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  • FIRST POST
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 19th Jul 16, 3:57 PM
    • 66Posts
    • 275Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Uhtred goes Viking against his debt
    • #1
    • 19th Jul 16, 3:57 PM
    Uhtred goes Viking against his debt 19th Jul 16 at 3:57 PM
    Every story has a beginning and my debt story begins with a decision to sell my flat and move to another one that could be best described as a fixer-upper. It needed a kitchen - it actually had no kitchen at all - and it needed a bathroom, the existing one being beyond the use of anyone who valued their health. Apart from that, it was redecoration all the way plus some new carpets and blinds. At least the central heating was fine.

    I used all of my savings between increasing my deposit (I had a little equity in the original flat) and paying for some of the work that needed done. I took a loan with my bank to do the rest. So far, so good.

    Of course things didn't go as smoothly as planned and I found electrical and general plumbing work that needed done plus work on demolishing an old outbuilding that on close inspection was clearly about to fall down and was probably quite dangerous. So I began using my credit card.

    Whizz forward 12 months and things are fine; I can easily pay the credit card and the loan but the credit card balance has crept up due to an inability on my part to resist a variety of new household goods. So, in an effort to reduce my outgoings and have one easy payment (you probably know what's next) I took another loan to pay off the credit card and pretended to myself that I was sorted!

    I was sorted in a way but 9 months later the central heating gave up the ghost, right in the coldest part of the year. It was an ancient thing and not repairable so, I extended my bank loan to cover replacement. Of course, I kept using the credit card, interspersing it with periods of great frugality and paying big chunks off it. Of course, when a big part got paid off it I knew that I could use it again! Yippee!

    At this point I'll say that I am still managing all repayments; I have a reasonably good salary and I've never been in any tricky financial spots previously. However, it has left me in the position of being unable to save and it holds me back from doing all the things I want to do. It seems never-ending.

    I was quite depressed about it at one point and to make myself feel better I splashed out on a new laptop - on an ARGOS card . The only mitigation here is that it is interest and payment free for 9 months, but still - .

    So that's why I'm here - I'm going Viking against the debt and I aim to slaughter it brutally at the earliest opportunity.
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
Page 3
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 6th Sep 16, 5:21 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Life turns on a sixpence
    There's been a slight development; in all honesty I'm a bit knocked for six at the moment.

    I was at my parent's house last night and for better or for worse I decided to fess up about my debt. It was really strange but the way it happened was like I wasn't really in control of myself - I just told them.

    What a huge weight off my chest - I can't begin to tell you how relieved I felt. I've hidden it for so long, a bit ashamed and worried about their reaction and they weren't in the least bit ashamed of me. Dad was a bit annoyed I hadn't mentioned it sooner but not in an angry way, if you see what I mean.

    The upshot was, my lovely mum and dad offered to pay off my credit card for me - not as a loan but as a gift. They will be giving my sister the same amount to keep the balance and said it was an early inheritance. To say I'm stunned is an understatement. My dad made it quite clear they could pay all my debt off (no way I could take this as I would be mortified) but that it probably wouldn't help me longer term. He's totally right. Both of them also made me promise not to spend on the card again and dad went through a quick SOA with me to see that I was really going to be able to manage (which I am).

    So today I'm not quite sure what to do. My two other loans, which can take overpayments, will take care of themselves naturally and I think I plan to let them do just that until the turn of the year. I have virtually no emergency fund for anything at all and Christmas is on the horizon. My best plan, I think, is to keep some cash and build a small emergency fund and deal with Christmas as a cash buyer for the first time in a very, very long time. Is this a good idea or not? I'm not sure, but I have time to think about it - perhaps along the lines of, if in doubt, do nowt!

    I don't know how I can ever repay my mum and dad. Seriously, I don't. What they have given me is breathing space and a real chance to sort out my spending habits once and for all. Which brings me to this diary. I will keep updating my diary as my goal hasn't changed - I need to be debt free. I will use it to record all my efforts in making those loan overpayments but it will probably veer towards changing my relationship with money and spending and keeping my costs low and my chin up.

    For the first time in years I feel I have turned a corner.

    Onward and upwards chums

    Oh, one more thing, a question. I really, really want to close my credit card account but I'm scared to do it as it would leave me with nowhere to gin in a dire emergency. In saying that, I feel sick at the thought of having it open. Any advice?

    Uhtred
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • Poor_Single_lady
    • By Poor_Single_lady 6th Sep 16, 7:06 PM
    • 832 Posts
    • 2,953 Thanks
    Poor_Single_lady
    Aww your parents sound amazing. Its so good you can tell them and that they can help. Massive step in clearing it all. I think this is great news!
    2017- 5 credit cards plus loan
    Overdraft And 1 credit card paid off.

    2018 plans - reduce debt
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 6th Sep 16, 7:24 PM
    • 737 Posts
    • 3,406 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    Why don't you give the card to your parents to look after? That way you can use it in AN EMERGENCY only Your parents sound fabulous, what a lovely thing to do. You could save an emergency fund now, or find out if you pay less if you overpay your loans. Definitely save up for Christmas. You've got a massive chance now to step up, and show yourself that you have learnt from your past mistakes, what an opportunity!
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £8852 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2017 challenges:
    March - Bath Half Marathon DONE!!
    July - trailwalker 100km walk for Oxfam & the Ghurka trust
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 6th Sep 16, 7:44 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Aww your parents sound amazing. Its so good you can tell them and that they can help. Massive step in clearing it all. I think this is great news!
    Originally posted by Poor_Single_lady
    PSL they are great parents. I hated the thought I had let them down but they were fantastic about it. It's a totally massive step for me and I must admit my head is buzzing with it. I've got a pal coming for a catch-up shortly and I'm even thinking about telling him.

    I feel hopeful now.

    Uhtred
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 6th Sep 16, 7:49 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Why don't you give the card to your parents to look after? That way you can use it in AN EMERGENCY only Your parents sound fabulous, what a lovely thing to do. You could save an emergency fund now, or find out if you pay less if you overpay your loans. Definitely save up for Christmas. You've got a massive chance now to step up, and show yourself that you have learnt from your past mistakes, what an opportunity!
    Originally posted by stepuptothepl8
    They are truly amazing - without a doubt. I currently have my card care of a friend but I think I will get it back and give it to my dad. That sort of lets them know I'm really serious and I hope it would repay the faith they are showing in me.

    I will save for Christmas. I'm also going to broach the subject with the rellies/friends about a gift limit in terms of money. I have done this before but never really saw it through.

    This is a massive chance, no doubt about it and I feel deep down that it's a last chance. If I can't do this now then I never will. I really can't ask for more support and I'm determined this is it now.

    Uhtred
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 9th Sep 16, 7:50 PM
    • 396 Posts
    • 906 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Uhtred, what great news. So pleased for you. I definitely think your parents having the card is a great idea - I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to give it up just in case. We still have an empty CC for this reason, but since our LBM we have not used it, or if we have it has been paid off in full as it's been part of the budget.

    I think if you can build your EF to a really healthy level you would then be able to cut it up for good. There's an EF challenge you can join on here, if you need the encouragement.

    Yay. nice to hear a good news story. Ramble x
    LBM June 2015: £24025.75!
    The big bad three:£22,034 8.8% down 91.2% to go:
    Tax savings: £400/£1800
    'Very little is needed to make a happy life' Marcus Aurelius
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 10th Sep 16, 12:59 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Thanks Ramble

    The card is now with dad . I think you're right that getting rid of it for good is reliant on a reasonable emergency fund being in place. I'll have a look at the EF challenge on here as that might be just what I need.

    Onward and upwards

    Uhtred
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 27th Sep 16, 12:33 PM
    • 396 Posts
    • 906 Thanks
    ramblehan
    How's it going?
    LBM June 2015: £24025.75!
    The big bad three:£22,034 8.8% down 91.2% to go:
    Tax savings: £400/£1800
    'Very little is needed to make a happy life' Marcus Aurelius
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 27th Sep 16, 7:20 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Hi Ramblehan

    Things are going really well. I'm gearing up for payday on Friday with a sense of relaxation - the first time in I don't know how long.

    I've been working my way through YNAB to build a realistic and proper budget that will give me the mechanism by which I can build a small emergency fund as well as overpay on my loans. Oh, and also a budget that lets me live a wee bit!

    I'm saving for Christmas and I've finished the month (almost) with money left from last month's budget - not much, just £25.45. However it's a small step in the right direction and every penny helps.

    I'm actually looking forward to a Christmas that doesn't leave me feeling guilty, ashamed, worried and broke - it's a non-credit Christmas for me and I am so, so loving it.

    That's the thing that's best of all - I have this sense of calm about everything. I have more available cash that isn't allocated to debts and although I will be saving and paying off debts with some of the extra I have a sense of freedom in knowing I don't actually have to do that. Does that make sense? It does in my head

    Overall it's been very pleasant and the pressure has dropped. I'm a very happy Viking

    Onward and upwards

    Uhtred
    Last edited by Uhtred Ragnarsson; 28-09-2016 at 8:26 PM. Reason: Typo
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 1st Oct 16, 9:38 PM
    • 396 Posts
    • 906 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Great stuff!
    Sounds like you have YNAB sorted too. We still struggle to end up with anything spare at the end of the month so well done you!!
    LBM June 2015: £24025.75!
    The big bad three:£22,034 8.8% down 91.2% to go:
    Tax savings: £400/£1800
    'Very little is needed to make a happy life' Marcus Aurelius
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 14th May 17, 4:20 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Well it's been some time since I posted here - I took a slight detour and went off raiding but I'm back and I'm making the final push towards getting the debts well and truly sorted.

    The very good news is that I still have no credit card debt - I really have worked hard at this and by using YNAB to budget carefully, I've managed my silver far better although I have resisted paying any extra towards the loans that remain outstanding.

    The quite good news is that I'm now going to go all out to get rid of the loans, starting with the one that has the largest balance (which also has the highest monthly payment). The bad news about that loan is that I made a mistake about the interest rate and thought it was quite low - I've discovered I had misread my paperwork and that it is actually 8.9%, pretty much the same as the other one I have. That discovery this week is what has prompted me to don my battle helmet and pick up my sword once again.

    For all the good news of course the Gods will have to have a bit of fun and the bad news concerning the loan (apart from my interest rate error) is that over-payments, whilst allowed, attract a penalty of 56 days interest every time an over-payment is made. Within every cloud there is a silver lining though - my spreadsheet calculations show that if I make my normal payments but then, every 4 months, pay off an additional lump sum of £1200, then not only do the interest payments (and thereby, the penalty interest) drop off dramatically and I will in the end be literally many pounds of silver to the good. That's quite apart from being able to clear the debt 3 years early!

    It will be one battle at a time; one loan at a time for the over-payment treatment. As I go on I will cut back my expenditure whenever possible - today for instance I blagged one of Martin's broadband and phone deals and saved £17 a month.

    Perhaps the most helpful thing though will be that I have now confided in the 3 close friends that matter to me and all of them are now on board to make sure I see this through.

    Fate is everything.
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 14th May 17, 9:09 PM
    • 396 Posts
    • 906 Thanks
    ramblehan
    woo hoo. welcome back. Wasn't series 3 AMAZING.

    I've been off raiding too. will be coming back to roost shortly!!
    LBM June 2015: £24025.75!
    The big bad three:£22,034 8.8% down 91.2% to go:
    Tax savings: £400/£1800
    'Very little is needed to make a happy life' Marcus Aurelius
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 14th May 17, 9:23 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    woo hoo. welcome back. Wasn't series 3 AMAZING.

    I've been off raiding too. will be coming back to roost shortly!!
    Originally posted by ramblehan
    It's good to be back

    The last series was excellent - fingers crossed there will be another and that I get debt free before Uhtred takes back Bebbanburg!
    Save
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 16th May 17, 7:24 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Good news/Good news
    The Gods have been smiling on me this week.

    Although I knew I had to pay penalty interest for any loan overpayments, the amount is not as high as expected. In a nutshell, if I paid an extra £300 of silver per month, the extra interest would only be £4.04. Considering that by clearing the loan at that rate I will be saving almost £1600 in interest, I have to thank the fates!

    My DFD has also been pulled right back - I've cast my Excel runes and they say I will be debt free in 22 months which takes me to March 2019.

    I've thought about what I want to do when I get to that point and I've decided I won't jump to pay off the mortgage on Bebbbanburg. I'll just use my extra silver to build an army to take it back from my thieving uncle by force! Quite apart from that pleasure, I've decided I've been in debt for so long that I just want a period where I can live. I don't mean living the high life, just that I want to live without watching every bit of silver.

    Fate is everything.
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 19th May 17, 1:35 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Another small step towards less debt today.

    I was on the lowest gas/electricity tariff with EDF, fixed until February 2018. Using the MSE switching gizmo I have switched to EON - should be about £72 a year cheaper which reduces my monthly payments by £6 but better still it's a one year fix which means I'm sorted nicely until June 2018. I didn't fancy coming off my fixed tariff in January when I use most gas.

    A nice wee bonus is the £30 cashback somewhere down the line so it's all positive this week.

    I hesitated to switch to save a relatively small sum but it's little things like that which will make each month just slightly easier and hopefully keep me on track with overpaying my loans.

    Fate is everything.
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    Switching to E.ON
    Another small step towards less debt today.

    I was on the lowest gas/electricity tariff with EDF, fixed until February 2018. Using the MSE switching gizmo I have switched to EON - should be about £72 a year cheaper which reduces my monthly payments by £6 but better still it's a one year fix which means I'm sorted nicely until June 2018. I didn't fancy coming off my fixed tariff in January when I use most gas.

    A nice wee bonus is the £30 cashback somewhere down the line so it's all positive this week.

    I hesitated to switch to save a relatively small sum but it's little things like that which will make each month just slightly easier and hopefully keep me on track with overpaying my loans.

    Fate is everything.
    Originally posted by Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Welcome aboard Uhtred Ragnarsson.

    Just a quick heads up. If you're paying with a Monthly Direct Debit and have registered with our website, you can take more control over your payments. This includes altering the monthly amount should circumstances change. You can do this through the Direct Debit Manager.

    Once logged on and provided the account is billed up to the latest meter readings, payments can be changed by up to 20 per cent up or down. By up to 5 per cent up or down without readings. Before confirming the new amount, we'll let you know by how much we think the account will be in credit/debit if payments are changed but usage doesn't alter as expected.

    You can also create your own bills online. Pop in meter readings and you'll have the option of seeing the balance that would result or actually issuing a bill. It's a great way to keep on top of things and helps you spot if there's too much credit/debit building up. Our aim with these arrangements is to reach as near as possible to a zero balance by the time of the annual review.

    Hope this is of interest Uhtred Ragnarsson. Let me know if you ever need any help with your E.ON account. Helena and I are usually about weekdays between 8am and 6pm.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 19th May 17, 3:18 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Welcome aboard Uhtred Ragnarsson.

    Just a quick heads up. If you're paying with a Monthly Direct Debit and have registered with our website, you can take more control over your payments. This includes altering the monthly amount should circumstances change. You can do this through the Direct Debit Manager.

    Once logged on and provided the account is billed up to the latest meter readings, payments can be changed by up to 20 per cent up or down. By up to 5 per cent up or down without readings. Before confirming the new amount, we'll let you know by how much we think the account will be in credit/debit if payments are changed but usage doesn't alter as expected.

    You can also create your own bills online. Pop in meter readings and you'll have the option of seeing the balance that would result or actually issuing a bill. It's a great way to keep on top of things and helps you spot if there's too much credit/debit building up. Our aim with these arrangements is to reach as near as possible to a zero balance by the time of the annual review.

    Hope this is of interest Uhtred Ragnarsson. Let me know if you ever need any help with your E.ON account. Helena and I are usually about weekdays between 8am and 6pm.

    Malc
    Originally posted by E.ON Company Representative: Malc

    Thanks very much for all of that information - totally fantastic! I do pay by DD and as soon as I get the welcome pack I will do all the registration stuff online.

    Rather chuffed that there is so much flexibility because I like to pay a bit more in the summer to even out winter.

    Cheers
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    Switching to E.ON
    Thanks very much for all of that information - totally fantastic! I do pay by DD and as soon as I get the welcome pack I will do all the registration stuff online.

    Rather chuffed that there is so much flexibility because I like to pay a bit more in the summer to even out winter.

    Cheers
    Originally posted by Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Great stuff Uhtred Ragnarsson. Glad my post was useful. You know where I am if you need any more information. Happy to help.

    Have a good weekend.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Uhtred Ragnarsson
    • By Uhtred Ragnarsson 24th May 17, 5:17 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Hi Malc

    I'm wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I did the switch on 19th and I understood I would receive a welcome email from EON within 4 days. So far I've heard nothing. Would this indicate some sort of problem?

    Thanks in advance
    Wyrd bid ful āraed
  • E.ON Company Representative: Malc
    Switching to E.ON
    Hi Malc

    I'm wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I did the switch on 19th and I understood I would receive a welcome email from EON within 4 days. So far I've heard nothing. Would this indicate some sort of problem?

    Thanks in advance
    Originally posted by Uhtred Ragnarsson
    Hi Uhtred Ragnarsson and sorry you haven't been contacted yet.

    Have you received confirmation from the Cheap Energy Club that the switch has been started? If you have, our Welcome email usually follows within 2-3 days. If not, might be an idea to check all's well at their end.

    I'll be happy to check what's happening from our side too. Just drop an email with your details to the address in my Profile. I'll take a look and let you know where we're at.

    Look forward to hearing from you Uhtred Ragnarsson. I'm off in a few minutes but will be back in bright and early tomorrow morning so can pick this up then.

    Malc
    Official Company Representative
    I am an official company representative of E.ON. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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