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  • FIRST POST
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 10th Aug 16, 8:57 AM
    • 23Posts
    • 77Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    12 months to turn things around
    • #1
    • 10th Aug 16, 8:57 AM
    12 months to turn things around 10th Aug 16 at 8:57 AM
    Hi everyone!
    I have had a light bulb moment and decided to document my progress here to motivate me to change my ways and get rid of my debts - the interest charging ones - within the next twelve months. It needs a real change of lifestyle for me to achieve that, so this is as much as a life overhaul as a financial one

    I need to check the figures but I think I have around 2k on my credit card and dh has 2.4k overdraft

    We have a lot of other debt - all of which is pretty old now, interest free and being chipped away at slowly- plus our mortgage which has 8 years left to run. I'll deal with those once these two have gone.

    So, a bit about me and why I'm doing this. Household consists of three adults - myself, dh & ds - one very elderly dog and an adult daughter who has lunch with me daily. I currently don't work through choice - I took a sabbatical while I was rethinking my career then a loved one became ill and I cared for her until I lost her recently. I intended to return to work once my dog passes but I am to become a first time grandparent early next year so it will remain on hold for now. However, if I haven't turned my finances around in the next 12 months, I may not have a choice.

    The debts have risen because of poor choices made dealing with grief. It's not an excuse, it's just the reality and now that I'm aware of it, I have to deal with it. I don't want to sacrifice time with my grandbaby or have no disposable income when I want it so I have to get my backside in gear and free myself as soon as I can from this burden.

    I will drag out actual figures later and post them along with my budget - feel free to analyse and recommend
Page 1
    • FacelessNumber
    • By FacelessNumber 10th Aug 16, 10:11 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    FacelessNumber
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 16, 10:11 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 16, 10:11 AM
    Good Luck

    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 10th Aug 16, 10:36 AM
    • 7,995 Posts
    • 51,264 Thanks
    Bobarella
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 16, 10:36 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 16, 10:36 AM
    Good luck to you Squirrelgirl. Grief does strange things to lots of people. Its also amazing you can be there for your grandchild. That will be gold for your daughter. Somethings cant be calculated with financial values.
    £790 to pay =70% repaid
    RR 2016 #2 December £0.66 2016-£55.16 2015- £84.20)
    Wombling Free 2016#5 £2,230.57 2015 £1027.20
    NST December
    PAYDBX #7 £1910.53/£2,700 (70%)
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 24th Aug 16, 9:53 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    • #4
    • 24th Aug 16, 9:53 AM
    • #4
    • 24th Aug 16, 9:53 AM
    Thanks faceless & boberella...it's nice to have the support

    I have been checking out all my bills to work out where I can reduce costs - I am still trying to get online with my laptop so that I can post figures...not good typing on a phone! ��

    Will be back later when I have worked out where I'm going wrong!
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 16th Sep 16, 9:05 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 16, 9:05 AM
    Long post alert!!
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 16, 9:05 AM
    Hurrah!! I have finally got my access back

    Today is the first day of my 'new normal' - since I started this thread, I have lost my dog, I have quit smoking and drinking and I have celebrated all the remaining birthdays of the year. My financial situation is now reasonably static - I have spent some time looking at where I am spending my money and why and I have definite figures for my cc and od - its not pretty, but at least I know exactly where I stand.

    The credit card stands a £2200 and the overdraft at £2400. I have to get rid of those within the next 12 months - things I need to tackle are as follows....

    1) I realise that a great deal of my money has been wasted on food, so that will be one of the best areas for me to tackle to minimise my costs. While I won't compromise on the quality of my food, I know that the amount that I waste is criminal - I overbuy and under-eat so that has to stop.
    2) I am good at budgeting and have a really good budget plan - sticking to it though seems to be beyond me - my fixed expenses aren't an issue but my variable items I just basically ignore the budget and carry on regardless (I know, I'm an idiot!). I absolutely have to keep to the limits set and will work as much as possible on a 'cash only' basis from now on so that I actually see the money passing from my hand to theirs....it feels much more real and painful that way!
    3) I have to start to minimise our running costs - we leave lights on, a variety of things on 'stand by', use the tumble dryer constantly, the washing machine is on twice a day as a minimum, the freezers are not running at a decent level because I haven't defrosted them for a long time, we make unnecessary car journeys, don't pump the tyres up etc....the list continues of the small things I could do which I just don't seem to ever bother with.

    I am really determined to get this sorted now - I have to take it seriously because I want to maintain the ability to choose my lifestyle.

    I have a week before the first salary of the new normal hits my bank and I hope to spend a maximum of £10 between now and then because that is what I actually have in my purse. I have done an inventory of my current supplies food wise and other than perhaps a couple of bits of veg, I should be able to make it

    As far as this diary goes, it will be a record of how I pay this off as well as how much I pay off, plus the other things I am changing in my life - as I stated when I started it, this is about a shift in my lifestyle (hence the stopping smoking and drinking). I need to start taking my health much more seriously, I am middle aged and now that I have a grandbaby on the way, its much more important for me to actually be around for longer - I have lived a very reckless lifestyle in a great deal of ways and I have enjoyed it immensely but it does mean that my life-expectancy is probably a lot lower than it should be. I want whatever I do have left to be active and healthy - and cheap!!
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 10th Oct 16, 12:07 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:07 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:07 PM
    Well its been an interesting couple of weeks!! I have been very good and have only bought what I actually need - I did a shop at the beginning of the month to stock up on the cleaning/laundry/toiletries items that I would need for the month and I have made meals predominantly from the storecupboard/freezer

    As a result, I have brought my cc debt down to under 2k and still have enough to perhaps pay a bit more off by the end of the month....in all honesty, the main thing I am proud of is the lack of food waste that I have had - I have really managed to get my head around portion control and rarely have more than a lunch worth's left once we've finished munching!!

    Unfortunately, next month may well be a lot tighter - ds has finished his job so there will be no further income from him until he gets something else sorted; I'm looking at it as an opportunity to be even more creative than I have been but it will take some doing!

    I am making a load of tofu at the moment - its a great thing to do as it means that I can also make 'meatballs' from the okara - I do love it when I get to make food from stuff that would normally be thrown away - makes me feel very virtuous!!

    I have to admit that saving on other things hasn't really happened yet - its been pretty chaotic for a variety of reasons and I have found it difficult to put an effort in, however, I am going to try my best to improve from now on
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 23rd Oct 16, 3:19 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    • #7
    • 23rd Oct 16, 3:19 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd Oct 16, 3:19 PM
    Its always an interesting ride!!

    Since I last wrote, ds has got another job and I have acquired an accidental job!!

    An opportunity arose that was too good to turn down so I have decided to go back to work....although this should turn my finances around, it will take a little while for it to be really noticed as I have to buy another vehicle in the next couple of months however, once that has been purchased, my life will be a lot different

    I'm not certain when the job begins so I am going to do my best over the next month to keep the expenses down to a minimum - I want the cc to be as low as possible when I finally have enough to be able to start to clear it.

    Because it has all happened so fast, I haven't really sorted everything I wanted to get done in the house so the next week or so is going to be pretty hectic - I have to get some decorating done and also cleaning....this is going to be fun!!
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 26th Oct 16, 5:21 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    • #8
    • 26th Oct 16, 5:21 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Oct 16, 5:21 PM
    I've spent the last few hours working out my new finances once I am back at work - I have increased our food, petrol and persie budgets but other than that, all the increased income will go on debt repayment, purchasing a new car (essential unfortunately due to new job), new sofa and carpet for the living room (been putting it off for about 8 years for a variety of reasons) and perhaps replacing the current car too depending upon its performance at the next MOT.

    I have decided that it will still take a year to be in the exact position I want to be in - one of my interest free debts is to a family member (6k) and I want to pay that off asap - the need for vehicles is understood though so they remain the priority after the interest accruing debts.

    I'm very excited about the future - despite not intending to return to work yet, the job will be incredibly fulfilling and additional financial freedom I will gain will be excellent. Obviously, I need to stick to MSE principles to try to do this in less than 12 months, but as I have somewhat changed the targets financially (we'll need approx. 8k for the 2 cars, 2k for the sofas & carpet, 6k for my relative and 4k cc & od instead of just the original 4k for cc & od) the length of time is no quicker on paper!! The od & cc should be gone by February, car 1 purchased and paid for by the end of March, the debt paid by the end of August and the second car purchase by the end of October 2017.

    I am really going to try to clear it an awful lot quicker - the budgets I have set for the cars are maximum ones - if I can get something cheaper which has as much staying-power potential (current car cost 4k - I've had it for about 8 years and have done about 120k miles in it so I buy to run into the ground and spend the minimum on them) I will absolutely do so.

    Any surplus from the budget will go towards reducing the timeframe I have set - whether its used on debt repayments of car/sofa etc savings won't matter - I know what I need to achieve and I'm out to do it as fast as possible
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 9th Nov 16, 3:32 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 16, 3:32 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 16, 3:32 PM
    Getting there

    I have sorted most of the finances out now and have done really well on the food front..I have to do the menu plan for the rest of the week and shop on Monday for work.

    It's proving hard to keep the costs down with choosing to buy ethically so I'm going to see what I can find on the boards - hopefully there is a thread that addresses that

    The job start is now definate- I know the start date and pay date so my planning is a lot easier; I am going to try to buy all my produce from local organic sources wherever possible, other than that it's going to be at the coop or waitrose as I think they are the most ethical supermarkets - if I'm wrong, please let me know!
    CC £0/£2000; OD £0/2000; Relative Debt £0/£6000; Car fund £0/£8000; Sofa Fund £0/2000 Dec GC £0/£400
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 9th Nov 16, 8:00 PM
    • 7,995 Posts
    • 51,264 Thanks
    Bobarella
    That's good news about the job Squirrel Girl.
    £790 to pay =70% repaid
    RR 2016 #2 December £0.66 2016-£55.16 2015- £84.20)
    Wombling Free 2016#5 £2,230.57 2015 £1027.20
    NST December
    PAYDBX #7 £1910.53/£2,700 (70%)
    • Huskyrunner
    • By Huskyrunner 9th Nov 16, 8:13 PM
    • 518 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    Huskyrunner
    I have an ex partner who works for the co op ethical they are not. I respect your beliefs re food etc we try too do the same we buy meat packs from
    the local butcher, veg packs from local green grocer etc etc

    All supermarkets whether it be asda/morrisons/sainsburies etc have one aim profit there is no one major supermarket that doesnt. We get our milk delivered from a dying breed ie the milkman as we know he deals with one dairy locally thats not selling too major supermarkets so the farmer is getting a good rate of return.
    debts 16550
    Mortgage 69500
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 9th Nov 16, 8:54 PM
    • 342 Posts
    • 683 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Good luck with your new job and your plan!
    We have found a local veg box scheme works out fairly well - but not always good on the waste front.

    Do you eat meat?
    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
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 9th Nov 16, 11:08 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Thanks everyone for your comments

    I have a few options in mind for purchasing things - a wholesale cooperative for most items (I'll make my own bread with organic &/or fair trade ingredients as nothing high on the ethical scale commercially) and I have joined a local organic farm share for fresh, seasonal vegetable & fruit boxes - I am vegan so doubt there will be any waste with that.

    I make many of my own condiments- mint sauces, apple sauce, redcurrant jelly, cranberry sauce/jelly, flavoured balsamics, jams, marmalades, chutneys etc so with ethically sourced vinegars, sugar and produce I can eliminate most of the problems I encounter in supermarkets.

    The major expenses are laundry, household products and toiletries - especially the toiletries - but I'll just have to minimise expense elsewhere to accommodate that

    Right, I've changed electricity supplier now too...most ethical I could find
    CC £0/£2000; OD £0/2000; Relative Debt £0/£6000; Car fund £0/£8000; Sofa Fund £0/2000 Dec GC £0/£400
    • -taff
    • By -taff 10th Nov 16, 2:46 AM
    • 6,458 Posts
    • 3,731 Thanks
    -taff
    OK, forgive me if I've got this wrong, but since you had your lightbulb moment, what you will be doing is increasing your debt from 10k, with the overdraft, CC and family loan, by another 10k on cars and carpet and sofa to circa 20k.
    Will your new wages cover that in a year?

    Just to say really, when I started trying to budget or get control over my finances, I would be chuffed to bits to be saving 20p in a supermarket on reduced price food at the end of the day, thinking I was doing really well with the cutting down spending, but would think nothing of spending say £100 or more on something I though I needed. So I'd had the LBM but I hadn't actually thought it completely through.

    But congratulations on what you've achieved so far.
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 10th Nov 16, 6:54 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Hi taff,

    Yep, you've got it right...sounds crazy I know but the cars are a total necessity unfortunately - dh & I have shared a car for the past four years but the new job will add a ridiculous amount of time onto our day if we continue to do so. We have had our current car for about 6 years now and its close to 180k on the clock so I just don't think that it will make it through another mot
    The sofa we have is quite literally falling to bits - its 15+ years old and has served us well; five resident dogs, several visiting dogs and a few sofa surfing friends have seen plenty of sleep on the poor thing and the floor needs replacing for similar reasons!
    Thankfully the new salary will cover everything I've planned so 12 months should do it!!
    CC £0/£2000; OD £0/2000; Relative Debt £0/£6000; Car fund £0/£8000; Sofa Fund £0/2000 Dec GC £0/£400
    • -taff
    • By -taff 10th Nov 16, 10:59 AM
    • 6,458 Posts
    • 3,731 Thanks
    -taff
    Freecycle or facebook selling groups for sofas they're not new, but they're a lot cheaper or even free....Look for a local scrapstore, they may have carpet.
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 4th Dec 16, 5:01 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Oops, I've let this slide over the past few weeks as I've been settling in to the new job...things are a mess financially- well, not a mess but it's been a bit out of control over this period due to needing a few expensive items and wasting a lot on social activities however, I'm starting a spending freeze as of today; other than petrol and £10pw for additionals I am not buying anything before the solstice shop. That gives me three weeks to live out of the cupboards and freezer- I pay for my veg boxes monthly so I will only need a few quid a week extra anxiety then it's just soya milk and bread flour which I ran out of today

    Solstice is always my new year and it will be the start of my new financial habits along with lifestyle habits. When I began this, I thought I was at a new point in my journey- not knowing that I would be employed again within a matter of months and completely overhauling my life in many ways! My first paypacket coincides with solstice so it feels like the perfect point to put all the plans in action - up till now I feel it's been more in the development stages skills I'm keen to really move it all forward

    I have £30, a cupboard full of stuff and 3 weeks ahead of me to finalise the details and hit the ground running - it's going to be fun!!
    CC £0/£2000; OD £0/2000; Relative Debt £0/£6000; Car fund £0/£8000; Sofa Fund £0/2000 Dec GC £0/£400
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