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  • FIRST POST
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 20th Jan 16, 12:48 PM
    • 196Posts
    • 268Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    Alan's Debt Free Diary
    • #1
    • 20th Jan 16, 12:48 PM
    Alan's Debt Free Diary 20th Jan 16 at 12:48 PM
    Hi,

    I stumbled across the MSE forum following a google link about solar panels and then discovered this board. I got into debt mostly by buying solar panels for my home with some credit card debts as well.

    It was a bit a of a mad purchase buying the solar, but with the government reducing the tariffs I had to dive in quickly and hope for the best. I now need to pay off the loan quickly so that my impulse purchase doesn't come back and bite me in the bum in a few months

    I have about £9k in debts (I'll tot up the credit cards and loans later for a more accurate figure) and I'm really out of my comfort zone with that much debt.

    My aim is to try and pay off the credit card first and then start on the solar loan. Having this diary will help me track the debt reducing (hopefully!!) and motivate me to get rid of it quicker.

    Wish me luck!
Page 1
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 25th Jan 16, 4:54 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 16, 4:54 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 16, 4:54 PM
    i checked my December statement and my debt is currently £9825. Some of this is work related so once they pay me, I'll pay it off the balance.

    Aim: £9825
    January: £0
    Remainder: £9825
    Last edited by Alan_Brown; 31-01-2016 at 8:44 AM.
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 28th Jan 16, 9:38 AM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 16, 9:38 AM
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 16, 9:38 AM
    Pay day today, so I have reduced my card by £1670. Some that is expenses, which makes it hard to calculate what is my debt and what isn't.

    I have a few extra outgoings this month, mostly connected with the solar panels I had installed. Once I know how much the final bill is I should be able to pay more off the card.

    Aim: £9825
    January: £1670
    Remainder: £8155.75
    Last edited by Alan_Brown; 31-01-2016 at 8:46 AM.
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 30th Jan 16, 3:48 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    • #4
    • 30th Jan 16, 3:48 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Jan 16, 3:48 PM
    A bit more cash paid off the card.

    Aim: £9825
    January: £1786
    Remainder: £8039
    Last edited by Alan_Brown; 31-01-2016 at 8:47 AM.
    • ShiftThisDebt
    • By ShiftThisDebt 30th Jan 16, 6:55 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    ShiftThisDebt
    • #5
    • 30th Jan 16, 6:55 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Jan 16, 6:55 PM
    Hi Alan,

    Good to see you're getting your debt sorted.

    What are the APR's on your loan and credit cards?

    Would a balance transfer to a 0% credit card be possible?

    Also, what is the size of each individual debt?

    And finally, doing a SOA might be a good idea to see where your could cut back on your expenditure in order to pay the debt of more quickly. Good luck in your mission to geet this paid off!
    Overall Goal: Debt Free by 2019:
    Total Debt on Jan 1st 2016 £36415Amount paid off so far: £0
    Amount remaining to pay off: £36415
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 31st Jan 16, 9:03 AM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 16, 9:03 AM
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 16, 9:03 AM
    Hi, the debt is on an interest free card. It's confusing because I use the same card for my expenses as I work away on company business a lot. The card built up because I kept dipping into the expenses when I received them instead of paying them straight onto the card, I'm not doing that anymore.

    I did have some savings that would have paid off the card but I spent them on solar panels. I have no savings at all to fall back on and that worries me.

    The amount I owe on the card is difficult to work out because of the expenses, so I will update with the monthly balance on the card. If that goes down, then I know I'm on the right track. I may start using a new card for expenses if I continue to be confused, but I get a lot of cash back on this one and want to stick with it if I can.
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 31st Jan 16, 9:07 AM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 16, 9:07 AM
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 16, 9:07 AM
    I've updated the debt total in my original posts with the figures from my monthly statement. It's worse than I thought.
    • ShiftThisDebt
    • By ShiftThisDebt 31st Jan 16, 9:18 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    ShiftThisDebt
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 16, 9:18 AM
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 16, 9:18 AM
    Perhaps it's worth getting a 0% balance transfer and transfer your debt onto it and don't spend on it at all but just pay balance off, but keep the other credit card just for work expenses and make sure you pay it off in full each month.

    It'll make it much clearer for you to understand your personal debt.
    Overall Goal: Debt Free by 2019:
    Total Debt on Jan 1st 2016 £36415Amount paid off so far: £0
    Amount remaining to pay off: £36415
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 2nd Feb 16, 9:50 AM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    • #9
    • 2nd Feb 16, 9:50 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Feb 16, 9:50 AM
    Perhaps it's worth getting a 0% balance transfer and transfer your debt onto it and don't spend on it at all but just pay balance off, but keep the other credit card just for work expenses and make sure you pay it off in full each month.

    It'll make it much clearer for you to understand your personal debt.
    Originally posted by ShiftThisDebt
    I have considered that, but then I'd have to pay a balance transfer fee. I'm currently pondering using a new credit card for work related expenses that gives a better cashback than my Santander 123. After a month or so, the work expenses will have all been accounted for and paid off on the old card and I'll be able to see the wood for the trees.
    • ShiftThisDebt
    • By ShiftThisDebt 2nd Feb 16, 10:25 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    ShiftThisDebt
    I have considered that, but then I'd have to pay a balance transfer fee. I'm currently pondering using a new credit card for work related expenses that gives a better cashback than my Santander 123. After a month or so, the work expenses will have all been accounted for and paid off on the old card and I'll be able to see the wood for the trees.
    Originally posted by Alan_Brown
    Not necessarily. I've just balance transfered onto 2 new credit cards for my wife (BoS and Lloyds) and neither of them had a fee and they are 0% for 32 months.

    Having said that, if the balance will be paid off soon in terms of work expenses then maybe you could wait to see.
    Overall Goal: Debt Free by 2019:
    Total Debt on Jan 1st 2016 £36415Amount paid off so far: £0
    Amount remaining to pay off: £36415
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 16th Feb 16, 10:37 AM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    My latest credit card statement is in:

    Previous Balance: £9825.54
    Payment received: £5826.20
    New Transactions: £3570.00
    New Balance: £7569.34

    This is great because the problem I had was that my New Transactions were always slightly (sometimes not so slightly) more than my Payments Received, which got me into the mess I'm slowly digging myself out of!

    I've tried my best to limit my personal spending on the card this month, so most of the £3570.00 new transactions this month are company expenses.

    Onward and downward.
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 18th Mar 17, 8:01 AM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    My card is now down to £4K and I get a work bonus next month that would actually pay it off. I'm going to put the bonus to one side though and keep trying to reduce the credit card debt through making savings. We really need a new, efficient gas fire to replace our wood burning stove, so I want to use the bonus for that if I can.
    • Alan_Brown
    • By Alan_Brown 29th Mar 17, 3:31 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    Alan_Brown
    I decided to pay the card off with the work bonus. The 0% period was coming to an end this month and I didn't want the hassle of sorting out a BT to a new card. It's nice to have gotten rid of the debt, but my annual bonus has now just vanished.

    Oh well, I can now start a new chapter and make sure I don't get into a mess with my finances again. I'm going to keep £500 as a buffer in an instant access savings account and the rest will go onto the mortgage.

    Onward and upward to the next challenge .
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