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  • FIRST POST
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,089Posts
    • 22,586Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Eager Elephant's Effective Everyday Excursion ...
    • #1
    • 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    Eager Elephant's Effective Everyday Excursion ... 1st Jan 10 at 1:40 PM
    ………………into Debt Freedom!!

    Over the last few months I have read people’s diaries and got all motivated so I think the time has come for me to do my own diary.

    About Me

    I am 29, married to my DH - 30 and we have 2 children, DS - 13 & DD - 7 today!!!
    We live in a rented 3 bed house, we have 7 cats, 8 ducks, 1 goose & 20 hens in our garden. We also have 100+ chickens, 10 geese & 8 turkeys on a rented field (near our house).
    I work part time (2 days) and I also do voluntary work 2 days per week leaving 1 day for myself. DH works full time with normal hours 9 -- 5 (unlike before).
    I am a Debt Adviser so I should know better but at least I have empathy with my clients!!!!

    Debts

    Our debt situation has gradually got worse over the years, in 2004 we owed about £6000, now it is £23,000+. Lots of reasons for this include being frivolous, my DH has depression and buying things makes him happy so I have allowed the spending to get out of control. Part of the £23,000 includes 2 cars which we brought recently, total = £14000 so I guess if we didn’t have them we would have about the same amount of debt!!

    We have been very good with our credit cards lately and I have not used mine for over 6 months, DH used his to buy tyres for his car instead of using his bank account and now he does not have the money to cover the cost!! Grrrr!!

    My debts are all credit cards:

    Barclaycard - £7,354.66 – approx £4706.65 is on 0% until Apr 2010 and the rest is on 24.9%.

    Paypal - £631.21 – just finished promo offer and now at 17.9%

    Amazon - £2,321.62 – some at 15.9% and 6.9% life of balance.

    Abbey - £889.82 – 0% until April 2010

    Total - £11197.31

    My DH’s debts are all credit cards:

    Amazon - £5,540.63 – 6.9% life of balance

    Paypal - £1,276.13 – some at 17.49% and 26.47%

    Tesco - £3,261.83 – 0% until 23/1/10

    Barclaycard - £1,872.56 – some at 14.9% & 27.9%

    Total - £11951.15

    Grand Total = £23148.46

    The plan is to clear DH’s Paypal card asap and then balance transfer some of the credit cards with the mixed interest rates to make it easier to keep track of and of course I know that the lower interest is cleared first.

    Finances

    Up until earlier this year we used to have a joint bank account into which both our wages were paid and the bills would be paid from this. DH thought that he was restricted as we did not have spending money so bought things of Ebay with his credit card.

    We now have single accounts which our wages are paid into and we pay the same amount in to the joint account each month to over the household bills. We each have to pay our own credit cards bills, car expenses and pocket money. Child Tax Credit is paid into a seperate account and is used to pay the childminder and for when we are skint in all accounts.

    I do not agree with the above re division of monthly cost but DH will not have it any other way. To make sure I can afford my half I have to include Child Benefit and CSA as my income, however CSA has just decreased by £40 per week so I am short on my income every month. Before Xmas I read the calculations and I think they are wrong so I need to sit down and write a letter to CSA asking for a recalculation.

    This Year – 2010

    Things are going to change this year as we are moving house and having a relative move in. Fingers crossed we will be in our new house on 1st February and then the relative will be joining us at Easter. (This has numerous problems attached as other relatives are not happy about this and are causing a stir)
    We are not sure what we will do with our current house but we may buy it and then rent it out – stupid idea I know when we are in debt!

    I also hope that in 2010 our debts will reduce significantly.

    This Decade – 2010 - 2020

    In the next few years we hope to buy a smallholding so will need to get a deposit together.

    I would also like to visit this place: http://www.blesele.org/

    I love elephants, I collect elephant ornaments and when I went to Sri Lanka I rode on the back of one and fed some. I love elephants.

    I think the price is quite reasonable (if I wasn’t in debt) so this is another thing to aim for.

    The Plan

    House Move – I sent an admin cheque to the estate agents last week for £460 which will probably be cashed next week – this money is sitting in my bank account but it does mean that I am unable to pay my contribution to the bills at the moment.
    I assume we will need 2 months deposit, so need to also save £1300 within the next few weeks. (The reason this is a bit up in the air is because we are renting from friends but they have decided to go through an estate agents and we are not sure if they will follow usual rental protocol or give us some leeway)

    I need to have a good declutter of the house by end of Jan. I started yesterday with son’s bedroom and have listed items on Freegle which will hopefully be collected this weekend. Anything not collected can go to the charity shop on Monday.

    I also need to speak to RSPCA about rehoming some of my cats as we cannot take them all with us. 4 cats will need to be rehomed, 3 of these are brother/sisters and are quite wild – they will be stroked on their own terms but cannot be held or anything like that. The other one is a male kitten we kept from a litter in the summer but he keeps urinating all over the house even when there is a clean litter tray so he cannot come to a rental home with us.

    Debts/House Deposit & Costs - I will continue to sell items on ebay and this money will go into a spare bank account I have to be used for the House costs or towards debts.

    I have been doing Butlins Bingo, I have had 1 payout of £10 and I am currently up to £5.13 – must remember to scratch every day and twice on Sundays!!

    I have been doing surveys on and off for a few years but never on a regular basis (as proven by the transaction history on each account!!). Last night (because I am sad and did not go out, not really I never go out on NYE I prefer to stay at home) I logged into all my survey sites and got updates on all balances etc:

    Yougov – 4585 points (need 5000 to payout £50.00)
    Pure Profile - £18.20 (need £25.00 for payout)
    Lightspeed – 2475 points (can take a payout now)
    Global Test – 76 points (need 1000) (had payout just before Xmas)
    Valued Opinions – £5.75
    Opinion Bar - £7.38 (need £10.00 for payout)
    Harris Poll – 460 HIPoints (need 2500) (some removed as no surveys done within 6mths)
    One Poll - £4.05 (need £40.00 for payout)
    Ipoints – 1280 (converted some of these before Xmas)
    Rewarded Opinions – 995 points (need 2000 for payout)
    MyVoice - 545 points (need 2000 for payout)

    So I will make sure I do my surveys every day or every 2 days if pushed for time.

    If anyone knows of any more survey sites please let me know. (I used to be a member of Toluna but it did not seem worth it for the points, unless I am missing something and someone can give me some hints)

    I will also post every day on a brilliant thread called ‘Payment A Day’ - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=2047605
    Basically you make one payment every day, no matter how small, to one of your debts or into savings. This money can come from money you have saved on your food bill, money you have raised by selling things etc. The total paid in 2009 was just under half a million - £500.000!!!!
    I have been doing this sporadically but need to concentrate and do it every day.

    I would also like to make special mention to a board on Motley Fool called Your Tomorrow Starts Today, it’s all about listing your goals for the month and trying to achieve them – sometime’s they may seem insignificant but to that poster they are a hurdle in life. If you need support every one there is willing to give it. Long term goals are an option but it’s all the little goals needed to get to the bigger ones.

    I have read Weezl74’s threads on the Old Style boards, I am part way through the 50p per day until Xmas. She is so inspiring and I wish to follow her lead and save some money on food this month. We don’t really have a food budget for this month as all spare money will be needed for house costs so I want to try and use most of the things out of the cupboard and fridge before we move –could be some interesting combinations.
    The chest freezer will not be coming with us, there is no room and it is on it’s last legs – luckily before Xmas I sorted it out so there is some party food, 2 turkeys and that’s about it – shouldn’t be too difficult to use up!

    I know what your all thinking by now – why doesn’t she stop waffling and get on with things!! – well it all starts here.

    Thanks for following me on my journey.

    EE
    Last edited by Eager_Elephant; 05-01-2010 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Realised also signed up for MyVoice!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 15 for November
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 01/11/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Page 65
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 21st Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,668 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Glad to hear of your husband's payrise. That's good news.
    " 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
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 21st Jun 17, 9:06 AM
    • 4,230 Posts
    • 26,404 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Good new on the payrise and paying the debt off. It must be a relief DH having a job he likes now and feels happier there.

    Well done on PA too x
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 21st Jun 17, 2:03 PM
    • 48,560 Posts
    • 178,861 Thanks
    beanielou
    Great news on payrise & one debt down
    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***
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 21st Jun 17, 8:23 PM
    • 8,351 Posts
    • 46,846 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Great news on payrise & one debt down
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Ditto from me too Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in November 2/5
    Lbs lost 14.5/107.
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 22nd Jun 17, 7:57 AM
    • 9,261 Posts
    • 44,990 Thanks
    Mooloo
    Well done on clearing one debt and upping payments for the others, and great news on the pay rise.
    I too have piles of washing on the sofa in need of ironing and putting away!
    I get it washed, but I rarely get organised enough to do it all in the one day.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 22nd Jun 17, 6:41 PM
    • 2,239 Posts
    • 14,230 Thanks
    parsniphead
    A debt paid of AND a payrise. Fantastic EagerElephant.
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £1088/2500 43.52%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing gets better until you get better.
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 24th Jun 17, 9:17 AM
    • 2,570 Posts
    • 21,137 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Hi EE

    trying to PM you but your inbox is full.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 2.02% paid House Deposit Contribution: 84% Emergency Fund: 43%

    All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us - J R R Tolkein
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 28th Jun 17, 9:17 PM
    • 4,089 Posts
    • 22,586 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Thanks everyone for your comments - DH is very chuffed with his payrise.

    He has had a mope over his debts this week - I happened to be on an property site having a nosy about a house in our village which is up for sale and have found a 2 bed bungalow with piggery and 5 acres for sale in the village I grew up in (and where my parents still live). I used to go past it on the school bus every day. Realistically a 2 bed is not big enough but assume they would allow an extension as no houses for miles and of course it is over £400k so we would never be able to afford it so DH has been moping that he is holding me back from my dreams and if he hasn't been so stupid with money we could have brought houses year ago and 'may' be in a position now to buy a property like that.
    Of course I am optimistic and the way I see it is that we are still young(ish) and with a bit of cutting back we can hopefully buy a smallholding in 10 years - its just right now we can't and of course I am also partly to blame for the debt as well.

    I have decided I am going to create a vision board (a la The Secret) and see if this helps me keep a positive mindset.


    Still doing surveys, cashed out another £20 from PA, cashed out £5 from another site and exchanged points for £15 Amazon.

    Have also added more stamps (from RM postal survey) to ebay and within hours had sold 1 batch so that was just over £12 after fees and postage and of course the stamps didn't cost me anything as I drop the postal stuff off on my way to work.
    Hopefully the rest will sell over the next few weeks.

    In smallholding news we have purchased 10 turkey poults ready for Xmas and have also ordered the piglets for 2 weeks time. The money for the turkeys came from the Animal pot and the piglet cost will as well.

    Other than that this month has been very long and payday is finally here tomorrow - it is desperately needed. I am out of loads of stuff inc shampoo so had to wash my hair in shower gel tonight!!!
    Doubt I will be bothered to shop after work tomorrow so it will have to be Friday night as Saturday daytime I am helping at an event.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 15 for November
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 01/11/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 28th Jun 17, 10:21 PM
    • 2,239 Posts
    • 14,230 Thanks
    parsniphead
    The bungalow sounds lovely Eager Elephant, but as you say, not quite right. I do believe the right thing will turn up when it's the right time for you.

    I'm sure your husband will come out of his funk soon and begin to see things more clearly.

    Good news about you turkeys and piggies. It may be a mini version of your dream but at least you are doing something. Enjoy what you have but soon you will have more.
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £1088/2500 43.52%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing gets better until you get better.
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 29th Jun 17, 7:42 AM
    • 1,152 Posts
    • 6,182 Thanks
    EatingTheElephant
    10 years ago (very roughly) hubby and I went to view a lovely field that was for sale and to cut a long story short realised if we wanted to buy a field we had no choice but to save up for one. So that is what we did, even though we had no idea how we would manage to save that much, even though it was disheartening to think it would be years and years and years, some days felt like we would never get there so why bother trying. But here we are!

    You've made so much progress, just keep aiming for that smallholding, I'm sure you will get there.
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 29th Jun 17, 9:04 AM
    • 2,239 Posts
    • 14,230 Thanks
    parsniphead
    Its all steps EagerElephant and you have already made a huge one. I must say when you say "The Field" my mind goes all Father Ted. Sorry
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £1088/2500 43.52%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing gets better until you get better.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 29th Jun 17, 8:32 PM
    • 4,575 Posts
    • 26,804 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Good to have a dream to aim for. The vision board sounds like a great idea to keep you going.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £671.22
    November NSD 5/12
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 30th Jun 17, 9:06 PM
    • 9,261 Posts
    • 44,990 Thanks
    Mooloo
    Having visualisation techniques helps me with my goals etc
    And following the secret, and similar books helps motivate me. (Most of the time!)
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 3rd Jul 17, 5:20 PM
    • 4,089 Posts
    • 22,586 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Payday arrived and I didn't get a chance to do a monthly shop until Sunday so had to wash my hair in shower gel again - it actually feels and looks fine so it has got me thinking about whether I can just use shower gel to do hair and body

    Have this week off work so today has been housework and sorting the budgets for the next few months - things have started to increase so DH and I will put more into the bill account each month. Have also looked at all my savings pots and realised that their interest rate has dropped so have opened 6 new e-saver's today which pay slightly more interest.

    Am thinking I should post a SOA as never put one up before although it will look disjointed as DH and I have separate finances.

    Am still on the Turtle challenge each month although June was a wash out as did not post much but I will do better in July.

    Also joined the Frugalwoods challenge although I have already spent loads this month so far. Its interesting to read the daily emails so I will keep on with it.

    Have already spent £200 of the food budget on a big monthly shop plus had dog at the vets today as she has poorly ear. she is very scared at the vets and wouldn't let them look, DH managed to look at the weekend so we knew it was an infection of some sort. We have drops and if no better in 3 days she will have to be sedated so they can look down her ear - they are worried a grass seed has got in although she is a short haired dog and usually common in long haired dogs.

    Will also be spending on Thurs as going to see an allergy therapist as I think I may have a lactose intolerance. I wouldn't mind but being gluten intolerant and mainly veggie would make life very difficult so I am hoping she can sort me out.

    Stamps not doing that great on ebay although have sold a presentation pack which I need to post tomorrow. Still have more stuff on there but on 30 day BIN so hopefully the rest will sell.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 15 for November
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 01/11/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 3rd Jul 17, 9:23 PM
    • 48,560 Posts
    • 178,861 Thanks
    beanielou
    Thank you again for all your help & support.
    You are a true star
    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***
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 3rd Jul 17, 9:36 PM
    • 4,230 Posts
    • 26,404 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Thank you again for all your help & support.
    You are a true star
    Originally posted by beanielou
    I agree, an amazing person
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 9th Jul 17, 9:06 AM
    • 4,089 Posts
    • 22,586 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Dog is much better and barks when she sees the ear drop bottle - she very rarely barks and is the most laid back dog ever (except at the vets) so I know she is feeling better.

    Went to see the natural allergy therapist and I do have a lactose intolerance as well as an intolerance to soya milk (which is what I have drunk for years as don't drink cows milk) and loads of other stuff.
    I am going to start a candida free diet and take some supplements for 4 weeks to try and sort that which will hopefully clear some of the intolerances. Then I can take some stuff for desensitisation to some of the other intolerances so I don't get much of a reaction from them.
    Since Thurs I have drunk no coffee (or soya milk), I had an awful headache for 2 days and by yesterday morning it had gone and I feel so much less bloated and awful than I have felt in ages.

    Basically I will live on potatoes, veg, fruit and meat (but only what we have reared)!! I will be a size 0 before I know it!!

    Didn't really achieve much on my week off although I liked having a week of pottering about.

    Brought our pigs home yesterday, we have 2 girls. I need to do some more surveys this week because with the vet visit for the dog and having to buy some obesity food for my other dog (she isn't losing weight with us weighing her food) as well as my other dogs food and cat food (which lasts 3 mths) there wasn't enough in the animal account so have withdrawn from Paypal the money from stamp sales and PA but am still short - need to work out how much I need to make up (although the pig feed and chicken feed will last about 6 weeks so could just take it back from the animal account after payday at end of July but don't really want to start owing money).

    Haven't don't my vision board yet but did bring an old notice board upstairs ready - need to do that this week as think it will really help my positivity.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 15 for November
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 01/11/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 9th Jul 17, 9:33 AM
    • 2,239 Posts
    • 14,230 Thanks
    parsniphead
    No cheese EagerElephant.

    Decaf innovating yourself from coffee is evil. I'm glad your feeling better.

    I do love the idea of a vision board. I may steal the idea and do it in my workroom.
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £1088/2500 43.52%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing gets better until you get better.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 9th Jul 17, 9:37 AM
    • 4,230 Posts
    • 26,404 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    As for no cheese, vegan cheese that doesn't contain soya doesn't cut it. At all.

    We don't eat any dairy/soya, you do get use to it after a while and it just becomes normal.

    Hope it makes you feel better though.

    Good news about the pigs too.

    Hope you have a lovely day x
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 9th Jul 17, 8:19 PM
    • 4,575 Posts
    • 26,804 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    When I was 5 I went off milk, eggs, butter and marg. I don't know why. Never touched them since and am healthier than the average person (touch wood, fingers crossed in case of jinx for saying this!!). I also haven't touched meat for 25 years.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £671.22
    November NSD 5/12
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
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