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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
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    • 4,321Thanks
    JoJoC
    Getting my shhh together
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    Getting my shhh together 26th Jan 17 at 12:20 PM
    It's January 2017 and I want to make a stand against myself.

    I will let me sabotage myself no more and I will take control and make my finances better!

    Where to begin? Good question! Since my husband and I bought our first house together in 2009, we have bad financial decision after bad financial decision. Not through stupidity, but a combination of naivety, laziness and lack of foresight. We are very impulsive people and it's quite tricky to rein that in when it comes to finances but we've had endless talks over the last few months and 2017 is the year that we sort our sh!t out!

    A combination of astronomical childcare costs, unpaid maternity leave, paying the mortgage for our flat when it isn't let (second property) and a few other things has meant that the last 2.5 years have been really tight and we have built up some debt that I really want to reduce. I'll declare it below!

    Credit card 1: £6,000 (on 0% interest)
    Credit card 2: £3,800 (not yet on 0% interest)
    Overdraft: £600
    Owe to MIL: £120
    Owe to uncle: £700

    I CAN tackle this in 2017 because:

    - My eldest son is starting school in August, meaning i'll be saving on nursery fees
    - I have just started a new job and my earnings will increase by around £200 per month
    - My husband is busy with additional work in the form of 'homers' over the next couple of months

    Hurdles/ challenges/ costly things happening:
    - My sister's wedding in September
    - My sister's hen weekend in September
    - It's my mother in law's 60th and we are going away for a few nights to a cottage to celebrate
    - Husband is going on my brother-in-law's stag weekend to Prague
    - We need to save for spending money as my company is paying for myself and husband to go to Thailand for a week for work.

    As you can see, the opportunities to save, to rein in what we are spending and to pay off debts are there, but it's such a busy year of commitments so I know it's going to be hard going.

    How am I going to achieve this?

    Change the setup of our banking
    It's currently one big bank account for all income, bills and spending but that's not working for us at all, particularly because we have massive outgoings so I want to switch to having a bills account, a spending account and a savings account.

    Spend time weekly on budgeting
    I have set up a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing when money comes in, when it goes out, when money is transferred to savings and when money is transferred to spending accounts. I want to ensure that this is kept on target and we aren't left short so I want to spend time every Sunday night when my husband is at football going through our finances and the spreadsheet to make sure everything is running smoothly and tackle any adjustments that need to be made. I'm paid monthly and my husband is paid weekly so it's a tricky balance.

    Striking the balance
    I need to strike the balance between paying off debt that we have and saving up for the things that we've committed to this year - I know if I focus on debt alone, we'll end up further in debt to cover things. Vigilance is the key and I will need to keep on top of what we can and can't afford to do. Considered choices will work best and looking ahead to see what's coming up will help too. I want to tackle the family debt first, particularly as they are the smallest debts and the ones that I feel bad about the most.

    I appreciate that there's a lot of debt-free diaries on here and this one isn't solely about hammering debt, but I think it's important for me to be accountable and I want to make changes rather than plan then just bury my head in the sand.

    Any encouragement along the way would be appreciated!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 2
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 1st Feb 17, 7:02 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,726 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Oh yes wine is a must if you are celebrating! Yes good thanks you are right the support and encouragement is amazing on the diaries section.
    " 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
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 1st Feb 17, 11:56 PM
    • 1,321 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    A new month, a new opportunity to save money
    OK, as it's 1st February, I have spent some time on my spreadsheet to ensure that what I'd projected is what is actually happening. For the most part it is, although my husband's boss hasnt paid him yet. He gets paid the same day every week but it's often late... We are currently two days late, which brings my while plan out of whack. I'll just need to adjust it to fit it all in and get husband to badger his boss in the morning.

    I now have a handle on ALL outstanding debt - here is goes
    • Santander card - £3,850 (£5.86p/m interest)
    • Virgin money card - £5,236 on 0%
    • overdraft - £1,000 (in and out of it)
    • loan - £8,912 on 6.9% with 32 months left
    • husband's mum - £120
    • husband's uncle - £700
    • very - was £28, now £0

    It's quite a shocker seeing it all written down and truly understanding the extent of it but if anything, it fires me up more to make a change.

    Very account
    I paid off the last of my Very account today. There wasn't much on it to begin with, but for some crazy reason I was just paying little bits to it. Today, I cleared it and it's gone for good. I only opened the account to benefit from an offer.

    Loan
    This was a 15k loan that we took out two years ago when moving house to bridge negative equity. We've made 28 payments of 60 and the balance is now just under £8k on a 6.9% rate.

    Id been looking at recent 2.9% deals to see if it's worthwhile switching to save on interest and reduce the term but the only way I'd switch would be to bring the term down to 24 months. It's increase our payments by £85 per month but it'd be paid off 8 months quicker and save us £480ish in interest. I just need to look into whether we can afford an additional £85 per month and whether this is the best use of our funds.

    Credit cards
    I've yet to come up with a plan for these, other than paying £50 per month to each...I know we can afford to pay in extra once we meet our interim savings goals (to cover what we need for pre planned things) but just need to figure out how much and what's the priority.

    Family debt
    Our top priority to pat back us my husband's uncle. He told us to pay him when we can back in November and we are planning on using husband's additional income from a job in February to pay this £700 in one lump sum. Second on the list is husband's mum and once these are done that's TWO WHOLE DEBTS struck from the list! I'm excited to get this done (hopefully this month!)

    Overdraft
    I've found this the most difficult debt to manage in the past. Because we've been both spending and having all bills come from one account, the AVAILABLE BALANCE thing just screamed at me and I treated my overdraft like money that I actually had. Now that I've split it up into bills account and savings acount, I intend to transfer our set amount into the spending account and any additional funds thst don't get spent on bills will go towards bringing us out of the overdraft. I've worked out that by April, all being well I should be able to say that we are permanently in the green, saving up to £25 per month in arranged overdraft fees.

    Savings
    As I mentioned before, I have a very busy year ahead and instead of panicking and paying for things on a credit card (like the old me would have done) I'm saving for all of these things to make sure we don't enter into the debt cycle again. The first goal is to save for mortgage and legal costs of sorting out flat out and I have £960 towards that currently. I also paid £25 today towards my sisters hen weekend, leaving only £100 left to pay.

    Now that my massive ramble is over, I need to get some much needed kip, ready to start all over again tomorrow!

    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 2nd Feb 17, 12:01 AM
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    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Apologies for the typos and for the error (Just under 9k on the loan, not just under 8k -I wish!). Knackered and my fingers aren't going as quickly as my brain!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 2nd Feb 17, 10:03 AM
    • 3,205 Posts
    • 14,222 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    You seem so organised JoJoC, I'm sure you'll have your debt payments and savings goals sorted soon, I am an avid fan of spreasheets and spend hours on ours, much to OHs amusement

    I've subscribed and will be following your journey
    £70/3000 OH BC(97.66% PAID)
    PAID VERY, Barclaycard x2, Vanquis, Natwest, O/D, Tesco & MBNA x2 PAID LBM 24/07/15 - Debt: £70/31010.23 (99.77% paid)
    Mortgage - £159,900.00 (2017/2018 O/P £2877.06) PAYDBX 17 - £18,442.82
    PAYDBX 18 #006 £891.66/£4000
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 2nd Feb 17, 3:55 PM
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    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thank you! In organised to a fault in some areas of my life and super disorganised in others. I'd love to just make it an even spread across everything but life is too busy for that!

    Big news
    My husband finally got paid! Two whole days late and now only five days until he's due to be paid again but at least it's done! Now my spreadsheet looks a lot more balanced
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 2nd Feb 17, 5:15 PM
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    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I was a little spendy today and treated myself to lunch with my friends who works close to me, so spent £18 including tip but it came out of the spending account and the £2 left from the twenty pound note will go into my tin.

    My spreadsheet is fully up to date now but I'm itching for the next lot of bills and payment (child benefit and husband's wage on 7th) so that I can make sure my plan was in fact on target.

    I've just started a new job and I'll be opted into the pension next month which means my take home pay will be less but I can work with that. I'll also need to transfer my old pensions (I think I have 3 from previous jobs!!) into my new one if I can so that it's all in one place. Something to add to the list yo think about.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 2nd Feb 17, 6:09 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,726 Thanks
    Bobarella
    JoJo really glad your husband got paid. As a self employed person myself I know exactly what it's like trying to manage when you are waiting for late customers.

    Also, I enjoyed reading through your debt rationale too. I'd say you are ahead of the game in even knowing why you have the various debts. A lot of people never seem to.
    " 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
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 2nd Feb 17, 9:21 PM
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    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    It is an ongoing frustration Bob, and happens way more than it should,but I shouldn't complain too much. Any other month if be panicking that we wouldn't be able to cover the bills but not this month. I'm on top of it!

    Thanks for your reply, I do get why we are in this situation and I'm not sure we'd have been able to avoid debt entirely and still be where we are but we certainly could have made better decisions.

    The reason that I went for this new job (and had the cheek to tell them I wanted a big chunk of money more than I was earning before!) was because I needed to earn more to help us get out of this mess and move on and it paid of. I might not have been as brave had we not have had as much at stake. Who knows?

    I'm about to enter into a lull - nothing going into the account until Tuesday and just a few small bills out so I'm going to have to find something to preoccupy myself with to stop the boredom setting in!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 3rd Feb 17, 10:49 AM
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    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I got a refund on my PayPal today after I received some counterfeit goods a couple of weeks ago! Add that to the £4 refund I had from a top I bought that was stained and bobbled (went straight in the bin) I have a total of £22.19 in my PayPal account.

    I think I'll try to keep that to put it towards paying for my mother in laws 60th birthday present. Not sure what we are getting her yet (although we are going away together) but she does a lot for us and we're budgeting £100 for the gift. Thats more than 20% of the present saved for!

    Having a pretty non eventful day. I keep checking my bank account to see if anything miraculous has happened but nothing. I suppose no news is good news!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 3rd Feb 17, 1:48 PM
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    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    After reading a comment on someone else's diary, I've decided that I'm going to track my debts on my master spreadsheet to show the difference that's being made! I think this will help my motivation during low points.

    I've started another tab where I can record each debt, the balance per month, the amount per month that's been paid and the running total of each declining balance. It's just another motivating tool, but I think it'll be helpful to actually see the numbers come down month on month and look back to where we began.

    I'm not sure how money saving my weekend is going to be - kids party tonight (present was budgeted for but had to buy a card and sweets from my spending budget today which was £2.98), tomorrow morning we need to go and pick glasses for my eldest (let's hope there's some nice NHS ones so we have no spend!) then we have dinner at our friends' house where we'll probably get a takeaway (£20 from our spending account) then on Sunday we'll be going swimming in the morning (£12.50 for a family ticket) then to Aldi for shopping (shopping should come in around £40 this week). If we can stick to this plan and not eat out for lunch on Saturday or Sunday then I'm happy with the above. Have a great weekend all!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 4th Feb 17, 5:23 PM
    • 1,321 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    good things about today
    1. We got our son's first pair of glasses ordered. He's only just 4 and he was apprehensive but picked a pair of superman ones so he's delighted now. And even better, it's only costing us £15.

    2. We were toying with going into Greggs to get lunch for us all (unhealthy alert!). We stood outside debating (but it's convenient... Etc) then decided NO! We will go home for lunch. Had wraps with chicken, rice and salsa for free, saving probably about £12 that we'd have spent in Greggs.

    3. While youngest was napping, spent two hours with eldest son building Lego. He loved it and I loved it. It was just nice to have one on one time together without pressure of being anywhere or other things to do.

    3. We have spending money put aside for a takeaway with friends tonight so no guilt about spending.

    not so good things
    1. Went to next to get eldest son new trainers (I have a voucher) but didn't get anything so will need to look elsewhere and spend actual cash.

    2. My house is still a tip. I cannot find a balance between working full time, spending time with the kids, resting and keeping the house clean. I only seem to be able to master the basics- tidying, dishes, laundry and bedding.

    3. Had to transfer money out of our emergency fund so that husband can buy stuff for a job he's doing at the weekend. As soon as he's paid for it it'll go straight back in but it makes me feel uneasy that the accounts are now 'corrupt'. I need to get a grip, don't I!

    Hopefukly by 9pm well be home,kids tucked up in bed and one little gin in hand.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 5th Feb 17, 8:55 PM
    • 1,321 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Can't quite believe the weekend is over already. how did that happen??

    +
    1. Weekly shop was £44 which includes all lunches and dinners for the week.

    2. We didn't need to pay for takeaway last night as our friends insisted in paying. Husband had fixed their electrics last week for nothing so they wanted to say thanks. £20 saved!

    3. Managed to come home for lunch both Saturday and Sunday instead of going for convenience despite temptation.

    -
    1. Needed quite a few toiletries and a few cleaning products so ended up spending £26 in Home Bargains. Everything I bought was needed though anf it came out of our spending account but I just hadn't planned on spending that.

    We now have about £90 to do us until 14th but I have a full tank of fuel so it's just next week's shopping and about £30 of fuel for husband and any incidentals so think we should make it. It'll be easier to budget next month when all spends can go into the account at the start of the month.

    Child benefit goes in tomorrow and husband should get paid again on Tuesday (if his boss pays him on time!!) so the account will look healthy. Got £157 coming out next week so the balance will look good, starting the big save for the ginormous end of month bills!!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 5th Feb 17, 10:03 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,726 Thanks
    Bobarella
    You sound like you've had a busy few days. I recommend the fly lady thread for getting on top of a good household routine. It's over on the old style board if you haven't seen it already.

    To be honest playing Lego with your kids is way more important, I doubt they will remember having a bit of jumble at home but they will remember time with their mum. But as an adult I agree it is nice to have order over it all.
    " 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
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 5th Feb 17, 10:51 PM
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    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Oh, Bobarella, my mum used to talk about flylady. Something about shining her sink? I'll pick her brains and take a look as you suggest because something has got to give. I'm time poor, but I don't want to live in a hovel. Sometimes not knowing where to start is more overwhelming than just getting something done so a plan will help.

    Yes, the time playing Lego was fab. Today when I went out to get the shopping, my husband spent a couple of hours on the floor with my eldest doing jigsaws then building a scalextrix (sp?) an playing with that. That was after a hard morning at the swimming pool!

    He definitely thrives on some one on one time without his toddler brother destroying his masterpieces.

    Meal plan complete
    Lunches:
    Taco bowls and rice
    Bacon, Lentil and veg soup - six portions made

    Dinners:
    Pea and bacon risotto
    Mince and potatoes/ shepherds pie
    Sticky chicken and noodles
    Campfire stew on jacket potatoes
    Spag bol (bol in freezer)
    Sausages sweet potato fries and veg

    I have £8 in my purse an no plans for spending this week other than a pack of Heck sausages when I'm passing Sainsbury's so hoping for a really low spend week until the weekend.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 5th Feb 17, 11:11 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,713 Thanks
    angelpye
    JoJoC, thought I would return the visit and see how you are getting on. You seem like you are doing great! Like Bob says the kids will remember the playing more than anything else...I did manage a big clean today as my DD tidied her room and played with Lego (firm favourite over here too) but I often let the house slide in order to just be with her. Guilt either way I think, guilt for not playing or guilt for messy home, I know which one I prefer
    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
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 5th Feb 17, 11:30 PM
    • 1,321 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for stopping by Angel! You're right, motherhood is the ultimate guilt trip isn't it?

    I feel like when the kids go to bed I should make a start on the cleaning but I do what I need to and collapse on a heap. That needs to change!

    In fairness, I did dishes, made soup for this week's lunches, put shopping away, tidied away all the toys and hung up some washing so its not like I've done nothing. My bathroom needs cleaned, my floors need done and about 500 other things!

    But now, it's time for bed!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 5th Feb 17, 11:36 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,713 Thanks
    angelpye
    Sounds like you did plenty to me JoJo! One day they will be grown and the floors will seem too clean, there is always more that could be done. Chilling out is waaay more important than a clean bathroom. sleep well, sounds like you earned it!
    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
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 6th Feb 17, 1:05 AM
    • 759 Posts
    • 984 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    I've enjoyed reading this thread so far! Keep it up! I'm attacking my debts with real passion too!
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 6th Feb 17, 9:13 AM
    • 1,321 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Sounds like you did plenty to me JoJo! One day they will be grown and the floors will seem too clean, there is always more that could be done. Chilling out is waaay more important than a clean bathroom. sleep well, sounds like you earned it!
    Originally posted by angelpye
    Thank you! That makes me feel slightly less guilty. Sometimes all you need is a bit of perspective and you've just given me some, and I appreciate it. My kids are loved, fed, clothed, clean, well mannered and played with so I think I should be satisfied with that. And if my floor gets cleaned once in a while, then that's a bonus

    I've enjoyed reading this thread so far! Keep it up! I'm attacking my debts with real passion too!
    Originally posted by zippygeorgeandben
    Thanks for stopping by Zippy and for reading! Sometimes I feel like I'm just babbling away to myself, but actually I'm doing this for me to keep myself accountable and if people pop by for a blether along the way then I'll enjoy the chat! How is your debt-busting going? Have you got a diary?
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 6th Feb 17, 10:59 AM
    • 527 Posts
    • 3,145 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Wow, you are so organised! Well done on everything so far.

    I have the same problem with housework, just not enough time! I managed to have a wardrobe sort out & ebay listing session only because I took a day of annual leave to supervise a boiler inspection but I do not want to have to use my vacation time to tidy my house! I've heard good things about the Apartment Therapy January Cure for breaking down into really small daily tasks, I think that the challenge is archived on the website so I will be looking into that this month.
    Working towards being debt free by 31st December 2019!
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