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  • FIRST POST
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 11:56 AM
    • 1,615Posts
    • 4,222Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Let's do this!
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 18, 11:56 AM
    Let's do this! 28th Jan 18 at 11:56 AM
    Hi everyone

    I've been a member on the forums for some years, but not been active for a long time. I really want to get myself out of debt and feel that keeping a diary will keep me accountable so I came over here

    My debt has accrued since my 20s where I think I bought things to fill a void without being able to pay them back. I've been a bit of a "I need to have it now otherwise I'll never be able to have it!" type person. It's only recently (I'm now 37!) that I've been able to give myself a talking to and say if I don't have the spare cash then it can't go on my cards. I'm spending far too much on minimum payments which could go towards holidays and treats etc.

    Dealing with my debt has also been difficult as I've been a been a student for about eight years so paying the fees has come first, although for my latest (and final!) course I had to pay for some of the fees on my credit card. Not ideal by any means but the career opportunities and salary will enable me to pay off more towards my debts.

    I'm studying a doctorate and will be doing my viva in March 2018. A few months' ago I got a new job on the understanding that I would be qualifying in my profession shortly. Once my viva is passed (assuming I don't totally botch it!) I'll be qualified and my salary will increase to a level where I can pay £200-£200 per month extra off of my debts.

    But it's not just the salary increase which will help. My whole mindset has to change and I hope that by keeping this diary it will help motivate me to keep going and wipe this debt off for good! I'll post my numbers in the next post.

    I look forward to "meeting" you all. Please feel free to chip in with money saving ideas or other ways to reduce debt as I'm aware there are wiser souls here than myself
    My debt-free diary
Page 1
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 12:32 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 18, 12:32 PM
    Debts
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 18, 12:32 PM
    All my debts are on credit cards, with MBNA being the highest rate:

    Barclaycard - £6,502.77
    Tesco Bank - £4,135.51
    MBNA - £6,839.99 (credit limit is £12,500)

    Total debt - £17,478.27

    My total minimum payment for all these debts is £418.81 per month.

    I have no room on my Barclaycard or with Tesco Bank to transfer some of the MBNA balance unfortunately. MBNA currently have a promotional rate of 6.4% (I think) until 2023 for balance transfers. I did think of transferring my Tesco Bank balance, but this would take me up to almost my limit on MBNA and I wasn't sure if that would be detrimental?

    I couldn't figure out how to edit my first post, but it was meant to say I could pay £200-£300 extra off my debts once I had my salary increase but this won't be until around June time.

    Goals
    Well, until June the goal is to use what spare cash I can to reduce my debts. In order to actually have spare cash I'm going to need to do the following:
    • Reduce my monthly shopping bill. We pay about £180 for my husband and I, plus a small dog, but with better meal planning we could reduce this a bit. We don't buy branded items and we take our own lunches to work already so that's not a problem.
    • Stop/reduce spends on takeaways. We can always buy frozen pizzas or treat meals from the supermarket instead which would be much cheaper.
    • Stop/reduce buying "wants" rather than needs (i.e sweets, soft drinks)
    • Unfortunately my beautiful cat, Charlie, had to be put to sleep on new years' day however, it was costing £80 per month for his special diet food and insurance so I'll be paying this off my card which was used quite a bit for his different treatments at the vets
    • I've recently signed up to Swagbucks so I need to be consistent in doing the surveys/searches and shopping to get SB points (I've already cashed in £5 from them )
    • I've signed up to Prolific Academic, People Per Hour, and Academic Minds in the hope of earning some extra cash for my writing skills
    • I'm putting away a bit of money towards Christmas presents and also towards my car MOT and service which both fall in October. I'd rather have a pot set aside for these things than having to put them on a credit card because I've left it 'til the last minute.
    • My husband and I are going away to Cornwall in June so we're going to have to put a bit of money aside until then to pay the balance (£200). Again, this is better than leaving it until June and then trying to find the whole lot in one go.

    Barriers
    It's worth listing what might get in the way of me reducing my debts as we all have our weak spots, not matter how well intended we are!
    • Needing to keep my "wants" versus "needs" in check and not spend what I can't afford
    • Being patient. Sometimes my lack of patience in being able to pay off big chunks of debt means I discount being able to pay off smaller chunks. For example, I shouldn't dismiss paying off £5 here and there just because it might not be the £100 I want to pay off.
    • Emergency spends. Sometimes life throws up things that might require some unexpected spending. I guess if I can refrain from unnecessary spending then this will lessen the guilt if something crops up.

    That's all I can think of for now. Any suggestions please feel free to comment
    My debt-free diary
    • notmy1sttime
    • By notmy1sttime 28th Jan 18, 1:13 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    notmy1sttime
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:13 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:13 PM
    Hi Lileth,
    I have no words of advice as I am currently getting my debt totalled up (and my tax return in!) but I am here to support you along the way. I started a diary last month but only managed to post to it once, got scared and still haven't totalled up my debt (until today).
    Lets support each other through.
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    Hi Lileth,
    I have no words of advice as I am currently getting my debt totalled up (and my tax return in!) but I am here to support you along the way. I started a diary last month but only managed to post to it once, got scared and still haven't totalled up my debt (until today).
    Lets support each other through.
    Originally posted by notmy1sttime
    I agree, it's scary facing up to what debts we have. I hate seeing the number and it doesn't sit easy with me but I'm determined to get a handle on it now. My studying days are almost over so I can focus on putting the money towards the debt. Hope you manage to carry on with your diary, as I'm sure there are lots of people here to support you, including myself
    My debt-free diary
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 28th Jan 18, 1:37 PM
    • 5,705 Posts
    • 11,292 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:37 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:37 PM
    Good luck with your Viva in March. My daughter was awarded her PhD a few years ago and the stress it caused her for the 5 or 6 years she was doing it was incredible. She was working full time for the last 3 years though so that was probably part of it and she was lucky enough to have the fees paid and a bursary for the first 3 years though.

    It opens up a lot of job opportunities so hopefully that will help you clear the debt. That is a fairly substantial minimum payment each month so it would be good to get rid of the debt for that reason alone.
    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
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 1:42 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:42 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 18, 1:42 PM
    Good luck with your Viva in March. My daughter was awarded her PhD a few years ago and the stress it caused her for the 5 or 6 years she was doing it was incredible. She was working full time for the last 3 years though so that was probably part of it and she was lucky enough to have the fees paid and a bursary for the first 3 years though.

    It opens up a lot of job opportunities so hopefully that will help you clear the debt. That is a fairly substantial minimum payment each month so it would be good to get rid of the debt for that reason alone.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thank you

    Believe me, I cannot wait to finish this doctorate. I've worked throughout mine as well and it's been stressful to juggle everything. Plus, my manager at my last place wasn't very supportive of me doing the qualification which only added to the stress.

    I think maybe because it's all coming to an end, it's given me some breathing space to really think about sorting these debts out. I feel more determined and positive in my mindset that I can do this.
    My debt-free diary
    • Munchin
    • By Munchin 28th Jan 18, 2:44 PM
    • 2,227 Posts
    • 6,835 Thanks
    Munchin
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 18, 2:44 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 18, 2:44 PM
    Hi Lilith

    Good luck. I am a terrible fritterer and my wants are usually treated the same as needs. The good news is that you will soon have the extra money to really focus on getting your debt down.

    *subscribes.
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    Hi Lilith

    Good luck. I am a terrible fritterer and my wants are usually treated the same as needs. The good news is that you will soon have the extra money to really focus on getting your debt down.

    *subscribes.
    Originally posted by Munchin
    Thanks Munchin. Looking forward to making a dent in the debt!
    My debt-free diary
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 6:42 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 18, 6:42 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 18, 6:42 PM
    Seeing as I started my diary today I might as well add some positive things I've done:

    • NSD
    • Signed up for Shoppix and tried to sign up for Shopprize but they have no spaces yet so I filled in the form to notify me when I could apply
    • Earned 50p for a short survey on Prolific Academic
    • Got accepted for "whatusersdo" where you test websites and comment as you go through the site using the microphone on your computer. I had to do an audition and keep moving my mouth toward the microphone on my laptop as it's rubbish at picking up sound, but it obviously worked! You earn £5 a test but I'm not sure how often you get sent them.
    • Had roast chicken dinner and will use leftover chicken for lunch tomorrow
    • Paid £5 off my MBNA card which I'd cashed in from Swagbucks. I'm owed more points from something I purchased so should be able to pay another £5 off soon

    I'm hoping I feel better tomorrow as hubby has passed his lovely cold onto me
    My debt-free diary
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 28th Jan 18, 6:57 PM
    • 50,632 Posts
    • 193,787 Thanks
    beanielou
    Sorry about your cat.
    MY fur baby is 17 1/2.

    Happy shiny new diary.
    I hope all goes well for you.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Sorry about your cat.
    MY fur baby is 17 1/2.

    Happy shiny new diary.
    I hope all goes well for you.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks Beanielou. Your cat is a good age

    My Charlie was a rescue so we were never really sure how old he was. We thought he was perhaps 14, but he could have been older. Hubby and I were talking about him today and how quiet the house is. Cats are great company.

    We have a yorkie crossed with a chihuahua. Her and Charlie were good buddies
    My debt-free diary
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 29th Jan 18, 7:12 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Had a bit of a downer today. Just thinking of my kitty Charlie who I had to say goodbye to at the beginning of the year. Funny, when I told my husband he said he'd been thinking about him a lot today too

    Relatedly, I'm looking to buy a ring which I can incorporate some of my Charlie's ashes into. I guess some people might think that's a bit weird, but it'll be a comfort to me and each to their own. I've seen a ring I like but it's £255 so I told myself I'm going to save for it instead of whacking it on the card like I normally would. As it turned out, I had some gold rings I no longer wore and sent them off to Hatton Garden Metals who I've used before. I got £175 for the rings and they deposited that into my account this morning so that leaves me £80 to save

    I'm full of cold but went into work and just got on with some report writing so I didn't have to speak to many people

    Positives for today:
    • I earned another 90p on Prolific Academic yesterday after I posted in my diary. I have about £9.50 on there now. I'd rather wait until I hit £20 so I don't incur the paypal fees.
    • Signed up for PopulusLive
    • Applied for some jobs on People Per Hour. I have no idea if I'll get any ad hoc work from them
    • NSD
    • Hubby used some left-over coconut milk from the other day to make a thai curry meal this evening. I hate waste so I try to use half-full tins but sometimes they go to the back of the fridge and get forgotten!
    • Used leftover roast chicken from yesterday to make a nice chicken pesto-pasta for mine and hubby's lunch (he's off work sick, but he said it'd help him eat healthier otherwise he'll go out and buy junk!)
    • Despite feeling rough I still exercised this morning as it really keeps my mental health on track.

    I don't know if I'm going overboard signing up for all these sites. I have a tendency to go "all or nothing" and burn myself out. I'll just do what I can and not keep checking my points balance every other day

    I need to pop over to Swagbucks and see if I can earn some more points as I've not been on much today. Hope everyone had a relatively okay Monday, despite it being Monday!
    My debt-free diary
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 30th Jan 18, 6:41 PM
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    Lilith1980
    Okay, so not a NSD today. Caved in and spent £3.99 in the local co-op on a soft drink, some chocolate for hubby, and some much needed cold and flu tablets. Scanned the receipt onto Shoppix though lol.

    Some positives though:
    • Overpayments are being made to MBNA CC as this has the highest rate. £80 extra is being paid each month which is what Charlie's food and insurance cost. This'll be paid until his vet bill on the card has been cleared. Hubby is paying half towards this, so it's actually just costing me £40.
    • An additional £23.07 was paid off which is a refund of Charlie's unused cat food. Also £60.60 came back from the pet insurance so that was paid off the card too. Obviously I'd rather have Charlie back but this money helps with the vet fees.
    • Signed up to switch to a Natwest account to get the £125 bonus, so will wait to hear back. Feels a bit daunting as I've been with Halifax since I started working 20 years' ago, but then I need to remember the banks are not loyal to us! I always tend to be a bit scared when it comes to the unknown
    • Applied for some more ad hoc jobs of People Per Hour, but heard nothing as yet. Some of the adverts are so lacking in detail that you don't really know how much you have to do for the money they offer. I do wonder how people get jobs from there. They want people to have done two jobs and got 4 star feedback in the first three months. Not sure that's gonna happen!
    • More surveys done. Swagbucks aren't being very generous with their surveys today. I keep getting told I'm not eligible. Oh well, I'll keep trying
    • I listed some jewellery on ebay that I no longer wear. Hoping I can get enough to pay for the rest of the ring I want. Any surplus can go in the pot towards birthdays/Christmas. I'm quite lucky in that my brothers and I only buy each other stuff at Christmas so I only buy cards for their birthdays.
    My debt-free diary
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 31st Jan 18, 7:06 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Evening everyone

    Well, I was chatting in Whatsapp to the other students in my cohort who have already qualified. In order to register for our qualification there's various fees you need to pay upfront. I'm so fed up with paying out money for this qualification! It's a yearly fee too so not a one-off. I guess once it's done and I get my salary increase it won't seem too bad, but I might have to put the fees on the CC initially and pay them off once my raise has gone through, because I can't get my pay rise without being registered

    In other less stressful news, NSD today

    Being good and using food in the cupboards to cook dinners this week, which we're usually good at but the temptation for a takeaway has set in too much lately. I may compromise and buy a frozen pizza or something, which is far cheaper than the takeaway option.

    Hubby doesn't seem to be getting better from his viral infection, despite being on antibiotics since last Friday. I've said he should go back to the doctor on Friday if he's not improved. It's not like him to be unwell for so long.

    More surveys done, although Swagbucks going through a stingy phase it seems! I don't mind if they screen me out after a few questions, but I can be going for five minutes and suddenly get thrown out. Very frustrating!

    Natwest have my application and I've uploaded my ID documents so I've just got to wait. Wish I'd heard of this before, I could have switched a few times and got more money!

    Hope everyone's having a good money saving day
    My debt-free diary
    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 31st Jan 18, 8:18 PM
    • 6,351 Posts
    • 23,366 Thanks
    Uniscots97
    Hi Lilith, good luck with the viva. I never finished my PhD due to a very unsupportive boss.

    Regarding the ring, I think that!!!8217;s a lovely idea. I know you!!!8217;re using Shoppix but have you thought about scanning your receipts through Receipt Hog? They pay out in cash or amazon vouchers. Also sign up for survey sites like YouGov which pays out at £50.
    CC2 = £9638.39 (£10000 )CC1 = £0 (£9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =£3.00 vs spent £0.75 .Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 31st Jan 18, 8:22 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Hi Uniscots

    I hadn't heard of Receipt Hog so I'll look at that, thank you! I'm signed up with YouGov so that's good. I'm on the list for quite a lot of survey sites, but for some I keep getting screened out after only a few questions so I wonder if I'll ever make anything out of them
    My debt-free diary
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 1st Feb 18, 7:29 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Had a busy day at work so I was glad to get home! Didn't feel like I stopped all day but at least the time flies.

    NSD today. I'm still trying to do surveys but there are some I may bin off soon as I am literally clicking on the 'start survey' button only to be screened out. Then another 'start survey' thing pops up and the same thing happens!

    I've signed up to a freelance writing site and they've asked me to send a sample of my work to them so we'll see if anything comes of that.

    The quarterly payment for this association I'm a member of (because I have to be!) came out yesterday and it's gone up by £17 per quarter so I'm going to have to move the money I put away for Christmas savings back into my current account to stop me going overdrawn. I'll know for next time

    It's so nice to drive home from work now that the nights are getting lighter. I hate the dark nights/mornings so I'll be glad to get up when the sun is up before me!

    Hubby made cottage pie tonight and we followed a tip by putting baked beans in it. It was delicious and much more filling. He made a big portion so we get three portions each out of it, so that's dinner sorted for the next few nights

    I'll be so glad of the weekend. I could do with just curling up on the sofa under the duvet. Hope everyone is having a good week
    My debt-free diary
    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 1st Feb 18, 7:34 PM
    • 6,351 Posts
    • 23,366 Thanks
    Uniscots97
    I've never thought about putting beans in a cottage pie, that sounds really nice!
    CC2 = £9638.39 (£10000 )CC1 = £0 (£9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =£3.00 vs spent £0.75 .Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 1st Feb 18, 7:36 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    It really was nice!
    My debt-free diary
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 1st Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 9,427 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hi Lilith - I read your posts on Munchinís diary so thought I would pop along.

    Iím so sorry about your cat (I take it that it is him on the left of your posts - lovely photo). I wish my working hours and dynamics of my flat would allow me to keep one but will have to wait till retirement in a few years. In the meantime I spoil DDís cat when I see her!

    I hope all goes well with the PhD it must be very stressful. Itís been a few years, but I remember when DD was studying for her MA. Quite an expensive time!)!

    Hope your hubby improves as well - these viral infections are very odd lately. They seem to take ages to shake off.

    Anyway Iíve subscribed and will be cheering you on your journey!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
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