so apologies if you have read this before.


    Feel free to ignore me but I think emergency funds are for emergencies such as the roof getting damaged or family abroad getting ill, car insurance is an expected yearly bill.


    Your budget should include an amount for car insurance and all other yearly bills that you have.
    Some people save all that in one account which makes it a savings account rather than an emergency fund.


    Maybe you mean you are going to have a savings pot rather than an emergency fund.


    I have about 10 separate savings pots linked to my bank account - every month I move money into pots labelled Medical, Car Repairs, Car Replacement, etc.


    I also have a separate emergency fund which I should not need to use.


    Some people worry about their emergency fund not growing as they keep dipping into it and this is why they are better off with a/some savings accounts for expected expenditure and to leave the EF alone until a real emergency crops up.


    Obviously if you are fine with what you have planned feel free to ignore me.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 15 for November
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 01/11/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • the long and winding road
    • By the long and winding road 17th Feb 16, 1:18 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 146 Thanks
    the long and winding road
    So sorry to hear about your dog RC. We lost ours 11/08/15 unexpectedly and reading this touched a chord with me. The best of luck with your debt busting x
    Argos £2,177.26 £2,017.71 / Barclaycard £10,574.02 £9,816.29 / Debenhams £2,972.73 £2,845.22 / M&S C/C £7,342.76 £7,029.30 / Next £877.69 £0 / Santander C/C £3,800.46 £3,509.80 / Santander OD £2,200.00

    LBM 1st January 2016 / £29,944.92 £27,418.32 / £2,526.60 8.44% paid
    Aiming to be DEBT FREE by 01/01/2020
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 22nd Feb 16, 2:14 PM
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    • 1,484 Thanks
    reality_check
    Thanks Long and Winding - it really is the only downside of having a dog. He was our first dog and your first one is always extra special I think. Sorry to here about yours and thanks for popping by!

    No real change, just plodding along! Had a quiet weekend, met a friend for coffee and a cake and was £6.90 and I am going out for dinner with friends this week and that will be max £20....

    Not bought any food and still not needed petrol, but I have about one more trip to and from work so will need to fill up.

    Not spent a penny on food and continuing to bring breakfast/lunch to work.

    I am waiting on my daughter telling me how much are glasses are as said I would give her half - she has expensive taste and think will be about £140! She hardly even needs them, so £280 is an expensive fashion accessory lol

    Been making mini payments to Barclays and M&S plus an extra £150 to M&S to round down my bank account, but need to stop as don't want to be left short and I don't get paid until 15th!

    I got a phone call about a stupid purchase I made before my reality check.... I have wanted this mirror for 2 years and finally committed to buy it before Christmas when I noticed it was in stock...it sells out all the time....thing is, it's £800....Should i cancel and pay off a card?! Probably, will I....?! I really want it, and sound like a spoilt brat child! but really it is all thats really left to buy to get my house 100% as I want it and it really is beautiful....hmmmmm

    xxx
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 22nd Feb 16, 2:18 PM
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    • 1,484 Thanks
    reality_check
    Eager Elephant, i think that is what i meant with my emergency fund, clearly not the correct name lol I am in 2 minds what to do....

    I can pay car insurance as a one off payment and only make minimum card payments that month and continue to pay debt off as quick as possible...which I think I am leaning towards doing until maybe September time and then start to budget for car and home insurance for next year monthly....I am so indecisive about every aspect in my life!!
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 22nd Feb 16, 2:52 PM
    • 1,846 Posts
    • 5,846 Thanks
    MERFE
    My emergency fund is really a savings pot, I would probably dip into it but still better to have it to dip into than to have nothing as a back up.

    oh my that is a lot for a mirror, I bet it is gorgeous for that price. No one can tell you what to do though, its your decision, even if it keeps going out of stock you say it comes back in stock again so it could wait if you decide to cancel.
    Barclaycard 5150/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3860
    • note3
    • By note3 23rd Feb 16, 8:52 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    note3
    Wow £800 for a mirror?!? Hope it is beautiful!
    Good work on the extra payment

    Slow and steady wins the race
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 23rd Feb 16, 7:10 PM
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    reality_check
    I know I know - it is expensive, but it is on my debt totals, so I have decided to keep it!

    Caved in and put 50p on my card in work - was a day that only a galaxy would do! The fruit I brought in just wasn't doing it for me!

    I think that is basically what I am making my 'Emergency' pot MERFE...one day I will have a savings pot and an emergency fund, and my in the black not red...haha I can but dream.

    Cancelled by direct debit with Specsavers. I have to call up in a few days when my Feb payment has cleared and they will refund me £30. I have 2 months so need to get an up to date prescription and hopefully source them cheaper online before I will need them again in May.

    I applied for a new credit card....Virgin have an offer with 32 months % free, 0.99% one off fee and have gave me a £4500 limit. I won't be able to pay off M&S before October, plus the £2000 I owe Barclays by 1st December and I have the £2400 from Santander due January 2017 plus my daughters £1500 so as that one runs out first I have decided to balance transfer. I could have waited a few months as still 0% but I feel better knowing it def wont cost me interest...Also, an added bonus was there is a £50 voucher that you get for Virgin experiences, so might use as a fathers day present or maybe sell it!

    Went a run at 5.45am this morning!! really should use the word run loosely, as it was more a walk! Haven't went out since wayyy before Christmas and my fitness levels leaves a lot to be desired but I do feel much better when I do it, just need to get back into a routine!

    Also made a payment to Barclays of £40.12 bringing that down to £4500. I am stopping these mini payments for now...roll on payday lol wishing my life away!

    I have 12 days of meals planned, and will need about £7 on some vegetables, wraps and cream to make these meals, so sticking to this food budget is my priority at the moment as that is in my control.

    Next month I want to pay back £750 of the £1500 back to my daughter. She doesn't need this until summer, but I want to get rid of at least one debt in full.

    Another rambling post, but this is therapeutic!
    Last edited by reality_check; 23-02-2016 at 7:13 PM. Reason: typo
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 24th Feb 16, 10:29 AM
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    reality_check
    Went another run this morning, and although it is a struggle getting up, I feel 100% better once I've done it.

    Off out for dinner tonight, it is one of those all you can eat buffets at £13.99 and I will be driving and on soft drinks so probably cost about £18.

    Still not put petrol in, but I am playing with fire and practically running on empty. I don't shop in Tesco much but they send the odd clubcard voucher every now and then, so I am going to make a conscious effort to only get fuel there and earn the points! I only recently learnt that you can convert these points to places like Pizza Express and sometimes the Tesco points convert into higher amounts in other places. Probably be about £45 petrol today to get me through this week and next.

    Lunch with me in work so no spending, I have definitely kicked the habit of meals in work - apart from the odd bar of chocolate but I can live with that.

    Going to email Virgin about an on going complaint and see what they say... Basically I had interrupted service for the first 18 months - i had multiple engineers out and no one could work out why my internet kept cutting out/only good signal in one room....they finally found a fault with installation and offered me £100 credit. I rejected this and said would take it further as didn't think 3 months of credit made up for it. Spoke to someone last week and got the complaint opened again, but need to pursue it this time!
    • note3
    • By note3 24th Feb 16, 10:52 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    note3
    Wow you have been busy and I love your confession that running was not quite proper running as it makes me feel better - I detest running and used to go twice a week with a friend only we never made not past a fast walk which soon slowed to a normal wall just chatting...whoops!

    Great you got accepted for virgin card as that's an excellent deal.

    Sounds like you have a plan of action which is the most important thing I've learnt from reading everything on here.

    Hope you get luck with virgin. Things like that are such a hassle to pursue but I think that's what they bank on and hope ppl will just give up!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 25th Feb 16, 10:36 AM
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    reality_check
    When I used to 'power walk' with a friend, I think we actually walked at a slower than normal pace as too focused on chatting!

    Dinner was lovely last night, I normally had a help yourself buffet, but this place had the usual chinese, indian, italian etc but also had a grill where steaks, lamb chops were cooked made to order and a fish section with massive fresh king prawns, scallops, salmon etc again made to order and also a fresh sushi bar - very impressed! Soft drinks were refillable and in total cost me £16.84 which was less than I expected.

    Went to Tesco and filled up with £37.40 of petrol - will keep a note of trips I make to see how much it lasts me. I don't tend to drive that far other than work so be interesting to see how many trips I do get. I used an online calcualtor but not sure how accurate it is.

    Lunch with me in work, forgot to take chicken out the freezer! Have everything in for fajitas so will pop to Lidl and get some more. Isn't really too much of an issue as I have budgeted £7 to make the meals out of all the stuff I have in and another £13 to last me until the 15th so will take it from this money.

    Virgin email sent, just waiting on them now getting back in touch....
    • note3
    • By note3 25th Feb 16, 12:34 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    note3
    Sounds like an awesome Chinese restaurant. Love eat all you can Chinese! Just a suggestion but if it's less than you budgeted on could you put the extra in a savings pot or towards card?
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 27th Feb 16, 11:26 AM
    • 687 Posts
    • 1,484 Thanks
    reality_check
    Good thinking Note - you're better at this than I am! I should make a separate section with my online banking for anything that comes under budget to use to put towards debt at the end of the month.

    I have noticed my skin is looking a bit dull and dry and my fruit and veg consumption hasn't been great...so spent £19 in Lidl all on fresh fruit and vegetables and £7 in Wholefoods on some half price matcha green tea...I am going to start juicing again. I know this isn't within budget, but you can't put a price on health! Have juiced yesterday for breakfast and lunch and today for breakfast and hopefully all the goodness will be pumping through my body!

    And to balance out the lidl spend I made a £100 payment to M&S!

    Going round to my sisters later so don't plan on spending anything, and have a friend coming round for a few drink tonight - but I have plenty wine at home and have a few things for snacks so no money needed.

    Off to finish my housework and although not going a run today, I am about to go and change my bedding - a workout in itself!

    Have a good weekend everyone xx
    • Popstess
    • By Popstess 27th Feb 16, 12:55 PM
    • 351 Posts
    • 1,168 Thanks
    Popstess
    Hi reality check :waves:
    I've just read your diary from start to finish really enjoyed reading it. I feel we have a lot in common. I am in a much higher amount of debt though so well done you for tackling it now before it gets to the stage I'm at!
    I wish I'd had my LBM £20,000 ago but sadly not.
    You are doing so well, so so sorry to hear about your beloved doggy I would be devastated if anything happened to mine they are part of the family.
    I laughed at the bit about your eyebrows and gel nails we are so similar I think I'm going to follow in your footsteps and dye my own eyebrows and just get them waxed once a month. I would love to cut that cost all together but my eyebrows are really dark and wild and look dreadful if just plucked! I also have all the gel nail stuff at home but too lazy to use it! I love doing other people's nails but find doing my own a faff!
    You sound like you have a lovely relationship with your daughter bet you're like best friends having her when you did. I had my son young too and like you a lot of my friends have just started having baby's I am so broody and jealous I would love more children!
    Anyway now I'm rambling on your diary lol. I'm subscribing good luck!!! :happy:
    DFW LBM 17-10-15 Total £30,436.00
    My Debt free goal date 10-04-19
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