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    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    • 223Posts
    • 518Thanks
    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 8
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 23rd Nov 17, 11:26 PM
    • 4,852 Posts
    • 9,173 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Looks like your DFD is getting closer.

    Once the debt is gone you could do a MFW diary. We thought like you we would not want to work until 66 which is our State pension age so overpaid the mortgage, pensions and invested and OH retired last year at 58 and I retire next month aged 57. Getting to that point is much easier when you don't have debt.
    1 week to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 24th Nov 17, 7:12 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Early night for you then. Another £1000 is amazing, you are so near the finish line.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria,
    Thanks! I was going to stay up again last night but in the end was too tired so crashed out early! Yes, the end is in sight, which is keeping me focused now.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 24th Nov 17, 7:17 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Looks like your DFD is getting closer.

    Once the debt is gone you could do a MFW diary. We thought like you we would not want to work until 66 which is our State pension age so overpaid the mortgage, pensions and invested and OH retired last year at 58 and I retire next month aged 57. Getting to that point is much easier when you don't have debt.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Hi Enthusiastic,
    Yes, when I get the debt paid off I will start a MFW diary. I'm aiming to be mortgage free by 55 ish. I want to have the option to do what I want rather than what I have to do. You have done so well to retire at 57, that's a great achievement! Do you mind me asking how you will manage the period between now and state retirement, did you both overpay into your pension?
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th Nov 17, 7:00 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Starting to think about what we will do next year when debt free. Some of the carpets are at least 20 years old, we must have bought reasonable quality as they have lasted pretty well. So new carpets for stairs and landing, and two of the upstairs rooms. Redecorating of the hallway landing and stairs and one of the upstairs bedroom's is also on the list. We are going to make a list in February of everything and then plan what order to do it in.
    Can't believe its just three weeks left at work until Christmas since I am taking the week before as holiday.
    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 29th Nov 17, 6:56 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Two and a half work weeks left. Somehow it is a real grind this year! I think I need a break to recharge my mojo. Did the budget for December, January and February last night. There are a few presents to budget for and so I shuffled money around between the categories and adjusted the planned debt repayments. I'm determined that we will meet the February target so this is keeping me focused in terms of saying no to any discretionary spend until then. At the moment we will still make it although there isn't much slack so will need to stay on the plan.
    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 30th Nov 17, 6:33 PM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good evening diary and all,
    So we have finally arrived at the last day in November. Spending has pretty much been on budget across the board. Particularly pleased that groceries have come in at £378 against a budget of £450. This is a result of DS not being with us and I think we are better at meal planning and using up what we buy when there are just the two of us. I’m sure we could cut this further. Eating out was above our budget of £50 at £65 as we took DS out for a curry and also had fish and chips a couple of times. Have made some savings this month on commuting reducing the train card by £25 per month. Also, reduced the mobile bill from £35 to £10 per month for me. I’ve received two insurance reminders for the house and the pet at £211 and £192 respectively. The cat is 8 years old so apparently the premiums go up as they get older. A quick check shows I can get these down to around £120 each which would be a saving of around £160 per annum so later this month I will switch both to a better deal and cancel. They rely on us not being bothered to go through the effort I guess. Aiming to make a debt repayment of £1200 at the end of December.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 2nd Dec 17, 10:39 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Listening to the cricket and much cheered up by hearing we have bowled out the Australian captain which could be a big breakthrough.
    Am in the middle of filling in a promotion application for work. The promotion process is quite involved, you have to fill in a long form and then it goes through a few committees and eventually you hear back. I am about 2/3 of the way through, hoping to have a draft complete by Monday morning to send to my manager for feedback.
    Planning to go out this afternoon to buy a few Christmas presents.
    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 3rd Dec 17, 8:24 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Did some reinsuring yesterday. Had the renewal quotes for pet and home and contents and both had gone up significantly. Using a switching site I managed to get better deals. It takes a bit of time but well worth it.
    The number are Current cost, requote, new
    Pet - £144, £198, £85
    Home and contents - £144, £212, £112
    So a cost avoidance of £122 over requotes and a saving of £91 over current cost. I also paid for them both for the whole year rather than monthly which was slightly cheaper and also out of the way.
    Spent a bit yesterday:
    OH needed a new handbag £20
    Christmas presents - £50
    Top up groceries - £10
    Stopped in a cafe - £12
    This morning going for an outdoor fitness session with OH and then this afternoon have to do the weekly shop.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 3rd Dec 17, 7:34 PM
    • 906 Posts
    • 4,613 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Sounds like you have been busy , listening to cricket , work, talking about spending your money on your home when your debt free, which is very soon.

    Love the OH needed a handbag, ladies like their bags! The outdoor fitness session , was this like a boot camp ?
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 4th Dec 17, 7:22 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Sounds like you have been busy , listening to cricket , work, talking about spending your money on your home when your debt free, which is very soon.

    Love the OH needed a handbag, ladies like their bags! The outdoor fitness session , was this like a boot camp ?
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria,
    Thanks for dropping by!
    OH has been really good with spending and keeping a lid on it for now. I realise I have become a bit boring over money so that will change in Feb when we finally have a bit more room to relax about it. The outdoor fitness is Nordic walking. Its really fun, an enjoyable and sociable way to get fit.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Dec 17, 8:10 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Its been a busy week, struggling a bit with a cold that doesnít want to leave.
    I have an important meeting on Monday with two senior people at work about my promotion. They are gatekeepers, so without their support is isnít going anywhere. Hopefully I have done enough over the last couple of years to convince them. Financially, it would help. I am on the same salary as I was on when I started there 6 Ĺ years ago, apart from annual cost of living rises which have been just about keeping up with inflation. I am not banking on getting it, but it would mean achieving the goals sooner and with a little bit of fat so I could relax a bit more over money, which would be good.
    We have got all our presents, need to post some today overseas. This year we are spending about £250 on Christmas so far. £110 on presents for nieces and nephews including posting, £100 for DS, £20 each for a present for each other. I have no problem ignoring the advertising and general encouragement to overindulge.
    Its beautiful outside in the garden this morning, the moon is framed by a huge snowy oak tree. Breathtaking.
    Have a great day all!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 9th Dec 17, 8:19 AM
    • 906 Posts
    • 4,613 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    I thought I had replied to you last weekend , but obviously not. The Nordic walking is great exercise , have met a few people on walks in the lakes doing this . I am more of a fair weather walker with a few inclines thrown in for good measure. I have done the Old man of coniston though . Do you go walking ?

    I hope you get your promotion, you will be debt free on a larger salary , so the retirement plans will start off well. The moon has been amazing to look at the past couple of nights , it's started snowing here now so looks lovely ( till you need to drive ) . Have a good weekend .
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Dec 17, 8:55 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning Cumbria!
    Yes, I have always enjoyed walking. We have holidayed in places for that reason over the years, like Wales, Scotland and the Lakes. It must be great for you being within a reasonable distance of the Lakes. We are in the Midlands so it is a bit more of a trek to these places for us.
    I have a few chores to do and I think I am going to go out on foot as I think it will be safer than driving, but also quite nice being out in these conditions.
    Have a great weekend also!
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 9th Dec 17, 10:11 AM
    • 906 Posts
    • 4,613 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    I have taken my parents shopping , but anything else this weekend is on foot. Yes about 1hr 10 gets me to Windermere, very lucky and grateful to be so near .
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 13th Dec 17, 7:06 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Early start today but the roads were clear. On the way up north on a train to a training course. My promotion meeting was postponed to next week as one of the managers couldn't make it in due to the snow. It's now happening on Tuesday. Just a couple of days left at work for 2017. Looking forward to picking up DS from Uni on Friday or Saturday. Will be nice to have him at home for a couple of weeks. Finances ok I think payday will be a week on Friday. Aiming for a decent payment to debt, slightly reduced as I have paid a couple of insurances in full this month. 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 14th Dec 17, 7:11 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Second to last day at work for 2017 . Going to Christmas lunch at work, hopefully a quiet day. Picking up DS on Saturday from Uni. Need to do a proper grocery shop since the last few days we have been managing on top up shops. Will need to get plenty of food in with DS coming home. Pay day should be on 22nd. Budget seems to be on track.
    Total unsecured debt - £4,367 (November 2017) - Debt free Target 27th February 2018
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