Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,224Posts
    • 23,991Thanks
    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. 27 for March
    NSD - 1/18
    (up to 2/3/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Page 79
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 4th Mar 18, 10:21 AM
    • 4,224 Posts
    • 23,991 Thanks
    Thanks ladies for comments - I get a glow of happiness when I realise the debts are coming down, I will beat that credit card.

    Ebay is going well, thanks for asking Seasidegal - I have just listed the last of the reference books and have started on the CD's. The reference books are very specialist so should sell over the course of the next month or so - they are all on BIN for 30 days and then I will review after that.
    Don't have space to keep them hanging around so want rid asap so will accept most offers.

    Unfortunately my packaging order has been delayed by snow, the order has been in the next county since last week so not as bad as being half way across the country. Our snow is melting well so hoping it comes soon, text I got yesterday implies it will come today but I doubt that although they may be working today to clear backlog.

    Have nearly sorted final bills for F-I-L and claimed all money due to him which is good as one less worry, not heard from auction house, will ring them mid month if not heard anything.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 27 for March
    NSD - 1/18
    (up to 2/3/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    • 1,696 Posts
    • 10,278 Thanks
    The parcels should have started moving now EE. Good news on F-I-L's bills nearly sorted as well.

    Hope you're all feeling well in the EE household!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings for Retirement! - £0
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 10th Mar 18, 12:57 PM
    • 4,224 Posts
    • 23,991 Thanks
    Thanks SSG.

    I got my parcel on Monday and posted my backlog on Tuesday, have had some more sales in the week as well. Am going to reduce the price on the reference books that only have 10 days left to see if I can shift them.

    Have now paid all of F-I-L's bills, just waiting for payments in from various places. Auction house sent letter this week with listings, auction is at the end of the month.

    I have just paid off one of DH's credit cards, using his own money of course - his monthly saver matured so got some interest as well.
    Now to start on the next one - the next smallest balance is over £2k so will take a while to clear but clear it he will.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 27 for March
    NSD - 1/18
    (up to 2/3/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th Mar 18, 5:08 PM
    • 5,366 Posts
    • 34,791 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Another card bites the dust, well done
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £206.05
    March NSDs 3 AFDs 2
    Weight loss 6/10LBS Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    April holiday £220/£900
    Dining room fund £100
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 10th Mar 18, 5:09 PM
    • 7,275 Posts
    • 35,641 Thanks
    Echoed. Well done EE
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    Winter 17/18 Savings Rate Goal: 25% [October 30%]
    Declutter 60 items before 31.03.18 9/60 ** LSDs Target 10 for March 03/10 **AFDs 10/15 ** Sales/TCB Target 2018 £25/£500 NSDs Target 10 for March 02/10 Trying to be a Frugalista
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Mar 18, 3:06 PM
    • 51,636 Posts
    • 200,637 Thanks
    Glad that another card bites the dust
    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***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 11th Mar 18, 6:02 PM
    • 1,504 Posts
    • 8,915 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Everything is on its way down on the money front , great news .
    CC1 £3993.62
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

130Posts Today

1,424Users online

Martin's Twitter