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    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    • 205Posts
    • 495Thanks
    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 wasnít 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 wasnít 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 - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
Page 5
    • Narola1976
    • By Narola1976 31st Aug 17, 8:23 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    Narola1976
    Good morning diary and all,
    So I have hit a small bump in the road this week. I had to go to the dentist yesterday and I have to have some work done which is quite expensive, actually £500. Unfortunately, there is no way around it, there is a cheaper alternative but the Dentist advised that the cheaper option would only be a temporary fix and so would probably not be the right course of action. Weíve been going to this Dentist for 20 years and over that time Iíve been really happy with the treatment and everything, and built up a lot of trust with this practice. So Iím going to go ahead with this and get the work done over the next four weeks. So it looks like the emergency fund (which currently stands at £1000) will have to be activated! So my plan will be to use £500 from there in September and then replace that over the following months. I could delay the Debt Free date to do this but I am really reluctant to do that, it seems like a small thing but I have got that target in my mind now, so am keen to make it!

    We are going camping for a couple of nights on Thursday and Friday, the last break of the summer before really getting back to work. Aiming to do this frugally as we have chosen a campsite in some beautiful countryside and will be cooking our own food. We are taking DS with us, last little break together before he starts at University in 2 Ĺ weeks. Overall this month has gone pretty well to budget, I am going to do a bit of a review after the end of the month to see how we have done.

    Have a great day all!
    Originally posted by glass_half_full

    Ouch, both financially and physically - I do hate the dentist! But needs must,
    I think it is sensible to get the work done probably and hey that is what the EF is for. And you will still have £500 left if something else cropped up which hopefully it won't. I think its psychologically better not to delay the DF date - you have had great momentum and if you can keep this going then all the better. The progress you have made is amazing, so pleased for you

    Have a great time on your camping trip - another chapter in your lives as DS goes off to uni -
    what is he studying? He must be excited. Have you read Martin's guide for those going off to uni? Also, YNAB gives students a free year subscription or they used to - is this something that might help him. My DS is 15 and already she understands the 4 rules of YNAB - we talk a lot on finance and debt because I never want her to be as ignorant and stupid as I have been

    Bye for now
    HSBC CC £7150.15 - £6524.68 ~~~ Barclay Card £7894.74 £7846.32 ~~~ MBNA 1 £10382.67 - £10272.67 ~~~ MBNA 2 £7214.28 - £7062.94 ~~~Argos £202.05 - £100.05 ~~~ HSBC Loan £399.27 - £0 ~~~ Hitachi Loan £24.12 - £0 ~~~ Car Loan £14745.60 - £14008.32
    TOTAL £48012.88 - £45814.98 (Paid £2197.90 so far)
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Sep 17, 9:09 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Ouch, both financially and physically - I do hate the dentist! But needs must,
    I think it is sensible to get the work done probably and hey that is what the EF is for. And you will still have £500 left if something else cropped up which hopefully it won't. I think its psychologically better not to delay the DF date - you have had great momentum and if you can keep this going then all the better. The progress you have made is amazing, so pleased for you
    Have a great time on your camping trip - another chapter in your lives as DS goes off to uni -
    what is he studying? He must be excited. Have you read Martin's guide for those going off to uni? Also, YNAB gives students a free year subscription or they used to - is this something that might help him. My DS is 15 and already she understands the 4 rules of YNAB - we talk a lot on finance and debt because I never want her to be as ignorant and stupid as I have been

    Bye for now
    Originally posted by Narola1976
    Hi Narola,
    Yes, I am going to get the work done. I have made the appointments, no point delaying. I am keen not to delay the DF date. Itís keeping me focused and helping me make the right decisions I think.
    DS is going to study Music, and he is really looking forward to it! It really is his passion and itís great to see him pursuing that. Thanks for the tip on Martinís guide, I hadnít noticed it. I will show it to him and I can see there is some good info there. And great suggestion about YNAB. It is important that we help our children to understand money and budgeting isnít it? Itís not the most exciting subject and I do struggle to get his attention on it sometimes. But I think it does go in at some level.
    I think itís great that you are talking to your daughter already, and that will give her a good foundation for the future.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 4th Sep 17, 9:59 PM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Had a mini success today at saving or cost avoidance at least. I rang my home insurance provider and found that they will insure DS for possessions while away at University, in fact anywhere away from home. The additional cost was only £7.32 as opposed to £100 which was the cheapest stand alone quote I had got from HSB* and Endslei*h was £123. Thanks Narola because I spotted that tip reading Martin's guide you recommended ! I owe you a or two.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Narola1976
    • By Narola1976 6th Sep 17, 8:25 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    Narola1976
    Had a mini success today at saving or cost avoidance at least. I rang my home insurance provider and found that they will insure DS for possessions while away at University, in fact anywhere away from home. The additional cost was only £7.32 as opposed to £100 which was the cheapest stand alone quote I had got from HSB* and Endslei*h was £123. Thanks Narola because I spotted that tip reading Martin's guide you recommended ! I owe you a or two.
    Originally posted by glass_half_full
    That's fantastic GHF, great result, this is what I love about this site, people helping each other out. I have learned so much from others, what to do and what not to do LOL.
    HSBC CC £7150.15 - £6524.68 ~~~ Barclay Card £7894.74 £7846.32 ~~~ MBNA 1 £10382.67 - £10272.67 ~~~ MBNA 2 £7214.28 - £7062.94 ~~~Argos £202.05 - £100.05 ~~~ HSBC Loan £399.27 - £0 ~~~ Hitachi Loan £24.12 - £0 ~~~ Car Loan £14745.60 - £14008.32
    TOTAL £48012.88 - £45814.98 (Paid £2197.90 so far)
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Sep 17, 10:08 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    That's fantastic GHF, great result, this is what I love about this site, people helping each other out. I have learned so much from others, what to do and what not to do LOL.
    Originally posted by Narola1976
    Yes, you are so right about that. Sometimes, I find reading other people's posts makes me think about something differently, it really helps.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Sep 17, 10:10 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Its been a really busy week with us both working full time and some travel thrown in as well. This has meant that we didnít do the weekly shop, much against my better judgement, but struggled to find time to do it. As a consequence we have been surviving on mini-shops and last night we even had takeaway although managed to keep it to £25 for four of us which is ok. DS starts at Uni next weekend, although it seems he wonít receive the maintenance loan until a few days after he registers so will need money to last him through the first few days. Overall, the budget is still balancing mainly through a bit of overspending here and underspending there. I have the dentist appointment on Monday morning for the first part of the treatment, not sure when I will have to pay for it but I guess probably after the work is completed in 2 weeks time. This weekend is busy too as it is a special wedding anniversary for the in-laws and a bit of a family gathering so events planned for today and tomorrow. Work will be busy from now until Christmas. Every day I update the YNAB budget with the spends and I find this is the only way to stay on track.
    Have great weekend all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 11th Sep 17, 4:05 PM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi Diary and all,
    I have been for the first of the two dental appointments. Interesting experience, they gave me earphones to wear so I could listen to music for the 20 minutes during the treatment. The dentist asked me, what music would you like to listen to. I was a bit stumped but I opted for Adele in the end. Now, for some of you listening to Adele for 20 minutes might be worse than having your teeth drilled, but I found her very soothing. I think I get the bill after the next appointment, that will be the most painful bit.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 16th Sep 17, 7:22 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    I have to go into work today, but should get away by 1pm. Tomorrow is the big day, taking DS to Uni. I need to get him a couple of things on the way home and then he should be set. I think we may find a few things missing tomorrow when we get there, but no worries Iím sure we will be able to sort it out.
    Mid-month and the budget is going ok, a bit tight and not much room for manoeuvre but should get through ok. Still resisting the morning coffee on the way to work, taking in lunch and largely resisting take-aways.
    Have the second dental appointment in just over a week, will have to pay out of EF. I have a plan to refill the EF over the following few months. Just donít need any other nasty financial surprises in the meantime.
    Have a great weekend all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 17th Sep 17, 9:25 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    On-line banking is not working this morning so I canít update the budget. Two weeks left of this month and the budget is tight. A few unexpected expenses but juggling is still keeping it on track just about. I may be being a bit ambitious with the debt repayments, but Iím keeping them the same for the time being. Will need to really watch the pennies for the remaining days. I think I am going to post spends on here because previously that has helped me to stay focused.
    Today is the big day, we are taking DS to Uni! All the stuff we have gathered is piled up in the dining room. He still has to do his packing, nothing has changed on that front! He is really excited, really hope he makes some great friends and has a wonderful time there.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 19th Sep 17, 7:20 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Felt a bit flat yesterday after dropping off DS at Uni on Sunday, caught me a bit by surprise, although it has been coming for a long while its still a bit strange when it finally happens. I’m sure we will get used to it, well we will have to! I will feel better when I hear from him that everything is ok and he is settling in well.
    Spends yesterday
    Items for lunch : £1.09
    Cleaning : £25
    One more week until payday and need to keep spends under control to stay within budget.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 21st Sep 17, 7:25 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Budget is tight as we approach the end of the month. Just over a week to go and hanging on to maintain the target debt repayment. Should be ok as long as we avoid any unnecessary expenses. OH's cagoule had gone missing on the camping trip so we bought one on eb*y to replace it cost £25 and arrived last night. Seems in good condition and at least 50% cheaper than a new one of the same brand/type. Yesterday spend was a £5.15 grocery top up shop.
    Have a great money saving day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 22nd Sep 17, 7:15 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Off to visit my mum today, long drive 3 hpurs each way. OH has been paid today, and I have sight of my pay so looks like we will be inside budget just and able to meet the target debt repayment this month. No news from DS, but apparently OH says he has new friends on Fbook so that's encouraging.
    Yesterdays spend - 30p on groceries for lunch.
    Aiming for a low/no-spend weekend, free cinema tickets from Nectar points will be the main entertainment!
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 22nd Sep 17, 7:31 AM
    • 790 Posts
    • 3,819 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Have a good journey GHF , sounds like your on target for your DFD . DS will be having the time of his life far to busy to contract you ! It's very strange when they first go , he will be back soon with the obligatory washing .
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 23rd Sep 17, 10:21 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Have a good journey GHF , sounds like your on target for your DFD . DS will be having the time of his life far to busy to contract you ! It's very strange when they first go , he will be back soon with the obligatory washing .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria lass,
    You are so right about DS and the washing! It is strange, the house is very quiet, he is a musician and drummer so even more so .
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 23rd Sep 17, 10:28 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Morning diary and all,
    Nice to see Mum yesterday. I need to visit her more often. She is in a nursing home near to my brother. She wasn’t as well yesterday as she has been.
    Spends from yesterday
    Petrol : £42.65
    Lunch : £4
    Hoping to go out this evening to use the free cinema vouchers and see ‘IT’.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 24th Sep 17, 8:47 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    DS rang yesterday, is having a great time on Freshers week. Very reassuring to hear that it is all going well. He may even visit us between now and Christmas.
    Went to see ‘It’ with OH on vouchers, great film.
    Spends from yesterday:
    Make up (OH not me!) - £20
    Groceries - £10
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 25th Sep 17, 6:52 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Had a busy day yesterday doing this and that. Today we have started a new routine getting up a bit earlier so we have a start on the day. Probably need to go to bed earlier as well!
    The budget has just about balanced out and so I have made a repayment of £1250 this month. Five more payments and we will be debt free.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 26th Sep 17, 6:50 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Morning diary and all,
    Off to the dentist this morning for part 2 of the treatment and the bill which I will have to pay with the EF. Work is getting busy again. Still managing to take lunch in every day. Getting up earlier is helping with feeling a bit more in control.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 26th Sep 17, 7:27 AM
    • 790 Posts
    • 3,819 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Sympathise without re the dentist, my EF is taking a hit as well to pay the bill. Maybe another savings pot to consider ?

    I take lunch everyday saves a fortune . You made a very good repayment , you will soon be debt free. I bet your bills will come down with DS being at uni , especially your grocery bill.

    Have you heard from him now ?
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th Sep 17, 6:41 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Sympathise without re the dentist, my EF is taking a hit as well to pay the bill. Maybe another savings pot to consider ?
    I take lunch everyday saves a fortune . You made a very good repayment , you will soon be debt free. I bet your bills will come down with DS being at uni , especially your grocery bill.
    Have you heard from him now ?
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria lass,
    Thatís a good idea for another savings pot. I seem to get a biggish dentist bill every couple of years so it is predictable, a bit like car maintenance! This one was £500 which has knocked a big hole in the EF. Yes, we are on target so fingers crossed that we will cross the finish line as planned. I think the grocery bill will come down now DS is at Uni, it certainly dropped when he was away over the summer. We have spoken to him at the weekend which was really nice and he seems to be having a great time and settling in well which is reassuring.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
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