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  • FIRST POST
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 21st Feb 14, 6:56 PM
    • 1,441Posts
    • 3,408Thanks
    ani*fan
    Tales from the city
    • #1
    • 21st Feb 14, 6:56 PM
    Tales from the city 21st Feb 14 at 6:56 PM
    Hi there

    How is everyone? All good I hope. I had a diary on here for a few years called Tales from a Country Cottage. I won't bother with a link, it really wasn't exciting, but I do remember the wonderful support you lovely people offered me, and the joys of matched betting, mystery shopping, online free bingo (that was a good one) and various other strategies for making cash. All good stuff.

    I have since moved to the city, hence the new diary and its new name. This feels very much like a fresh start and my goodness, I need one.

    I was previously determined to clear my debt and at times actually managed to make it go down. Then life happened, threatened redundancy, separation from ex- OH, a house move, and then another one, then an application to do a PhD and various other expensive things that meant I took my eye off the ball.

    And boy, did I...

    My debt is now eye- watering and bigger than it has ever been in my life. I'm scared that I won't make ends meet every month and I have managed to max out 2 credit card in the last 6 months. I am constantly worried that something will go wrong with my car and not only do I have no money to get it fixed, I have no credit either.

    Things are desperate, more so than they have been in years. I have moved to one of the most expensive places in Britain (not my choice, it was where I was offered a training post, 15 for fish and chips...really??) and am currently in a panic that I may need to give up my PhD and move back home. My debt repayments every month are massive and sometimes I can't cope with checking my accounts online.

    So I was sat here feeling helpless and depressed and wondering what on earth I was going to do. Then I remembered this place. And suddenly I'm all inspired again.

    Maybe, just maybe, there's a chance I can sort this out.

    I know what needs to be done. I have to sort out my spending, I have to cut back on everything, I have to find ways to make extra cash, I have to seek out freebies, I have to find ways to live cheaply and most importantly I need to PAY OFF THE DEBT.

    I can do it. And you are all my inspiration.

    Thank you so much for reading and if you want to drop by and share your thoughts, feel free.

    Time to get started!

    a*f








    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
Page 38
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 23rd Feb 17, 5:39 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Me and OH have underestimated how much cash we would need this month. In the last 5 days before pay day we will need to raid the wedding fund for food money. Oops. Changed days though from having to stick it on a credit card so not too worried. We did save 200 to the house fund and 550 to the wedding fund so perhaps over ambitious. Ah well. It's all learning.

    The wedding fund is so close to being complete. Never thought we would get there but it's happened. Just goes to show what's possible when you try.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 23rd Feb 17, 7:57 AM
    • 2,359 Posts
    • 18,972 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    Well done on the savings Ani. It does all add up doesn't it.

    Fortune x
    Moving Costs: 98% Mortgage: 25% remaining House Deposit Contribution: 60%

    "It is possible to move mountains by carrying small stones."
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 26th Feb 17, 7:11 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Well done on the savings Ani. It does all add up doesn't it.

    Fortune x
    Originally posted by Fortune Smiles
    Thanks for that, Fortune Smiles. Yes it does, and it's a great habit to get in to.

    I have woken up a bit frustrated at the debt situation. Saving and trying to pay off debt at the same time is very difficult, as I'm sure everyone on here knows. I wondered if it would help to track everything on here, savings too and the wedding budget, to boost my motivation and think of the bigger picture. So here goes...

    Warning: this is quite a long post and mostly for the purpose of keeping myself right!


    The debt

    Virgin CC 1,550
    HSBC CC 5,550
    Overdraft 1,800

    Total 8,900

    This is all at 0% for a long time. Minimum payments are 175 per month.


    Savings

    Help to buy isa 2631.33

    This is topped up by the maximum 200 monthly. An extra 25 to be added for every 100 is too good an offer to refuse. We're very happy with this little nest egg, and property prices are still falling in our area so it's not the right time to buy, even if we were in a position to, which we're not. Yet.


    The wedding

    Paid already 4,422.52
    This is cash paid to the venue for food and drink for 80 people, and for our outfits, our rings, deposits to various vendors (celebrant, photographer and band), invitations and gifts for the wedding party.

    Savings 2,779.49
    This is for full payment to our vendors, the cakes (cupcakes) and alterations to our outfits. It's also for flowers, hair and make- up and a car. All of this has still to be costed.

    Still to save 1,300
    This includes the honeymoon deposit and any other bits we haven't thought of yet or if something that's not properly costed yet comes in a bit over budget. We are asking for honeymoon contributions as gifts from our guests. The figure is achievable by the end of April.

    We decided to increase the total budget by 1.5k after our parents very kindly contributed to the cost so the total is somewhere around 8.5k. We've been able to be a bit more generous with things which is lovely. I am confident we haven't overspent on frivolous nonsense and that we have created the loveliest day we could for all our family and friends with the money we decided we could afford.

    A small part of me thinks we can't afford any of it and the debt could be gone if we didn't get married. But mostly I'm fully confident the debt will be gone before we start paying interest on it, and that I'm so excited to marry OH I wouldn't have it any other way.

    What next?

    So after April the wedding will be sorted and paid for. That leaves 5 months when we can overpay the debt by 550 per month before we get married. Adding in minimum payments during that time, and we will start married life with 4,925 debt.

    If we can maintain that level of debt repayment and I don't see why not, then I am now in a position to propose a debt free date of April 2018.

    I am still trying to sell my expensive thing which I would use to hurry along the debt free date.

    I am still waiting to hear from the tax people about this mysterious rebate. If it comes, it can also go to debt.

    But even if they don't, I think I may have the finishing line in sight.

    Oh my word. *gulp*

    Also, by that time the help to buy isa will have 5,400 in it. Still not enough but we will have so much more free cash to save harder.
    Last edited by ani*fan; 26-02-2017 at 7:20 AM.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 26th Feb 17, 9:10 AM
    • 4,246 Posts
    • 23,712 Thanks
    in need of direction
    It's all sounding very positive. Just make sure that when the wedding comes, you just kick back and enjoy. No regrets about debt or savings boost. Fingers crossed it'll be a once in a lifetime experience so make it memorable.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 119,481.83 today 83,478.58, target 75,000 by 31/12/17 Offset fund today 3,415.43 target 5,500 by 31/12/17
    Emergency fund 5.5k & 200 cash.
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • hiddenshadow
    • By hiddenshadow 26th Feb 17, 2:03 PM
    • 2,091 Posts
    • 9,255 Thanks
    hiddenshadow
    April 2018 sounds like a great target date to be 1) married and 2) debt-free.

    If all the debt can stay on 0% until then your plan sounds brilliant. Achievable, not too far away, but still with current-day things factored in (wedding, HTB). You'll be amazed at the progress you can make on HTB once you can focus all your spare cash into it.
    MFW: Dec '13 197,100 / Dec '14 180,691 / Dec '15 161,669 / Dec '16 119,669 / May '17 105,084.91 (6,000 offset)
    Payment 40/84 / 2017 MFW #56: 14,583/20,000 72% / MFiT-T4 #15: 54,415/90,000 60%
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 28th Feb 17, 6:15 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Thanks for the support, lovely people. Managing all of this money feels very grown up, and about time given my age. But learning how to manage the debt was very similar. Maybe it's these skills that are helping me with the wedding and htb savings.

    Anyway, onwards. Payday today, budget tweaked and money all transferred and accounts topped up. Just waiting now for minimum payments on CCs to go out so I can update my signature.

    Happy debt busting everyone
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 3rd Mar 17, 9:44 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Well, I'm off work today and thought I would meander on over to my old thread and look for some moneysaving tips. If anyone's interested, here's the link:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3437287

    So I realised a couple of contradictory things. The first is that I absolutely loved living in the countryside. There was sheer pleasure to be had every day in the garden, the wildlife and the changing seasons. I would love to have that again. Country living is definitely for me.

    The second thing is something I already had in my mind, that car- free living is amazingly cheap and reduces stress massively.

    Now, OH has some experience of living in the countryside, and there's certainly plenty of it around here, so maybe that house we saw in our street a few months back is not the house for us after all. Maybe we could go much more rural. How amazing would that be?

    Problem though, you can't live in the countryside without owning a car. That's a given. Is there a more affordable way to own a car?

    I'm away to research it.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • hiddenshadow
    • By hiddenshadow 4th Mar 17, 11:24 AM
    • 2,091 Posts
    • 9,255 Thanks
    hiddenshadow
    We're really looking forward to more countryside living.

    Re: car we bought an 11yo car with 50k miles on it for < 3k cash, even with an unexpected repair it's been pretty economical for a year's running. We're hoping to keep it for at least another 4-5 years, ideally more like 10, at which point we'll have saved up enough for a decent upgrade (4,500) or a very nice upgrade (9,000) if we buy used in cash again.

    Not sure on ways to keep running costs down, but buying used in cash is definitely the way to go re: purchase.
    MFW: Dec '13 197,100 / Dec '14 180,691 / Dec '15 161,669 / Dec '16 119,669 / May '17 105,084.91 (6,000 offset)
    Payment 40/84 / 2017 MFW #56: 14,583/20,000 72% / MFiT-T4 #15: 54,415/90,000 60%
    • Igamogam
    • By Igamogam 4th Mar 17, 7:29 PM
    • 5,486 Posts
    • 43,010 Thanks
    Igamogam
    You sound very organised re wedding. Jeez weddings are expensive doos would be quite happy ,if my DDs decide to get married, that they do it all quietly and tell us afterwards. .......its what we did near 30 years ago after all
    Be the change you want to see -with apologies to Gandhi
    In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death. ~Sam Llewelyn
    'On the internet no one knows you are a cat'
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 4th Mar 17, 11:36 PM
    • 4,246 Posts
    • 23,712 Thanks
    in need of direction
    My father, who had five daughters, always offered to position a ladder at the bed room window in case we wanted to elope
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 119,481.83 today 83,478.58, target 75,000 by 31/12/17 Offset fund today 3,415.43 target 5,500 by 31/12/17
    Emergency fund 5.5k & 200 cash.
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 5th Mar 17, 5:27 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    We're really looking forward to more countryside living.

    Re: car we bought an 11yo car with 50k miles on it for < 3k cash, even with an unexpected repair it's been pretty economical for a year's running. We're hoping to keep it for at least another 4-5 years, ideally more like 10, at which point we'll have saved up enough for a decent upgrade (4,500) or a very nice upgrade (9,000) if we buy used in cash again.

    Not sure on ways to keep running costs down, but buying used in cash is definitely the way to go re: purchase.
    Originally posted by hiddenshadow
    I would really enjoy more countryside living too hiddenshadow. But I also enjoy the area we are in now, and we're not sure if we were to stay here, whether we would want a house or a flat. Houses are rare around here. It's fortunate we are not in a position to buy yet as we just haven't a clue.

    The car situation is tricky. I'd really rather not have one but buying cash sounds like a good plan, and not doing a huge mileage and taking care of the thing would help too wouldn't it? I always ran mine into the ground. It doesn't mean we couldn't use a hire car for long journeys.

    It's all food or thought.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 5th Mar 17, 5:43 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    You sound very organised re wedding. Jeez weddings are expensive doos would be quite happy ,if my DDs decide to get married, that they do it all quietly and tell us afterwards. .......its what we did near 30 years ago after all
    Originally posted by Igamogam
    We are very organised Igamogam. I think it's the only way to be to try and keep costs down because yes, it is very expensive. I couldn't cope with a last minute panic and having to throw even more money at it for things we hadn't thought of. But me and OH are working, and we've had help from our families, so overall it's not broken the bank.

    Saying that, if the debt was not on 0% and so well under control, then we may have had to prioritise differently. Fortunately we both have good jobs and it's all doable. I'm looking forward to the planning being over though, and having everything paid for, and just sitting back waiting for the day to arrive.

    We're both really excited about it all. My family are quite far flung and don't often get together so that in itself is exciting. A few have said they haven't been to a proper wedding for a really long time, that people just don't seem to do it any more, so they're especially pleased to be coming. I'm all for celebrating the good stuff.

    My father, who had five daughters, always offered to position a ladder at the bed room window in case we wanted to elope
    Originally posted by in need of direction
    Did any of you do it? Brilliant.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Mar 17, 7:23 AM
    • 3,872 Posts
    • 20,100 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Problem though, you can't live in the countryside without owning a car. That's a given. Is there a more affordable way to own a car?

    I'm away to research it.
    Originally posted by ani*fan
    I live in the countryside and we have 2 vehicles, a car and a truck (but we do have a smallholding).
    I work in a town 12 miles away.

    I try to limit my journeys to include more than 1 thing, so I get petrol when I am near a petrol station and running low, I only visit the shop if I am going out somewhere such as visiting relatives. If I had more time I would do my food shopping one night after work but evenings are busy with other things at the moment.

    I would never make a special journey to buy petrol or to nip to the shops - our closest shops are 6miles away.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 8 for May
    NSD - 8/16
    (up to 17/5/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 5th Mar 17, 7:30 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    I've just been doing my daily finance obsessing and noticed there are a few areas where we can possibly make some further savings in the budget and therefore overpay the debt this month. I just did a 10 transfer to the target cc. If I'm very careful I might get 100 overpaid; I'll keep on top of it and see how we go.

    I also forgot about my linked saver when working out the wedding cash plan. I need to keep paying 200 a month in to get the 5% interest. So, at the end of this month I will put 300 in the big wedding pot then leave the linked saver to top up 200 a month until July when the account matures.

    All of this means that debt overpayment can start up properly again at the end of March. Good.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 5th Mar 17, 7:43 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    I live in the countryside and we have 2 vehicles, a car and a truck (but we do have a smallholding).
    I work in a town 12 miles away.

    I try to limit my journeys to include more than 1 thing, so I get petrol when I am near a petrol station and running low, I only visit the shop if I am going out somewhere such as visiting relatives. If I had more time I would do my food shopping one night after work but evenings are busy with other things at the moment.

    I would never make a special journey to buy petrol or to nip to the shops - our closest shops are 6miles away.
    Originally posted by Eager_Elephant
    Hi Eager_Elephant

    Yes, that's it exactly. I would need to reduce the amount of journeys I did in the car to an absolute minimum. I remember that from before, trying to get the shopping done after work when I was in town anyway and struggling 'cos I was always so knackered then. But doing one big monthly shop helped, if I could face it, which often I couldn't. Hmm.

    Maybe this car- free spell has just been helpful in getting the debt paid down and owning one again wouldn't be too bad.

    Your small holding sounds fab Eager_Elephant. I love messing around in the dirt and growing things. I have very happy memories of that time in my life.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Mar 17, 8:49 AM
    • 3,872 Posts
    • 20,100 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Up until last year I used to have my shopping delivered - three stores deliver to us so we do have selection. I stopped when we started using Lidl more but now we have progressed back to one of the big 4 so really could start having it delivered again and then wouldn't have to worry about packing it all, loading and unloading it.

    I think everyone should have a go at growing things, whether that is just flowers or things to eat. we have a smallholding which is just for the animals and behind our smallholding is the village allotments so we have 2 of those - 1 had 5 apple trees on and we have now added a cherry, pear and plum tree to it. I think we will also plant some rhubarb so that plot will be all about the fruit and my plot is for the vegetables.
    I love spending time outside - I don't care about the state of my house I would rather be outside. Housework can wait until it rains!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 8 for May
    NSD - 8/16
    (up to 17/5/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • SmithfieldPartDeux
    • By SmithfieldPartDeux 6th Mar 17, 5:26 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    SmithfieldPartDeux
    Well done! Once you get the wedding out of the way you will smash the rest of the debt!
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 8th Mar 17, 5:20 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Well done! Once you get the wedding out of the way you will smash the rest of the debt!
    Originally posted by SmithfieldPartDeux
    Thanks, I certainly hope that's what happens.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 13th Mar 17, 6:27 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    OH had a bit of a windfall this weekend from the future parents- in- law, unexpected but badly needed. OH got a haircut and new undies, I got some trousers for work and we had lunch out for a treat. Free plate from Yo Sushi because they took a long time to make it. I can't say I was much bothered. I love it when cash appears that you didn't expect and then you get free stuff too.

    The kitten got spayed and I used a 10% off voucher. So far she is recovering well and due a check up this week. Apparently she'll have another check up 5 days after the first one, maybe not needed but it's included in the price so I'm going to use it and be on the safe side.

    My week looks horribly busy but I'm excited to be doing it in trousers that actually fit. The thought of the wedding has frightened me into hardly eating and I've dropped a trouser size. I can't say I'm complaining.

    I'm not sure how my overpayments are going to finish up this month but I'm trying hard to overpay something. 10 already, another 10 possible from my account and maybe 20 from the joint account. My 100 target was ridiculously ambitious but I do enjoy a challenge so I'll keep trying.

    My minimum payments should clear tomorrow so I'll be back to update my total. And it will be significantly smaller!

    Happy debt busting everyone.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 15th Mar 17, 2:30 AM
    • 1,441 Posts
    • 3,408 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Today the debt stands at 8,715



    Better, but still a long way to go.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
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