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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 924Posts
    • 7,841Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed....
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed.... 12th Feb 17 at 9:56 AM
    £67,031.92. Seriously. £67,031.92. That is a SCARY number. I can't believe our debt has peaked (and it is the peak, I am determined) at this level.

    Our light bulb moment actually happened a few months back, but it's taken since then of wrangling utilities and carefully watching out income/outgoings (using You Need a Budget) to really figure out where we were overspending and how the monthly shortfall of anything from £200-£1,000+ was happening.

    We have literally nothing to show for this debt, it's just crept up over the past 8 years or so, and has always been at manageable levels, but back in October we realised we were spending more on credit cards each month than we were paying off.

    We committed that cardinal sin of taking out a consolidation loan, but alongside it we looked really carefully at our spending over the next couple of months, budgeted realistically for what we spend and have (I think) picked off all the easy 'low hanging fruit' of budget cuts and really identified why we were overspending.

    The main reason for the debt is, erm, me. Not that I'm the biggest spender (neither of us are amazing), but because I am self employed with a hugely variable income and basically worked out our budgets on the basis I would always earn my 'best' month's income. Which was, with hindsight, maybe a TINY bit deluded.

    The aim of this diary is to keep us on track with actually reducing our debt every single month, not doing it in a three steps forward, two (or four) steps back sort of way. Having sat down and put our numbers into the whatsthecost site, it appears that we are looking at 7 years and 1 month of repayments to clear the debt (and that's assuming we can get rid of the shortfall showing below). I REALLY want to reduce this term as that just seems bonkers.

    SOA below, with a couple of explanatory notes.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 3
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 250 (variable, but this is the minimum I have earned in any month in the last 5 years)
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 2711.86
    Benefits................................ 192
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3153.86


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 698
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 174 (including overpayment for a period when we messed up during a house move 18 months ago and didn't restart the direct debit for the new property. Will drop by a little under £50 after either March or April, can't remember which)
    Electricity............................. 52 (gas and electricity are one combined DD, I haven't checked the exact split but the total is £104)
    Gas..................................... 52
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 104 (also including a debt from previous property, but I think this will be included for another 6 months or so. I'm not sure what our actual usage is)
    Telephone (land line)................... 18.5 (includes internet)
    Mobile phone............................ 85 (£45 for my contract, which I use for work as well, £40 for DH)
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 0 (included in landline cost)
    Groceries etc. ......................... 520 (Includes £40 for one lot of school lunches. I am REALLY struggling to reduce this, but feel I could and should be able to!)
    Clothing................................ 100 (growing children, plus see notes below re clothes)
    Petrol/diesel........................... 225 (90% DH commuting costs)
    Road tax................................ 16.27
    Car Insurance........................... 25.22
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 30
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 50
    Childcare/nursery....................... 70 (this will disappear in April as child 3 gets free 15 hours)
    Other child related expenses............ 81.85 (music/swimming lessons x2, cubs and beavers, National Trust membership as they love visiting them)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 27.07
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 16.26
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 90
    Haircuts................................ 20
    Entertainment........................... 135
    Holiday................................. 75
    Emergency fund.......................... 25
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2707.29



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 210000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 800
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 210800



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 173733...(698)......3.14
    Total secured & HP debts...... 173733....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Barclaycard....................6880.21...156...... .0
    MBNA...........................9614.71...98....... .0
    Parental loan..................20000.....0.........0 (see notes below)
    Tesco loan.....................21000.....377.......10
    Total unsecured debts..........57494.92..631.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 3,153.86
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,707.29
    Available for debt repayments........... 446.57
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 631
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -184.43


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 210,800
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -173,733
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -57,494.92
    Net Assets.............................. -20,427.92


    Created using the SOA calculator at stoozing.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    Regarding the (relatively) high clothes expense, it is a combination of 3 growing children (8, 6 and 3), plus the fact that my job is in the fashion industry, and as a self employed person I need to have the right sort of 'look' in order to get work (think along the lines of a self employed personal shopper - people need to see you looking good in order to book with you).

    The parental loan was for a house deposit. The parent in question has no idea about our debts. She is not desperate for the money back and isn't charging us interest, but has asked us to save £150-200 every month into a savings account and then once we've saved a decent sum to either repay them or 'reborrow' it for work on the house (basically they want us to be able to make repayments if they suddenly need the extra income, but meanwhile are happy for us to benefit from it. I am not saving the money while our debt payments are so high - we are hoping to have paid enough off that if the parent ever needs it that we can reborrow it and pay them back). This isn't great, but realistically I think the best solutions is to treat it as the lowest priority for snowballing - once we have paid back the other debts we will throw the entire £630+ at this debt.

    So, there is a freaking enormous shortfall every month, which is somewhat depressing. Most months it is covered by the fact that I earn more than my 'bare minimum', but it is those months where it isn't covered that the debt creeps up again, and I am a total disaster for going 'oh well, we've spent on the credit card, we might as well keep going' and buying more clothes or something for the house - this is probably a significant proportion of our debt problem.

    We have managed to get rid of the balance on the one credit card we were spending on, so the remaining ones are both on 0% deals (although one expires in September). I have not cut up the remaining credit card, because we don't have an emergency fund in case of eg boiler repairs, but it has not been used for all of a month, and I hope to keep it that way.

    A DMP or similar isn't really on my horizon right now - I feel like we should be able to make the cuts to make our budgets balance, and I am optimistic that as my income goes up (when I can work more as child 3 starts school) that we will be able to make overpayments.

    My plan for now is:
    1) Try to wiggle those budget numbers around enough that we don't have a shortfall any more.
    2) Make a plan for any months where I make extra - do I use it for an emergency fund, as a fund to cover future months' shortfalls, to throw money at the debt to try to reduce minimum payments in case of future 'shortfall' months?
    3) Try to make more money. Not quite sure how this will work as I am largely limited to working around DH's working hours (I work evenings and weekends and the 5hrs childcare per week we are paying for for child 3).

    Now that's all down in black and white I am feeling a combination of relieved (to be clear on the numbers) and immensely stressed (by the semi-regular £180+ shortfall).

    Onwards and downwards (for the debt, not me)!

    edited to add: the original £67,031.92 figure was based on the total figure for the Tesco loan, which included all interest payable over the entire term of the loan. I have updated the debt figure in my signature and in all posts going forward as at 4th June 2017 to reflect that actual current debt balance rather than the balance plus interest over the lifetime of the loan. This has knocked £7,911.62 off the debt figure, but means that each monthly payment will have the interest for that month deducted from it, so it won't affect the DFD if I don't make overpayments.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 04-06-2017 at 2:58 PM.
Page 3
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 14th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,666 Thanks
    angelpye
    It's feeling very positive! Nice the DFD is that little bit closer
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: £2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 14th Feb 17, 12:13 PM
    • 5,047 Posts
    • 16,589 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Hi ToP,


    Welcome to the boards, they're a really friendly supportive bunch this lot


    Good luck on your journey, will be following with interest.


    Pmo2
    xx
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7400.00 Cap 1: £562.23 BC: £4577.81 Overdraft: £2750.00

    AFD 5/10 NSD 2/10 LTW 10/15

    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 10 2017 #003
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Feb 17, 12:48 PM
    • 4,237 Posts
    • 7,633 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Good start. Re the childrens clothes/shoes. You have a budget of £100 per month (unless you have reduced that to get the shortfall cleared) so that is a reasonable monthly amount to pay out. I would cost all the items needed and put which is priority and then decide what gets bought this month, what next month and so on. Just make sure you keep in budget or if you go over then borrow from another budget.
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 14th Feb 17, 1:11 PM
    • 7,117 Posts
    • 9,928 Thanks
    KxMx
    One thing you may well have to do is say no when parents book you in for holidays and stuff. You can't afford it with so much debt. Keeping your finances private is your call, but try to come up with some plausible reasons in advance.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th Feb 17, 1:33 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Good start. Re the childrens clothes/shoes. You have a budget of £100 per month (unless you have reduced that to get the shortfall cleared) so that is a reasonable monthly amount to pay out. I would cost all the items needed and put which is priority and then decide what gets bought this month, what next month and so on. Just make sure you keep in budget or if you go over then borrow from another budget.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    I've had to cut £30 off that budget to make the new SOA line up, but I think I should be able to manage what we absolutely need for the remaining £70.

    One thing you may well have to do is say no when parents book you in for holidays and stuff. You can't afford it with so much debt. Keeping your finances private is your call, but try to come up with some plausible reasons in advance.
    Originally posted by KxMx
    Definitely going to do that from here on in!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th Feb 17, 1:54 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Thought I'd post the updated budget (in the form of a new SOA) while I think about it. I've shaved bits off everywhere, most notable entertainment, clothes and food, so those are going to be the areas where we really feel it in the coming months.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 3
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 250
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 2711.86
    Benefits................................ 192
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3153.86


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 698
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 174
    Electricity............................. 52
    Gas..................................... 52
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 104
    Telephone (land line)................... 18.5
    Mobile phone............................ 85
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 460 (£60 cut)
    Clothing................................ 60 (£40 cut)
    Petrol/diesel........................... 225
    Road tax................................ 16.27
    Car Insurance........................... 25.22
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 20 (£10 cut here, will put back up in April when council tax reduction comes into place)
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 50
    Childcare/nursery....................... 70
    Other child related expenses............ 81.85
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 27.07
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 16.26
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 70 (£20 cut)
    Haircuts................................ 20
    Entertainment........................... 80 (£55 cut)
    Holiday................................. 75
    Emergency fund.......................... 25
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2522.29



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 21000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 800
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 21800



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 173733...(698)......3.14
    Total secured & HP debts...... 173733....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    barclaycard....................6880.21...156...... .0
    MBNA...........................9614.71...98....... .0
    parental loan..................20000.....0.........0
    Tesco loan.....................21000.....377.......10.29
    Total unsecured debts..........57494.92..631.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 3,153.86
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,522.29
    Available for debt repayments........... 631.57
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 631
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 0.57


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 21,800
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -173,733
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -57,494.92
    Net Assets.............................. -209,427.92


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    I'm pleased with how I've trimmed it - it doesn't feel unmanageable (although it does feel like it's going to be a heck of a challenge), but it puts us back into a surplus for each month (of a WHOPPING £0.57 ). Crikey. Deep breath. Now for the hard part; sticking to it.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 14th Feb 17, 2:03 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,706 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Wow - well done on trimming your budget so much. I think once you implement the changes and you can see the difference that these changes are making, it'll then become easier to do things like trim your grocery budget further or when you have extra on the clothes budget one month you can pay that as extra to the debt. It's amazing how addictive it can be! For me, i almost become in competition with myself

    Are you able to start using your new budgets immediately or do you need to wait for a new month?
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th Feb 17, 2:17 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Wow - well done on trimming your budget so much. I think once you implement the changes and you can see the difference that these changes are making, it'll then become easier to do things like trim your grocery budget further or when you have extra on the clothes budget one month you can pay that as extra to the debt. It's amazing how addictive it can be! For me, i almost become in competition with myself

    Are you able to start using your new budgets immediately or do you need to wait for a new month?
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Yes, I am hugely competitive, so I can see it becoming a game of one upmanship against me-from-last-month!

    I can pretty much start immediately - I've adjusted all my YNAB figures down already and even if I don't make every single one of them this month, I think I'll manage to come in well under my old numbers, which isn't a bad start considering I'm making the adjustment halfway through the month.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 14th Feb 17, 3:24 PM
    • 1,497 Posts
    • 3,642 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Wow, 57p, that's the tightest budget I've ever seen, but entirely doable and all you need! Well done.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Feb 17, 3:47 PM
    • 4,237 Posts
    • 7,633 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    As you say the budget has little leeway in it and the difficulty will be in sticking to it when you are used to spending when you feel like it rather than if you have free money in the budget. Presumably at some point the £75 holiday money will be able to come down as although that lets you pay minimum payments ideally you want to be able to overpay when you can. I guess if you make more than your base income this is spare to either put into your emergency fund or overpay the debts.
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th Feb 17, 4:34 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    As you say the budget has little leeway in it and the difficulty will be in sticking to it when you are used to spending when you feel like it rather than if you have free money in the budget. Presumably at some point the £75 holiday money will be able to come down as although that lets you pay minimum payments ideally you want to be able to overpay when you can. I guess if you make more than your base income this is spare to either put into your emergency fund or overpay the debts.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    We'll actually only be this tight for this month and next month; I am 99% sure that our council tax overpayment stops in March (we had arrears to pay off after completely forgetting to pay it for 3 months when we last moved so we'll have £50 extra in the budget. Child 3 will also get her free nursery hours so another £70 will free up. So this 1.5 months of total strictness (unless I suddenly earn some extra) will be our baptism of fire, and then we can jiggle things a bit as necessary. Holiday payments will stop in July.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • motivated
    • By motivated 14th Feb 17, 6:51 PM
    • 2,224 Posts
    • 3,129 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi TOPM
    You have made progress already. Doesn't it make you realise how the money just dwindles without realising. A little spend here and there soon mounts up doesn't it. I am an expert at it

    So many people on here swear by budgets and sticking to them. That has to be my main goal to get me through I think.

    Good luck with your journey and try not to think of the whole amount remember the debt wasn't accumulated overnight and so won't go away overnight. That's what I keep telling myself anyway
    M
    Emptying my lake with a teaspoon
    Short term goal £510/£1796
    EF/1k
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th Feb 17, 8:07 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Hi TOPM
    You have made progress already. Doesn't it make you realise how the money just dwindles without realising. A little spend here and there soon mounts up doesn't it. I am an expert at it

    So many people on here swear by budgets and sticking to them. That has to be my main goal to get me through I think.

    Good luck with your journey and try not to think of the whole amount remember the debt wasn't accumulated overnight and so won't go away overnight. That's what I keep telling myself anyway
    M
    Originally posted by motivated
    SO TRUE. I think I had successfully convinced myself that I wasn't wasting/trickling money as we were on a budget and weren't getting daily takeaway coffees, but actually there was/is still plenty of fat to cut and extra debt payments that can be made.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th Feb 17, 8:12 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Nothing wildly exciting to report as I close off today. An easy NSD as didn't actually leave the house, but relative took out two of the three children, so they had a great time. Win win!

    An update on today's lists...

    To do today:
    1. Pay in cheque received as a refund for a cancelled magazine subscription (tiny amount, only about a tenner, so it's been sat in my purse waiting to be paid in for a fortnight). Done. Thirteen of your English pounds, and twenty whole pennies paid in. Will divide between debt payment and next month's income when it clears. That's practically the whole debt paid off, right?
    2. NSD, ignoring some posting for business (budgeted for in business account - which incidentally has no overdraft or debt, in case anyone sees this and wonders! - and not related to personal budget). Done!
    3. Update YNAB (budgeting app, for anyone not familiar) and make sure everything is on track. Done! DH is waiting for a big (for us - £70) work expenses claim, so I have an annoying negative column until that gets paid in, hopefully this week, but other than that all on track.
    4. Do 2 hours work today while relatives take the children out - the work that earns me my guaranteed £250 a month can be done anywhere, so will attempt to get ahead on that so I can spend some time working on other things later in the week. Done! Hoping to get further ahead tomorrow to clear the way for some additional work over the weekend, to make slightly more money.

    To do this week:
    1. Redo our budget to ensure that even if I only earn my minimum of £250 per month, that the shortfall is gone, whether it has to come from clothes, food, entertainment or whatever. It's lovely to try to earn extra to cover it every month, but I need to get us to a position where if I don't that we're not getting further into debt. I have done this already, yay me! I will post it in the form of an updated (and wildly depressing, but accurate) SOA when I get home at the end of the week.
    2. We are away visiting family from Monday until Thursday, so no worries about food shopping until then (DH at home, but can make do with what's in the house, there is loads), but I'm going to challenge myself to make Thursday's top up shop to get us through until the following Tuesday (normal food shopping day) come in at under £30.
    3. List child 3's old cot on eBay
    4. Menu plan for next week and use MySupermarket to keep the cost down to <£60 for the week
    5. DH - water meter reading to make sure our direct debit is accurate
    6. DH - gas and electricity readings, to make sure direct debit is accurate. Done, and we are all of £3 in debit. That's fine, as it's the end of the coldest part of the year so our usage will drop, but I was hoping we'd be in credit. However, we were at zero in September, so we managed the coldest part of the year on the £104 combined DD, so hopefully in another month or two we'll see usage drop slightly and we can reduce DD a little and still accrue some credit ready for next winter. Not the big win I was hoping for but better than a huge bill. Will still try to make our usage more efficient though - a plan to make next week when the children are back at school.

    I am aware that in a few days is when the novelty of this whole thing will start to wear off (probably about the time I am in the supermarket and Child 3 is whinging for a treat...) so I am going to keep my daily lists going for a while to try to cement new habits in place.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Smileyme
    • By Smileyme 14th Feb 17, 8:58 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Smileyme
    This was me 6 years ago! Almost exactly the same level of debt without too much to show for it. Overspending constantly on credit cards and wanting the best for my kids....Then lightbulb moment!!

    We have worked really hard to reduce our debts and are currently at £29k... Still not ideal, but a huge reduction. We have decided to play the long game as we have teenagers and to be honest it worries my oldest so much if he thinks we are 'poor'.

    The best advice I can give you is to cut up those credit cards!! It smarts to start with, but it stops you making impulse purchases and forces you to plan as much as possible. Open up a Christmas saving account and pay in even a small amount, you would not believe how much this has made our family Christmases less stressful! Also we make the kids choose one activity at a time.

    Good luck getting your head round your new budget, hopefully you will find something that works for all of you!!
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 14th Feb 17, 11:03 PM
    • 10,473 Posts
    • 69,420 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Wow I stopped in to catch up and there was so much to read! You've done incredibly well in just 2 days! So impressed! I hope you will enjoy your half term break
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 14th Feb 17, 11:55 PM
    • 603 Posts
    • 3,837 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    I think a strict couple of months and then a slight easing off is perfect: you'll have that little bit extra to look forward to just as things get tedious. Well done you!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    September 2017 - $218,597.77
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 15th Feb 17, 6:04 AM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I think a strict couple of months and then a slight easing off is perfect: you'll have that little bit extra to look forward to just as things get tedious. Well done you!
    Originally posted by armchairexpert
    Thank you! We're going to feel like millionaires in April after the tightness of March.

    Wow I stopped in to catch up and there was so much to read! You've done incredibly well in just 2 days! So impressed! I hope you will enjoy your half term break
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    Trying to make the most of the initial enthusiasm to get some good habits in place!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 15th Feb 17, 6:10 AM
    • 924 Posts
    • 7,841 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Day 4

    I feel like a kid in the back seat of a long car journey; "Are we nearly there yet?" I think it's usually about 3-5 days in that the excitement of taking control wears off for me (DH and I have made grand announcements about paying off debt before, and only ended up increasing it) and I lose interest slightly. I am hoping that this diary and a bit of cheerleading from the sidelines will help keep me/us on course this time.

    The lists...

    To do today:
    1. 2 hours work on 'guaranteed income' (contracted) work, to free up time on the weekend for hopefully bringing a little extra in.
    2. NSD - going to be a little harder today as we are going to a nice local town for a walk, but absolutely no requirement to spend. Need to remember to take snacks and water for children in case we are out longer than expected.
    3. Write shopping list for when we get home tomorrow and do MySupermarket to make sure it comes in under budget. Need to check with DH what he has eaten but I know there is plenty of food in the house.
    4. Remind DH to put expenses claim in, if he hasn't already done it.

    To do this week:
    1. Redo our budget to ensure that even if I only earn my minimum of £250 per month, that the shortfall is gone, whether it has to come from clothes, food, entertainment or whatever. It's lovely to try to earn extra to cover it every month, but I need to get us to a position where if I don't that we're not getting further into debt. I have done this already, yay me! Posted on Day 2.
    2. We are away visiting family from Monday until Thursday, so no worries about food shopping until then (DH at home, but can make do with what's in the house, there is loads), but I'm going to challenge myself to make Thursday's top up shop to get us through until the following Tuesday (normal food shopping day) come in at under £30.
    3. List child 3's old cot on eBay
    4. Menu plan for next week and use MySupermarket to keep the cost down to <£60 for the week.
    5. DH - water meter reading to make sure our direct debit is accurate.
    6. DH - gas and electricity readings, to make sure direct debit is accurate. Done, and we are all of £3 in debit. That's fine, as it's the end of the coldest part of the year so our usage will drop, but I was hoping we'd be in credit. However, we were at zero in September, so we managed the coldest part of the year on the £104 combined DD, so hopefully in another month or two we'll see usage drop slightly and we can reduce DD a little and still accrue some credit ready for next winter. Not the big win I was hoping for but better than a huge bill. Will still try to make our usage more efficient though - a plan to make next week when the children are back at school.

    Off to motivate myself by catching up with some other people's diaries now.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 15-02-2017 at 6:12 AM.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 15th Feb 17, 6:19 AM
    • 5,047 Posts
    • 16,589 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Morning,

    Looks like a great list for today.

    Enjoy your trip out.

    Pmo2
    X
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7400.00 Cap 1: £562.23 BC: £4577.81 Overdraft: £2750.00

    AFD 5/10 NSD 2/10 LTW 10/15

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