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  • FIRST POST
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,081Posts
    • 21,907Thanks
    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. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Page 66
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 11th Jul 17, 10:16 AM
    • 4,783 Posts
    • 20,884 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Hope everythings going well x
    DFW £1313.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £466.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 22nd Jul 17, 10:46 AM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Thanks ladies for posting.

    The fresh air diet (as my best friend calls is) is going ok - its a bit boring too be honest. I have eaten some cheese and butter as they don't contain as much lactose as milk or cream - I felt fine after I ate them. I'm not having them every day, just once a week really.

    Since Weds week I have also gone yeast free while I treat the candida - that is hard as it means I cant have GF bread which I love. Breakfasts are very boring.

    Earlier this week I ate something that should have been completely fine (it contained soybean oil which is on my list but I thought it would be such a small amount it would be fine) but within minutes of eating it I got stomach cramps and had to drive home very fast to reach the toilet. I felt so bad I had a sleep for 2 hours. I guess cutting out soyamilk means my body is probably more intolerant now.

    In debt busting news not a lot has happened - I haven't managed to do many surveys but will try to do some today as the weather is horrid here and we cant go to the field or allotment.
    I have however been accepted on to my local water companies panel to discuss issues - there are various online discussions with rewards in Amazon vouchers. Am part way through a discussion with another 2 activities to go and will then get £20!!

    The bank account is looking shocking - all the extra expenditure from the animal account has not helped but I have just withdrawn money from Paypal from selling stamps but it was only £15 but better than nothing.

    DH has received a letter from the company which I cancelled the standing order from - the balance has come down since 2014 and they are offering 50% full and final - this debt is not on his credit report, I think it might be an old business account. So we need to decide whether to do the 50% which is about £350 or use £350 to reduce a debt which is on the credit report so it looks better when we apply for a mortgage.
    I think we will go with the first option and get rid of another debt but any thoughts welcome.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 22nd Jul 17, 10:50 AM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Ooh forgot the most important thing...our moneysaving is going to take a slight hit as DD is moving schools and will be attending a private school.

    This is the place where DH works and his payrise will cover some of the cost.

    There have been various issues with teachers, a certain pupil and her friendship group that we don't think can be sorted. We did bring the issue to the schools attention and had a meeting with the deputy head but I think things have gone too far and its best if she has a completely new start now that she will be Year 10 and needs to concentrate on her exams.

    I feel I should remove myself from Frugalwoods' Ultra Frugal Month Challenge as it certainly isn't that!!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • pennywisepoundstupid
    • By pennywisepoundstupid 22nd Jul 17, 11:18 AM
    • 4,293 Posts
    • 12,879 Thanks
    pennywisepoundstupid
    HI EE.

    I think you right regarding the debt maybe just pay the 50% and then its gone and not hanging over DH.

    As for your daughter, I agree you have done the right thing, as you said she is going into her exams years and needs to be in a good, happy place to concentrate. Sometimes it's not about the money but the health and happiness of your family that counts.

    Take care.x.
    Be mindful of your self-talk. It's a conversation with the Universe."
    Save for summer £500/£500
    EXTRA DEBT PAYMENT AUGUST -MBNA£1000/£373
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 22nd Jul 17, 12:02 PM
    • 8,151 Posts
    • 45,065 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    HI EE.

    I think you right regarding the debt maybe just pay the 50% and then its gone and not hanging over DH.

    As for your daughter, I agree you have done the right thing, as you said she is going into her exams years and needs to be in a good, happy place to concentrate. Sometimes it's not about the money but the health and happiness of your family that counts.

    Take care.x.
    Originally posted by pennywisepoundstupid
    Totally agree Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in September- 4/5
    Lbs lost 7.5/107.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 22nd Jul 17, 8:37 PM
    • 4,284 Posts
    • 23,535 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Yup - I agree too xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot £621.40
    September NSD 9/18
    Weight loss 0/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 22nd Jul 17, 9:27 PM
    • 4,783 Posts
    • 20,884 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Me three.

    Hope you've had a nice day x
    DFW £1313.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £466.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 23rd Jul 17, 9:03 PM
    • 47,264 Posts
    • 169,943 Thanks
    beanielou
    You have to do what is best for your DD.
    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***
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 3rd Aug 17, 9:00 PM
    • 7,092 Posts
    • 34,315 Thanks
    brizzledfw
    Glad you're getting your diet and wellbeing sorted so it suits you better - horrible to be feeling so ill. Hope bank account perks up soon too xx
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    September '17 Savings Rate Goal: 33% [August 33%]
    Declutter 100 items before 30.09.17 67/100 ** LSDs Target 5 for September 02/05 **AFDs 13/15 ** Sales Target '17 £750 £225 so far
    **NSDs Target 5 for September 01/05 Trying to be a Frugalista
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 3rd Aug 17, 10:07 PM
    • 9,137 Posts
    • 44,586 Thanks
    Mooloo
    Keep on doing what you do EE, usually your instincts are right.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 4th Aug 17, 3:48 PM
    • 4,783 Posts
    • 20,884 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Keep on doing what you do EE, usually your instincts are right.
    Originally posted by Mooloo
    Totally agree x
    DFW £1313.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £466.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Aug 17, 7:46 PM
    • 47,264 Posts
    • 169,943 Thanks
    beanielou
    Thanks again for all your help with the door fund.
    So appreciated by me
    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***
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 23rd Aug 17, 8:32 PM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Crikey - a month has gone by and I haven't even posted. I am posting on the Turtles thread quite regularly but I never feel I have anything exciting to post. Maybe I need to post daily or every 2 days just to keep the momentum going.

    So whats happened in a month??? Not much

    Still not sorted DH's debt out, have tried to call a few times when DH gets in from work but the office is always closed. I think a letter might be best.

    Got more vouchers for doing surveys and the water company thing - that was spent on some red top fly catchers for the garden and also paid towards some of DD's new school shirts.

    Went to get DD's uniform yesterday - that was £250 for just the basics Still need tracksuit for PE.
    Also need to get new shoes, a new school bag and socks/tights (girls have to wear skirtsDD has never worn a skirt for school ever)

    I had set aside £500 for uniform so that should be enough.

    Also spent some royal mail survey vouchers on hair trimmers, ours have gone walk about and DH's beard was too long to shave so he had to trim it first. The vouchers covered the full cost.

    DS took his theory test last week and failed by 1 point - have rebooked for later this week - he better pass

    Still trying to do as many surveys as possible and have been lucky enough to catch a few from PA.

    Not a lot else going on really although payday is tomorrow and I have a week off next week
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 23rd Aug 17, 9:58 PM
    • 4,783 Posts
    • 20,884 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    So happy to 'see' you, was wondering how you where getting on.

    Glad you're still ticking along nicely

    Good luck for DS x
    DFW £1313.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £466.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • Skinnylatte
    • By Skinnylatte 24th Aug 17, 10:10 AM
    • 1,084 Posts
    • 4,498 Thanks
    Skinnylatte
    Good update, wow is school uniform really that expensive
    Mortgage @ 12/04/2015 £136121 £121927 10.43% DI £9.13 £6.58
    Mortgage free day 06/03/33 06/11/32
    Emergency/Offset Account £
    0/£6000 0%
    CC Balance £6100
    £3778 Paid 38%
    1st LBM 02/06/2013 £21595 Debt Free Day 27/03/2015


    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 24th Aug 17, 2:19 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 1,281 Thanks
    reality_check
    The months are flying in! Can’t believe next week is the start of September!!!

    Aww that’s annoying with 1 away from a pass, but the fact he is so close I’m sure he will get it next time. God knows what I would be like if I had to do mine again and never mind the practical – I’d probably get banned! xx
    25/01/2016 £18,675.63
    Current debt: £8,450
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 24th Aug 17, 8:20 PM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Good update, wow is school uniform really that expensive
    Originally posted by Skinnylatte
    Unfortunately it is, £250 got us a blazer, school cardigan, skirt, kit bag, hoodie, pe top and pe skorts

    The shirts came to £71 from Amazon (that's 5 shirts, I like these as they don't need ironing and are an oxford shirt so not see-through which is important at her age)

    I expect the shoes will be about £50 and the socks another £10.

    Then there is the school bag - £30?, stationery and art supplies as she is taking art.

    I may need to rob a bank
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 24th Aug 17, 8:22 PM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Aww that’s annoying with 1 away from a pass, but the fact he is so close I’m sure he will get it next time. God knows what I would be like if I had to do mine again and never mind the practical – I’d probably get banned! xx
    Originally posted by reality_check
    DH and I said the same, when we did our theory we didn't have to do hazard perception and as you say the practical would be I think we all pick up bad habits or more relaxed habits the longer we drive.

    Hopefully tomorrow will bring good news.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 25th Aug 17, 11:20 AM
    • 3,331 Posts
    • 28,604 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Gawd, I thought that £75 was expensive for a blazer, tie and trousers.
    NSTSeptember #32 NSD 8/18 RYSAW17 #1 £1313.42 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 28th Aug 17, 11:12 AM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    DS failed his theory again - by 1 point (again)

    Am pleased to report that after 18 years of driving I have finally paid for car insurance in full rather than pay monthly with a whopping charge
    Last year I decided to start saving towards car insurance so I could pay yearly, this was in addition to the monthly premium for last year.
    So I have just paid for my insurance for the year (on my credit card for now although I have it in a savings account) as trying to balance the budget for end of the month and didn't want a large payment pending as I am easily confused
    Will pay it off at the end of the week!!

    So next month I will just save for my yearly insurance without needing to pay monthly as well - it was £20pm so that's a bit extra back in the budget.

    I have this week off work so trying to sort the bedroom clutter (again) and get my paperwork up to date.

    Need to do some more surveys and keep on top of them.

    Tomorrow is the dreaded school shopping -= shoes, socks and stationery. Bag has been purchased online today.

    We are getting there slowly.

    Hope everyone has a good bank holiday.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
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