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  • FIRST POST
    • DD265
    • By DD265 31st Aug 16, 3:37 PM
    • 1,270Posts
    • 3,188Thanks
    DD265
    Ready to be debt free
    • #1
    • 31st Aug 16, 3:37 PM
    Ready to be debt free 31st Aug 16 at 3:37 PM
    I've been here before and then lost focus.

    I currently owe £6187.53 on two credit cards, all interest free at present. Last year I was raking it in on the bonus scheme at work and would pay off over £1000 a month across several debts. This year my targets are not achievable and although I had a pay rise I'm still bringing home less and therefore I don't feel like I'm making any significant progress.

    Now for my confession: £3800 of that has been spent this year. That's a real eye opener - and I do have a list of exactly what it was spent on too. If I hadn't done that, I'd be well on my way to clearing the other card within months.

    I have YNAB and can see two key areas to cut back, one easier than the other.

    1) unnecessary supermarket/snack spending. You know the £5 here, £3 there that all adds up, despite the fact that you did a meal plan and a weekly shop.

    2) this is tough; I have a horse who's recently retired. At £600 a month he costs the same as what I contribute to our home/bills. He hasn't been 100% for years but he's healthy and happy enough to be a pet so I'm in the see-how-it-goes camp at the moment. A large part of the £3800 was a throw-everything-at-it last attempt to get him being ridden happily, and we did have a really good couple of months so whilst I do regret some of the spending, I really appreciate those memories too.

    My plan is to find/make the funds to start making over payments on the card with the largest balance. I do reasonably well selling on eBay and I've a mountain of things still to put on as well as some currently active listings. I hate having to wait days/weeks between making extra payments so I'm hoping the eBaying will still let me feel like I'm doing something useful.

    Wish me willpower
Page 6
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 8th Feb 17, 10:16 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,680 Thanks
    Bobarella
    I saw save the date cards in Next today. Don't know if you still want them.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • DD265
    • By DD265 10th Feb 17, 3:18 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    Thanks Bob I shall have a nosy. I'm starting to lean towards doing a full set of save the dates but need to review the guest list and see what that's going to cost us. It may be better to just send the invites out early. Or maybe an email save the date....

    I just got a text from MBNA confirming the credit limit increase meaning it must be a recent thing and it's not proof that I'm going crazy.

    I've bought a couple more bits for my holiday from eBay; topping up my suitcase without breaking the bank. If it were me and OH going away then we don't usually leave the hotel so it's really easy to pack for. Whereas in Dubai be doing day trips and nights out and meeting people so I feel like I need to cater for every scenario and will end up taking far more than I'll actually wear.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • DD265
    • By DD265 14th Feb 17, 10:47 AM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    I've reduced the cards down to £2500 and £1000. That means repayments averaging £350 a month will see them clear in December - assuming nothing else gets added!

    I decided I was more worried about burning through the money than I was about reducing my bank balance.

    Luckily the cat's vet visits have come to an end, but I've started getting the bills for the horse's vets bills. Up to £200 so far and that only includes the medication and blood tests. There's still the emergency visit/treatment and subsequent visit to draw the bloods to come! Ultimately this will all come out of the horse's bank account, but I may need to pay out of my account and replenish later.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • DD265
    • By DD265 26th Feb 17, 1:33 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    I got back from Dubai last night, and spent a bit of time updating the budgets this morning.

    Everything was very kindly paid for over the past week, so I'm actually ending the month in a very good (for me!) financial position. This is where I don't like variable pay because I can't plan next month's budget properly until Tuesday.

    Still not received the remaining vets bills. That makes me twitchy despite having the money to cover them. Over the years I've found that sometimes they take a couple of months to invoice and other times you'll get the bill the next day. I guess they could have several invoicing runs a month, and also it's reliant on the vets updating the records with the treatments etc.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 26th Feb 17, 10:44 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,680 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Hope you had a good trip!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • DD265
    • By DD265 4th Mar 17, 12:34 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    Thanks Bob! The weather was naff (must go back ) but it was great to see my Dad and we had a chilled out week.

    I was invoiced for the outstanding vet bills this week, and had to get a repeat of the meds. Standing total - £527.73. Part of me thinks that as he's doing so well we needn't bother repeating the blood tests this month (£200) but I'll speak to the yard owner and vet before making a decision. His health comes before finances every time.

    It seems that I will find out what my basic salary amounts to at the end of March - taking a week off means I haven't achieved the numbers required to hit my target. In a way this is good because I've always been reliant on receiving a higher salary and I'd like to be able to cover everything comfortably from within my basic. At the moment because my credit card repayments, car and horse bills (vet aside) amount to £1000 a month, I would struggle if I only received my basic. I will have expenses payments which will cover the credit card repayments in April.

    A couple of weeks ago I put a post up asking what to do about my car, which is on PCP and the contract is up at the end of the summer. I thought about refinancing on a 0% credit card, but I am more likely to go back down the PCP route. Ultimately I'd prefer to pay for peace of mind particularly as I have a motorway commute and do 500 miles a week.

    Didn't win the Euro Millions last night.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 4th Mar 17, 3:10 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,680 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Glad your trip was good, even if the weather wasn't. The vets bills sound so expensive. Really hope you can get those down soon.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • DD265
    • By DD265 6th Mar 17, 9:36 AM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    We've been quite lucky really Bob; not had bills like this for a long time and in the past they were predominantly covered by insurance. I'm telling myself that at least we had the money in his account, as otherwise I'd have either wiped out my savings or needed to put it on a credit card. My plan had been to use what was needed for the end when it came to that, and then to pay the rest off the credit card.

    Mom has gifted us the money to pay for the next part of the venue deposit, so I'm going to do that this morning. As I paid the first deposit on credit card, I am paying this one via debit card. OH was looking to get a rewards credit card (and we'd have paid it on that then paid off in full) but he has very little credit history so we're struggling to find him one. I decided that we'd get wedding insurance but I'm waiting for Quidco to fix a referral link so I can get the cashback. We've not paid anything other than the deposit and my dress (which is upstairs anyway) so far so I'm not worried.

    This weekend was fairly quiet on the spending front; we did the food shop and I filled my car up. Also booked flights - £140 - to see family in Ireland as we're long overdue a visit. I've found our airport parking for £16 - it's offsite which I hate as you have to wait for the transfers but we've used them in the past and they're really reliable. At the moment though I can't really justify the £50 for onsite parking!

    It's OH's birthday next month so I need to be creative. Every year I try to top the previous present and I may have finally run out of ideas. He's not a want-y person (unlike me) so he can be very difficult to shop for.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • DD265
    • By DD265 9th Mar 17, 10:15 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    Ha Lloyds declined the venue deposit because they thought it might be fraudulent. I got some messages from Lloyds seconds before I got a phone call from the venue. It's all sorted now though!

    I spoke to the vet today and confirmed that we don't need to do the additional blood tests. If something happens we'll do them then, but otherwise we can keep on as we are. I'm glad really, because whilst I'd have paid if we needed them, the account would've been almost empty.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 9th Mar 17, 10:20 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,680 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Well, I'm glad you were ok for the bills. Horrible to have to scratch around for it otherwise.

    How nice of your Mum to help out like that

    Wedding insurance must be an underwriters dream. How many of us actually have any trouble with our weddings? I took it too because of THE FEAR but can remember thinking what a rip off it is for one day!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • DD265
    • By DD265 20th Mar 17, 10:57 AM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    I know what you mean about the insurance Bob! I'm working on the principle of Murphy's law however; much like buying a new raincoat causes a drought, if we buy wedding insurance it means that everything will go perfectly.

    I spent £530 on a course and put it on my MBNA card. The opportunity came up in October and I spent ages agonising over it and decided I couldn't afford it. This time, I decided that if I booked it and changed my mind I'd take advantage of the money back guarantee - it's been a couple of weeks and I've not changed my mind yet. I decided that the perceived benefits of the course would outweigh having to find some extra cash to pay a bit more off the credit card. I did make an extra £100 payment although I'm now a bit skint for the remainder of the month.

    I also had to put a hotel booking on the card. Work booked the hotel for me, but the hotel refused to charge the company card as it wasn't present, so I've paid it and will claim it back. With my expenses payment, I'll only be "out" by £102 on the MBNA card from where I would've been, so I'm hoping I can make that up next month although it's a case of how far I can stretch my basic salary.

    Dentist today - need a filling replacing. Luckily I can claim the costs of that back so I'll print out a claim form ready to pop straight in the post. I have a chiropractor visit to claim for as well, and I'm almost out of cover for that. I have considered paying the additional premium to upgrade the level of cover. I estimated that it'd pay for itself on the chiropractor visits alone so I ought to look into it properly.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 2:35 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,680 Thanks
    Bobarella
    How annoying about not being able to use the company card!!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • DD265
    • By DD265 25th Mar 17, 9:46 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    Went looking at cars today and I test drove a used Qashqai which was really comfortable to drive. Unfortunately my Note is in negative equity on the PCP and any car I was going to buy on finance - be it the Qashqai or another Note - would see my monthly payments rise.

    I took advice from my future father in law and the plan is to give my car back at the end of the PCP in October - thus not incurring any costs. He wants me to go down the bangernomics route and to give him credit he is car savvy and would help me buy/maintain one. I do have concerns given a motorway commute... We'll have to see how much money I can save up between now and September. It may that I don't have enough saved so I go back into PCP, but without adding any negative equity onto my new contract. He works in the car industry so may be able to get me a staff deal from one of his contacts, which although PCP isn't necessarily ideal and I can see why he'd suggest moving away from that, I may simply not be able to afford a suitable car outright given the wedding and credit cards I'm also saving for/paying down.

    In other news, we booked our favourite photographer for the wedding. They were actually the cheapest that we shortlisted which is an added bonus. The not so good news is the cake is looking like £500-650 - please don't lynch me - but it's an area where I don't want to compromise. I figure it will be balanced out by not having flowers, which I want to make from paper.

    So far we've paid out £2174 for venue deposit (in two parts), the photography deposit, my wedding dress and shoes. We have £5455 outstanding for the venue and photography balances, plus the cake and registrar. I set up a separate budget in YNAB to help me keep track of things. The payments are still getting logged in my main budget, but it means that I have an insight into what's left to pay.

    Other things which will need looking at are bridesmaid dresses, suits, stationary, hair/makeup etc, wedding rings. Mom wants a sweetie cart but I think we'll get Costco membership and do something ourselves. The venue has basically said that we can make use of whatever decorations they have and for transport I don't care about fancy cars so need to find a suitable taxi firm.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 28th Mar 17, 11:28 AM
    • 3,097 Posts
    • 13,778 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    We recently bought a second hand Qashqai DD265, and you can get them quite reasonably priced - ours was less than £10k, 3 years old and only 28k miles on the clock. Passed it's AA check with flying colours and I think it was a pretty good deal in all honesty - could you keep your eye out for something along those lines rather than the PCP?
    £150/3000 OH BC(95% PAID)
    PAID VERY, Barclaycard x2, Vanquis, Natwest, O/D, Tesco & MBNA x2 PAID LBM 24/07/15 - Debt: £150/31010.23 (99.51% paid)
    Mortgage - £160,500.00 (2017 O/P £2475.46) PAYDBX 17 #006 - £18,079.25/14,539.71
    • DD265
    • By DD265 1st Apr 17, 12:02 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    Even then Kirtsypoos I'd need to take out finance to cover it. Will just have to play it by ear and see what the best option is at the time.

    I've decided that I'm not a particular fan of receiving only my basic salary. I appreciate that it's more than many people receive but it's less than I've gotten used to and there is zero wriggle room in my budget for this month. This includes a large expenses payment, all of which I'd hoped to put towards the MBNA card.

    Currently I have the following:
    £650 to go into the joint account for our rent/bills/food.
    £948.24 set aside for car PCP (£269.15), Barclaycard (£100) and MBNA card (£579.09).
    £239.46 set aside for my direct debits, e.g. phone, gym, car insurance, dental. £100 of this is a buffer so in theory my account never drops below £100. In theory.
    £343 for the horse's bare minimum costs
    £222.82 discretionary spending which sounds good until you realise that £200 of it is for fuel.

    I'm working away next week which means paying out for meals etc which I can claim back, but I won't see the money until the end of the month. £22.82 isn't going to cover that, nor will it get me a birthday present for OH. Just realised I missed the £50 that'll transfer into savings too. I'm going to have to reduce how much I pay off the MBNA card.

    Now I'm going to complete an exercise to see whether I could actually cover all my bills on my basic salary, but I'll do this outside of my main budget to avoid messing things up.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • DD265
    • By DD265 9th Apr 17, 2:10 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found out that I can't pay all of my bills and maintain my current level of debt repayment on my basic salary. I can manage the bills and minimums and still have money left over though.

    I dropped the MBNA payment down to just over £250 (minimum repayment plus £225 - normally it'd be bang on £250 but there's a higher minimum this month) which is what I'd normally aim to be repaying. I have also reallocated the buffer in my account. I know I have savings to use if needed, it's just that I really don't want to.

    Unfortunately all of this is putting a lot of weight behind the financial element of deciding my horse's future. It's a decision that I'm already beating myself up over and this doesn't help. I can't bring myself to break it down to for/against lists as that feels so callous and uncaring. I do feel like I'm in a lose-lose situation as whichever way I lean feels like the wrong way.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 9th Apr 17, 5:48 PM
    • 10,450 Posts
    • 69,680 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Can you look for another higher paying job or is that not an option currently?
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • DD265
    • By DD265 16th Apr 17, 11:17 AM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    It's always an option Bob, but I really don't want to as all of the other things I love about my job and the other benefits do outweigh this. It's just frustrating, I think, because I was relying on that to sort myself out and I had it all sussed.

    Basic salary at the end of April too (unexpected) and May (expected) so I've made some decisions. I'll be returning my car at the end of May, and doing a money transfer from one of the credit cards to purchase a new one. I may also have some contributions from family. The money transfer will be interest free into next year (exact date depends on which card I choose to use) so there'll just be the fee. I worked it out at £80 fee for £2000 off the MBNA card, the Barclaycard is a better offer (lower fee and longer interest free period) but I'd be near-maxing out the card.

    I am planning to have my horse put to sleep next month - this may of course change but it feels like the best thing. He had another bout of acute illness last night (colic; different to what happened at the end of January) and it was touch and go as to whether we could save him, as surgery is not an option for him (or me). Another "episode" is exactly what I wanted to avoid, and I almost called the knackerman rather than the vet last night, but he pulled through. He's bright and happy this morning. I would not have let him suffer but I would rather he goes happy with the sun on his back and a mouthful of the lush cow's grass that he's been coveting for years.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 16th Apr 17, 8:52 PM
    • 1,499 Posts
    • 3,683 Thanks
    ani*fan
    Hi there

    I just read your diary and don't want to read and run so am ducking in to say hello. You're making excellent progress with your debts, well done.

    Also wanted to say I empathise with your horse situation. I have a much loved old furry purrball cat and lately he has been very slow to stand up, trembly legged and is prone to throwing up his dinner for no apparent reason the vet can find. I love him dearly but he is really such an old man now and I don't want him to be uncomfortable or in pain in his later years. I understand your heartache, but I think there's a lot to be said for making a compassionate decision at the right time.

    Best of luck, I hope it all goes as well as it can.

    AFxx
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • DD265
    • By DD265 17th Apr 17, 11:55 AM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 3,188 Thanks
    DD265
    Thanks for your kind words ani*fan.

    I am paying £269.15 per month for the car, and £303 in rent (there are less rigid additional costs on top) for my horse. Obviously by doing a money transfer from my credit card I'll be increasing my debt so I'm just trying to work out what to pay where and when.

    Assuming that the last car repayment and horse rent are in May, in June I will have, for the sake of argument, £600 "spare". I think I'll put all of this into savings which will take me to £1300ish in my emergency fund. Thereafter I'll pay £200 a month into my emergency fund, and split the rest (£800, including what I already repay/save) across credit card repayments. I need to maintain the £100 a month off the Barclaycard, to ensure I pay no interest on the current balance, but I will focus on the MBNA card to clear that off, as it has the larger limit.

    In theory, by December, I could easily have both credit cards cleared and over a months take home in savings. Any bonuses/extra cash will only speed up the process. Now that is something that I can get excited about.

    Once the cards are gone, there's the wedding to pay for. After that, what I'd like to do is:
    Help to Buy ISA - start with £1200, add £200 per month
    Club Lloyds Monthly Saver (3% interest, 12 months only) - pay in £400 per month

    It may make sense to save into these accounts sooner, but I want to maximise the benefits, so I'll probably seek advice on this forum about it. I'll also have to find somewhere else to put the rest of the potential savings and also look at starting to pay into my pension. I can earn 2% interest on up to £5000 in my current account, but may do better elsewhere. What a nice dilemma to have.
    MBNA: £4382.94/£6000 - 27% paid
    Savings: £1000.00
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