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  • FIRST POST
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 12th May 15, 11:19 PM
    • 37Posts
    • 51Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    From Bad to Good and back again
    • #1
    • 12th May 15, 11:19 PM
    From Bad to Good and back again 12th May 15 at 11:19 PM
    Hello MSErs!

    And so begins my sorry tale. Really, it began quite some time ago, when I was a fresh faced graduate with £9,000 of unsecured debt, a student loan and high earning potential. I haven't quite lived up to the high earning potential, but thanks to your help (I read lots of diaries without posting), I managed to pay off the £9,000, improve my habits, build up a not insignificant amount of savings and change career path slightly.

    "But that is surely good?", you are all thinking. Alas, not quite so. I have changed career path slightly, and am now more dissatisfied than ever. I earn less than before, and as my dissatisfaction increases, so does my spending. As my spending increases (mostly on food), so does my waistline. As my waistline increases, my clothes have developed a tendency to self destruct.

    I am now at a cross roads in my life. Do I splash out on two expensive work suits, or next time I enter Marks and Spencers, instead of taking the escalator down to the food hall, should I take the up escalator to menswear, bag two budget suits, scarper to the nearest LIDL, and put the combined difference into an ISA to save towards my brighter future, for the day when I work out what that is going to consist of?

    (At this juncture, more serious readers will castigate me before suggesting that I don't darken the door of Marks and Spencer at all, and instead seek out the nearest charity shop. However, I am not sure how well that would go down at work.)

    Flippancy aside, reading you all helped me control my spending and realise how fortunate I am. Unfortunately, my current state means I have lost my discipline, and I am coming dangerously close to the point where my monthly outgoings exceed my income. This is something I need to stop.

    Although I have savings, I still owe rather more on my student loan than I would have hoped to at this stage in my life. I hope that means I can still consider myself to be a DFW, at least until I become a MFW, assuming I ever manage to get a mortgage. That way, you can enjoy (tolerate?) my ramblings as I attempt to become totally debt free and gain some focus in life.
Page 3
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 17th Apr 16, 10:07 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Evening MSErs,

    I have reverted to my bad ways. I have regained 3 of my 6 lost kilos, and spent the last weekend before payday penniless, even though I have done nothing this month. Worse still, I have overspent, and eaten into my savings. In an attempt to return to better habits, I have spent the weekend batch cooking healthy food, been to the gym three times, and bought a spending diary.

    On that cheery note, I shall go and polish my shoes before another week begins.
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 18th Apr 16, 8:11 PM
    • 816 Posts
    • 1,610 Thanks
    Kitten868
    You sound like you need a target. How about we pretend you're in debt? You owe your mortgage £5k? Or pretend that the student loan is a proper going to bite you in the bum debt? Or that you have a direct debit to your savings that can't be avoided (like its a bill) act on it the day you get paid not at the end of the pay?
    Loan 1 £7100/£8000
    Loan 2 £5100/£5800
    Total £12200/£13800 12% PAID
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 19th May 16, 12:37 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Evening MSErs!

    After a rather long and horrible day at work, I am sadly still awake, and have been reading some of your interesting diaries, where I see my own awful spending behaviours reflected.

    Following various earlier comments (you know who you are, dear readers), I bought a financial diary, and I have been logging every single daily spend. The first week was frightening. I was spending £3-£5 a day on treats to get me through the working day. I have managed to curb that. The rest of my spending still leaves a lot to be desired. It seems that I spend all of my money on food, alcohol and enjoying myself generally. I am not sure if I even dare write down how much I spend on here, as it is frankly shameful. Like I have been saying for a year, I am not accumulating debt, but I am not saving anything, which is bad. Anyway, now I have bought most of the essentials for my new flat, I hope that my spending will start to drop a little, but if I don't control if, I doubt this will happen.

    Kitten868's suggestion re pretending I have a real debt is a good idea. I need to do something. My overall plan is not to be super frugal, but to just generally spend (a lot) less than I earn, so I can begin to consider a change of career into something I actually enjoy.
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 24th Jul 16, 9:25 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Evening MSErs!

    Just over two months without an entry. I have been better than before. I managed to reduce my daily spends on rubbish, which is an achievement. I am making an average of four lunches a week, and have mostly kept my food spending within budget. It's all pretty hard work.

    Today, I have applied for a better paid and much more interesting job. I imagine it will be pretty competitive, so am not holding out much hope, but it's a step in the writing.

    Hope your weeks get off to a good start.
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 20th Feb 17, 9:22 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Hello MSErs.

    I can't believe I have gone over 6 months without posting. In that time, I have managed to reach a point where the amount of money in my current account exceeds the balance on my credit card for two months running. This requires a lot of discipline, so I need to keep it up by not buying random rubbish I can't really afford. I also need to work on reducing my food spend a bit more, as the amount I pay out each week is outrageous. I am going to have a think and set some goals for the year. The first one is to update weekly about my financial mismanagement/developing financial brilliance.

    On a positive note, during 2016, I:
    - budgeted for Christmas
    - budgeted for annual spends like insurance
    - paid for all big purchases and holidays from savings
    - didn't get into any debt other than my mortgage.

    This is actually really difficult, and I find trying to have some semblance of a life whilst not returning to my former DFW status very hard.
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 22nd Mar 17, 11:02 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Evening MSErs!

    I am not good at posting here. I have been on an exotic holiday (pre-paid and budgeted for) and am now suffering from a severe case of post holiday blues.

    I am still trying to set my financial goals for 2017. I really want to get my savings back up to the level they were at before i bought my flat, but that is proving virtually impossible, unless I suddenly get a massive pay rise, which is unlikely.

    I have just done a post-pay day financial sort out, and whilst I don't have debts other than a mortgage, I am not saving enough and my pension contributions are rubbish. The only way I can see to change things is to get a better job.

    My goals for the next few months are:

    - to keep saving for budgeted annual spends like insurance
    - to try to claim back for delayed flights against two big airlines (resolver did not work)
    - to sort out my BT bill for line rental and internet which has somehow crept up from £25 per month to the ridiculous amount of £40.80 per month. Why is line rental so expensive? Compared to my mobile, it's frankly outrageous.

    In good news, I have now been with my current employer for sufficiently long to get a contribution to my gym membership. I'd forgotten about this, so I am thinking of doing something frivolous but sensible, like putting £20 a month towards premium bonds. I was tempted to use it for lottery tickets, but that is absolutely not MSE.
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 27th Mar 17, 11:07 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Evening MSErs!

    I had a good weekend and didn't spend excessively. In fact, despite a friend coming to visit and taking taxis, i was well within my weekly fun budget. Today I managed a NSD. This is going to be a very dull month as I seek to rebalance my budget after my exotic trip. I am suffering from post holiday blues though, so I am really struggling. It's not a good idea to go food shopping when you are in need of cheering up.
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 5th Apr 17, 11:28 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Evening MSErs!

    The last few weeks have been catastrophic. I haven't sorted out the awful new BT price increase. To compensate for being back from my exotic trip, I have been overspending on food (steak is not an MSE mid-week dinner option, and should be a TREAT...)

    In a moment of unusual sensibleness, I worked out that if I pay off an extra £100 per month, my student loan will be cleared in a year. This is totally achievable (if i cut down my food spending), and will leave me £200 a month better off, which is akin to a massive pay rise,

    Any MSErs who are on the verge of encouraging their children to take out student loans should look really carefully into the repayment terms. Theu are not as innocuous as we are led to believe.
    • Istartedontherighttrack
    • By Istartedontherighttrack 18th Apr 17, 10:00 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Istartedontherighttrack
    Evening MSErs,

    This month has been a money saving catastrophe, probably the worst since I started keeping this diary.

    I don't know what has gone wrong. I haven't had any major purchases. I haven't done anything big. I have just attritioned money. Since my exotic holiday, I have had a major case of the post holiday blues, and have been indulging in small spends to get me through grey reality. The net result is I am several hundred pounds out with two days until pay day. Meh.

    Today was the final straw. I had the wrong train ticket for my train journey, and had to buy a new one at a cost of £52. Then I found out I had left my cash at home. Then because I was tired and grumpy, I bought breakfast out, lunch out, and some treats, which I didn't need to get me through the afternoon. Then I went food shopping and tried to buy cheap things to cook instead of resorting to steak, as I have done for the last three weeks, and ended up spending then more than usual. I didn't buy any treats, so I don't know how that happened. I was too tired to go to the gym. I tried to log on here to rant, and forgot my password was locked out.

    From Monday, I am going to post my weekly spending totals on here for four weeks to shame myself into spending less. I hope it will only take me a month to get back on track, but am afraid it will be more like 3. Ugh. It took me over 3 years to become debt free. Since then, it has been a constant struggle not to return to my indebted status, and this month looks like it is going to mark my return.
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