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  • FIRST POST
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 9th Apr 16, 6:57 PM
    • 74Posts
    • 140Thanks
    BettyBones
    Drifting in a Sea of Debt
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 16, 6:57 PM
    Drifting in a Sea of Debt 9th Apr 16 at 6:57 PM
    Hi everyone!

    Oh my days (as DS would say) Ö where to begin. Iíve been drifting in a sea of debt for as long as I can remember. I don't think I can remember a time when I wasn't in debt. Back in 2013 my debts looked like this:

    Tax Credits: £4,693.26
    Capital One CC: £6,384.24
    Santander CC: £2,844.50
    Halifax CC: £6,341.00
    Total Debt: £20,263

    The Tax Credits bill came in April 2013 and with it came my LBM. I knew that I couldnít keep mindlessly spending on the credit cards. It was bound to catch up with me some day. So over the last 3 years Iíve been making a concerted effort to try and pay it all back. Itís been hard going at times and thereís been days when Iíve just wanted to sack it all off and go on a spending spree (because itís all so depressing) but somehow, with endless inspiration from stalking the contributions of you lovely peeps on the DFW boards and diaries, Iíve managed to persevere (A massive thank you to each and every one of you for that!).

    Iíve upped my work hours from part time to full time, moved to a smaller place in the middle of nowheresville to reduce my rent and other outgoings, slowly managed to switch everything over to 0% interest, ditched the non-essentials such as gym membership, TV packages and chocolate (well ok, chocolate hasnít been entirely ditched) and generally got better at managing my money. Iíve even managed to stop frequenting coffee shops and the home of that stupid clown Ronald. It's been a rollercoaster 3 years for sure but today my debt looks like this:

    Tax Credits: £782.46
    Capital One CC: £390.00
    Santander CC: £1,397.51
    Halifax CC1: £2,500.00
    Halifax CC2: £3,090.00
    Tesco CC: £1,500.00
    Total Debt: £9,659.97

    Not too bad overall. At least its heading in the right direction. But now I need to get focused. I've been drifting along for far too long and I just want these debts gone. I am so sick of having them overshadow everything I want to do. So I've set myself the challenge of getting rid of them within the next 12 months and I'm determined to do it, regardless of how much scrimping and scraping I have to do. If I have to live on jelly beans and cat biscuits for the next year then so be it. Although I don't actually have a cat so that's a relief. I won't be tempted.


    By the end of April 2017 I fully intend to be in a position to sail off, debt free, into the sunset. Literally! Because in order to give myself the motivation to do this I've just put a deposit down on a two week cruise and I sail on 26th June 2017... so I need to pull my finger out!

    Hopefully this diary and all you lovely DFW peeps will help keep me on track.

    So first things first... I guess I need to go and do a SOA and see how impossible this mission really is...

    Wish me luck x





Page 4
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 29th Aug 16, 2:26 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    August Summary
    Hi everyone I hope you've all had a lovely August and managed to enjoy some free sunshine So after taking the whole of the month of August off (shocking behaviour I know but it had to be done) its back to work for me tomorrow and time to get back to the debt busting. Friday was payday so I made a start, paid down some debt, sorted out my September budget and this is the latest summary of where I'm at:

    Debt totals last month:
    Tax Credits: £261.02
    Capital One CC: £0.00
    Santander CC: £0.00
    Halifax CC1: £2,100.00
    Halifax CC2: £3,090.00
    Tesco CC: £1, 205.00
    Total Debt: £6656.02

    Debt totals this month:
    Tax Credits: £130.66
    Capital One CC: £0.00
    Santander CC: £0.00
    Halifax CC1: £1,575.00
    Halifax CC2: £3,090.00
    Tesco CC: £1,175.00
    Total Debt: £5,970.66

    A double celebration this month... I've dropped below the £6,000 mark and I now only have one more payment to make to HMRC. Woohoo!!! The £130.66 needed to make this final payment is currently sitting in my bank account and I'm dying to just ring them up tomorrow and get it gone but I really don't want to engage in any conversation with them. Knowing my luck they'd check my account and decide that I owe them even more! So I'm going to just let the payment go out on the 14th Sept as scheduled and then quietly cancel the direct debit.

    In the meantime, it's just head down and get back to trying to stick the budget I guess.

    Happy debt-busting everyone x
    • milasavesmoney
    • By milasavesmoney 1st Sep 16, 10:50 PM
    • 1,599 Posts
    • 12,716 Thanks
    milasavesmoney
    What amazing progress! Into the 5's!!
    Nov $69/$500 ~~ 3/6 EF #46 $11,273/$15,000 ~~ Xmas/Bday 2016 $3002/$6500 ~~ WL 2016 ~15 lb
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 2nd Sep 16, 7:56 AM
    • 741 Posts
    • 1,179 Thanks
    lcc86
    Just read through your diary, so impressed by your speedy debt busting! Am subscribing
    1/12/14 total £9,140 Today £233 97.4% paid
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 2nd Sep 16, 12:25 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    Thanks LCC I'm trying so hard to just get this done. I've basically given myself a weekly food and entertainment budget of £45 and that's it... everything else must go to bills, debts or emergency/holiday fund. There is no compromise! lol I just want this debt monkey off my back. Having the month of August off was nice though. I feel much more energised and ready to get back into it now. So onwards and upwards... just 9 more months (or paydays as I prefer to think of it) to go. Yippeeee!
    • Jumblerina
    • By Jumblerina 2nd Sep 16, 5:59 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    Jumblerina
    Great work Betty your 1% payment approach is clever, I'll have to give it a try. You'll be debt free in no time with your plan and hard work I'll be following your journey.

    Jumblerina
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 2nd Sep 16, 7:34 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    Thanks Jumblerina I think doing it 1% at a time is the only way I'm going to clear this pesky Tesc0 CC. And I kind of like it because it gives me something to do and the feeling that I'm making progress inbetween paydays. Good luck with your journey too. I've subscribed
    • Jumblerina
    • By Jumblerina 15th Sep 16, 4:21 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    Jumblerina
    How's it going Betty? Hope you're having a good debt-busting start to September
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 17th Sep 16, 3:06 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    Hi Jumble I'm so bad at posting aren't I?! Time just seems to be flying by at the moment...

    Now that my debt busting plan is in full flow and things are ticking along quite nicely on that front I feel that I can start to focus on the other areas of my life that need fine tuning too and one of these is my health and fitness, or lack thereof! At the end of August I took part in a local 5k run which clearly showed how unfit I've become since starting my debt-busting journey. It took me nearly an hour to complete the relatively flat course and I felt sick virtually the whole way round Not good! So health and fitness has become a bit of a priority for me at the moment as I've been trying to re-establish some regular exercise and healthy eating habits. All within the confines of my limited food and entertainment budget of course So no fancy gym membership, personal trainers or diet food for me... it's just me, my running shoes and a few extra lettuce leaves

    The debt busting continues apace though and I'm delighted to report that I've finally cleared the last of my Tax Credits debt. Woohoo!!! After 3 whole years of paying that bad boy off every month the final £130 left my account on Wednesday and I'm so pleased. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to see the back of this debt or how satisfying it was to log into my online banking this morning and cancel the direct debit to HMRC knowing that the whole £4,693.26 has been PAID IN FULL!
    • milasavesmoney
    • By milasavesmoney 18th Sep 16, 3:28 PM
    • 1,599 Posts
    • 12,716 Thanks
    milasavesmoney
    That is just a wonderful feeling when the last payment of a large debt is finally paid. Congratulations!!
    Nov $69/$500 ~~ 3/6 EF #46 $11,273/$15,000 ~~ Xmas/Bday 2016 $3002/$6500 ~~ WL 2016 ~15 lb
    • Jumblerina
    • By Jumblerina 21st Sep 16, 7:21 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    Jumblerina
    Well done Betty I bet you're so happy to have that debt gone, for good I'm loving a the sound of your fitness plan you'll have to keep us posted and we can cheer you on!
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 3rd Oct 16, 1:02 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    September Summary
    Wow... we're into October already.. this year is just romping by!

    So the usual monthly summary is as follows and I'm over the moon to see that by the end of next month I will be sub £5,000. Can't wait! I really am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now and it's just a matter of not deviating from the plan (easier said than done!)

    Debt totals last month:
    Tax Credits: £130.66
    Capital One CC: £0.00
    Santander CC: £0.00
    Halifax CC1: £1,575.00
    Halifax CC2: £3,090.00
    Tesco CC: £1,175.00
    Total Debt: £5,970.66

    Debt totals this month:
    Tax Credits: £0.00
    Capital One CC: £0.00
    Santander CC: £0.00
    Halifax CC1: £1,050.00
    Halifax CC2: £3,090.00
    Tesco CC: £1,100.00
    Total Debt: £5,240.00

    So glad to see the back of the Tax Credits debt and now it's on to slaying those Halifax balances, the first of which should be done and dusted by the end of November. Then it's just the final Halifax balance and the Tesco CC to go.

    Paying off the Tax Credits debt means I have an additional £130 per month now which I could sling at the Tesc0 CC, but I've decided not to. I'm on track to pay both Halif@x balances off before the 0% deals end and the Tesc0 CC is 0% until October 2017 so I'm happy to just continue with my current repayment plan. I do still intent to have the Tesc0 CC cleared by the end of May 2017 but this will be done by throwing any 'spare' money I have at it between now and then and continuing with my 1% challenge.

    The extra £130 per month I now have is being invested. £50 is going into my pension, £50 is going into a S&S ISA and £30 is being invested in me. I've decided to hunt for a new job and £30 a month should cover any interview costs... travel expenses, new shoes, haircut etc... Can't believe that I've finally got to grips with the need to save money and spend it wisely. Feeling very
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 9th Oct 16, 10:13 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    For the last couple of weeks I've been job hunting and at the end of this week I have my first interview Although I don't mind my current job, the office politics are really starting to grate on me so its probably time for a change. And in any event, if I can find a job that pays more money then I can slash my debt that bit quicker.I know a lot of people get attached to their workplaces, routines, colleagues etc and find it difficult to move on but not so me. New location, new people, new challenges, new stationery cupboard to raid! I love a change.

    So I sat down and drew up a list of requirements for any new job and this is what I came up with:
    1. Must be offering at least an extra week of annual leave
    2. Must be offering at least the same, if not more, in pension contributions/benefits
    3. Must be offering a salary that exceeds my current salary by at least £5k
    4. Must be offering work that is engaging, motivating and inspiring
    5 Must have a stationery cupboard to raid!

    My needs are quite simple and my strategy is to just apply for one job at a time and see what happens. I'm in no rush to move on from my current job so I'm not going to apply for anything and everything, I'm going to try and be selective and really think about where I want to go from here. So, the first job I've ever really put some thought into and applied for and I've managed to get an interview Prep is almost all done so now I just need to decide what to wear... power suit?... or boiler suit?... It's been a while since I had to interview for a job and things have probably moved on a bit What does one wear these days? Are we smart casual?
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 21st Oct 16, 1:53 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    So the day before my interview and my current employer goes and offers me promotion into a senior role in a different department with more money. Typical! This new role will give me experience in a completely different area of what I do and more options will open up to me if/when I decided to move on in the future, so for the time being I've decided to stay put. A bit of a shame as I spent £65 on a new pair of shoes and top for my interview but never mind, the pay rise I get will make up for it

    On the debt-busting front, I got a letter from HMRC yesterday telling me that I'm due a tax refund of £165 so that's another 11% of my Tesc0 CC I can clear. Woohoo! I'm really starting to feel like the end is in sight now. Although I do have another 7 months to get through without mishap before I can officially call myself debt-free. Can't wait! Sometimes the days just romp by and I don't give my debt a second thought, other days it's all I can think about and it feels like it's taking forever. Grrr!!! But never mind, onwards and upwards. We'll all get there eventually if we just stick to the plan xx
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 22nd Oct 16, 11:48 AM
    • 741 Posts
    • 1,179 Thanks
    lcc86
    Congrats on the promotion! Maybe your boss has found your diary and saw you were thinking of leaving hehe
    1/12/14 total £9,140 Today £233 97.4% paid
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 2nd Nov 16, 7:51 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    October Summary
    Debt totals last month:
    Tax Credits: £0.00
    Capital One CC: £0.00
    Santander CC: £0.00
    Halifax CC1: £1,050.00
    Halifax CC2: £3,090.00
    Tesco CC: £1,100.00
    Total Debt: £5,240.00

    Debt totals this month:
    Tax Credits: £0.00
    Capital One CC: £0.00
    Santander CC: £0.00
    Halifax CC1: £525.00
    Halifax CC2: £3,090.00
    Tesco CC: £900.00
    Total Debt: £4,515.00

    Yay! My debt is finally sub-£5,000. Really starting to feel like I've turned a corner now. The 1st Halif@x balance will be cleared at the end of this month and then it's just 2 more debts to go. Will still take a while but I'm definitely starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now. And I'm finally getting to grips with saving money too. I've upped my pension contributions, the holiday fund is up to £1,150 - almost enough to pay the balance on my cruise, there's £128 in my £2 pot - which I'll use for xmas spends and I've even been managing to squirrel some of my expenses claims away to pay for the car tax, MOT and servicing etc when they become due in Feb and April.

    The one thing I don't have anymore though is an emergency fund. So if any unexpected bills or expenses land at my door I'll probably be forced to use the credit card again But it's nice to know that the credit card is now only there for an emergency. It won't be used for xmas this year and there's no way I'm ever going back to just mindlessly spending on it for the hell of it. Lesson learnt there for sure!
    • Money spending mummy
    • By Money spending mummy 2nd Nov 16, 8:46 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Money spending mummy
    Well done Betty! You are doing so well. :-)
    • Orange Ena
    • By Orange Ena 3rd Nov 16, 11:08 PM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 2,597 Thanks
    Orange Ena
    Well done on your promotion Betty, that's fantastic

    And well done on being sub 5k. Sub 4k is right around the corner
    Ll0yds CC £3180.05 £2779 / H@lifax CC - £1490 £0
    Nati0nwide CC - £558 £0 / Barcl@ycard CC - £890.80 £0
    Debt Apr 15 £6895.44 / Jul 15 £6330.30 / 5th Jan 16 £5217.26 / 4th Feb £4340 / 5th Apr £3505
    Every penny is a prisoner
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 7th Nov 16, 5:28 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    It's only Monday and I've spent my £30 entertainment budget for the week already. Gah!!! I bought an electric blanket for £20 because my place is freezing in the winter and I'm already starting to feel the chill. And then my teenage son asked if he could have £10 to take his girlfriend to the cinema and I duly obliged. Silly me! He gets £30 a month pocket money from me, £30 a month pocket money from his Dad and £40 a month from his paper round so he should have plenty of money for entertaining the ladies. But when I asked him why he doesn't have any of his own money left this early in the month he said, 'Oh, I do. I've got loads of money. But i don't want to spend my own money taking a girl out. What a waste!' And that probably explains why he has more money in the bank than I do
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 26th Nov 16, 6:09 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    BettyBones
    I hate negotiating with service providers but this month my internet costs went up from £22.40 a month to £27.40 a month and I can't switch to another provider because I live in the middle of nowhere and the company I'm with is the only one that can provide the speed I need in this area. So I decided to bite the bullet and give them a ring (and a sob story) to see if I could get it back down to£22.40 a month. Spoke to a lovely chap on the phone and he offered to let me continue on my current package for just £17.40 a month. So I got it for £5 a month less than I was originally paying and I didn't even have to pay to call them. I went online and requested a call back so they rang me. And he even offered to refund me the extra £10 that I've already paid this month. Result!
    • Orange Ena
    • By Orange Ena 26th Nov 16, 10:37 PM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 2,597 Thanks
    Orange Ena
    Marvellous work Betty
    Ll0yds CC £3180.05 £2779 / H@lifax CC - £1490 £0
    Nati0nwide CC - £558 £0 / Barcl@ycard CC - £890.80 £0
    Debt Apr 15 £6895.44 / Jul 15 £6330.30 / 5th Jan 16 £5217.26 / 4th Feb £4340 / 5th Apr £3505
    Every penny is a prisoner
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