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  • FIRST POST
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,117Posts
    • 22,841Thanks
    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 69
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Oct 17, 3:49 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,958 Thanks
    beanielou
    How are the kittens?
    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 4th Oct 17, 9:39 PM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,841 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Thanks for all the comments - have nearly caught up with YNAB.
    Time just seems to be running away with me since the weekend.

    The kittens are all doing fab and now the small ones join the big ones to wait on the landing and peer down the stairs when I get in from work - they are all adorable.

    I have a photo of them all so will try and work out how to upload it.

    Lack of time continues as DH has concussion and is really quite ill with it, have been to the hospital who aren't too bothered but he has been off work all week so I am doing nearly everything including driving DD to school which is in the opposite direction to my work so have been late for work every day, so with running about I haven't really had a spare moment.

    Relative is coming home tomorrow so went to supermarket for bread and milk (plus cakes as its his birthday tomorrow and he has to provide cakes at afternoon tea!!!).
    Cottage hospital bringing him home and carers in place to start at tea time. I will call in after work and check how he is.
    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)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 4th Oct 17, 9:41 PM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,841 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Shameless copy and paste from the September Turtle thread ( I am running behind as been so busy but wanted to post so I have a record):

    *Try and check in once a day with your progress ! - Will try. Failed

    *! Write down everything you spend – I have YNAB to keep me on the straight and narrow!! Did this

    *You will aim for 18 SFDs! – Gulp…will do!! Managed 16

    *Budget to live off what is left! – Need to do my usual monthly money shuffle and that should leave me with £50 spending money for the month – need to pay £30 deposit for hen do next year. Spent all my wages within the first week on bills and other things, had to pay 2 deposits as a girl has dropped out and I put the whole group deposit on my credit card.

    *Budget for food - £350. This is for 3.5 of us (DS at Uni but currently home for summer and won’t return until late September. DD starting a school where she can have 3 meals a day so they should help reduce it in future. Managed this.

    *Try and eat everything in your cupboards and freezer BEFORE buying any more. – The cupboards are starting to look bare so may need to do a largish shop later this month. Did a medium shop and now the cupboards are bare again.

    *Lunch to work every day. – Luckily(?) as I am intolerant to loads of stuff I can rarely buy lunch out. Lunch was either from home or from the supermarket (but no ready made sandwiches or takeaways)

    *Plot the course of your social life – will allow £20 for meal out with bestie which will happen sometime this month. Met bestie and spent £20.

    *Decide on your DFD!– my debt is on 0% as defaulted a few years ago and there just seems no rush to pay it off. Was hoping to clear £3k of debt this year – have cleared about £900 so far so need to get my butt into gear. Not getting anywhere close to this, my income doesn’t seem to stretch.

    *Some sort of exercise per week, - dogs are walked twice a day for 20-30mins each time Did this every day.

    *Beauty spends are not allowed to exceed £10. – eyebrow wax is £10 (£8 for wax and £2 tip) Just the eyebrow wax

    *Make time for yourself this month – I take 30 – 45mins each evening after work to have a cup of coffee and read the paper, its so lovely to do as previously I have rarely taken time for myself. Did this everyday

    *Keep the heating off - our house is pretty well insulated so we should be ok for September. No heating on in September.
    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 4th Oct 17, 9:46 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,958 Thanks
    beanielou
    I dont know how you do it.
    I really dont.
    Hope all goes well tomorrow.
    How is your DS getting on?
    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***
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Oct 17, 9:47 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,958 Thanks
    beanielou
    Oh & sorry to hear about your DH.
    Hope he is on the mend soon.
    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***
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Oct 17, 9:50 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,958 Thanks
    beanielou
    When I had the concussion it took me at least a week to get over it.
    Not the best I have to say.
    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 5th Oct 17, 8:10 PM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 6,596 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hope DH is feeling better and relative enjoyed his birthday tea and cakes party.

    You're going gangbusters on the NSDs - well done you!

    A group photo of the ginger kitten pride would be lovely..........
    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!"
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Oct 17, 8:44 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,958 Thanks
    beanielou
    Waits patiently for the picture of the ginger cuties
    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 7th Oct 17, 5:33 PM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,841 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Your wish is my command:



    The one at the back and the middle one are the older ones we found in August and then the one at the front and the one laying on the middle one are our newest found in September.
    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)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 7th Oct 17, 5:35 PM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,841 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Todays picture:

    This one has a better shot of the one who was hiding in the last photo.



    Its difficult to gauge size but the smallest ones are tiny, one will fit in the palm of your hand.
    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)
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 7th Oct 17, 5:36 PM
    • 8,400 Posts
    • 47,236 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Aw, so cute! Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in December 1/5
    Lbs lost 10/107.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 7th Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,841 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    How is your DS getting on?
    Originally posted by beanielou
    He is getting on fine - he's been out more times in the last 2 weeks than he did in the whole of last year. Difference this year is that he is single - not sure if I mentioned it before but DS and girlfriend split up in August. This is the girlfriend who had the abortion - not sure if this contributed to it or not but I know she didn't discuss it with DS and DS did not like to raise it in case she was just trying to forget about it. Although he did mention that she was having counselling so hopefully this is via the Sexual Health clinic who offer specialist counselling.

    When I had the concussion it took me at least a week to get over it.
    Not the best I have to say.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    DH is still quite poorly, still off work. The pain from the top of the head where he banged it and had a cut has eased off but mid week he developed a severe migraine (different to his migraine that he suffered with before) which is still there now. We have tried loads of things but nothing has worked so he is just spending most of his time asleep except to go to the loo and when passing the kitchen grabbing a drink and some toast.
    Migraine is very common and is known as post-concussion migraine which can last for months - fingers crossed it doesn't.
    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 7th Oct 17, 6:47 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,958 Thanks
    beanielou
    Hope your OH is is the mend soon.

    I am in love with the kittens
    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***
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 8th Oct 17, 10:22 AM
    • 9,292 Posts
    • 45,068 Thanks
    Mooloo
    Wishing DH well from the sidelines.
    I have been caring for my Mum for about 10 days, and trying to do my work from her kitchen table.
    I am exhausted!
    Need some of your grit and determination myself at the moment.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 9th Oct 17, 10:31 AM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 6,596 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Kittens are gorgeous EE!

    Do hope OH is Feeling a lot better and migraine isn't the longer term variety.
    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!"
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 9th Oct 17, 8:28 PM
    • 3,374 Posts
    • 28,943 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Plenty of room at my house for more cats
    I love those kitties.

    Hope that hubby is on the mend soon, and that you get some time to yourself.
    RYSAW17 #1 £1313.42 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 13th Oct 17, 10:11 PM
    • 4,726 Posts
    • 28,127 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Sorry to hear DS broke up with his GF, I remember the abortion saga, what a shame. Been there, shrunk the tshirt when my DS split up with his ex. They were living together and had two cats, turned out rather messy. It was the start of a very bad year as Mr SA got ill not long after. Happily DS is now settled with another GF and has two kids of his own - the heartbreak is all in the past.

    Hope DH is better soon, how awful for him Yet again been there shrunk the tshirt .....

    As for those beautiful kittens - cute, cute, cute and sending big cuddles to them xxxxx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £20.70
    December 3 NSD
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 14th Oct 17, 5:22 PM
    • 2,217 Posts
    • 10,616 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope your DH gets over his concussion soon, headaches are nasty

    The kittens look so cute
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 15th Oct 17, 10:09 AM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,841 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    DH returned to work last week but did not feel able to drive so I drove him to work everyday (luckily same place as my daughter has school).

    Not sure that he should have gone back as still had the migraine but we stumbled on a remedy, DH is already on specialist tablets for his other migraine and one day I decided that maybe he could try increasing the dose which he did and it really helped, he does not normally take a lunch time one but by 4pm the morning tablet had worn off and the migraine was back with a vengeance so he has started taking some at lunch time as well and this has helped so much.

    DH did some driving yesterday, he started off with a drive to our field (1 minute away) and progressed to driving to the next town 6 miles away.
    He has gone to work today and has driven himself so fingers crossed nearly back to normal.

    He still gets a dizzy feeling when he bends over too quickly but it does seem to be easing off.
    I still cant believe a bang on the head would cause all this.
    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)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 15th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,841 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Sorry meant to thank you all for your good wishes for him - much appreciated by us both.

    Not much debt repaying going on although DH has some money in a savings account which can go to debt but need to just move some money around and get on with it. Don't want to pay out too much as he had off work for a week and not sure if he will be on full pay for that or not.

    Other than that I am trying to get on top of the housework and the garden as they have been somewhat neglected for the last few weeks.
    Managed about 5 loads of washing yesterday and have 2 loads on the line now with another 1 just finished - thank god for this summer weather we are having in Suffolk.

    DH managed to mow half the garden yesterday, he will get a larger mower from work next week and mow it properly as he has a day off.
    I will be out there soon to chop some brambles down ready to fill the brown bins.

    Not been on the Turtle thread so far this month so really need to catch up with that.
    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)
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