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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 68
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 5th Sep 17, 9:56 PM
    • 4,782 Posts
    • 20,879 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    SOrry to hear about relative

    But so happy DD is enjoying her new school, definitely the right decision made there.

    Hope you're looking after yourself too take care 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 Sep 17, 10:06 PM
    • 47,264 Posts
    • 169,941 Thanks
    beanielou
    SOrry to hear about relative

    But so happy DD is enjoying her new school, definitely the right decision made there.

    Hope you're looking after yourself too take care x
    Originally posted by Hiddenidenity
    Ditto from 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***
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 6th Sep 17, 7:10 PM
    • 3,330 Posts
    • 28,604 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    And me too. Sounds like you have loads going on at the moment. Good news that dd is enjoying school, and I hope your dh and relative are on the up soon...
    NSTSeptember #32 NSD 8/18 RYSAW17 #1 £1313.42 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 7th Sep 17, 9:43 PM
    • 810 Posts
    • 4,140 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hi EE. Have finally caught up with your diary since February. You are soooo right - it's never boring at the EE abode! Good news about your daughter and her school, but sorry to hear that relative has been poorly - he's so lucky though to have you.

    Whilst reading through your diary I loved one remark you made in that you said that your family only eat meat that you have reared yourself. How wonderful to raise your own food! I'm sure that larger smallholding is there in the future for you and hubby!

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My debt free diary - " Paid off the £31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 10th Sep 17, 12:14 PM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Thanks ladies.

    Relative is still not walking and as the Carers are from the Crisis Team they can only do 6 days of care before longer term carers come in, the problem is relative needs a 2 person visit due to his legs not working and they don't offer this so on Friday he has been moved to a brand new cottage hospital (where people are not ill enough for hospital but not well enough to be at home).
    They can stay here for 2 weeks so with some intensive physio and hopefully the meds kicking in he should be up and walking in that time, if he isn't I am not sure what happens.

    Relative thought it was a good idea as cottage hospital in the town where I work but actually the visiting times don't marry up with my work plus next week I have a lot on in the evenings and DH cant really visit as he works til late and it is 12 miles away.

    One of his carers mentioned that it would make life easier for me as I wont need to visit as often, I told her I still would but after thinking about it I realise that actually I don't have to visit every day and shouldn't feel guilty as I have my home, kids, DH and animals all to sort as well.
    The house looked awful all week and I have spent hours this weekend catching up, I cant let it slip again.


    Just been sorting out YNAB and the credit card bill and can confirm that we spent £580 on DD for her uniform and bits and pieces - I had budgeted £500 so not too bad.

    My bank account is looking very low as had to pay deposit for hen weekend next year and 1 person dropped out so as I paid on my credit card I have paid for 2 peoples deposit - I will either find someone else to take the place or share the cost between everyone.

    DH still not got his expenses from work so no debt repayment can take place. He has not yet heard back from the company we offered a 50% full and final to - this debt is not on the credit report but would be nice to get rid of it.

    We have more additions to the smallholding - we collected 16 cobb chicks yesterday, these are birds for meat so by Xmas we will cull them and have in the freezer ready for next year. Lets not discuss where they will go as pigs will go for slaughter in November and we have 10 turkeys to kill for xmas and we usually only sell 3 of them but we don't mind as we can then eat turkey throughout the year.
    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 10th Sep 17, 12:24 PM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Hi EE. Have finally caught up with your diary since February. You are soooo right - it's never boring at the EE abode! Good news about your daughter and her school, but sorry to hear that relative has been poorly - he's so lucky though to have you.

    Whilst reading through your diary I loved one remark you made in that you said that your family only eat meat that you have reared yourself. How wonderful to raise your own food! I'm sure that larger smallholding is there in the future for you and hubby!

    SSG x
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    You must have been bored SSG

    I could have given you a synopsis to save you reading - basically its plan to pay off debt, don't, then review and moan that no debt has been paid off and repeat interspersed with buying pigs/chicks/turkeys etc

    Just in the interests of clarity it is me who will only eat meat that we have raised (having been vegetarian for 19 years up until 6 years ago), DH and kids will eat any meat although obviously they prefer our own and we rarely need to buy meat except maybe breaded chicken which the kids like as a snack plus mince as we try to eat our own most of the time.

    I am planning on how we can have a cow or 2 as would like to have beef and obviously mince although when I cook mince for the family it smells rank, not sure if that is how mince smells normally or not
    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)
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th Sep 17, 3:06 PM
    • 4,284 Posts
    • 23,535 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Hope your relative manages to get walking soon. Can't believe carers don't do two person visits on Fridays, can understand weekends!

    I don't eat meat, not done so for 27 years, but Mr SA is a true carnivore. I don't mind cooking it for him though, as long as I don't have to eat it, it doesn't bother me.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £621.40
    September NSD 9/18
    Weight loss 0/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Sep 17, 5:16 PM
    • 47,264 Posts
    • 169,941 Thanks
    beanielou
    No double ups on a FRiday.
    Never heard the like TBH.
    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 10th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 21,907 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Sorry ladies I think my grammar may have been somewhat lacking - there are no double ups full stop (not just on Fridays).
    The mention of Friday was because relative went to the cottage hospital then.

    Sorry for any confusion.
    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)
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Sep 17, 8:38 PM
    • 47,264 Posts
    • 169,941 Thanks
    beanielou
    Well that is even worse.
    No double ups.
    What sort of tin pot service is that
    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***
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Sep 17, 9:14 PM
    • 810 Posts
    • 4,140 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    You must have been bored SSG

    I could have given you a synopsis to save you reading - basically its plan to pay off debt, don't, then review and moan that no debt has been paid off and repeat interspersed with buying pigs/chicks/turkeys etc

    Just in the interests of clarity it is me who will only eat meat that we have raised (having been vegetarian for 19 years up until 6 years ago), DH and kids will eat any meat although obviously they prefer our own and we rarely need to buy meat except maybe breaded chicken which the kids like as a snack plus mince as we try to eat our own most of the time.

    I am planning on how we can have a cow or 2 as would like to have beef and obviously mince although when I cook mince for the family it smells rank, not sure if that is how mince smells normally or not
    Originally posted by Eager_Elephant
    Wasn't bored at all EE! You talk a lot of sense.

    Re the mince - I normally brown mine off in small batches in a deep frying pan over a very high heat. It seems to keep the smell down ...

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My debt free diary - " Paid off the £31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
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