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    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,204Posts
    • 23,794Thanks
    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
    !!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;into Debt Freedom!!

    Over the last few months I have read people!!!8217;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!!!!


    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!!!8217;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 !!!8211; approx £4706.65 is on 0% until Apr 2010 and the rest is on 24.9%.

    Paypal - £631.21 !!!8211; just finished promo offer and now at 17.9%

    Amazon - £2,321.62 !!!8211; some at 15.9% and 6.9% life of balance.

    Abbey - £889.82 !!!8211; 0% until April 2010

    Total - £11197.31

    My DH!!!8217;s debts are all credit cards:

    Amazon - £5,540.63 !!!8211; 6.9% life of balance

    Paypal - £1,276.13 !!!8211; some at 17.49% and 26.47%

    Tesco - £3,261.83 !!!8211; 0% until 23/1/10

    Barclaycard - £1,872.56 !!!8211; some at 14.9% & 27.9%

    Total - £11951.15

    Grand Total = £23148.46

    The plan is to clear DH!!!8217;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.


    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 !!!8211; 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 !!!8211; stupid idea I know when we are in debt!

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

    This Decade !!!8211; 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:

    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!!!8217;t in debt) so this is another thing to aim for.

    The Plan

    House Move !!!8211; I sent an admin cheque to the estate agents last week for £460 which will probably be cashed next week !!!8211; 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!!!8217;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 !!!8211; 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 !!!8211; 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 !!!8211; 4585 points (need 5000 to payout £50.00)
    Pure Profile - £18.20 (need £25.00 for payout)
    Lightspeed !!!8211; 2475 points (can take a payout now)
    Global Test !!!8211; 76 points (need 1000) (had payout just before Xmas)
    Valued Opinions !!!8211; £5.75
    Opinion Bar - £7.38 (need £10.00 for payout)
    Harris Poll !!!8211; 460 HIPoints (need 2500) (some removed as no surveys done within 6mths)
    One Poll - £4.05 (need £40.00 for payout)
    Ipoints !!!8211; 1280 (converted some of these before Xmas)
    Rewarded Opinions !!!8211; 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 !!!8216;Payment A Day!!!8217; -
    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!!!8217;s all about listing your goals for the month and trying to achieve them !!!8211; sometime!!!8217;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!!!8217;s all the little goals needed to get to the bigger ones.

    I have read Weezl74!!!8217;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!!!8217;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 !!!8211;could be some interesting combinations.
    The chest freezer will not be coming with us, there is no room and it is on it!!!8217;s last legs !!!8211; luckily before Xmas I sorted it out so there is some party food, 2 turkeys and that!!!8217;s about it !!!8211; shouldn!!!8217;t be too difficult to use up!

    I know what your all thinking by now !!!8211; why doesn!!!8217;t she stop waffling and get on with things!! !!!8211; well it all starts here.

    Thanks for following me on my journey.

    Last edited by Eager_Elephant; 05-01-2010 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Realised also signed up for MyVoice!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 24 for January
    NSD - 16/18
    (up to 27/01/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Page 77
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 14th Jan 18, 4:25 PM
    • 3,418 Posts
    • 29,328 Thanks
    So sorry for your loss EE. I hope it's sorted out soon and you're not left in this limbo of organisation for goodness knows how long.
    DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 14th Jan 18, 8:31 PM
    • 4,204 Posts
    • 23,794 Thanks
    Spoke too soon - DH is struggling mentally and has said that he would like to run away from it all. Of course we all know what happens when he thinks like that...
    We have talked it through and he does know that running away wont solve things, I did tell him that if he had told me this earlier (before it got dark) he could have taken himself off to our field and sat in one of the huts just with peace and quiet for a few hours.

    He is still planning to return to work tomorrow as sitting at home is not helping him (albeit he was off last week as he had flu on top of the whooping cough).

    He has not come with me to FIL's flat as he says he found it too odd last week when he did come with me to collect clothes so I have been both days this weekend for a few hours. One day I sorted the majority of the clothes and took them to charity and another day I did a tip run with some rubbish bits like the duvet, pillows, clothes that charity wouldn't want and out of date food (baking ingredients).
    I am hoping that as the bedroom looks less like it was when he was alive that DH will be ok to come there in the week or next weekend.

    Nothing happening until Tuesday when we register the death and then I can get going on ringing everyone up and trying to start sorting things.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 24 for January
    NSD - 16/18
    (up to 27/01/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 14th Jan 18, 8:33 PM
    • 4,204 Posts
    • 23,794 Thanks
    Meant to say that I appreciate all your comments.

    Have tried to keep on with surveys etc but not had much success with doing much but have kept Swagbucks going - I can run the video apps which sort themselves out as long as I move them along ever few hours which of course I have time for. I have met my daily target for 14 days so far so will get a bonus at the start of Feb as well as extra points.

    I managed to cash out £5 to Paypal this week and also £19.91 from PA.
    I am already half way to my next £5 so hopefully will be able to claim that by the weekend.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 24 for January
    NSD - 16/18
    (up to 27/01/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 14th Jan 18, 8:57 PM
    • 5,218 Posts
    • 33,031 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Takes me right back to clearing out my mum's It's an awful job

    Take care xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £153.08
    Jan NSDs 4 Feb AFDs 1
    Weight loss 4/10LBS Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    April holiday £0/£900
    Dining room fund £150
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 14th Jan 18, 10:12 PM
    • 9,450 Posts
    • 45,994 Thanks
    Sorry EE,
    Just caught up with your situation. Big hugs.
    I hope that DH finds the strength from within to fight his demons, and look after himself. You really don!!!8217;t need all the extra Agro
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 3rd Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    • 817 Posts
    • 3,986 Thanks
    Hope things are ok EE, let us know how you're getting on
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £17410 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2018 challenges: coming soon!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 3rd Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    • 50,550 Posts
    • 193,241 Thanks
    YEs, EE~~how are things with YOU?
    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 Feb 18, 7:26 AM
    • 4,204 Posts
    • 23,794 Thanks
    Crikey I didn't realise I hadn't been on for so long - I just don't seem to have had a spare moment since I last posted.

    F-I-L funeral is today and I am hoping he will be pleased with what we have done.

    Life just seems to have been a whirlwind since he passed away, during the week I work full time and then in the evenings I come home, walk the dogs, make something to eat, wash up, chat to DD and DH about their days and then its time for bath and bed.

    Weekends have been spent clearing F-I-L's flat, apart from last weekend when I took my best friend to London for her birthday, the trip was booked before F-I-L passed away and the theatre tickets were not transferable. DH couldn't face going to the flat on his own so stayed at home all weekend.

    The flat has to be handed back by Monday morning so this weekend will be manic trying to get everything cleared finally but I will feel much better once it is done.

    I am hoping today will bring some closure as it still feels very surreal and I still cant quite believe he has died, each Sunday morning I still wake up and think about the day and what we need to do and for a brief moment I think about what time we will visit F-I-L and then it dawns on me that he is not here anymore.

    DH is managing well and has been back at work for a few weeks and is even back driving albeit still coughing but as we know the triggers he only drives once he has finished coughing so he doesn't faint. (going from indoors to outdoors sets him off and also laughing!!)

    Hope to be back on later today or if not early next week when life may have calmed down.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 24 for January
    NSD - 16/18
    (up to 27/01/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Feb 18, 8:20 AM
    • 50,550 Posts
    • 193,241 Thanks
    Hope all goes as well as it can EE.
    Will be thinking of you.
    Take care of you xx
    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***
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 7th Feb 18, 11:40 AM
    • 1,095 Posts
    • 8,923 Thanks
    Thinking of you today

    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 7th Feb 18, 2:23 PM
    • 9,450 Posts
    • 45,994 Thanks
    Hope all goes as well as it can xx
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 7th Feb 18, 7:02 PM
    • 8,602 Posts
    • 49,382 Thanks
    Hope today went as well as it could Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 11:60
    Lbs lost 14/107.
    Savings for Florida £77.90/£1000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Feb 18, 10:11 PM
    • 3,390 Posts
    • 21,375 Thanks
    I hope the funeral went well today EE.
    My Diary
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 8th Feb 18, 8:56 PM
    • 6,935 Posts
    • 51,951 Thanks
    apple muncher
    It has been such an intense time that it is no wonder you feel surreal.

    Thinking of you.
    NST Feb Forester #5; NSD 12/18 ; Ex 16/20 ; craft 3/20 (21); remove 51
    2018 Pay off: £563; 2
    018 sell

    Mortgage £22,936 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 9th Feb 18, 7:36 AM
    • 1,369 Posts
    • 7,830 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    EE I have never stopped by your diary for a long time , sorry to hear of your loss . Hope the funeral went of ok and that DH managed the day.
    Jan 2018 CC1 £3099 CC2 £220

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 9th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 9,396 Thanks
    Hope everything went off as well as it could in the circumstances EE.

    Also good news that OH is on the mend and is back at work and driving.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 10th Feb 18, 4:51 AM
    • 4,204 Posts
    • 23,794 Thanks
    Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.

    The funeral went amazingly, the tribute and DH's 'letter' to his step-dad brought nearly the whole service to tears.
    The wake went really well, we held it in the communal lounge of the complex he lived at which worked well as some residents could not attend the service as too far away but they could attend the wake.

    We will gloss over the fact that 1 son decided not to attend at all, he decided it would be hypocritical to attend when he had not seen or spoke to his father in 5 years. On the one hand I admire his morals and on the other I think that it was his father and he should have said goodbye.
    We will also gloss over the fact that since the funeral the other son (the nasty one who is attempting to be nice) has made contact to ask about the belongings
    Still cant believe he only waited 2 days to ask. This is the son that received nealy £40k in 2010 when a house was sold and spent it all in 3-4mths and still he wants more.
    I think he wants the massive stamp collection - well that has gone to an auction house so not even in anyones house.
    DH has offered to send a copy of the will - he will get a shock as it leaves everything to DH and I.
    I await a solicitors letter to say that he should have been provided for again, F-I-L took legal advice when he redid his will, after the house was sold, and has done a statement about why his sons are not in the will (they got the money from his house sale which is what they were due in the original will)

    The keys to the flat have to go back this weekend so I will mainly spend this weekend clearing the last of the flat.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 24 for January
    NSD - 16/18
    (up to 27/01/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 10th Feb 18, 5:55 AM
    • 1,347 Posts
    • 1,601 Thanks
    Good luck with clearing the flat. It's an awful job & feels like you are throwing someones life away. I still have "stuff" from clearing my mother's house over 5 yrs ago - stuff I really don't want but can't bear to just dump.

    At least one of his sons was not prepared to be a hypocrite, personally I would see that as a good thing & he may have issues with his sibling too & not want to be drawn into anything "untoward".
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    • 50,550 Posts
    • 193,241 Thanks
    Glad all went as well as it could.
    I will make no comment on the sons.
    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 11th Feb 18, 10:46 AM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 9,396 Thanks
    Yes it went off well and I’m sure your FIL would have been proud of you and for arranging everything so thoughtfully.

    Thinking of you this weekend re the final throws of the flat clearance. It’s so heartbreaking I know.

    Not long now before you cut all ties with the biological offspring.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
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