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    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 18th Sep 16, 1:27 PM
    • 276Posts
    • 1,189Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Paid off the 31,000! BUT - still scrimping!
    • #1
    • 18th Sep 16, 1:27 PM
    Paid off the 31,000! BUT - still scrimping! 18th Sep 16 at 1:27 PM
    Heres to my new shiny diary now that I am debt free!

    I have finished my previous diary which detailed my debt free journey. This went well for some months I then failed dismally, managed to pull myself together to pay off half then had a lucky windfall which cleared the rest. If you want to have a look its called Scrimping Behind the Scenes with Debt of 31,000! (sorry, I cant manage to get the link to work!).

    In the diary I detailed how I was trying to pay off the debt without alerting the fact to family and friends as I was too embarrassed to let anyone know the extent of my folly!

    I have however decided to carry on scrimping as I have a few retirement issues coming up. One of the things that will make scrimping easier is that I dont have to do this in secret anymore! My reasons for cutting back financially will be out there for friends and family to see which will let some of the pressure off!

    I am now in my early sixties but my State pension will not kick in for another four and a half years. I will not be getting the full whack as I have had contracted out of the second State pension because I was a member of a previous employers final salary scheme. Luckily this pension will take a little of the headache away and I have a couple of small DCB schemes from other employment over the years though these will not amount to much. I am in my current employers company scheme and both they and I pay into this though again its not going to be life changing!

    I calculate that I when I retire my income will be slashed by well over half so to carry scrimping would be a good run up to retirement test for me.

    A big worry is that the firm I work for was recently bought out. I have been through this sort of thing with previous employers. What tends to happen is this:

    1. Big lovey-dovey honeymoon period between new owners and old owners (who have been paid out, but stay on for goodwill).

    2. New owners and old owners start to fall out over the management of the company. The new owners want to run the company their way and old owners think they know better.

    3. Bad feeling hits all round and new owners start to have a people clear out.

    Im rather apprehensive about the possibility of a people clear out because of my age. I think I will be ok as long as my boss is there but unfortunately he is older than me!

    Accordingly, my next scrimpy goal is to fully fund my Emergency Fund. It currently stands at 3,000- but I would like to see it at 10,000 to feel safe. If I can fund it with 1,000 per month (like I did with my debt), I will have 10,000 by end April next year.

    So today is going to be a NSD. I have 26.90 left spending money and 18.33 in the grocery budget till I get paid next Friday.

    So here we go again interesting times!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
Page 1
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 19th Sep 16, 9:27 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    • #2
    • 19th Sep 16, 9:27 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Sep 16, 9:27 PM
    Good evening!

    What went on today

    I had to pick up some bananas and sparkling water today on the way to work so 1.33 from the food budget. The bananas are to accompany my porridge breakfast that I have in work. I keep the porridge packets, nuts and coffee in work and use the firms communal microwave and milk. I also brought in my sardine sandwich for lunch with some little toms and fruit so that keeps Pret a Manger at bay!

    I also donated to the London Air Ambulance charity that was collecting outside the station today, plus bought my hand cream in Boots. I had some points on my Advantage card which was enough to buy shower gel and some face powder sponges unfortunately the points didnt stretch to the hand cream!

    Tonight I made salmon and lemon pasta from the A Girl Called Jack cookbook from ingredients I had already so that was dinner sorted.

    Total scores on the Scrimpy Board!: 1.33 food; 6.43 general spends.

    Scrimpy Savings Strategy:

    A few months ago I swapped my standard Santander Current account for their 123 account as the interest was much better than I was receiving. I originally put my emergency fund into a cash ISA and had a few little savings accounts linked to my current account for savings like Christmas, Birthday/Gifts and periodic bills. I then transferred everything in these accounts to the 123 account. Santander have recently cut the rate to a flat 1.5% but Im still sticking with this for the time being as Martin thinks other providers may follow in cutting their rates. Even with the 5 monthly fee Im still quids in as the monthly direct debit cashback they give you counteracts this. Im going to start putting the monthly interest into the emergency fund as every little helps!

    In order to see exactly what I am funding now that all my cash comprises of one lump sum, I am fervently using YNAB (You Need a Budget) to record all my categories and spending. I started using YNAB whilst I was still paying down my debt Ive had a few disasters with it on the way (which has totally been my fault!) and had to start again a few times but I couldnt be without it now. I recently swapped over to the new version as the old version will not be supported at the end of the year. Its $50 dollars a year but I get a lifetime 10% discount as an existing user so it worked out just over 34. I think the old version is actually better if you are paying off debt, but I prefer the new version for savings.

    Am now off to do some diary browsing and catch up with Cold Feet if I don't fall asleep first!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 20th Sep 16, 10:03 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 10:03 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 10:03 PM
    I'm never going to eat toffee again! Was chewing away at a toffee this afternoon when the inlay in my tooth came away and I ended up with a nice big hole! Luckily my dentist is near the office and I was able to get an emergency appointment after work. I toddled off with the inlay and the emergency guy cemented it back. I'm due back for my routine check up in December and he said that i may need a new inlay or crown then. No idea how much that will be! It cost 90 today - I know these sort of things are for what the emergency fund is for but I don't want to raid my nice shiny fund! Weird eh! When I get paid on Friday I'll adjust so I can pay it from there.

    Apart from the mishap above just bought paper, stamps, tomatoes and some lovely cards that were 3 for a 1!

    Credit Cards

    All my balance transfer cards have disappeared into the wide blue yonder but I have three cards that I use for ordinary purchases. I have an Amex cash back card and a M&S card that pays in their vouchers. I also have a Santander Zero for overseas transactions/holidays. If you take your yearly Amex Cashback in Boots vouchers instead of cash they give you 5% more so I do that! I put nearly all my purchases on my cards to get the cash/ vouchers and always pay the bill at end of the month now! I've learnt my lesson!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • stoplurking
    • By stoplurking 21st Sep 16, 5:34 AM
    • 300 Posts
    • 1,886 Thanks
    stoplurking
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 16, 5:34 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 16, 5:34 AM
    Welcome back Seasidegal. I used to follow your other diary and wondered what had happened to you. It's great you have paid off the 31k and can now openly scrimp without fear! I didn't tell anyone apart from my partner when I was paying off my c/cs, and I didn't even tell him the level of debt I'd got into.

    Anyway, now you're back and planning for the next stage of your life I've subscribed to follow your journey. Good luck with everything.
    LBM Oct12 Debts at LBM 17715.93.
    Orig DFD Apr15 DFD 24/12/13
    3-6monthEFC#9 1334/4000 33.3%
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 21st Sep 16, 12:46 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    • #5
    • 21st Sep 16, 12:46 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Sep 16, 12:46 PM
    Thank you so much stoplurking for your kind comments and for subscribing to my ramblings!


    I thought I would pop over and have a look to see if you have a diary, but found your post back in December 2013 when you cleared your debt. Wow! How fantastic are you and to have finished it in little of over a year as well! Such an inspirational, informative and helpful post and you must have felt so proud! Your OH sounds a wonderful support too!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 22nd Sep 16, 7:32 AM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    • #6
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:32 AM
    • #6
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:32 AM
    Have day off from work today as managing agent for flat is coming round later for one of their periodic visits to the block to meet up and discuss any issues we may have. I've woken up quite early and will have breakfast and get some jobs done around the house.

    Yesterday was a good day for scrimpy spending - just my paper and I had my nails done in the evening (which was budgeted for! ).

    Will be able to view this month's payslip on line later on today ready for tomorrow's payment so I will have a look at the forthcoming monthly budget then.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Mysteek
    • By Mysteek 22nd Sep 16, 12:38 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 401 Thanks
    Mysteek
    • #7
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:38 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:38 PM
    Aaahhh there you are! Am subscribing to your shiny new diary x
    ** #44 Pay All Your Debts off By Xmas 2016 = 4,230.13/4,230.12 PAID **
    #63 1 a day/2 coin for Xmas 2016 = 222.10/366 min
    #4 MFW Pay 10% off Mortgage in 2016 = 0/4,600 approx
    MFIT #73 - Pay all mortgage off in 3 years 46,40042,200
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 23rd Sep 16, 11:39 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 11:39 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 11:39 PM
    Thanks Mysteek!

    So I had a NSD yesterday ! Today after paper plus lunch (coffee and sandwich with friend) I ended up with 3.35 spending surplus. After buying some milk and yoghurt the household surplus was 12.49!

    Scores on the scrimpy doors for the month - 15.84 total to help pay the dental bill!

    Stuff Helping Budget:

    Direct Debits:
    At the beginning of my last debt journey I set up all my direct debits to start at the beginning of the month keeping them all together has been a great help the only anomaly is Essex & Suffolk Water who for some strange archaic reason will only set up direct debits on 8th and 16th. So I have one sad little direct debit all on its lonesome!

    Noddle:
    I have a Noddle account which I check monthly to make sure there have been no dodgy things going on with my accounts. One of the nice things about Noddle is that is free unlike some of the other credit reference agencies. Its also very gratifying to see that my credit score is now 5/5! I am a bit sceptical though about these scores a colleague of mine who is worth an arm and a leg has a score of 2/5 because of a hoo-ha he had with a utility company supplying one of his properties! Still the score is nice to goggle at.

    Looking back over Essential Outgoings:


    I had a look back over the beginning of my previous diary in April 2014 to see how the finances had changed on my essential outgoings. Ive listed an extract below and my present comments are highlighted:

    Mortgage as I mentioned in my previous post my mortgage is very small and with interest rates having been so low for so long I am only paying out 106 per month. (All finished earlier this year)
    Energy I have an electricity only home with Economy 7 storage heaters. I went on a comparison site last year and I am on a fixed rate until end August which is 39 monthly though it might go down a bit now we are out of winter. Im pretty good with turning things off. The heating is currently off at the moment, apat from the bathroom. (I changed provider bill currently 34 per month down!)
    Water In my area Im serviced by two water companies one for sewerage (11 per month) and the other for the rest of my water needs (6.80). The sewerage is calculated on a rateable basis so I cant do anything re the cost here, but on the other I have had a water meter for some years have showers, not baths and dont have a dishwasher (up to 12 and 8.15)
    Council Tax This is 81 per month over 10 months and this includes my 25% single occupancy discount. I like paying it over 10 months as I can throw the two free months cost at my debt (as I did this year!) (up to 86)
    Service Charges on Flat This is 356 per half year. Cant do a lot about this although the flats are well maintained. (Now 415!)
    Building Insurance This was 266 last year, but again this is charged by the freeholder under the terms of the lease so although I am sure this could be cheaper theres not a lot I can do. (now 332 annoying! I always feel that I am being fleeced!)
    Contents Insurance Got this via comparison site and paid for it in one lump was 76 annual. (Last year 80.02)
    Travel Insurance got this last year again in full via comparison site. Was yearly 65 (high due to existing medical condition). (Last year 89)
    Regular Medicines paying for these via yearly NHS prescription card - 104 annual. (One positive thing about getting older I dont have to pay any more!)
    Home Phone - 15.40 per month land line with free weekend calls. Im going to ring the provider to see if I can get it down. (Now 21.40 will have to do something!)
    Mobile - 10 per month pay as you go (needed more call time and download. Now on 17 monthly rolling tariff but I have a years discount so 14.53).
    Tax Im PAYE but fill in self-assessment form and so I get an extra bill each year because of my benefits in kind at work. This January it was 152 so I am putting a bit away each month for next year.(not self-assessed any more so everything is worked out via PAYE)
    Travel I commute to work by train and so have an annual season ticket which is the cheapest way to pay and this year cost 3,128. I get an interest free season ticket loan from work which is debited from my salary each month over ten months costing 312.80. The two non-paying months I will be throwing at the debt! I know the cost of this probably seems astronomical to some, but its the only practicable way I can get to work and I would not be earning anything like I do working locally (New ticket starts next month will be 323.
    Food/Household Ah this the one where I do feel I can cut back in fact Im going to have a special post later on just for this category! (Started budget at 120 per month still trying to follow this)

    And still no car, pets or smoking!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 24th Sep 16, 11:57 AM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 16, 11:57 AM
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 16, 11:57 AM
    Done online shop for month ahead with Tesco for delivery tomorrow. I've tested myself on Mysupermarket.com and Tesco always turns out cheapest for me. My monthly supermarket budget is 120. As I don't have a car I find it really useful and time saving to have one monthly delivery and then top up the following weeks for milk, etc at Aldi or the small grocery outlets nearby.

    This time round it has come to 71.30 - annoying thing was that 16 was water filters for my Brita water jug and kettle. Does anyone know if Tesco's water filters fit the Brita appliances? They certainly look the same and are half the price! 4 was also included for delivery charge but if I went to the supermarket I would still have to pay for a taxi home so it all sorts itself out in the end.

    So 16.23 left in budget for the top up weeks.

    I'm going out soon for the day with the family so will be so working out whole monthly budget later.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 25th Sep 16, 8:03 AM
    • 3,098 Posts
    • 15,562 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Hello Seasidegal

    I've got 10 years until I can retire and also need to start tightening my belt in readiness. My job has been a bit like yours, I've been contracted out to a government department for 16 years but am finally being TUPE'd in-house next month so at least I know my job will be safe until I retire. I got so sick of being transferred from one contractor to another.

    Well done on paying off your debt and good luck with your new journey. I've subscribed and will be following your antics.
    Debt free date 31/01/15
    Virtual Sealed Pot 611.30
    Weight loss 9.5/14
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 25th Sep 16, 9:23 AM
    • 6,153 Posts
    • 29,173 Thanks
    brizzledfw
    Following the lovely SA over..and have subscribed to cheer you on your way xx
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    New debt: 7000 0%; Savings: 1400
    Declutter 50 items before 30.09.16 42/50 **
    NSDs Target 5 for September 4/5 EBay Sales Target 30.09.16 299/100
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 25th Sep 16, 4:59 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hi there to Sun Addict and brizzledfw! Thanks so much for coming along on the journey. I've subscribed to your diaries as well so will be popping in to see you as well.

    I had a lovely time with family yesterday power boating and roaring round the Thames. Felt quite the female James Bond! Only thing was I was very windswept afterwards and felt all my hair had blown away and I was bald!

    The tickets were already paid for as we actually bought them for one another as Xmas presents last year and have only got round to using them now! My lovely DD treated me to a burger afterwards and so all I spent yesterday was 20 for taxis home that evening. I used my train season ticket and Oyster card to travel up there.

    DD is actually staying with me tonight. The rest of her family have driven back home but she was meeting a friend for lunch today and will be staying tonight with me as she has early meeting in London tomorrow. So will be making chili tonight and both settling down to catch up with Strictly!

    After Tesco had taken off their branded basket discount the grocery final bill was 69.94 so 16.68 per week left for the month.

    After YNABing the budget for the month I have just over 172 per week surplus minus the 20 spent yesterday. As I'm away for nearly a week I should have some grocery money left over as well.

    I'm going off for a Euro city break on Friday with DD, back early next week, then back for a day and off again for a UK break for a couple of days. It's the end of my 10 month interest free loan to my employer for my season ticket so 320 is freed up from salary this month for holiday money. I'm starting a proper monthly allowance for holidays this time round so I don't get caught out. I haven't been away this year apart from a weekend break earlier this year so really looking forward to getting away.

    Apart from that I haven't got that much on this month so anything left over at the end of month will go into emergency fund.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 26th Sep 16, 8:47 PM
    • 3,098 Posts
    • 15,562 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    All sounding good. Enjoy your city break
    Debt free date 31/01/15
    Virtual Sealed Pot 611.30
    Weight loss 9.5/14
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 26th Sep 16, 8:49 PM
    • 6,153 Posts
    • 29,173 Thanks
    brizzledfw
    Hi

    Thanks for subscribing.

    Lovely fun things you're doing with DD..rather envious Love the fact that you embrace YNAB too..its an amazing way of keeping on top of everything, easy to use to record and of course, forecasting whats coming up too

    Have a great trip
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    New debt: 7000 0%; Savings: 1400
    Declutter 50 items before 30.09.16 42/50 **
    NSDs Target 5 for September 4/5 EBay Sales Target 30.09.16 299/100
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 27th Sep 16, 11:38 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Thanks guys!
    Ordered my euros on line tonight to pick up at airport. Will be buying some toiletries as well tomorrow - for trip and also for rest of month - I'm going to add a toiletries category to YNAB.
    Yesterday was going well money wise - I ended up not buying paper as I had an early start to work and none of the shops were open on way to station! Took packed lunch in and was just congratulating myself on a NSD day when I got home then I put some washing in the machine and the drum went totally ballistic! I've ended up having to order a new washer/ dryer. The old one was has gone on the blink a few times and is quite old so I feel justified, but its looking like I will be raiding the emergency fund after all. With connection and removal charges the final damage is 383. .
    Today was just paper so not too bad at all. Had work reception tonight so was a little later home - didn't stay that long as felt too tired! Definitely getting old!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Scrimpy Goal - Emergency Fund - 10,000
    Currently: 4,000 (25/09/2016)

    My debt free diary - " Paid off the 31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
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