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  • FIRST POST
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 4th Feb 16, 10:39 AM
    • 1,835Posts
    • 5,837Thanks
    MERFE
    Two thirds of the way there, final hurdle
    • #1
    • 4th Feb 16, 10:39 AM
    Two thirds of the way there, final hurdle 4th Feb 16 at 10:39 AM
    Not kept a diary before, I'll be honest it has taken me a lot longer than it should have to pay off the first 2/3 of our debts. It's been very slow and steady and loooooong, about 7 years. In that time we will have added on occasions for change of cars, things the kids needed or just the odd slip of feeling lifes too short.

    What has changed now, well whilst I had a LBM about 7 years ago my husband didn't and I hate to always be saying no. It felt like having another child. We had a massive upheaval in 2014 when our landlady wanted to increase our rent by £200 a month with one months notice. This is what has changed him, he doesn't want to be spending £4-500 every month repaying debt.

    So with this in mind and to keep on the straight and narrow for this final stint we have made some huge changes. We have moved closer to his work to cut out commuting, we have cancelled our tv and landline and we are getting some chickens and growing our own veg.

    Our money is probably a bit complicated, when I had my lbm and was cutting out all luxuries to try to repay asap and hubby wasn't on board it was tricky. So he gets an allowance each month, it's £120 and he pays for his mobile plus a credit card he has for some reason and then the rest is his. The credit cards in my signature are the ones I sort repayments for. The only other debt we have is a car loan which is due to be repaid in July, once this goes the other repayments are going up.

    We had a big knock with tax credits in Nov when they cut our payment by £250 a month, this has made things really tight for Christmas and birthdays for the kids especially. So I am looking for a job but there is not a lot out there for the hours I could do, but I will keep trying and hopefully this thread can keep me motivated.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
Page 8
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 15th Jan 17, 8:20 PM
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    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    I've booked a sun holiday for easter hols, probably work out the same as taking them out each day anyway, so hubby gets a peaceful weeks sleep, then the 2nd week of the easter hols has the bank holidays in so only a couple of days I have to take them out or keep them quiet.

    About £20 of stuff has sold on ebay, no big purchases but listed lots more over the weekend and got plenty of watchers for the bits ending in the next couple of days so could go up a bit.

    Received a £10 voucher for a survey I did in Nov, putting it away towards Christmas. Did another in January so should get another one probably around March time.

    I have been shopping today after writing a meal plan and shopping came to £46 for the week, for 5 of us. We didn't need any toiletries only toilet roll so it wouldnt be so low every week but shows I could definitely lower the £70 it has been. Done a meal plan for next week already too.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • Moneywhizz
    • By Moneywhizz 16th Jan 17, 9:09 AM
    • 111 Posts
    • 460 Thanks
    Moneywhizz
    The new Isa looks like a good way of saving for a deposit. It must be hard to save while paying for a private rental, but if you know what your goal is, it makes it easier to cut back and put as much as you can into savings. Good luck with your plans and with job hunting.
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 16th Jan 17, 10:25 AM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Thanks Moneywhizz

    I wouldn't say the private rental makes saving difficult (although endless moves with fees each time doesnt help). Kids make saving difficult. They are always growing, they break things, they lose things. Eldest has lost her coat, not impressed at all. But I now have a rule with them that if they break it or lose it it comes out their pocket money, if they outgrow it I replace it. I have given her this week to find it, if not shopping on Saturday and no pocket money for a while.

    Halifax CC now under £3000, feels good to see it going down.

    I am going to have a go at updating my CV as not much should change between now and the summer when I want to look at changing jobs. Although I am wondering if I did go back to something else what would I do with the kids in the holidays. Something to think about. Might have to do a year with OH taking opposite holidays but it still wouldnt cover them all. My dad has offered to have the older 2 for summer before so that is a possibility but still the youngest to think about. Will worry about that if I find something.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 18th Jan 17, 10:08 AM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Back from the post office had a few to post. £58 on ebay not bad, it all adds up. Still got a fair bit listed but will try and list some more today.

    We are going to change upstairs around so youngest 2 have our room and we go in the middle size room. Reason being OH thinks he sleeps better in their room. They only have 1 small window whereas the one we have has a window at the front and the back. Also when the kids are out at the school at lunchtime you can hear them though the back window, especially in summer when you want it open.
    So OH was looking for storage for them because they have a built in wardrobe at the moment but I have managed to reorganise our clothes so they can have our drawers and may be able to declutter and then they can have our shelves too. I really dont want to be buying any furniture right now. We are living with clothes rails since the last house has built in wardrobes but they do the job and wardrobes dont move well so I would rather wait till we are in the forever house to buy anymore.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 21st Jan 17, 1:57 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Moved the kids room round with ours. It's made me realise how much I have to get rid of with my craft supplies, there's lace, ribbon, embellishments, fabric, felt, glitter fabric, elastic, dies, stamps. Then there are the displays I used for at fairs. I also have a massive pile of outgrown clothes too, boys and girls. I might have to try and do them as bundles, been doing individual items but its taking so long and now we need the space back.

    Got my other food survery voucher so £20 saved for extras at Christmas and I've been religiously doing swagbucks so that is close to payout as well.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 28th Jan 17, 5:26 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Was thinking about seeing what was left at the end of the month to make MBNA overpayment but I think that way the money get spent as extra and just disappears. So paid an extra £200 off instead. £125 was the council tax payment we don't have this month and another £75. There may be more at the end of the month but doubt it with DS residential to pay for. It is all heading the right way though.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 19th Feb 17, 3:03 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Seriously pricey half term. Had to go to a hen night that ended up spending more than I planned. There is a reason I rarely go out anymore, how much are the drinks. Was good fun though. Took the kids out a couple of days, one to a castle so that just cost petrol as we have english heritage membership and once to swimming. Then eldest had a birthday day out to the cinema with a friend. The rest of the time they played with friends and helped get the allotment ready. It really doesn't seem like I spent alot. I haven't used the birthdays savings for DD day out or presents though and since that was the most money spent I guess I should transfer it back to my account.

    Been keeping up the meal plans, sent OH to the shops because I didn't feel 100% and he has come back with loads of short dates on things. Thankfully some can just be frozen. Will have to do one more shop before payday, I wanna keep it down to £50 max.

    5 weeks in March so need to allow a little extra and will be getting more oil which has gone up loads since last year. So doubt we will have much extra for over payments nect month. Only whatever sells on Ebay.

    Holiday first week of april, just me and the kids, just to haven. Hoping for some nice weather to make the most of the beach or we will just spend all the time in the swimming pool. Shouldn't need alot of extra spending money.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 3rd Mar 17, 2:22 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Woo below £4000 left to pay now.

    We went to look at a flat, 3 bedrooms, £150 a month less than we pay. So would pay off the debt sooner and save more for the deposit to buy but cost of moving, hassle etc Didn't feel worth it. The flat looked like there would be some issues with as well as it was old, even though it was very nicely decorated and had a proper bath (we only have a shower here), the windows didn't look like they opened and there was alot of hallway and high ceilings so I think it would cost alot to heat. At least there are options if we have to move out but at the moment it's probably best to move the kids less.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 31st Mar 17, 3:47 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Under £1000 left on the MBNA now, slowly getting there.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • louby40
    • By louby40 1st Apr 17, 7:40 PM
    • 1,031 Posts
    • 2,880 Thanks
    louby40
    Well done Merfe on getting below £1000!
    Parent loan PAID IN FULL Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #572
    Emergency fund £500/£1000. Christmas savings £400/£600
    Kitchen July £12,493 Aug £11,993. 4% paid off
    Barclaycard £522
    Car loan £3472 Mortgage £96,589
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 2nd Apr 17, 12:39 PM
    • 2,086 Posts
    • 13,293 Thanks
    parsniphead
    Hi MERFE

    I have just read through your diary this morning. It's very motivating and I look forward to following your journey to debt freedom.

    Parsnip
    Debts as of 08/07/17 Credit cards £7811 majority on 0%. Car loan £1500 my half. Mortgage £36272 remaining balance (10 yrs 2 mnths remaining - i think not). Emergency fund £500/500
    GAZELLE INTENSE AND GAINING TRACTION
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 8th Apr 17, 6:30 PM
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    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Been on our sun holiday to haven, spent more than I planned but then I think I was unrealistic about how much we needed. Luckily we have it spare this month but I was hoping to pay even more off the MBNA. We've been so lucky with the weather this week too so lots of time was at the beach, no spending there. Would definitely book again, I think the Sun holiday only worked out about £30 cheaper than booking direct as well so may go same time next year. Missed hubby but he enjoyed his peaceful sleep. Only need to take the kids out 3 days next week so he can sleep, if the weather is still good that should be easy.

    Doing a car boot tomorrow, hoping to declutter alot and make back some of that extra we spent on holiday.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 9th Apr 17, 2:03 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Car boot went really well, took £124 home after pitch fee and OH spent £5. Kids had a few quid each too but the real bargain was middle child got himself a wave board for £2, he had asked for one for his birthday and I was looking at £50 for one so now he can get something else. Was well worth doing. Have organised everything that is left as well so getting those bits listed on ebay should be easier.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 30th Apr 17, 1:44 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    So all the 0% offers are due to run out in June and july, we got an offer on OH barclaycard for 0% with only 0.9% transfer fee which I thought was quite good. We have transferred everything to the one card. This includes OH halifax card that I hadn't been keeping a track of because it wasn't a joint debt and was all his. This means we have only 1 payment coming out now but the balance is £6249 - So bascially back to where I started the thread. That's a little disheartening but it all needs to be gone and I think it'll be gone faster with me looking after it than him. My original DFD didn't include his card so I don't think there is any chance of it being gone by june next year. I am going to aim for december 2018, which works out about £300 a month to try and pay off. This should be doable.
    Last edited by MERFE; 30-04-2017 at 5:59 PM.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 12th May 17, 11:54 AM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Balance transfer has all gone through. Cancelled both the halifax cards. So we now have the MBNA and OH santander for just incase or if another balance transfer is needed but hopefully not. I am back on track this month with the grocery shopping, that got a little out of control in march and april so been sticking to it tight this month with meal planning, got loads growing on the allotment too, strawberries will be ready soon.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 18th May 17, 6:28 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    I have a new job working full time so will be able to get the card paid off asap and saving for a deposit straight after. Going to be paid weekly but that should be fine as OH covers all the household bills. Couldn't have come at a better time tbh, will lose all our tax credits but £100 a month isn't much compared to what I can earn, be so nice not to be relying on them as well. It's amazing the difference a year makes isn't it. Didn't think I was ever going to find work this time last year.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • Golightly72
    • By Golightly72 23rd May 17, 10:05 AM
    • 71 Posts
    • 254 Thanks
    Golightly72
    Congratulations Merfe, great news on the new job! You will have those cards paid off in no time.
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 30th May 17, 8:21 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Thanks Golightly.

    2 days into training and seems to be going well so far. I think this was going to be the best move for us as a family going forward. It's half the commute that waitrose was and the hours should be better too although could still end up doing weekends but I am hoping that is just occassionally as they have part time staff that cover them mostly. Looking forward to pay day already. Will only be getting half what OH gets but it still feels good to be contributing.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 11th Jun 17, 7:52 AM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    First payday and the money has disappeared straight away as car insurance was due. Next 2 weeks will pay for tickets to visit my dad for a week in the summer. After that I want to save to get the cambelt done on the car whilst I'm away as it's been due a while and keep putting it off. Then I should be able to start overpayments, debt should be all gone by next summer easily enough. Have been going over food budget now OH is cooking rather than me so might need to look into that and do a few slow cooker meals before I leave in the morning.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 28th Jul 17, 3:55 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 5,837 Thanks
    MERFE
    Start of the summer holidays. Sorted out school uniforms for next year. The secondary school completely changed their uniform so it meant the oldest needed all new instead of just replacing outgrown bits, which is frustrating. Still by ordering before the end of term we got a 10% discount, still got their trousers and shirts from asda though. Just need to get shoes at the end of summer. Youngest only needs shoes since he has both the older 2 primary uniforms now.

    I'm taking the kids to visit my dad for a week so OH can sleep, although they are all alot better at keeping the noise down at home now. Not looking forward to the journey with them without OH, it's a 3 hour ferry ride after 2 hours driving. I have bought a couple of travel games and some cards and travel sickness tablets just incase. Fingers crossed for some nice weather.

    Paying the debts is simple now it's all just one payment a month. Usually I pay the minimum when the bill comes in then any extra depending how much we have spare. Going to be a bit less over summer with day trips out and having to spend so much on the uniform. Also got OH to speak to his work about his pay because he gets a set amount but most months have 4 fridays in he gets 4 weeks pay then months with 5 fridays he gets 5 weeks pay. So trying to get it sorted to same every month just to make budgeting easier, they have said it should be possible so going to look into with the finance dept. He is paid last friday each month. I am just thinking ahead to when everything changes to universal credit rather than tax credits it will make a difference as its calculated monthly rather than yearly.
    Barclaycard 5790/6249
    debt free by December 2018

    Savings £3087
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