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    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    • 222Posts
    • 516Thanks
    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 6
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th Sep 17, 6:52 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    I have had some great news yesterday regarding a refund on a flight delay. I didnít write about it at the time because it felt like a first world problem, ie poor me my flight was delayed whilst we were lucky enough to be able to afford a holiday. Anyway, our plane couldnít land because of a technical fault and we were diverted to Athens. A big drama ensued, and we finally arrived at our holiday destination 24 hours later! This was a blow since we were only on a 7 night holiday. On our return I filed a complaint with the tour operator. This was back in July. Anyway, despite chasing them up and sending them all the info they had requested, I had heard nothing. At the weekend, we mentioned it to our friend who is also the travel agent who booked it for us. Yesterday, the tour operator contacted us with an offer of £740 , which is apparently 400 Euros each in line with European legislation!
    Iím not sure what to do with this money. Do I replace the EF which is looking a bit pitiful at a couple of hundred pounds? The debt buster in me says pay it straight to the debt. If I put it in the EF, the debt free day stays the same.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 27th Sep 17, 9:07 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I really missed DS1a lot when he when to uni, but got used to it after a couple of months. We did save money on food but spent a lot on petrol as we visited him for the day twice a term .

    Could you put £500 in the emergency fund to get it back up to £1000 and then pay the rest off debt? That it'd be the best of both worlds.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 29th Sep 17, 6:40 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    I really missed DS1a lot when he when to uni, but got used to it after a couple of months. We did save money on food but spent a lot on petrol as we visited him for the day twice a term .

    Could you put £500 in the emergency fund to get it back up to £1000 and then pay the rest off debt? That it'd be the best of both worlds.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi there Hhod!
    Yes, I think it will take a while to get used to it. He hasn't gone too far and is probably going to visit us in the next couple of weekends. With the extra money, I think when it comes through I will see how we are doing and probably split it like you say depending on the situation.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 1st Oct 17, 10:02 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Just a quick up date as I have to do some work this morning. Had a call from DS yesterday afternoon and he has come home, just for the night and will go back this evening. He is having a great time, made loads of friends and all is well. Really nice to see him.
    A new month dawns, all is ok on the budget front, no real excitement there at the moment.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 1st Oct 17, 1:58 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Great news on the flight refund. I think 50/50 as well. Great for DS to come home for a quick weekend visit. He is probably finding it as strange as you will to start with. Glad he has made friends .
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Oct 17, 7:13 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Great news on the flight refund. I think 50/50 as well. Great for DS to come home for a quick weekend visit. He is probably finding it as strange as you will to start with. Glad he has made friends .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria Lass,
    Thanks for dropping by and the advice! The £740 came through yesterday and I have put £500 back in the emergency fund. This takes it up to £665 so I need to put a bit more in to get it back up to £1000. The other £240 I am actually going to leave in the current account for now as somehow the budget feels extra tight at the moment.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 8th Oct 17, 8:42 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    So far an uneventful October. On the financial front things are steady. I had an advisory note at the MOT that a tyre was getting towards needing replacing, but FIL had a look and there is still plenty above the wear indicator so no need to replace just yet. Groceries have really dropped since DS went to Uni, will see how this affects the spend this month. Work is really busy for both of us, noticing that I don’t always feel like cooking at the end of the day, I need to think of options that are easy. One of the frugal blogs I follow talks about a slow cooker. This might be an option, maybe a small one.
    Have a great Sunday all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 8th Oct 17, 4:15 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Oh what will you do with extra grocery money ? Tyres are very annoying, I have had 4 new ones this year and a puncture in one 3 weeks after getting it! That's life though .

    I have a slow cooker and use it in the winter mainly , the smell when you come home is amazing !
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 10th Oct 17, 6:51 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Oh what will you do with extra grocery money ? Tyres are very annoying, I have had 4 new ones this year and a puncture in one 3 weeks after getting it! That's life though .

    I have a slow cooker and use it in the winter mainly , the smell when you come home is amazing !
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria Lass,
    I will probably use the extra money to build up the EF. The EF has rescued us several times over the last couple of years, probably the most important thing I have found to help with the debt busting. I have bought a slow cooker, just a mini 1.5 litre one which should be ideal. Now looking at recipes!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 11th Oct 17, 7:33 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good evening diary and all,
    Tomorrow off on a training course up north, nice to get out of the office and the other people on the course are interesting so good to share ideas and get some inspiration. OH has a close friend coming to stay and visit at the weekend so there will be various goings on that need budgetting for! Had a mishap with the slow coooker. Went out at 7.30 am and set it on Auto and got back in at 6 pm to find a sorry sludge at the bottom with a faint burning smell as we came through the front door. I think I should have set it on low. Will get the hang of it I'm sure.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Happierdays
    • By Happierdays 14th Oct 17, 7:30 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    Happierdays
    Another thumbs up here for slow cooker!
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 15th Oct 17, 10:21 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Another thumbs up here for slow cooker!
    Originally posted by Happierdays
    Hi Happierdays,

    I'm going to give it another go tomorrow, so hoping for a good result! Seems to be a great idea for the autumn/winter months.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 16th Oct 17, 1:37 AM
    • 461 Posts
    • 5,643 Thanks
    117pauline
    Just read through the whole of your diary and it must feel great to be on the last lap of cracking the debt.

    A suggestion regarding the slow cooker - each one has its own quirks. So I would recommend using it a couple of times whilst you are at home so you can check on it.

    You mentioned not always wanting to cook when you get home.

    Is it possible for you to double up recipes so you can freeze half for another day?

    How about preparing foods in advance? I have a bowl of prepared vegetables in the fridge or I use frozen.

    My menu plan lets me see what I can do in advance. I also often cook a day in advance so if I'm not feeling great, we still get a home cooked meal. It makes me feel a little less useless.

    Hope some of these ideas might help
    Have a good week
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 17th Oct 17, 7:04 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Just read through the whole of your diary and it must feel great to be on the last lap of cracking the debt.

    A suggestion regarding the slow cooker - each one has its own quirks. So I would recommend using it a couple of times whilst you are at home so you can check on it.

    You mentioned not always wanting to cook when you get home.

    Is it possible for you to double up recipes so you can freeze half for another day?

    How about preparing foods in advance? I have a bowl of prepared vegetables in the fridge or I use frozen.

    My menu plan lets me see what I can do in advance. I also often cook a day in advance so if I'm not feeling great, we still get a home cooked meal. It makes me feel a little less useless.

    Hope some of these ideas might help
    Have a good week
    Pauline
    Originally posted by 117pauline
    Hi Pauline,
    Thanks for reading my diary and commenting . Yes, it is good that the end is in sight! Had a success yesterday with the slow cooker, I did a bean chilli and left it on low and it was done to perfection when we got in. That was about 11 hours so that may be the solution. I like the idea of doubling up and freezing. I need to get organised and get some containers to do this. I have frozen the odd meal before, but since I haven't labelled them I can never remember what it is so it never gets used up!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Happierdays
    • By Happierdays 17th Oct 17, 8:55 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    Happierdays
    Yay to pressure cooker success!
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 19th Oct 17, 7:03 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Yay to pressure cooker success!
    Originally posted by Happierdays
    Hi Happierdays,
    Yes, I am looking forward to more slow cooked meals this autumn winter. I will need to get up a bit earlier though!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 19th Oct 17, 7:04 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi diary and all,
    Its been nice to see the supportive posts on the diaries over the last couple of days welcoming new diaries and giving positive support to people who are coming back on after a break. What a great community this is.
    Payday in a week's time and I'm planning to make a decent payment to the debt. Everything pretty much on track to the budget.
    Last edited by glass_half_full; 19-10-2017 at 7:05 AM. Reason: typo
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 20th Oct 17, 7:07 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Doing my morning budget as per usual and I notice my BT bill is £95 instead of the usual £75 (this is for Broadband, phone and TV). Just been going through the phone bill and see that DS was on the phone to his GF the day before she went to Uni for several calls of about an hour ! This because his mobile is nearly always out of charge. Oh well! Usually when a bill comes in over budget I juggle and find other categories that are underspent. Seem to be running out of those as we approach the end of the month! I could probably get a better deal than BT. It was a good deal when we switched to them from Sky a couple of years ago, but I'm sure it has crept up since then.
    Looking forward to the weekend, this week has been tiring.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 20th Oct 17, 7:37 AM
    • 889 Posts
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    Cumbria lass
    DS left you a reminder of himself in the phone bill. Maybe take the extra out of the food budget! Good to hear you had a slow cooker success .

    I freeze lots of meals ,usually in a batch cooking session. If you have labels in your kitchen you can just write them out as you need them .

    Anyhow I received some packaged bank account money back from Lloyds yesterday £410 . Great to get some free funds .

    Enjoy your weekend.
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 22nd Oct 17, 9:51 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    DS left you a reminder of himself in the phone bill. Maybe take the extra out of the food budget! Good to hear you had a slow cooker success .

    I freeze lots of meals ,usually in a batch cooking session. If you have labels in your kitchen you can just write them out as you need them .

    Anyhow I received some packaged bank account money back from Lloyds yesterday £410 . Great to get some free funds .

    Enjoy your weekend.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria Lass,
    I like your way of putting it about DS leaving me a reminder of him in the phone bill, that made me smile!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
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