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    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    • 79Posts
    • 264Thanks
    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 - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
Page 3
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 22nd Jun 17, 8:42 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hanging on for the end of the month
    Hi diary and all,
    This has been such a difficult month, one of those months where not going backwards feels like a victory. Checked the balance yesterday and found £13 left in the current account. We have not gone overdrawn since I started this diary and I don't intend to start now. Had to transfer some money over from savings, but should be able to repay with expenses coming in a few days. It can be a real grind sometimes. This is yet another of the mini LBMs when I realise I have loosened the purse strings a bit too much. Hoping to be able to update the signature with at least a 1% reduction at the end of the month. Tiny amount but it will feel like a big deal if we can do it.
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 30th Jun 17, 8:20 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Restating Goals
    Hi diary and all!
    This has been a difficult month, I won't lie. Somehow lots of unbudgetted expenses,several to do with supporting DS with gigs that he got at the last minute. It's important for him to do these partly for the experience but also because he builds his reputation as a reliable go to musician. It all costs though with petrol etc but luckily the in-laws have stepped in on a few occasions. Anyway, we scraped through to the end of the month with the debt reduced by 1% although nothing left for savings. Some months are like this, and debt reduction is a grind. But I read the start of someone else's diary on here this month which started with a set of goals and that reminded me that I need to stay focused on why I am doing this. I have decided that I want to:
    1. Pay off the debt in max 2 years from today (July 2019)
    2. From then on, save towards retirement, aiming to be able to stop full time work when I am 60 (at least have the option to work part time).
    Towards Goal 2 I am paying into the work pension scheme, and when the mortgage comes up for renewal in July 2018 I am going to go for a mortgage term that pays off when I am 60. When I get rid of this debt I will go across to the Mortgage Free Wannabe thread, can't wait for that day!
    I should get a payment in July for a piece of freelance work, so I am planning to use this to reduce the debt also.
    Anyway, good luck to you all in your many and various struggles, keep posting I get so much from reading all your diaries.
    Happy Friday and have a great weekend
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 2nd Jul 17, 2:01 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Where did all the money go?
    Hi Diary and all,
    So I have looked at the budget for June and reconciled what we spent as a household versus budget and the mystery is solved, I have taken my eye off the ball in a big way. The main areas of overspend:
    • Mobile phones - budget £80 actual £120 (caught out using phone on trip to Dublin messed up with roaming charges)
    • Groceries Budget £520 actual £659 (I know, how is it even possible to spend this much? We experimented with recipe boxes, but too expensive)
    • Eating out budget £50 actual £160 (travelling away to DS gigs ended up eating out more than normal)
    • Clothing budget £100 actual £259 (neither of us have spent much on clothes for ages, we both bought clothes for holiday)
    • Fuel budget £235 actual £383 travelling to gigs
    • Cash budget £200 actual £300 no real reason
    • Incidental (I have a category for the uncategorised spends) budget £0 actual £90 (not even sure what this is)
    So net effect is overspend of £776 ish. This is effectively money not saved that could have been.
    I aim in July hoping to record here my discretionary spends, at least this way I will feel more accountable. We have a holiday coming up in July, paid for from some extra work last year, but still need to get the spending money.
    Goals for today
    • Mow the lawns
    • Go for a walk
    Spends from yesterday
    • Cinema – tickets free had vouchers
    • Meal in Nando’s £22.35
    • Clothes OH – Shoes £10 she had money from In Laws
    • Clothes me – £20 out of £50 budget
    Things to be grateful for
    At the moment we have our health. I’m so aware from things happening to those close to us that the most important thing is to be healthy, money and finances come second to that.
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Jul 17, 9:43 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi Diary and all,

    Busy week with a bit of travel ahead. Aiming to keep a daily log of spending this month to keep things under control.

    Goals for today
    - No discretionary spend day
    - Bring in lunch
    - Don't buy any coffee on the way to work

    Spends from yesterday
    - OH £20 on Next bill
    - Groceries £90 at Sains
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 4th Jul 17, 6:54 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Morning Diary and all,
    Just a quick update, off to a meeting today so have to get the train.

    Goals for today
    Try for another NSD. Attending a meeting in another city, lunch is provided

    Spends from yesterday
    NSD!

    Have a great day everyone!
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • chevalier
    • By chevalier 5th Jul 17, 7:17 AM
    • 7,735 Posts
    • 17,965 Thanks
    chevalier
    hi there
    i have to ask why do you do your grocery shopping in Sainsbury? Virtually any other supermarket would be cheaper to go to than them. I mean let's face it kellogs cornflakes are the same in any shop eg so why pay more for the branding of the shop?
    good luck
    chev
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 5th Jul 17, 7:59 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    hi there
    i have to ask why do you do your grocery shopping in Sainsbury? Virtually any other supermarket would be cheaper to go to than them. I mean let's face it kellogs cornflakes are the same in any shop eg so why pay more for the branding of the shop?
    good luck
    chev
    Originally posted by chevalier
    Hi Chevalier,
    Good challenge, thanks! I have done a few comparisons and not found a lot of difference with say Morrisons which is our other big local. Aldi and Lidl would be cheaper but are not nearby. But to be honest it is partly about convenience, habit and we will sometimes buy on line. You have got me thinking, though, I will do the next shop at one of the discounters and see how we get on.
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 5th Jul 17, 8:10 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi diary and all,
    On the train on the way to a 2 day conference, hopefully no way or at least no need to spend any money. Its a lovely sunny day.

    Spends yesterday
    Failed with the NSD. Set off and forgot to take any water so had to buy bottled water. Funny how hard it is not to spend anything.
    Water £1

    Goals for today
    NSD - remembered to bring water!
    Managed to resist temptation to buy a coffee at the station - hard habit to break.

    Hope you all have a great day !
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 6th Jul 17, 7:01 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi Diary and all,
    Day 2 of the conference. Met some lovely people who really care about what they do and others. Reassuring, because if you believe what the media say everything has gone to **** and all anyone cares about is themselves. This forum is an example of people supporting each other for no reward, anonymously. That's a good puzzle for the economists.

    Yesterday was a NSD and hopefully today will be too.

    Goals for today
    Hoping my presentation goes well...
    DS has an important music exam today. He has practiced for months. Fingers crossed for him.

    Hope you all have a great day!
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 7th Jul 17, 8:23 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Morning diary and all,
    Working from home today.

    One more week to go and then off for a week holiday away and a week holiday at home.

    Debt creeping down after some payments yesterday.

    Goals
    Just get organised for the weekend and next week

    Spends from yesterday
    It was a NSD

    Have a great day.
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 8th Jul 17, 7:56 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Morning diary and all,
    It's a lovely day out there, looking forward to a long walk later.

    This week we are shopping to a meal plan and using up as much as possible what we already have in the freezer and cupboards. Went through the freezer and organised it, and then decided to defrost it as it needed it. Discovered 7 bags of roast potatoes! Thanks to the prompt above from Chevalier, I made a manual shopping list and then entered on mysupermarket.com. Sainsbury was the cheapest (compared with Tesco, Morrisons etc) at £47 by a few pounds, mainly because of special offers I had chosen. Aldi and Lidl did not give a result because too many items are missing. I'm sure that Aldi and Lidl would be cheaper in fact, so one week coming up I plan to go to one of them and do the shop. But getting down to £47 is good, although not really representative since we are in using up mode so at least 3 meals will be made out of ingredients we already have. So to the spends:

    * Groceries £47
    * Piano lesson £8 (this is a hobby for me)
    * Driving lesson for DS £32 (1 1/2 hour lesson) as he approaches the test

    Goals for today
    * Piano practice
    * Go for a long walk

    Hope you all have a great day!
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 8th Jul 17, 10:43 AM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 7,503 Thanks
    joeyjimbles
    Hi
    Well done on tackling your shopping spends. I would suggest that you could maybe shave more pounds off by using fewer branded items in your shopping.
    This will also allow you to see how the discounters can help you more too as they don't carry many branded items - at least not in a format we are familiar with. This can be a bit trial and error as some things you will like and some you won't, and sometimes it's about overcoming one's own (or family's) reluctance - cereal for example, took ages to persuade children that rice snaps were precisely the same as the branded alternative but it worked in the end. At first shopping in the discounters used to be about 40% of my shopping but now I'd say it was 80-90% and I also use B&M and Home Bargains for some brands.
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Jul 17, 8:33 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi
    Well done on tackling your shopping spends. I would suggest that you could maybe shave more pounds off by using fewer branded items in your shopping.
    This will also allow you to see how the discounters can help you more too as they don't carry many branded items - at least not in a format we are familiar with. This can be a bit trial and error as some things you will like and some you won't, and sometimes it's about overcoming one's own (or family's) reluctance - cereal for example, took ages to persuade children that rice snaps were precisely the same as the branded alternative but it worked in the end. At first shopping in the discounters used to be about 40% of my shopping but now I'd say it was 80-90% and I also use B&M and Home Bargains for some brands.
    Originally posted by joeyjimbles
    Hi joeyjimbles,
    Thanks for your advice, really appreciated. I will give this a go. I have started substituting a bit already, but there is definitely more to go at here. As you say, some things are easier to substitute than others. I hadn't thought of B&M and Home Bargains, I will swing by and check them out.
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Jul 17, 8:39 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Lovely sunny day! Going out today to watch DS perform in a music festival, should be fun. A week today we go away on holiday for a week and then have a week on holiday at home, can't wait. The next shop I do is going to be at a discounter.

    Spends from yesterday
    Groceries £1.75 for something I had forgotten in the weekly shop
    Goals for today
    Nothing much, aiming to enjoy the music and sunshine!
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 10th Jul 17, 7:05 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Last week before we go on holiday. I must admit to being in wind down mode, so hoping to get through the week without too many dramas at work.
    I have been thinking over the weekend and I am going to raise my game a bit on the debt repayment. Inspired by others on here, instead of building up more savings, I am going to focus on the debt and target repaying by July 2018. A closer date feels more motivating, and also coincides with when my mortgage deal runs out. At that point, I want to shorten the mortgage term to 7-8 years, and so I need to get used to a higher mortgage payment.
    Spends from yesterday - £10 at the music festival
    Goals for today - Take in lunch, don't buy coffee!
    Hope you all have a great day!
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 11th Jul 17, 7:02 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    A fairly routine day today, just need to get to work and keep my head down and get stuff done.
    Spends from yesterday
    * Groceries incidental £0.37
    * Cleaner £25
    Goals for today
    * Make lunch, don't buy coffee
    * Go for a lunchtime walk along the canal - free exercise!
    Hope you all have a good day!
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 12th Jul 17, 7:13 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    I've made a payment into the debt from savings yesterday (£500). I've decided I want to get rid of the debt as a priority. I'm feeling impatient like I know others are on this forum. But I need to be patient for the long haul, its a marathon not a sprint. Still keeping the EF though just in case! Hoping to get paid at the end of the month for some freelance work, in which case I may be able to bring forward DFD. I have done the calculations, but won't tempt fate and update my signature until I have it confirmed in 2 weeks time.
    On a course today so lunch will be provided.
    Spends from yesterday
    * Groceries £1.30 (need to get better at shopping to not forget the incidentals!)
    Goals for today
    * Aim for a NSD
    Good luck all!
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Jul 17, 8:58 AM
    • 3,682 Posts
    • 6,625 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I think you are right to focus on debt repayment especially if you are paying interest. I stopped shopping at Sainsbury's a few years ago as it seemed very expensive. Even a shop at Waitrose using the essentials brand was cheaper. Now I shop mainly at lidls with the odd trip to Waitrose for lactose free bits for my granddaughter and husband and gluten free bits for my son in law.

    I think I would be concerned that your son is not getting into the work ethic. Playing in music gigs, hanging out with his girlfriend and driving lessons all at your expense is not getting him to take responsibility for himself as an adult. Universities expect students to be self sufficient and motivated so do you think he is ready for that?

    Both my daughters were working part time while at school and university and all through the holidays. Anything from cleaning, waitressing, shop work to office work. It helped them financially obviously but also made them realise how hard they had to work to earn say £10 and made them more careful with money. A great life lesson for young adults. I remember one of my daughters doing three jobs a day when on school holidays, cleaning in the morning, a shift at co op on the tills and then waitressing in the evening. She earned enough that summer to pay for her car and insurance (with our help).
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 12th Jul 17, 8:10 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    I think you are right to focus on debt repayment especially if you are paying interest. I stopped shopping at Sainsbury's a few years ago as it seemed very expensive. Even a shop at Waitrose using the essentials brand was cheaper. Now I shop mainly at lidls with the odd trip to Waitrose for lactose free bits for my granddaughter and husband and gluten free bits for my son in law.

    I think I would be concerned that your son is not getting into the work ethic. Playing in music gigs, hanging out with his girlfriend and driving lessons all at your expense is not getting him to take responsibility for himself as an adult. Universities expect students to be self sufficient and motivated so do you think he is ready for that?

    Both my daughters were working part time while at school and university and all through the holidays. Anything from cleaning, waitressing, shop work to office work. It helped them financially obviously but also made them realise how hard they had to work to earn say £10 and made them more careful with money. A great life lesson for young adults. I remember one of my daughters doing three jobs a day when on school holidays, cleaning in the morning, a shift at co op on the tills and then waitressing in the evening. She earned enough that summer to pay for her car and insurance (with our help).
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Hi Enthusiasticsaver,
    Thanks for the comments. You have identified a real issue we have. It’s hard to be objective about your own family that’s for sure. In terms of the work ethic, all is not lost. He does work really hard at his music and has recently stood in at relatively short notice at some high profile performances. He had to learn the music and rehearsed for several days before the event itself. I have been really proud of him at these moments. However, it’s true, it has been a real struggle getting him to do other work. We have probably been too soft on him. By a complete coincidence, he is off this evening with a friend who has come back from University and he is having an induction for some warehouse work. I wonder if the friend coming back from Uni has given him the confidence to go for this. In terms of University, I need to have a proper chat with him about taking it seriously and working hard when he gets there.
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 13th Jul 17, 7:17 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Morning diary and all,
    Last couple of days of work left before holiday. We realised this is our first time away together on holiday without DS since our honeymoon 21 years ago! I promised myself I would post every day in July, but may take a short break for a week!
    Spends from yesterday
    * It was a NSD
    Goals for today
    * Take lunch, aim for a NSD
    * Take DS shopping for groceries during our week away
    Total unsecured debt - LBM £17,420 now £10,133 July 2017 (42% paid off)
    Debt free Target April 2018
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