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    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    • 147Posts
    • 379Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Help to keep me honest
    • #1
    • 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    Help to keep me honest 3rd Nov 15 at 10:23 AM


    Hi everyone,


    I have been reading many of the diaries and posts on this forum and there are so many inspirational people and individual struggles going on out there. I have had my own light bulb moment a couple of months ago when I realised that we have been living beyond our means for a while now, and I have been kind of in denial about this. Our unsecured debt had reached £17,420 . I am married and have a 17 year old son who is about to go to University in September 2016 and we will need money to support him also. About four years ago I changed career and took a significant drop in income, this was to try to find a better work life balance. My wife has a long term condition which means that occasionally she can get quite ill and exhausted and me being away all the time wasn’t really sustainable. Anyway, we did try to adapt to the lower income but in the end our spending exceeded our income. We had a special holiday a couple of years ago, to be honest because I wasn’t sure what the future held at that point. Some of the debt originated then. In the last couple of months, I have followed some of the advice and developed a detailed budget using YNAB, and I have cut back in many areas to the point where I can see the way forward to paying off this debt. But I realise that this is a change for life, and I need to keep honest. Occasionally, recently I still found myself kidding myself buying the odd thing on the credit card and ignoring the spend. So my aim with this diary is to post as regularly as I possibly can and record as honestly as I can what I am doing. I feel I need this community to keep going on this journey, since I know the pressure I will come under to spend, even if that pressure is coming from me!


    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
Page 2
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 8th Nov 15, 9:01 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,


    Yesterday evening was fun, went to the local fireworks display with OH, DS and his friend. Spent a bit since it was £5 to get in and we spent a bit each on food. But had a great time and really enjoyed it.
    On the money saving front, I came across this article http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/cut-loan-overdraft-costs on the forum. I am moving the CC debt to a zero interest card, but I also have a Natwest loan which is currently around £8,700. I am paying 6.9% on this. I had never considered using money transfer to pay off a loan before. So inspired by this article I applied for a Virgin Money card. I got accepted with a credit limit of £11,000. This has an interest free period of 32 months and a transfer fee of 1.69%. So I have done a bit of a rethink, and if I increase the repayments slightly over what I was paying on the loan I can clear this debt by November 2017. This is quite inspiring since it is 2 years away, and my birthday, and it feels so much better and more imminent than the original debt free date of July 2018. The bonus is that this card comes with a free case of six bottles of wine! It does seem crazy that in 48 hours I have been able to take out 2 credit cards with a combined credit limit of £19.5K. No wonder it’s so easy to get into trouble. I will need to stay disciplined to clear these cards and not used them as lines of credit.
    On other matters the Sainsbury shop arrived. One minor issue was getting 3 bunches of bananas instead of 3 bananas which we thought we had ordered! Anyone know any good banana recipes?! We seem to have forgotten some items but this is just getting used to it so hopefully this will be a good money saving strategy.


    Here are some DFW steps for today.
    1. Keep posting everyday on the small steps thread
    2. Applied for a Virgin Money Card so I can pay off Natwest Loan and move to 0% and pay off early due to interest savings (got a free case of wine!!)
    3. Today will be a spend free day
    4. This afternoon going on a mini-retreat with OH. Hoping for some spiritual guidance and inspiration!
    5. Filled in YNAB
    6. Did some decluttering and found some coats and clothing to take to charity shops
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • allybee101
    • By allybee101 8th Nov 15, 10:01 AM
    • 728 Posts
    • 5,220 Thanks
    allybee101
    Well done on your progress so far. With the new balance transfer CCs, make sure the physical card is out of sight and therefore out of mind so you're not tempted to spend on it. Put them in a sealed envelope at the back of a drawer, or wrap in a bag and freeze in a block of water in the freezer. You could even cut it up straightaway so it can't be used in a physical shop. When I last did a balance transfer 18 months ago I also shredded the PIN when it arrived so I didn't know what it was.

    On the banana mountain - banana bread is delicious. Lots of recipes online for banana and nut, banana and chocolate etc so take your pick.
    They also freeze very well.
    "Does it spark joy?" - Marie Kondo

    "Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." Napoleon Hill
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 8th Nov 15, 6:15 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Well done on your progress so far. With the new balance transfer CCs, make sure the physical card is out of sight and therefore out of mind so you're not tempted to spend on it. Put them in a sealed envelope at the back of a drawer, or wrap in a bag and freeze in a block of water in the freezer. You could even cut it up straightaway so it can't be used in a physical shop. When I last did a balance transfer 18 months ago I also shredded the PIN when it arrived so I didn't know what it was.

    On the banana mountain - banana bread is delicious. Lots of recipes online for banana and nut, banana and chocolate etc so take your pick.
    They also freeze very well.
    Originally posted by allybee101
    Hi allybee,
    Thanks, this is great advice, I will do this.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Nov 15, 8:57 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    It looks like morning is going to be when I post this daily thought. Just arrived at work, made a coffee and just grabbing a few minutes to post this before the day begins. We enjoyed yesterday afternoon's retreat. It was a good opportunity to get some quiet time and to recenter and focus. It brought to my mind that however bad things get for us, we are never alone, and this forum is evidence of that. It was also a spend free day which was good.

    Here are some DFW steps for today.
    1. Keep posting everyday on the small steps thread
    2. Signed up for myvouchers with Sainsbury (thanks to Crazycatlady for that tip!)
    3. Resurrected a winter coat from the wardrobe and realised its not that shabby so will last another winter!
    4. Scraped together enough change around the house to get lunch sandwich

    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 10th Nov 15, 9:19 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    I have heard from Virgin Money that the money transfer has been approved so when this comes through I will pay off the Natwest Loan, haven’t heard back from them yet on the settlement amount which I believe will include at least 2 months interest, but let’s see. On other matters, I have a potential opportunity to earn a bit extra with a project at work, these opportunities come along from time to time, sounds promising, should be firmed up in the next few days. In the past we would spend money like this several times over in our minds, or I would justify spends to myself on the basis that, well that will be covered by this extra. Now my attitude is more that, if it happens, great the debt will go down faster, and if not, still the debt is going down anyway! Looking forward to this evening’s dance class!! DS has got a great opportunity playing in the band at a pantomime and tonight is his first performance night, so hoping that goes well for him.
    Here are my DFW steps for today.
    1. 1. Keep posting everyday on the small steps thread
    2. 2. Resurrected a good suit from the back of wardrobe
    3. 3. Find out more about a project opportunity to earn some extra money at work outside contract.
    4. 4. Filled in YNAB
    5. 5. Today will be a low spend day
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 11th Nov 15, 9:01 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Not sleepwalking into debt
    Good morning diary and all,
    So yesterday the money from Virgin Money arrived and I paid off the Natwest Loan by phone. This cost me £100 in interest (2 months) and another £150 as a transfer fee. But on the other hand, I am saving approx. £1400 in interest, so the net saving will be £1150 over the life of the loan. It’s interesting to me how I was sleepwalking along dutifully paying this monthly interest. Thanks to MSE for making me aware of the possibility of using a money transfer to pay this off!

    Last night went along to the dance class which we really enjoyed. We pay for these in blocks of 10 so paid for the next batch. This is in the budget so that’s ok. The main thing for me now is to avoid using the credit cards or the overdraft to cover any spending. Thus I need to build up the buffer as per YNAB to be ready to cover any emergencies. I noticed that the last payment on the CC was the day before I started posting on this diary. No coincidence there, I am sure this daily posting is key to the mindset change.
    Here are some DFW steps for today.
    1. Keep posting everyday on the small steps thread
    2. Paid off loan with money transfer saving £1200 over life of loan
    3. Filled in YNAB
    4. Low spend day
    5. Signed up for surveys on Nectar Canvass
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 12th Nov 15, 7:24 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Pride comes before a fall
    Good morning diary and all,

    I'm off to a conference today so on the train this morning,
    So I am half way towards transferring all the debt to zero % with the loan already gone to a Virgin money card and the credit card will be a balance transfer to a Sainsbury credit card for which I received the letter yesterday so just need to post that off. Yesterday was a low spend day in the end. My dear OH had used up the banana mountain and made some banana and walnut cake which was really nice. The evening was pretty busy though with helping DS with his personal statement for his University application. On the money front, had a bit of a scare because the boiler was on the blink when I got in. The light was Amber and flashing. It seemed ok when I reset it but can't be sure yet. Hence the reason for the title of this post. Everything is going well so far on the money front, and this is usually just when something big comes along to laugh in the face of your puny efforts. You have saved a few £ here and there but along comes a massive bill to knock you off course. In the YNAB method they call this 'rolling with the punches'. Here's hoping we don't need a new boiler! I am off travelling today and tomorrow and in the past this has been an area of difficulty because you often end up spending. I find myself in more spend situations, ok only small amounts but it adds up. You can't always claim it back either.
    Here are my small DFW steps for today:
    1. Keep posting every day on the small steps thread
    2. Remembered an expense I can claim
    3. Resist temptation to spend whilst travelling on business for 2 days
    4. Keep filling in YNAB
    Keep safe out there y'all!
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 12th Nov 15, 10:02 PM
    • 3,327 Posts
    • 28,578 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Fingers crossed it's not a new boiler required. I'm lucky enough to know a gas man but I hate having to get tradespeople out...
    I really want to save for new doors and windows but don't know who to get to do it.
    NSTSeptember #32 NSD 8/18 RYSAW17 #1 £1313.42 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 4th Dec 16, 7:38 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Starting again
    Ok, here I am back after a year away. And in that time I have made really slow progress, reducing total debt to £16,077. In the meantime, a few setbacks have occurred including some household appliances giving up the ghost , the cooker and the washing machine and both needing to be replaced. Then the roof leaking and requiring redecoration of three upstairs bedrooms, And the car having a couple of major problems. On a more positive note, I have really got to grips with YNAB and at least can say that we are living within our means (just!) hence the very slow downward progress on the debt. Other good news is that OH has started a new job which means we have a bit more coming in each month. My goal now is to build up a buffer that will give us the ability to ride out the inevitable financial shocks that come along. And in the meantime, pay down the debt at a rate of £450 per month, Aiming to post at some kind of regular rate here which was the original plan to keep me on track.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 12th Dec 16, 12:09 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    I'm hoping to keep up some kind of regular posting here and that this will serve to keep me on track. Today I have finally been paid for a freelance project I took on over a year ago. At the time it felt a bit like a hospital pass because it was a project that had got behind schedule and the client was not really happy. But in the end it turned out to be really quite interesting. Although I was told I would be paid, to be honest I didn't quite believe it (I know that probably sounds strange). Anyway, to my slight amazement I have been paid today and it is £3000. I need to be careful because I will need to pay at least 30% in tax I reckon but still that leaves £2000. What I am going to do is to put this money into the savings buffer, so I have the £1000 available for the tax when the time comes. I now have a bit of a dilemma, because I would like to spend some of this windfall on a family holiday next summer (nothing too extravagant) and also a long planned and delayed refresh of the kitchen (refurb not new!). In the meantime, keep the repayments on the credit card going. I am sold on the idea of building up the savings buffer to cover unforeseen financial shocks. But I also feel that I need to continue to do a few positive things whilst at the same time grinding away at the debt.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 12th Dec 16, 1:53 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    I decided to do the SOA to see the situation since my OH has recently started a full time job and this should allow us to get rid of this debt since we now should have more disposable income to throw at the debt. I know that there are areas on here that we could cut back, In fact, compared to many other posts and diaries I have read on MSE I feel more than embarrassed that we have ended up with the debt that we have. We do pay for a cleaner now, this is to give my OH some space so she can concentrate on the new job which is quite demanding and so we felt this would be a good investment. This is the first time we have done this and it is a luxury that perhaps is more than a bit of an indulgence when in debt, although it has made a real difference to us. There are other areas, for example, we have a hobby we share that costs us together £80 per month which I would prefer not to cut back on. Then we give our 19 year old son an allowance of £80 per month, he is on a year out, but struggling to get regular work. So more areas where we could cut back for sure. A useful exercise this since it challenges your thinking.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 3
    Number of children in household.........
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 2375
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 1900
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 4275


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 624
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 230
    Electricity............................. 45
    Gas..................................... 65
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 33
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 80
    TV Licence.............................. 12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 52
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 520
    Clothing................................ 100
    Petrol/diesel........................... 235
    Road tax................................ 25
    Car Insurance........................... 33
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 100
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 87
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 80
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 35
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 12
    Buildings insurance..................... 8
    Contents insurance...................... 8
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 25
    Entertainment........................... 0
    Holiday................................. 100
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Prescriptions........................... 20
    Work related subscriptions.............. 26
    Hobbies................................. 82
    Cleaner................................. 60
    Newspaper subscription.................. 21.67
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2738.67



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 3160
    House value (Gross)..................... 350000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 3000
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 356160



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 87000....(624)......3
    Total secured & HP debts...... 87000.....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Virgin.........................8299......80....... .0
    Sainsbury......................7778......80....... .0
    Total unsecured debts..........16077.....160.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 4,275
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,738.67
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,536.33
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 160
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 1,376.33



    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 26th Dec 16, 3:29 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Ups and Downs
    Hi to all,

    Hope everyone is having a great Christmas and here's to a great 2017! I'm hoping to post here more regularly, as I feel I will be more accountable for my decisions and this will drive down the debt.

    This month has been a bit up and down, not in a major way, but in the way of some surprises both positive and negative. First of all my OH’s pay was down by £350 this month to do with the PAYE stabilising, she was overpaid in September, so should return to normal in January. This caused more than a bit of a panic trying to manage the budget because when you are trying to track every pound, the sudden disappearance of this much is more than a headache in December! After a bit of juggling though I managed to sort it out by moving some money out of the buffer. Thanks to using YNAB this didn’t immediately result in more CC debt.

    Wants or needs?

    The next big decision financially was to decide on a couple of big expenses for 2017, and are they wants or needs. I had planned to refresh the kitchen with new doors and drawers. The other issue is a holiday in 2017. We had a proper chat about these and decided that this year the holiday is a need and that the kitchen can wait. I realise that for many hardened debt busters a holiday is always a want rather than a need, but that’s our decision this year. So as a result we have allocated money for the holiday, but I made a payment to one of the CCs with the money allocated towards the kitchen. I think now in my mind that the kitchen will wait until we are debt free and the money is saved up. Psychologically it was a great feeling to see the % paid reach 15%.

    I’ve signed up for an Uber Frugal January challenge on another blog I follow. This family are hardcore frugal and I know that some of my spending is going to come under the spotlight with this, should be interesting. As a warm up for this I have reviewed the spending over the last 12 months I've been back through our monthly expenses and cut out a few more items that totalled around £50 per month.

    I think the other big expense I can tackle in January is our grocery bill that is too high so will be aiming to get this down by shopping at a different supermarket so will see how that goes.

    A result of all this tweaking is that it might be possible to clear this CC debt by December 2018 which is somehow a lot more motivating as 2 years seems not that far away and it feels like every small step is worth it.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th May 17, 12:31 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Taking Stock
    Hi Diary and all,

    I last posted here on Boxing Day 2016 so it is almost exactly 5 months ago. I go on the forums every day and read diaries, there are so many inspiring journeys out there, hope to post more in the coming days. I notice that since last posting I have reduced the debt by around £1500 so £300 per month, slow steady progress. January was interesting, took part in an uber Frugal challenge on a blog I follow elsewhere where you challenge each and every spend that you have to try to reduce it. This was an interesting experience and in some ways humbling to see how little some have to manage on. On the other side of the equation has been the unexpected; car needing surgery for an oil leak, washing machine died and sundry other issues. But the idea of setting up an emergency fund came to the rescue a couple of times and meant that I haven't used the credit cards or gone into the overdraft territory since I started this journey. I intend to keep it that way!
    Is it just me or is everything getting more expensive?! With a budget you see exactly what you spend versus what you thought you would spend. I'm finding each and every line is creeping up - council tax, monthly train pass, groceries etc etc.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 5th Jun 17, 1:07 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    32 days
    Hi diary and all,
    Interesting report on the BBC today saying that the average level of savings is 32 days of average spending. People were also asked what they would need as a buffer to feel secure and this was reported as one years worth of spending! This reminded me of the advice to have a buffer of 3 months spending in place. Somehow I had diluted this advice down and set my buffer at one month spending, maybe because it was more achievable and then ended up dipping into that for various reasons, so it had fallen to very little! So today I am resetting the buffer target to 3 months of spending and I am also setting myself a target to save up for a replacement car for when my current one reaches the end of its life. It seemed odd to me when I started out to save a buffer. Why save, why not just pay off the debt? But I get the idea now that there are at least two reasons to have a buffer. One, because when stuff happens you don't need to go straight to the overdraft or credit cards to cover it. But maybe more important is the idea that it is a good habit to develop for longer term reasons.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Jun 17, 1:46 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Parenting dilemmas
    Hi diary and all,
    My 19 year old DS decided to defer his University place until this September and take a year out. Myself and OH were ok with the idea as long as he found something constructive to do, work, volunteering etc. It hasn’t quite turned out as planned and we have had our moments over the last 10 months since he finished at college. He had a job for a couple of months in a local retail store whilst it was setting up in the run up to Xmas, but once it was up and running many of the staff were let go. Since then he has been doing various things, mainly to do with his music, performing at various gigs. He is very committed to his music (drumming) and works hard at it often practicing 2-3 hours per day. We have been giving him an allowance each month to keep him afloat. Recently, I insisted that he do something constructive for this and so he is volunteering at a local charity shop two days a week. This was because I was not comfortable with him not having something constructive to do during the day. He has tried to find paid work but so far nothing has materialised beyond the interview stage. So at the moment he does the 2 days volunteering and the rest of the time he is practicing or rehearsing or round at his girlfriend’s. I am also paying for his driving lessons because I want to help him be independent in the longer term. I know deep down that we are probably being far too soft on him and should stop subsidising him, but I think it may be too late to change things now before he goes to Uni. I know what I would say to someone else in this situation, but when it is your own it's different!
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 9th Jun 17, 2:30 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 2,606 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Hi
    Thanks for popping on my diary
    Will follow yours
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 9th Jun 17, 5:26 PM
    • 4,205 Posts
    • 7,573 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    You seem to have got to grips with budgeting and saving and yes an emergency and buffer fund is essential. Also saving separately for holidays, car and house maintenance and improvements. I don't use YNAB but I do use clear checkbook which uses an envelope system so you can see what you are spending on each category and remove money each month from your balance (not physically from the account) and that way you always have money there for these things.

    I think I would insist your son get a job or at the very least do things for you to earn his allowance/driving lessons. Has he really tried to get one or is he a bit fussy over what jobs he will take?
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 3.5 months to go.
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 10th Jun 17, 8:44 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi
    Thanks for popping on my diary
    Will follow yours
    Originally posted by UncannyScot
    Thanks UncannyScot!
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 10th Jun 17, 9:00 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    You seem to have got to grips with budgeting and saving and yes an emergency and buffer fund is essential. Also saving separately for holidays, car and house maintenance and improvements. I don't use YNAB but I do use clear checkbook which uses an envelope system so you can see what you are spending on each category and remove money each month from your balance (not physically from the account) and that way you always have money there for these things.

    I think I would insist your son get a job or at the very least do things for you to earn his allowance/driving lessons. Has he really tried to get one or is he a bit fussy over what jobs he will take?
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Hi enthusiasticsaver,

    Thanks for your comments. I am slowly getting there on the money front. Still I feel like I have more to learn from others on this forum.

    Yes, he is fussy about what he will or won't do, mostly to do with being vegan, which I respect and understand. For example, he doesn't want to work anywhere that serves animal products. Of course, that pretty much rules out many places. He will need to compromise in due course, and to be fair he is realistic about that. I admire his and his girlfriends idealism on this in a way. I have managed to get him to do a few chores around the house on occasion! We have had the odd blow up where I have asked him to do stuff and had an inappropriate reaction, in which case I have had to sit down with him and recalibrate and reset the ground rules. Problem is he would rather live really frugally than go out to work. I think the experience he had at the retailer didn't help. Times running out now on this year because he has various gigs and performances coming up and then goes travelling in July/August so I think its probably a done deal for this year.
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 11th Jun 17, 8:13 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Had an enjoyable night out on Saturday at an open air concert where DS was performing. Despite there being a bit of rain everyone was really enjoying themselves and having a great time with picnics. Really nice to see people enjoying simple pleasures after recent events. We had to pay for our tickets (£20 each) although his was free since he was performing in the band. We managed to keep the cost down overall by buying the picnic ingredients at the supermarket. We are spending quite a lot at the moment supporting him as he gets established in this band that he is playing for. To be honest, its worth every penny when I watch him performing after all the practice. I'm happy to cut back elsewhere to make this possible. Sunday has been combination of chores, doing a bit of work for work and going for walk to blow the cobwebs away. This evening we have travelled once again 60 miles to where DS needs to rehearse with the band. Am sat in a local pub with OH having a coffee together whilst we both tap away on our laptops! Hoping this week will be unexciting on the money front, boring is good for debt busting!
    Total unsecured debt - £8,417 (September 2017) - Debt free Target March 2018


    No alarms and no surprises
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