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  • FIRST POST
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 3rd Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    • 277Posts
    • 388Thanks
    Storm89
    2 years to smash the debt !
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    2 years to smash the debt ! 3rd Jan 18 at 2:45 PM
    I'm starting a new diary because I didn't keep my last one up and I'm feeling rubbish about not paying off as much as I had wanted. My last target was to be debt free by the summer of 2020 but I'm determined to set a new target of December 2019. Taking it a year at a time though, so aiming for debt to be £10k by December and savings to be £3k (currently have no savings at all). I need to do this for my kids, I wish I could give them experiences and not have to cut back so much because of the silly mess we're in.

    As it stands the debt is
    Credit Card 1 - £6,330.83 0% ends in March
    Credit Card 2- £7,660.01 0% ends in November
    Credit Card 3- £1,873.59 0% ends in June
    Total - £16,027.43
    I need to figure out how to start shifting some of that debt onto other 0% cards soon I just don't know how to go about it. A card we have with zero balance has offered us 0% for 12 months and the amount we could transfer is around £5100 so not enough to cover the card that's up in March. So I'm not sure what to do really about this. I'm considering getting another 0% card but worry we won't get accepted.
    We're a family of 4 with a 7 year old and 4 year old and income from all sources is
    £2816

    Outgoings are
    £1516.62

    It gives us a surplus of £1299.38. I don't want to put it all on the debt but we're setting aside £500 a month for that. I've also created some savings accounts on my mobile banking that I've named and decided to set aside each month:
    General Savings - £250
    Very- £100
    Clothes- £40
    Center Parcs- £100
    Christmas and Birthdays- £100
    Anything we manage to save on top of this will pay off debt
    Having no savings in 2017 meant I had to use Very to buy things we needed. A hoover, pushchair, washing machine etc. We now have a balance of £1000 on there that's interest free as long as I pay within 12 months of when we purchased the items. I should count this in my total debt but it's too depressing to do so and I'll be paying it off anyway

    I've booked us a little holiday at Center Parcs for October half term. We've not been away at all last year and won't be going anywhere else until then , I just felt that I wanted to get the balance between paying off debt and having a little treat. I'll be using this thread to write my ramblings even if nobody reads it !
    Last edited by Storm89; 03-01-2018 at 2:51 PM.
Page 2
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 4th Jan 18, 1:12 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    One of my new years resolutions was also to be more organised because I forgot so many people's xmas cards and was overrun with paperwork that wasn't organised .
    I've been writing a little list each day and it's really helped me feel organised when I achieve things. I've also bought the savvy shoppers cookbook and I'm using one of the meal plans off the website. The weekly shop cost me £60 plus an extra £10 on storage boxes that were on offer (needed them for toys).
    My jobs today are to
    - clean out one of the kitchen cupboards
    - cancel daughters haircut and rearrange for february
    - organise paperwork
    - call about school photos and ask if it will be too late to order them in february

    Everything needs to be feb really as we are going to be lucky if we break even this month. One of the credit cards that we need to transfer from (the card up in March) has been lost so we've ordered a new one. Once it arrives we will have a chat about where to put the money off it. Having sausage meatball marinara subs tonight from the savvy shoppers cookbook. I always end up making my daughter a ham sandwich with a side of multivitamin tablet anyway but my son has been really good at trying new foods since we've got the cookbook. We've bought no snacks this week either but they've loved doing a little baking every evening to eat after tea.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 4th Jan 18, 1:36 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    Ok I know I'm rambling today but this is the last one !! I've looked at all our cards online & they're all offering 0% balance transfers if the transfer is made before 31st Jan. If I shifted everything around to get it all on 0% it would mean 3 balance transfers so 3 lots of fees. I don't know if I should pass up the opportunity to get everything on 0% though because it means I can relax for 12 months before having to shift everything again.
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 5th Jan 18, 8:16 AM
    • 371 Posts
    • 677 Thanks
    fatrab
    The problem is that you're still going to have to pay the debts eventually. More fees = less debt repayment. Assuming 3% fee for transferring, that's £480!!!!!!

    You can afford to pay off the June card.

    You need to transfer the March card soon.

    Think about the November card in October.

    There will be other offers throughout the year from your existing cards and even if there isn't, you've already said that you have a good chance of being accepted for another card.
    Last edited by fatrab; 05-01-2018 at 9:00 AM.
    Make a plan. Stick to the plan. If it's not in the plan - DONT DO IT!
    February's Goals - 14/18 NSD - 15/19 Lunches - 22/28 AFD - 18/28 TAFD (take away free days)
    LBM Dec 2017 - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022 - Wannalose 3st in the process - 1st 8lb lost so far
    14 x £2 coins (#32)
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 10:04 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    I think the fees would be £193. I'll just list the names of the cards to make it easier when I'm typing about them lol
    Post Office is the March Card
    Sainsburys is November
    Barclaycard is June
    Basically I'll be just about break even this month because of Christmas creeping up on us and having to pay off dribs and drabs of cards etc. I have a card that I use for everyday expenditure sometimes (it's Virgin Atlantic to get airmiles) and they are offering me 0% for 12 months and I can transfer £5100. I just need to clear the £100 that's on there from Christmas (I'll explain about that in a bit). I'll take the £1800 from the Barclaycard and put it on there ; it's 2% so this will cost me £36. Then I'll also shift £3000 or so from the Post office and pay 2% on that so pay £60 for that. Then the Barclaycard can take the remainder from the Post office at 3.9% so if that's £3330 I'll pay £96.57 - is that right or have I worked it out wrong?
    If I've worked it out wrong and it is £480 then that's far too much obviously . The barclaycard are offering me 0% until April 2019 so will have a lot longer with that one. At this point the post office will have zero balance on it so I'm thinking they'll probably make me an offer closer to November when I need to shift the sainsbury's somewhere.
    So the plan would be get everything at 0% & then from Feb I can start my plan of paying £500 a month to debt and the savings money as planned. The debt would increase to about £16200 if I've worked it out right so my target of having the debt down to £10k by December would be off by £700 (considering I won't start the £500 a month until Feb). At this point I would shift money from savings to make my target. It may not make sense to some people but it's 0% anyway so don't need to worry about interest. From 2019 I won't have Very to pay or a holiday plus DH will have had a salary increase of £100 a month so that's an extra £300 a month to put on the debt which means I'd only need to find an extra £300 from savings at the end of that year and I'd have met my target of debt free by December 2019 (all being well)
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 10:17 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    Explaining the December situation I have £300 in current account plus another £580 to go in but it won't go in until 15th Jan. I have £172 to go to sainsburys on monday (this is the minimum payment as I'm not doing the £500 a month until feb) plus other bills to go out. I ordered a dominos on the barclaycard in december as I obviously hadn't had my lightbulb moment then and I need to pay that off (£36) because it's a balance transfer card so interest is added to purchases. I also need to pay off £16.50 to Very for some Christmas bedding I ordered. I have £72 on the Virgin Atlantic from last month. However, until the 15th we'll need to use the Virgin Atlantic for food and petrol. Petrol will be £40 and food will be £100 so overall will have £222 to pay off by 15th. No more credit card usage for purchases from this point!
    On 21st (or whenever the balance has cleared from my payments) I'll apply for the balance transfer from Barclaycard and Post office to VA. Then once they've gone through I'll transfer the rest from Post Office onto Barclaycard . Unless I've done the sums completely wrong and it is going to be nearly £500 to transfer then I'll have to think of something else haha .
    Last edited by Storm89; 05-01-2018 at 10:27 AM.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 10:25 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    In terms of daily productivity. Both today and yesterday have been/will be NSDs. I did everything on my list from yesterday and today I need to start the washing, clean out a kitchen drawer and finish my ironing. The savvy shopper meal plan is going incredibly well, my daughter isn't eating any of the meals but my son is having a good go and we're all feeling a lot better to not be shovelling junk food into our mouths constantly. Baking every night is saving money as well as meaning I spend quality time with the kids. Last year was so hard financially but we've got a much bigger pot to play with this year which eases a lot of stresses & I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 5th Jan 18, 10:36 AM
    • 5,702 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    I am sceptical these deals won!!!8217;t be available later on in the year so I would be wary of doing so many transfers the fees wipe out the gains. The March one is critical as there is no way you are going to clear £5100 by then. I would transfer it to the card with the lowest fee.

    I agree there is little point in using the Virgin card for everyday spending as it is just too tempting if you are in debt to overspend and causes you a problem in the following month when you need to repay the bill. You should never spend on cards you have done balance transfers either as it is too confusing with the deals as to where the payments are allocated to first. Read debtagghs diary and you will see constant balance transferring is not the answer. fatrab is right, address the March card and knuckle down to repay the rest as fast as possible while living in budget.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    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
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 10:46 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    I did read debtaghs diary from start to finish last night but that seemed to be constant money transfers and then paying the minimums. Whereas my plan is to pay a solid £500 a month on 0% cards. I am always getting letters from the cards we currently hold offering 0% and if there isn't an offer in October then I'll apply for a new one as I think we'd have a better chance once we've got the debt down a bit more.
    That's exactly it with the VA card I just use it without thinking and then the money I could have at the end of the month has to pay it off. So frustrating I hate myself when it happens. To be honest if everything has balance transfers on it then I'll have no credit card to use and spend anyway. I just want January out the way when everything is set up so we can move forward . I don't think the fees would wipe out the gains as it's going to be £200 fee now and then probably another fee at the end of the year when I do the transfer for the next 12 months. I'll be gaining 0% interest for the entirety of debt repayment.
    Last edited by Storm89; 05-01-2018 at 10:53 AM.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 11:06 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    My big worry with focussing on the Barclaycard is that I don't feel comfortable at all having no savings and want to build that up starting next month. I also have things coming up that I need to start saving for - 3 birthdays in february , one in March etc. I need to start getting the money together for Very payments, Center Parcs etc. If I start now then it won't be such a big expense when the time comes to pay for them and I won't be tempted to use credit to do so. I'd leave myself short if I chucked everything at the Barclaycard just because it ends in March. I can 100% see where everyone is coming from and I'm probably a fool for not listening but I honestly feel like this is the way forward and in the scheme of things - £200 isn't too worrying when we're already over £16k in debt.
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 5th Jan 18, 11:44 AM
    • 371 Posts
    • 677 Thanks
    fatrab
    Would you rather be £16200 in debt or £15800? That's where your £200 is either well spent or not.


    Would you rather have 3 minimum payments to make each month or 2? When you pay one card off in full without balance transferring you free up the amount you were paying to that card which can then be put towards paying the next debt. Instead of having £500/month you then have £500 + whatever the minimum payment was. As each debt is cleared you pay more off the next debt thus clearing it faster without affecting your budget.


    My calculation of fees was simply 3% of your total credit card debt, which is on average what the transfer fees are. You may have better deals available and if so then that's good.


    We only have the information you have provided us to give our opinion on what you should do. We don't know the whole picture. But if I were in your shoes and I had your available surplus I would not be entertaining the thought of 3 balance transfers.


    It would be an absolute mistake if you were to have £2000 in savings by June and then do a balance transfer of the £1800. You are simply paying a transfer fee for nothing.


    And you absolutely need to stop spending on credit cards full stop. If you haven't got the money then don't buy it.


    Yes you will be leaving yourself short, that's the sacrifice you need to make now for things to be better in the near future. You might just need to be honest with people and tell them that birthdays, xmas etc are on hold this year.
    Last edited by fatrab; 05-01-2018 at 11:51 AM.
    Make a plan. Stick to the plan. If it's not in the plan - DONT DO IT!
    February's Goals - 14/18 NSD - 15/19 Lunches - 22/28 AFD - 18/28 TAFD (take away free days)
    LBM Dec 2017 - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022 - Wannalose 3st in the process - 1st 8lb lost so far
    14 x £2 coins (#32)
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 5th Jan 18, 12:28 PM
    • 5,702 Posts
    • 11,266 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    So if I have this right. Your debt at the moment (ignoring VA) is £16027.43 and presumably due to various things you will only be paying minimums in January which is usually 2.25% so in your case £360. If it is less than that beware as recent changes have meant the minimums are increasing as some unscrupulous credit card companies were only charging 1% minimums effectively keeping people in debt forever.

    So beginning of February you will have £15667 plus the balance transfer fees of £193 so £15860 less the £500 monthly payment in February so £15360.

    9 months at £500 is £4.5k so by November it should stand at £10860. You will then need to balance transfer the remainder of the Sainsburys card.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    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
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 12:35 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    That does make total sense but it's not just birthdays and christmas I'm worried about. Things popped up last year when we had zero savings and we had to replace things i.e. washing machine, hoover, pushchair. I want to avoid using credit to purchase those things. What if the car packs in next month and needs repairs? I already used the credit card to pay £400 excess in December which I've now had to pay off and has impacted my January money. I just don't want to be in that position again. I'm not doing a balance transfer in June, I'm doing it this month. I'm getting everything onto 0% this month .
    With regards to the 2 minimum payments or 3 - I don't really look at it like that , I'm looking at the debt as a whole and I'm paying £500 a month to get the debt down as a whole. Even if by this time next year I've had to do another balance transfer from the Sainsbury's to another card , I'll still be in a better position with money to actually pay for things.
    I am understanding everything that everyone is saying but if I throw everything at debt then I'm living hand to mouth and if anything crops up I'll end up using the credit cards for it.
    and yes I agree no credit card spending full stop but I need to use it this month until my money comes in on 15th . I only need to use it for food and petrol . petrol will be £20 this sunday and next and the shopping will be £50 this sunday. I can probably stretch the shopping an extra day so I only need to use the credit card once for that. That should bring the amount I need to pay back to £172 instead of £222 on 15th. I literally do not have the money to pay off the Barclaycard before March if I want to have any savings for anything else. The holiday is already booked and I need to pay £100 a month off that. Very is due at various times of the year but I need to be putting £100 towards that from february. I can't really tell my children birthdays and christmas is cancelled this year so need to save for that.
    I suppose it will have to be a watch this space sort of thing as to weather the plan works but I personally feel it's the best way forward for us as a family.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 12:37 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    sorry enthusiastic I only just saw your reply after I'd typed mine so they must have crossed over. Yes I'd need to transfer the sainsburys in November but will probably do it in october. the post office will have had nothing on it for quite some time by then and I'm pretty confident they'll offer us another 0% deal to keep us , if not I'll transfer from a new card.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 12:40 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    Also yes the minimums worked out at £300 and something, I've written it in my planner which I can't find at the moment. There's only the £172 to sainsburys and £44 to barclaycard left to go though. so your figures aren't exact it's probably going to be a bit more than that by feb as I've already paid £163 or something to post office.
    Actually seeing that typed out though makes me feel a bit better to be honest, as it seemed to be around £18k for ages and now I can see it's going down.
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 5th Jan 18, 12:50 PM
    • 619 Posts
    • 5,132 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    Good luck storm89. Ive just had to do a balance transfer too. If i had had your balances,i would have moved the march ending card to the £5100 0% offer first, checked to see if any of the other cards have the amount remaining (approx £1200) available as 0% to move that too. I would then pay minimums to the cards and throw the rest of your £500 debt budget (plus any extra you do have left) at the barclaycard, hopefully clearing it or reducing it significantly, that it only has a very small transfer feenor you think maybe we could pay the last couple of hundred from the savings we have now. I would then concentrate on paying minimums and throwing everything at the november ending card to reduce the transfer fees on that.

    Good luck with whatever you decide and hopefully by this time next year you can be enjoying a debt free christmas.
    LBM in April 17 - £5835/£33554 (17.3%) paid.
    2018 PAID OFF TARGET £211/5000
    DFD: 1st May 2022
    SPC #591
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 5th Jan 18, 12:54 PM
    • 5,702 Posts
    • 11,266 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I would agree that saving for emergencies and things you know you have to pay out for is a good idea - pre empting robbing Peter to pay Paul. As you already have committed to Centre Parcs and Very then you need to put money aside for that and £250 per month into savings is also good.

    What I would say is though why when you have so much disposable income did you only manage to pay off £2k last year and not save anything in spite of no holiday? Have you done a spending diary to see where your money is going?

    I think setting challenges along the way will work for you so maybe aim for less than £15k in debt by March and then less than £13k in July? That will help you not steer off course.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    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
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 1:11 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    Thanks everyone. Charlie's tribe I'll be debt free by December 2019 so not next year unfortunately. Enthusiastic we didn't have this much disposable income last year , we have £600 more a month this year, soon to be £700. Also we weren't totally committed which is why I've started this year for good. I think I'll aim for the £500 a month so whatever that may work out at throughout the year will be fine with me , will just be good to see it going down. My target is £10k by the end of the year so if I haven't quite made it then I'll use savings to get there .
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    I also want to add one of the personal reasons why we failed so much last year . It may make people uncomfortable , but also might make people realise why I feel the way I do.
    We have always wanted 3 children but once we got into debt it seemed to get further away to actually achieving that. We have a small 3 bed terraced house (third is a box room) and we wanted to get out of debt and then get a bigger place. Last year, once we realised the debt was not do-able in the near future , we decided there would be too big an age gap by the time we could start trying (yes not for everyone but for us it's how we felt). We said "never say never" but probably it won't happen. I fell pregnant unexpectedly last year and we were in so much debt with a lot less income. We tried to get savings together but things kept cropping up that we needed (my disabled daughter faeces smearing over carpets so we replaced them all) , needing new washing machine etc. We ended up getting into more debt to pay for these things so by the end of the year we ended up only £2k better off. We made the heartbreaking decision to terminate the pregnancy for the sake of our existing children and their future, to try and make things better for them instead of being told no constantly because of the debt.
    This is a decision that has affected me emotionally more than I ever thought it would, I didn't want to have the abortion, but knew it was the right thing to do. I think about it daily and about the child we could have had, the sibling my kids could have had. If we had had a little saved up we could have purchased things we needed for the new baby - some clothes and a cot, some nappies. We also could have paid for the things we needed that ended up going on credit. But we didn't have a penny saved . I don't want another baby now because it would feel like a betrayal to the one we aborted .(it was quite early on in the pregnancy but still difficult) but I want to have money to treat the kids and to have made the decision worth the heartache.
    Now we are in a better position financially , I want to pay off the debt but still have that £250 a month buffer and the money for kids clothes etc. I also think we deserve a holiday because that wasn't the only difficult thing to happen last year, difficulties with both kids have really dragged us down and we're looking forward to a more positive year where we can spend time together and not have to worry about drowning in debt. I genuinely don't think the right thing to do is throw all money at the barclaycard. The robbing peter to pay paul is a really good analogy and it's exactly what we want to avoid, getting any further into the mess.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 5th Jan 18, 2:07 PM
    • 5,702 Posts
    • 11,266 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Tough decision to make and just an indication of how much affect overwhelming debt can have on peoples lives
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    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
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    Storm89
    Exactly. I'm very determined to sort the mess out and never get into it again.
    About to do the school run in 15 mins (only have one car and I don't drive so it takes me 45 mins to walk it). Then we'll be having sundried tomatoes, spinach and goats cheese spaghetti for tea (again from savvy shopper lol) and then I'll do some baking to eat whilst watching a film later. Son has swimming lessons tonight until 6pm so he can have tea before and then the cakes will be ready when he gets back. 2 NSDs in a row is pretty good going for me lol. Have a few spendy days coming up but not unnecessary purchases - dancing lessons tomorrow which will be £7 (they now want us to be a week ahead as it's usually £3.50 a week) & then shopping & petrol day on Sunday (which will have to go from the VA credit card but yes next month none of that).
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